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Experienced filmmakers launch Pennsylvania Film School in Scranton

Posted by on May 10, 2013 in News | Comments Off on Experienced filmmakers launch Pennsylvania Film School in Scranton

Experienced filmmakers launch Pennsylvania Film School in Scranton

DAVE GARDNER
Published: May 9, 2013

Creative souls in northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) who wish to pursue the art of filmmaking can now serve their passion without traveling to urban centers, courtesy of the new Pennsylvania Film School.

The enterprise, which launched in April, is the co-vision of filmmakers and entrepreneurs Joe Van Wie and Tim Calpin. Vital to the school’s founding are additional relationships the men have forged with the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple, and Van Wie’s media, news and publishing firm known as JVW Inc.

Inaugural two-week instructional sessions began at the school on April 23, and all school-related activity is occurring at the Scranton Cultural Center. The principals are hoping that the school’s classes eventually will be picked up as a for-credit venture by one of the area colleges.

The school’s mission is to ensure that students and prospective filmmakers learn the guidelines needed to build a movie, from the script up. Instructors offer personal experience about working on projects that include independent forum, studio and virtually all film genres across a wide spectrum of budgets.

Van Wie boasts nearly a decade of experience that includes a stint in New York City’s vibrant film and TV industry. He calls the new educational entity “a trade school for filmmaking” that has no real competition within 100 miles.

“We are very pleased to be collaborating with the area’s first film school,” says Joe Peters, executive director of the Scranton Cultural Center. “We also are proud to take this major step in bringing the genre of film to our facility and becoming the hub of filmmaking in NEPA.”

Experienced co-creators

Successful filmmakers, according to Van Wie, do not exhibit any one dominant personality type. However, they do possess curiosity, drive, a thoughtful nature, the ability to finish a project and to consistently focus on budgetary constraints. “This course will show our students the rules, so you’ll know when to break them,” explains Van Wie. “We will teach theory so the students will know when to abandon it, along with the pitfalls and mistakes so they’re free to make their own. In addition, we will provide key tech lessons on filmmaking aspects, such as camera work, lighting and design, as well as the business knowledge one needs to capture a vision and then set it free in the movie world.”

Specific topics to be presented at the film school include how tax breaks can be used for film creation and how to use the digital technology now so vital for the budget-conscious. Van Wie reiterates his hope that the school’s classes will eventually be accredited.

“I had no business skills when I started and I learned the hard way with a lot of hands-on experience,” says Van Wie. “The new school will make it much easier way to learn the business than to tough it out in New York City.”

Creativity versus commerce

Van Wie’s business partner, Tim Calpin has a resume that boasts experience as a screenwriter and producer with credits that include Comedy Central’s “South Park” and the indie feature “Assassination of a High School President.”

He emphasizes that filmmaking is, above all, a business.

“Success comes to the guy or gal who works the hardest and is both practical and pragmatic, and understands the struggle between creativity and commerce,” says Calpin. “Joe and I each bring more than 10 years of experience to the school, although from different approaches.”

Calpin explains that new models are being established for film budgeting, and that the digital revolution continues to change the industry. A would-be filmmaker must first solve the problem of where to obtain film financing before any cameras roll. Then, should the filmmaker be lucky enough to secure the financing, careful planning on how to spend it also precedes actual filming.

Calpin says many people are drawn to filmmaking because they perceive it to be a “sexy and alluring” job. However, they soon learn the truth that the vast majority of films made in the United States come from unglamorous hard work, without red carpets or movie star treatment.

Calpin thinks of filmmaking as a trade, and that the process of learning that trade weeds out many candidates unprepared for the “soul-crushing and back-breaking” work. With these realities in mind, the new school hones the “trade” skills necessary to get a film done, such as defining a project’s mission while providing a solid return on investment.

“Filmmaking provides one of those rare instances where both the creative and commercial aspects of it are expressions of a personal voice,” adds Calpin. “Writers, directors, producers and actors all have to follow intuition, use their specific skills and talents, and have the utmost faith in themselves to realize their goal. The Pennsylvania Film School will teach its students how to find and use their own distinct voice.”

The film school’s announcement came in the same week the U.S. District Court for the Middle District awarded Mr. Van Wie’s company, Revere Pictures LLC, a $4.14 million judgment in a breach-of-contract case against Maya Corporation Entertainment Group Inc. and Maya Corp. involving “Forged,” a film Mr. Van Wie executive produced. Mr. Van Wie had said at the time of the settlement that he wanted to use the judgment sum to launch the film school.

http://biz570.com/people/experienced-filmmakers-launch-pennsylvania-film-school-in-scranton-1.1486564

PA Film School generates massive interest

Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 in News | Comments Off on PA Film School generates massive interest

PA Film School generates massive interest

Published: April 24. 2013 12:01AM
Last Modified: April 24. 2013 12:09AM
By Kristie Grier-Ceruti, Special to the Weekender

There was standing room only at an informational seminar, “How to Produce an Independent Film,” by the co-creators of The Pennsylvania Film School April 8 at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple.The Pennsylvania Film School is the vision of Scranton natives, filmmakers, and entrepreneurs Joe Van Wie and Tim Calpin, who have partnered with the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple and JVW, Inc.

Van Wie and Calpin are offering students hands-on instruction through courses held over a two-week period. The inaugural classes are part of a “broad five-year plan,” according to Van Wie.

“We’d love to see a school here permanently that teaches the trade of filmmaking as a business,” he said.

In the meantime, topics to be covered include April 25, Below the Line: Camera, Lighting and Sound; April 30, The Look and Aftermath: Design and Post-Production; and May 2, Show Business: Financing, Legal, Sales and Distribution. Classes will run from 6 to 9 p.m. in Shopland Hall at the Scranton Cultural Center.

“The nuts and bolts can be taught, and there are some things creatively that we can touch upon,” added Calpin.

Their mission, according to Van Wie, is “to bring students behind the scenes and teach them how to get your film produced and then, from that point, the school will be a mecca and a home to capitalize on and grow the existing talents here… You can have a $20 million script, but you’ve only raised $150,000. How do you shoot that film? This is what this school will teach you.”

Van Wie is CEO of JVW, Inc., a Scranton firm specializing in corporate marketing, web design, quantitative research, and political advertising, and it is also well known for his role as filmmaker and producer. His credits include “The Paragon Cortex,” executive producer on the movie “Forged,” and associate producer of “La Soga.” His awards include the HBO International Film Festival “Best Picture” 2010; LA Latino Film Festival “Official Selection” 2010; Toronto International Film Festival “Official Selection” 2009; Santo Domingo International Film Festival “Best Picture” 2009; Providence International Film Festival “Best Picture” 2011; and the American Association of Political Consultants “Pollie Award” Best Ad 2011.

Calpin is a screenwriter and producer whose credits include Comedy Central’s “South Park” and the indie feature “Assassination of a High School President.” He studied film and TV production at Syracuse University, pursued a career in entertainment in Los Angeles, and has spent a decade writing, producing, and directing scripts, shorts, and TV pilots for studios, including Warner Bros., Fox, Paramount, and Lionsgate.

Regarding the turnout at the informational seminar, Joe Peters, executive director for the the Scranton Cultural Center, said, “The size of the turnout was a pleasant surprise, and just the mixture we were looking to attract…young and old, students, and the more experienced. People who love film, those who aspire to the art form, as well as those whom have worked in filmmaking, made for a great discussion during the presentation. It was especially heartening to see the varied experience and interests in the audience, from camera work to sound and, importantly, writing.”

Van Wie and Calpin are also actively pursuing a permanent site for the school , with a stage, theater, possible equipment, rental house, and more.

“We’re really excited that a number of local colleges and universities have already looked at the film school to try to get it into their communications’ programs. This will give the students of the trade school the ability to learn hands-on. It’s not every day this area has an opportunity to start a new school, and we believe we will be filling a need for people along the East Coast,” Van Wie said.

For more information, including course dates, outlines, descriptions and costs, visit thepennsylvaniafilmschool.com or facebook.com/thepennsylvaniafilmschool.

Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com, the Scranton Cultural Center Box office, scrantonculturalcenter.org, or in person from Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Telephone reservations can be made by calling 570.344.1111 during business hours or 1.800.745.3000 every day, 24 hours a day.

Film school partners with Scranton company, plans to launch course at cultural center

Posted by on Mar 28, 2013 in News | 0 comments

Film school partners with Scranton company, plans to launch course at cultural center

A Scranton company is partnering with the Pennsylvania Film School and will offer its first course next month.

JVW Inc. chief executive officer Joe Van Wie announced its latest client and plans for the course today. The company will handle all marketing, advertising, web design, public and media relations, and social-media outreach for the film school, which Mr. Van Wie and Tim Calpin co-created and which involves a partnership between Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple and JVW Inc.

“Our vision for the Pennsylvania Film School is to make it a successful, independent entity that can grow and be known for giving real-world advice, backed by a solid educational experience,” Mr. Van Wie said in a statement.

The first course will take place in Shopland Hall at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., on April 23, 25 and 30 and May 2. An informational seminar also to be held in Shopland Hall will precede the course on Monday, April 8.

The announcement explained that the school will provide students with technical knowledge as well as a breakdown that will give them a chance to develop a film in stages. The school “will teach its students how to find and use their distinct voice,” Mr. Calpin, a screenwriter and producer, said in a statement.

“This course will show students the rules so you’ll know when to break them,” Mr. Van Wie explained in the announcement. “It will teach you theory so you’ll know when to abandon it. It will tell you about pitfalls and mistakes so you’re free to make your own. In addition to that, it contains key tech lessons on filmmaking aspects like camerawork, lighting and design as well as the business knowledge one needs to capture their vision and then set it free in the movie world.”

The announcement came in the same week the U.S. District Court for the Middle District awarded Mr. Van Wie’s company, Revere Pictures LLC, a $4.14 million judgment in a breach-of-contract case against Maya Corporation Entertainment Group Inc. and Maya Corp. involving “Forged,” a film Mr. Van Wie executive produced. Mr. Van Wie, a film- and television-industry veteran, had said at the time of the settlement that he wanted to use the judgment sum to launch the film school.

More information about the film school and upcoming course is available online at www.ThePennsylvaniaFilmschool.com and www.facebook.com/ThePennsylvaniaFilmSchool. Tickets are available at the cultural center box office, over the phone at 344-1111 and 800-745-3000, or online at ticketmaster.com.

Contact the writer: cheaney@timesshamrock.com