×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chapman U debuts feature film label

Shingle to fully-finance micro-budget films

In a rare move for a film school, Chapman U has launched a feature film production and distribution label, Chapman Entertainment.

The shingle will fully finance films in the $250,000 to $625,000 budget range from a mix of equity partners and private donors.

Bob Bassett, the dean of Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, will head the program, which, he says, will be open to both alumni and the filmmaking community at large.

“We really will take stories or scripts from anybody,” Bassett told Variety, adding that the group is actively pursuing two scripts, only one of which originated with an alum. “(But) the key aim is to help our alumni make a transition into the business.”

Bassett emphasized, however, that Chapman Entertainment will make and own fully realized movies, not student films, utilizing the resources of the university’s film school and studio complex.

“In most film schools, the students make short films,” he said. “But that’s really not the currency of the business.”

While film schools haven’t gotten into the film production and distribution biz, film festivals have been increasingly active in broadening their reach through distribution operations.

The school’s move, says Bassett, has much to do with teaching not just how to make a film, but how to get the film to an audience. To that end, Chapman is also one of the few schools which teaches marketing and film publicity to help teach students that just creating a film won’t make people want to see it, an idea he says is “rampant” in many schools.

“Part of our aim is to do something bold and to directly connected to the business.”

In a statement, the company said it will select projects based primarily on their appeal to a “younger demographic” that embraces and accesses new media distribution channels.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Johnnie To Quits Taiwan Golden Horse

    Johnnie To Quits Golden Horse Awards as China Builds Pressure

    Leading Hong Kong film maker Johnnie To has dropped out of the Golden Horse Awards, where he was set to be president of the jury deciding the prize winners. The awards, which take place and are organized from Taiwan, have long been considered the most prestigious prized in Chinese-language cinema. However they are currently under [...]

  • Zeroville

    Film Review: 'Zeroville'

    I’m tired of hearing how some novels are “impossible to adapt.” Balderdash! Just because some books don’t lend themselves to being translated from page to screen doesn’t mean that the attempt ought not to be made. Just ask James Franco, who’s shown a speed freak’s determination to tackle some of the unlikeliest literary adaptations of [...]

  • Red Penguins review

    Toronto Film Review: 'Red Penguins'

    “Red Penguins” is a cautionary tale with particular resonance in the context of our current bizarre intertwining with Russia, the country that interfered in the last U.S. presidential election and is led by the POTUS’ apparent BFF. This wild tale of attempted transnational commerce just after the demise of the USSR in the 1990s chronicles [...]

  • Danny Ramirez'On My Block' TV show

    Danny Ramirez to Star in Film Adaptation of 'Root Letter' Video Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    An English-language film adaptation of Japanese video game “Root Letter,” starring Danny Ramirez, is in production in the U.S. through Akatsuki Entertainment USA. Besides Ramirez (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “Assassination Nation”), the film stars Keana Marie (“Huge in France,” “Live in Pieces”) and Lydia Hearst (“The Haunting of Sharon Tate,” “Z Nation”). With a screenplay by [...]

  • Screen writer Beau WillimonMary Queen of

    Beau Willimon Re-Elected as President of Writers Guild of America East

    Beau Willimon, the playwright and showrunner who launched Netflix’s “House of Cards,” has been re-elected without opposition to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America East. Willimon also ran unopposed in 2017 to succeed Michael Winship. Kathy McGee was elected to the vice president slot over Phil Pilato. Secretary-treasurer Bob Schneider [...]

  • Running With the Devil review

    Film Review: 'Running With the Devil'

    A retired Navy SEAL who for a time was a military advisor on the Colombian drug trade, Jason Cabell conceived his first solo feature as writer-director to tell the story of that particular commerce “from the point of view of the drugs.” The result isn’t exactly a docudrama indictment like “Traffic,” a thriller a la [...]

  • Sweetheart review

    Blumhouse's 'Sweetheart' Sets October Digital Release From Universal (EXCLUSIVE)

    After making waves at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the Blumhouse project “Sweetheart” is set to hit digital and on demand platforms. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will offer the film on all major streaming hubs and paid video on demand come Oct. 22, unleashing the creature feature which stars Kiersey Clemons in a harrowing tale [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content