Guide to the John Chapman papers Mss 322

Finding aid prepared by Wyatt Young and Zachary Liebhaber, 2016.
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara 93106-9010
2016 June 2

Title: John Chapman papers
Identifier/Call Number: Mss 322
Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 17.83 linear feet (3 half-size document boxes, plus 62 films and 17 videocassettes)
Creator: Chapman, John, 1946-1983
Date (inclusive): 1970-1989
Abstract: 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.
Physical Location: Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Research Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Research Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Research Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Chapman papers, Mss 322. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Betty Bottoms, April 2016.

Biographical Note

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.

Scope and Content

The John Chapman collection is comprised of a mix of materials pertaining to the life, career, and travels of independent filmmaker John Chapman. These materials include film footage, press releases, articles, photographs and slides taken on location in Central America. These materials date from roughly 1978 until 1983 after Chapman's death, and offer insight into the process and inspiration of an independent filmmaker.
Slides and moving pictures include scenes from a revolutionary period of Nicaragua in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The subjects of the slides are of military conflict, outreach to local children, and everyday life. Files include magazine articles, interviews, memorial tributes, passport, promotional flyers, requiems, resume, film proposals, and correspondence with film studios. The films in the collection was mostly shot on 16mm, and includes footage used for Chapman's work documenting political unrest in Central America.


The collection has been divided into two series: Series 1. Work/Biographical Files, and Series 2. Audiovisual. Work/Biographical Files contain graphic as well as textual material. Audiovisual consists primarily of 16mm film, as well as a smaller number of videocassettes.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Independent filmmakers
Independent film -- Production and direction
Color photographs
Color slides
Film reels
Printed ephemera
Chapman, John, 1946-1983 -- Archives


Series 1. Work/Biographical Files

Box 1

Promotional materials for "There But For Fortune: Joan Baez in Latin America" 1982

Box 1

The Channels: Santa Barbara City College Newspaper--memorial article and letters 1982

Box 1

Cineaste Magazine. Vol. XII, No. 1 1982

Box 1

John Chapman resume 1982

Box 1

John Chapman film proposals for "Notes From The Revolution" and "A Symbol for Survival" 1979; 1983

Box 2

John Chapman memorials, requiems 1982

Box 2

John Chapman, clippings 1980-1982

Box 2

John Chapman, passport and timeline 1979-1982

Box 2

John Chapman, photographs 1979-1982

Box 2

Pan American Film production notes for "Guazapa: Portrait of a Liberated Zone," "In the Name of the People" 1981, 1982

Box 2

Promotional Film flyers 1979-1983

Box 2

Release Print Magazine, Vol. VII, Number 6 1984 July-1984 August

Box 2

Super 8 Filmaker Magazine, Vol. IX, Number 1 1981

Box 2

Zoetrope Studios correspondence 1983 February 28

Box 3

Slides from Nicaragua and Latin America circa 1979-1982


Series 2. Audiovisual


Film 1970s-1980s

item V7644/F1

Los Hijos, Parts 1&2 1987 June 23

item V7645/F1

Los Hijos de Sandino, Part 1&2, optical track 1987 June 23

item V7646/F1

Nicaragua: Scene from Revolution, new dupe/neg & outtakes 1981 June 11

item V7647/F1

Scenes from the Revolution, optical track and dupes/negatives 1980 December 9

item V7648/F1

Scenes from the Revolution, A and B rolls, original undated

item V7649/F1

Nicaragua: Scenes from Revolution MAG (returned from Cinesound) undated

item V7650/F1

Nicaragua: Scenes from Revolution, A and B rolls I/P (Nicaragua 1978) 1981 February 20

item V7651/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] Nicaragua rushes, original roll 1, stripe, 16mm undated

item V7652/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] rushes, original roll 4, stripe, 16mm undated

item V7653/F1

NEW, 16mm, stripe, original, R-15 undated

item V7654/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] original roll 16, Visnens I, optical print undated

item V7655/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] original roll 17, Visnens II, optical print undated

item V7656/F1

21, Acin 1 undated

item V7657/F1

22, Acin 2 undated

item V7658/F1

23, A1 personal, Acin 2, Nicaragua tail roll 22 undated

item V7659/F1

24 undated

item V7660/F1

25 undated

item V7661/F1

26, roll A undated

item V7662/F1

27, John Chapman, camera original 1. Limpiesa (Guard), 2. Grainery, 3. Ocho in blue Jeep undated

item V7663/F1

John Chapman, original footage, Nicaragua, 66484, (A-B-C) 16C HD 4142 undated

item V7664/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] rushes, original roll 12, new 16mm undated

item V7665/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] rushes, original roll 8, MOS (MOS R1) undated

item V7666/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] historical original, R 19, Kinescope, 16mm B&W, American Zoetrope undated

item V7667/F1

John Chapman film project, mix master 1/2 hr? undated

item V7668/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] OUTS PRESS undated

item V7669/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] OUTS D, NIN B. undated

item V7670/F1

Diablo, raining undated

item V7671/F1

Roll B undated

item V7672/F1

Roll C undated

item V7673/F1

SALV reserve undated

item V7674/F1

Core HD, summer, water skiing & fun at Lake Arrowhead, Malibu beach, Lockard family 1948

item V7675/F1

Core TC and S, Daphne's birthday, haircuts, tinkertown… undated

item V7676/F1

CORE TCS, loose wind, personal events 1947-1948

item V7677/F1

29 Palms Dick White mother, head of security intervew undated

item V7678/F1

Francesca Pedro Chamorro, home movies undated

item V7679/F1

Barricada, Borjes at Pancasan celebration undated

item V7680/F1

Volcano Ferretti undated

item V7681/F1

John by Leroy, Chapman and Pinter undated

item V7682/F1

John's personal stuff, vacation, Belize, Zoetrope, Leroy undated

item V7683/F1

Diablo training undated

item V7684/F1

Cades Cove undated

item V7721/F1

Nicaragua undated

item V7722/F1

Nicaragua undated

item V7696/F1

My Film, Betty Bottoms undated

item V7697/F1

Island in the Sun, reel I undated

item V7701/F1

John's family, 29 Palms and visit other relatives undated

item V7702/F1

Kirk's wedding undated

item V7703/F1

Anadarks, Oklahoma (Indians) undated

item V7704/F1

Island Suns II undated

item V7707/F1

Betty's film, painting on ladder, reel 2 undated

item V7708/F1

John Chapman tribute, George Pinter/Betty Bottoms (7:30, 261') undated

item V7709/F1

NEW 16mm MOS original R-14, World Focus Films, 16 Eilta, roll A, 60-2-7 undated

item V7710/F1

NEW 16mm MOS original R-13, head (PFH) 13A, 91LM 7 undated

item V7711/F1

Original roll 11 stripe 16mm, tail (PFH), R-22, L 4716 undated

item V7712/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] rushes, original roll 5, World Focus Films, 16 Eilta, roll B, 60-2-7; tails 5 undated

item V7713/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] rushes, original roll 2B, stripe 16mm, interviews w/ sound, 2B-1, stripe head undated

item V7714/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] rushes, original roll 2A, stripe 16mm - w/ sound, roll 2A-1, head undated

item V7715/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] rushes, original roll 9, MOS (Mos R2) undated

item V7716/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] rushes, original roll 6, stripe 16mm, sound roll 6 undated

item V7717/F1

Outs from Hijos inter neg, after 1/2 hr neg cut undated

item V7718/F1

NICA [Nicaragua] 7247 neg trims, Scenes from the Revolution, orig/trims 1979

item V7719/F1

Roll 2 tail undated

item V7720/F1

6", John Chapman memorial, 23", Desperado, John Chapman resume undated


Video 1980s

item V7685/VHS

Desperado undated

item V7686/VHS

W or K print copy, Hijo de Sandino undated

item V7687/VHS

Desperado, bad copy undated

item V7688/BC

Nicaragua: Another Bay of Pigs? Producer: Dore Steinberg (28:33) undated

item V7689/BC

John Chapman Memorial S.F.; Desperado, Bottoms/Pinter 1983 February; 1984 July

item V7690/UM

Desperado photos, direct video undated

item V7691/UM

Dub Nicaragua segment, "Evening Edition" showtape 1979 December 17

item V7692/UM

John Chapman interview (red shirt) 1982

item V7693/BC

Los Hijos de Sandino workprint, final cut; Reel 2, slop mix track: prod. trk & music, transferred at KQED 1/80 1979 November 15

item V7694/UM

Desparado rank transfer, master I - CGO 185, gay parade, N.Y. Somora 1977; 1978-1979

item V7695/UM

Desparado rank transfer, protection master II - no sound, CGO 186 undated

item V7698/UM

John's tribute, Desperado, master, CH I mix 1984 July 15

item V7699/UM

Gift of Love 2 undated

item V7700/UM

Gift of Love, starring: Timothy Bottoms, Marie Osmond undated

item V7705/VHS

John Chapman's memorial; Joan Baez and Co. John filmed in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile 1983

item V7706/VHS

Wim Int car, Hollywood 1982 April