FILM PROGRAMS

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At John Paul the Great Catholic University, we believe in the power of beauty to transform culture. We’re shaping the next generation of artists and innovators with academic excellence, unparalleled creativity, and an authentic community centered on Jesus Christ.

areas of emphasis

screenwriting

Story is at the heart of our mission as a Catholic school. Stories have an incredible power in opening us to a new way of perceiving reality and in helping us understand important truths with more clarity. To fulfill our mission to Impact Culture for Christ, we teach you to create compelling mainstream movies that can reach wide audiences and bring them closer to truth, beauty, and goodness.

 

You'll have an outstanding real-world education in the art and business of screenwriting, where you'll create a TV script and get personal mentorship in polishing, pitching, and selling it. The head of the screenwriting program, Chris Riley, managed the script department at Warner Brothers and wrote The Hollywood standard, which is used at most film schools as the authoritative source for screenplay format and style.

directing/production

As a Directing student, you’ll jump in head-first in your freshman year and take hands-on classes in every aspect of production (directing, editing, producing, and screenwriting). With the core production skills under your belt, you accelerate in your sophomore year into classes which take your filmmaking to the next level.  In Directing I, for example, you'll make a film every single week, and the intense production schedule prepares you for the demands of the larger Production Execution, where you'll use the proximity to Los Angeles to cast Screen Actors Guild talent.

As you advance into the junior year, you dive deeper into the craft of directing and visual storytelling, and exploring how to communicate with talent, elicit the right performance, and bring your vision to the screen.  It all comes together in the Senior Project, where you create a polished signature piece to take with you in the industry.

post-production

The Post-Production emphasis focuses specifically on the unique emphasis editing plays in telling a convincing story. It covers both the technical and artistic skills that are necessary to navigate the complex workflow of the post-production world. Students will have the opportunity to work within a variety of genres including short and medium form narrative, commercials, documentaries, webisodes and special effects. The curriculum includes editing, color grading, compositing, sound design and mixing, and various aspects of both visual and special effects.

 

Post-Production prepares you for film, industrial, television, and commercial production jobs. Successful graduates may find themselves communicating with the tools of storytelling as a film editor, sound effects editor, sound designer, foley artist, sound mixer, color grader or motion graphics artist.

producing

If you’re interested in the business side of the entertainment industry, you’ll love our producing concentration. The producing track covers creative producing (managing script development), line producing (executing on a complex film project), and executive producing (negotiating funding and distribution).  It focuses on the two major challenges in the entertainment industry: finance and distribution. These are the two major shortages in Hollywood, and people who can solve these problems become invaluable.

 

The curriculum is designed to train you in every aspect of producing a feature film - script development, identifying and cultivating investors, coordinating the actual production (i.e. hiring, casting, budgeting, scheduling), and then marketing and distributing the final product.

core curriculum

Grow in faith and understanding, with a rich sequence of coursework in Scripture, Theology, and Philosophy.

Prepare yourself for the industry with foundational skills in marketing, management, and entrepreneurial thinking.

Study the human condition by actively engaging in an exploration of art, literature, culture, politics, economics, and more.

SEE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

overview

At JPCatholic, you will learn the art of film production, producing, and screenwriting through action. You'll study your art under seasoned Hollywood professionals, who know what it takes to succeed artistically and commercially in the mainstream. The hands-on curriculum reaches its zenith in Senior Project and Los Angeles internship quarter capstone experiences, and you'll graduate with the skills and experience you need to make an impact in the industry.

What makes JPCatholic so different is that we combine an outstanding professional education with a liberal arts core curriculum. You'll have the opportunity dive deeply into a core curriculum that includes a study of Sacred Scripture, Catholic theology, global cultures, philosophy, literature, art, and music.

what makes us different?

senior projects

The capstone of the program is the Senior Project.  The Senior Project involves creating one film over the whole course of a year.  You have to take your production values to the next level by raising money, hiring talent, and creating a signature piece for yourself. It can be a polished short film, pilot, web series, or documentary.  Two of our classes even created feature films which were distributed commercially in Red Box, Netflix, Amazon, Walmart, and Target. No matter what kind of projects your class and the faculty decide to make, you will come out of the process with a high quality commercial level film to use as a calling card in the industry.

Red Line (Behind the Scenes)

The War Among Us

Lot 32

Chow Bella

quarter in LA

Fall of junior year, media students have the opportunity to study at a satellite campus in Burbank, located right up the street from the Warner Bros. studio lot. These 10 weeks open up a host of new opportunities for internships, networking, and experiencing life in the entertainment capital of the world.

our authentically catholic community

Our campus is a place where students can grow both professionally and spiritually. We’re a unique community of artists and innovators, centered around our faith in Jesus Christ and the beauty of the Catholic faith. Immerse yourself in an abundance of opportunities for spiritual growth, including Daily Mass, Confession, Adoration, Rosary, Retreats, and Service Projects.

our small campus environment

With a total student body under 300, JPCatholic offers a warm, tight-knit campus community. Foster lifelong friendships, form creative partnerships, and surround yourself with a supportive environment that encourages your growth in both virtue and artistic excellence

Our small classroom sizes offer the chance for one-on-one mentorship from industry professionals who have worked at Pixar, Warner Bros., Disney, and Hanna-Barbera Studio

graduate in 3 years

Our unique academic model prepares students for the real-world pace of professional life in the industry, with a focus on hands-on projects, internships, and portfolio preparation. The program is structured on a year-round quarter system, and you graduate with your Bachelors Degree in just 12 quarters. Each quarter is 10 weeks long, with about 3 weeks of break between each quarter.

located in san diego county

John Paul the Great Catholic University is centered in north county San Diego, just a 35-minute drive from downtown in America's Finest City. Southern California is famous for its fantastic weather, beautiful beaches and mountains, and bustling metropolitan areas. Our campus is just 15 miles from the beach, a short trip by car or train. And with Los Angeles and Hollywood within striking distance, students have even more opportunities for internships and networking.

Meet the Faculty

  • Screenwriter with 20 years of experience
  • Author of The Hollywood Standard, the authoritative guide on screenplay formatting.
  • Wrote After the Truth, an award winning German film.
  • A working director in Hollywood
  • He directed The Least of These, released in 2011 by Universal and the TV movie The Perfect Summer, starring Eric Roberts.
  • Won the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest in 2012 and 2013 with “Sling Baby” and “Fashionista Daddy.”
  • Written and developed projects for many companies in Hollywood.
  • Helped write, direct, and produce the western/thriller The Sorrow starring Kirk Harris, John Savage and Michael Madsen.
  • Worked as an executive producer on The Kid: Chamaco, starring Martin Sheen and Michael Madsen.
  • Currently working for the motion picture production/ distribution company Rogue Arts as a film and television producer and a distribution executive.
  • A director, creative producer and animation supervisor who has worked at Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic, Imagi Studios, Rhythm and Hues, and Pixomondo.
  • The head of story and animation for Light Chaser Studios in Beijing working remotely from his home in Los Angeles.

Chris Riley

Nathan Scoggins

Vernon Mortensen

COLIN BRADY

Professor of Film

Professor of Film

Professor of Film Producing and Distribution

Professor of Film Producing and Distribution

  • Worked at the Paramount Studios for Entertainment Tonight in the post-production department.
  • Won awards for TV Production– including 4 Telly awards and a Cable ACE Award
  • A working professional from Hollywood. His feature film debut, Snowmen, starred Bobby Coleman, Ray Liotta & Christopher Lloyd, and was produced by Steve McEveety.
  • Wrote and directed the award-winning CTRL for NBC Universal, the first stand-alone web series produced by a major network.
  • Directed The Christmas Orange, an adaptation of the award winning children’s book for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and many more films such as Boone: The Bounty Hunter, In-Lawfully Yours, Red Line, etc.
  • Served as a journalist in the White House Press Corps during the Reagan administration.
  • Worked as a CNN Studio Director and has cofounded or been general manager of many TV production stations around the country including in Las Vegas and Hawaii.
  • Two decades of experience in the motion graphics industry.
  • The founder & creative director of Drive Studio, located in Carlsbad, CA. Drive Studio is a design and production resource specializing in network branding, identity creation, show packages, promotion and new media outlets. With a unique emphasis in designing and directing brands for international audiences, Nick's work spans the globe from the US to Scandinavia to Asia.
  •  

Tom Dunn

Robert Kirbyson

Kevin Culbertson

Nick DiNapoli

Professor of Film Production

Professor of Cinematography

Professor of Business

Professor of Cinematic Visual Effects

  • CEO of Genuine Productions, LLC – a creative media production company with a focus on  film, new media and music.
  • Founder and creative director for ‘The Greenhouse’ – a non-profit organization for training, equipping, and engaging creative artists.
  • Performed in a number of productions in  film, theater, commercial, and print, and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
  • Created the award winning short film Get Clean promoting the sacrament of reconciliation.
  • Launched ‘Simon Brothers Productions’– an independent production company specializing in narrative film and live-event coverage, with his brother Joe (MBA 2010).
  • Produced content for New Evangelization Television and has worked on film sets, international documentary crews, and many commercial projects.
  • Prior to JPCatholic, taught courses in Screenwriting and Christianity & The Creative Process at Azusa Pacific University.
  • Oversees creative development for a Los Angeles-based entertainment company Fool's Errand Entertainment which specializes in film, television, and new media projects.
  • Member of the post-production team on the Emmy nominated eighth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
  • Former Executive Director of the prestigious Act One Program in Hollywood.
  • Worked with Grammnet Productions and Hero Pictures, his credits include the documentary Revolution Of Hope as well as a number of commercials and award-winning short films like Mosca Amor, Jaded, Pie ‘N’ Burger and FooL4LuV.
  • He founded Fool’s Errand Entertainment with his wife and professional partner, Lauri.

Shun Lee Fong

George Simon

Lauri Deason

Thomas Deason

Professor of Media Law

Professor of Film Production

Professor of Marketing

Professor of Business of Film

© 2017 John Paul the Great Catholic University

  • directing/production

    As a Directing student, you’ll jump in head-first in your freshman year and take hands-on classes in every aspect of production (directing, editing, producing, and screenwriting). With the core production skills under your belt, you accelerate in your sophomore year into classes which take your filmmaking to the next level.  In Directing I, for example, you'll make a film every single week, and the intense production schedule prepares you for the demands of the larger Production Execution, where you'll use the proximity to Los Angeles to cast Screen Actors Guild talent.

     

    As you advance into the junior year, you dive deeper into the craft of directing and visual storytelling, and exploring how to communicate with talent, elicit the right performance, and bring your vision to the screen.  It all comes together in the Senior Project, where you create a polished signature piece to take with you in the industry.

  • screenwriting

    Story is at the heart of our mission as a Catholic school. Stories have an incredible power in opening us to a new way of perceiving reality and in helping us understand important truths with more clarity. To fulfill our mission to Impact Culture for Christ, we teach you to create compelling mainstream movies that can reach wide audiences and bring them closer to truth, beauty, and goodness.

     

    You'll have an outstanding real-world education in the art and business of screenwriting, where you'll create a TV script and get personal mentorship in polishing, pitching, and selling it. The head of the screenwriting program, Chris Riley, managed the script department at Warner Brothers and wrote The Hollywood standard, which is used at most film schools as the authoritative source for screenplay format and style.

  • producing

    If you’re interested in the business side of the entertainment industry, you’ll love our producing concentration. The producing track covers creative producing (managing script development), line producing (executing on a complex film project), and executive producing (negotiating funding and distribution).  It focuses on the two major challenges in the entertainment industry: finance and distribution. These are the two major shortages in Hollywood, and people who can solve these problems become invaluable.

     

    The curriculum is designed to train you in every aspect of producing a feature film - script development, identifying and cultivating investors, coordinating the actual production (i.e. hiring, casting, budgeting, scheduling), and then marketing and distributing the final product.

  • post-production

    The Post-Production emphasis focuses specifically on the unique emphasis editing plays in telling a convincing story. It covers both the technical and artistic skills that are necessary to navigate the complex workflow of the post-production world. Students will have the opportunity to work within a variety of genres including short and medium form narrative, commercials, documentaries, webisodes and special effects. The curriculum includes editing, color grading, compositing, sound design and mixing, and various aspects of both visual and special effects.

     

    Post-Production prepares you for film, industrial, television, and commercial production jobs. Successful graduates may find themselves communicating with the tools of storytelling as a film editor, sound effects editor, sound designer, foley artist, sound mixer, color grader or motion graphics artist.

Chow Bella

Red Line (Behind the Scenes)

The War Among Us