George Larkin Named Chair of Filmmaking Program

Award-Winning Film and TV Veteran Dr. George Larkin  Named Chair of Woodbury University Filmmaking Program

An Indie Film and Studio Veteran, Larkin Brings Industry Expertise and Access to Hollywood’s Creative Community

George Larkin, Ph.D., an award-winning veteran of film, television and theater, has been named chair of Woodbury University’s highly regarded filmmaking program, the university announced today. Larkin has been a faculty member at Woodbury since 2014.

A veteran of film, television and theater, Larkin previously was VP of development and supervised post-production for David O. Russell’s Spanking the Monkey and Flirting With Disaster, as well as for Manny & Lo, The Last Good Time and Wigstock: the Movie. He helped develop Russian Roulette, a Sony reality show that aired in more than 20 countries, and sold another reality show to Endemol, makers of Deal or No Deal and Big Brother.

Larkin’s most recent play, The Bastard Son of William Shakespeare, placed second in the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards, and previous plays have won or been nominated for numerous awards. His most recent short, Speaking of Baghdad, mixed at Skywalker Sound, aired on television, won best drama at the Independent Film Quarterly Film & New Media Festival, and screened at ten other festivals. He is a graduate of Yale University, earned a master’s degree in Shakespearian Studies from the University of Birmingham in England and a doctorate in Film & Media Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

“George is an outstanding teacher with a real depth of experience across the filmmaking spectrum,” said Sue Vessella, Dean of Woodbury’s School of Media, Culture & Design, under which the filmmaking program resides. “Having worked alongside some of Hollywood’s foremost professionals, George offers students both training in the skillsets they’ll need as filmmakers and invaluable access to those within the industry who can help open doors for students once they have received their degree.”

“These are interesting times for filmmakers,” Larkin said. “More than ever before, students are using their documentary work to break into the industry, and many go back and forth between narrative work and documentary work. With media content generators like Vice and BuzzFeed, using doc-form conventions in their work, students are finding new outlets for the careers, particularly with the guidance of programs like the one we’ve developed at Woodbury.”

Woodbury University’s filmmaking program offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree that prepares graduates for careers in film and television. Students learn narrative filmmaking through a comprehensive curriculum that includes film production, screenwriting, cinematography, directing, producing, and film marketing and distribution. They also explore documentary techniques which bring to light myriad social, political and cultural issues through stories that touch the viewer. The program culminates with students creating a senior thesis film project involving all aspects of filmmaking from pre-production through post-production.

Master’s Classes from industry notables provide insight into what it takes to succeed in the profession. Field trips exploring local production houses and studios expose students to the inner-workings of the industry and connect them with a network of filmmaking professionals. Required internships provide an opportunity for students to find a sense of belonging and purpose working for leading studios such as Sony, Paramount, CBS, Warner Brothers, Disney, Good Universe and RatPac, as well as broadcast and cable networks, and production and post production companies.