Hollywood producer to give insight on film industry

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William Price

This afternoon at the Black Box Theatre students have the chance to learn first-hand what goes in to creating blockbuster movies like “Mission: Impossible III.”

The Department of Communication Arts will bring Stratton Leopold, executive vice president of production at Paramount Pictures, to campus for a presentation on the movie industry. The event begins at 4 p.m. and admission is free.

Leopold has worked as an executive producer for movies like “Mission: Impossible III” and “The Sum of All Fears.” He has also operated as the unit production manager for “Captain America: The First Avenger.”

“He has experience in acting, casting, producing and directing, essentially, everything leading up to being executive producer. His advice is invaluable to film students and anyone looking for a glimpse in to how to be successful,” Pam Bourland-Davis, main organizer of the event and department chair of the department of communication arts, said.

Leopold is primarily going to speak on the decision-making process in action scenes in the films “The Sum of All Fears” and “Mission: Impossible III,” Bourland-Davis said.

After the presentation there will be a Q&A session where audience members are able to interact with Leopold, Bourland-Davis said.

Leopold will also speak on how to break in to the movie industry and how to pitch a film to producers, Sue Bunning, director of development for CLASS and co-organizer of the event, said.

“It’s extraordinary for students to be able to visualize the whole process of what could be their future work. It’s an opportunity for students to see what hard work can aspire to,” Bourland-Davis said.

Leopold was born in Savannah and is the owner of the famous Leopold’s Ice Cream in Savannah.

A foundation member met him at his ice cream shop in Savannah and asked him if he’d like to speak at GSU about the film industry and his career, Bunning said.

“You can expect a very real, unique perspective that I doubt many people get the chance to hear,” Brian Graves, assistant professor of multimedia and communication and film in the department of communication arts, said.

Graves said, “What better way to learn about the film industry than from a seasoned Hollywood veteran?”