Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6 Update

From Philip Hodgett’s blog:

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6 is probably the most feature-rich release since the original one. As well as the features Apple discussed at NAB  2011:

  • Multichannel Audio Editing Tools
  • Dual Viewers
  • MXF Plug-in Support, and
  • RED camera support

there’s more. Much more. Including a feature I wish they hadn’t put in and one I’m extremely pleased they did. I’m ecstatic that selective pasting of attributes is now an Final Cut Pro X feature, but I’m really annoyed that persistent In/Out points made it to this release. More on these later.

There’s a rebuilt and more flexible Share function; a simplified and improved Unified Import with optional list view, horizontal scopes mode (and scope for each viewer), Chapter Markers, faster freeze frames, support for new titling features inherited from Motion, more control over connection point, 5 K image support, vastly improved Compound Clip structure (both functional and for us the XML), customized metadata export in the XML (for asset management tools mostly), and two features that didn’t make it to the “what’s new” list: Range Export from Projects and a bonus for 7toX customers.

All up I count more than 14 new features, whereas Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 had four (although arguably Multicam and Video out were heavy duty features).

Because of the developer connection, I’ve been working with this release for a few months. We have new versions of 7toX and Xto7 waiting for review in the App Store that support the new version 1.2 XML.

MXF and RED Camera Support

In keeping with their patten, Apple have supported a third party MXF solution rather than (presumably) paying license fees for each sale when only a small percentage of users will use the MXF input (and yes, output) capability. The named solutions are MXF4mac and Calibrated{Q} MXF Import, but apparently there are others. Working with MXF files should not feel different than working with QuickTime files.

Along with RED native support, Apple quietly upped the maximum resolution from 4K (since release) to 5K.

I don’t work with MXF or RED so I’ve had no ability (nor time) to test these functions. I’ll leave that to those with more knowledge.

Dual Viewers

More accurately, the current Timeline Viewer and an optional Event Viewer (Window > Show Event Viewer). You get one view from the Timeline and one view from the Event. I can see how this could be useful at times, although truthfully I never missed it.

Final Cut Pro X's dual viewers
One Viewer from the Event, one Viewer for the Project. (Click to enlarge)

Multichannel Audio Tools

There’s a lot of room for improvement in the audio handing in Final Cut Pro X so the new multichannel audio tools are a welcome step in the right direction.  Initially there’s no visible change, until you choose Clip > Expand Audio Components. With the audio components open, you can individually apply levels, disabled states, pans and filters to individual components, trim them, delete a section in the middle – all without affecting the clips around.

Final Cut Pro X's multichannel audio
No multichannel audio in Solar Odyssey, so I borrowed a test file from Greg used to add support to 7toX and Xto7.

For 7toX, if there are separate audio levels, pans or keyframes on a sequence clip’s audio tracks these will be translated onto the separate audio components in Final Cut Pro X. Similarly for Xto7 the levels/pans/keyframes on the clip’s audio components are translated onto the audio clip’s tracks.

More flexible Scopes

A new layout – Vertical – stacks the Scopes on top of each other. Better still, they remember the settings from the last time used! Also good is that you can open a Scope for each of the viewers.

Final Cut Pro X's dual scopes
Dual Viewers, Dual Scopes and a stacked Vertical layout. If the brightness control was there before, I missed it.

You should note that both those images are 720P at 97% (from the Parrot A.R. Drone 2.0 FWIW). I love the Retina display!

Improved Sharing

There’s now a Share button directly in the interface. More importantly, you do not have to open a Clip from the Event as a Timeline to export.

Final Cut Pro X's share destinations
Share directly from Event or Project.

But what’s that at the end? Why yes, I can create a Share to my own specifications, including anything you can do in Compressor (by creating a Compressor setting and adding that to a New Destination). Note that HTTP live streaming is an option.

Final Cut Pro X's share destinations
Now you can create a custom Share output for exactly your needs.

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6 will also remember your YouTube password, even for multiple accounts. If you have a set package of deliverables (multiple variations for example) you can create a Bundle that manages the whole set of outputs by applying the Bundle to a Project or Clip in Share. Create a new bundle and add in the outputs you want.

Range-based export from Projects

Another feature not seen on the “What’s new” list is the ability to set a Range in a Project and export only that Range via Share. A much-requested feature that’s now available.

Unified Import

I never quite loved that I would import media from the cameras (or their SD cards) via the Import dialog, while importing Zoom audio files was a whole other dialog. Not any more with the new unified Import dialog. There’s even an optional List View, which is my preferred option. (The woodpecker was very cooperative and let me sneak in very close with the NEX 7.)

Final Cut Pro X's unified Import dialog
The Unified Import dialog, with optional list view like the Event list view, with skimmer and filmstrip view.

Waveforms and Hiding already imported clips are also options. The window now (optionally) automatically closes when Import begins.

Other import options.

Chapter Markers

For use when outputting a DVD, Blu-ray,  iTunes, QuickTime Player, and Apple devices.

Final Cut Pro X's chapter markers
There are now three types of Marker: Marker, To Do and Chapter.

The Marker position notes the actual marker, the orange ball sets the poster frame, either side of the chapter mark. A nice refinement for Share.

In 7toX translation, sequence chapter markers become chapter markers on a clip in the primary storyline at the same point in the timeline.

Fast Freeze Frame

Simply select Edit > Add Freeze Frame or press Option-F to add a Freeze Frame to the Project at the Playhead (or if the Clip is in an Event, the freeze frame will be applied in the active Project at the Playhead as a connected clip). Duration, not surprisingly, is the default Still duration set in Final Cut Pro X’s Editing preferences.

New Compound Clip Behavior

Did you ever wonder why Compound Clips were one way to a Project and didn’t dynamically update, but Multicam was “live” between Events and Projects? So, apparently did Apple. (We certainly did when dealing with it in XML). Compound Clips now are live.

  • If you create a Compound Clip in a Project, it is added to the default event and remain linked and live.
  • If you create a Compound Clip in an Event, it can be added to many Projects and remain linked and live.

By linked and live I mean, like Multiclips, changes made in a Compound Clip in an Event will be reflected in all uses of that Compound Clip across multiple Projects.

Changes made to a Compound Clip in a Project, are also made in the Compound Clip in the Event and all other Projects.

To use the old behavior and make a Compound Clip independent, duplicate it in the Event.

The old behavior is still supported so legacy Projects and Events will be fine.

Final Cut Pro 7 sequences translated using 7toX become these new “live” Compound Clips. If you don’t want this behavior you can select the Compound Clip in the Project timeline and choose Clip > Break Apart Clip Items to “unnest” the compound clip .

Selective Pasting of Attributes

It had to be coming, and I’m glad it’s here. This has probably been the feature from Final Cut Pro 7 I’ve missed most.

Final Cut Pro X's Paste Attributes
Looks familiar! I like the visual clue of which clip the content is coming from, and which it is targeted at.

One of the things I love about Final Cut Pro X is that there are “sensible defaults”. Not least of which is the Maintain Timing choice. In the 11-12 years I spent with FCP 1-7 on three occasions I wanted to use the (opposite) default. Every other time I had to change to Maintain Timing, which is now thankfully the default.

Persistent In and Out Points

You got them. And it’s a good implementation, allowing multiple ranges to be created in a clip. I am not a fan, and wish it were an option. Over the last two months I’ve added keywords to “ranges” I didn’t intent to have because the In and Out were held from the last playback or edit I made. Not what I want. So I have to select the whole clips again, and reapply the Keyword. It gets old after the twentieth time.

It gets in my way more than it helps, which is rather as I expected. Selection is by mouse click (mostly – there is limited keyboard support) so this gets every bit as confusing as I anticipated.

Your last range selection is maintained. To add additional range selections (persistent) hold down the Command key and drag out a selection. (There are keyboard equivalents for setting a new range during playback.) You can select multiple ranges and add them to a Project together. (I’m not sure about the use case, but it’s available.)

Customizable Metadata Export to XML (and new XML format)

Along with a whole new version 1.2 of the XML (which lets us support more features in the XML) is the ability to export metadata into the XML. These are the metadata collections found at the bottom of the Inspector.

Final Cut Pro X's XML metadata view
Select the metadata set you want included in the XML during export.

Remember that you can create as many custom metadata sets as you want and choose between them for export. This will be a great feature as soon as Asset Management tools support it. No doubt Square Box will be announcing an update for CatDV the moment this release of Final Cut Pro X is public.

The new XML format also allows 7toX to transfer a Final Cut Pro 7 clip’s Reel, Scene, and Shot/Take metadata into their Final Cut Pro X equivalents.

Flexible Connection Points

We’ve always been able to hold down the Command and Option keys to move a connection point. What is new is the ability to move a clip on the Primary Storyline while leaving connected clips in place. This is really a great new feature and one I’ve used a lot. Hold down the Back-tick/Tilde key (` at the top left of your keyboard) and slip, slide, trim or move the Primary Storyline clip leaving the connected clips in place.

Titling is significantly improved, including support for the new title markers feature in Motion

As I’m not in the Motion beta I’m not at all certain what this means. I’m sure Mark Spencer will have an explanation over at RippleTraining.com soon.

Drop Shadow effect

Well, a new effect that adds a Final Cut Pro 7 style drop shadow to a Clip. If you’ve got a clip in Final Cut Pro 7 with a Motion tab Drop Shadow applied, 7toX will add the new Drop Shadow effect to it during translation.

Bonus unannounced feature – XML can create “offline” clips

This is great news for developers because previously all media referenced by an XML file had to be available (online) when the XML was imported into Final Cut Pro X. With XML version 1.2 that’s not necessary, so we’ve taken advantage of this in 7toX. The user can relink the offline clips to media files by the usual File > Relink Event Files… command after translation and import.

What else do I want?

I’d like a Role-based audio mixer.

I’d like Event Sharing to multiple users at the same time, with dynamic update of keywords and other metadata between editors. (I do not think I want to share a Project in that way – more sequentially manage with a Project, like Adobe Anywhere.

We’re Back and Raring to Go!

After a nearly six month hiatus, the 3D & DIgital Cinema is back on-line. I took a break to tend to some family struggles. Also the Spring semester was one bear of a session with over 40 Senior Thesis projects, 18 Grad Thesis and a whopping 36 Advanced Productions to attend to.

Thank you for your support and patience during what was a very difficult time.

- Scott Arundale

P.S. We will be likely dropping the 3D moniker from our masthead as stereo filmmaking has become very much an integral part of the digital landscape. Also the industry (like the the mainstream filmgoing public) has cooled considerably towards because let’s face it, making 3D movies is more costly, time consuming and frankly a pain in the ass! And as my two lovely daughters remarked about their tastes towards 3D, they wisely observed that it was just a way for the theater to charge more!

That being said we will continue to report on all the trends 3D, 2D or something recorded on a mobile phone. It is all fair game.

Ring in the New Year and Say Goodbye to Kodak

Eastman Kodak Co. is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection in the coming weeks, people familiar with the matter said, a move that would cap a stunning comedown for a company that once ranked among America’s corporate titans.

The 131-year-old company is still making last-ditch efforts to sell off some of its patent portfolio and could avoid Chapter 11 if it succeeds, one of the people said. But the company has started making preparations for a filing in case those efforts fail, including talking to banks about some $1 billion in financing to keep it afloat during bankruptcy proceedings, the people said.

A Kodak spokesman said the company “does not comment on market rumor or speculation.”

A filing could come as soon as this month or early February, one of the people familiar with the matter said. Kodak would continue to pay its bills and operate normally while under bankruptcy protection, the people said. But the company’s focus would then be the sale of some 1,100 patents through a court-supervised auction, the people said.

That Kodak is even contemplating a bankruptcy filing represents a final reversal of fortune for a company that once dominated its industry, drawing engineering talent from around the country to its Rochester, N.Y., headquarters and plowing money into research that produced thousands of breakthroughs in imaging and other technologies.

The company, for instance, invented the digital camera—in 1975—but never managed to capitalize on the new technology.

Casting about for alternatives to its lucrative but shrinking film business, Kodak toyed with chemicals, bathroom cleaners and medical-testing devices in the 1980s and 1990s, before deciding to focus on consumer and commercial printers in the past half-decade under Chief Executive Antonio Perez.

None of the new pursuits generated the cash needed to fund the change in course and cover the company’s big obligations to its retirees. A Chapter 11 filing could help Kodak shed some of those obligations, but the viability of the company’s printer strategy has yet to be demonstrated, raising questions about the fate of the company’s 19,000 employees.

Such uncertainty was once unthinkable at Kodak, whose near-monopoly on film produced high margins that the company shared with its workers. On “wage dividend days,” a tradition started by Kodak founder George Eastman, the company would pay out bonuses to all workers based on its results, and employees would use the checks to buy cars and celebrate at fancy restaurants.

George Eastman and Thomas Edison ca 1920

Former employees say the company was the Apple Inc. or Google Inc. of its time. Robert Shanebrook, 64 years old, who started at the company in 1967 and was most recently world-wide product manager for professional photographic film, recalls young talent traipsing through Kodak’s sprawling corporate campus. At lunch, they would crowd the auditorium to watch a daily movie at an on-site theater. Other employees would play basketball on the company courts.

“We had this self-imposed opinion of ourselves that we could do anything, that we were undefeatable,” Mr. Shanebrook said.

Kodak’s troubles date back to the 1980s, when the company struggled with foreign competitors that stole its market share in film. The company later had to cope with the rise of digital photography and smartphones.

It wasn’t until 10 years ago that the mood began to sour, said Mr. Shanebrook. By 2003, Kodak announced it would stop making investments in film. “I didn’t want to stick around for the demise,” he said.

The company and its board have weighed a potential bankruptcy filing for months. Advisers told Kodak a filing would make its patent sale easier and likely allow the company to command a higher price, people familiar with the matter have said. The obligation to cover pension and health-care costs for retirees could also be purged through bankruptcy proceedings, the people said.

Those obligations—which run to hundreds of millions of dollars a year—as well as the unprofitable state of Kodak’s new businesses, have made the company undesirable as a takeover target, people familiar with the matter said.

During a two-day meeting of the company’s board, management and advisers in mid-December, executives were briefed on how Kodak would fund itself during bankruptcy proceedings should efforts to sell its patents fall short, a person familiar with the matter said.

Kodak is in discussions with large banks including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. for so-called debtor-in-possession financing to keep the company operating in bankruptcy court, people familiar with the matter said.

Kodak has also held discussions with bondholders and a group led by investment firm Cerberus Capital Management LP about a bankruptcy financing package, the people said.

Should it seek bankruptcy protection, Kodak would follow other well-known companies that have failed to adapt to rapidly changing business models. They included Polaroid Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection a second time in December 2008; Borders Group Inc., which liquidated itself last year; and Blockbuster Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 and was later bought by Dish Network Corp. A bankruptcy filing would kick off what is expected to be a busier year in restructuring circles, as economic growth continues to drag and fears about European sovereign debt woes threaten to make credit markets less inviting for companies that need to refinance their debts.

Mr. Perez decided to base the company’s future on consumer and commercial inkjet printing. But the saturated market has proved tough to penetrate, and Kodak is paying heavily to subsidize sales as it builds a base of users for its ink.

The company remains a bit player in a printer market dominated by giants like H-P. Kodak ranks fifth world-wide, according to technology data firm IDC, with a market share of 2.6% in the first nine months of 2011.

As the company works on a restructuring plan, a key issue for creditors is whether the printer operations are worth supporting, or whether the bulk of the company’s value is in its patents.

Nortel Networks Corp., a company that also had fallen behind the technology curve, opted to liquidate itself in bankruptcy court rather than reorganize, raising a greater than expected $4.5 billion for its patent trove.

Kodak’s founder, Mr. Eastman, took his life at the age of 77 in what is now a museum celebrating the founder and Kodak’s impact on photography. His suicide note read: “To my friends, my work is done. Why wait?”

Read more:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203471004577140841495542810.html#ixzz1ibOm8KV4

iPads in schools: ‘The last generation with backpacks’?

In survey, 16% of school tech directors expect to have 1 tablet per student within 5 years


Whether counting heads at the Apple Store or buttonholing cell phone users at the Mall of America, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster is the master of the small survey that may or may not be significant.

His latest: A survey of 25 educational technology directors at a conference on integrating technology in the classroom. “While our sample is small,” he writes in a note to clients issued Monday, “so is the population of IT decision makers in the education field in the US.”

And what did he discover? Among his findings:

  • 100% were testing or deploying iPads in their schools. 0% were testing or deploying Android tablets
  • Their schools currently have an average of one computer for every 10 students
  • Nearly half (12) expect to eventually deploy one computer per child; two of their schools already do
  • More than a third (9) expect to deploy one tablet per child; one of them already does

Given the huge problems facing America’s schools, it’s a slender thread on which to base a vision of broad educational reform. (Munster quotes outgoing Apple retail chief Ron Johnson, who has suggested that the current crop of students might be “the last generation with backpacks.”)

But Munster is probably correct that the overwhelming preference for iPads over tablets running Google’s (GOOG) Android reflects the power of Apple’s (AAPL) first mover advantage. He writes:

“We also see a trend in education (which is mirrored in the enterprise) that familiarity with Apple devices among students (or employees) is causing a demand pull within institutions to also provide Apple devices.”

SOURCE:  http://tech.fortune.cnn.com

Visual Effects Bill of Rights draws a line in the sand

The Visual Effects Society, the industry’s organization of visual effects artists and technicians, today released a Bill of Rights designed to call attention to problems affecting its membership and Hollywood. The document follows an open letter to the entertainment industry by the VES, which cited a downward spiral of working conditions and benefits as well as earnings for effects pros around the globe.  “In the VES open letter, we said it was time to step up as the voice of the visual effects industry by talking to all parties regarding their concerns,” said exec director Eric Roth. “At this time we have engaged in a vigorous dialog with key stakeholders at all levels and believe our Bill of Rights lays out the vital concerns of each segment of the industry. Our next step is to focus on bringing all parties together to seek solutions.”

source: deadlinehollywood.com

While training and education are crucial to supporting the VFX and Animation industries here at home, what this bill of rights actually reveals is that much of the labor continues to be outsourced to India and China, where working conditions are not regulated and wages are minimal.  Every U.S. industry faces this harsh reality. Despite the fact that we remain the leader in creation of filmed entertainment, producers are content to have the work done in sweatshops around the world, rather than maintain a talent base here at home.

Scott Arundale

3ality Digital forms strategic partnership with RED Digital Cinema Education

3ality Digital and RED Digital Cinema Partnership Kicks Off With S3D Production Classes and Presentation at REDucation

Burbank, CA. – June 1, 2011 – 3ality Digital, world leader in advanced technologies to empower creative digital stereoscopic 3D (S3D) acquisition, and RED Digital Cinema announced today a Stereoscopic 3D partnership, which launched during the recently completed REDucation sessions on May 24-28 at RED Studios Hollywood. 3ality Digital will be the primary 3D partner for RED Digital Cinema, and together the companies will train professional and aspiring filmmakers on how to create clear and pristine 3D images using the same equipment as elite Hollywood directors like Peter Jackson and Bryan Singer.

“The biggest tent pole movies shooting on the planet right now, like The Hobbit, are all shooting S3D on EPIC and 3ality Digital,” said Ted Schilowitz, Leader of the Rebellion at RED Digital Cinema. “The teams at RED and 3ality Digital have been working together for years behind the scenes. Now is the right time to take that relationship to the next level and integrate education components for the community.”

As the primary stereoscopic 3D partner for RED, 3ality Digital lent its technology, currently being used in feature films such as The Amazing Spiderman and Jack the Giant Killer, to REDucation’s 3-day introductory session May 24-26, as well as during the advanced classes May 27-28. The REDucation Open House included a screening of S3D content produced with 3ality Digital technology. Attendees also experienced special presentations from RED including the latest “Tattoo” EPIC Reel shown in 4k.

“S3D is here to stay and choosing partners at the forefront of the technology that really grasp what true, high-resolution cinema and S3D are all about is essential for business and for the community,” said Steve Schklair, CEO of 3ality Digital. “Educating filmmakers and getting RED and 3ality Digital technology in their hands at events like REDucation is a crucial step towards accelerating and facilitating S3D content production and ultimately consumer adoption.”

The ongoing partnership will also include collaboration at the Camp RED youth summer program August 1-19, where the new partners will provide young filmmakers with training in S3D production. Students ages 9-15 will shoot their own S3D films at RED Studios Hollywood during the week-long day camp sessions, including an exclusive, behind-the-scenes trip to 3ality Digital Studios.


About RED Digital Cinema
Red Digital Cinema is the brainchild of Jim Jannard, founder of Oakley, world-famous manufacturer of sunglasses, sports apparel and personal electronics. Mr. Jannard is a self-professed lover of all things photographic, having amassed an extensive photographic collection, as well as having been a shooter for most of his life. His search for the perfect video/film camera was never satisfied and proved to be the inspiration behind creating the ultimate full motion camera. His desire was to create a camera that matched the quality of, and processed images similar to, the very finest digital still cameras…. but at motion picture frame rates.

About 3ality Digital
3ality Digital is a pioneer and leading authority in stereoscopic 3D (S3D). 3ality Digital provides the film and television industry with camera platforms, stereo image processing systems and S3D image scaling technologies that are considered the “gold standard” for the production of compelling and immersive S3D entertainment. Whether for a feature film or live sporting event, its innovative technology empowers customers to stay in control of creativity when working with S3D.

Founded in 2000 by CEO, Steve Schklair, 3ality Digital has a reputation as an innovator in S3D, with its technology powering multiple live-action firsts. This includes: U2 3D, the first movie shot completely in live-action S3D; the first live S3D broadcast of an NFL game (Raiders vs. Chargers, December 4th, 2008, broadcasted to a select audience); the first live S3D sports broadcast available to consumers, including the 2009 BCS Championship Game, BSkyB’s landmark Manchester United vs. Arsenal soccer broadcast (January 31st, 2010), the first network hockey telecast ever produced in S3D (New York Rangers vs. Islanders, March 24th 2010 on MSG); the first S3D commercial broadcast during a Super Bowl (Sobe “Lizard Lake”); the first full episode of a scripted television series shot in live-action S3D (Chuck vs. The Third Dimension, aired on NBC on February 2nd, 2009); and first RED EPIC S3D Movie, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man.’

For more information, please visit www.3alitydigital.com

Young People worldwide are addicted to media

COLLEGE PARK, Md., April 10 (UPI) — It doesn’t matter if a college student lives in the United States, Chile, China, Slovakia, Mexico or Lebanon — many are addicted to media, researchers say.

Susan D. Moeller of the University of Maryland and the director of International Center for Media & the Public Agenda says whether in developing countries or developed countries the findings are strikingly similar in how teens and young adults use media and how “addicted” they are to their cellphone, laptop or mp3 player.

The researchers and colleagues at the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change asked about 1,000 students in 10 countries on five continents to give up all media for 24 hours and record their experiences.

The study found the students reacted almost identically to being unplugged from media and used virtually the same words to describe their reactions, including: fretful, confused, anxious, irritable, insecure, nervous, restless, crazy, addicted, panicked, jealous, angry, lonely, dependent, depressed, jittery and paranoid.

“Perhaps naively, we assumed that we would find substantial differences among the students who took part in this study,” Moeller says in a statement.

“After all, our partner universities come from very different regions and from countries with great disparities in economic development, culture and political governance.”

In short, the students were blind-sided by how much media have come to dominate their lives and their identity, Moeller says.

The study is at: http://theworldunplugged.wordpress.com/

Chapman University wants to overtake USC and NYU

Film Studies: Chapman University wants to overtake USC and NYU.

The article in this Sunday’s L.A. Times sums it up nicely.

It has been an extraordinary ride during the last four years.  I began teaching at Dodge College as an Adjunct Professor and was thrilled when Bob Bassett offered me a contract a year later.  The new Marion Knotts studio complex came with the usual wrinkles: too much technology and over-engineered but with time the school began to hit its stride.  In terms of post-production we offer 100 Avids along with DS Nitris, Smoke and Flame.  We still count ourselves as a “Film School” and it remains part of our name.  There is no other learning institution in the country that features both Autodesk Lustre and Spirit 4K.  I give a big shout out to Dan Leonard, Associate Dean and Chief Technology Officer who is the mad scientist who put this rig together along with Deszo Magyar, Associate Dean and Chief Academic Officer who consistently reminds me that character development is key to a successful story.   I’m very much involved in Alumni relations as I believe the most important aspect of our program will be when graduates will return to Orange  and share their experiences.  It is happening now. We are building our own Dodge College/Chapman mafia and we have a great reputation in the industry for interns who are bright and committed and show up on time and ready to work!

- Scott Arundale

Dodge College now offers Feature Film Label

Shingle to fully-finance micro-budget films

By Rachel Abrams

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

The shingle will fully-finance micro-budget films in the $250,000 – $625,000 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 only be making fully-realized movies, not student films.

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

Film schools do not normally enter in the film production and distribution business. The 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 says it will select projects based primarily on their appeal to a “younger demographic” and will look to release films through traditional independent channels.

Contact the variety newsroom at news@variety.com

From the LA Times:

In a high-stakes bid to raise its academic profile and help its alumni launch careers in filmmaking, Chapman University is creating a for-profit film production company that will make, own and distribute five to 10 feature films a year, college officials announced Wednesday.

The new company, Chapman Entertainment, will be run by the school’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. It’s being billed by the liberal arts college and professional school, located in Orange, as the first venture of its kind associated with an academic institution.

Bob Bassett, the private college’s longtime dean, will serve as the company’s president and chief executive. He said the venture is designed to produce viable “commercial properties,” not the short films that students typically use as calling cards in landing entry-level film or television jobs.

“Our students are production assistants all over Hollywood right now, but we want to do something that’s going to put them in the driver’s seat,” said Bassett, who oversaw the establishment of the college’s $42-million Marion Knott Studios, a 76,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art studio complex.

“It’s not for students, it’s for alums,” Bassett said Wednesday. “It’s for people we’ve already trained and who have the chops.”

Under the arrangement, the company will make commercial movies in the so-called micro-budget range of $250,000 to $625,000. The films will lean toward youth-friendly genres such as comedies, thrillers and horror films, and will be aimed at a youthful demographic “that is more likely to embrace and access new media distribution channels,” according to a school-issued statement on the new venture.

Employing a combination of Dodge College post-graduates and industry professionals, productions will be funded by equity partners as well as philanthropic donors, the school said. Filmmakers whose projects are selected will be able to use the college’s production facilities and equipment for rates that will be factored into each project’s budget.

Screenplays will be solicited from a variety of sources, including major talent agencies, Bassett said. And although Chapman graduates will get priority consideration, scripts and project proposals may be submitted by anyone.

Bassett predicted that the new enterprise would help distinguish Dodge from older, better-known college film schools such as USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. He said the company would function like a professional film studio, “in a very modest way.”

Officials at USC, the American Film Institute and other film schools could not be reached for comment.

Dodge expects to soon name the first screenplay that the new company will develop. “I have two projects that we’re developing and have equity partners that are interested in them,” Bassett said. “It could be tomorrow or it could be a month from now.”

In interviews conducted on Dodge’s campus in recent months, several current students and post-graduates voiced approval of the venture.

“An MFA in film does not get you a job,” said Brian Faye, a 2010 graduate, “but the fact that they’re talking about funding a few pictures a year, I think that’s phenomenal. That’s the thing you can’t get anywhere else.”

Chapman has tapped Travis Knox, a 1998 Chapman graduate and producer — whose credits include “The Bucket List” and “Hairspray” — to oversee development, production and the company’s daily operations. Barbara Doyle, chair of the college’s film division and a former production associate at Tri-Star Pictures, will serve as executive in charge of production.

Speaking at a faculty meeting last fall, Doyle said the new venture would allow Chapman students to have a fully professional experience in bringing film projects from conception to fruition.

“The idea is not to do guerrilla films,” she said.

reed.johnson@latimes.com

Chapman 3D Expedition treks to 19,000 feet

Chapman University’s Dodge film school has tapped eight student filmmakers to shoot a 3D documentary on their expedition to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro at 19,341 feet.

The students — four male and four female — are set to depart Monday for Tanzania. Chapman said the students were selected after proving to be physically fit enough for the task and eager to climb the highest mountain in Africa.

Each will shoot his or her own expedition documentary, chronicling their experience and each will also take turns operating a Panasonic 3D camera.

Panasonic loaned the crew a 3D camera for two months in exchange for two minutes of “beauty shots” from Kilimanjaro. Dodge College Professors Jeff Swimmer and Jurg Walther will lead the expedition.

Swimmer said he’s planning a similar journey next year to Antarctica.

source: variety.com

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