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USC to Dedicate New School of Cinematic Arts Home

In honor of its 80th birthday on Sunday, USC will publicly unveil its new $175 million home on campus, the School of Cinematic Arts. George Lucas, the school's most famous film alum, donated $75 million for the new facilities through his Lucasfilm Foundation, and another $100 million for the school's endowment. He will be on hand with Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Cinematic Arts Dean Elizabeth Daley. Other donors include Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox and Disney.

Two of the facilities are complete: The George Lucas and Steven Spielberg buildings, while the Animation & Digital Arts building is under construction and set to open next year along with three production buildings housing four sound stages and other production services. USC still needs an additional $50 million to complete the construction.

Lucas additionally oversaw the architectural design of the new digs, which has been described as a combination of the director's Skywalker Ranch up north and Beverly Hills, replete with a Spanish-style courtyard and a statue of Douglas Fairbanks as its centerpiece. The Lucas and Spielberg buildings, which are modeled architecturally on Hollywood of the '20s, contain 137,000 square feet with 10 classrooms, 19 conference rooms, eight screening rooms, six editorial labs, three mixing rooms, nine sound editorial rooms, three picture editorial rooms, and two stages for foley and ADR.

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Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.