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  • Director Steven Spielberg is a NYFA guest speaker
  • Actor Kevin Spacey NYFA guest speaker
  • Actor Sir Ben Kingsley NYFA guest speaker
  • NYFA guest speaker director Ron Howard
  • Actor Andy Garcia NYFA guest speaker
  • NYFA guest speaker Ben Stiller
  • Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman NYFA guest speaker
  • Director John Carpenter NYFA guest speaker
  • NYFA guest speaker actress Glenn Close
  • NYFA guest speaker director Brett Ratner
  • NYFA guest speaker actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • NYFA guest speaker Jamie Lee Curtis
  • NYFA guest speaker director Steven Spielberg
  • NYFA guest speaker actor Kevin Spacey
  • NYFA guest speaker actor Sir Ben Kingsley
  • NYFA guest speaker Ron Howard
  • NYFA guest speaker actor Andy Garcia
  • Actor Ben Stiller NYFA guest speaker
  • NYFA guest speaker Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • NYFA guest speaker director John Carpenter
  • Actress Glenn Close NYFA Guest Speaker
  • NYFA guest speaker director Brett Ratner
  • NYFA guest speaker Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Actress Jamie Lee Curtis NYFA guest speaker
Jaws, E.T., Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, Munich, Indiana Jones, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, Minority Report
» read more
American Beauty, L.A. Confidential, The Usual Suspects, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Superman Returns
» read more
Video
Peter Hurley, a universally respected commercial photographer, conducted portraiture master classes for students of the New York Film Academy Photography School. » read more
Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, Arrested Development, Grand Theft Auto, The Shootist
» read more
The Ice Storm, A Fish Called Wanda, Wild, Wild West, Dave, The Conspirator, The Tale of Despereaux, Definitely Maybe, As You Like It, The Pink Panther
» read more
A Fish Called Wanda, Freaky Friday, True Lies, Halloween, You Again, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Christmas with the Kranks
» read more
Blog
The Bourne Ultimatum, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Heist, The O.C., The Bourn Identity, The Bourne Supremacy
» read more
W., No Country for Old Men, The Goonies, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Labor Day, Men in Black 3, Gangster Squad, True Grit, American Gangster

Blog
21 Jump Street, Superbad, Moneyball, This is the End, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, The Watch, The Sitter
Blog
Reversal of Fortune, Dangerous Liaisons, Fatal Attraction, Jagged Edge, Damages, The Stepford Wives, The West Wing, 101 Dalmations, Air Force One
» read more
Schindler's List, Shutter Island, Gandhi, Bugsy, Sexy Beast, Lucky Number Slevin, Rules of Engagement, Suspect Zero
» read more
Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Chinatown
» read more
Megamind, Night At the Museum, Madagascar, Meet the Fockers, Along came Polly, Meet the Parents, There's Something About Mary, Happy Gilmore
» read more
The Lost City, The Godfather: Part III, The Untouchables, Ocean's Twelve, Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead
» read more
Halloween, Escape from L.A., Escape from New York, They Live, Black Moon Rising, Ghosts of Mars, Prince of Darkness
» read more
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Jaws, E.T., Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, Munich, Indiana Jones, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, Minority Report
» read more
Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, Arrested Development, Grand Theft Auto, The Shootist
» read more
Pretty Woman, Beaches, Overboard, Raising Helen, The Princess Diaries, Runaway Bride, Dear God, The Flamingo Kid
» read more
Blog
The Bourne Ultimatum, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Heist, The O.C., The Bourn Identity, The Bourne Supremacy
» read more
The French Connection, The Exorcist, Cruising, To Live and Die in L.A.
» read more
Halloween, Escape from L.A., Escape from New York, They Live, Black Moon Rising, Ghosts of Mars, Prince of Darkness
» read more
Middle Men, Local Color, Midnight Run, Wise Guys, Bad Boys, The Whole Ten Yards, Homeland Security, Columbus Circle
» read more
World War Z, Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner, Stranger than Fiction, Monster's Ball, Everything Put Together
Blog
Saturday Night Live, Easy Money
» read more
Flatliners, Batman Forever, Phone Booth, 8mm, St. Elmo's Fire
» read more
La Bamba, Stand and Deliver, Young Guns, Courage Under Fire, Never Forget, Death Toll, Numb3rs, Stark Raving Mad
» read more
Rush Hour 1, 2 & 3, Family Man, Red Dragon and X-Men 3
» read more
Once More with Feeling, Childhood's End
» read more
Animal House, Coming to America, An American Werewolf in London, The Blues Brothers, Three Amigos!
» read more
Chinatown, Blade Runner,
American Graffiti,
The Godfather Part II

» read more
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Pretty Woman, Beaches, Overboard, Raising Helen, The Princess Diaries, Runaway Bride, Dear God, The Flamingo Kid
» read more
Blog
The Bourne Ultimatum, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Heist, The O.C., The Bourn Identity, The Bourne Supremacy
» read more
Die Hard, The Matrix, Lethal Weapon, Predator, Sherlock Holmes
» read more
Blog
American Masters, Preston Sturges
» read more
The Godfather, Million Dollar Baby, The Longest Yard
» read more
Apocalypse Now,
The Godfather III,
Rumble Fish

» read more
Crash, Gods and Monsters
» read more
One Day in September, The Yellow Handkerchief, Central do Brasil,Abril Despedaçado
» read more
Video
The X-Files, Quantum Leap, Star Trek: Voyager
» read more
Braveheart, Gone Baby Gone, Thelma & Louise,
The Man in the Iron Mask,
An Unfinished Life

» read more
Beaches, For the Boys, Hocus Pocus, Man of the House, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
» read more
Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala
» read more
Adventureland, 21 Grams, American Splendor, The Savages, The Devil and Daniel Johnston
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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Synecdoche, New York
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Half Nelson, Blue Valentine, Margin Call, The Son of No One, The Chase
» read more
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Inception, The Dark Knight, Money Ball, Memento, The Prestige
» read more
Blog
Easy Rider, Ghostbusters,
Five Easy Pieces, Shampoo,
My Best Friend's Wedding,
What's Up, Doc?,
Paper Moon

» read more
Midnight Cowboy, The Panic in Needle Park, Smoke, Fresh
» read more
Blog
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, In The Heat of the Night, The Thomas Crown Affair
» read more
Blog
Apocalypse Now, Last Emperor, The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris
» read more
Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Deliverance,
The Deer Hunter, Maverick,
The Witches of Eastwick

» read more
Secret Window, Eddie and the Cruisers, Murder in the First, Freddy vs. Jason
» read more
Blog
Twister, Basic Instinct,
Black Rain, Turkish Delight, Speed, The Haunting

» read more
Promised Land, Storm
» read more
Blog
World War Z, Pain & Gain, Broken City, Unstoppable, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Blog
The Devil’s Arithmetic, The Guardian, Parting Glances, Stepfather II, The Whole Shebang, The Giving Tree
Glee Live! At Radio City Music Hall, The Ventriloquist, Bad Behavior, Eye of the Storm, Turn It Up!
12 Years a Slave, Shame
Blog
Nebraska, Walk The Line, Pursuit of Happyness


American Beauty, L.A. Confidential, The Usual Suspects, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Superman Returns
» read more
Video
Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, Arrested Development, Grand Theft Auto, The Shootist
» read more
The Ice Storm, A Fish Called Wanda, Wild, Wild West, Dave, The Conspirator, The Tale of Despereaux, Definitely Maybe, As You Like It, The Pink Panther
» read more
W., No Country for Old Men, The Goonies, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Labor Day, Men in Black 3, Gangster Squad, True Grit, American Gangster

Blog
Schindler's List, Shutter Island, Gandhi, Bugsy, Sexy Beast, Lucky Number Slevin, Rules of Engagement, Suspect Zero
» read more
A Fish Called Wanda, Freaky Friday, True Lies, Halloween, You Again, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Christmas with the Kranks
» read more
Blog
Megamind, Night At the Museum, Madagascar, Meet the Fockers, Along came Polly, Meet the Parents, There's Something About Mary, Happy Gilmore
» read more
The Lost City, The Godfather: Part III, The Untouchables, Ocean's Twelve, Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead
» read more
Reversal of Fortune, Dangerous Liaisons, Fatal Attraction, Jagged Edge, Damages, The Stepford Wives, The West Wing, 101 Dalmations, Air Force One
» read more
Apocalypse Now, Speed, True Romance, Easy Rider, Land of the Dead, Basquiat, The Piano Player, Luck of the Draw, Americano, Water World, Boiling Point
» read more
Broadcast News, The Piano, The Firm, Thirteen, Little Black Book, The Big White, Nine Lives, A Life Less Ordinary
» read more
Blog
21 Jump Street, Superbad, Moneyball, This is the End, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, The Watch, The Sitter
Blog
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, (500) Days of Summer, Stop-Loss, Brick,
Mysterious Skin

» read more
Video
Road Trip, The Butterfly Effect, Crank, Rat Race, Barely Legal, The Best Man, Just Friends
» read more
Into the Wild, The Girl Next Door, Milk, Speed Racer, Prince Avalanche, The Motel Life, Twice Born
Blog
1 2 3 4 5


Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Chinatown
» read more
Middle Men, Local Color, Midnight Run, Wise Guys, Bad Boys, The Whole Ten Yards, Homeland Security, Columbus Circle
» read more
World War Z, Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner, Stranger than Fiction, Monster's Ball, Everything Put Together
Blog
The X-Files, Quantum Leap, Star Trek: Voyager
» read more
My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Life in Ruins, Connie and Carla
» read more
Blog
Freaky Friday, Caroline in the City, Legally Blonde: the Musical, What to Expect When You're Expecting
» read more
Blog
Wedding Crashers, Married with Children
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Swingers, Iron Man, I Love You, Man
» read more
Once More with Feeling, Childhood's End
» read more
Total Recall, Equilibrium, Law Abiding Citizen, Salt
» read more
Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers
» read more
Video
Coach Carter, Flight, Hard Ball, Real Steel
» read more
Dan in Real Life, Pieces of April, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, About a Boy
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Taps, The Karate Kid, Taken, The Fifth Element
» read more
Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, American Gigolo
» read more
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Peter Hurley, a universally respected commercial photographer, conducted portraiture master classes for students of the New York Film Academy Photography School. » read more
Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Departed, The Aviator, Casino, Kundun, The Age of Innocence, Cape Fear, New York Stories, The Color of Money, After Hours
» read more
Fast Forward, Girl Culture, Thin, The Queen of Versailles
» read more
Aliens, Jumanji, The X Files, The Terminator, Star Trek III, Death Becomes Her,
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Cast Away

» read more
Jumanji, Aliens, Cast Away, Death Becomes Her,
X-Men Origins: Wolverine,
The X Files

» read more
Once
» read more
Independent Film Executive for the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW)
» read more
Harper’s Bazaar
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AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Warren Beatty,
A Tribute to Peter Bart: Newhouse Mirror Award, Shootout, Intimate Portrait

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Senior Vice President, Sales and Acquisitions for Arclight Films in Los Angeles. Distribution, acquisitions and sales executive
CEO and co-founder of Structured Data Intelligence (SDI), which has one of the largest structured video content databases in ...
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Planet of the Apes, Thor, The Amazing Spiderman, Hansel & Gretel, The Green Hornet, I Robot, Galaxy Quest, The Eleventh Hour, Eragon, Scooby-Doo 2
» read more
Blog
Burning Palms
Partner at Radius Entertainment

» read more
Blog
Manager / Producer at Evolution
Blog
Suits, Covert Affairs, Royal Pains, Playing House
» read more
Blog


* All MFA, BFA, BA, MA, and AFA degree programs are offered only at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles campus.
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Oren Segal
Manager/Producer


Burning Palms

He is: Partner at Radius Entertainment

Clients: actors Kim Basinger, Kate Bosworth, Shannyn Sossamon, Paz Vega, writers Milo Addica and Neil Strauss, and directors Peter Bogdanovich and Michael Polish.


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Garry Marshall
Producer/Director/Writer/Actor


Pretty Woman, Beaches, The Princess Diaries, Runaway Bride, Dear God, The Flamingo Kid, Georgia Rule, The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy

Garry Marshall's long list of accomplishments includes writing credits on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar and The Dick Van Dyke Show. He helped adapt The Odd Couple for television, and created Happy Days, Mork & Mindy, and Laverne and Shirley (starring his sister, Penny Marshall). He later focused on directing, finding success in the blockbuster films Beaches (produced by fellow NYFA guest speaker, Bonnie Bruckheimer) Pretty Woman, and The Princess Diaries.

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Andy Garcia
Actor


The Lost City, The Godfather: Part III, The Untouchables, Ocean's Twelve, Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead

Andy Garcia came to visit the students at New York Film Academy's Los Angeles campus in June 2011. We screened The Lost City, which Garcia directed and produced. Andy spoke a bit about the process an actor must go through when directing themselves in film. He also spoke about his other work, as well as his motivation to work as an actor after fleeing Cuba at a very young age. Andy was very receptive to the students' questions and was very honest on how difficult the business can be without the proper training. He also spoke a bit about working with Francis Ford Coppola on The Godfather. Andy also took some of his time to take some great photos with the students. Andy has expressed interest in visiting the campus again in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for his next appearance!

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Ron Howard
Director


Cocoon, Parenthood, Far and Away, Apollo 13, Ransom, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons

Ron Howard came to the NYFA Los Angeles campus to speak with the students about the entertainment industry, as well as working as a director. His visit in early 2011 was a huge success for the students. Ron started his career as an actor in The Twilight Zone television series in 1959, followed by the role of Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. He starred as Richie Cunningham from 1974 to1984 on Happy Days. Howard mad e his directorial debut directing Night Shift with Henry Winkler in 1982. He is now considered to be one of the top film directors around today. He has 19 studio films scheduled to shoot over the next 3 years.

Asked about the transition from child star to adolescent actor, Ron said, “You're 14 or 15, and they can hire an 18-year-old and not have the child-labor law restrictions, and so they do. Just at the point when you're feeling confused and vulnerable, you're being rejected. It was always my dream to be a director. A lot of it had to do with controlling my own destiny, because as a young actor you feel at everyone's disposal. But I wanted to become a leader in the business.”

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Actor


G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, (500) Days of Summer, Stop-Loss, Brick, Mysterious Skin

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt took a couple hours out of his busy schedule in March 2007 to speak with New York Film Academy students. To a packed screening room, Gordon-Levitt covered topics ranging from his independent vs. studio filmmaking, his training as an actor, all the way through to choosing scripts, the realities of making money as an actor, and staying humble. We screened clips from his films, Brick, Mysterious Skin, and the trailer for The Lookout, and screened a clip from his website "Pictures of Assholes" for the first time.

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Jamie Lee Curtis
Actress


A Fish Called Wanda, Freaky Friday, True Lies, Halloween

Jamie Lee Curtis was our guest speaker at a graduation ceremony.

The actor and author is best known for her memorable roles in Halloween, A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies, and Freaky Friday. The daughter of Hollywood legends Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis has spent over 35 years in the industry, garnering two Golden Globes, a BAFTA, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She delivered a touching speech to graduates of MFA and AFA Acting, MFA and AFA Producing, MFA and AFA Screenwriting, and MFA Photography programs.

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Kevin Spacey
Actor


American Beauty, L.A. Confidential, The Usual Suspects, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Superman Returns, K-PAX, Ordinary Decent Criminal, 21, Recount, Se7en

Kevin started as an actor in 1986 with his first role as a subway thief in Heartburn. He has since starred in over 75 films, including some of his most memorable moments in the films Glengary Glen Ross, Swimming with Sharks, Se7en, The Negotiator, Hurlyburly, and American Beauty. Kevin visited the NYFA in January of 2011 as a request from the student body. He visited the New York campus and spoke for over an hour to the students. Kevin on winning the Oscar for American Beauty: "This has definitely been the highlight of my day." He was also rejected for The Gong Show in 1978. His mother was his date for the Oscars the night he won. On American Beauty: "I read the screenplay and nearly fell out of bed. I thought I better meet him quick before someone else read it." Spacey played Theodore 'Hickey' Hickman in The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill and was nominated for the Best Actor Tony Award.

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Steven Spielberg
Director


Jaws, E.T., Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, Munich, Indiana Jones, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, Minority Report

Legendary film director Steven Spielberg is no stranger to Los Angeles, having worked there for over 40 years. He spoke with excited students at the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus (just a short walk from his Amblin Entertainment and DreamWorks offices on the backlot) in June 2011.

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Sir Ben Kingsley
Actor


Schindler's List, Shutter Island, Gandhi, Bugsy, Sexy Beast, Lucky Number Slevin

Sir Ben Kingsley visited the NYFA at Los Angeles in February 2011 after screening Sexy Beast. Sir Ben won the Academy Award for his performance in Gandhi in 1982. Since winning the Oscar, he has appeared in over 60 films with other memorable roles in Sneakers, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Bugsy, Suspect Zero, Lucky Number Slevin, and Shutter Island, just to name a few.

He was awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 2002 Queen's New Year's Honours List for his services to drama.

Sir Ben Kingsley on Steven Spielberg: "In an ideal way, in an ideal world, myself and the director are one. And as you rightly say, in an ideal world, you can't see the horizon between sky and sea. I felt that the times with Spielberg on Schindler's List, we were moving as one creature."

On acting: "As an actor there's no autonomy, unless you're prepared to risk the possibility of starving."

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Holly Hunter
Actress


Broadcast News, The Piano, The Firm, Thirteen

Q&A with Holly Hunter, Academy Award Winning Actress at New York City Campus.

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Ben Stiller
Actor


Megamind, Night At the Museum, Madagascar, Meet the Fockers, Along came Polly, The royal Tenenbaums, Meet the Parents, There's Something About Mary, The Cable Guy, Happy Gilmore, Reality Bites

Ben Stiller was born to legendary comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. After a brief stint on Saturday Night Live in 1989, Stiller was offered a role in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun. In 1993, he was offered his own sketch comedy show, for which he recruited comics Andy Dick and Janeane Garofalo. The show was short-lived, but Stiller soon found success, starring opposite Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites. But it was 1998's There's Something About Mary that propelled him into the mainstream. Since then, Stiller has starred in such memorable comic hits as The Royal Tenenbaums, Meet the Parents, and Night at the Museum.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman
Actor


Capote, Doubt, Charlie Wilson's War, Along Came Polly, Red Dragon, The Talented Mr.Ripley, Magnolia, Boogie Nights, The Savages, Punch Drunk Love, Almost Famous

Discussion and Q&A with Actor and Director, Philip Seymour Hoffman at New York Film Academy.

Hoffman’s breakthrough role was in 1997’s Boogie Nights. He quickly became an icon of indie cinema, establishing a reputation as one of the screen's finest actors, in a variety of supporting and second leads in indie and major features, including Todd Solondz's Happiness, Flawless, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia, Almost Famous and State and Main. Hoffman won the Best Actor Oscar for his stunning portrayal of Truman Capote in 2005’s Capote.

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John Carpenter
Director


Halloween, Escape from L.A., Escape from New York, They Live

John started as a writer/director in 1962. His work includes such memorable films as Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween 1&2, The Fog, Escape from New York, Escape from LA, The Thing, Christine, Starman, and They Live, just to name a few. He is also known as the "Master of Horror" and the "Prince of Darkness." John came for a visit to the NYFA Los Angeles campus in January 2011 to share his experience working in the business. Many of Carpenter's films include what he calls a "cheap scare," where something comes into view very fast and leaves just as quickly, intensified by musical cues. Carpenter makes open compositions that allow the villain/monster (or sometimes just an object) to pop into frame from the background, the immediate foreground or from either side of the frame. It has since become a horror cliché after using "cheap scares" so effectively in Halloween. He is known for using minimalist cinematography and lighting. He shoots all of his movies in Panavision (2.35:1 ratio with anamorphic lenses).

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Glenn Close
Actress


Reversal of Fortune, Dangerous Liaisons, Fatal Attraction, Jagged Edge, Damages, The Stepford Wives, The West Wing, 101 Dalmatians, Air Force One, Mary Reilly, Hook, Hamlet, The Natural

Glenn Close was already well-known for her Tony Award-winning Broadway roles when she was cast opposite Robin Williams in The World According to Garp. This began a string of Academy Award-nominated performances, including The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction, and Dangerous Liaisons. Her career has continued in a variety of acclaimed comedic and dramatic roles, and she is currently starring in the hit FX series Damages.

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Kevin Kline
Actor


The Ice Storm, A Fish Called Wanda, Wild, Wild West, Dave, The Conspirator, The Tale of Despereaux, Definitely Maybe, As You Like It, The Pink Panther, A Prairie Home Companion, De-Lovely, French Kiss, Chaplin, The Big Chill

Academy Award-winning actor, Kevin Kline spoke with New York Film Academy students in New York City in December 2006 about the extraordinary collaboration that can occur between actors and directors. Kline described the thrill of working in his first film role in Sophie's Choice, where director Alan Pakula allowed him and co-star Meryl Streep to fully explore the characters and the drama of each scene without being constrained by preconceived lighting, or shot design.

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Lou Diamond Phillips
Director/Actor


La Bamba, Stand and Deliver, Young Guns, Courage Under Fire

Lou Diamond Phillips treated students at New York Film Academy's Los Angeles campus to a pre-screening of Love Takes Wing, followed by a Q&A. Lou is well known for his leading roles in the acclaimed films La Bamba and Stand and Deliver.

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Matthew Modine
Actor


Full Metal Jacket, Any Given Sunday, Married to the Mob, Law & Order, Birdy and many more.

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Jason Alexander
Actor, Comedian


Seinfeld, Pretty Woman, Dunston Checks In, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Shallow Hal

A true Renaissance Man, Jason Alexander Golden Globe-nominated and Tonywinning actor, best known for his role as George Costanza on the long-running hit television show, Seinfeld. He spoke with students at the Los Angeles campus in August 2009 about his career on stage, television, and film.

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Heather Hach
Screenwriter


Freaky Friday, Caroline in the City, Legally Blonde: the Musical, What to Expect When You're Expecting

Writer Heather Hach joined students at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus following a screening of “Freaky Friday.” She shared how winning a writing competition and being awarded a position as a staff writer launched her career. She shared some of the mistakes she had made early in her career before finding success. She recently sold her script for “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” which will star Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, and Elizabeth Banks.

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George Gallo
Writer, Director


Middle Men, Local Color, Midnight Run, Wise Guys, Bad Boys, The Whole Ten Yards, Homeland Security, Columbus Circle

Leonard Maltin, film critic for Entertainment Tonight since 1982, interviewed Writer, Director George Gallo and Producer Julie Lott Gallo after the screening of their film "Local Color". After the interview, New York Film Academy students had a Q & A with them.

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David Hasselhoff
Actor


Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, Knight Rider, Baywatch, Fugitives Run, Click, Layover

David Hasselhoff made his start with 6 seasons on the daytime drama The Young and the Restless. He made the leap into prime time with the action show Knight Rider, which was a big hit worldwide. He is best-known for his starring role as Mitch on the television show Baywatch, though he has also achieved great success as a popular singer internationally. Hasselhoff visited students at New York Film Academy at Abu Dhabi in 2009 for a screening of a student's short film, followed by an Oscar screening party.

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Amy Smart
Actress


Road Trip, The Butterfly Effect, Crank, Rat Race, Barely Legal, The Best Man, Just Friends

Actress Amy Smart, and director George Gallo spoke at the New York Film Academy at Los Angeles discuss their upcoming project Columbus Circle. The notable cast includes Selma Blair, Jason Lee, Giovanni Ribisi, and Beau Bridges.

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Bonnie Bruckheimer
Producer


Beaches, For the Boys, Hocus Pocus, Man of the House, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Bonnie Bruckheimer has worked as a producer for many years, including the hit film Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. She formed All Girl Productions with her partner, Bette Midler, in 1985, and has worked with Midler on projects including Beaches, For the Boys, Hocus Pocus, Big Business, and That Old Feeling. She recently visited students at the New York Film Academy's Los Angeles campus, and shared stories about her work in the entertainment industry.

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A.C. Lyles
Producer


American Masters, Preston Sturges

A.C. Lyles with New York Film Academy Producing instructor Russell Gray. A.C Lyles spent 3 hours at New York Film Academy inspiring students and staff by discussing his life and career in Hollywood.

A.C. Lyles speaks with students outside New York Film Academy after his special lecture on campus.

Once a famous producer of Western movies, A.C. Lyles has worked at Paramount Studios for almost 80 years, has a star on the Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame, and has an office building on the Paramount lot named after him. He spoke with students at the New York campus in April 2007

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Adam Holender
Cinematographer


Midnight Cowboy, The Panic in Needle Park, Smoke, Fresh

Q&A with Adam Holender at Los Angeles Campus.

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Adrienne Barbeau
Actress


Escape From New York, Grease, Fiddler on the Roof

Screen and television actress Adrienne Barbeau joined students at New York Film Academy's Los Angeles campus in September 2011 for a screening of Escape From New York. She showed up early to watch the film with students, as she hadn't seen it since its original release! During the interview, Barbeau talked at length about her background in theatre, beginning with Grease and Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway. She also spoke in detail about working with her then-husband, director John Carpenter, on Escape From New York, and shared many secrets from the set. Students were surprised to learn that Charles Bronson and Tommy Lee Jones were considered for Kurt Russell's role of Snake, and that the last shot of Barbeau in the film was shot in their garage. She also told stories about making their own props and wardrobe for the film, including cooking a turkey so she could use the breastbone as a clip in her hair. Adrienne answered questions from students about her previous television work, the differences between acting for film and television, and the pressures to stay fit and youthful in Hollywood.

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Al Ruddy
Producer


The Godfather, Million Dollar Baby, The Longest Yard

Q&A with Producer, Al Ruddy at Los Angeles Campus.

Writer/producer Al Ruddy came to NYFA in November 2011 to spend some time with the students and talk about his career. Al has worked in the business since 1955, and has had quite an influence in Hollywood. As a writer, he worked on over 160 episodes of Hogan's Heroes, as well as 180 episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger. At the 45th Academy Awards, Clint Eastwood presented the 1972 Best Picture Oscar to Ruddy, the producer of The Godfather. Thirty-two years later, they would jointly accept the 2004 Best Picture Oscar, along with fellow Million Dollar Baby coproducer, Tom Rosenberg. He currently has 3 optioned properties he is working on.

Al on producing: "Show me a relaxed producer and I'll show you a failure."

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Anthony Bregman
Producer


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Synecdoche, New York

Q & A with Anthony Bregman, Producer of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Synecdoche, New York at New York Film Academy.

Anthony Bregman spent 10 years as head of production at Good Machine, where he supervised the production and post-production of over thirty feature films. He has since gone on to produce memorable and awarding-winning films, starring the likes of Frances McDormand, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, and Jennifer Aniston.

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Anthony Quinn
Actor


Lawrence of Arabia, Zorba the Greek, La Strada, Last Action Hero, The Guns of Navarone, The Black Orchid, The River's Edge, The Naked Street, Ulysses

The legendary Anthony Quinn was born in Chihuahua, Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. Quinn spent the early stages of his career mainly playing "ethnic" villains, and won his first Oscar for his supporting role in the film High Noon. He is best known for his roles in La Strada, Zorba the Greek, Lawrence of Arabia, and Lust for Life. New York Film Academy was honored to have the screen icon as a guest speaker, and students were thrilled to hear stories about his illustrious career.

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Anupam Kher
Actor


ER, Bend It Like Beckham, Lust Caution

Q&A with India Actor, Anupam Kher at New York Film Academy. He is an acclaimed Padma Shri Award winning Indian actor who has appeared in nearly 400 films, and 100 plays.

Anupam Kher is an acclaimed Padma Shri Award-winning Indian actor who has appeared in nearly 400 films, and 100 plays. He spoke with acting students at the New York City campus in September 2010.

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Arthur Cohn
Producer


One Day in September, The Yellow Handkerchief, Central do Brasil,Abril Despedaçado

Producer Arthur Cohn speaks to students at the New York Film Academy at Los Angeles following the screening of his academy award winning documentary One Day in September.

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Billy Dee Williams
Actor


Star Wars: Ep.V - The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Ep.VI - Return of the Jedi, Batman

Q&A with Award-Winning Actor, Billy Dee Williams (moderated by Oscar-Winning Actor Louis Gossett Jr.) at Los Angeles Campus.

Two veteran actors, Billy Dee Williams and Academy Award winner Louis Gossett, Jr., came to visit New York Film Academy at Los Angeles in May 2011. They received a standing ovation after screening The Empire Strikes Back. Billy Dee Williams was interviewed by Louis Gossett, Jr. about his life and career. Billy started as an actor in 1959 with his first cinematic role as Josh Quincy in The Last Angry Man. He found fame in his role as Louis McKay in Lady Sings the Blues in 1972 with Diana Ross. He starred again with Diana in the critically acclaimed Mahogany. In 1980 he landed the role of Lando Calrissian in the epic The Empire Strikes Back, and then reprised his role in The Return of the Jedi. He has been in over 40 films and 70 television shows throughout his career.

The chemistry between these two actors was palpable onstage, considering they have known each other for years. They talked about race, money, characters they have played, and shared insight into the casting process. Billy and Louis were gracious enough to stop and take photos with students and sign some autographs. Thanks Billy and Lou for your time and thoughtful insight you provided to the students at NYFA!

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Billy Zane
Actor


Titanic, Dead Calm, Sniper, Tombstone, Only You, Phantom

Billy Zane, best recognized for his role as Caledon Hockley in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic, speaks at the New York Film Academy at Los Angeles, Hollywood. His numerous feature film credits include Dead Calm (1989), Sniper (1993), Tombstone (1993), Only You (1994), Phantom (1996)

Actor Billy Zane is probably best known for his villainous role as Caledon Hockley in the blockbuster film Titanic, though his first feature film was 12 years earlier in Back to the Future. He made his directing debut with 2004's Big Kiss. He has also appeared in international films, as well as in Chicago on Broadway. He was kind enough to spend some time with students at the Los Angeles campus, and shared some of his experiences from his career in the film industry.

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Bob Fisher
Screenwriter


Wedding Crashers, Married with Children

Bob Fisher (writer of "Wedding Crashers" and "Married with Children") speaks to 2nd year and MFA Screenwriters at Los Angeles.

Screenwriters Bob Fisher and Steve Faber visited MFA Screenwriting students at the New York Film Academy's Los Angeles campus in August 2005, and discussed their outrageous comedy, Wedding Crashers. The film stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as divorce mediators and lifelong friends who have never met a wedding they couldn't get themselves into.

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Brett Ratner
Director/Producer


Rush Hour 1, 2 & 3, Family Man, Red Dragon and X-Men 3

Q&A With Director/Producer Brett Ratner at New York Film Academy. He is best known for his films such as the Rush Hour series, and X-Men: The Last Stand, The Family Man, Red Dragon.

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Cassian Elwes
Producer


Half Nelson, Blue Valentine, Margin Call, The Son of No One, The Chase

Cassian Elwes began his producing career with 1983's “Oxford Blues” starring Rob Lowe and Ally Sheedy, and quickly went on to make another 29 films, including “Men At Work” and “The Chase.”

In 1995, Elwes joined the William Morris Agency, and headed their independent film division for 14 years. His first effort, “The English Patient,” won 9 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. He quickly followed up with a number of Oscar-winning hits, including “Sling Blade,” “Monster's Ball,” and “Frozen River.”

Elwes spoke with students at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus in October 2011, following a screening of the Academy Award-nominated film, “Half Nelson.”

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Chris Weitz
Director, Producer, Writer, Actor


A Better Life, About a Boy, The Golden Compass, American Pie

Director, producer, writer, and actor Chris Weitz shared his film, “A Better Life,” with students at the Los Angeles campus in November 2011. Directed by Weitz and starring Demian Bichir, the film has already received a considerable amount of Oscar buzz. Chris and his brother, Paul Weitz, directed and produced the mega-successful “American Pie” and wrote, produced, and directed the critically acclaimed “About a Boy” with Hugh Grant. As a solo director, Chris directed Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman in “The Golden Compass,” as well as the blockbuster “New Moon” from the “Twilight” series. He also produced the Oscar-nominated film “A Single Man” and “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” and wrote the screenplays for the family films "Antz" and “Madeline.” Weitz answered questions about the writing process, film distribution, working with actors, film vs. digital, and choosing film projects.

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David Permut
Producer


Youth in Revolt, Charlie Bartlett, Face/Off, Captain Ron, Dragnet

Special guest speaker David Permit, producer of Youth in Revolt (2009), Charlie Bartlett (2007), Face/Off (1997), Captain Ron (1992), Dragnet (1987) speaks at the Graduation of MFA in Filmmaking. In David Permut's producing career, he has worked with the likes of Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Dan Aykroyd, John Travolta, and Nicolas Cage. He was a special guest speaker at the graduation of MFA Filmmaking students at New York Film Academy.

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David Rapaport
Casting Director


90210, Gossip Girl

Casting director David Rapaport met with students from New York Film Academy's Los Angeles campus and shared stories about his work in the entertainment industry, including work on hit films like 300 and Daddy Day Camp, and television programs 90210 and Gossip Girl.

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Debora Cahn
Producer/Writer


Grey's Anatomy, The West Wing

Writer and producer Debora Cahn visited New York Film Academy in March 2011, sharing stories about her work on leading television shows. Her credits include Emmy-nominated Grey's Anatomy, Emmy-nominated The West Wing, and Private Practice.

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Dennis Hopper(1936 - 2010)
Actor


Apocalypse Now, Speed, True Romance, Easy Rider, Land of the Dead, Americano, The Piano Player, Luck of the Draw, Basquiat, Water World, Boiling Point

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Devon Bostick
Actor


Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Saw VI, Being Erica, Sacrifice

At just 19, Devon Bostick has an impressive history of film and television credits. He visited the New York Film Academy at Los Angeles in April 2011. Students participated in a Q&A with Bostick, star of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He also has numerous television credits, including a recurring role on the CBC show Being Erica, and parts in Saw VI and Adoration.

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Donal Logue
Actor


Terriers, ER, Grounded for Life, Blade, Charlie St. Cloud

Actors Michael Raymond James and Donal Logue held a Q&A and screening of their FX original program, Terriers. Held at the New York City campus in October 2010, the actors also discussed their lengthy film resumes.

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Donald De Line
Producer


The Green Lantern, The Italian Job, Body of Lies, I Love You Man

Producer Donald De Line visited students at New York Film Academy, following a screening of “The Green Lantern.” De Line served as President and Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures, before moving on to Touchstone Pictures. During his tenure as President of Touchstone, he oversaw films including “Pretty Woman,” “Father of the Bride,” “Ransom,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Rushmore,” “Ed Wood,” and the worldwide blockbuster, “Armageddon.” He scored his first major hit as a solo producer with “The Italian Job,” and followed up with Ridley Scott’s “Body of Lies,” and John Hamburg’s “I Love You Man.”

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Doug Liman
Director/Producer


The Bourne Ultimatum, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Heist, The O.C., The Bourn Identity, The Bourne Supremacy

Doug Liman met with students at our New York campus to discuss his body of work in directing and producing. Starting on indie features Go and Swingers, Liman quickly moved on to mainstream hits like The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and The O.C.

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Dylan Baker
Actor


Spiderman 2, Spiderman 3, Happiness, Laramie Project

Actor Dylan Baker may have begun his career on the Broadway stage, but his roles in television and film have brought him mainstream success. Dylan left a memorable mark with his recurring roles on Law & Order, The West Wing, and Murder One, and garnered critical acclaim in Todd Solondz's feature film Happiness. He is also known for his role as Dr. Curt Conners in Spider-Man 2 and 3. Baker is currently playing the role of corporate spy Jerry Berman in the FX original series Damages, alongside Glenn Close, another NYFA guest speaker! He held a Q&A with students in 2006.

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Edward James Olmos
Actor/Director


Zoot Suit, Stand and Deliver, Blade Runner, Battlestar Galactica, Miami Vice, Dexter

Celebrated actor and director Edward James Olmos who got his start in the theatre, garnering a Tony nomination for his role in the play “Zoot Suit.” He received an Oscar nod for his performance in 1988’s “Stand and Deliver,” and is well known for his memorable roles in “Blade Runner,” “American Me,” “My Family/Mi Familia,” “Selena,” and “Time of the Butterflies.” He has won an Emmy and 2 Golden Globes for his celebrated television roles, including “Miami Vice,” “The West Wing,” cult favorite “Battlestar Galactica,” and “Dexter.” He is also a devoted social activist, co-founding the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, Latino Literacy Now, and Latino Public Broadcasting.

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Elliott Gould
Actor


Ocean's Eleven, MASH, The Long Goodbye

Actor Elliott Gould spoke with students during a Q&A at New York Film Academy at Los Angeles in October 2010, following the screening of his film M*A*S*H.

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Eric Roberts
Actor


Star 80, The Dark Knight, The Expendables, The Pope of Greenwich Village

New York Film Academy presented legendary screen actor Eric Roberts with an honorary degree in November 2011, when he visited New York Film Academy at Los Angeles for a screening of his film, “Star 80.” The Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated actor has over 200 acting credits to his name, and is best known for his roles in “The Pope of Greenwich Village,” “Runaway Train, “The Dark Knight,” and “The Expendables.” When asked how he has maintained such a long and successful career, he replied, “I like what I do. I get up every day for work, loving it…. It’s a glorious art. And I’m not really good at much else.” Roberts also shared advice about preparing for roles, dealing with fame, and choosing roles. The down-to-earth actor was extremely generous with his time, and happily posed for pictures and signed autographs for students.

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Ernie Hudson
Actor


Ghostbusters, Oz, Miss Congeniality, Law & Order, Desperate Housewives

Ernie Hudson has a long and varied history in film and television, including a guest role on Fantasy Island. He is best-known for his role as Winston in Ghost Busters, as well as for his recurring roles on Oz, Law & Order, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Hudson visited students at New York Film Academy at Los Angeles in June 2011, and shared stories about his success and the lessons he has learned in the business.

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Frank Marshall
Producer


Raiders of the Lost Ark, Back to the Future, The Sixth Sense, The Bourne Identity

Q&A with Frank Marshall at Los Angeles Campus.

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Fred Murphy
Cinematographer


Secret Window, Eddie and the Cruisers, Murder in the First, Freddy vs. Jason

Q&A with Fred Murphy at Los Angeles Campus.

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Gabriel Byrne
Actor


Usual Suspects, End of Days, Enemy of the State, Ghost Ship

Irish actor Gabriel Byrne began his career acting on the stage in Dublin and London before making the move to the Irish television show The Riordans. He gradually transitioned into featured roles in American films, including Stigmata, Usual Suspects, and End of Days. He currently stars on the HBO drama In Treatment, opposite Dianne Wiest. He spoke to students at the New York campus in September 2006.

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Hal Needham
Director/Stuntman


Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, The Cannonball Run

Q&A with Hal Needham at Los Angeles Campus.

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Hank Azaria
Actor


The Birdcage, Made About You, Huff, Tuesdays with Morrie, Grosse Point Blank, The Simpsons

Though Hank Azaria began his career as a stand-up comedian, he quickly moved into a successful career in television. He has had recurring roles on Herman's Head, Friends, and Mad About You, but may be best known for his voice-over work as multiple characters on The Simpsons, including Moe, Chief Wiggum, Apu, and many more. He has had memorable roles in feature films as well, including The Birdcage, Godzilla, and Great Expectations. Azaria spoke with students at New York Film Academy at Los Angeles on October 22, 2010.

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Haskell Wexler
Cinematographer


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, In The Heat of the Night

Q&A with Haskell Wexler at Los Angeles Campus.

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Henry Winkler
Director


Memories of me, The Waterboy, Night Shift, Click

Q&A with Director, Henry Winkler at Los Angeles Campus.

Most of you will know Henry as "The FONZ" from "Happy Days" and is also know as one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, Henry spoke to the students here at NYFA in 2010, receiving a wonderful standing ovation for his advice and kind words to the students. We screened "Memories of me" with Billy Crystal and Alan King in which Henry directed. Henry booker the role of The FONZ in 1974 - 1984. One of the most memorable characters in television history. He was also the Executive Producer on "MacGyver" from 1985 - 1992. His role as Barry Zuckerkork in "Arrested Development" also won him critical acclaim. Henry has also had a very prolific career as a director as well and considers directing one of him love's. Henry can be seen on "Royal Pains" on the Lifetime network. Henry is also dyslexic which was quite a hurdle to overcome in the Biz. While making a documentary about dyslexia, Winkler himself found, at age 31, that he is dyslexic, he spoke about this in great detail to the students.

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Illeana Douglas
Actress


Easy of Assemble: Finding North, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Ghost World

Actress Illeana Douglas made her mark with memorable roles in "Goodfellas," "Cape Fear," "Stir of Echoes," "Ghost World," "To Die For," and her starring role in "Grace of My Heart." Her television resume includes work on "Entourage," "Seinfeld," "The Larry Sanders Show," "Ugly Betty," "Law & Order," Emmy-nominated appearances on "Six Feet Under," and many more. She visited students at New York Film Academy's Los Angeles campus in November 2011 for a screening of "Easy to Assemble," recently named the most successful branded webseries of all time.

Douglas cheerfully answered questions from acting students about getting started in her career, working on character development, choosing roles, and the difference between working in film and television. She concluded, "We are the people who portray people's lives and dreams and aspirations, and that has more importance than reality TV."

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James Gray
Director


Two Lovers, We Own the Night, The Yards, Little Odessa

Writer/director James Gray made his first film Little Odessa at the age of twentyfive. The film, which starred Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Vanessa Redgrave and Maximilian Schell, received critical acclaim and was the winner of the Venice Film Festival's prestigious Silver Lion Award in 1994. Miramax Films released James Gray's second feature, The Yards, starring Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Faye Dunaway, Ellen Burstyn, Charlize Theron and James Caan in the fall of 2000. The film was selected for official competition at the 2000 Cannes International Film Festival. Prior to The Yards and Little Odessa, Gray attended film school at the University of Southern California. It was there that his student film Cowboys and Angels was first seen by producer Paul Webster, who encouraged Gray to write his first feature script. As a child growing up in Queens, New York, Gray aspired to be a painter. However, when introduced in his early teenage years to the works of various filmmakers, including Francis Ford Coppola, Gray's interests expanded to the art of filmmaking. The Yards returned Gray to Queens, where the story takes place. Currently, Gray is writing a film for Warner Bros., which he will direct. James came to visit NYFA at Los Angeles in 2010, to a theatre filled with students. He held a screening of We Own The Night with Joaquin Phoenix.

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James Signorelli
Director/Producer


Saturday Night Live, Easy Money

Though James Signorelli started his career as director of photography on the classic blaxploitation film Super Fly, he is best known as a director and producer on Saturday Night Live for over 35 years. He spoke with students at New York Film Academy in 2006.

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Janeane Garofalo
Actress


The Truth About Cats & Dogs, Reality Bites, Wet Hot American Summer, Clay Pigeons, 200 Cigarettes, The Cable Guy, Dogma, Ratatouille

Janeane Garofalo made her start in standup comedy, winning an MTV competition while attending Providence College. Though she gained a following with her standup, her mainstream success began after a chance meeting with Ben Stiller at a deli. The two became quick friends and Janeane was asked to co-star in the Emmy-nominated but short-lived Ben Stiller Show. This led to her Emmy-nominated performances on the Larry Sanders Show, and a brief stint on Saturday Night Live. She made her film debut in 1994's Reality Bites. Garofalo continues to have a successful career in standup, as well as with memorable leading and supporting roles in film. She visited enthusiastic students at the New York Film Academy in 2004.

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Jay Roach
Producer/Director


Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Meet the Parents, Dinner for Schmucks

Q&A with Jay Roach at Los Angeles Campus.

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Joe Mantegna
Actor


The Godfather Part III, The Rat Pack, House of Games, Criminal Minds

Joe Mantegna got started as an actor with his award-winning performance in the 1968 Broadway show Hair. He had a two-year run of this play, then started working in front of the camera in his first memorable role in The Money Pit with Tom Hanks. He followed up with a role in The Three Amigos with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short. He then starred in Suspect with Cher. His most memorable role was that of Joey Zasa from The Godfather: Part III. Joe spoke quite a bit on staying relevant and current to keep your career moving forward. For the last 4 years, Joe has been one of the stars of Criminal Minds, the number one scripted drama on television today. Joe has been in over 90 films, a series regular on 4 different television shows, as well as appearing in over 40 television series. His career has truly blossomed over his 40-year stint in the business, and he gave some great advice to the students about character work, on and off camera. Thanks for spending some of your time with us, Joe!

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Joe Mantegna
Actor


Flatliners, Batman Forever, Phone Booth, 8mm, St. Elmo's Fire

Born and raised in working-class New York City, versatile Hollywood director Joel Schumacher is responsible for legendary drama and action blockbusters, including St. Elmo's Fire, Falling Down, Batman Forever, and Veronica Guerin. He joined students for a soecial Q&A and screening of Tigerland in August 2005.

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Joel Silver
Producer


Die Hard, The Matrix, Lethal Weapon, Predator, Sherlock Holmes

Mega-producer Joel Silver visited New York Film Academy for a Q&A and special screening of his 1988 classic, “Die Hard.” Silver has produced more than 60 films, earning more than $13 billion worldwide. His credits include the Academy Award-winning “The Matrix” trilogy, the blockbuster “Lethal Weapon” franchise, and the sci-fi thriller, “Predator.” More recently, he launched the “Sherlock Holmes” franchise for Warner Bros. He is co-founder of Dark Castle Entertainment and owner of Silver Pictures.

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Jon Favreau
Actor/Writer/Director


Swingers, Iron Man, I Love You, Man, Elf, Friends

Initially an indie film favorite, actor Jon Favreau has progressed to strong mainstream visibility into the millennium and, after nearly two decades in the business, is still enjoying character stardom as well as earning notice as a writer/ producer/director. Best known for his work on Swingers and Iron Man, Jon Favreau visited students at New York Film Academy to discuss his long and varied career, and the difference between work on indie films and big-budget blockbusters.

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John Gatins
Writer


Coach Carter, Flight, Hard Ball, Real Steel

Q&A with John Gatins at Los Angeles Campus.

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John Landis
Director


Animal House, Coming to America, An American Werewolf in London, The Blues Brothers, Three Amigos!

John Landis began his career in the mail room of 20th Century Fox. A high school dropout, 18-year-old Landis made his way to Yugoslavia to work as a production assistant on Kelly's Heroes. Remaining in Europe, Landis found work as an actor, extra, and stuntman in many of the Spanish/Italian Spaghetti westerns, and got his start in the business in 1966 as a stuntman in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly with Clint Eastwood. John started working as a director in 1973 and had the smash hit Animal House in 1978, then had a slew of hits through the 80's, including The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London, Trading Places, The Twilight Zone, Spies Like Us, Clue, Three Amigos!, and Coming to America, just to name a few of his major hits. John visited the Los Angeles campus in February of 2011 and spoke to directing students in great detail about the differences between studio and independent productions. He has worked on over 75 films and over 80 television shows. He is considered a legend in the business and expressed his thoughts and feeling on the changes he has seen in the business over the last 40 years. This type of inside information is invaluable for the students here at NYFA. Thanks again, John, for all of your kind words about NYFA, and for sharing a bit of your time with our students.

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Jon Voight
Actor


Ali, Runaway Train, Coming Home, Midnight Cowboy, The Rainmaker

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Juan Antonio Bayona
Director


The Orphanage, The Impossible

Q&A with Juan Antonio Bayona at Los Angeles Campus.

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Juliette Lewis
Actress


Natural Born Killers, Cape Fear, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, From Dusk Till Dawn, Conviction, Due Date

Juliette started her career as a child actor and made a wonderful transition to a career as an adult actor. This is one of the most difficult transitions an actor can make. She spoke about it in great detail when she came to visit NYFA at Los Angeles in January 2011. Her first film was My Stepmother is an Alien, followed by National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. She is best known for her roles in Natural Born Killers, Kalifornia, and Cape Fear. Juliette loves speaking with acting and filmmaking students, and the students at NYFA are no exception. She "tweeted" news about the event just before her arrival, and spoke about how amazing the questions were and how the students really keep her on her toes. Way to go NYFA students! She is excited to visit the campus again when she wraps her next film, so keep your eyes peeled!

Juliette on fame: "Fame can be just so annoying because people are so critical of you. You can't just say, 'Hi.' You say ‘Hi' and people whisper, 'Man, did you see the way she said Hi? What an attitude!" She is the exact opposite -- so down to earth and so real; she treated the students as if she had know them all for 20 years!

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Karyn Kusama
Director


Jennifer's Body, Æon Flux, Girlfight

Special Screening of Jennifer's Body at Los Angeles followed by a Q&A with Director Karyn Kusama

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Kathleen Turner
Actress


Body Heat, The War of the Roses, Romancing the Stone, Prizzi’s Honor, Peggy Sue Got Married

Veteran actor Kathleen Turner was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performances in “Body Heat” and “War of the Roses,” and won for her performances in “Romancing the Stone” and “Prizzi’s Honor.” Her work in “Peggy Sue Got Married,” directed by Francis Ford Coppola, brought her both an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination.

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Ken Howard
Actor


The White Shadow, Dynasty, The Colbys, Rambo

Acclaimed actor and SAG President Ken Howard spoke with students at New York Film Academy in November 2011. He talked about his lengthy career as an actor, beginning with his early days in theatre. When asked about how to maintain a busy career, he urged students to live a creative life: working in theatre, teaching, and working on independent films. He discussed the imminent SAG/AFTRA merger, giving the audience of acting students priceless information about what to expect, and how to negotiate the process of joining the union.

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Ken Kwapis
Director/ Producer


The Office, He's Just Not That Into You, Malcolm in the Middle, Freaks and Geeks, The Larry Sanders Show

Ken Kwapis, Director/ Producer Q&A with Ken Kwapis at Los Angeles Campus.

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Kurt Wimmer
Writer


Total Recall, Equilibrium, Law Abiding Citizen, Salt

Q&A with Kurt Wimmer at Los Angeles Campus.

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Lauren Greenfield
Photographer/Director


Fast Forward, Girl Culture, Thin, The Queen of Versailles

Lauren Greenfield has garnered critical acclaim for her work documenting modern youth culture, examining everything from eating disorders and the obsession with body image, to the extreme effects of consumerism. Author of the groundbreaking books, “Fast Forward,” “Girl Culture,” and “Thin,” Greenfield has been named one of the 25 most influential photographers working today by American Photo. Her work is in many museum collections including the SF MOMA, the Getty, LACMA, Art Institute of Chicago, ICP, and the Smithsonian. Greenfield spoke at length about her career, including her most recent documentary, “The Queen of Versailles,” which was selected as the opening night film for Sundance 2012 and won the Best Director Award in the U.S. Documentary competition.

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Lydia Dean Pilcher
Producer


Amelia, The Darjeeling Limited, The Namesake, Iron Jawed Angels, You Don't Know Jack

Q&A with Producer Lydia Dean Pilcher, produced Amelia, The Darjeeling Limited, The Namesake, Iron Jawed Angels, You Don't Know Jack Producer Lydia Dean Pilcher is best known for Cradle Will Rock, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Namesake, Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited, as well as Mississippi Masala and Vanity Fair with fellow NYFA guest speaker, Mira Nair. She visited the New York Film Academy and gave tips and advice to young filmmakers.

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Martin Kove
Actor


Karate Kid, Wyatt Earp, Rambo: First Blood Part II

Actor Martin Kove spoke to students of the New York Film Academy at Los Angeles in October 2010 after a screening of Karate Kid. Mr. Kove is best known for his role as John Kreese in Karate Kid, leader of the villainous Cobra Kai. Martin has been in over 160 films and television programs, including Wyatt Earp, Rambo: First Blood Part II, and all three installments of the Karate Kid trilogy.

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Meg Liberman
Casting Director


From the Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers, 4400, Life on Mars, Pushing Daisies, King of Queens, My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Q&A with Meg Liberman, Senior Vice President of Casting for CBS Paramount Network TV.

Meg Liberman is Senior Vice President of Casting for CBS Paramount Network TV, and has been nominated for 10 Emmy Awards, winning for the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon in 1998, and for Band of Brothers in 2002. She was kind enough to appear as a guest speaker for New York Film Academy students, and answered questions about the casting process and the studio system.

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Melissa Leo
Actress


The Fighter, Frozen River, Treme, Lullaby, 21 Grams

Melissa Leo got her big break in the film industry (after years of television work) alongside Sean Penn and Naomi Watts in 21 Grams. She followed up with a string of supporting roles in big-budget dramas, and was nominated for her first Oscar for Frozen River. She won her first Oscar in 2011 for her performance in The Fighter. She spoke at the New York Film Academy on her award-winning role in Frozen River.

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Michael Besman
Producer


About Schmidt, Bounce, Seven Years in Tibet, The Opposite of Sex, Georgia Rule

Michael Besman spoke to students at New York Film Academy's Los Angeles campus about his work as a production executive, followed by his own producing. His career began with the Brad Pitt film Seven Years in Tibet, followed by the awardwinning The Opposite of Sex and Golden Globe-winning About Schmidt.

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Michael Raymond James
Actor


Terriers, True Blood, ER, CSI, Life, The Fixos

Actors Michael Raymond James and Donal Logue held a Q&A and screening of their FX original program, Terriers. Held at the New York City campus in October 2010, the actors also discussed their lengthy film resumes.

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Nanette Burstein
Director/Producer


American Teen, Going the Distance

Director Nanette Burstein recently screened the Sundance award-winning documentary American Teen for our students at the New York Film Academy. The film follows the lives of five teenagers - a jock, a popular girl, a heartthrob, an artsy girl, and a geek – in one small town in Indiana through their senior year of high school. We see the insecurities, the cliques, the jealousies, the first loves and heartbreaks, and the struggle to make profound decisions about the future.

It's in part funny, in part sad, and wholly unforgettable. The use of animation within the context of the documentary to exemplify the inner lives of the characters was applauded by all the students. Director Nanette Burstein and producer Jordan Roberts participated in a Q&A with our students after the screening, and the students were very engaged, making for a very interesting discussion.

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Neil Hopkins
Actor


Detour, Skyline, LOST

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Nia Vardalos
Writer/Actress


My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Life in Ruins, Connie and Carla

Q&A with Nia Vardalos at Los Angeles Campus.

http://www.nyfa.edu/film-school-blog/nia-vardalos-visits-new-york-film-academy/

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Paul Brown
Producer/Writer


The X-Files, Quantum Leap, Star Trek: Voyager

The New York Film Academy Open House in Moscow with Paul Brown as a special guest, took place at the American Educational Center, also attracted much attention. Besides, 2 master-classes were arranged for private high school students and an Alumni Association of the New York Film Academy Russian Students was opened.

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Paul Haggis
Writer/Director


Crash, Million Dollar Baby

In May 2005, students at the Los Angeles campus were treated to a Q&A with writer/director Paul Haggis and co-writer, Bobby Moresco of the movie Crash. Students enjoyed hearing the story behind the Oscar-winning film.

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Paul Rachman
Director


American Hardcore, Memories, Drive Baby Drive, Home, Bang Bang, Zoe XO

Director Paul Rachman began his career making underground films and punk music videos. He made his feature debut directing Forrest Whittaker in 2000’s crime thriller, Four Dogs Playing Poker. He is best known for his 2006 documentary on punk music, American Hardcore.

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Paul Schrader
Director/Writer


Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, American Gigolo

Legendary director and writer Paul Schrader visited the the New York Film Academy at Abu Dhabi, and held us spell-bound with his master classes in Screenwriting and New Media. He also screened his films Mishima and his new film, Adam Resurrected, to our students followed by extensive Q&A sessions.

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Paul Zaentz
Producer


The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Goya's Ghosts, Full Grown Men

Producer Paul Zaentz made a visit to speak with students at the New York Film Academy in March 2007. He made his debut as co-producer on Philip Kaufman’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and followed up with the Oscar-nominated The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley (with fellow NYFA guest speakers Lydia Dean Pilcher and Philip Seymour Hoffman). He dropped by for a screening of Goya’s Ghost, a project directed by Milos Forman, and starring Javier Bardem and Natalie Portman.

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Peter Hedges
Director/Screenwriter


Dan in Real Life, Pieces of April, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, About a Boy

Screenwriter Peter Hedges found his first success with his novel and adaptation of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. He was nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay for About a Boy. He visited the New York Film Academy in January 2005 for a screening and discussion of his directorial debut, Pieces of April.

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Phillip Noyce
Director


The Bone Collector, Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, Dead Calm

Director Phillip Noyce spoke with students at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus in November 2011, following a screening of “Dead Calm.” He shared that the first time the film was screened for Warner Bros. executives, it was in the same theater. He talked about making films in his youth, helping to create the underground film scene in Australia with George Miller and Peter Weir. He also discussed the differences in working on small and big-budget films, and working with Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie. Of working on film productions, Noyce said, “We’re just tent circus people. We put together a team of acrobats, put on a show, and move out We’re just common show people."

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Randal Kleiser
Director


Grease, White Fang, The Blue Lagoon, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, It's My Party, Flight of the Navigator

Director Randal Kleiser visited the New York Film Academy at Los Angeles in March 2011. He held a master class featuring clips from The Nina Foch Course for Filmmakers and Actors, and led students in acting exercises. Kleiser has an impressive list of directing credits, but is best-known for his feature film debut, Grease.

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Reginald Hudlin
Producer


Django Unchained, House Party, Boomerang, The Ladies Man

Q&A with Reginald Hudlin at Los Angeles Campus.

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Richard Dreyfuss
Actor


The Goodbye Girl, Close Encounters, Jaws, American Graffiti

New York Film Academy presented acting icon Richard Dreyfuss with an honorary degree at the Los Angeles campus in November 2011, following a screening of his Academy Award-winning film, “The Goodbye Girl.” He discussed his early years in theatre and how it trained him for his film career. He also described how he dealt with a once-flailing career, and how he dealt with fame, saying, “Celebrity is the stupidest thing on Earth. The only good thing is that you can get a table at a restaurant.” Dreyfuss gave inspiring answers to questions from acting students, saying, “If you’re going to devote yourself to this industry that can destroy you, you have to be proud of it, and you have to know why you’re doing it…. To show mankind a true picture of himself is hard, and embarrassing, and glorious."

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Robert Forster
Actor


Jackie Brown, Mulholland Dr., The Descendants

Q&A with Robert Forster at Los Angeles Campus.

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Robert Mark Kamen
Writer


Taps, The Karate Kid, The Fifth Element, Taken

Q&A with Robert Mark Kamen at Los Angeles Campus.

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Robert Towne
Screenwriter


Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Chinatown

Robert Towne is considered to be one of the top writers in Hollywood. Some of his amazing work includes Bonnie and Clyde, The Zodiac Killer, Chinatown, Shampoo, Heaven Can Wait, Tequila Sunrise, Days of Thunder, The Firm, and Suspect Zero. These films are considered to be some of the best screenplays ever written. Towne works as a writer, director, producer, and actor. Born in Los Angeles and raised in the seaport town of San Pedro, he got his start acting and writing for legendary exploitation director/producer Roger Corman and came into his own during the 1970;s when he was regarded as one of the finest screenwriters in Hollywood. Towne was gracious enough to spend some time with the students here at NYFA at Los Angeles. He won the Academy Award for his work on Chinatown in 1974.

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Scott Franklin
Producer


Black Swan, The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream, Hounddog

Scott Franklin visited our New York campus in October 2009 to discuss his project, Black Swan. Franklin has had great success, pairing with director Darren Aronofsky on the critically-acclaimed Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and The Wrestler. He also produced 2007’s Hounddog with Dakota Fanning and Jill Scott.

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Sean Young
Actress


Blade Runner, No Way Out, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Sean began her career as an actress in 1980 in her first feature film Stripes, where she played the girlfriend of Harold Ramis. One of her most well-known roles was in the film Blade Runner with Harrison Ford. She then went on to star in No Way Out with Kevin Costner, The Boost with James Woods, and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective with Jim Carre. A trained dancer, Sean Young studied at the School of American Ballet in New York, and recently made her professional stage debut in the Los Angeles production of Stardust. She was cast as Vicky Vale in Tim Burton's 1989 version of Batman, but was replaced with Kim Basinger after an injury sustained riding a horse. On the Los Angeles campus, Sean spoke in great detail about her career and mistakes that she made, really making the students understand the way the business works and what is required. She spoke very frankly about her ups and downs, and how to avoid pitfalls as an actor.

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Ted Hope
Producer


Adventureland, 21 Grams, American Splendor, The Savages, The Devil, Daniel Johnston Ted Hope

In October 2009, NYFA students got an overview of how films get made, financed, and distributed from one of the best. As part of the Good Machine production company, and later This is That, Ted Hope has worked over a dozen Academy Awards-nominated films, including 21 Grams, The Ice Storm, American Splendor, and Happiness.

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Ted Kotcheff
Director


Wake in Fright, Weekend at Bernie's, First Blood

Q&A with Ted Kotcheff at Los Angeles Campus.

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Thelma Schoonmaker
Editor


Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Departed, The Aviator, Casino, Kundun, The Age of Innocence, Cape Fear, New York Stories, The Color of Money, After Hours, Raging Bull

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Timur Bekmambetov
Director


Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Night Watch, Day Watch

Q&A with Timur Bekmambetov at Los Angeles Campus.

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Vittorio Storaro
Cinematographer


Apocalypse Now, Last Emperor, The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris

Vittorio Storaro, the award -winning cinematographer who won Oscars for Apocalypse Now, Reds, and The Last Emperor, was born on June 24, 1940 in Rome, where his father was a projectionist at the Lux Film Studio. At the age of 11, he began studying photography at a technical school. He had a series of custom color gels produced by Rosco International, which he formulated to comply with his theories about emotional response to color. Rosco markets these gels as "The Storaro Selection." He created the Univisium system – a 3-perforation 35mm format with an aspect ratio of 2:1 – with the intention of this becoming a universal aspect ratio for both film and TV. He has insisted on cropping all of his movies to the 2:1 aspect ratio in order for his films to comply with the Univision system. Vittorio visited the New York Film Academy in December 2010 for a screening of Apocalypse Now. His work as a D.P. is considered some of the best footage ever seen. His unique style is visionary and the students’ questions really kept him on his toes.

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Wally Pfister
Cinematographer


Inception, The Dark Knight, Money Ball, Memento, The Prestige

Q&A with Wally Pfister at Los Angeles Campus.

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William Friedkin
Director


The French Connection, The Exorcist, Cruising, To Live and Die in L.A.

Legendary director William Friedkin commanded the audience of New York Film Academy students from the moment he walked in the door. He spoke with students at the Los Angeles campus in November 2011, following a screening of “The French Connection.” He talked about the film, which won 5 Academy Awards, and confessed he never did a storyboard for the infamous car chase scene, adding that none of the collisions were planned. He also discussed his acclaimed films “The Exorcist” and “To Live and Die in L.A.” When asked what advice he had for aspiring filmmakers, Friedkin simply replied, “Watch Kubrick. Watch Hitchcock. Watch Almodovar."

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Thomas Jane
Actor


Hung, The Mist, Punisher

Q&A with actor Thomas Jane at Australia Campus.

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Tobin Bell
Actor


Saw 3D, Saw III, Saw II, The Saw Series, 24, Mississippi Burning

With countless supporting roles in television and feature films, Tobin Bell is most known for his role as John “Jigsaw” Kramer, the villain in the Saw horror films, and is the only actor to appear in all seven films. He spoke with students at the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus in December 2010.

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Tom DiCillo
Writer/Director/Cinematographer


Living in Oblivion, Jonny Suede, Coffee and Cigarettes, Stranger Than Paradise, Box of Moon Light, Law & Order

Tom DiCillo began his career as a cinematographer on Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise and Coffee and Cigarettes. He soon made the leap to writing and directing, finding success with 1995’s Living in Oblivion. He continues to work in film and television.

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Tom Quinn
Writer/Director


The New Year Parade, Jesus Camp

Tom Quinn is Head of Acquisitions at Magnolia Pictures. His acquisitions include Jesus Camp, District B13, Tears of the Black Tiger, and Cocaine Cowboys.

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Tom Woodruff
Special Effect Master


Aliens, Jumanji, The Terminator, The X Files, Star Trek III, Death Becomes Her, Cast Away, X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Q&A with Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Oscar-Winning Special Effects Masters at Los Angeles Campus.

During their visit to the Los Angeles campus in May 2011, Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff spent valuable time with students during their Q&A, sharing their experiences as neighborhood adolescent filmmakers to film school students, to Roger Corman's employees, to the real world of filmmaking in Hollywood. One of the most important lessons they spoke about was the generation gap between practical special effects artists and CGI/digital effects artists. In their eyes it's truly a change in the evolution of filmmaking since studios and special effects supervisors are usually quick to "make things easier" or "cheaper" by going all-digital with effects, whereas Woodruff and Gillis feel practical effects create a real sense for the audience to truly believe what's happening in the story. However, they both spoke about doing what's right for the story.

Tom and Alec spoke very highly about their desire to work closely with the director when creating the vision for the film, as opposed to a producer or studio executive who doesn't know the specific details the director is looking for. The students thoroughly enjoyed their wisdom and thought-provoking conversation from these Academy Award-winning creature creators.

Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff have recently done work for the new X-Men: First Class, and the upcoming prequel to The Thing, and have worked on some of the largest studio productions in history: The Terminator, Aliens, Star Trek III, Death Becomes Her, Jumanji, The X Files, Cast Away, and Superman Returns.

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Vilmos Zsigmond
Cinematographer


Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Deer Hunter, Maverick, Deliverance, The Witches of Eastwick

Legendary cinematographer visited students at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus in February 2011. His work has brought him acclaim, including Academy Award nominations for The Deer Hunter, The River, and The Black Dahlia, as well as an Oscar win for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which he worked on with fellow NYFA guest speakers Steven Spielberg and Michael Phillips.

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William Dickerson
Writer/Director


Detour, Shadowbox

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Zachary Mortensen
Producer


Students at New York Film Academy met with Zachary Mortensen, founder of Ghost Robot, a New York City commercial and music video house. Ghost Robot has helped produced content for an impressive roster of clients including MTV, Google, and Johnson & Johnson, with music video credits including Kanye West, Bjork, and Common.

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Alan Ladd Jr.
Producer


Braveheart, Gone Baby Gone, The Man in the Iron Mask, An Unfinished Life, Thelma & Louise

Alan Ladd Jr. visited students at New York Film Academy's Los Angeles location on October 25, 2011, following a screening of "Thelma & Louise."

One of the industry's most respected executives, Ladd was formerly the president of Twentieth Century Fox, overseeing such box office blockbusters as "Star Wars," "Alien," and "Young Frankenstein." After leaving the Fox to form The Ladd Company, he found success with the Oscar winners "The Right Stuff" and "Chariots of Fire." During his later tenure at MGM/UA, he enjoyed hits with "A Fish Called Wanda," "Moonstruck," and "Thelma & Louise." Ladd reformed the Ladd Company with Paramount Pictures in 1993 where he produced the hits "The Brady Bunch Movie" and Best Picture winner, "Braveheart."

The soft-spoken legend, son of actor Alan Ladd Sr., told stories about growing up in a home where Cary Grant and Gary Cooper were regular visitors. He lamented about the current state of the industry, receiving a round of applause from students after he called modern movies "crap." Said Ladd, “The studio system is run by lawyers and accountants. No one makes real movies anymore.”

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Alec Gillis
Special Effect Master


Jumanji, Death Becomes Her, The X Files, Aliens, Cast Away, X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Q&A with Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Oscar-Winning Special Effects Masters at Los Angeles Campus.

During their visit to the Los Angeles campus in May 2011, Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff spent valuable time with students during their Q&A, sharing their experiences as neighborhood adolescent filmmakers to film school students, to Roger Corman's employees, to the real world of filmmaking in Hollywood. One of the most important lessons they spoke about was the generation gap between practical special effects artists and CGI/digital effects artists. In their eyes it's truly a change in the evolution of filmmaking since studios and special effects supervisors are usually quick to "make things easier" or "cheaper" by going all-digital with effects, whereas Woodruff and Gillis feel practical effects create a real sense for the audience to truly believe what's happening in the story. However, they both spoke about doing what's right for the story.

Tom and Alec spoke very highly about their desire to work closely with the director when creating the vision for the film, as opposed to a producer or studio executive who doesn't know the specific details the director is looking for. The students thoroughly enjoyed their wisdom and thought-provoking conversation from these Academy Award-winning creature creators.

Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff have recently done work for the new X-Men: First Class, and the upcoming prequel to The Thing, and have worked on some of the largest studio productions in history: The Terminator, Aliens, Star Trek III, Death Becomes Her, Jumanji, The X Files, Cast Away, and Superman Returns.

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Alec Sokolow
Screenwriter


Evan Almighty, Daddy Day Camp, Garfield

Screenwriter Alec Sokolow met with students at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus in September 2011. Known for his writing credits on Evan Almighty, Daddy Day Camp, and Garfield, Sokolow held a Q&A, following a screening of his Oscar-nominated film Toy Story.

He began with the story of his first trip to Los Angeles when Tova Laiter, the interviewer for the evening (and a family friend), picked him up from the airport. Sokolow also gave insight into his working relationship with his writing partner, Joel Cohen, saying that it is difficult to share the writing experience at first. "There’s the same ego and silent fights that you would have in a marriage. The key is that screenplays are collaborative, and you lose control as soon as you turn it in. We know that if we can’t convince each other of something, we won’t be able to convince others."

When asked about the process of working on Toy Story, Sokolow told students that the original version was meant to be much more adult. It included Woody’s character breaking the fourth wall, speaking directly to the audience. It also included lots of cursing, more drama, and a suicide attempt by Buzz. In the end, he said he was happy with how the film turned out. "It’s really satisfying to know that we did something that affected the culture. It’s not about the money because it gave me a career."

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Alonso Mayo
Writer/Director


The Story of Luke

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Barbara De Fina
Producer


The Age of Innocence, Goodfellas, The Last Temptation of Christ

Barbara De Fina, world renowned producer and Martin Scorsese's long time producer/collaborator, had a Q & A with New York Film Academy Students after the screening of film clips.

Barbara De Fina, world-renowned producer and Martin Scorsese's long time producer/collaborator, had a Q&A with New York Film Academy students in September 2008 after the screening of film clips from her celebrated career.

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Bob Bergen
Voice Actor


Space Jam, Toy Story 2, Monster, Inc., Up

Voice actor Bob Bergen visited student at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus in November 2011 for a Q&A following a screening of “Space Jam.” When he was five years old, he told his mother he wanted to be the voice of Porky Pig. His mother replied, “Honey, you can’t be Porky Pig. You’re Jewish.” Bergen spent his youth mimicking his favorite cartoon characters, and coming up with characters of his own. He trained as an actor, and studied improv for 3 years – training he called absolutely invaluable for any actor. He shared insights about the audition process, and how to maintain a successful career through the years. He also taught excited acting students how to do the voice of Porky Pig. He has voiced numerous Looney Toons characters in countless feature films, television shows, albums, toys, and games. He currently stars as Porky Pig in Cartoon Network's The Looney Tunes Show.

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Brenda Vaccaro
Actress


Midnight Cowboy, You Don't Know Jack

Academy Award-nominated actress and New York Film Academy acting instructor Brenda Vaccaro joined students at the Los Angeles campus in August 2011 for a screening of the Oscar-winning film, Midnight Cowboy. The acclaimed actress is also well-known for her numerous theatre, television, and film roles, including her recent appearance in You Don't Know Jack with Al Pacino.

She shared her experiences working on Midnight Cowboy, and said, "We all got this sense that this was a different kind of film than anything we had ever seen." She also answered questions from students in the audience, including how she prepares for roles, her history working the theatre, and her thoughts on nudity in film. She also took the opportunity to turn the tables, asking questions back to the audience about what it was like to be starting in the industry. Brenda added, "The minute you take the word 'rejection' seriously, you're out of the industry."

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Brian Trenchard Smith
Director


Leprechaun, Hard Drive, Man From Hong Kong

Q&A with director Brian Trenchard Smith at Australia Campus.

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Buck Henry
Screenwriter


The Graduate, To Die For, Get Smart

Q&A with Screenwriter Buck Henry at New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.

With credits including screenwriter for The Graduate and What's Up, Doc?, director of Heaven Can Wait, and creator of Get Smart, Buck Henry has had a long career in the entertainment industry. More recently, Buck has made guest appearances on Will & Grace and 30 Rock. He visited students at the Los Angeles campus in December 2010, and shared stories from his legendary career.

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Chris Galletta
Screenwriter


The Kings of Summer

Q&A with Chris Galletta at Los Angeles Campus.

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Chuck Russell
Director


The Mask, The Scorpion King, The Blob, Eraser, A Nightmare on Elm St: 3

Q&A with Director, Chuck Russell at New York Film Academy.

Chuck Russell held a Q&A session in March 2011 at the Los Angeles campus, following a screening of his 1994 comedy, The Mask. Russell is also known for his directing on Eraser and The Scorpion King.

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David Paterson
Screenwriter


Bridge to Terabithia

David Paterson wrote the screenplay for Bridge to Terabithia, based on the Newbury Award-winning novel written by his mother, Katherine Paterson. He also has multiple short films that have won prizes at film festivals worldwide.

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Derrick Comedy
Actor/Director


Mystery Team (Cast Members Dominic Dierkes, Meggie McFadden, and Director Dan Eckman)

Q&A With Internet Sensation Derrick Comedy Members from Mystery Team

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Diane Neal
Actress


Law & Order

Star of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and recent graduate of New York Film Academy, Diane Neal visited with students in April 2005 and said, "I expected a lot and the course exceeded my expectations." She has recently made appearances on 30 Rock and NCIS.

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Eva Kolodner
Producer


Boys Don't Cry

Eva Kolodner visited our New York City campus in October 2008. She shared stories about working on the critically-acclaimed film Boys Don't Cry. She has also produced Rhinoceros Eyes with Michael Pitt, and Evergreen with Mary Kay Place, another guest speaker at New York Film Academy!

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Fraser Heston
Director/Screenwriter/Producer


Charlton Heston and Ben Hur - A PersonalJourney, The Crucifer of Blood, Treasure island, Needful Things, Alaska

Director/producer Fraser Heston visited students at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus in November 2011 to share his film "Charlton Heston & Ben-Hur: A Personal Journey.” The film about his father was included as a companion piece on the 50th anniversary Blu-ray release of "Ben-Hur. It is a portrait of the actor as he prepared for his legendary role, told through personal stories, archival footage, and home movies. Fraser talked about growing up with a legend for a father, describing him as very loving and caring. He joked, “I won the parent lottery. But as a kid, I probably imagined he was a professional charioteer.” Fraser also discusses his own film work, including the recent documentary, “The Search for Michael Rockefeller."

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Fred Roos
Producer


Apocalypse Now, The Godfather III, Rumble Fish

Fred started his career as a casting director in 1960 . He cast such films as Five Easy Pieces, The Godfather, and American Graffiti, and also worked in television casting on The Andy Griffith Show. He has also worked as a producer on films such as Godfather 2 & 3, Apocalypse Now, The Outsiders, Barfly, Lost in Translation. He has the lifetime achievement award from the Casting Society of America. Fred spent some time with filmmaking students at the Los Angeles campus in 2010. He was so straightforward in his approach to the business, the students asked him to come back! Fred's eye for talent, combined with his passion and drive, have not gone unnoticed by the industry; in 1975, Fred's work as a producer on The Godfather Part II earned him the Academy Award for Best Picture.

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George McGrath
Writer


Tracey Takes On..., Allan McKeown, Tracey Ullman, Pee-wee's Playhouse, Big Top Pee-wee

Guest Speaker George McGrath speaks to students at the New York Film Academy at Los Angeles. Mr. McGrath is a 4-time Emmy nominee and GLADD awardwinner.

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Glen Hansard
Irish singer


Once

The acclaimed Irish singer/songwriter Glen Hansard had one big dream: to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. But he never imagined he'd be singing at the 2008 Academy Awards. Not only did the Irish film star and musician of the movie Once play Los Angeles' Kodak Theater with co-star Marketa Irglova, they won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Just the day before, the film won the 2008 Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and has won some 11 festival awards, including the Sundance Film Festival. Once has been touted as the iconic musical for this generation. And the magic that has always been a part of Glen Hansard's fairy-tale life, from his humble beginnings as a street performer to one of Ireland's most beloved musicians, has spilled over to the film. As Glen said in his acceptance speech, "We shot on two Handycams. It took us three weeks to make. We made it for a hundred grand. We never thought we would come into a room like this and be in front of you people...make art." Marketa added, "This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, (Oscar) it's just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible."

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H.H. Cooper
Director


Rachel Getting Married, Synecdoche, New York, Music and Lyrics, Dead Presidents

H.H. Cooper stopped by the New York City campus in June 2008 to share his insights about working with filmmakers Jonathan Demme, Robert DeNiro, Charlie Kaufman, Spike Lee, Penny Marshall, and Wong Kar Wai, as well as actors Drew Barrymore, Matt Damon, Hilary Swank. He is currently producing a documentary with Oscar award-winning director Jonathan Demme about Bob Marley. When asked what advice he had for young directors and producers, he said, "Make movies. Just make movies." It was inspiring in its simplicity.

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Jan de Bont
Cinematographer


Twister, Basic Instinct, Speed, Black Rain, Turkish Delight, The Haunting

Renowned director and cinematographer Jan de Bont visited students at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus in September 2011 for a screening of Twister, followed by a Q&A. He shared secrets from the set, including the ground-breaking special effects that were designed especially for the movie.

Following the moderated discussion, de Bont graciously spoke with students, and answered questions about working with actors, his background working on Dutch films, the difficulty of working in the studio system, getting started in the film industry, and future projects.

De Bont shared anecdotes about his long career in film, including the story of getting mauled by a tiger on the set of his first American project, Roar. He also discussed many of his previous projects, including Basic Instinct, Speed, Black Rain, Turkish Delight, and The Haunting. The famed director and DP answered numerous questions from students and even posed for pictures after the event.

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Jane Jenkins
Casting Director


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Transformers, Jurassic Park, A Beautiful Mind, The Princess Bride

Students loved the special screening of The Princess Bride with casting director Jane Jenkins. Held in March 2011 for New York Film Academy's Los Angeles campus, Jenkins answered questions from the students about the casting process, and her experience in the film industry.

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Jeff Lipsky
Director/Writer


Once More with Feeling, Childhood's End

Jeff Lipsky is a renowned filmmaker/distributor and co-founder of October Films, and has been distributor for filmmaking legends: John Cassavetes, Jim Jarmusch, Mike Leigh, Robert Altman, Albert Brooks, Eric Rohmer, Lisa Cholodenko, David Lynch, and Lars Von Trier.

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John Hamburg
Director/Writer/Producer


Meet the Fockers, Along Came Polly, I Love You Man

John Hamburg is best known for his comedy work, including writing credits for Meet the Parents, Zoolander, and I Love You, Man. He has directed the hits I Love You, Man, and Along Came Polly. He held a Q&A exclusively for New York Film Academy students, and showed clips from his body of work.

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Kay Schaber Wolf
Independent Film Executive


Independent Film Executive for the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW)

Kay Schaber Wolf, an independent film executive from Writer's Guild America, West, spoke to NYFA 2nd Year & MFA Screenwriters at the WGA headquarters in Hollywood in March 2007. She conducts outreach to emerging writer/filmmakers, encouraging them to use WGA contracts and join in the community of Guild Writers. Working with the Independent Film Writers Steering Committee, she identifies and implements ways to increase independent narrative and documentary screenwriters' status and influence within the film industry.

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Kenneth Johnson
Writer/Producer


V, The Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk, Alien Nation, The Six Million Dollar Man

Kenneth Johnson is the visionary behind multiple science fiction and fantasy TV shows, including The Six Million Dollar Man, The Incredible Hulk, Alien Nation, The Bionic Woman, and V. He joined students in November 2009 at the Los Angeles campus for a Q&A session.

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Kenneth Lonergan
Director/Screenwriter


You Can Count On Me, Gangs of New York, Analyze This, Analyze That

New York Film Academy students were excited to meet Kenneth Lonergan, director of You Can Count On Me, and screenwriter for Gangs of New York. The Oscarnominated screenwriter shared his experiences working in the film industry in October 2004.

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Laslo Kovacs
Cinematographer


Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Ghostbusters, My Best Friend's Wedding, What's Up, Doc?, Paper Moon, Shampoo

The New York Film Academy was honored to play host to three legendary cinematographers in June 2004. Laszlo Kovacs (1933-2007), Bill Fraker, and Roy Wagner held a panel discussion for students, in which they discussed their extensive film histories and how the industry and technology have changed throughout their careers. We feel truly privileged to have had the opportunity to host these renowned luminaries.

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Linus Sandgren
Cinematographer


Promised Land, Storm

Q&A with Linus Sandgren at Los Angeles Campus.

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Louis Gossett Jr
Actor


An Officer and a Gentleman, Roots, Why Did I Get Married Too?, The Perfect Game, ER

Q & A with Academy Award Winning Actor, Louis Gossett Jr. at New York Film Academy.

For students who weren't lucky enough to be a part of Louis Gossett, Jr.'s master classes in acting, New York Film Academy students were treated to a screening of An Officer and a Gentleman, the film that scored Gossett his Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

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Mark Harris
Producer


Crash, Gods and Monsters

Julie Lott Gallo, producer of Local Color, interviewed Mark Harris, producer of Crash, after a screening of Crash for New York Film Academy at Los Angeles students in October 2008. Harris is also known for his long list of producing credits for television.

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Mark Romanek
Director


Never Let Me Go

In September 2011, director Mark Romanek joined students for a Q&A at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus, following a screening of Never Let Me Go. Mark spoke about his diverse background, including his award-winning work in music videos, commercials, and feature length films.

Mark talked at length about the process of working on Never Let Me Go: working with child actors, directing the leads, and his experience filming in England.

When asked about his current work, Mark shared news that he was in discussions with Disney to direct a live-action version of Cinderella. Mark said he was looking forward to exploring the possibilities of the project, and was thinking of a dark look similar to Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast.

Excited students asked him about what it is like transitioning from the drama Never Let Me Go, to working on a Kia commercial with killer robots and dancing hamsters. He responded, "Umm… I’ve had a weird path."

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Mary Kay Place
Actress


Lonesome Jim, Grace is Gone, Being John Malkovich, Sweet Home Alabama

In March 2006, New York Film Academy students saw an advanced screening of Lonesome Jim, directed by Steve Buscemi, followed by a Q&A with actress Mary Kay Place. The prolific actress has over 100 acting credits in film and television, including recurring roles on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, My So-Called Life, and Bored to Death. She is currently an actress on the HBO original series, Big Love.

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Matt Wolf
Director


Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell

Director Matt Wolf visited students at New York Film Academy in September 2008 for a screening of his award-winning Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell. The documentary explores the life of musician Arthur Russell, with interviews with his friends and contemporaries, including Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass, and Jens Lekman.

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Maureen Ryan
Producer


Man On Wire, The King

Students were treated to a screening of the Academy Award-winning Man on Wire with documentary producer Maureen Ryan in May 2011. Best known for her documentary work, Ryan also co-produced 2005's The King with Gael Garcia Bernal and William Hurt.

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Melvin Sokolsky
Photographer


Harper’s Bazaar

Legendary photographer Melvin Sokolsky joined the staff of Harper's Bazaar at 21, creating some of the magazine's most iconic covers. He worked as a major contributor to Esquire, McCall's, Newsweek, and Show before transitioning to film and commercials. Sokolsky is the recipient of every major television commercial award including the coveted Directors Guild nomination and 25 Clio Awards, and was nominated for an Academy Award for a computerized zoom lens that he designed. His photographs of internationally-famous personalities have appeared in many of the major museums and magazines worldwide.

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Michael Gallagher
Writer/Director


Smiley, Totally Sketch

Q&A with Michael Gallagher at Los Angeles Campus.

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Michael Phillips
Producer


The Sting, Taxi Driver, Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Legendary film producer Michael Phillips visited students at New York Film Academy's Los Angeles campus in November 2010. He recounted stories from his long career, including his work on Taxi Driver and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

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Mike Fenton
Casting Director


Chinatown, Blade Runner, American Graffiti, The Godfather Part II

Acclaimed casting director Mike Fenton discussed the casting process with 2nd Year MFA filmmakers, producers, and actors at New York Film Academy's Los Angeles campus. Fenton is the award-winning casting director of some of Hollywood's biggest hit films, with over 250 credits to his name.

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Mira Nair
Director/Producer


Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala

In February 2009, Mira Nair, director of Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala, and Salaam Bombay!, visited New York Film Academy and held master classes with filmmaking students.

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Roger Guenveur Smith
Writer/Actor


Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, School Daze, Get On The Bus

Roger Guenveur Smith visited students at the New York Film Academy in January 2008 for a special Q&A and screening of A Huey P. Newton Story. Smith is best known for his acting roles in American Gangster, Do the Righ Thing, Malcom X, and School Daze.

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Ron Meyer
President/COO


Ron Meyer, COO and President of Universal Studios, held a Q&A for students on the Universal lot in August 2011. Meyer shared stories from his youth, from his humble upbringing, dropping out of school at 15, joining the marines at 17, and working as a messenger at a talent agency. He soon began working as an agent at Paul Kohner Agency, followed by five years at the William Morris Agency. In 1975, he and fellow agents launched Creative Artists Agency.

Ron was very generous with his time, and answered many questions from students, including changing trends in technology and distribution, the lessons he learned in the military, and how to get started in the industry.

Meyer repeatedly emphasized that the best way to get started as an actor is to work with an agent. He said that, finding "good representation is the best thing you can do, and the hardest job you will ever have." He also admitted that many people wanting to work in the film business will never make it. His advice? Stick around, because eventually your competition will "all die or quit…. Accept as few ‘no’s’ as possible."

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Ronnie Yeskel
Casting Director


Orphan, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Hope Floats, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Blade: The Series

Award-winning casting director Ronnie Yeskel held a Q&A session with students at the New York Film Academy at Los Angeles in August 2009, and discussed his history in the film industry, working as a casting director on some of the most important and influential films of the past few decades.

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R.W. Goodwin
Producer/Writer/Director


The X-Files, Alien Trespass, Tru Calling

In October 2010, students at the New York City campus attended a Q&A with R.W. Goodwin, producer/writer/director at New York Film Academy. His numerous feature film credits include The X-Files, Alien, and Trespass.

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Stephen Rivele
Writer


Copying Beethoven

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Angela Northington
Producer


Distribution consultant working with content producers and library holders on digital media content strategy and development. Producer’s representative securing distribution and handling contract negotiation of broadcast and digital media rights including PPV, VOD/SVOD, basic cable and free television, electronic sell-thru, download, streaming and other IP/electronic delivery systems.

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Nicholas Stein
Producer


Award winning television producer. From 2009 - 2012, in 56 episodes, he chronicled the efforts of officers and agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), ICE, DEA and the US Coast Guard to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal entry into the U.S.

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Xavier Kochhar
CEO & Co-Founder of SDI


CEO and co-founder of Structured Data Intelligence (SDI), which has one of the largest structured video content databases in the industry. Former packaging agent at the William Morris Agency.

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Harry Hamlin
Actor


L.A. Law, Clash of the Titans, Strange Hearts, Mad Men, Army Wives, Shoot or Be Shot

From his early Golden Globe nom for “Best Motion Picture Acting Debut” to his 3 GG nominations later for top rated Law & Order, and a recent Emmy nomination for AMC Mad Men, Hamlin has been steadily working in TV, film, and stage. From recently completed Showtime’s Shameless and Army Wives, to memorable guest appearances on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Veronica Mars. With wife Lisa Rinna’s, he participated on Dancing With The Stars, Broadway revival of Chicago and reality series Harry Loves Lisa that will coincide with the launch of his memoir, Full Frontal Nudity. On film, Hamlin stared with Adam Sandler’s in comedy Strange Wilderness. As Perseus in the cult favorite Clash Of The Titans with Sir Lawrence Olivier, as well as many independents. Hamlin received a BA in Drama from Yale University, and Master of Fine Arts in Acting from The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.

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Andy Armstrong
Stunt Coordinator


Planet of the Apes, Thor, The Amazing Spiderman, Hansel & Gretel, The Green Hornet, I Robot, Galaxy Quest, The Eleventh Hour, Eragon, Scooby-Doo 2

Andy began his film career in 1972 in England and France as a vehicle stunt performer. Andy's talent was mostly concentrated towards vehicles stunts. Andy decided in 1973 to make use of his organizational skills too and become an assistant film director. This proved extremely successful and Andy enjoyed a meteoritic rise through the ranks of third, second and eventually first AD to become one of the World's most highly paid AD's. This work took him all over the world. Specializing particularly in very large international productions that involved complex, dangerous and logistically difficult stunts and action sequences. From 1973 to 1987 Andy worked as an Assistant Director on more than 70 International Movies. As First Assistant Director, Andy has coordinated and or directed some of the largest action sequences ever achieved on many international productions included in The Amazing Spider-Man 1&2, Planet of the Apes (2001) Galaxy Quest (1999), and Thor (2011). Andy directed, wrote and produced the film Moonshine Highway (1996).

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Randall Emmett
Producer


2 Guns, End of Watch, 16 Blocks, Righteous Kill,
88 Minutes, The Amityville Horror, Narc


Randall Emmett has produced over 70 feature films and has at anytime 5 films in different stages of production... With a reputation for packaging movies and getting them made, Emmett’s films have been both box office ‘hits’ and debuting at Sun- dance, Berlin and Toronto, with many nominated for Independent Spirit Awards.

Randall’s films include 2 Guns (starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg), End of Watch (starring Jake Gyllenhaal), Righteous Kill (starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro), 88 Minutes, The Amityville Horror, and Narc among many.

Emmett graduated from the prestigious performing arts high school, and the School of Visual Arts for film school with a major in producing.

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Peter Hurley
Photographer


Peter Hurley, a universally respected commercial photographer, conducted portraiture master classes for students of the New York Film Academy Photography School.

The New York Film Academy Photography School was honored to welcome world renowned photographer Peter Hurley for a recent series of master classes. Mr. Hurley is most widely known for his distinctive head shot lighting technique and his expertise at bringing out the best in models and non-models alike.

Mr. Hurley showed NYFA students the exact lighting and shooting techniques that have made him famous, emphasizing that it is not technical "secrets," but individual personality and approach that makes a photographer successful. Encouraging students to share ideas, he focused much of his tutelage on bringing the attention of budding photographers to what it is like to be on the other side of the camera, conveying priceless tricks for getting any subject to relax and create a successful atmosphere, in addition to creating satisfying photos.

Mr. Hurley was first brought to widespread attention as an Abercrombie and Fitch model by his eventual mentor, photographer Bruce Weber. Peter credits Weber for encouraging him to pursue photography seriously.

Mr. Hurley's commercial clients have included Microsoft, DKNY, Levis, Johnnie Walker, Reebok, Axe, Toshiba, Bic, Focus Features, and Us Weekly, among others.

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Ellen Rand
Vice President of UCP


Ellen Rand is the Vice President of Programming at Universal Cable Productions (UCP). Ellen has developed and been point executive on scripted projects for USA Network shows such as Suits, Covert Affairs, Royal Pains and the new comedy Playing House.

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