The USC School of Cinematic Arts and Subway Restaurants announced a corporate-academic-creative partnership connecting students at the nation’s top film school with a quick-service restaurant to create original branded entertainment content through the Subway Fresh Artists Filmmakers program.

The program was developed and executed by Content & Co., the Los Angeles-based brand studio that creates cross-platform engagement opportunities for Subway. My Damn Channel will host and syndicate the two original web series created during the competition.

“Subway is a brand of opportunity,” says Tony Pace, Subway franchisee advertising fund trust chief marketing officer. “With the Subway Fresh Artists Filmmakers contest, we are providing an opportunity for USC’s emerging filmmakers to create work and have it seen by an enormous audience. Additionally, our fans will get an early peek at the work of young talent and the next generation of filmmakers.”

“The Subway Fresh Artists Filmmakers project is a rare opportunity for our students to create serialized content, which is extremely valuable given the likelihood that many of them will work in television or even branded entertainment after graduation,” says Brenda Goodman, head of the producing track and senior lecturer at the USCSchool of Cinematic Arts.  

“Developing this project with Subway and Content & Co. was an extremely collaborative effort, which ensured a very rich and worthwhile experience for our students. For most of the participants, Subway Fresh Artists was their first exposure to working within a ‘client service’ mindset, which will serve them well in their careers.” 

Subway introduced the program to students in the USCSchool of Cinematic Arts last year with a brand brief entitled, “Every Sandwich Tells A Story.”  The brief challenged students to develop a creative treatment that expressed the personality of the characters through their choice in Subway sandwiches. More than 50 student teams submitted creative concepts for judging by a panel of representatives from the chain, Content & Co., and USC. The panel selected six semi-finalist projects based on their creativity, brand personality, and strategic fit to the creative brief.  Following in-person team presentations, the panel selected two finalists. Though the initial intent had been to put one winning concept into production, Subway was so impressed by the creativity and professionalism presented by the finalists that the brand opted to finance production on both projects.

The two winning series are: 

Do Whatever – A scripted comedy series from Andy Landan, Giles Andrew, and Alice Mathias featuring an overworked junior lawyer who convinces his computer genius friend to quit his job and start a business with him doing jobs that nobody else wants to do.

Jeff and Ravi Fail History – A scripted buddy comedy sci-fi series from R.J. Daniel Hanna, F. Brian Scolfield, and Ian Ward following a jovial slacker and his astrophysicist roommate as they stumble their way from the dawn of man to a post-apocalyptic future in a sputtering time machine.

Both series will make their official debut March 1, 2011, on My Damn Channel.  As part of the screening schedule for the Fresh Artists campaign, Subway is partnering with My Damn Channel and IFCto showcase the contest winners at the IFCCrossroads House at SXSW in Austin, Texas on March 13. 



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