School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile

Directory Profile

Sean C. Covel

Part-Time Lecturer

Affiliated Divisions:

Peter Stark Producing Program

Email: pstark@cinema.usc.edu
Work Phone: 213.740.3304

Sean Covel holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska in media business and theater.   After a brief stint working in technology in San Francisco, Covel pursued his passion for filmmaking by attending the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC, graduating with a Masters in Motion Picture Producing in 2002.  Concurrent with studying film at USC, Covel maintained a position with the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) from 2001-2003.

In 2003 Covel teamed with fellow Peter Stark Alum, Chris “Doc” Wyatt, to produce Napoleon Dynamite. Made for only $400,000, the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and quickly sold to Fox Searchlight and MTV Films. The picture went on to spend nine months in theaters and become one of the most successful independent films of all time. Napoleon Dynamite has won several awards, including from Best Feature at the MTV Movie Awards, Teen Choice Awards, Aspen Comedy Arts Festival and the Blockbuster Movie Awards.

Covel & Wyatt have since produced several films, including: Beneath (Paramount Vantage / MTV Films); Think Tank (Maitland Primrose Ent); 12 Dogs (Universal Studios),  directed by Academy Award-winner,Keith Merrill; Broken Hill, starring Academy Award-winner Timothy Hutton; and Cafe, which was filmed in Philadelphia starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jaime Kennedy and Alexa Vega.  The duo are currently concluding production on the independent feature films Concrete Blondes and The Citizen shooting in Vancouver, BC, and Detroit, MI, respectively.

Covel & Wyatt were together nominated for the IFP's prestigious "Independent Spirit Producing Award" recognizing creative innovations in filmmaking with limited capital. Covel has been a guest speaker at a number of film programs and festivals across the globe and joins the USC adjunct faculty in 2011.