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New York Film Academy Faculty

FACULTY

Screenwriting Department

Nunzio DeFilippis Nunzio DeFilippis
Chair of Screenwriting

MFA in Screenwriting, USC. Writer/producer on HBO's ARLISS and wrote for the Disney Channel series KIM POSSIBLE. Had features optioned at Hollywood Pictures, Process Media and Humble Journey Films. Developed a video game at Sony, and a TV movie (TWO STEP) at Oxygen. With his writing partner, he wrote for the comics NEW X-MEN, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, and BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL. They created the comic franchises BAD MEDICINE (in development at Closed On Mondays with NBC), THE AMY DEVLIN MYSTERIES (in development as a TV series at E!) and FRENEMY OF THE STATE (co-created with Rashida Jones, optioned as a feature film by Imagine Entertainment/Universal Pictures.)

Adam B. Finer Adam B. Finer
Associate Chair of Screenwriting
Transmedia, New Media and Business of Screenwriting


BS, University of Phoenix. Served as Director of Market Research at Universal Pictures. Co-founder of Arpil Entertainment, a literary management and production company. Consults individuals in career planning, as well as working with content creators, writers, directors, producers, and studio executives to design marketing plans, and business and branding strategies. Producer on WAR OF THE WORLDS: THE NEXT WAVE, THE DAY THE EARTH STOPPED and MEGAFAULT for Syfy.

Ashley Bank Ashley Bank
Art Of The Pitch, Script To Screen, Actor/Writer Workshop

BA, New York University. Graduate of The Second City Conservatory. Worked as an actress, stand-up comedian, producer, and writer. Has appeared in over 40 commercials, and guest stared on FAMILY TIES, MY TWO DADS, FRASIER and THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR. Has appeared in numerous TV Movies, with Henry Winkler, Dolly Parton, and Raquel Welch. Appeared in the feature film THE MONSTER SQUAD. Has produced several award winning short films, one of which won the prestigious NYU Wasserman/King Award, and another of which was sold to IFC. Also worked as a producer for CBS News/48 Hours, and for CBS News’ documentary department. Worked on documentaries for The History Channel, The Food Network, A&E, Discovery, and ESPN. Currently appearing with her sketch comedy group at the LA Comedy festival and in several plays, as well as performing stand-up at The Improv and The Comedy Store.

Christina Beck Christina Beck
Script to Screen, Writing the Feature Film

Writer/director of the feature PERFECTION. Has two upcoming features, EXPECTING GRACE and BUTTERSCOTCH. Began her career as an actor in SUBURBIA, BOYS NEXT DOOR and DUDES. Formed her own theatre company POW Productions and wrote, produced, and starred in FROM THE HEART.

Jessiline Berry Jessiline Berry
Elements Of Screenwriting, Advanced Character Development, Story Generation

MFA in Film, Columbia University. Founder of FemmeMaker Productions, an organization dedicated to the empowerment of women in film, both in front of and behind the camera. Written, produced and directed projects for PrimeCut Productions, Teachscape, Character Studies Productions, BET Networks, Bassett Vance Productions, and Lee Daniels Entertainment.

Dirk Blackman Dirk Blackman
The Art Of The Pitch, Story Generation, Feature Film Workshop

MFA in Screenwriting, American Film Institute. Writer and Executive Producer of OUTLANDER, starring Jim Caviezel. Writer on UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS. Has developed television pilots at SyFy, Showtime and Hasbro Television. Has sold features and pitches at Paramount Pictures, Tristar Pictures, RKO, Intrepid Pictures, and Signature Pictures. Has worked on rewrites for projects at 20th Century Fox, Marvel, Artisan, Intermedia and Media Asia. Has written comic books for Radical Comics.

Eric Conner Eric Conner
Writing The Television Spec, Writing The Television Pilot, The Great Screenplays, Master’s Thesis Workshop

MFA, USC School of Cinema and Television. Currently developing TV pilot for F.A.T. Productions. Assistant Director for Off-Broadway premiere of The Disputation. Winner of the Sloan Award & Hamptons' Writer's Workshop for feature script Just Enough. Production Manager of The Cutting Edge: The Story of Cinema Editing.

Alan de la Rosa Alan de la Rosa
Writing the Feature Film

MFA in Screenwriting, UCLA. Wrote and produced the feature film TARGETING. Has produced music videos, promos and stage plays at companies such as Vision Matrix and PeaceWalk Productions. Cofounder and Writer/Producer at Photoplay 434

Steve Desmond Steve Desmond
Business Of Screenwriting, Writing The Feature Film

BA in Film and Television Production, USC. Sold his thriller feature ON YOUR DOORSTEP to Oscar Nominated Producer Mason Novick. Has written, produced, and directed THE ST. VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE and MONSTERS. Wrote and directed LIFE OR BREATH. Also wrote or developed projects with Imagine Entertainment, Treehouse Pictures, Level 1 Entertainment, Haven Entertainment, Blacklight Transmedia, Preferred Film & TV, The Walt Becker Company, Dreamworks Animation, and The Disney Channel.

Margaret Dunlap Margaret Dunlap
Adaptation, Transmedia, Writing For Television

MFA in Screenwriting, USC. Co-Executive Producer and writer of more than 30 episodes of the Emmy, Streamy and IAWTV award-winning transmedia series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and writer on the Emmy award winning Emma Approved. Co-Executive Producer and Showrunner on Pemberley Digital’s follow-up project: Welcome to Sanditon. Has written for television on EUREKA and THE MIDDLEMAN.

Lisa Ebersole Lisa Ebersole
Writing the Feature Film, Web Series, Script to Screen, Transmedia, Playwriting

Wrote, directed and starred in the feature film PROBLEMS and the web series 37 PROBLEMS. Wrote, produced and edited apps at Disney Interactive. Founding writer and editor for Brainpop.com, an award-winning children’s education website. Her plays have been produced off Broadway in New York and regionally.

Joshua Eiserike Joshua Eiserike
Writing the Feature Film, Genre Studies, Sequential Art, Transmedia, Story Generation

MA in Journalism, University of Missouri; MFA in Film Production, USC. Has written for the HUB animated series G.I. JOE: RENEGADES and MAD Magazine. His first comic book CLASS OF ‘99 won an Ignatz award (the Independent Spirit Award of comics) and his subsequent graphic novel ANYONE BUT VIRGINIA is currently distributed by Alterna Comics.

Matt Harry Matt Harry
Master’s Thesis Workshop, Writing The Feature Film, Writing For Television, Great Screenplays, Script To Screen, Web Series

MFA in Film Production, USC. Has worked as a reality television writer, editor, director, and feature film producer on the following: THE BACHELOR, DESIGN ON A DIME, SERIOUSLY FUNNY KIDS, ROCK THE RECEPTION, and RED SERPENT. Wrote FUGUE, which won Best Horror Film at the Mississippi Film Festival. Written for Flynn Picture Co., Evolution Entertainment, and Fishbowl Films.

Sharri Hefner Sharri Hefner
Writing the Feature Film, Scene Study, Adaptation

MFA in Film, Tisch School of the Arts NYU. Co-wrote the feature film THE TROUBLE WITH ROMANCE. A member of the independent production entity Hyphentate Films, she line produced Joel Viertel’s STRICTLY SEXUAL and production coordinated Mora Stephen’s CONVENTIONEERS.

Ed Horowitz Ed Horowitz
Writing the Feature Film

MFA in Playwriting, UCLA. Wrote the feature films ON DEADLY GROUND (starring Steven Seagal), K9:PI (starring Jim Belushi) and EXIT WOUNDS (starring Steven Seagal and DMX). Wrote on the television series LA FEMME NIKITA. Has written over a half-dozen pilot scripts for various networks. Has also written over 50 short plays and one musical.

Terah Jackson Terah Jackson
Writing The Feature Film, Genre Studies, Playwriting, Great Playwrights

MFA in Screenwriting, American Film Institute. Nicholl Fellowship Semifinalist. Wrote and produced COUNTER, wrote and assistant directed on SPLENDOR, and was the assistant director on IT’S NOT ALWAYS SUNNY and FANTA FACE.

Greg Johnson Greg Johnson
Elements of Screenwriting, Story Generation, Writing the Feature Film

MFA in Film & Television, USC. Developed, sold and written projects with Gore Verbinski, Davis Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Fox, including an adaptation of DOCTOR DOOM.

Dan Kay Dan Kay
Writing The Feature Film, Great Screenplays, Business Of Screenwriting

BAS in English from University of Pennsylvania. Wrote and directed WAY OFF BROADWAY and directed STRAIGHT BASHERS and A DREAM LIKE YOU. Wrote the films TIMBER FALLS, PAY THE GHOST, starring Nicolas Cage, and I.T., starring Pierce Brosnan. Recently sold NOCTURNAL, a one-hour drama, to Warner Bros. studios.

George McGrath George McGrath
Writing for Television, Actor/Writer Workshop

Actor, writer, producer, and songwriter. Has been Emmy-nominated four times for writing and producing, and is the recipient of a GLAAD Award for TRACY TAKES ON and the TV Theme Song Hall of Fame Award for the theme song from PEE-WEE’S PLAYHOUSE. Has written on numerous TV series including: HOPE & GLORIA, TINY TOON ADVENTURES, RIDERS IN THE SKY, ON THE TELEVISION, and KIDS INCORPORATED.

Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz
Writing The Television Spec, Writing The Television Pilot

MFA in Film Producing, Columbia University; BFA in Writing For The Screen and Television, USC School of Cinema-Television. Staff Writer on BROOKLYN NINE NINE for two seasons. Worked on PERSON OF INTEREST. Former Director of Development at Open City Films.

Eric Nelson Eric Nelson
Master’s Thesis Workshop, Writing The Feature Film, Writing For Television

MFA in Screenwriting, American Film Institute. Developed film and television projects with Nickelodeon Original Movies, ABC/Disney Channel, 20th Century Fox, Smart Entertainment, and Underground Entertainment. Has written, developed and produced for numerous branded content campaigns and video games.

David O’Leary David O’Leary
Business Of Screenwriting, Art Of The Pitch, Genre Studies

BA in Arts in Film and Cognitive Science from Vassar. Served as the Vice President at Bellevue Productions. Worked in Development for companies such as Warner Bros., Industry, Rogue Pictures, Kopelson, and Valhalla. Story Analyst for Team Downey, Silver Pictures, and Village Roadshow. Has written and developed features for Sparkler Entertainment, Atlas Productions, Offspring Entertainment, and Original Film.

Derek Santos Olson Derek Santos Olson
Writing for Television

BA in Political Science, Yale University. Writer on the television series FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and THE UNUSUALS. Developed a pilot at Nickelodeon, and another directed by Michael Lange (the OC).

Doc Pedrolie Doc Pedrolie
Elements Of Screenwriting, The Great Screenplays, Writing The Feature Film, Writing For Television, Master’s Thesis Workshop

MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA. Written the features COME SIMI (Winner, Best Screenplay, Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, and Best Writing, Los Angeles Film Review 2015) and PALI ROAD (sold to Arclight Films at Cannes), and has written and directed THE LAST CIGARETTE. Has developed projects at Gerber Pictures, Crimson Forest, HWY 61, Unified Pictures, Royal Standard, IPG, Nala/RightBrain, and Circle of Confusion. Works as a story analyst for Amazon Studios.

John Zuur Platten John Zuur Platten
Interactive Narrative

Producer, lead designer, director and writer of FEAR EFFECT. Other games include TOMCAT ALLEY, JOHNNY MNEMONIC, SCOOBY-DOO 2005, CONSTANTINE, RED NINJA and TAXI DRIVER. With his partner, Flint Dille, is developing a number of original game titles for next generation platforms with major publishers under their joint label, Bureau of Film & Games. They also currently have a film, BACKWATER, in production at Dimension which is based on their original game property. Together, they wrote THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO VIDEO GAME WRITING & DESIGN.

Jenni Powell Jenni Powell
Transmedia

Producer on numerous Webseries, including THE LIZZIE BENNETT DIARIES (Emmy and Streamy award winner) and EMMA APPROVED (Emmy and Streamy award winner), WELCOME TO SANDITON, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF PETER AND WENDY and many others.

David Radcliff David Radcliff
Elements Of Screenwriting, Writing The Feature Film

MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA. Writer of EERIE HARMONY, THE QUIZLAR CYCLE, and the TV series FIRSTS. A member of the Committee for Writers with Disabilities at the Writers Guild of America, West. Has provided brand development, copy writing, and creative services for Hillshire Farm, Investigation: Discovery, and University of Phoenix.

Scott Rogers Scott Rogers
Interactive Narrative

Has worked in the video game industry since 1993 as a game designer, artist and creative manager on over 50 unique game titles including: PAC-MAN WORLD 20th ANNIVERSARY, MS PAC-MAN MAZE MADNESS, SOUL EDGE, MAXIMO: GHOSTS TO GLORY, MAXIMO VS ARMY OF ZIN, GOD OF WAR, DRAWN TO LIFE, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, DARKSIDERS, RED FACTION: ARMAGEDDON. Currently works at Disney Imagineering on an unannounced project. Has authored (and drew) two critically reviewed books on game design: LEVEL UP! THE GUIDE TO GREAT GAME DESIGN (2010) and SWIPE THIS! THE GUIDE TO GREAT TOUCHSCREEN GAME DESIGN (2012). His comic book, BEDBUG, was published in Spring 2013.

Crickett Rumley Crickett Rumley
Elements Of Screenwriting, Story Generation, Adaptation Workshop, Advanced Scene Study

MFA in Film from Columbia University. Author of the young adult novel NEVER SIT DOWN IN A HOOPSKIRT. Worked as the Director of Development for Scriptstar Pictures. Developed projects and adaptations at Killer Films, Gigantic Pictures, and Pink Slip Pictures.

Jerry Shandy Jerry Shandy
Master’s Thesis Workshop, Writing For Television, Business of Screenwriting, Writing the Feature Film

MFA in Writing for Screen and Television, USC. Wrote on the TNT/ABC Studios one-hour drama, PERCEPTION. Has developed pilots for USA Network, Universal Cable Productions, Hypnotic, Le Grisbi, Steve Stark Prods, and Kelsey Grammar's Grammnet. Sold the one-hour drama CROOKED CREEK to MTV Network. Has most recently been a writer on the SYFY series DOMINION.

Justin Sternberg Justin Sternberg
Writing For Television

BA in Mass Communication/Media Studies, University of Florida. Wrote on THE PAUL REISER SHOW. Wrote and was Co-Showrunner on the award winning TBS Micro-Series LOVEBITES. Sold TEENAGE WASTELAND to MTV and LOVE & APPLIANCES to FBC. Sold SWITCHED AT MARRIAGE to Reveille, YOU ARE HERE to Nickelodeon, and WHO WANTS $11,000? to ABC. Developed RULES FOR MY UNBORN SON for Lionsgate TV and HOOK CHAS UP with Luke Greenfield.

Ben Sztajnkrycer Ben Sztajnkrycer
Genre Studies, Writing the Feature Film

MFA in Screenwriting, UCLA. Wrote the feature film KAW (with Sean Patrick Flannery) and the TV movie A TRACE OF DANGER. Currently has a feature in development at Original Film, and has developed features at Davis Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment, and Appian Way. Has worked as a Creative Executive at Walt Disney Feature Animation, Meridian Pictures, and Acapella Pictures.

Graham Tallman Graham Tallman
Writing The Feature Film, Great Screenplays, Script-To-Screen

MFA in Film Directing, American Film Institute. Has written and directed short films that have been in over 100 festivals, including Toronto, AFI Fest, and Palm Springs Short Fest. Black List featured script, CODENAME: SIMON, placed as one of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. Wrote and directed the thriller TURQUOISE for Act Four Productions, and produced and 2nd unit directed THE NEVSKY PROSPECT for Amazon Studios. Has also assistant directed for such filmmakers as Sofia Coppola, Francis Coppola, and Sylvester Stallone. Has adapted a comic book for Fox 2000 and New Regency and developed projects at all the major studios.

Jon Vandergriff Jon Vandergriff
Story Generation, Writing for Television, Writing the Feature Film

MFA in Screenwriting, USC. Co-Executive Producer on SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH. Writer/producer on HOME IMPROVEMENT. Wrote on COACH. Worked on AUSTIN POWERS: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Developed the feature film WILDWOOD INN with Applecart Productions. Started the board game company Try Try A Game.

Rachel Vine Rachel Vine
Elements Of Screenwriting, Writing The Feature Film

MFA in Film, Columbia University. Received the Comedy Central Award for Best Comedic Screenplay and the Arthur Krim Producing Fellowship while at Columbia. Produced dozens of music videos, commercials, branded content, and documentaries before focusing entirely on writing. Has rewritten and developed projects for Imagine Entertainment and Time Inc. Studios. Has written the features OFF THE RECORD and HOLDING OUT. Most recently wrote and developed a relaunch of the animated series RAINBOW BRITE for Hallmark.

Christina Weir Christina Weir
Writing For Television: Pilot, Sequential Art, Transmedia, Interactive Narrative, Advanced Character Development

MA in Mass Communications/TV Production, Emerson College. Helped develop the Transmedia Track at NYFA. Writer/producer on HBO's ARLISS and wrote for the Disney Channel series KIM POSSIBLE. Had features optioned at Process Media and Humble Journey Films. Developed a video game at Sony, and a TV movie (TWO STEP) at Oxygen. With her writing partner, he wrote for the comics NEW X-MEN, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, and BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL. They created the comic franchises BAD MEDICINE (in development at Closed On Mondays with NBC), THE AMY DEVLIN MYSTERIES (in development as a TV series at E!) and FRENEMY OF THE STATE (co-created with Rashida Jones, optioned as a feature film by Imagine Entertainment/Universal Pictures.)

Liz Fania Werner Liz Fania Werner
Master’s Thesis Workshop, Story Generation, Writing The Feature Film, Writing For Television, Advanced Character Development, Adaptation Workshop

MFA in TV and Screenwriting, USC. Founded Órbita, a bilingual literary magazine, while living in Chile. Has translated two books of poetry: The Collected Poems of Jimmy Santiago Baca and Nicanor Parra’s Antipoems: How to Look Better and Feel Great, both published by New Directions. Earned an Annenberg Fellowship from USC and wrote ASSASSINATION OF A MATHEMATICIAN. Wrote on RPM MIAMI for Mun2, a Latino driven member of the NBC/Universal family. Developed the feature adaptation of the novel BABYLON SISTERS by Oprah Book Club author Pearl Cleage. Currently developing an action-horror feature for DMG Entertainment.

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