The School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California possesses a wealth of historic cinematic memorabilia, film and tape, and other assets. A list of the school’s famous alumni reads like a “Who’s Who” of Hollywood greats. With a variety of objects and media to safeguard, USC turned to Iron Mountain to help with its archiving efforts. Protecting its legacy and preserving the history of an industry were both part of USC’s mission, and Iron Mountain was there to provide the knowledge and technical expertise necessary to achieve it.

Video Transcription

The University of Southern California is a global leader in the arts, business, science, and medicine. The School of Cinematic Arts produces some of the world's most visionary filmmakers who have helped to define our culture and they have left a rich legacy at USC. Iron Mountain has been trusted to preserve this priceless archive.

I'm Elizabeth Daley and I'm Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of South California. The school has been there since 1929, so it means we have quite a collection of memorabilia and film and tape and various archives. People like George Lucas, Ron Howard, Bob Zemeckis, Randal Kleiser all graduated from USC.

Creating student reels and student films is incredibly important and I think it's one of the most valuable things that you can learn at film school. Many families have chosen to place their papers with us, their memorabilia, that they have collected over the years and we want to keep those safe because not only are we interested in the future of our industry, but we see it as part of our responsibility to preserve that past and to preserve those legacies.

Iron Mountain has been an enormously helpful with helping us to really understand some of the best practices for taking care of these treasures. We met your leadership team at the Sundance festival and we begin to talk to them about some of the issues we faced and some of the treasures we possessed. We have the second Bolex camera ever made, the mixing console to The Jazz Singer, we have many of our alumni's first student films. The end product is so valuable to protect because you know how much work and how much time went into it.

We felt like some of these treasures really really needed to be where they were going to be absolutely and totally safe. If this industry is in a situation where a lot of films are destroyed, it would change the dynamics and the emotion of the industry as a whole. I sleep better at night because I know that these objects, these files, these films, these tapes are here with Iron Mountain.

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