Stephen Learner, a senior from North Carolina majoring in Film and Television Production, just thought he was having a fun conversation with his friends about the summer film canon of 2012.
He was wrong.
Unbeknownst to him, as soon as he uttered the phrase, “I really loved ‘Battleship.’ Easily my favorite flick of the year,” his fate was set. For at that moment, the Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts, Elizabeth Daley, happened to be walking by.
“She sprang upon me like a fat kid on a gummy word,” Learner said. According to Learner, Dean Daley immediately asked him his name and his student ID number before telling him to expect an email in the morning.
The foreboding email was full of the worst news a young film student could receive. “It informed me that I was no longer going to be a member of the SCA Community and all my credits that went towards my degree have been replaced with enough credits to eventually receive a B.A. in Theatre.” said Learner. “I was devastated. Especially by that last part.”
One of Stephen’s buddies, Dave Swick, a junior from South Carolina majoring in Critical Studies, was there when Dean Daley passed by. “I didn’t think that much of it. But I gotta say, I love Stephen, but he had it coming. No true film student would say that that movie is nothing more than a moronic, pastiche, money-grabbing piece of crap. And anyone who does, deserves to a Theatre Major.”
Speaking with one of Stephen’s less pretentious film school friends, Russ Boren, a senior from New Mexico majoring in Animation, also spoke with us. “I don’t think it’s okay. I get why it happened. And I’m not saying I didn’t want to punch Stephen in the face after he said it, but it’s just a movie. I mean, I liked ‘Transformers 3’ a lot.”
Russ is now also a Theatre major.
Dean Daley herself was unavailable for comment but her office gave us this brief statement:
“We hold a high standard here at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and we teach a high standard. Every one is allowed to their own opinions. Except when your opinion is wrong.”
Moral of the story, be weary of whom your share your less than lovely thoughts with. Or else the School of Dramatic Arts awaits you…