Change is in the air. With Spring fast approaching, Act One, Inc. is ushering in a new season as well. Justin Bell, the long time leader of Act One's Producing & Entertainment Executive Program, is moving on to work with Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. Justin will help oversee distribution of the upcoming feature film, Son of God, which is set to be released by 20th Century Fox later this month. While sad to see Justin leave, Act One Inc. is excited to announce that Christian McGuigan will step in to oversee the prestigious training program.
Christian is Director of Social Action Film Campaigns at Participant Media, a Los Angeles-based global entertainment company specializing in socially-relevant documentary and narrative feature films, television, publishing and digital media. At Participant, Christian is responsible for developing and executing social action campaigns associated with each film with the express goal of driving impact through meaningful social change. Recent campaigns have addressed issues including mandatory minimum drug laws, freedom of political expression, civic action in the digital age, fair sentencing of youth and hunger in America. As part of his duties in Social Action, Christian writes and produces original video content for each campaign.
Prior to joining Participant, Christian worked as an independent producer for film, television and commercial projects in New York and Los Angeles and has handled business and legal affairs on numerous feature films. Most recently, Christian produced the short film, Rez, winner of the NYU Spike Lee Production Fund Award. Christian earned a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Dallas and a JD from Chapman University School of Law.
"I became aware and interested in Act One after hearing Barbara Nicolosi (Act One Founder) speak at a gathering in Orange County, but I didn't truly understand the value of the organization until I was introduced to producer Justin Bell," Christian says of how he was first introduced to Act One. "[Justin] not only told me of the great work that Act One students and Alumni were doing in the business, but also showed me firsthand the professionalism and expertise that Act One values."
As he takes the reigns of the Producing Program, Christian inherits a robust group of current students and alumni who work in all aspects of the entertainment industry, including several Development Executives, Agents, Managers and Independent Producers. Many who credit the program's intensive lecture series and industry internships as key factors in helping them launch their careers.
"My ultimate goal is to uphold the rich tradition that Act One has set forth and continue to help supply Act One students with the tools necessary to succeed in the entertainment business, while maintaining the kind of integrity and dedication that will set them apart in the industry that is as competitive as ever," says Christian
Justin Bell is a creative feature film and television producer based in Los Angeles. Currently he's helping Roma Downey and Mark Burnett's Lightworkers Media oversee the distribution of Son of God, an epic Christ film which 20th Century Fox will release nationwide on February 28, 2014. Bell is also in post-production on BAFTA-winner Michael Radford's Elsa & Fred, as Co-Producer, starring Academy Award-winners Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer. Justin is the Producer of Steven Kung's A Leading Man, a feature film currently on the festival circuit, which World Premiered at Hawaii International Film Festival, and had its North American Premiere at Austin Film Festival. In 2011, Bell completed two NBC movies as an Associate Producer, "Field of Vision" and "Game Time." Justin has several projects in active development and is a member of the Producers Guild of America.
About Act One:
Founded in 2005, the Act One Producing and Entertainment Executive Program has experienced great success, helping place graduates of the program find work in the competitive entertainment industry. And Christian aims to continue that trend: "I believe that Act One's students and extended community's influence will continue to grow with the industry. As Hollywood expands its global reach and the digital marketplace continues to dominate, the need for the kind of professionally trained, highly skilled writers, producers and executives that Act One is know for producing, will ensure continued positive impact in the future."
As Act One's training program takes place on nights and weekends, Christian McGuigan will remain full-time at Participant, where he is currently producing a transmedia social action campaign for the 2014 release of Participant Media and Pantelion Films' Cesar Chavez.
Act One is a premiere training organization for writers and producers looking to work in Hollywood. They offer two acclaimed programs, running during the summer: Writing for Film & TV Program and Producing and Entertainment Executive Program. They are now accepting applications for the Summer 2014 sessions.