Film school in Orange County wants to overtake USC and NYU

Last August, at a high-end hilltop Orange County restaurant, Bob Bassett told his fellow faculty members how he intends to make Chapman University's scrappy Dodge College of Film and Media Arts into what he calls "the film school of the future."

A major strategic component, said Dodge's longtime dean, would be spring's launch of Chapman Entertainment, a for-profit movie company that will make and distribute five to 10 feature films each year in commercially popular genres such as comedies and thrillers. Bassett said that the venture, which Bassett formally announced last month and over which he will preside as president and CEO, is aimed at boosting the careers of participating Dodge alums and raise the school's national profile to the level of its more glamorous rivals.

"I'm absolutely convinced this is the thing that's going to push us past NYU and USC," Bassett told the faculty that day.

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