This past weekend, during Chapman University’s Homecoming, Dodge College celebrated two milestone anniversaries: 20 years of the film school’s existence and 10 years of Marion Knott Studios itself.
Dean Bob Bassett was on hand to give the ‘Dialogue with the Dean,’ and took alumni, friends, parents, and more a look at the 20 year journey of Dodge College, showcasing many of the different milestones and hurdles that the film school had to overcome.
“When we started out, we only had one camera, one tripod, and one lighting kit, and I thought ‘This is perfect. What more could we need?'” Dead Bassett joked with the crowd. The school started in Moulton Hall in a single classroom, which Bassett used to teach the students the fundamentals of filmmaking. They also used a single moviola to view the film while editing the old fashioned way; by splicing the film and taping it back together. These days, the equipment is a little more advanced, as students have access to industry standard tools to make their masterpieces.
He went on to talk about how their first big project was heading to Death Valley in 1983, to film a feature in the desert. From there, the handful of students would also go on to film in Cabo San Lucas a few years later to film a short. Now, Dodge College sends students to places such as Cambodia, Malawi, and many other places to film their documentaries on various social issues.
The school has always been committed to bringing the industry to its students, by hosting Hollywood guests such as Bob Zemeckis, and the Women in Focus conference. These events, along with the Filmmaker-in-Residence program, bring real-world experience to the student’s doorstep, allowing them to learn from the best, without ever having to leave campus.
Dean Bassett spoke of how he had a vision of a mini-studio space, right here on campus, to help teach the students of the growing film school. Thanks to people like Marion Knott and Paul Folino, that dream became a reality 10 years ago when Marion Knott Studios opened its doors. From there, Dodge College has boosted international partnerships, brand new facilities, Student Academy Award wins, and many alumni success.
Congratulations to both Dodge College and Dean Bassett on such milestone achievements, as we look toward the future of what comes next.