Public Affairs

CSU Entertainment Industry Advisory Council Discusses State of the Industry

April 1, 2010
By Clara Potes-Fellow

Chancellor Charles B. Reed met with the CSU Entertainment Industry Advisory Council at the HBO headquarters in Santa Monica, on March 30. The Council focused on the present state of the industry, a forecast of the future and what CSU campuses might do to prepare students for today’s marketplace and the future.

"The CSU is a critical supplier of graduates to the entertainment and media industries," Reed told the group. "To ensure that our students acquire a working knowledge of the industry, we have placed 650 students in internships with companies in the entertainment industry."

Council members said that technology has destroyed the current model and the new business model will be created by today’s students.

"The film and music business model is broken and the new model has not emerged yet," said film producer Mace Newfeld.

"The new model will be more entrepreneurial and the students will have to become more ingenious to be players in the industry," added screenwriter and film director Robin Swicord.

Members of the council provided the following perspectives:

  • The industry needs professionals who are original thinkers and effective communicators who know how to tell a story, and collaborate.
  • Graduates need to be entrepreneurial. Finding grants to create, market, and distribute their own work is key, instead of relying on the studios and other industry employers to start a career. Knowledge of law, licensing artistic work, and negotiating contracts is also essential.  
  • Students must be assigned realistic projects that allow for collaboration with students from other disciplines across campus. Interdisciplinary study should combine communications, the arts, business, and technology.
  • Technology is changing business practices every two years, and faculty need to focus on preparing for a workforce further into the future. Curricula should encompass the latest technology to create the highest quality products, but also should include the history of the craft, business and law. 
  • Students should maintain portfolios updated with their most current work.
  • Students must learn to work and think globally. Their first job may be working online with people in India, England, New Zealand or somewhere else in the world.
  • Students should participate in systemwide online videoconferences with industry professionals when provided the opportunity. 

Members of the advisory council members also met with CSU deans and department chairs to talk about the issues in more detail, and to share cutting edge initiatives already developed on campuses to respond to today’s education challenges.