The Barber, which is the first movie made by Chapman Filmed Entertainment, the university film school's independent production company, is well on its way to appearing on a screen near you. (I almost wrote big screen near you, but with so many platforms for premieres these days who knows which screen size anymore?)
But it can be reported with confidence that The Barber is rolling on some big screens. The Little Film Co., which has offices in London and Los Angeles, obtained worldwide rights to the picture from Chapman Filmed Entertainment and then introduced the movie to potential buyers at the recently concluded Toronto International Film Festival.
The Little Film Co.–named after owners Robbie and Ellen Little–previously executive produced and sold Gavin Hood's South Afrrican drama Tsotsi, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The motion picture sales and marketing firm's current projects include: The Last Station, which was directed by Michael Hoffman and stars Helen Mirren, James McAvoy and Christopher Plummer; Davis Guggenheim's documentary It Might Get Loud with The Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White; and The Eye of the Storm, which was directed by Fred Schepisi and stars Geoffrey Rush, Charlotte Rampling and Judy Davis.
The Barber is scheduled to next be shown at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival in South Korea on Oct. 3. Some of that festival's best films are shown again at Busan West, which is hosted by and rolls inside Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts in Orange.
Formerly known as Trigger, the character-driven thriller The Barber examines a father (played by veteran actor Scott Glenn) whose life is destroyed in pursuit of a monster, and a son (Chris Coy) caught in a deadly charade as he tries to unravel his father's obsession. Stephen Tobolowsky, Olivia Taylor Dudley and Kristen Hager co-star.
Shooting in Orange and Los Angeles wrapped last summer on the $1.2 million indie. Director Basel Owies of the Chapman class of 2010 makes his feature-length directorial debut with The Barber. The script is credited to longtime television writer Max Enscoe, but co-writers were Chris Frazier (Chapman class of 2008) and Charlie Frazier.
Indeed, the entire production kept with Chapman Filmed Entertainment's mission of developing indie projects that employ current film school students and alumni. These included: director of photography Allen Liu ('10); production designer Brendan O'Connor ('12); editor Nader Owies ('12); production office coordinator Kiri Kraatz ('12); location manager Samer Imam ('12); location scout Lauren Peirce ('12); office intern Taj Walia (a current Chapman student); production accountant Elizabeth Hartnett ('12); first assistant camera Jason Wittenberg ('10); second assistant camera Paulina Bryant ('11); set decorator Maya Levy ('12); lead man Evan Seccombe ('11); construction coordinator Ntsikelelo McCall ('12); lead scenic Micah Embry ('11); art department assistant Kellen Moore ('12); and graphic designer Nick Snyder ('12).
The producer is Travis Knox, a 1993 Chapman alum who was formerly senior vice president at Storyline and the executive producer of The Bucket List. He's now head of development and production at Dodge College, where he serves on the faculty and as an executive with Chapman Filmed Entertainment, a sustainable, fully-functioning independent film production company designed to produce three to four micro-budget pictures per year. Knox told the Chapman student newspaper The Panther in August that of all the scripts he reviewed, The Barber's "was the one that fit every bullet point we wanted, as far as price, marketability and commercial value."
"It is evident that movies in the horror/thriller genre continue to elicit the most demand among movie-going audiences worldwide so we're happy to partner with The Little Film Company to help meet the needs of distributors looking to build a pipeline of strong commercial offerings like The Barber," explains Bob Bassett, the dean of Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and CEO of Chapman Filmed Entertainment.
The company is currently looking at scripts for its next project, according to Knox.