The John Chapman papers comprises a mix of materials pertaining to independent filmmaker John Chapman (1946-1983). Materials
include film footage, photographs and slides taken on location in Central America, dating from roughly 1978 to 1983.
John Chapman was born in Santa Monica, California in 1946 to a working class family. After graduating high school, he enrolled
in Santa Barbara City College, majoring in education and becoming involved in various local non-profit organizations. He eventually
became a full time teacher at Santa Barbara Jr. High, and taught demonstration classes at University of California at Santa
Cruz. Adept at organization of anti-war movements, Chapman travelled to Central America, which informed his later independent
film career documenting social strife and civil wars. Before his focus on film as a career, Chapman worked in numerous environmental
causes and served as the Executive Director of the Energy Reform Group, which raised funds for a conference on Energy for
the City of Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara Adult Education. He also assisted in production of the film Apocalypse Now, working
as an extra, double, assistant casting director, and assistant director on second unit and post production. Chapman collaborated
with Joan Baez and PBS to produce "There But For Fortune: Joan Baez in Latin America," and became a director of photography
for Pan American Films and CBS News.
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