Overview of New York Film Academy Los AngelesOffering programs and workshops across the spectrum of visual storytelling disciplines, our Los Angeles campus is located in the heart of Hollywood providing students with endless opportunities to realize their goals in the entertainment industry. With aspiring filmmakers and actors getting to shoot on the Universal Studios backlot and our game design and photography students working in state-of-the-art facilities, students are assured an education like no other.
At the heart of the NYFA in Los Angeles experience is the philosophy of learning by doing. From day one, students can expect to be behind the camera or working on software to create their own original works of art. In every course offered by our Los Angeles campus, students receive hands-on education from our prestigious faculty who combine in-class lectures with supervised workshops and student-guided projects.
Upon completing a program or workshop at our Los Angeles campus, students’ hard work is rewarded with a New York Film Academy degree or diploma depending on whether they attended an MFA*, MA*, BFA*, BA*, or AFA* degree program or a short-term Community Education Program. In addition, their work is displayed in an event open to friends, family, and selected industry guests.
Living in Los AngelesIn addition to the world-class education students receive at the Film Academy in Los Angeles, they also get the added benefits of studying and working in Los Angeles. Located in the Burbank area of Los Angeles—known as the “Media Capital of the World” and home to such institutions as NBC, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and The Walt Disney Company—students are immersed in the heart of the entertainment industry and encouraged to take advantage of the city’s many destinations. Students can expect to experience amazing weather, a rich and multi-cultural populous, and innumerable ties to the entertainment industry.
Go almost anywhere in Los Angeles and it is apparent that you are in the heart of movie land. You can cruise the Sunset Strip and check out the giant billboards for the summer’s blockbusters. Stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame and you’ll see the stars of the film and television universe, from Lucille Ball to Harrison Ford to Jennifer Aniston, planted in the sidewalk. Stand in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre, one of the oldest in Hollywood, and check out the footprints of silent stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. Visit the Dolby Theater, where the stars and the red carpet come out once a year for the Oscars. Everywhere you go, the world-famous Hollywood sign seems to follow you, shining down dreams that you, too, can be a part of the exciting world of film and television one day.
For their individual films, students shoot in Los Angeles, where a wide variety of locations can be found. Participants in our filmmaking workshop can shoot in gritty, urban neighborhoods downtown; on a beach at sunset in Malibu; on the famed shopping strip of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills; or on the boardwalk of Venice Beach. Indeed, one of the attractions of Los Angeles for the film industry has been the city’s incredibly varied landscape - from seaside to desert to mountain slope and fruit grove. Students can take their cameras and crews to the hills around the city and to Sunset Boulevard, to the shops of Chinatown, West Hollywood, Koreatown, Little Tokyo and to the ocean cliffs of Santa Monica.
A short drive through Los Angeles itself can also present the filmmaker with an unmatched variety of options from stark desert landscapes, to urban downtown streets, from Malibu beaches to suburban Valley tract homes. In one day, a crew might film a spy-thriller in snow-capped Mount Baldy in the morning, and a Surf-Comedy in the afternoon. Our screenwriting students can check into the Writers Guild of America library at Fairfax and Third to read scripts they’ll never find on the Internet, then head over to one of Hollywood’s famous “Movie Palaces” for a Creative Screenwriting Magazine screening. Acting students can study performance during the day, and then see a live studio performance that same night. With the ongoing productions throughout the city there are countless options for them to pursue and hone their craft. Producing students have the opportunity to network with an entire city devoted to film production, and develop roots in the same terrain that shapes the industry itself.
FacultyOne thing that sets NYFA in Los Angeles apart is that our faculty are active professionals in Los Angeles and when not teaching, are actively working in the city’s many entertainment hubs as professional filmmakers, actors, photographers, game designers, VFX artists and more. Thus, they are best suited to provide hands-on instruction to students as they remain active in their own fields and can impart the most up-to-date information, techniques, and trends. In addition to in-class lectures, faculty members oversee workshops to ensure that students understand and can properly operate equipment.
EnrollmentThe New York Film Academy’s degree programs, one and two-year conservatory programs, and short-term workshops have an open enrollment. Serious students from all backgrounds are welcome to apply. No previous experience is required. However, all New York Film Academy Workshops are extremely intensive. Students who enroll should be prepared to live and breathe their work during these workshops. Given the nature of filmmaking and the necessity of working in crews, students must be willing to devote themselves not only to their own projects, but to their classmates’ projects as well.
Classes are held throughout the year at the backlot of the Universal Studios site, giving students ample choices of workshops to fit their needs. As space is limited, we recommend early application to guarantee a place in the workshop of your choice. Students are required to treat the area and the productions happening on the lot with absolute respect and professionalism.
Final Screenings & PerformancesAt the conclusion of all programs, a graduation ceremony and final presentation of student work is held. Final Films, Showcase Performances, and Screenplay readings provide a unique opportunity for family, friends and cast to see the work students have produced. Students retain digital master tapes of their film and video work to include in their portfolios.
TransportationLiving in LA requires a car, especially if the student plans to pursue a long-term program in the city. In order to scout locations, transfer crew and equipment or just to go out on the town, it is necessary to drive in LA. However, once you have a car in the city, the possibilities for filming locations opens up enormously. Los Angeles allows for a variety of natural scenes and open spaces, as well as the urban and suburban environments in and around the city.
Course CatalogClick here to read the Course Catalog detailing our many programs open to prospective students.
Housing ServicesThere are no NYFA-run dorms in Los Angeles; however, NYFA has a good relationship with Oakwood Apartments, a gated community across the street from the campus that will offer students housing at a discount. The complex offers one- and two-bedroom apartments with kitchenettes. Prices range from $1400 to $3200 per month.
The NYFA housing coordinator can help all students find private housing and maintains a roommate list that students can use to get in touch with one another. Students can find a variety of apartments within easy driving distance of campus from about $700 per month and up, depending on the location, size of the apartment and length of the student's stay.
For additional information on finding suitable housing should contact us at 818.333.3558, or email our Los Angeles housing coordinator at LAHousing@nyfa.edu.
Programs Offered at NYFA Los AngelesWhile originally started as a film school, NYFA has expanded its academic offerings over the years to cover the wide range of disciplines available to visual storytellers. In addition to ensuring that each program provides students with the best possible education, students can collaborate across programs and gain insight into other art forms they might otherwise not learn. Here are the programs offered at NYFA in Los Angeles.
- Film School: Widely known as the most hands-on film school in the world, students receive extensive on-set experience not only by writing, shooting, directing, producing, and editing their own films, but also serving in every position on set to best prepare them for a successful career in film.
- Acting School: Students learn the many facets and intricacies of acting for film by getting hands-on experience through performing in fellow students’ films in addition to receiving detailed instruction from faculty members.
- Photography School: When enrolling in one of our Photography School workshops or programs, students get extensive experience across the wide spectrum of photographic genres under the tutelage of active professionals working in the field.
- Producing School: In this program, students work with professional producers to learn the creative and business skills required to be a successful producer.
- Animation School: With 3D animation more ubiquitous than ever, our BFA* program immerses students in the world of both 2D and 3D animation to give them a thorough and practical education in the fundamentals of animation.
- Game Design School: A program exclusive to NYFA’s Los Angeles campus, students learn the essentials of bringing their game ideas and stories to life while studying and gaining experience in the different genres of video games.
- Documentary School: As documentary films become more commonplace and popular, students in the documentary school learn the fundamentals of the craft of documentary filmmaking while getting hands-on experience in film essentials.
- Screenwriting School: As screenwriting is the backbone of filmmaking, students get non-stop practice in learning how to shape an idea into a working script while also learning the fundamentals of the craft.
- Digital Editing School: In this program, students learn both the foundation of editing while also experimenting with novel ways to edit using digital editing stations.
- Cinematography School: Students looking to pursue a career as a cinematographer learn the technical and aesthetic demands required of Directors of Photography and get extensive experience shooting with both film and digital.
- Performing Arts School: As performing arts focuses on the individual and his or her ability to create a believable and memorable performance, students enrolling in our Performing Arts School learn the craft of acting for film and develop the skills to gain mastery as a performer.
BPPEThe New York Film Academy has received “approval” from the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) to operate as a degree-granting institution in the state of California. “Approval” or “approval to operate” means that the Bureau has determined and certified that an institution meets minimum standards established by the Bureau and according to the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009.
2535 Capital Oaks Drive, Ste 400
Sacramento, CA 95833
P.O. Box 980818 West Sacramento, CA
Web site address: www.bppe.ca.gov
Toll-Free Telephone & Fax:
(888) 370-7589 or by fax (916) 263-1897 or
(916) 431-6959 or by fax (916) 263-1987.
Click here to download New York Film Academy's 2012 School Performance Fact Sheet for the Los Angeles Campus.
Click here to download New York Film Academy – BPPE 2012 Annual Report.
Learning on the Universal Studios BacklotOver the hill and through the Cahuenga Pass is Universal Studios, where the Desperate Housewives act out their operatic lives on the same street where Leave it to Beaver played pranks and the fraternity brothers of Animal House got themselves into a heap of trouble. Here is where Michael J. Fox zoomed through the town square in that sleek silver DeLorean to get Back to the Future, and where Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks created everything from War of the Worlds to American Beauty.
Nothing “regular” at all is going on inside the Universal Studios Headquarters. This is where the movie magic happens, where Focus Features, the “little company that could,” brought us Oscar winners like Brokeback Mountain, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Lost in Translation, resides. Here is where Stephen Soderbergh and George Clooney housed the production offices for Ocean’s Eleven, and where the production departments for Minority Report, Sea Biscuit, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Live Free or Die Hard, and countless others brought their visions to the silver screen.
It is also where students at the New York Film Academy are learning what it takes to be the directors, screenwriters, actors, producers, cinematographers, and editors of tomorrow. Here, in the heart of the film industry, our students study their craft, develop their projects, and take advantage of the exciting array of opportunities at their fingertips.
Within the backlot of Universal Studios our students shoot on the same sets where film history is made. Be it the sprawling backdrop of Western Street or the edgy city streets of New York, the backlot of Universal Studios presents the filmmaker with locations as varied as their imaginations.
Universal Studios is one studio with which the New York Film Academy has a special relationship. Since the Academy is located by the backlot of the Universal Studios, students have the unique opportunity to witness the importance of “studio life” to the Los Angeles area first-hand. Students also get the one-of-a-kind experience of shooting on the Universal Studios backlot, which many people can only see if they take the famous Backlot Tour.
Universal Studios HistoryIn March of 1914, for the purchase price of $165,000, a 230-acre ranch would become the site that would forever be dubbed as “the entertainment center of the world.”
On March 15, 1915 Carl Laemmle (LEM-lee) “officially” opened the gates of Universal City – though film production on the lot had begun in 1914. Laemmle also established the long-standing tradition of inviting guests to view the behind-the-scenes work. However, in the 1920s when “talkies” became the norm, producers were adamant that the sets be free of visitor’s noise. The Universal Studios Tour was brought back in 1964.
Universal Studios, with its theme park, is the largest studio/theme park in the world. In fact, it is so large that it is a city unto itself with its very own zip code (91608), fire department, hospital, restaurants, shops and hotels. A person would never have to step outside the Universal City grounds.
Some of Universal’s most historic or notable films shot on the backlot are: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), Psycho (1960), Jaws (1975), Jurassic Park (1993), The Mummy (1999), War of the Worlds (2005) and The Good German (2006).
Venues in LALos Angeles and its surrounding areas boast many famous and beautiful performance venues. While in California, students should take the opportunity to experience a show at any one of the following.
The Hollywood Bowl
One of the most recognizable venues in Southern California. It is a natural occurring, open-air amphitheater that seats approximately 18,000 people. It was “built” back in 1922 and, in addition to providing the summer home of the L.A. Philharmonic, some of the most famous performers of all time have graced its stage. To name a few: Oasis, The Mamas and The Papas, The Grateful Dead, Morrissey, Cher, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, The Who, Nine Inch Nails, Fleetwood Mac, Belle & Sebastian, Def Leppard, Ben Harper, Willie Nelson, Queens of the Stone Age, Gwen Stefani, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, The Flaming Lips, Coldplay, Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe, Ryan Adams, Sigur Rós, Ozomatli, the Doors, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Rush, Monty Python, Judy Garland, Daniel Rodriguez, A. R. Rahman, and Johnny Cash have given famous or noteworthy performances under the shell. There is always something happening at the Bowl.
The Gibson Amphitheatre
Formally known as the Universal Amphitheater, it was an open-air theatre over a decade ago, but now it has covered seats that spread over a main orchestra level and mezzanine. The Gibson Amphitheatre has played host to a number of performers and award shows including the Brian Setzer Orchestra, the Teen Choice Awards, Carlos Mencia, and George Lopez.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall
A striking Frank Gehry designed acoustical and visual masterpiece. It serves as the new home to the L.A. Philharmonic and is touted as one of the finest concert halls in the world.
The Staples Center
Home of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kings, and Clippers. This has also recently become the place for big-name entertainers to perform. Other large-scale venues are The Arrowhead Pond (home of the Anaheim Ducks), the Greek Theater, Los Angeles Convention Center, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, and The Home Depot Center.
Los Angeles Movie and Performance Art TheatresThink of Los Angeles’s art scene as a vibrant location filled with burgeoning stars, avant garde directors and imaginative young writers. Movie premieres and the theatres in which they’re held are touted just as much as the movie itself. Classic movie palaces and state-of-the-art auditoriums can be found everywhere. For a little change, toss the movie tickets aside one night and check out the Los Angeles theatre scene and catch a live show.
A List of LA Theatres
6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
Once home to vaudeville and Oscars, the Pantages Theatre is an Art Deco masterpiece with an eye for high-profile productions and musicals.
TCL Chinese Theatre
6925 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
This infamous Los Angeles theatre, opened over seventy years ago in 1927, is one of Los Angeles’ most famous theatres, especially for the impressions-in-concrete left by Hollywood’s stars out front. Aside from all the Hollywood history, the Chinese Theatre shows first-run movies.
El Capitan Theatre
6838 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
One of three theme theatres actualized by Sid Grauman and Charles Toberman, the El Capitan Theatre was Hollywood’s first home for “Spoken Drama” (opened in 1926) and the Los Angeles theatre to premiere Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane in 1941.
The Greek Theatre
2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA
In Griffith Park, molded into a canyon, the open-air Greek Theatre shows live music under the stars.
135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA
Part of the Los Angeles Center Theatre Group, along with the Mark Taper Forum, the Ahmanson Theatre is a 2,000-seat marble complex in downtown Los Angeles that hosts productions like the Phantom of the Opera.
100 Universal City Plaza, Bldg. 153, Los Angeles, CA
Near Universal Studio Walk in Los Angeles, Audiences Unlimited represents over 35 network comedies filmed in Los Angeles and offers free tickets to anyone wanting to be part of the studio audience.
John Anson Ford Amphitheatre
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Los Angeles, CA
The Ford Amphitheatre is an open-air performance art venue (one of the oldest in Los Angeles) set on 45-acres in the rustic Cahuenga Pass and showing dance, music and plays.
6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
The new home of the Academy Awards, Hollywood’s modern and technologically-advanced Dolby Theatre shows large-scale ballet, dance, and musical productions, including the Full Monty and Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Mark Taper Forum
135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA
A small theatre located in the Performing Arts Center in downtown Los Angeles, the Mark Taper Forum has a community-conscience, working to involve youth, and funding programs for African-American, Asian-American and Latino playwrights. A distinguished Los Angeles theatre, two of the Mark Taper’s productions have received Pulitzer Prizes for Drama, an honor historical reserved for New York theatre.
The Actors’ Gang at the Ivy Substation
9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City, CA
Los Angeles’ Actor’s Gang’s Ivy Theatre, a theatre company co-founded by Tim Robbins, is known for community involvement and important theatre.
Sights to See
The Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood Sign actually started out as an ad for real estate development. Before its current stage name, it read “Hollywoodland.” In 1973, the Sign was deemed an official historical monument.
Another famous street where countless movie premieres happen. It is a great place for shopping, tourism, and spotting a star.
The nightlife in Hollywood is found on the Sunset Strip. Cruise the strip and see one of the most heavily and costly advertised streets in the world.
The famous stretch of road that follows the ridgeline of the Santa Monica Mountains. It offers a fabulous view of Los Angeles.
To get to Mulholland Dr.:
Take I-405 N.
Exit Mulholland Drive and turn left onto Skirball Center Drive
Skirball will lead to Mulholland Drive.
Take a right to go toward Hollywood.
Take a left to go toward the San Fernando Valley.
Please note that Mulholland Drive is a windy road and can become quiet narrow at times. Please keep your speed down to 20-30 MPH. There are many great places to pull over and enjoy the view that Mulholland Drive has to offer.
Relax at the laid-back Hermosa Pier, take in the scene at Venice Beach, surf at Huntington or shop at Santa Monica. Each beach has its own traits and personality and the number of beaches in Southern California is only matched by their variety. Cruise Pacific Coast Highway and you can run into all of them.
Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade
Third Street is a vibrant location only a few blocks from the famous Santa Monica Pier. The street itself is blocked off to traffic so plan on walking amongst the crowds that visit day and night. But coming here is a one-stop shop where you can watch street performers dazzle crowds, dine at some of the finest restaurants in the Los Angeles area, take in a movie at one of its many theatres, dance at a local club, relax at a local bar, or shop the night away at myriad stores. Some people just come to people-watch.
The stretch of shops and boutiques on Rodeo Drive is only three blocks long. It begins at Wilshire Boulevard on the south, and runs north to Santa Monica Boulevard, where the commercial section of the street gives way to an affluent residential neighborhood. But those three short blocks constitute the most famous shopping district in America, and probably the most expensive three blocks of shops in the world.
It is here that the rich and famous do their shopping, and where tourists window-shop while trying to spot movie stars on the fabled street.
Favorite Local Music Venues
As a filmmaker, getting to know your local independent music, and the venues at which they may perform, can lead to new inspiration for movie ideas and scores. The “sub-culture” of indie music has become an integral part of the Los Angeles culture, for LA is not only a city of dreams for actors and filmmakers, but musicians as well.
Some of the venues that host local indie bands:
Southern California Amusement Parks
Take a walk on the wild side. Los Angeles was home to the very first amusement park. Now Southern California boasts a collection of some of the most famous Amusement and Theme Parks in the world:
Disneyland: The world’s most famous theme park is right here in Los Angeles backyard.
Disney’s California Adventure: Adjacent to Disneyland, it is the newest Disney Park in Southern California.
Magic Mountain: If you’re a thrill seeker, head north and partake in the legendary thrill rides at Magic Mountain.
Knott’s Berry Farm: Thrilling Rides and host of the famous Halloween Haunt-fest, Knott’s Scary Farm.
Pacific Park, Santa Monica: Located on the world famous Santa Monica Pier. A great place to relax and have fun.
Universal Studios Hollywood: Right in the New York Film Academy’s backyard, this is the World’s largest Movie Studio and Theme Park.
Experience LA: The events calendar is updated daily.
Fairplex: Home of the Los Angles County Fair and more than 300 other events.
LA Times Online Calendar Magazine
LA Weekly Magazine’s Calendar of Events