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FALL 2013


THE ART OF FOLEY: Bringing Sound to the Screen



hings never seem to slow down at the film school, which is, I think, entirely appropriate for a community driven by creativity, talent and ambition. Summer ended with a burst of activity, from sending two of our faculty to China to shepherd 100 aspiring young Chinese actors through an American Idol-style reality TV show to seeing Bill Kroyer as a judge at the largest, oldest animation festival in the world (in France). Our students were equally well-traveled, visiting countries from Iceland to Uganda to make films. You can read more about their adventures in this issue. Of course, a highlight of the summer was the rise of Chapman in The Hollywood Reporter top film school rankings from #13 last year to #7 this year! Although rankings can never be perfect, as programs and the resources available to them differ, we were entirely gratified to enjoy this level of recognition in the industry. As our grads move out into the business and live up to the promise of their education and their talent — it is wonderful to see the ever-widening circles of influence of a Chapman film school education. In the new semester, what’s most exciting for me is the quality of people we continue to add to our incredible faculty roster. Two new additions, John Chichester and Scott Stambler, bring great talent and a list of impressive credits to production design and film scoring respectively, areas that are critical to a film’s success. John Chichester brings tremendous enthusiasm to the task of refining and building our offerings in production design. As we create new production spaces in a building just down the block, John’s ideas will play an important part in how that space is configured for building sets for student films. I’ve experienced the talents of Scott Stambler firsthand; he created a temp track for Trigger, our first feature produced by Chapman Filmed Entertainment. Scott’s choices ramped up the tension and perfectly matched the tone that we were going for in this thriller. I look forward to collaborating with Scott to develop our film music offerings and in scoring future films.

Dean Bassett welcomes film school colleagues from around the country at the UFVA picnic at Downtown Disney in August (see p. 13).

Yet as great as all of these developments are, they have a dark side. We are victims of our own success. Dodge College has nearly doubled in size over the last seven years, and so we need more space and more equipment to truly serve our students. Remodels of two existing buildings — the Digital Media Arts Center and Gothic Moon, a former production company based just across the street — are on the drawing boards. These buildings are vital to support the work that we do and to enable our young people to ask the questions — through storytelling for the screen—that animate every human life. Why are we here? What do we value? How can we best connect with one another? These are the questions our young people hope to explore as the storytellers of tomorrow. I look to our committed community of friends and donors to help us give them what they need — a foundation for making a difference through the film and media arts.



All Roads Lead to Cannes


Hollywood Takes Notice Dodge College Ranked #7 in America


Do You Hear What I Hear? Sound Design Adds Power to Storytelling


Connecting to Creativity Scott Stambler Shares Lifetime Lessons

10 John Chichester Imaging and Creating the World of a Film

16 Summer Travel 22 Thesis Film Rockets to Stratospheric Success

28 Training Actors in China ulty from Brings Fac t s ir F ry to man 13 S try to Chap n u rence o C e th chool Confe S Around m il F l a Internation ge to Host d o D 3 1 ecy tion at Ann a im n A g in lman dg 14 Ju Cathy Schu r e n in W ard ademy Aw sidence 15 Ac aker-In-Re m m il F d e tographer Nam ing Cinema rg e m E s a st Career m Honored 21 Alu er Broadca H n o s rt o Rep lli Stavast piring 24 Ke y Brings As m e d a c A m ge mmer Fil 25 Su kers to Dod a m m il F l o High Scho Recipient llar named e K c Award M 25 Memorial in te s in e of Katie W tes Alumni No e g e ll o C e dg r Ebert 26 Do ps of Roge te ts o o F e th llowing in 30 Fo hts val Highlig ti s e F 1 3 uccess mentary S u c o D 33

Matt Blake (BFA/Film Prod. '14) captures young Batwa villagers in Bwindi.

On the cover: Students recreate the sound of a plane crashing in the desert in Professor Harry Cheney’s Art and Craft of Foley and ADR class. Photo by Westin Ray.

In Production: Editor, Janell Shearer; Writers: Derek Horne, Sorrel Geddes, Lauren Kacura, Meagan O’Shea and Brian Hamilton; Publisher: Kris Elftmann, Noelle Marketing Group



Five Dodge College students spent their Spring semester abroad in the south of France and at the end of the semester stayed an extra two weeks to intern at the Cannes Film Festival. Others had the opportunity to attend Cannes as part of the American Pavilion program. uis Chavez (BFA/Creat. Prod. ’15) interned with the international sales and distribution company Imagination Worldwide where he set up the showroom, assisted clients, played trailers during pitch presentations and prepared screener packets for potential buyers.


“The experience and business knowledge I gained from getting to sit in on every meeting was well worth it,” says Chavez, whose internship led to a job as producer’s assistant over the summer.


Vanessa Haney (left), on the red carpet in Cannes with Chapman alumna Melody Djavadi '12, Director of Acquisitions at Shoreline Entertainment.


havez says that the best part of his Cannes experience was “getting to swap stories with the people who were interning in different companies. Each of our experiences was so different from one another. I also loved getting to see the process after the movie is made and how you make your money back.” Alex Yonks (BFA/Film Prod. ’16) was accepted to work at the American Pavilion, a major hospitality center for Americans attending the festival. It was a productive experience for Yonks because she got to exchange business cards with a lot of the customers. “The notion of ‘the right place at the right time’ definitely holds true in Cannes,” she says.

Endsley Eggert on the red carpet.

For Vanessa Haney (BFA/Film Prod. ’09), Cannes is just one stop on her annual calendar of film markets to attend. As the Senior Executive Assistant to the EVP at Shoreline Entertainment, Haney coordinates the company’s travel to various film festivals and markets to acquire new films for their distribution catalogue.

“I was lucky enough to attend Cannes this year and at the beginning of October I will be heading back to the South of For Endsley Eggert France for MIPCOM (BFA/TV & Broadcast (a multimedia and Jour. ’14), Cannes was marketing conference “a nonstop whirlwind also held in Cannes),” of work, film screenings, says Haney. “In addition panels, celebrities, lavish to scheduling and parties, and no sleep.” planning markets, I Assigned to the Pavilion’s also run the office in public relations team, she Las Vegas and assist wrote press releases and Alex Yonks (left) at the premiere in writing contracts had the job of running all of Great Gatsby in 3D. and meeting with of the Pavilion’s social media distributors to sell sites and tweeting about the film rights domestically and various panel discussions that occurred in the internationally from our catalogue.” Pavilion. “I am so thankful that I worked (the panels) because of the invaluable information Haney says that she enjoys her position because of passed on by industry professionals.” “the complexity of the responsibilities as well as the Eggert says that she “left Cannes with a stack of business cards, new friends from all over the world, future business partners, a job offer for next year, and a renewed love and passion for the film industry.”

challenges associated with learning so much about the business behind film. I may have graduated a film production student but I intend on pursuing a career in the sales and studio work that make films profitable,” she says.


DODGE COLLEGE As much as no one likes to play the rankings game, everyone pays attention to rankings. Thus the late summer release of The Hollywood Reporter’s “Top 25 American Film Schools” was a highly anticipated moment. Chapman students, faculty, alumni and friends all had reason to celebrate when Dodge College moved to #7 in the rankings, up from #13 the year before and #22 the year before that (the first year the rankings were published).

In the three years the rankings have been published, “We are delighted and proud to be recognized in the Reporter has changed its methodology as to how it this way,” says Dodge College Dean Bob Bassett. collects and evaluates information about each school. “Building a top ranked film school is a group effort The editors report they “consulted a brain trust of driven by a faculty with real world experience, the industry insiders, asking them to rate programs nationgrowing reputation of our alumni working in the wide — serving undergrads, graduate students and, business, and the excellent work of our talented in some cases, both. To broaden the pool of opinion, an students. As with producing a film, building a great online ballot containing potential film school is a collaborative endeavor focused on nominees, which could be filled out achieving a singular and submitted anonymously, was vision and drawing e process th d te ar st e w n sent to members of the Writers he W on the creativity and e w ge le ol C Guild of America West, American intelligence of many, of creating Dodge Cinema Editors and the Academy emise of many people.” started with the pr of Television Arts & Sciences. More ol ho sc lm fi st This year’s Chapman ne fi than 600 ballots were returned, creating the listing called particular and the responses factored heavily O in America. PAUL FOLIN attention to the creation in the final rankings.” of the school’s first-ofResponse among Dodge College supporters was its-kind micro-budget production company, immediate and widespread. Chapman Filmed Entertainment, as well as to the impressive roster of Hollywood luminaries “When we started the process of creating Dodge College who’ve taught and spoken at the University. we started with the premise of creating the finest film


RANKED #7 IN AMERICA school in America,” says Paul Folino, chair of the fund-raising campaign that launched Marion Knott Studios. “That strategy included significant focus on the three pillars of the building, the technology and tools, and the faculty. It’s nice to see that we’re making great progress on that quest which is now being recognized by The Hollywood Reporter and so many others. And it’s been fun to play the role of David while we compete against much larger institutions in our goal to become #1. I really think that the ‘best is yet to come’ for Dodge College.” Dodge College parent Doug Kimmelman, who is leading the parents’ campaign, agrees on the importance of expanding the school’s reputation nationally. “This honor will spread the word of Dodge’s excellence to employers, prospective students and the entire film industry which will only serve to expand opportunities for all in the Dodge College family,” he says. Following closely on the heels of the Reporter rankings, Variety, the industry’s other trade giant, selected Dean Bassett as the Media Mentor of the Year, highlighting his work with Dodge College in its September “Entertainment Education Spotlight.” In that article, Bassett reflects on the way that film education has evolved in a university setting and about Chapman’s project-based teaching methods.

THE TOP 25 1. USC 2. AFI 3. NYU 4. UCLA 5. Cal Institute of Arts 6. Columbia

7. Chapman 8. Emerson 9. Loyola 10. UT (Austin) 11. Boston University 12. North Carolina 13. Northwestern 14. Columbia College Chicago

“Instead of teaching theory for a couple of years and then allowing students to make films, our philosophy was always to put a camera in their hands on day one and have them start making short films right away,” he says. “Then the theory becomes far more interesting.”

15. Art Center College of Design

The Variety piece also calls special attention to Chapman’s focus on the business side of filmmaking, with classes that help students learn about distribution and marketing among other topics that give students “an understanding of all the elements, and how to monetize projects, so you can have a viable career,” he told the publication.

20. Stanford

A companion article and sidebar also highlighted the international opportunities Chapman offers its students, including partnerships, exchanges and projects in India, China, South Korea and Singapore.

16. Syracuse 17. Florida State 18. Wesleyan 19. Rhode Island School of Design

21. DePaul 22. Ithaca College 23. Savannah 24. Ringling College of Art and Design 25. Colorado Film School



Although young filmmakers are often fixated on what they see on the screen — planning a complex camera move, refusing to take out a beauty shot that doesn’t really move the story forward — they can’t get through Dodge College without coming to grips with the importance of sound. “One of the things that sets Dodge College’s sound design program apart,” says Associate Dean Michael Kowalski, “is that we’re trying to provide students with a full film school education. We want them to understand the complete process of filmmaking and how their role as a sound designer fits into the bigger picture.”

Above, students create ripping sounds and below right, hit rocks on a dirt surface to create the sound of falling rocks – all part of an airplane crash sequence.

6 Varying surfaces allow foley artists to create different sounds to match the action in a film.

In the control booth, students learn to monitor sound recording and play back their work.

he importance of sound is easily demonstrated. Viewed without sound, for example, the golden idol temple scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark falls flat; the tension largely gone without the grinding of the idol’s stone pedestal, the thundering collapse of the temple chamber, or the whistling of arrows sailing past. Even students who want to write or direct need to understand the many aspects of sound production, and the importance of planning music and sound as part of a film’s storytelling power. In some instances, sound can even stand in for a character. In Star Wars, for example, Darth Vader’s chilling, mechanical breath was so iconic that audience members could recognize his presence even when he wasn’t on screen. “We have courses in all aspects of the industry,” says Professor Dan Pavelin. “We have a course dedicated to Foley (the art and craft of creating sound effects) and ADR (automated dialogue replacement). We have a new course on music rights and supervision. There are a variety of occupations — from sound designer to production sound mixer — that students might want to pursue. Our job is to make sure they have the tools they need to succeed in those careers.” Chapman is one of a small number of film schools that has a complete sound design program, created as an emphasis in Film Production in 2011. The dedicated Foley stage, designed by Warner Bros., gives students the opportunity to work hands-on with the latest technology in settings very similar to those in the industry. Of course, students pursuing careers in sound design aren’t the only ones who benefit from the program — every film that comes out of Dodge College is made

better by careful attention to sound. “By offering a sound design area of study,” says Pavelin, “we provide crew members to other classes. Students in the more advanced Audio Design class provide soundtracks for the Advanced Production films, while students in our introductory Audio Techniques class provide on location sound. That’s the kind of synergy between classes that Dodge is able to provide. If sound design was not a separate emphasis, we wouldn’t have that.” “I think the Sound Design program has greatly enhanced our programs,” says cinematography Professor Bill Dill. “Sound is one of those things that can help a film succeed visually. It can make a narrow focal length feel wider and a wider focal length feel more personal. Much of the authenticity of a picture comes from the authenticity of its sound and our films now have a level of polish they didn’t have before. In fact, one of our recent films, The Bright Side, which won the 2013 ASC Student Heritage Award for cinematography, had great sound design. Take that away and just see what it does to the picture.” “Go see a film you’ve already seen,” adds Kadyn Michaels (MFA/FP.SDR, ’14), “close your eyes, and just listen to it. Pay attention to all of the things that you wouldn’t even notice normally: the music, the footsteps of the characters, the environment. Try to take it all in, because it’s the only way you an truly understand and appreciate the layering and complexity of soundscape.” 7


Music Editor Scott Stambler Shares the Lessons of a Lifetime

Stambler and fellow music editor Ryan Rubin accepting the Motion Picture Sound Editors' 2010 Golden Reel Award for the documentary This is It.

fter more than three decades in the film industry and more than 60 film credits as a music editor or music supervisor, Professor Scott Stambler will be the first to tell you that he never set out to pursue the career that he loves; rather, “My career found me.” Working multiple jobs over many years as a young husband and father — from plumber’s assistant to pizza deliveryman — a union paycheck on his father’s desk caught his eye. The check for a week’s work was more than Stambler made in a year. The younger Stambler immediately asked his father to help him get into the union. And so the door into the film music business opened, although Stambler didn’t know it at the time. Stambler’s father, veteran TV producer Robert Stambler (Hawaii Five-0, Mr. Novak), got his son launched as an apprentice. Although union jobs in music, sound effects or film editing Stambler and Gordon Goodwin, were open to him, Stambler found his orchestrator, discuss string parts. calling just three weeks in when another apprentice took him on a tour of the Fox scoring stage and they came across the legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith (250 film credits) scoring the film Alien. Watching “a master conduct 120 musicians to a film running in synchronization was simply magical,” Stambler says. At that moment, he knew he wanted to be in film music. From those serendipitous beginnings, Stambler went on to work with Kenny Hall, Goldsmith’s music editor and Bill Saracino, who cut “every MGM musical since the 30’s and into the 80s when I arrived,” says Stambler. Saracino, in particular, was a great influence and mentor, “showing me how to work professionally,” Stambler says, “and how every mistake can be fixed in post.” 8

From 20th Century Fox he moved on to Sony, spent 10 years working closely with Rob Reiner, including on the classic When Harry Met Sally, finding Reiner a great storyteller “whose sensibilities match mine.” Later works included his favorite film experience, working on Reiner’s Misery, a “compelling story well told,” and later with Robert Zemeckis on Forrest Gump, having fun collaborating with a director who has “so much vision.” Zemeckis has “the kind of vision that Einstein refers to as genius,” says Stambler. “He can look at a pocket watch and describe every part in it from the main spring to the hands.” Having written his own “retirement letter” on his final film — coincidentally Kim Jee-Woon’s The Last Stand, written by Chapman alumnus Andy Knauer ’06 — Stambler then wrote letters to the top 25 film schools looking for a teaching position. When Dodge College Dean Bob Bassett invited Stambler to Orange for lunch, the next phase of Stambler’s career began to unfold. Stambler hopes to share his passion for “being connected to the muses of creativity” with his students, having come to Chapman as head of music for Chapman Filmed Entertainment and to work with Professor Dan Pavelin in building a film music/scoring program in Dodge. Over the last ten years in the industry, Stambler felt a call to teach because, as he puts it, “that’s what life is about, not retaining secrets but passing along what you’ve learned, sharing your life.” As head of music for Chapman Filmed Entertainment, Dodge College’s feature film company, Stambler created a temp track for Trigger, the company’s first feature. Intrigued by the “good script,” he finds it particularly

exciting to be working on Chapman’s first movie. At the same time, he is giving a lot of thought to the lessons he wants to pass along to the next generation, such as how to understand the sensibilities of the director or, if you are the director, how to communicate your sensibilities to your music editor. Just as important as teaching why music works in certain spots is teaching why it doesn’t in others, says Stambler, who notes that it’s hard to get young filmmakers to understand when silence is appropriate in a world where “movies are full of music. Silence makes people nervous,” he says.

2 1

1. Writer Brian Helgeland and Stambler on the scoring stage for Payback: Straight Up. 2. Music credit for the film Payback: Straight Up, starring Mel Gibson. 3. Stambler listens to his main title for the 2006 film Payback: Straight Up. 3

The bottom line, Stambler says, is that creating an effective film score is about understanding the emotional impact of the film’s music. Done right, a score can create that same magic that a young union man felt watching Jerry Goldsmith conduct — a melding of image and sound where each element deepens the meaning and impact of the whole. 9



self-described “introvert who learned to be an extrovert,” John Chichester first found the path to self-expression when he took up drawing — at age two, littering his house with sketches. Though he later dreamed of being a cartoonist, Chichester’s career ultimately led him to the movies, where he designed everything from alien space ships (Star Trek into Darkness) to pirate lairs (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) to luxury suites in Las Vegas (Get Him to the Greek). Joining the Dodge College faculty to lead the production design program, Chichester brings a breadth and depth of experience that will give students a wide-ranging view of what it can be like to work as an art director, production designer, set designer or in any of a number of roles filled by the hundreds of people who create the worlds for stories for the screen. Having worked for the major studios (including Paramount, Columbia, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Disney), on television shows for HBO, CBS and more, as well as doing design projects for commercials, theater and opera (the New York City Opera, Julliard), Chichester has seen it all. His work has spanned the ages, from Antigone to House Bunny. He has collaborated with directors and producers with work as diverse as Oliver Stone, Robert Redford, Ben Stiller, J.J. Abrams, Jerry Bruckheimer and Trey Parker and Matt Stone. And now he is ready to bring that arsenal of experience into the classroom.


The production designer imagines worlds, from the distant land of a film (above) to a scene for an opera (far left) or a television sequence that includes a flashback to the Korean War (above right).

Chichester is already working to revise the curriculum to best give students what they need to prepare for and succeed in a career. Number one on his list of things students need to know? “Collaboration,� he says without hesitation, noting that major studio projects require working with designers, directors and producers and supervising and directing subordinate

departments such as location, decorating, props, set lighting, construction, metal fabricators, plasters, practical special effects, miniatures, digital effects and more. It’s easy to see why the work of a production designer is often compared to that of a general fighting a war on many fronts.

On studio projects with budgets for sets ranging from half a million dollars to $2.5 million each, Chichester was responsible for art department budgets and, indirectly, for subordinate department budgets. On projects like Star Trek or Pirates of the Caribbean, sometimes 20 or more sets would be in development, execution or Continued on next page


Continued from previous page

Above and below right, set illustrations from The Book of Eli. Top left, set photo from Get Him to the Greek.

He compares the work to playing ping pong: “You have to constantly move back and forth between the practical and the aesthetic.”

production simultaneously. Work on a single film could take six to nine months. To prepare for a film of any size, “Students need to know how to read a script as a designer,” he says. “There’s a practical aspect and an aesthetic aspect that are interrelated, but you need to think about them separately.”

A passionate observer of how period styles continue to influence set and production design, Chichester is also adamant that students learn research skills, from digging through various visual libraries to taking photos on location. He wants student to see how and why “the visual style of the Baroque — losing yourself in the frame, chiaroscuro lighting — is the dominant style today.” At the same time, they need to appreciate the cultural influences of classic Greek and Roman styles. Today, with two young children of his own, Chichester wanted to leave behind the travel demanded by the movie business and step into “teaching what I know.” Set photos from American Family on PBS/Fox.


He still loves to draw, just as he did as a toddler, but through his career he has found the art of collaborating with others much better than the lonely act of drawing by himself. Not to mention that, as an art director or production designer, “you get to play all the parts,” in imagining and creating the world of the film. For an introvert who’s learned to become an extrovert, it’s the best of both worlds.




Senior Variety film critic and Chapman Professor Peter Debruge challenged faculty from film schools across the country to question how filmmakers portray “reality” in the keynote address at the 67th annual University Film and Video Association (UFVA) conference at Chapman July 29–Aug. 3.


ebruge came at the conference theme of Story First by challenging his audience to consider how the lines of film language are blurring between the ways film has been used to tell fantasy stories and the way it has been used to portray reality. Noting the influence of documentary, reality television and “found footage” techniques in shaping storytelling for the screen, Debruge pointed out that because technological advances have made it possible to make fantastic worlds seem real, “what we’re talking about here is authenticity in an emotional sense” as well as “plausibility (do you believe it?) and verisimilitude (the degree to which you find it convincing).”

Chapman Professor Peter Debruge

have learned a great deal from this meeting with faculty from other programs and they, in turn, have watched Chapman grow. It’s been a mutually beneficial process.” In addition to the presentations, most UFVA members would agree with UFVA President Norm Hollyn, a professor at USC, that a key value of the conference is simply comparing notes and ideas with colleagues from around the country. “The value of any conference goes beyond the well-staged and comprehensive program,” he says. “A true value lies in what I call ‘the hallway’ — the quality of the people who you meet, the friendships which are born or renewed, and the intellectual discussions which occur by happenstance.” That said, Hollyn found the conference “an intellectual mind-explosion, and I’m grateful for it.”

Debruge’s talk kicked off four days of panels, screenings, workshops, script readings, and new media and vendor exhibits along with a variety of social events for some 500 members of UFVA, the primary association of film schools in the U.S. The conference was the third time Chapman has hosted the event, the first being in 1996 — the 50th anniversary conference — and the second in 2006. “It was an honor to bring the conference back to Chapman,” says Dodge College Dean Bob Bassett. “I really mark the beginning of our film school from our association with UFVA because the first time we hosted the conference no one had heard of Chapman. Over the years our faculty

UFVA President Norm Hollyn, left, welcomes conference attendees to the annual picnic, hosted by Dodge College at Downtown Disney.

DODGE TO HOST INTERNATIONAL FILM SCHOOL CONFERENCE On the heels of bringing the key U.S. association of film schools to Chapman, Dodge College will be hosting CILECT (Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision), the international association of schools of film and television with members in 60 countries, in October, 2014. Dean Bassett and a team of Chapman faculty and staff presented their plans to the leadership of CILECT at the recent conference in Buenos Aires. Dean Bassett is welcomed to ENERC, Argentina’s National School of Film Experimentation and Production (Escuela Nacional de Experimentación y Realización Cinematográfica) by Dean Pablo Rovito.

JUDGING n 1989, Bill Kroyer traveled to the beautiful French town of Annecy for the oldest and largest animation festival in the world, coming home with the Apollo Award for his film, Technological Threat. Twenty-four years later, Kroyer carried the Chapman banner to France, as a Dodge College Professor and Director of the Digital Arts program, serving as an international judge on the short films jury.


Among the films screened at the festival, Kroyer says that the short films favored by the European audiences “are rigorously challenging and more non-conventional than ours, a direct contrast to the feature films, which are very audience-appealing and

More than half a century ago, the Annecy festival was established to offer a platform for animation not available in the Cannes Film Festival. Today, some 7,000 animation professionals from 80 countries gather to see more than 500 films. Kroyer was joined on the short films jury by Montrealbased composer Robert Marcel LaPage, who has written scores for hundreds of soundtracks, and Poland’s legendary animator Jerzy Kucia. Kroyer enjoyed the high honor of being asked to present the Cristal Award, considered the most prestigious prize of the festival, to the Best Short Film. The winner was Subconscious Password, a film by Chris Landreth, who won an Oscar in 2004 for his short film, Ryan. The winner of the Cristal for Best Short Film automatically qualifies for Academy Award consideration.


Bill Kroyer, left, presents the coveted Cristal award at Annecy.

straightforward.” To give students a taste of those non-conventional films, Kroyer directs students to the annual screening of Show of Shows, which producer Ron Diamond brings to Chapman each year. Kroyer expects that Subconscious Password will be among Diamond’s choices this year.



Cathy Schulman (right, center) participates in a post-screening Q&A with Professor and producer Susan Cartsonis (left).

cademy Award® winning producer and President of Mandalay Pictures Cathy Schulman (Crash, The Illusionist) has been named the O.L. Halsell Filmmaker-in-Residence for fall semester. Schulman is working oneon-one with ten scholars to mentor and develop a specific project over the course of the semester. She also participates in weekly dinners with the students and in a Q&A session following the screening of her films.


“Our students are truly fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from a producer with the incredible experience of Cathy Schulman, a producer whose films break new

ground and whose leadership in the industry is an inspiration,” says Dean Bob Bassett. “As President of Women in Film she is also a powerful role model for our women students.” Schulman has served as President of Mandalay Pictures since January 2007. She also sits on the Board of Mandalay Vision, the company’s independent financing and production label, where she oversees the division’s creative affairs. Previously, she was president of Michael Ovitz’s Artists Production Group, where she supervised over fifty projects, including developing and securing financing for Martin Scorsese’s epic drama Gangs of New York, and vice president of production and acquisitions at Sovereign Pictures. 15



Traveling ten thousand miles is equivalent to reading ten thousand books. CHINESE PROVERB


A NEW FRONTIER FOR YOUNG FILMMAKERS About 30 years ago, Australian filmmakers exploded on the scene with iconic films such as Breaker Morant, Gallipoli, The Year Of Living Dangerously, My Brilliant Career and Mad Max among others, introducing audiences to directors such as Peter Weir, Bruce Beresford, Gillan Armstrong, George Miller and such stars as Jack Thompson, Judy Davis, Brian Brown and Mel Gibson. At that time, Professor Harry Ufland was invited to visit Australia as part of a Hollywood junket organized by the Australian Film Commission to discuss the future of Australian films in the U.S. and international markets. This year, Professor Ufland returned with a group of Chapman students, giving them a firsthand look at the Australian film industry. To organize the trip, Professor Ufland called on Pat Condon, a leading impresario Ufland met on his first visit. Condon helped set up visits with some of the major players in the Australian film industry and along with his sons, Michael and Adam, and David Whealy, played host to the students during their visit. The whirlwind tour included meetings, seminars and some sightseeing, including a couple of rugby matches. The students enjoyed a conversation with director Peter Weir (The Truman Show, Gallipoli) about his creative process, and met directors Peter Faiman (Crocodile Dundee) and David Michod (Animal Kingdom), actor Jack Thompson (The Great Gatsby), and CEO Zarah Nalbandian of the visual effects studio, Animal Logic (which did all the work on Gatsby and Legoland). They took a back stage tour of Vivid Sydney, the outdoor light and film show that transforms the city for two weeks at night, with the show’s designer Ignatius Jones, and visited the sound stages at Fox Studios and with Ian Collie at Essential Media. As if that weren’t enough, the students were greeted on arrival by producer Stephan Wellink who made a documentary about their trip. The students also met young Australian filmmakers at the Australian School of Film, Television, and Radio, with whom they discussed possible future collaborations, participated together in Ufland’s Exercising Your Creativity class, and observed some challenging acting exercises at the National Institute of Dramatic Art. “We learned firsthand the benefits of Australian co-productions,” says alumnus Brandon Padveen (BFA/CRPR, ’13), referring to the Australian New South Wales Film Commission, a government agency devoted to the development of Australia’s film industry. “You can expect up to a 40% return on your production spend. To become eligible, you would need to be working with an Australian producing partner or director, or have acquired Australian material. Co-productions with Canada and China are very popular today, but we now understand that Australia provides a highly viable option as well.” 16

Photo above, from left, students Zack Skidelsky and Yashwanth Ravi with director Peter Weir (second from left) and producer Stephan Wellink (far left).

WEATHER, WILDLIFE, AND THE WORKING CLASS While the rest of Dodge College was sweltering in the summer heat, Professor Sally Rubin’s students were cooling off in the land of fire and ice as part of her Discover Documentary: Iceland class. Students journeyed from the island nation’s capital of Reykjavic, to the East Fjords to film documentaries about the world controversy over the country’s whale hunting industry, the effects its weather has on its economy, and disputes over the construction of an aluminum mining operation near the small town of Husavik. Over the course of production, students bathed in natural, thermal pools, visited the nesting grounds of the Atlantic Puffin, embarked on a boat cruise through the melting icebergs of a glacier the size of Rhode Island, and hiked up the inside of an ancient crater. “Any time you’re seeing a foreign culture through a documentary lens,” says Rubin, “and you’re spending essential time in a country as a visual anthropologist, it’s such an enriching experience. I think it was also interesting because we had students from all ages and experience levels from every major at Dodge College. We even had an Environmental Studies major. Having so many different types of students and so many different ways of looking at storytelling all on the same trip made the trip quite rich and I’m glad we had an opportunity to do that for them.”



CRIME KNOWS NO BORDERS Criminal activities were key themes in films produced on both sides of the Pacific Ocean as students in Professor Eric Young’s Cross-Cultural Filmmaking class worked with film students from the Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA) on two films: one in Taiwan and one in the United States. Intimate Transactions, follows the life of a young man who decides to borrow money from a local crime boss. In exchange, he must turn over his girlfriend as collateral. The film was shot in the streets of Taipei as well as in a small apartment used for the crime boss’s flat. In the second film, Goombah Soup for the Uninspired Soul, a young screenwriter is lured by a waitress into the back room of a small diner so that he can witness a territorial dispute between two mob bosses, in the hopes that the exchange might inspire him to write a crime drama he’s been struggling with. Although the film had a similar theme to the film shot in Taiwan, the story had a more comedic slant. The film was shot in Orange County on the back lots of Silver Drake Studios as well as in the kitchen of a small diner, the Mira Loma Café. “I think the greatest thing that is gained in these exchanges is seeing what they take away from each other,” says Professor Young. “The Taiwanese were very interested in how we do things here in the United States, from our safety practices to our call sheets, while our students got a sense of what it’s like to work in an urban location and how to direct and shoot a film in a foreign language. So I think it’s an eye opener for both sides.”

Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen. BENJAMIN DISRAELI



Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. MARK TWAIN, THE INNOCENTS ABROAD/ROUGHING IT

CLASSIC FILMS IN A CLASSIC CITY What beats watching movies under the stars? How about watching films while surrounded by the stunning medieval architecture of Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore? This is what students in Professor Emily Carman’s Structure and Function of a Film Festival class experienced as they traveled to Italy to participate in the Il Cinema Ritrovato Film Festival. Founded in 1986 as a three-day screening of restored classic films, the festival has expanded into an eight-day extravaganza that begins at 9:00 in the morning and ends at midnight. Among the films screened this year were Roberto Cosellini’s Rome, Open City, a 1945 neoItalian film about the German Nazi occupation of Rome, and Jean Cocteau’s 1946 French adaptation of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Both filmmakers labored under Nazi occupation and went to extreme lengths to produce their movies. Rossellini Piazza Maggiore shot using 16 mm and 35 mm film purchased on the black market, while Cocteau worked with limited access to electricity and a painful skin condition. “I think it’s your escape,” says Professor Carman about why someone would produce a film under such extraordinary circumstances. “If you’re living with the horror of war all around you, this would be the ultimate escape. I think, too, it’s an issue of national pride. It’s almost saying if we can make a film about our culture under the harshest of circumstances, then it’s a way of defeating the Nazis.” “This class has opened my eyes,” Igor Bosilkovski (BA/Screenwriting ’16). “From now on, I will not just watch the mainstream films that I usually do in my spare time. I will be taking a deeper look into film history at films that have significant, cultural importance and I’m sure I will find a lot of pearls among them.”

Student Igor Bosilkovski with Alexander Payne, writer/ director/producer of The Descendents.



Ashley Moradipour (BFA/TV Broadcast Journalism '14) films a village micro-loan meeting in northern Uganda.

From the modern city of Kampala, to the small town of Kitgum, to a tiny Batwa village near the Congo border, students were surprised and touched by the struggles of the people of Uganda in Professor Jeff Swimmer’s class, Destination: Africa. Every year since 2009, students have traveled Malina Fagan (BFA/Film Prod. ‘14) on location to a different country to document the work in southern Uganda. of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Africa. The students broke into groups to film three separate documentaries. The first group worked with Grassroots Reconciliation, an organization in Kitgum that partners victims and victimizers of the Ugandan Civil War so that they can talk and begin to heal each other’s emotional scars. The second documented the lives of Batwa tribe members who have been displaced from their lands in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest when the government turned it into a national park and animal sanctuary. The third worked with the organization Youth on Rock in Kampala to document their experience fighting Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill which, if passed, would criminalize homo-sexuality in the country.

“I was surprised by the energy these people had,” says Nathan Skeene (BFA/Film Prod. ’14), who worked on the Kampala documentary. “I had this mental image of a miserable people forced to live in abject poverty because of their sexual identity. That part was there, but it was exciting to see them thriving in a strong community that they had built together. They even have a performance group, called the Rock Angels. We didn’t get to see a full performance, but they did demonstrations for us and it was just surprising that they still had the desire to put together this performance after all they’d been through. It took me off guard.” Destination: Africa is an interdisciplinary, three-course series that involves students from Dodge College, Wilkinson College and the School of Law. The program is possible thanks to a generous $1 million donation from an anonymous donor for the purpose of profiling NGOs in the developing world. Although the program’s first trip was to Cambodia in 2008, in 2009 the program was refocused on the work of NGOs throughout the African continent.

Delay and dirt are the realities of the most rewarding travel.



Students follow a family displaced from their ancestral lands by the Ugandan government in the 1990s.

Alum Honored as Emerging Cinematographer lumnus Kyle Klutz (BFA/ Cinematography ’05) is one of eight honorees selected for the 2013 Emerging Cinematographer Award by the International Cinematographers Guild, honoring cinematographers to watch and providing them exposure to the industry.


flattered and humbled by the recognition and look forward to the opportunities that may come along with it.”

"It’s an honor to be recognized by a generation of artists and craftsmen who have inspired and influenced my work

This is the second year in a row a Chapman grad has been selected for the prestigious award. In 2012,

Klutz is honored for his role as first assistant director on the sci-fi short Vessel, written by fellow Chapman alums Matt and Ross Duffer (BFA/Film Prod. ’07) and directed by Clark Baker.

Klutz on the set of the sci-fi short Vessel, written by fellow Chapman alums Matt and Ross Duffer.

from the beginning,” says Klutz. “I...” remember attending a screening of Donnie Darko at Chapman where Steven Poster, ASC, spoke afterwards. Having him call me a decade later to let me know I was an honoree at this year’s ECA awards was quite memorable. I’m

Pete Villani (’02) was honored for his work as a camera operator on the film Carjack. The Emerging Cinematographer Awards were held on September 29 at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles. 21

Into the Silent Sea


THERE’S NO BETTER PLACE TO LAUNCH A FILM ON THE FESTIVAL CIRCUIT THAN THE TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL. DODGE COLLEGE THESIS FILM INTO THE SILENT SEA WAS ONE OF ONLY SEVEN STUDENT FILMS TO BE SELECTED OUT OF 380 SUBMISSIONS FOR THIS PRESTIGIOUS FILM FESTIVAL THAT TAKES PLACE OVER LABOR DAY WEEKEND. t an elevation of over 8000 feet, Telluride makes filmmakers feel like they are on top of the world — literally and figuratively — with a captive audience of adoring patrons and special invitations to exclusive events attended only by filmmakers, celebrities, and V.I.P. guests. Into the Silent Sea is a short film about a Russian cosmonaut trapped in space who strikes up a conversation with an Italian radio operator on the ground. Writer/director Andrej Landin (BFA/Film Prod. ’13), cinematographer Ben Fischinger (BFA/Film Prod. ’13) and editor Almog Avidan Antonir (BFA/Film Prod. ’13) enjoyed Telluride alongside such famous directors as Jason Reitman (Labor Day), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), and the Coen Brothers (Inside Llewyn Davis) and actors Brad Pitt (12 Years a Slave), George Clooney (Gravity), and Ralph Fiennes (The Invisible Woman). Fischinger describes Telluride as “going to summer camp in the mountains except that all of your campmates are the most talented filmmakers, documentarians and writers of today.” 22

From left: Janell Shearer, professor and Media Arts chair, students Almog Avidan Antonir, Ben Fischinger, and Andrej Nandin, and Dean Bob Bassett.

“Everyone was very accessible and the whole town just lives and breathes cinema for a few days,” says Landin, who met one of his filmmaking heroes, Francis Ford Coppola. “We talked and I thanked him for being a major inspiration to me. For a film-fanatic like me, being able to talk about movies all day with other people who are equally interested in the topic, is some sort of a utopian dream.”

“It was very exciting to see our film on the big screen,” says Antonir, and “rewarding to know that ours

About the actresses’ risqué love scenes in Blue…, Landin says that “Every actor works differently and I believe as a director that it is important to learn and understand as many methods as you can in order to be an effective instrument in the actor’s preparation for a difficult scene.” Into the Silent Sea also won the BAFTA-LA Student Film award which is voted on by the American chapter of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Many Chapman student films have been

was an incredible rd a w a A -L TA F A B Winning the nd at people understa th e m d re u ss a re honor. It also that with the film and y sa to g n yi tr s a w what I . LANDIN meant a lot to me

was the longest film in the program, which means that the programmers must have really believed in it in order to dedicate that much time to the film. It was a great experience to get a chance to discuss the process of making the film with the audience.” In addition to world premiere screenings of the hottest new films, there were also panel discussions among filmmakers and actors. At one, the two French actresses in the controversial film Blue is the Warmest Color and Steve McQueen, the director of hard-hitting 12 Years A Slave, discussed extreme acting performances. Antonir was “inspired” by McQueen’s firm belief that important topics, even if they are “heavy” or controversial, “should be presented directly.”

finalists for this prize in the past, but this is the first time a Chapman film has won the Grand Prize. “Winning the BAFTA-LA award was an incredible honor,” says Landin. “Yet, it was completely unexpected. We still weren’t sure how the film would be perceived outside of Chapman, but winning the BAFTA proved that maybe we had made something unique. It also reassured me that people understand what I was trying to say with the film and that meant a lot to me.” But the real beginning of the film’s journey started at last year’s Cecil Awards ceremony where Into the Silent Sea won Best Undergraduate film.

Top: Cast and crew with the BAFTA-LA award. Middle: Into the Silent Sea cast and crew at the BAFTA-LA Student Film Festival. Bottom: Fischinger, Antonir and Landin at the screening of their film Into the Silent Sea in Telluride.


Kelli Stavast (BFA/TV & Broadcast Jour. ’02) has carved out a career that takes her around the world as a motorsport and automotive reporter for NBC and a pit reporter for ESPN and ABC. Here are her thoughts a little more than a decade after her graduation.



I had a great time hosting Nightcap, the late night talk show we produced, before the new film school was complete. Everyone worked hard and it meant so much that we could get celebrities like Ed Asner and Gregory Hines to come on the show. I also studied abroad in Australia for a semester, which was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Living in a culture on the other side of the world is an education in itself. I still keep in touch in with the friends I met there.


Pete Weitzner was, without a doubt, a big reason for my success today. His real-world experience in broadcasting is so valuable. Pete always paints a realistic picture of the industry and what we should expect as we try to break in. He has a good eye for spotting talent and the strengths in every person. I’ve never seen a professor who is so genuinely interested in his students’ success.


I would tell students to get involved as much as possible. I played four sports at Chapman, was in a sorority and worked on Nightcap. Learning comes in many different forms — it’s not just in the classroom, so get involved! It is an incredibly competitive world out there. The more you learn today, the bigger your advantage upon graduation.

There is no typical day, which I love. I fly all over the world, going from event to event. In one year I traveled to Abu Dhabi, Australia, Germany and Brazil covering the Red Bull Air Race. But most racetracks tend to be in the middle of nowhere so I see a lot of small town America too. I usually have a day or two of prep onsite, which I spend talking to the drivers/ athletes and getting my notes together. Race day, I get last-minute notes and quotes. Then, it’s time to get in my fire suit or network wardrobe, get my hair and makeup done (sometimes it’s provided, other times I’m on my own) and get in position. Broadcasts range from a one-or-two-hour show, to a 24-hour car race. Every day presents a new challenge, which forces me to push myself and continue to learn.

WHAT HAVE YOU TAKEN FROM THE CLASSROOM AND APPLIED TO YOUR CAREER? Nothing can totally prepare you for being in a newsroom on deadline or traveling every week, but there are things I learned in the classroom that apply today. Most importantly is how to tell a good story and how to write for a broadcast audience. Even though I’ve been in front of the camera my whole career, knowing how to edit and shoot — things I learned at Chapman — help me do my own job better.


My aspirations have definitely changed. I started as a sports anchor in Colorado, with a love for the traditional stick-andball sports. I thought I’d be on the sidelines of a football field somewhere, not in pit lane! But, I absolutely love it. I try to make the most of every single opportunity, because it always leads to the next job, next adventure. One of the most exciting things in my career is that I really have no idea what I’ll be doing next year or in ten years. I look forward to finding out!

Summer Film Academy

BRINGS ASPIRING HIGH SCHOOL FILMMAKERS TO DODGE igh school students came from all over the country, as well as from countries like France, Lebanon and England, to spend two weeks making films at Dodge College in the third annual Summer Film Academy during June and July. The program, for students in their junior and senior year of high school, hosted 30 students in each of the two sessions.


The students received hands on experience with each aspect of filmmaking, creating three short films, and screening their final project for families and friends at the end of each session. The showcase screenings, held at the Folino Theater, drew more than 150 people, as well as dozens more who watched the live screening online.

The students also spent a day in Los Angeles where they took a VIP tour of Warner Bros. Studios, watched a 3D film at the El Capitan theater, and learned about lighting technics at the historic Mole-Richardson lighting house. “The Summer Film Academy serves as an ideal way to expose high school students to film and media, as well as show them what a college film school is like,” says Dodge College Assistant Director of Admissions Lauren Kacura. “They live on-campus in the dorms, and do all their work in Marion Knott Studios. It’s a great way for high school students to see what being a student here would be like and we definitely get some great applications from these summer students.”


McKellar named recipient of Katie Weinstein Memorial Award Graduate producing student Katie Weinstein was hardworking and completely committed to Dodge College. She was a regular fixture on sets, a strong voice in class, and dedicated advocate of our program.

Molly McKellar

Her sudden passing in January 2012 was a shock to the Dodge College community. Her memory lives on through her family’s generous funding of the Katie Weinstein Memorial Award which provides additional funds to secure the valuable resources needed to complete a graduate thesis film. The award is bestowed upon a graduate producing student who has demonstrated excellence as a producer, going above and beyond expectations in the execution of his or her role. This year’s award recipient is Molly McKellar. In her proposal, McKellar summarized her approach to producing thus: “I love that I get to work and learn from everyone involved in a project. It makes my job as a producer a constant learning experience about filmmaking, life, relationships, storytelling, and the rewards from that work.” McKellar’s statement not only embodies the same attitude Weinstein brought to her work but also the sense of true collaboration Dodge College strives to foster. McKellar adds, “I am very thankful for the award and it will go to good use keeping my crews happy and safe.”




ALUMNI NOTES Justin Benetiz (BFA/SW ’09) is an assistant in WME’s global department. Evette Betancourt (BFA/SW ’09) is shooting the third episode or her online series Between Bullets. Episodes 1 and 2 were released in late September. The series shoots in San Diego, where Betancourt lives. The teaser trailer can be found on YouTube: watch?v=gzGHCW_7GXE Jason Michael Brescia (BFA/FP ’09) and 1887 Pictures, the team that put together 2012’s The Newest Pledge, which was released by Lionsgate, have completed production on their second feature film Bridge and Tunnel. The team includes writer/director Brescia, producer Bob Burton (BFA/FP ’11), editor Alex Oppenheimer (BFA/FP ’08), and cinematographer Trevor Wineman (BFA/FP ’12). The film is set for a 2014 festival and theatrical run. For updates see Brenda Brkusic (BFA/FP ’04) was invited to be a presenter at the 65th Los Angeles Emmy Awards held at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in North Hollywood earlier this year. Chris Bryant (BFA/FP ’12) just wrapped Captain America II as the production secretary. A Bryce Carlson’s (BFA/SW ’07) first original comic book series, “HIT”, is being published by BOOM! Studios and landed in stores on September 4, 2013. “HIT” is a gritty noir story about LAPD cops moonlighting as hitmen in the ’50s. hitcomicbook

A 26

B Raymond Cinemato (BFA/FP ’10) is currently editing for ABC Network News shows Good Morning America, Nightline, and Katie Couric. You can tune into his work daily on ABC. Cinemato produced/directed a documentary in Africa about building a new home for orphaned children.

Morgan Clay (BFA/CP ’13) is working on Zach Braff ’s Kickstarter film, Wish I Was Here, as a production assistant. Ryan Cuming (MFA/SW ’13) just signed with manager Jim Strader. Cuming’s thesis screenplay, Swing, caught Strader’s attention and he is now sending it out to major production companies in Hollywood. Hannah d’Angerio (BFA/FP ’11) was promoted to Casting Associate at Ronna Kress Casting. Her two-year anniversary at the company was in August. This year, she worked on the upcoming films Runner Runner, Out of the Furnace, Saving Mr. Banks, HBO’s Clear History, and the pilot episode of Hostages for CBS. C Craig Forrest (MFA/FS ’08) was conferred a Doctor of Fine Arts degree in Redemptive Filmmaking by Kingdom Seminary in Edinburg, Virg., in June. Forrest’s dissertation explored cross-cultural and political challenges affecting international faith-based documentary production.

Casey Golden (MFA/MBA Producing ’13) recently moved from working as an assistant in BTL Production at WME to the Originals Programming Assistant at STARZ. D Jackie Goldston (BA/Com ’94) recently finished shooting a principal role in The Familymoon (starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, and Wendy McClendon-Covey). The role is top secret, but everyone will be able to watch Goldston’s performance when the film releases in May 2014.

Vanessa Haney (BFA/FP ’09) is the Senior Executive Assistant to the EVP at Shoreline Entertainment. Haney handles the planning for all of the markets they attend including Marche Du Film at the Cannes Film Festival and the European Film Market which coincides with Berlinale. In addition to scheduling and planning markets, Haney runs the office in Las Vegas and assists in writing contracts and meets with distributors to sell film rights domestically and internationally from their




marketing and outreach for Kashiani’s company, Apples and Oranges. Erin Larsen (MFA/Producing) is now the LA assistant to producer Ed Pressman.

catalogue. The bulk of her job is problem solving of issues stemming from delivery of film materials, to producers concerns, or even complications with a distributor. Traci Hays (BFA/FP ’11) was recently hired to direct a web pilot titled, Seer, for the company MyTeeVee. You can view her director’s profile here: meet-match-directors/ Filming began the first week in September and Sony just recently signed on as the main sponsor. Other Chapman alumni involved: Greg Cotten (BFA/FP ’12) will be the director of photography; RJ Collins (BFA/FP ’12) will be the 1st AD; Matt Kendrick (BFA/FP ’11) will be the editor. Tyler Holtman (BFA/FP ’10) just finished as the editor for a feature documentary called Return to Happiness. The film is about a former hockey player who turns his life around to give back to the world through a trip to Southeast Asia. It was produced by Little Studio Films, and will be distributed to select theaters and internationally in 2014. Visit Tim Kashani (MFA/FP ’04) launched the Bridge 2 Broadway program ( that brings together theatrical professionals who have performed or worked on Broadway and aspiring performers and theatre technicians of all ages and experience levels to produce original works of musical theatre. Christopher Sepulveda (MFA/FP ’06) is the producer for Higher Education, a new-original musical and the first production from Bridge 2 Broadway to return for a fully realized production. Sarah Wilson Thacker (MFA/FP ’13) is the lead producer on the film production team that is documenting Bridge 2 Broadway, as well as Higher Education. Haik Katsikian (MFA/FP ’08), Molly Maier (BFA/FP ’16), Kadyn Michaels (MFA/FP ’14) and Spencer Reed (BFA/FP ’14) are also working with the film team. Chaz Silva (BA/ PRA ’13) and Bryce Anderson (BA/PRA ’13) work in

Kate Lilly (BFA/FP ’12) is first assistant to the head of production at Funny or Die. Ben Mullinkosson (BFA/FP ’13), Chris Cresci (BFA/ Fp ’12) and Sam Price-Waldman (BFA/FP ’12) just completed shooting an online commercial for Home Depot Foundation. Brendan Nahmias (BFA/TBJ ’12) is currently in the NBC Page Program. Nahmias was working with Universal Television and is now with NBC Primetime Programming on rotation as part of the program. Eric Clermont Player (MFA/FP ’08) formally launched his script on the life of Philo Farnsworth through the Gallagher Literary Agency this year. Player’s independent short film, I, has been making the rounds of the festival circuit, including an official selection at the LDS Film Festival in Orem, UT. Elaina Perpelitt (BFA/SW ’13) just signed with Britton Rizzio and Julian Rosenberg of Circle of Confusion. Perpelitt was also paid to co-write an indie feature for two Toronto-based producers. James Pratt (BFA/FP ’13) is the first assistant to Bryan Singer. Grant Rutter (BFA/TBJ ’11) completed the NBC Page Program this spring and recently started a job with NBC Universal Digital Entertainment in advertising. Rutter is working with Fandango, E Online and MyStyle Network. Richard Tucci (BFA/FP ’07) is launching a new podcast called The Producers Lounge with a two-part podcast featuring Dodge College faculty member Scott Arundale. Check out the series on Facebook ( or online at


Actor Ren Quan (left), Dodge College professors Martha Coolidge and Kelly Galindo, and director Wang Yuelun.

Two Dodge College faculty took a front and center role in Hollywood’s latest effort to penetrate the gigantic Chinese market, the second biggest box office in the world. ecause some Chinese people were insulted by the addition of four minutes of Chinese actors and locations to a version of Iron Man 3 that screened only in China, producers of Michael Bay’s next Transformers movie has taken a broader approach. Industry trades report that if there are sufficient Chinese elements the film could qualify as a co-production and thus also sidestep China’s import quota on American films. Directing Professor Martha Coolidge (Real Genius, Valley Girl) and screen acting Professor Kelly Galindo (The Newest Pledge, Wonder Woman) were invited to work with a group of Chinese actors this past summer when they traveled to China to assist in the discovery of the country’s next big stars for the forthcoming blockbuster Transformers: Age of Extinction.


A camera crew followed professors Martha Coolidge (pictured) and Kelly Galindo around the clock for two weeks for the Transformers 4 Chinese Actors Talent Search Reality Show.

he opportunity came to Dodge College via Sid Ganis, producer, former president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and long-time friend of Dodge College, whose company Jiaflix formed a partnership with the country’s government-owned China Movie Channel (CCTV6) to audition the actors on an American Idol-style reality show. For two consecutive weeks of 13-hour work days, Coolidge and Galindo whittled down the competition from 100 contestants to 12, teaching them the fundamentals of acting, with many of them learning English for the first time. Every exercise and line memorized was captured for a television show called Transformers 4 Chinese Actors Talent Search Reality Show. The original casting call attracted more than 70,000 contestants. “It was a fantastic, life-changing opportunity for these contestants,” says Coolidge. “It exposed them to a sophisticated western method of acting that they’re hungry for over there, and they are amazingly appreciative.” Transformers: Age of Extinction is scheduled for theatrical release in June, 2014.

Professor Galindo observes an acting exercise among the contestants.

Katelyn Trott (center) is one of nine selected to participate in the Film Critics Academy.

Following in the footsteps

of Roger Ebert


atelyn Trott (BA/Film Studies ’13) received the Roger Ebert Scholarship which funded her trip to the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland this summer to participate in the Film Critics Academy. From more than 130 applicants, only nine were selected from different countries. Applicants were encouraged to showcase strong writing skills and Trott submitted four different works of film criticism that she had written for her film studies classes at Dodge College.

While in Locarno, the participants were required to write two articles apiece for four different outlets including IndieWire, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s website,, and Pardo Live (the festival’s daily publication). Trott admitted that it was intimidating to work under deadline for real publications while trying to make time for industry events. “The festival was so intimate that I met a lot of the filmmakers that I was writing about,” says Trott. “Right after the press screening of The Dirties, I ran into the cast and crew at a welcome party. I had only good things to say about the film, but it made me realize that it is good practice as a writer to only write about a film what you would say to a filmmaker’s face.” At the end of the festival, the participants were encouraged to continue to pitch ideas to the contacts they had made and to continue to use what they learned in the Critic’s Academy to approach editors with creative angles in their work.



James Beck (BFA/FP ’12) Green Acres: Best Animated Short at LA Comedy, Best Animated Short at Kansas City, Best Student Film at San Luis Obispo, Best Student Animation at Sedona, Audience Award at Charleston; Big Bear Lake, Carmel, Catalina, Durango, Hell’s Half Mile, Hollywood Student, LA Comedy, Logan, Moab, New Orleans, Newport Beach, OC Film Fiesta, Oceanside, Princeton, Rhode Island, Roseville Animation, Ruby Mountain, Santa Fe, Tiburon, Treasure Coast. Green Acres

Derek Dolechek (BFA/FP ’12) & Ryan Walton (BFA/FP ’12) Light Me Up: Best Animation at DaVinci, Best Animated Short at Geneva, Honorable Mention at Anchorage; 1 Reel Bumbershoot, Athens, Berkshire, Big Bear Lake, Breckenridge, Carmel, Catalina, Charleston, Cincinnati, Downtown LA, Hell’s Half Mile, Hollywood Student, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Knoxville, Logan, Los Angeles Shorts, Louisville, Miami Short, Moving Media, Munich (Germany), Newport Beach, OC Film Fiesta, Oceanside, Ojai, Omaha, Orlando, Palm Beach, Philadelphia Animation, Portland, Red Rock, Roseville Animation, Ruby Mountain, San Jose Shorts, Santa Fe, Sedona, Sidewalk, Sonoma, Sunscreen, Treasure Coast, Twain Harte, Waterfront, Woods Hole.

Kristen Dunn (BFA/FP ’13) Shifting Gears: All Sports, LA Femme. Katelyn Bianchini (BFA/FP ’12), Rena Cheng (BFA/FP ’12), & Asia Lancaster (BFA/FP ’12): Blue: 1 Reel Bumbershoot, Cucalorus, Santa Fe.

Michael Fitzgerald (MFA/FP ’13) If We Were Adults: Carmel, Cucalorus, LA Shorts, New Hampshire, San Pedro, Santa Fe, Starz Denver. Harrison Givens (BFA/FP ’13) There Is No God and We All Die Alone: Bend, Portland, San Pedro, Santa Fe.

Greg Goyins (MFA/FP ’13) The Dead Kid: Heartland, Warsaw (Poland).


Maddie Bollay (BFA/FP ’12) Tailed: Best Short Animation at Logan, Honorable Mention at Family; Burbank, Chicago Children, High Falls, OC Film Fiesta, Newport Beach, Sedona. Dan Carr (BFA/FP ’13) Pray Me Down: Carmel, LA Shorts, New Hampshire. Shayna Cohen (MFA/FP ’14) Sunday Sundaes: LA Shorts, South Dakota, St. Louis.

If We Were Adults

There Is No God and We All Die Alone

Taylor Gledhill (BFA/FP ’12) Boom Box Kids: Austin, Chicago Movies & Music, Crossroads, Downtown LA, Fallbrook, Garden State, High Desert Shorts, Kansas City, LACMA, Lewiston Auburn, LA Shorts, Newport Beach, San Diego, Sarasota, Tupelo.

Israel Gutierrez (MFA/FP ’14) El Camaleón: Greenville, Hollywood Student, New York City Independent, Orlando. Elizabeth Iverson (BFA/FP ’13) Suite for Two Band Geeks: Carmel, La Femme. Cyrus Kowsari (BFA/FP ’13) The Color of Christmas: Audience Award at Palm Beach; LA Shorts, Orlando, Sedona, San Pedro, South Dakota.


FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS Michael Tacca (BFA/FP ’12) Burmese Refugee: Best Short Drama and Best Director at Asians on Film, Best Short Film at SouthSide; Athens, Hell’s Half Mile, Phoenix, Riverside, Texas Independent, West Chester, Williamsburg. Into the Silent Sea

Andrej Landin (BFA/FP ’13) Into the Silent Sea: BAFTA-LA Student Award, Grand Prize at Rehoboth Beach; Asiana (Korea), Santa Fe, Telluride. Mike Marino (MFA/FP ’12) Titans of Newark: Audience Award at Annapolis, Best Narrative Short at Riverside Saginaw, Honorable Mention at Tupelo; Capital City, Comic-Con, DC Independent, Fantastic Planet (Australia), Lewiston Auburn, LA Shorts, Monaco Charity, Treasure Coast, TromaDance, West Chester. Shane McCarthy (MFA/FP ’12) The Guy Who…: Best Comedy Short at SENE Film & Music, Best Director at LA Comedy; Cucalorus, Downtown LA, Garden State, Holly Shorts, LA Comedy. Eric Otten (BFA/FP ’14) Drain: Portland, LA Shorts, San Jose Shorts, SoCal Independent.

Winston Tao (BFA/FP ’12) Picture Perfect: Best Short Film at Vietnamese, Best Short Film at San Juan Capistrano, Honorable Mention at Durango, Honorable Mention at Omaha; Asiana (Korea), Beijing Student (China), Big Bear Lake, Charleston, Cleveland, Hawaii, Heartland, Los Angeles Asian Pacific, Newport Beach, Omaha, San Luis Obispo, Warsaw (Poland). Sarah Wilson Thacker (MFA/FP ’13) The Bright Side: Best Graduate Film in ASC Student Awards; Carmel, Hollywood, Marina Del Rey, Ojai.


Emily Unruh (BFA/FP ’12) Cupid: High Falls, SoCal Independent, White Sands. Kiley Vorndran (BFA/FP ’13) Feminist Rapper: Broad Humor, La Femme. Sharon Waich-Botbol (MFA/FP ’12) Manly Advice: SoCal Independent; Reunion: Action on Film, Breckenridge. Upside Down: Burbank, San Luis Obispo, SoCal Independent, Treasure Coast, White Sands. Zach Wechter (BFA/FP ’13) Straight Down Low: Best Undergraduate Film in ASC Student Awards; New Orleans, Starz Denver. Nicolas Wendl (BFA/FP ’13) From the Woods: Central Florida, Coney Island, Fright Night, Hot Springs Horror, Pittsburgh, Thriller Chiller.

In a first for any film school, Chapman University swept the top honors at the 2013 American Society of Cinematographer’s Student Heritage Awards. Dodge College student cinematographers won every category: Mishka Kornai (BFA/FP ’13) won in the Undergraduate category for Straight Down Low, Ryan Broomberg (MFA/FP ’13) won in the Graduate category for The Bright Side, and Drew Heskett (BFA/TBJ ’13) and Ryan Westra (BFA/TBJ ’14) won in the Documentary category for We Are the Land. Dan Duran (BFA/TBJ ’13) and Sam Price-Waldman (BFA/FP ’12) won an Honorable Mention in the Documentary Category for Wolf Mountain.

Jason Pangilinan (MFA/FP ’13) Home: Cincinnati, Napa Valley, Ojai, South Dakota; Milk and Cookies: Holly Shorts, Palm Springs Shorts. Will Phelps (BFA/FP ’13) Capstone’s Oak: Carmel, Hot Springs Horror, Screamfest. Owen Schwartzbard (BFA/FP ’13) The Bluff: Honorable Mention at Rehoboth Beach, LA Shorts, Orlando. Trevor Stevens (BFA/FP ’14) Glazed and Confused: Palm Springs Shorts, San Diego.


We Are the Land



Breathe Life (Matthew Jekowsky BA/PRA ’12, Carly Berryhill BFA/TBJ ’14, Samantha Andre BFA/TBJ ’14): Anchorage, Awareness, Cheyenne, DocUtah, Newport Beach, PBS National Online, Red Rock, Sedona, Treasure Coast, White Sands.

We Are The Land (Andrew Heskett BFA/TBJ ’13, Lauren Lindberg BFA/TBJ ’15, Ryan Westra BFA/TBJ ’14) Best Documentary Film in ASC Student Awards; Santa Fe.

In Her Boots (Stephen Erdmann BFA/TBJ ’13, Charlie Cook BFA/FP ’13, Erin Lim BFA/TBJ ’13): Awareness, Cheyenne.


In the Shadows (Drew Haskett BA/PRA ’12, Max Miller BFA/TBJ ’13): Best Social/Political Doc at VivaDoc Student Documentary Competition; Thin Line.

Humble the Poet (Brendan Nahmias BFA/TBJ ’12) Best Short Film at Sikh; Arpa , Atlanta Doc, Chagrin, Los Angeles Indian, Silent River, SENE Film & Music, Toronto Sikh Int’l (Canada).

Karisma (Britne Goldstein BFA/FP ’13, Molly Gard BFA/FP ’13, Mor Albalak BFA/TBJ ’14) Big Bear Lake, Chagrin, DaVinci, DocUtah, SoCal Independent.

Leaving Our Mark (Dan Duran BFA/TBJ ’13, Haley Quartarone BFA/FP ’13) Awareness, Toronto Sikh Int’l (Canada).

Keep Moving (Scott Wild BFA/CRPR ’13, Jackie Zhou BFA/FP ’13, Ravi Lloyd BFA/FP ’13) Global Visions (Canada), Silent River.

Sikh Formaggio (Devyn Bisson BFA/CRPR ’14, Katie Wise BFA/TBJ ’14) Best Short Film at Global Visions (Canada); Arpa Int’l, DocUtah, New York Indian, Sonoma, Toronto Sikh Int’l (Canada).

Learning to Live (Katie Wise BFA/FP ’13, Ashley Moradipour BFA/FP ’13, Malina Fagan BFA/FP ’13) Best Short Documentary at Downtown LA; Big Bear Lake, Newburyport, Silent River. Sebastian (Dan Duran BFA/TBJ ’13, Katie Valovcin BFA/FP ’12, Kellie Henika BFA/TBJ ’12): Best Personal/Biographical Doc at VivaDoc Student Documentary Competition, Special Jury Recognition at Thin Line; Awareness, DocUtah. Still (Michael Barth BFA/FP ’13, Jose Tadeu Bijos BFA/FP ’14, Pasqual Gutierrez BFA/CRPR ’13, Ruby Stocking BFA/TBJ ’13): Bend, Chagrin, DocUtah, EdinDocs, Hot Springs Doc, Let’s All Be Free, Mill Valley, PBS National Online, San Francisco Ocean, Sebastopol, Sedona, Silent River, St. Louis, Taos Shortz, Thin Line.

FROM THE DESTINATION AFRICA CLASS Bittersweet (Andrew Kappel MFA/FP ’13, Peter Bicknell BFA/ TBJ ’12, Amanda Singer JD ’13, Carly Berryhill BFA/TBJ ’14, Emily Manheim BA/PRA ’13) Honorable Mention at Columbus Film & Video; Africa World Doc, Artisan, Atlanta Doc, Awareness, Chagrin, DocUtah, Global Visions (Canada), I’ve Seen Films (Italy), Napa Valley, Ojai, Vacaville, Wine Country. There Is No Place For You Here (Elliott Balsley BFA/FP ’12, Sam Price-Waldman BFA/FP ’12, Haley Quartarone BFA/TBJ ’13, Ruby Stocking BFA/TBJ ’13) Best Documentary Short at Ojai; Atlanta Doc, Awareness, Chagrin, DocUtah, Newport Beach, Prescott, Sacramento, Society for Visual Anthropology, Thin Line.

The Singh Twins (Ariel Fisher BFA/CRPR ’13, David Thompson BFA/FP ’13, Tyler Gurd BFA/FP ’13) Toronto Sikh Int’l (Canada), Silent River.


Gay 4 Pay (Austin Vuz BFA/TBJ ’13) DC Shorts, Palm Springs Shorts, Santa Fe, Tampa LGBT. I Am Sarah Maple (Ariel Fisher BFA/CRPR ’13, Tyler Gurd BFA/FP ’13) Santa Fe, Silent River. Tailings (Sam Price-Waldman BFA/FP ’12) Best New Mexico Short at Santa Fe, Crested Butte, Flagstaff Mountain, Moab, Nashville, Newport Beach, Sedona, Wild & Scenic. What I Hate About Myself (Ben Mullinkosson BFA/FP ’13; Bobby Moser BFA/FP ’13) New Orleans, St. Louis. Why We Climb (Chris Cresci BFA/FP ’12) Breckenridge, Chagrin, Flagstaff Mouuntain, Jerome, Lookout Wild, Lowcountry Shorts, Moab, Newport Beach, Twain Harte, Wild & Scenic. Wolf Mountain (Brendan Nahmias BFA/TBJ ’12; Dan Duran BFA/TBJ ’13, Sam Price-Waldman BFA/FP ’12) Camden, Chagrin, Doc NYC, Flagstaff Mountain, Full Frame, Hot Springs Doc, Santa Fe, Telluride Mountain, Thin Line.

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Sikh Arts and Film Festival – November 22–24

College to Career Night – November 6

Destination: Africa Screening – December 5

ACADEMY PRESIDENT Discover Chapman Day – November 9

Project W Screening – December 6

A dd r e s s e s G r a d s Hawk Koch, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, shared stories of the joys and difficulties of making films with the 2013 graduating class of Dodge College. As a producer, executive producer, executive, or assistant director, Koch has been involved with the making of more than 50 major motion pictures, including such classics as Marathon Man, Chinatown, Gorky Park, Wayne’s World, Peggy Sue Got Married, Heaven Can Wait, and Rosemary's Baby.

Koch told stories that illustrated the importance of everyone on a film having the same vision and related his strategy of taking risks. In fact, as Chapman provided twitter hashtags for commencement for the first time, a piece of advice from Koch became the most tweeted quote of the weekend. His advice: “Take chances, because that’s when you get lucky.”


In Production Fall 2013