Troy’s digital dawn

USC center shows industry's opinion spectrum

HOLLYWOOD — While USC’s new $25 million Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts embodies the technology’s cutting edge, the facility’s three main donors, who were all at Thursday’s gala opening, represent the industry’s spectrum of opinion on getting warm and fuzzy with digital.

George Lucas is in the forefront (“We cannot live by sprockets and celluloid alone”); Robert Zemeckis is in the middle (“We should use this technology … to help us discover who we are”); and Steven Spielberg is tagging behind (“I like film. I like the smell of it. I still cut on the Moviola and the Kem. I’m going to stay with it until George forces me to throw it away.”)

As for the 35,000-square-foot complex and its industrial-style architecture done in monochromatic silver and grays, Jeffrey Katzenberg said, “I haven’t been to a film studio that has these resources and is this beautiful.” John Singleton was impressed by the 60 Avids and said: “I think I went to film school too early.”

Among those on hand for the launch were film school dean Elizabeth Daley, Gov. Gray Davis, Jay Roach, Bill Mechanic, Scott Sassa, Richard Lovett, Avid topper David Krall, Gareth Wigan, John Wells, Frank Price, Marisa O’Neil, David Kirschner, Andrew Marlow, Scott Stone, David Stanley and Tom Rothman.

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