High School Musical 3: Senior Year
This weekend I saw High School Musical 3: Senoir Year with my unabashedly enthusiastic sister, Marsha. She already knows most of the lyrics to the songs in the frothy Disney fantasy.
Despite remembering high school as a relatively miserable experience, I confess I got caught up in the spirit of the film. I marveled at its Juicy Fruit exuberance. I almost burst into song myself.
But I felt a twinge of resentment on behalf of the Eastman School of Music when the Julliard School took center stage as an integral part of the plot. Four characters in the film vie for a full scholarship to Julliard, billed repeatedly as the best music and drama school in the country. The stars passed around course catalogues in anticipation of a visit from college officials. At one point in the film, we saw a bright banner welcoming Julliard to East High, fictional home to the Wildcats.
Did Julliard pay for that exposure?
It’s already rated (by U.S. News and World Report) one of the most selective institutions of higher learning in the United States. The school accepts less than 8% of its applicants.
Over the weekend, High School Musical 3 broke the record for the largest opening for a movie musical, grossing $16.9 million. I think that applications to Julliard will increase exponentially. If the conservatory did pay some kind of product placement fee, it doesn't seem fair.