Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

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Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
Dodge College of Film and Media Arts logo.jpg
Established 1996
Dean Robert Bassett
Academic staff
39 full-time, 70+ adjunct
Students 1500 (approx.)
Undergraduates 250 (per year)
Postgraduates 150 (per year)
Website [1]

Dodge College of Film and Media Arts is one of ten schools constituting Chapman University, located in Orange, California, 40 miles south of Los Angeles. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, with programs in film production, screenwriting, creative producing, news and documentary, public relations and advertising, digital arts, film studies, television writing and producing, and screen acting.

Dodge College has approximately 1,500 students: 1,000 in the undergraduate program, and 450 in the graduate program.


The School of Film and Television was created in 1996 with Robert Bassett as the founding dean. The school occupied a building on main campus named for legendary filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, in honor of support by CeCe Presley, DeMille’s granddaughter. Dean Bassett subsequently led a campaign that ultimately raised $52-million to build and equip a new building. A transforming gift of $20-million from Lawrence and Kristina Dodge led to the naming of Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, housed in Marion Knott Studios, named for philanthropist Marion Knott, who made a major gift to the project and has been a long-time supporter of the film program at Chapman.


The school is housed within two buildings in Orange, CA.

Marion Knott Studios, a 76,000-square-foot building designed to replicate a working production studio. Open 24/7 to students, Marion Knott Studios includes the following:

  • 2 sound stages (2500 and 5000 sq. ft.)
  • Cinematography and Directing insert stage
  • Television and Broadcast Journalism Hi-Def stage and control room
  • Foley stage
  • Motion Capture stage
  • Locker rooms, hair/makeup studio, green room
  • 2 Audition Rooms
  • Set Design shop
  • Production Design studio
  • Production Management Office with Computers, Phones, Fax, Printers, and Meeting Space
  • 2 computer labs
  • 36 individual editing suites
  • 3 mixing studios
  • Spirit 4K Datacine
  • 500-seat Folino Theater with Kinoton 35mm projectors, Barco 2K digital projector and Dolby Digital surround sound

The Digital Media Arts Center, an 18,000 square-foot building for the Digital Arts program, opened for classes in the fall of 2014. The DMAC is a working, industry-standard studio that rivals those of Pixar, Disney, Microsoft, and Google. It combines “hang-out spaces” that include a coffee bar, relaxed indoor lounge and large patio with picnic tables, with flexible classrooms and laboratories that provide Dodge College students with access to the very latest technology so that they are well-prepared to work as professionals on Hollywood’s most technically sophisticated projects. It includes:

  • A 32-workstation dual monitor digital arts computer lab with 22”HD cintiq drawing surface and ergotron extension arm.
  • A 25-workstation digital arts computer lab with 22”HD cintiq drawing surface and ergotron extension arm with 2d animation light-box drawing station.
  • 10 private digital arts suites complete with 42” plasma preview monitor, large-format scanners, and 2d animation down-shooters for traditional hand-drawn animation.
  • Natural sky-lit art studio, complete with 25 wood-bench stations for still art drawing or painting.
  • Screening room with tiered seating and a 4k stereoscopic projection system with a Fuse DCP projection system.
  • Multiple laptop bars and student lounge area, complete with full size couches and recliners.
  • 1,500-square-foot directing stage, complete with 2k projection and ceiling grid lighting.
  • Complete grab-and-go food service area.
  • Outdoor patio with tables and seating.
  • Flexclassroom with transforming tables.
  • A full 65 blade render farm powered by both Quanta and IBM xeon-based computers. The render farm is located offsite at Marion Knott next door, but is tied into each and every station in the DMAC.

A third building, Chapman Studios West, is under construction, and will open in phases throughout the 2016-2017 academic year.




  • B.F.A. Creative Producing
  • B.F.A. Film Production
  • B.A. Film Studies
  • B.A. Screenwriting
  • B.F.A. Screen Acting
  • B.F.A. Television Writing and Production

Media Arts[edit]

  • B.A. Public Relations and Advertising
  • B.F.A. Digital Arts
  • B.F.A. News and Documentary

Graduate Conservatory[edit]

  • M.A. Film Studies
  • M.F.A. Film Production
  • M.F.A. Film and Television Producing
  • M.F.A. Production Design
  • M.F.A. Screenwriting
  • M.B.A./M.F.A. Film and TV Producing
  • M.F.A. Documentary Filmmaking

Joint degrees[edit]

Minors offered in Dodge College include Film Studies, Broadcast Journalism, Television, Advertising, and Public Relations.

The Summer Film Academy offers two-week courses to students entering their junior or senior year in high school, which "serves as an introduction to basic narrative and production techniques in film."[1]


The combined filmography of the full-time faculty teaching at Dodge College includes more than 500 feature films and includes:

Adjunct faculty include:

Conferences and festivals[edit]

Women in Focus[edit]

An annual conference celebrating the women who have been successful in the often male dominated film business. Dodge College invites women who work in film as panelists, to show clips of their work and discuss the challenges facing women in the industry. Past panels have included female directors, producers, production designers, editors, cinematographers, studio executives and more:

Busan West Film Festival[edit]

Dodge College partners annually with the Busan International Film Festival to present Busan West. Over the course of three days Dodge College hosts a showcase of contemporary and classic feature films and documentaries. The film festival includes Pan-Asian films selected directly from the Busan International Film Festival, the largest Asian film festival in the world which takes place in Busan, South Korea. The program features invited directors representing the films, along with an Opening Night Gala, a Retrospective evening after party and a Closing Night reception, all designed to showcase Pan-Asian culture through food, music, and décor. Q & A sessions led by renowned film scholars guide the audiences in conversation with directors and actors who attend Busan West. Past participants include:

The 3rd annual Busan West Film Festival was held March 8–10, 2013 at Marion Knott Studios and included the introduction of a new competition - the American-Asian Short Film Competition.

Sikh Arts & Film Festival (SAFF)[edit]

The Sikh Film Festival is an annual three-day festival showcasing a diverse assortment of Sikh-centric films, books, art performance pieces and music and is held at Dodge College. The next festival is scheduled for November 22–24, 2013 at Marion Knott Studios.

Leo Freedman Foundation First Cut[edit]

Select student films are screened for industry representatives at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles each fall and in New York each spring. The Leo Freedman Foundation First Cut LA was held at the DGA complex on September 27, 2013 and in New York on March 23, 2013.

UFVA Conference[edit]

Dodge College has hosted the University Film and Video Association (UFVA) Conference three times, in 1996, 2006, and 2013.[2]


Each semester, an industry veteran spends 15 weeks at Dodge College screening films and working individually with 10 selected students. Filmmakers-in-Residence have included directors Jonathan Sanger, Randal Kleiser, Richard Benjamin, Tony Bill, William Friedkin, Harold Becker, Carl Franklin, Martha Coolidge, Arthur Hiller, Mark Rydell, Daniel Petrie Sr., John Badham, Peter Medak, Jocelyn Moorhouse, and Betty Thomas; animation director Bill Kroyer; producers Mace Neufeld, Cathleen Summers and David Foster; production designer Polly Platt; editor Bob Jones; writer/directors David Ward and Leslie Dixon; and television director Sheldon Epps.

International connections[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Chapman Filmed Entertainment[edit]

In March 2011, Dean Robert Bassett created Chapman Filmed Entertainment,[4] a film production and distribution company. Composed of industry veterans, advisors, and Chapman faculty, Chapman Entertainment will produce five to ten pictures per year in the micro-budget range (budgets range in the $250,000-$625,000 range).


  1. ^ "Summer Film Academy for High School Students", Dodge College Website, July 3, 2013
  2. ^ “Past Conferences”, UFVA Website, 7/3/2013
  3. ^ " Amazing Race". 
  4. ^ Rachel Abrams, "Chapman U Debuts Feature Film Label", Variety, March 30, 2011

External links[edit]