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The Business of Hollywood

Kevin Roebuck
Director, Digital Experience

After my introductory training session on using Blackboard, I start my new class at UCLA Extension this week. It's course number S8369, The Business of Hollywood - An Industry Role-Playing Game. It's the first course we are going to try out in Digital Hollywood to see how we can use the 3-D web for synchronous learning scenarios. Hopefully, we can adapt the lessons and the models can be used by other teachers like cool serious game built with Darkstar at the University of Maryland and Delft University this past month. I might have done better in school if my classes had sounded like an episode of Entourage:

Become a studio executive, producer, or agent in this unconventional interactive role-playing course. The goal is to "create" as many commercially successful films as possible while dealing with limited financial resources, studio executives with their own agendas, and the whims and demands of movie stars. Every week, students actively participate in negotiating deals in order to get their films made. The result is a multimillion dollar hit or a multimillion dollar flop--and careers change accordingly. In fact, this course is so fluid that people can lose jobs, be promoted, or make so much money they can open their own studio. Learn the techniques of identifying movie concepts and selling ideas, the specifics of talent compensation, and the structure of the Hollywood studio system. But perhaps most importantly, learn the film industry's real-world methods of negotiation and gain an experiential understanding of what it takes to succeed in this business.



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