November 20, 2019

Media Decoder: Chapman University Creates Moviemaking Program, Aiming for Profit

Scott Glenn, left, on the set of “Trigger,” with the movie’s director Basel Owies, a 2010 graduate of Chapman University.Gregory Smith/Chapman Entertainment Scott Glenn, left, on the set of “Trigger,” with the movie’s director Basel Owies, a 2010 graduate of Chapman University.

Venture philanthropy? Social entrepreneurship? Robert L. Bassett, dean of the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange County, Calif., said he still wasn’t sure how to label it.

But Mr. Bassett is finally in the thick of his college’s experiment in moviemaking for profit, via an adjunct studio, Chapman Filmed Entertainment, of which he is chief executive. The idea is to make movies directed by Chapman alumni, with crews composed largely of alumni and students.

And the lessons are piling up.

“We’re shooting in Montrose today for $10,000 a day,” he said recently of a first feature that is already a little more expensive than he intended.

It is a thriller called “Trigger,” directed by Basel Owies, a 2010 Chapman graduate, with Scott Glenn in a leading role. The budget, Mr. Bassett said, is about $1.25 million — somewhat outside the $250,000 to $1 million target that was set after Chapman announced its new studio in 2011.

“When students are working for nothing, you can’t trim the budget by cutting days,” said Mr. Bassett, describing the special challenges of containing the cost of a film on which many students are already working for about $8 an hour.

He noted that a similar filmmaking venture at the University of Texas, called Burnt Orange Productions, faltered in a weak market after making four movies in the middle of the last decade.

But the Chapman investors are all stakeholders in the university, he said, and they have been schooled to regard their support, in part, as a lift for the film program and its graduates.

Still, the goal is to make some money by producing a full slate of five or six films — provided Mr. Bassett can manage what he acknowledges is the “hard part,” finding a distributor.

He has already called at Lionsgate and Screen Gems, where executives told him to come back when he had a finished movie to show. Failing that, he said, there’s always video on demand.

That, he has already learned, is “where you get no money upfront.”

Article source: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/24/chapman-university-creates-moviemaking-program-aiming-for-profit/?partner=rss&emc=rss

DealBook: Bank of America Sells Stake in China Construction Bank

Bank of America's Hong Kong headquarters looms over a real estate project operated by China Construction Bank.Bobby Yip/ReutersBank of America’s Hong Kong headquarters looms over a real estate project operated by China Construction Bank.

Bank of America announced on Monday that it would offload about half of its China Construction Bank holdings to a group of unidentified investors, in a deal expected to raise $8.3 billion.

The deal, which came just days after Warren E. Buffett agreed to invest $5 billion into the bank, is the latest asset sale for the beleaguered financial firm. Over the last month, Bank of America has sold its Canadian credit card division and has put its European card operation on the block, as it continues to clear noncore assets from its books.

The moves come amid recent fears that Bank of America lacks sufficient capital, concerns that its chief executive, Brian T. Moynihan, has tried to allay.

On Monday, Bank of America highlighted the deal’s effect on capital levels.

“This sale of approximately half of our shares of C.C.B. stock is expected to generate about $3.5 billion in additional Tier 1 common capital and reduce our risk-weighted assets by $7.3 billion under Basel I,” Bruce R. Thompson, the bank’s chief financial officer, said in the statement.

Under the terms of the deal, Bank of America will sell 13.1 billion common shares of the China Construction Bank Corporation to a group of unidentified investors. The bank on Friday was in negotiations with a collection of sovereign wealth funds in Asia and the Middle East, The New York Times reported. The deal is expected to close later in the quarter.

Even after the sale, Bank of America will still hold about 5 percent of China Construction Bank. According to its statement, Bank of America is in talks to expand a separate existing “strategic assistance agreement” between the two banks.

“Our partnership with China Construction Bank has been mutually beneficial,” Mr. Moynihan said in the statement.

Shares of Bank of America were up more than 5 percent in late morning trading on Monday.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/08/29/bank-of-america-sells-stake-in-china-construction-bank/?partner=rss&emc=rss