Shingle to fully-finance micro-budget films

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.

See the full article here.