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Filmmaker Chris Hartwell Joins HBU Faculty

Filmmaker Chris Hartwell Joins HBU Faculty

| On Aug 02, 2017

The Cinema & New Media Arts program at Houston Baptist University is pleased to announce that filmmaker and critic Chris Hartwell will be joining our faculty this fall. Mr. Hartwell is most widely known for his video essays and film/TV reviews on the popular YouTube series, The Hart Beat, which he writes, produces, and hosts. He is also a frequent contributor to The Hollywood Reporter and other film-related websites and podcasts.

As an independent filmmaker, Mr. Hartwell has a broad range of experience in directing, editing, and cinematography. His freelance work has taken him across the country to cover events, such as major entertainment conventions like Comic-Con and Star Wars Celebration. In addition to The Hart Beat, Mr. Hartwell has produced multiple shows distributed by Hulu and award-winning short films.

Mr. Hartwell has also spent the last eight years as an instructor and performer with Disney. Since 2012, he has been responsible for training new character actors in Disney’s theme parks, ensuring that the company’s high expectations for quality and consistency are met. His heart for teaching and the enthusiasm he brings to each of his classes was quickly recognized and this work paved the way for his eventual move into academia.

Equally important has been his work as a film critic and video essayist. With more than 200 episodes of The Hart Beat, his reviews and analyses of major films and TV shows have drawn hundreds of thousands of viewers. His video essays explaining key filmmaking techniques that led to the success of films like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and X-Men translate classic cinematic theories into easily understood concepts for casual viewers, while his Film Negative series for SK Video explores underrated or forgotten classics. As a guest columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, Hartwell also covers new releases, major film events, and provides retrospective reviews of popular franchises.

According to HBU President, Dr. Robert B. Sloan, “Chris Hartwell is a great addition to an already outstanding faculty at HBU in Cinema, Media Arts, and Writing. Students all across the University will benefit from his experience.” Dr. Cynthia Simpson, provost and vice president for academic affairs, says, “I am confident that Mr. Hartwell’s expertise in multimedia production and his experience with the latest technology will bring an increased energy to the HBU’s quickly expanding Department of Cinema, Media Arts, and Writing.”

“Chris has an unending passion for film and storytelling,” explains Joshua Sikora, chair of the Department of Cinema, Media Arts, and Writing. “He’s the rare artist who can not only craft incredible work, but also knows how to breakdown and explain exactly why an artistic choice is working or not working. I am so excited to have him not only challenge our students, but also to walk alongside them, helping guide them towards more compelling and more successful cinematic work.”

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