Why Feature Films?

IMDB Credits

The Feature Film Program gives students the opportunity to participate in multiple feature films throughout their education, beginning as production assistants and working their way up to key leadership roles senior year.

Hands-on, Real World Experience

What better way to learn filmmaking than by working on movie sets? The Feature Film Program takes JPCatholic’s project-based film program to an entirely new level.

Alumni Networking

Making a feature film is a bonding experience. By collaborating with alumni and faculty, students will forge a network with one another and with professionals working in the entertainment industry.

Increased Impact

By producing and distributing a feature film every year, JPCatholic students and alumni will have the opportunity to reach a wider audience with masterfully produced stories that inspire audiences to truth, beauty, and goodness.


How Does it Work?

Students could have the opportunity to get involved in the Feature Film Program as early as Freshman Year. Each year students will have the potential to be involved at a higher level, leading up to their own cohort’s feature film during Junior-Senior year.

The Feature Film Program is launching immediately. The first project will be entering development in Spring 2021 and entering production in June 2022.

FEATURE FILM TIMELINE
(6 Quarters)

Feature Film Timeline

Junior - Spring Quarter

Story Development and Pitching

Students and alumni are invited to develop their story ideas for a pitching event on campus in May. A panel of JPCatholic faculty will review loglines and treatments to identify the most viable and promising submissions. Story concepts should be:

  • Producible on an indie budget
  • Reflective of JPCatholic's values
  • Incredibly entertaining

Classes integrated this quarter: Advanced Writing Seminar II

Junior - Summer Quarter

Beat Sheets & Commissioning Screenplays

Students whose pitches have been selected as candidates will submit beat sheets (a plot outline comprised of one sentence for every scene of the film). By the end of the quarter, the field of candidates will be narrowed and screenplays will be commissioned from those selected.

Classes integrated this quarter: Advanced Writing Seminar III, Feature Film Development (new class)

Junior - Fall Quarter

Writing and Rewriting Scripts

Students will complete the first drafts of their scripts, and receive feedback from professors and peers as part of a new Script Coverage class.

Students and faculty will craft a distribution strategy for the top scripts to determine which project has the greatest chance of succeeding in the marketplace.

Classes integrated this quarter: Script Coverage (new class), Advanced Marketing & Distribution Strategies

Senior - Winter Quarter

The Feature Film is Greenlit

At the beginning of the Winter Quarter, the Feature Film will be greenlit from among the pool of scripts by a panel of faculty. The selected script will continue to undergo rewrites. In the meantime, a team of students will begin work on production design and the first stages of pre-production.

Classes integrated this quarter: Re-writing (new class), Production Design (new class), Advanced Producing I

Senior - Spring Quarter

Pre-Production

With the final script locked, students will be able to move forward with planning out the finer details of production, including scheduling and budgeting, casting, locations, set building, storyboarding, costumes and props.

Classes integrated this quarter: Advanced Producing II, Set Building (new class), Storyboarding (independent study opportunity)

Senior - Summer Break (June)

Production

It’s time to make a movie! The Feature Film production is a 9 unit experience, taking place over the 3 week break in June in San Diego County and the surrounding area.

Seniors will have the opportunity to apply for high level positions on set, gaining professional experience on a feature film and preparing them to launch into their chosen career. Select alumni will be invited to participate in key mentorship roles, contributing valuable insights and expertise.

Underclassmen will have the opportunity to participate in smaller roles on set, getting exposed early on to a professional film environment.

Senior - Summer Quarter

Post-Production

Because the Feature Film production over the June break counts as 9 credits, your final quarter at JPCatholic will contain a lighter course load of 2 courses, one of which can be an internship as part of the L.A. Quarter.

Students assigned to post-production for the Feature Film will work throughout the Summer Quarter bringing the film to a first cut before Graduation in August. If the film needs additional editing, select students may be hired to continue working on the project into the Fall Quarter.

And Beyond

Distribution

The completed film will be distributed based on the strategy that was crafted in the development process. Faculty will utilize their connections with reputable distributors to bring the film to market.

Junior - Spring Quarter

Story Development and Pitching

Students and alumni are invited to develop their story ideas for a pitching event on campus in May. A panel of JPCatholic faculty will review loglines and treatments to identify the most viable and promising submissions. Story concepts should be:

  • Producible on an indie budget
  • Reflective of JPCatholic's values
  • Incredibly entertaining

Classes integrated this quarter: Advanced Writing Seminar II

Junior - Summer Quarter

Beat Sheets & Commissioning Screenplays

Students whose pitches have been selected as candidates will submit beat sheets (a plot outline comprised of one sentence for every scene of the film). By the end of the quarter, the field of candidates will be narrowed and screenplays will be commissioned from those selected.

Classes integrated this quarter: Advanced Writing Seminar III, Feature Film Development (new class)

Junior - Fall Quarter

Writing and Rewriting Scripts

Students will complete the first drafts of their scripts, and receive feedback from professors and peers as part of a new Script Coverage class.

Students and faculty will craft a distribution strategy for the top scripts to determine which project has the greatest chance of succeeding in the marketplace.

Classes integrated this quarter: Script Coverage (new class), Advanced Marketing & Distribution Strategies

Senior - Winter Quarter

The Feature Film is Greenlit

At the beginning of the Winter Quarter, the Feature Film will be greenlit from among the pool of scripts by a panel of faculty. The selected script will continue to undergo rewrites. In the meantime, a team of students will begin work on production design and the first stages of pre-production.

Classes integrated this quarter: Re-writing (new class), Production Design (new class), Advanced Producing I

Senior - Spring Quarter

Pre-Production

With the final script locked, students will be able to move forward with planning out the finer details of production, including scheduling and budgeting, casting, locations, set building, storyboarding, costumes and props.

Classes integrated this quarter: Advanced Producing II, Set Building (new class), Storyboarding (independent study opportunity)

Senior - Summer Break (June)

Production

It’s time to make a movie! The Feature Film production is a 9 unit experience, taking place over the 3 week break in June in San Diego County and the surrounding area.

Seniors will have the opportunity to apply for high level positions on set, gaining professional experience on a feature film and preparing them to launch into their chosen career. Select alumni will be invited to participate in key mentorship roles, contributing valuable insights and expertise.

Underclassmen will have the opportunity to participate in smaller roles on set, getting exposed early on to a professional film environment.

Senior - Summer Quarter

Post-Production

Because the Feature Film production over the June break counts as 9 credits, your final quarter at JPCatholic will contain a lighter course load of 2 courses, one of which can be an internship as part of the L.A. Quarter.

Students assigned to post-production for the Feature Film will work throughout the Summer Quarter bringing the film to a first cut before Graduation in August. If the film needs additional editing, select students may be hired to continue working on the project into the Fall Quarter.

And Beyond

Distribution

The completed film will be distributed based on the strategy that was crafted in the development process. Faculty will utilize their connections with reputable distributors to bring the film to market.


CASE STUDY

RED LINE

Feature films are actually not new to JPCatholic. In 2011, JPCatholic students and faculty wrote and produced a feature length film called Red Line, a thriller about ten passengers trapped in a subway car after a bomb explodes. The project was filmed almost entirely in the University’s soundstage. Industry professionals were hired to lead various departments, and students were mentored by them throughout the production process.

Red Line premiered at the San Diego Film Festival in September 2012, where it won the U-T San Diego Award. It later received domestic and international distribution in Redbox, Target, Netflix, and various other streaming services.

With the new Feature Film Program, JPCatholic is implementing the lessons learned from Red Line to craft a sustainable, repeatable experience, so that every cohort can have this incredible opportunity.

WATCH BTS VIDEO

Frequently Asked Questions

No, students may participate in both a Senior Film Project and the Feature Film Program. The Senior Project will still be a three quarter sequence, but will be shifted a quarter earlier. Senior Projects will now occur during:

  • Junior Year: Fall
  • Senior Year: Winter
  • Senior Year: Spring

This builds in an extra buffer of one quarter to polish the projects before they are premiered during Graduation week at the end of Summer Quarter.

In general, key roles will be reserved for seniors and alumni, with assistant level and lower positions able to be filled by younger students. There will be a certain level of healthy competition since roles will be assigned by Film faculty based on merit and skill level. Students are encouraged from the moment they set foot on campus to exhibit a strong work ethic, passion for filmmaking, and a drive to improve their craft. Show the faculty that you are responsible and professional in your work. They are paying attention to these things throughout your entire time at JPCatholic, starting in your earliest classes.

More details on how students or alumni can apply for specific positions will be announced later.

The University is committing a consistent budget to each feature film. Students may work to seek out additional funding to increase the budget of the film. In future years, revenue from past films could also be rolled into the budget for subsequent films.

The vision is to involve alumni in a variety of ways. This might include submitting scripts, holding certain roles in producing or production, or serving in a mentorship capacity for the seniors who are in key roles. We want this to be a collaborative effort that gives opportunities to both current students and our alumni community, forging stronger connections between current and past students.

On how specifically to get involved as an alumni, more details will be announced soon.

No, it is an opt-in program.

There is certainly the potential for students from other programs to work on the feature films! We want to do everything possible to enable interested students of any major to get involved.

As a few examples, acting students might audition to be in the cast if they fit the role, graphic design students might assist with posters and promotions, business students with social media marketing, animation students with VFX or end credits, and illustration students with storyboarding or concept art.

If you are a student or alumni who has already written a script you think should be considered, more information will be provided soon on how you can submit it.

As a reminder, the script should be:

  • Producible on an indie budget
  • Reflective of JPCatholic’s values
  • Incredibly entertaining

Definitely start developing ideas! Writing out the entire script might be premature, since the next several quarters have a process built in to pitch story ideas, beat sheets, and receive faculty guidance on writing the project.

You must be a JPCatholic student or alumni in order to pitch a script. If you are interested in attending JPCatholic, please apply here!

*Please note that details of the Feature Film Program are subject to change.