Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts Taps Hollywood Talent for Faculty Posts: Barry Blaustein, Leslie Dixon, Steve Hirsen and Harry Ufland Join Chapman Faculty For Fall Semester


Barry Blaustein, Leslie Dixon, Steve Hirsen and Harry Ufland Join Chapman Faculty For Fall Semester

Orange, CA (August 23, 2012) – It was announced today that screenwriter and producer Leslie Dixon (Mrs. Doubtfire, Freaky Friday, Limitless), television director Steve Hirsen (America’s Funniest Home Videos, Entertainment Tonight), film director and screenwriter Barry W. Blaustein (Beyond the Mat, The Nutty Professor, Coming to America) and producer Harry Ufland (The Last Temptation of Christ, Crazy/Beautiful, One True Thing) have joined the faculty at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

Leslie Dixon joins the school as O.L. Halsell Foundation Filmmaker-in-Residence this fall. Dixon’s accomplished filmography includes writing screenplays for a number of hit films such as Just Like Heaven, Freaky Friday, Pay It Forward, Hairspray, The Thomas Crown Affair and Overboard, as well as producing  (and writing) Limitless and That Old Feeling. Every semester, Dodge College hosts an expert filmmaker to meet with and counsel students directly, as part of its Filmmaker-in-Residence program. The popular program includes regular, bi-weekly meetings with the filmmaker in a one-on-one setting where the student and mentor have the opportunity to creatively brainstorm a specific project developed throughout the semester as well as weekly dinners with the filmmaker open to students and screenings of the filmmaker’s films followed by an in-class Q & A.

Emmy Award-winner Steve Hirsen, appointed Assistant Professor of Television and Broadcast Journalism, is best known as the director who launched two of the most popular series in television history – 11 seasons of the hit series America’s Funniest Home Videos and the popular series Entertainment Tonight through its first three seasons, which earned him an Emmy Award.

Barry W. Blaustein, appointed Associate Professor of Screenwriting, is the director and producer of the critically acclaimed documentary Beyond the Mat. His latest documentary, Guys ‘N DivasBattle of the High School Musicals, which was produced by Lionsgate and Spitfire Films, recently aired on Showtime. Along with his writing partner David Sheffield, Blaustein’s feature writing credits include such blockbuster hits as Coming to America, The Nutty Professor I and II, and Boomerang, on which they also served as co-producers.

Harry Ufland, appointed Professor of Creative Producing, is a producer who has packaged films such as Raging Bull and Blade Runner and produced films including Crazy/Beautiful, Snow Falling Cedars, One True Thing and The Last Temptation of Christ, working for all the major studios. He continues to be an active producer, with the release of The Big Wedding, starring Robert DeNiro, Susan Sarandon, and Diane Keaton, this October.

In addition, Ufland brings many years of experience as an agent with the William Morris Agency, representing A-list talents like Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro, Ridley Scott, Harvey Keitel, Cher and Jodie Foster.

For more information and complete bios of all Dodge College faculty members please visit

About Chapman University:

Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University attracts highly qualified students from around the globe. Its programs are designed to encourage leadership in innovation, creativity and collaboration, and are increasingly recognized for providing an extraordinary educational experience. The university now excels in film and media arts, performing arts, educational studies, economics and business, law, humanities and the sciences. Student enrollment in graduate and undergraduate programs is approaching 7,000, and Chapman University alumni are found throughout California and the world.

Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts:

One of the premier film schools in the country, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts offers students the unique opportunity to learn filmmaking in a hands-on environment modeled on a working studio.  The college is comprised of the Sodaro-Pankey Undergraduate School of Film and Media Arts, offering degrees in film production, film studies, screenwriting, creative producingtelevision and broadcast journalism, public relations and advertising, screen acting and digital arts; and the graduate Conservatory of Motion Pictures, offering M.F.A. degrees in film production, film and television producing, production design, and screenwriting, and an M.A. in film studies. Two joint M.F.A. degrees in producing are also offered in conjunction with the business (M.F.A./M.B.A.) and law (M.F.A./J.D.) schools. Dodge College is housed in Marion Knott Studios, a state-of-the-art, 76,000-square-foot studio and classroom building that provides students with 24-hour access to sound stages, edit bays, Dolby surround mixing, a motion capture stage and more.  With an Oscar and Emmy-award winning full-time faculty that boasts more feature film credits than any other film school, Dodge College is where students learn the entertainment business from the inside out.

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