Jack Epps Jr., SCA’s chair of the Writing for Screen and Television Division, said the partnership was originally formed when Funny or Die approached the school with the intent of creating a new program on their website.
“Funny or Die contacted us and they wanted to start a program called Funny or Die U, and they wanted to come to us first, seeing as we are the premier film school,” Epps said. “We have, at the same time, Comedy@SCA — a comedy program which is evolving — so [the partnership] made perfect sense.”
Epps said the students who will be participating in a workshop will gain insight into the entire process of how a webisode is written and produced. This webisode was filmed on Sunday.
“The workshop covers the basic methodology for Funny or Die, like how their writers approach their sketches, how they work as a collaborative team [and] how they shoot their webisodes,” Epps said. “It’s great because Funny or Die has a unique look with high production value, but [is] still really funny.”
Epps said the approximately 80 students partaking in the workshop benefit from learning from the people behind the Funny or Die website. It will allow students to work with professional writers and provide an opportunity to have their work featured on Funny or Die.
“The writers come down and supervise the students and their webisodes and [teach them] the Funny or Die method,” Epps said. “It also gives the students an opportunity to make a webisode, [because] the strongest webisode will be put up on the front page of Funny or Die.”
Funny or Die fans, such as Jonathan Foor, a sophomore majoring in writing for screen and television, said they would be participating in the workshop because they enjoy the content on the site.
“I love [Funny or Die’s] content and getting a chance to participate in this contest is an incredible opportunity that only USC could provide,” Foor said.
Kevin May, a sophomore majoring in business administration with an emphasis in cinematic arts, said the partnership between SCA and Funny or Die would be valuable for both the students involved and the website.
“Any opportunity where companies established in the entertainment industry are giving USC students a chance to experiment with their content is beneficial for all parties involved,” May said. “It’s critical for students to have some experience with their passions before trying to get a job.”