Posted tagged ‘web series’

Reflections of the Inaugural Class

December 10, 2009

This fall is a special quarter for JP Catholic. The first senior class will make history by graduating on December 12th from the first Catholic University built in Southern California in the last 38 years. The seniors have played a pivotal role in JP Catholic’s growth these last three years. Their example in embracing JP Catholic’s mission to Impact Culture for Christ has set the tone and culture of the school for all subsequent classes.

For many of the seniors, coming to JP Catholic in the fall of 2006 was a leap of faith. Steve Marshall, a graduating senior and class Valedictorian, was so taken by the mission of the school and its unique programs that he jumped into the inaugural class a month before the start of school. “I was one of the students who attended sight unseen,” Steve said. “It was a whirlwind! I thought it would be a miracle if I actually made it. It was one month between learning about it, leaving my native Missouri, and touching down in San Diego, a place I had never been before.” Most of Steve’s classmates had visited campus, but were undaunted by its newness. Graduating senior Chris Lane from Temecula, California reflected on his decision to come, “I always saw coming to a new school as kind of cool. What better way to get an entrepreneurial education than to be at a school that is entrepreneurial itself!”

JP Catholic’s unique mission to Impact Culture for Christ through the intersection of entrepreneurial business, media, and technology was the primary motivating factor for the seniors. “I was really interested in broadening my horizons especially regarding Entertainment Media first of all,” says student graduation speaker Matthew Salisbury, “and second of all getting an education that was really authentically Catholic.” Matt has taken the Mission seriously, becoming the show runner for a new JP Catholic web series, a scripted reality show that focuses on three women facing crisis pregnancies to be launched on January 22nd on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Matt has found the practical skills and faith formation he needed to deliver on his dream of bringing mainstream audiences closer to truth through compelling entertainment. He will graduate with several completed screenplays, extensive show running experience, and even a graphic novel under his belt. “It’s been really great,” Matt reflects, “to see us growing from an entirely new school to executing a 16 episode web series in a brand new sound stage.”

On the business side, the opportunity to Impact Culture through entrepreneurship was what drew talented students like Justin Wilga. “The business curriculum,” Justin says, “has really enabled us to build a company of our dreams and to make a positive impact in culture. It’s been awesome to be exposed to every critical aspect of launching a business, and have the confidence that we can do it.” Justin’s business, Creative Rhetoric, is a design and marketing company that focuses on helping businesses and non-profits tell their story more effectively. They have earned $3,000 this past quarter, and have $70,000 of work in the pipeline for after graduation. Justin’s confidence is not unwarranted. He has had real experience of knowing what it takes to gain and keep clients under the experienced mentorship of the faculty at JP Catholic.

One of the things that has most impressed the class of 2009 is how the school has grown over the course of 3 ½ years. “The school has grown by leaps and bounds,” says Steve Marshall. “Tim [Evans] and I made the first film ever here at JP Catholic in the first quarter of 2006, and that was before we had cameras! Now it’s nice to see fifteen sets of HD cameras, lighting and sound equipment, and a brand new sound stage downstairs. It was mind blowing how quickly we got all of that.” Mollie O’Hare, winner of the Impacting Culture Award, noticed how the school is growing not only academically, but also spiritually, “I think it’s really grown in its spirit through the last three and a half years. Our Scripture and liberal arts classes have really made a difference; we’ve really matured as people to the point which we can actually put JP Catholic’s mission into action.”

On December 12th, the new graduates will go out into the world to make an impact. When they do that, they’ll take along friendships that will last a lifetime. “Getting to know the people at the school has just been so great.” Mollie O’Hare states, “There are so many talented, creative minds. I’m just honored to be part of it all, and I’m just privileged that I was able to get to know these people for the time I’ve been here, so thank God for that.”

Filming Skin Deep: Day 1

February 12, 2009

Today was the first day of filming Skin Deep for our production class.

We definitely have an all-star team. With Steve Marshall producing, Matt Salisbury and Patrick as the writing team, Michelle Cowdrey as gaffer, Josh Maas as cinematographer, and Brian Olson as our sound and editing supervisor, I couldn’t ask for a better-qualified group of students around me.

But there was a lot of pressure going in; there are some big Hollywood names interested in helping us promote the project if they think the final version turns out well. So people are really relying on me, as the director, to make it the best it can be. The problem was that we were not ready last night. Our actors arrived from far and wide, we had a script read through, we discussed shots, schedules, and plan-B’s. But there was still so much to do. Not all the props were accounted for. Not all the extras were accounted for. We didn’t know how everyone was going to get to the location. And on top of it all, we were unable to convince our professor to let us skip the midterm because of filming. I went to bed stressed and worried. I had discussed the issue of maintaining people’s high spirits on set, and he told me that that was up to me; he would be so worried about everything else that could be going wrong.

This morning we woke up at 7AM. 5 cars of people moved to our location. Half an hour late arriving, but otherwise flawless. The only cloud in the sky was the fact that is was raining. Hard. And that put a damper on our plans for later, which involved an outdoor cafeteria scene. But first things first, we filmed our morning indoor scene. Running a half-hour late, we did not have time to film the second scheduled scene before class time.

So we had lunch, we had our excellent set dressers put together the set, and we made some adjustments to the schedule. Then we went to class.

After class, we went to film the outdoor cafeteria scenes. It had stopped raining, and we were cutting corners left and right to get rolling. But we ran out of daylight way too fast. Right before we rolled camera, the producer and A.D. stopped me and said it was too dark. We would have to go with plan B.

After that, though, the day went perfectly. We filmed 2 scenes in the school hallway, the library scene, and the scene we had missed this morning. We even had a pizza dinner to top it off.

But now I have a headache. I think we all do. And we spent so much time preparing for today’s shoot, that we don’t have nearly as much done in preparation for tomorrow’s. We were all too tired to even go over dailies. And I am worried that we may be out of camera battery power. More and more things could go wrong. More weather problems, more time taken because we didn’t finish our call sheets…

I believe I should go to bed. I have to wake up at 7AM again in the morning. And I think I might be dealing with a grumpier crew tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes.