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JPCatholic’s MBA in Film Producing exists for one reason: to Impact Culture for Christ through compelling mainstream entertainment. That’s an ambitious goal, and one that requires a program with an innovative focus. Students here are equipped with a core knowledge in the key areas of both business and production: story & development; budgeting & scheduling; finance, marketing & distribution, intellectual property law and more. Throughout the 15 month program, you'll be able to go deeper by selecting our Creative Producing and Screenwriting Emphasis or our Line Producing Emphasis. Students are also immersed in a rich sequence of Scripture, Catholic theology, and philosophy courses. Our unique combination of media, business, and theology classes is one you won’t find in any other graduate program.

04-05 Developing the Story

12-13 Feature Film Experience

06-07 Produce Complex Projects

14-15 Studio Support

08-09 Business Core

16-17 Los Angeles Quarter

10-11 Build your own Entertainment Company

18-19 Catholic Culture and Curriculum

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Developing the Story Stories impact us in profound ways. Good stories can inspire and touch our souls; they bring freshness, life, understanding, and clarity to our experience. Story, in short, lives at the core of what makes a film work, and it’s vital for producers and creative executives to be able to identify and develop compelling screenplays. The Creative Producing and Screenwriting emphasis focuses on developing stories that are marketable and have the power to draw mainstream audiences closer to love and truth. You’ll learn how to manage the creative development process and produce works of commercial and artistic value. The program will empower you with the ability to make crucial creative decisions in the most fundamental and important aspect of filmmaking: the story.

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Faculty Spotlight // Chris Riley The Internet Movie Database cites Prof. Riley as “the foremost authority in screenplay format for all of Hollywood.” He is the author of The Hollywood Standard: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style which is a text used at many film schools. Chris’ first film, After The Truth, an award-winning courtroom thriller, sparked international controversy in 1999 when it was released in Germany. Since then, After the Truth has also received American distribution. Prof. Riley has written scripts for Junction Entertainment, Touchstone Pictures, Sean Connery’s Fountainbridge Films, Mandalay Television Pictures, and the Fox television network. From 2005 through 2008, he served as director of the acclaimed Act One Writing Program in Hollywood.

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Produce Complex Projects In the Line Producing Emphasis, you’ll have the opportunity to dive deeper into master the details around executing on a complex film or TV project. Students spend time on set gaining real experience physically producing a production. You’ll master the craft of orchestrating all the various skill sets and professionals needed to make a story come to life on screen. The emphasis culminates in an advanced production project, where you take your producing skills to the next level and create a project which can serve as a springboard into the industry. If you’re eager to learn production first hand, you’ll love our Line Producing Emphasis.

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Faculty Spotlight // Nathan Scoggins

An award-winning filmmaker, Nathan Scoggins’ list of credits include The Least of These, released in 2011 by Universal and starring Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy) and screen legend Robert Loggia (Big, Independence Day), as well as the TV movie The Perfect Summer, starring Eric Roberts. He won the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest in 2012 and 2013 with “Sling Baby” and “Fashionista Daddy.” In addition, two of his award-winning short films were released by Lionsgate on DVD in 2008. In 2012, he produced the feature film Red Line with JPCatholic students and faculty, which won an international distribution deal and reached an audience through Redbox, WalMart, Target, Netflix, as well as other video on-demand platforms. He has written and developed projects for many companies in Hollywood.

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Faculty Spotlight // Shun Lee Fong Professor Fong holds a Juris Doctorate (JD) from the University of Iowa College of Law. After practicing law and teaching at Creighton University in Omaha, Fong moved to L.A. to pursue acting, writing, and other creative opportunities. He is currently the CEO and Creative Principal of Genuine Productions, LLC - a creative media production company with a focus on film, new media & music. He is also the founder and creative director for The Greenhouse - a non-profit organization for training, equipping, and engaging creative artists.

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Business Core JPCatholic’s Producing MBA program stands apart from so many MFA degrees because of its business underpinning. Our program includes critical courses in budgeting and scheduling, finance, marketing, distribution, and media law. The business class’s focus on understanding the complex dynamics in the entertainment field of moving from script to green-light to pre-production, production, and post and finally to distribution. There is an abundance of people who aspire to be filmmakers, yet there is a significant shortage of people who understand the business that is the driving force behind what gets made and seen by audiences. Producing a feature film is equivalent to running a small business, and our broad and applied curriculum prepares you for those challenges.

Learning the Business Side Numbers have never been my strong suit. I’m far more comfortable in a world of words and images. Needless to say, I had a fair deal of trepidation heading into my first accounting class. After all, I’m a filmmaker, not an accountant! Surprisingly, it soon became one of my favorite classes. Many of my business classes forced me to grow as a problem solver - a trait any filmmaker will tell you is an absolute necessity. The accounting classes have also enabled me to speak with potential investors and businessmen in their own language, which is a key part of getting any film greenlit. It may be painful at times, but the MBA program is giving me the tools to both envision a movie and get it made.

- Alumnus Kevin Kast

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Build an Entertainment Company Technology has dramatically the entertainment industry and opened up vast opportunities for entrepreneurship. As an MBA student, you’ll have the opportunity to utilize our Business Launchpad process to build an a sustainable production company with your peers. While the process isn’t a mandatory part of the MBA curriculum, several MBA students have utilized it to pursue their dream of building an entertainment company. The Launchpad is our business creation engine which nurtures student ideas into full-fledged business. The Launchpad walks student companies through the business creation, planning, and launch processes. It provides mentoring by faculty and outside professionals. After completion of the Launchpad sequence if it’s appropriate for your company, you’ll set up your business in our Business Incubator and you’ll have the office space you need to get off the ground.

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Faculty Spotlight // Vernon Mortenson Professor Mortenson has a Master of Professional Writing (Screenwriting) from USC, where he studied under script guru Syd Field and was an Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Fellow and an MBA from Alliant International University. He has worked for the last decade with the motion picture production/distribution company Rogue Arts as a film and television producer and distribution executive. During Mortenson’s tenure, Rogue Arts has distributed over one hundred feature films in addition to producing eight of their own. Their movies have been featured in all major film festivals and markets around the world including Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, and Cannes and have been watched by millions of people around the globe.

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Capstone Experience The culmination of the MBA program is a thesis project which serves as a springboard into your career. The thesis can take on a number of different forms depending on your emphasis and career goals. Many students have created polished screenplays, web series, short films, and even feature films. Members of the class of 2012, for example, teamed up with JPCatholic students and faculty to film the feature film Red Line (see case study). While you’re not guaranteed to work on a feature film, the program gives you the skill set and competencies necessary to thrive on the set of a commercial feature film. Whatever direction you and your thesis advisor decide for the final project, you’ll come away with a polished piece which can serve as a major building block in your career.

Case Study // Red Line In 2012, JPCatholic MBA students teamed up with undergraduate students and faculty to create the feature film Red Line. Red Line is a thriller starring John Billingsly (Star Trek Enterprise, True Blood, and Intelligence) and Nicole Gale Anderson (Make it or Break it, Mean Girls 2) about ten passengers trapped in a subway car after a bomb explodes. The MBA students played lead roles in developing the script, casting, financing, executing on the production, and securing its distribution deal. Red Line received domestic and international distribution in Walmart, Target, Redbox, and in 200 million homes through video-on-demand.

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What I learned in the classroom prepared me for the work I did on Red Line, but I learned far more working on Red Line than I ever did in the classroom. Figuring out how to collaborate with so many moving parts and dealing with unexpected obstacles during shooting-- those are things that you just can’t get from a lecture or a textbook. You learn that it’s not just about talent, but hard work and long hours. And the hard work and long hours pay off when one of the professionals on-set notices you and decides they’d like to work with you again.

- MBA Alumna Tara Stone, Writer of Redline

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Studio Support As an MBA student, you’ll have access to our cutting-edge film equipment. You’ll also have talented undergraduate filmmakers and faculty ready and eager to collaborate. Create film sets for your productions on our new soundstage. The soundstage is outfitted with a full lighting grid and supporting gear. Our portable equipment for on-location shoots includes cameras that shoot in high-definition digital video, and an assortment of lighting and sound equipment.

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Watch your masterpiece take shape in our state of the art post-production lab featuring Macintosh editing stations. The editing stations are loaded with an assortment of post-production software that enable you to do picture editing (Adobe Premiere), motion graphics, animation and compositing (After Effects), 3d modeling (Maya), sound editing and design (Adobe Audition), and color grading (DaVinci Resolve). We have everything you need to make your vision become a reality.

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Los Angeles Quarter In your fifth and final quarter, you will have the opportunity to experience the Los Angeles entertainment industry up close as part of the LA internship quarter. The experience involves spending a full quarter living in student housing in the Los Angeles area while working in an immersive internship for credit. While in Los Angeles, you will gain insight into the industry and network with established professionals through our “Hollywood Mentor series” class. In addition to the internship and networking opportunities, you’ll start to build your resume aided by the career planning process taught in our Career Strategies class. While students are not guaranteed success obtaining a specific internship, past Los Angeles internships have included: Alcon Entertainment (producers of The Blindside and The Book of Eli), MPower Productions (a company run by executive Steve McEveety who produced Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, and The Passion of the Christ), Motive Entertainment (marketing firm behind Rocky Balboa and The Passion of the Christ), and the Cortez Brothers (a high end production company whose clients include The Tonight Show and Rolling Stone).

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Faculty Spotlight // Kevin Culbertson Kevin is a television executive with demonstrated experience across a broad range of disciplines with significant experience in the development and execution of strategic plans, team building and personnel management, fundraising, project management, and community relations. He has co-founded a television station and managed multiple TV studios, as well as large editorial, production, operations and engineering staff. He worked as a studio director at CNN; served as a member of the White House Press Corps and travelled extensively with President Reagan during his term. Kevin has his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and a Masters degree from Arizona State University.

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Catholic Culture and Curriculum

JPCatholic exists for one reason: to Impact Culture for Christ. We’re committed to creating compelling mainstream stories that draw wide audiences closer to Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. We understand that we cannot Impact Culture for Christ if we do not know Christ. This is why the MBA in Film Producing Program includes Scripture, Catholic Theology, and philosophy courses. We place a particular emphasis on knowing Christ in Scripture; the Scripture courses are not purely academic endeavors, and you are encouraged to incorporate the material in enriching your own prayer life. As an authentically Catholic institution, we understand the vital role of the Sacraments in our lives. Daily Mass, Confessions, and Eucharistic adoration are all offered on campus for the growth and sanctification of our students. If you wish to develop yourself both professionally and spiritually, JPCatholic is the right place to be.

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JPCatholic's MBA in Film Producing  

At John Paul the Great Catholic University, we believe in the power of beauty to transform culture. We’re shaping the next generation of art...

JPCatholic's MBA in Film Producing  

At John Paul the Great Catholic University, we believe in the power of beauty to transform culture. We’re shaping the next generation of art...

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