About the Institute
The Kal and Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies' mission is to expand Drexel's knowledge of and relationships with the rapidly changing entertainment industry. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the Rudman Institute is focused on the creative, technical, business and social issues facing the film, television, music, internet, video-gaming and performing arts worlds. The Rudman Institute is located in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University and was founded in 2004 with the generous support of music and show business pioneer Kal Rudman, the founder and publisher of the noted radio industry publication The Friday Morning Quarterback, and his wife Lucille.
The Institute presents diverse entertainment and media programs. Recent events have included a conversation with Nancy Dubuc, President of the History Channel and Lifetime Networks, which gave the students invaluable insight into the dynamic world of cable television. Ms. Dubuc subsequently sent her top development executives to Drexel where they did a lively presentation on how to turn an idea into a full-fledged television hit. Rob Shuter, popeater.com gossip columnist and HDNet talk show host, regaled students with an inside look at his work as a publicist representing Jennifer Lopez, P Diddy, and Jessica Simpson, and showed them the ropes of his new job as an entertainment journalist. Documentary filmmaker Brian Palmer screened his film “Full Disclosure,” a very personal look at being embedded with the marines in Iraq over the course of three years and National Geographic journalist Boyd Matson took students on a virtual journey around the world as he told of his exploits reporting for National Geographic Explorer and Wild Chronicles. The Rudman Institute has also hosted senior executives from the Showtime Networks, Live Nation/Electric Factory Concerts, Sirius Satellite Radio, CBS Radio, CBS News, The Associated Press, Comcast, Comcast Sportsnet, National Public Radio, Nickelodeon, TV/RADIO ONE, and Jujamcyn Theaters.
Additionally, the support of the Rudman Institute makes possible OFF CAMPUS, Drexel's student-produced dramedy, now in its third season. The sitcom was created under the college’s Television major and led by Andrew Susskind, a veteran Television executive who served as President of Imagine Entertainment, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s production company and as Sr. Vice-President of Comedy Development at Embassy Television. OFF CAMPUS comes as close to a professional network primetime production experience as possible for students. The show is incredibly demanding of the students’ time, creativity and perseverance. And because we shoot only one day a week, our production faces obstacles that would challenge the most experienced professionals. OFF CAMPUS explores the lives of five recent college graduates living just off campus from their alma mater, as they begin their transition to adulthood. With a cast of professional actors, OFF CAMPUS provides a lighthearted and honest look at the confusing world that America’s young people face in today’s economic times.
The production of OFF CAMPUS continues the integrated and interdisciplinary learning approach that allows Screenwriting & Playwriting students to write scripts and Film & Video and Television students to handle all aspects of production for the series. During the ten-week production schedule, students work in a variety of production roles: producer, director, gaffer, grip, audio engineer, lighting technician, camera operator and director of photography. Westphal Interior Design students serve as art directors; Fashion students do costumes and makeup; and Music Industry students create the score. The set environment provides students an opportunity to learn by doing alongside a faculty with decades of industry experience.
The Rudman Institute also supports DNews, a monthly news magazine show produced by Drexel students, which airs on DUTV, the Drexel owned cable channel in Philadelphia. A new late night talk show and a music magazine show will also soon debut on DUTV. The institute supports MAD Dragon Records and made possible the Mad Dragon release of The Redwalls, the Chicago based band that appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman.
In the coming months, the Rudman Institute will present a forum on the role of social media in the revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East; a panel on Women in the Music Industry, an evening with the editors of the satirical newspaper The Onion and a visit from Reverend Billy and his Life after Shopping Gospel Choir.
Built on the foundation of Westphal College's successful academic programs and related entertainment industry activities, the Institute strives to work with other Drexel schools and colleges to promote the interdisciplinary nature of the entertainment industry. The Rudman Institute brings industry into the academy so that our students can learn from the professionals who are driving the changes in the entertainment industry today.