Today, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released their short list of Oscar favorites for Best Documentary Feature. We were thrilled to find the documentary film The Square, shot by New York Film Academy graduate Muhammad Hamdy, has been announced as one of the 15 films on the short list, and will advance in the voting process of the 86th Oscars.
Congratulations to Muhammad as well as Director Jehane Noujaim and Producer Karim Amer!
Given the intense schedule that has to be maintained, the New York Film Academy’s Animation Programs are unable to include film history or studies as a primary focus. We do, however, address many aspects of movie-making and important cinematic works in our directing and screenwriting classes.
That being said, your education will involve much more than mere modeling and animation. Part of the magic of CG animation is that it comes from literally nothing more than an idea. In a live-action shot in a kitchen, the table, chairs, microwave in the background or whatever can be procured by props and placed on the set. But within our CG world every element in the shot —that table, those chairs, the microwave and the counter on which it sits — must be created from thin air (and a bunch of 1s and 0s).
The animator plays every role in the movie, and to this end classes also include directing, cinematography, and even acting—for what is animation if not slipping into a character’s CG skin and making them “act” convincingly? Furthermore, the program includes a series of life drawing classes using live models, as there are few better ways to teach an artist how to “see” the world around them.
Finally, you will be surrounded by other film and animation lovers, so all you will need to do to find an enlightening conversation on film as an art is walk down the hall — or just turn around in your chair.
-Robert Appleton, Chair of NYFA’s Animation Program
If you’re interested in free information on New York Film Academy’s Animation Programs, sign up HERE.
The month of December brings about the holiday season for many cultures around the world and gives us a chance to reflect on 2013. For the rest of the month, the New York Film Academy wants to see how you celebrate this holiday season with friends and family. Whether it’s around the fireplace or congested in a massive Times Square crowd, we want to see!
Also, congratulations to last week’s winner, DongBo, who sent us this incredible photo below from Beijing, China.
The Broadcast Journalism program at New York Film Academy attracts students from across the United States and around the world. Some are practicing journalists in their home countries, others recent college graduates looking for the digital production skills necessary to stand out in a competitive job market.
But some students come to NYFA in preparation for a total career change. One of those students was Dr. Nicole Cross, a practicing psychologist from Texas. Having gained initial media experience as a guest and host on programs in her hometown of Houston, Nicole decided the time was right to change careers. Her goal was to become nothing less than an outstanding digital journalist.
NYFA’s 8-Week Broadcast Journalism program offered exactly the kind of intensive training Nicole was looking for. Our “hands-on” emphasis gave her a chance to first learn, and then practice skills essential for success.
At first her news stories were a bit rough, as was her on-camera reporting. Still, that’s to be expected of someone just starting out. Over the following weeks, we gave her guidance and support. Eventually she became not only a proficient reporter, but was comfortable both shooting and editing her own stories.
Nicole used world famous New York City landmarks as backdrops for her stand-ups. As a result, her stories looked like they were shot for a major market newscast. Times Square, the United Nations, Central Park, Manhattan’s fashionable Soho district… They are all included on her resume reel. She even took a day trip to Washington, DC where she assembled with other news crews to cover President Barack Obama’s Veteran’s Day address at Arlington National Cemetery.
Nicole’s determination, mixed with the NYFA Broadcast Journalism curriculum, has given her a shot at success as a digital journalist. One veteran network news producer looked at her reel and concluded it could immediately get her a job in a small to medium TV market.
We are proud to help our students acquire and sharpen the skills that will help them reach their career goals. Whether those goals encompass hard news, sports, entertainment or fashion, the abilities they learn at NYFA will make them and their work distinctive.
-Bill Einreinhofer, Chair of Broadcast Journalism
For more information on NYFA’s Broadcast Journalism Programs, visit here.
Celebrity and Portrait Photographer Robert Trachtenberg Speaks to Photo Students at NYFA Los Angeles
The New York Film Academy Photography School in Los Angeles was honored to host a guest lecture by renowned photographer, Robert Trachtenberg, last week. Robert talked students through his work, describing his shoots in detail from conception through execution. Students were encouraged to ask questions which Robert answered with humor and wit. He discussed the role of the publicist in celebrity shoots and how he works with actors from commissioned magazine shoots to off-the-cuff moments he’s captured.
Robert also described his transition to the moving image. His response to an art director who doubted his ability to shoot a commercial – “I have to tell a story in one frame so 30 seconds is a huge luxury for me!” Robert is the winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Direction for his latest production, the American Masters film, Mel Brooks: Make a Noise.
Robert Trachtenberg’s photographs have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone among other publications. Advertising clients include NBC, CBS, ABC, TNT, TBS, Disney, MGM and HBO. The work can be viewed at www.roberttrachtenberg.com.
The New York Film Academy recently discovered a wonderful film festival, exclusively for our talented female students, called The Girls Impact the World Film Festival. The film festival and scholarship program is open to high school and undergraduate students to submit 3-5 minute short films and focuses on a variety of international women’s issues.
Winners will receive a monetary prize, film distribution channels via SIC, Connecther and Creative Visions networks, as well as an internship opportunity at Creative Visions in Los Angeles. An official screening and red carpet will take place at the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, MA on February 22, 2014.
Not only that, confirmed judges include Ian Somerhalder, Christy Turlington Burns (founder of Every Mother Counts), Jeff Skoll (founder of Participant Media, responsible for films such as An Inconvenient Truth, Syriana, North Country, etc), Jean Oelwang (CEO of Virgin Unite), and Zainab Salbi (Founder of Women for Women International).
Submission deadline is December 31, 2013.
For more information and details about The Girls Impact the World Film Festival, visit HERE.
Congratulations to our two Emirati graduates, Ibrahim Al Khemeiri and Fatima Al Taei, who played the lead acting roles in three films were selected in the Dubai International Film Festival 2013.
Ibrahim Al Khemeiri studied his first year at the New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi and moved to the L.A. campus for his second year to complete his Associate in Fine Art degree in Acting for Film. Ibrahim is playing one of two lead roles in the film, Sunset State, a film that was selected in the Dubai International Film Festival 2013.
Sunset State explores the fantasies, dreams and memories of two men: an American novelist and an Emirati college student. The nostalgic tale reveals that people are not creatures of logic, but rather emotion.
Avedon: Women is an exhibition that spans six decades of Richard Avedon’s photography. This is the first solo exhibition of Avedon’s work in the Los Angeles area since 1976.
More than 100 silver gelatin photographs form the core of the exhibition. Ranging from oversized exhibition prints dating from the artist’s 1978 showing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, to more intimately scaled photographs that he printed and editioned throughout his lifetime. Approximately 300 contact prints, drawn from the Foundation’s extensive archive of sittings, reveal the tremendous range of subjects that Avedon photographed: musician Ella Fitzgerald; Avedon’s adored sister, Louise; and the young actress Elizabeth Taylor, among many. An additional room is devoted to his unprinted color work, with dozens of transparencies displayed in wall-mounted light boxes. Subjects range from 1958–59 advertisements featuring Carmen Dell’Orefice to supermodels Stephanie Seymour and Christy Turlington.
New York Film Academy students were excited to experience this rare opportunity to see some of Avedon’s original prints and to view iconic images from a master of the medium.
Two New York Film Academy graduates, Daniel Zagaevsky and Xiaolong Liu, teamed up and set out on a mission to film an ambitious project in Alaska. The short, Deep Water, was written and directed by Daniel Zagaevsky with Xiaolong on board as cinematographer. The film juxtaposes two completely different locations, New York City and the vast wilderness of Alaska.
“Deep Water was a big challenge; something that a lot of people thought would never happen,” said Daniel. ”I had a chance to do something different for my film and I chose ‘The Last Frontier’ as a set for my story – Alaska”
Daniel contacted Xiaolong Liu three weeks before the first day of shooting Deep Water. He felt Liu was unafraid to stretch his creativity to make this film happen and that he had the right vision. Given the small crew size, a student budget, and the frigid cold environment, the two were in for quite a challenge.
“Xiaolong is a very talented Director of Photography – full of resources and ideas – a hard-worker. Through technique and skill, he was capable of capturing the best images for the story.”
The crew had to shoot in close quarters with an actual grizzly bear, on a fishing boat in the middle of rough seas, and with a crane in the middle of a glacier. Not exactly your typical student film set. Nevertheless, the crew triumphed through adversity to make this film a reality.
Xiaolong Liu was also nominated for Best Cinematography at the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival and International Fashion Film Awards for his work on Anatomy of Gravity. Check it out!