Since I know most of you are in decision-making mode, or will hopefully be soon…I thought it would be helpful to hear from some of our current students here at Dodge College. I will be posting their experiences over the next few weeks. 

Colin Sommer, Creative Producing major, ’13

This week marks the one year anniversary of the day I was accepted into Dodge College at Chapman University. Chapman was always one of my top choices, and after months and months of anticipation, having the letter in my hand was one of the happiest days of my life. Walking in the door on my first day of classes in August was a close second.

 All Dodge freshman (regardless of major) are required to take two core classes; Introduction to Visual Storytelling, and Introduction to Film Aesthetics.

 Introduction to Visual Storytelling is a exercise based class, where fundamental film techniques are taught and then immediately applied into short videos. But there’s a catch. No dialogue allowed. During labor day weekend, the entire class spent a few hours at Dodge receiving a camera from our gold room (aka the equipment room), and also at an Avid Media Composer Boot-Camp. During the semester we were assigned 5 projects; a monologue, a moment of discussion, a pursuit, a dream sequence, and a final three-act film. We were given about two weeks per project, so it was a very hectic semester! The final project is done as a group, and mine decided that we were going to go all out on it. We decided to do a thriller type film about a hit and run accident with the driver trying to cover up the death. We ended up filming most of the project in the middle of Orange at 2am the weekend before it was due. It was a lot of fun (and work) to make, and i’m really glad that the administration has decided to make it a required course.

 The other class is Introduction to Film Aesthetics. I like to describe the class as an introductory film studies course. It also included a lab day, so we spent an afternoon each Wednesday afternoon in the amazing 500 seat Folino Theatre watching movies. One of my favorite that we viewed was Singin’ in the Rain. It’s not too often you see a film that has you smiling for the entire duration, and it seemed like everyone in the audience really enjoyed watching it.

 The week before finals, I had the chance to work as an Art Department Assistant on a Co-Worker’s senior thesis film entitled, “Incest! The Musical”. I know the title may be a bit concerning, but it was a really great experience working with a huge group of people really passionate about creating a beautiful final product. One of the biggest challenges of the film was the construction of a set for one of the bigger musical numbers entitled “Ten Years”. In the sequence, the lead, Katie, is speaking with her high school principal about what she wants to do with her life. She proceeds to sing about where she sees herself in ten years, and then walks right out of the principals office into a coffee shop, then she’s in Africa, then in a Courtroom, the White House, and finally her high school reunion. The entire set was built in Soundstage B in Dodge College, and took a whole week to build. It was a lot of work but seeing the sequence now really shows that the work paid off.

 This semester, in addition to my general education courses, I am taking Business of TV, Primetime: The Game of Television, and Screenwriting Fundamentals. I’m really excited to see how this semester will turn out, and it definitely will be a busy one!