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New York Film Academy
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New York Film Academy Bachelor of Fine Arts
New York Film Academy Liberal Arts and Sciences New York Film Academy Liberal Arts and Sciences

Course Descriptions

A strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences is crucial to the development of a creative artist. This section lists the Liberal Arts & Science courses offered for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Media Studies and the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in Filmmaking, Screenwriting, Acting for Film, Photography, Producing, Game Design, 3-D Animation & Visual Effects, Graphic Design, and Illustration, respectively. BA and BFA students begin their undergraduate studies with Foundation Studies courses in conjunction with their major discipline, and continue their studies in courses in Arts & Humanities, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences, and History of Art, Theatre & Media.

Courses in the Arts & Humanities, the History of Art, Theatre & Media, and the Social and Natural Sciences emphasize critical thinking and college-level writing skills and research, and are designed to inform and expand the undergraduate’s development in filmmaking, acting and the other visual and performing arts offered at the New York Film Academy.

Foundation Studies:
English Composition
Physical & Mental Wellness
Film Art
Public Speaking
Critical Thinking
College Mathematics
Drawing
Arts & Humanities:
Comparative Literature
Dramatic Literature
Art, Culture & Society
The Great Screenplays
World Religions
Philosophy & Ethics
The Great Playwrights
Cultures & Encounters
Playwrights & Screenwriters
American Cultural History
European Cultural History
Interactive Storytelling
Studies in Global Media
Ethics of Video Games
Mythology
Social & Behavioral Sciences:
Psychology of Performance
Psychology of Production
Contemporary Psychology
Introduction to Economics
International Politics
General Anthropology
Sociology
Anthropology of Media
Media & Society
Natural Sciences:
Environmental Biology
Geology
Physics
Human Anatomy & Physiology
Astronomy
Principles of Geography
Coding
History of Art, Theatre & Media:
Critical Film Studies
Topics in Film Studies
Art History
History of Theatre
History of Photography
History of Graphic Design
History of Documentary
History of Animation
History of Sequential Art
History of Video Games
Topics in Modern & Contemporary Art History
History of Design
History of Illustration
History & Aesthetics of Photography I
History & Aesthetics of Photography II

Foundation Studies

Foundation Studies

Foundation courses focus on the basic academic skills needed to succeed in college: analytical writing, critical thinking and problem solving. These courses build a foundation for more specialized subjects requiring advanced written and oral communication. The skills mastered in these courses will prepare students for the advanced course work in the Liberal Arts & Sciences as well as their core programs, and form the basic foundation of a well-rounded artist.
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English Composition

In this course students will become skilled readers and writers. Students will develop rhetorical techniques for skillful argumentation and will become more aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations and subjects, as well as the way genre conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing.
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Physical & Mental Wellness

The course covers a variety of physical and mental wellness topics such as diet, exercise, stress management, mental health, team building, alcohol and drug use, sexual health awareness, and safety education.
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Film Art

Film Art is an introduction to the art of film and its evolution as a medium of expression from 1895-1960. This course covers the diverse possibilities presented by the cinematic art form, including narrative, editing, cinematography, mise-en-scène and sound. By the end of the term students will demonstrate an understanding of film history, film form and technique.
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Public Speaking

This course is designed to improve public speaking skills. Students will give several prepared and ex tempore speeches in class on a variety of topics. The tools developed in this class will serve in school, life, and filmmaking, including the ability to "pitch" projects for development.
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Critical Thinking

This course explores theories of knowledge as well as the process of thinking critically. The coursework guides students to approach critical thinking more insightfully and effectively. Substantive readings, structured writing assignments, and ongoing discussions help students develop language skills while fostering sophisticated analytical thinking.
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College Mathematics

This course aims to provide a concise introduction to mathematics. The language of mathematics is formally discussed, starting from the concept and functions of numbers along with a solid development of algebra and geometry. The fields of probability and statistics are also introduced.
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Drawing

This course covers the necessary tools, materials, and techniques to communicate ideas visually. Lectures and assignments demonstrate the basics of how our brains interpret form via value changes. The rendering examples demonstrate the use of pencil, chalk, and marker. Students practice practical applications of technique to render value changes, form, and shadows to communicate lighting strategies. Further study leads to the visual development of a storyboard and how this tool aids the filmmaking process.
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Arts & Humanities

Arts & Humanities

In their Arts and Humanities coursework, students are introduced to great works of art and literature and their impact on culture and society. These courses offer students a well-informed and geographically diverse viewpoint, as they continue to develop critical thinking and writing skills. With an emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to literary and cultural study, students are given the intellectual tools to discover the dynamic relationship between author and reader, or artist and audience, from a variety of critical, historical, cultural, social, and political perspectives. These fields give students the tools to utilize language in their films and add depth to projects illustrating the human condition.
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Comparative Literature

This course explores literary works within their historical context by examining issues such as politics, class, religion, patronage, audience, gender, function, and ethnicity.
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Dramatic Literature

This course will introduce students to exciting and thematically rich classic dramatic texts (plays and films), as well as their contemporary stylistic counterparts or adaptations. This “classic first, contemporary next” method will help to first ground students in the basics of dramatic storytelling, and then to develop the dynamic analytical skills needed for insightful discussions, stimulating performance approaches, and innovative storytelling explorations.
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Art, Culture & Society

The class will explore the role of art and the artist in society, both in a historical context and in the world today. It will look at the impact artists’ works have—or do not have—in the cultures in which they live, and will explore the concept of artist as celebrity, ambassador and spokesperson. The course is primarily genre based; that is, it will focus on a distinct art form each time it is offered (art, music, theatre, film), but will consider the impact of major artists across all genres. Visits to museums, concerts, films, and theatres will form an integral part of the course.
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The Great Screenplays

The Great Screenplays is a critical studies course focused on exploring Academy Award-winning American and foreign movies. Through in-class screenings, readings of screenplays, lectures, and discussions, students will gain a deeper understanding of how the art of screenwriting has evolved since the 1920s.
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World Religions

An introduction to major religions of the world, this course will highlight the beliefs and practices of the world's living religious traditions as well as train students in the basic methods of the academic study of religion. The course discusses how it is possible to learn about—and learn from—a variety of religious traditions without being or becoming an adherent of any single tradition. The course includes both Western and non-Western religions.
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Philosophy & Ethics

This course provides an examination of ethical ideas from Plato and Aristotle to later Western philosophers. Central topics are the relationship between morality and the good, the nature of justice, the objectivity and meaning of moral claims, and the possibility of relativism in ethical judgments. Readings are drawn both from the classics as well as contemporary writing, showing how the study of ethics derives from sources such as law, religion, and political thinking, as well as formal philosophy.
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The Great Playwrights

Well-written stage plays make the most of the fundamental elements of dramatic writing: character, conflict, relationships, and theme. Stage dramas, when done well, are tight, focused, lean, exploring a central question deeply rather than broadly. This sort of storytelling is often the most compelling, and screenwriters should strive to achieve this kind of dramatic action, even if within the context of a story that calls for big, sweeping action. This class will make use of filmed plays, in-class table reads, at-home reading assignments, in-class and homework analysis and writing exercises. Throughout the semester this class will examine playwrights such as Shakespeare, Miller, and Williams, among others.
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Cultures & Encounters

A world-view that is truly global is crucial for today's emerging artists. Not all storytelling derives from Homer and Aristotle, nor does the Renaissance influence all art. This course is a study of non-Western art, film, theatre, and society with emphasis on Asian, African, and Islamic art and cultures.
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Playwrights & Screenwriters

In this course students will study contemporary playwrights and screenwriters. Text analysis and plot structure are treated as fundamental tools of critical analysis. Students learn how to interpret given elements of writing, such as mood and subtext, to enhance performance. An emphasis is placed on the similarities and differences on writing (and performing) for the stage and for the screen.
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American Cultural History

This course offers an introduction to U.S. history that is critical for understanding how America has come to prominence in today's global society. The objective is to make students aware of the nation's rich and complicated past, and how this background has shaped the diverse aspects of America's complex national character. The class covers major developments in U.S. history and from European settlement up to the early 21st century.
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European Cultural History

This course explores the history of Europe through film. Students will be introduced to themes in European history from the Ancient Greeks and Romans through the Renaissance, nationalist movements of the 19th century, World Wars I & II to the Civil Rights Movement. Through discussions of Europe’s past, the course will consider broader questions of globalization, world citizenship and identity in modern life.
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Interactive Storytelling

Interactive Storytelling will support the students’ narrative development to design a professional interactive story. As technology and media platforms evolve, visual storytellers will constantly be reviewing, adjusting, and refining their ideas with a direct view to marketing them to the widest possible audience. Awareness of the modes and formats of story analysis, dramatic structure, and game design, will influence the narratives we make.
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Studies in Global Media

This course examines the concepts of “globalization,” the “global village,” and “localization.” Students will analyze the cultural, political, socio-economic, and societal influences of the U.S. media on global markets as well as how global media has begun to transform domestic markets. Students will examine the connections between media, communication, business, and the entertainment industry around the globe, and gain an understanding of how global media has led to social, economic, political, and activist change around the world. By the end of the course, students will discover what it means to be “global citizens.”
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Ethics of Video Games

Ethics refers to standards of right and wrong in society. In this course, students study and debate ethics in game play experiences, including the various ways in which game play is a way of learning about the real world. Poignant case studies are presented from games such as: September 12 (an anti-terrorism simulator), Grand Theft Auto (an amoral, open world), Populous (a god game), Bioshock (a game with a morality engine) and other games. Students will learn about meta-game behavioral issues such as cheating, violence, and the four types of players found in online worlds: Explorers, Achievers, Socializers, and Killers.
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Social & Behavioral Sciences

Mythology

This course is designed to acquaint students with a body of material central to Western thought, culture, and civilization. Through readings and exposure to other works of art and cultural products, students will come to know some of the world’s most influential myths in more thorough and meaningful ways. The course explores the theory of myth and the uses of myth in art, literature, and film. Students will be encouraged to tap into “the power of myth” in their exploration of the cultural and psychological implications of myths.
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Social & Behavioral Sciences

Social and Behavioral Science courses emphasize the social, cultural, political, environmental, and psychological impact human groups and individuals have on one another. In their coursework, students learn how to approach these subjects through quantitative and qualitative methodologies that focus on the analysis and understanding of human behavior.
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Psychology of Performance

Basic understanding of the workings of consciousness and the deep connection between thoughts, emotions, and behavior will be examined in this course. Students will explore the inner workings of their own psyche and what is required to effectively explore the craft of acting in an open-minded and productive manner. The course is designed to help students deepen the practice of their craft while maintaining a healthy balance between school and personal life. Interpersonal communication as well as the demands placed on the individual within the group dynamic will be explored.
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Psychology of Production

An exploration of major concepts of psychology as they relate to acting, entertainment, and performance. The course provides working knowledge of the current and historical developments in psychology (cognitive, developmental, experimental, personality, social, and clinical) as students apply constructs to personal, creative, work, collaborative, and conceptual challenges in the entertainment world. Students will write and create projects concerning these aspects of their craft and career.
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Contemporary Psychology

This class explores the basic concepts of psychology and provides a general introduction to topics in various schools of cognitive, social and clinical psychology. Students will be challenged to apply their understanding to contemporary issues as well as to their own artistic work.
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Introduction to Economics

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to economics as a normative aspect of modern society. Topics include: markets as a means of coordinating human behavior toward the achievement of specific social objectives; how and why markets may fail to achieve these objectives; the evolution of non-market institutions such as rules of law as responses to market failures; and theories of unemployment and inflation in their historical context.
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International Politics

This class is an introduction to international politics. Students will learn to apply various theories of state behavior to selected historical cases. Topics include the balance of power, the causes of war and peace, change in international systems, and the role of international law, institutions, and morality in the relations among nations.
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General Anthropology

The course examines the main trends in contemporary anthropological theory, from physical anthropology to conceptual and ethnographic approaches. It will concentrate on several key theoretical approaches that anthropologists have used to understand the diversity of human culture, such as structuralism, Marxism, feminism, practice theory, critical ethnography, and postmodern perspectives.
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Sociology

This course offers an introduction to the systematic study of the social sources and social consequences of human behavior, with emphasis on culture, social structure, socialization, institutions, group membership, and social conformity versus deviance.
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Anthropology of Media

This course explores how media technologies and genres are produced, used, and interpreted in different cultural contexts around the world. Emphasis is placed on the effect of different media on people’s social identities and communities, including families, nations, and religions.
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Media & Society

In this course, students will examine the ethical, social and far-reaching issues involved in emerging media and society. Students will analyze and interpret the ways technology and information impact upon and are impacted by culture, storytelling, consumers and audiences from various genders, ethnicities, and economic levels. Some questions that will be considered: What are the ethical ramifications of emerging technologies on consumers and audiences? Are media outlets aware of their influence? Are consumers and audiences?
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Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences

The Natural Sciences seek to reveal and explain natural phenomena that occur the biological, physical, and chemical realms. Coursework in the Natural Sciences will require students to utilize empirical data and scientific methodology to develop and test well-reasoned hypotheses. Students learn how to reason and investigate critically, drawing conclusions from fact and not opinion, as they look to further their understanding of the natural world.
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Environmental Biology

This course is an interdisciplinary study of human interactions with the environment, examining the technical and social causes of environmental degradation at local and global scales, along with the potential for developing policies and philosophies that are the basis of a sustainable society. The course serves as an introduction to the natural sciences and the scientific method and will include an introduction to ecosystems, climatic, and geochemical cycles, and the use of biotic and abiotic resources over time. The relationship of societies and the environment from prehistoric times to the present will also be discussed.
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Geology

This course introduces students to the basics of geology. Through a combination of lectures, labs, and field observations, the class will address topics ranging from the formation of the elements, mineral and rock identification, geological mapping, plate tectonics, erosion and climate engineering.
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Physics

This course covers the fundamental principles of physics, including Newton’s laws of motion, the mechanics of motion, vectors, velocities, and elastic and inelastic collisions, among others. Students will incorporate examples from everyday life, such as car crashes, basketball, air travel, and sports in their work. The emphasis will be on developing a conceptual understanding of physical processes, as well as problem-solving skills.
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Human Anatomy & Physiology

This introductory course provides an overview of the basic anatomy and physiology of the body's major systems. It is designed to strengthen or develop a vocabulary in human anatomy and physiology, and an understanding of how the body works.
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Astronomy

The fundamentals of planetary, stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy will be covered. Designed for the non-specialist, the course provides a basic understanding of the nature of astronomy and its relation to physics. In addition to focusing on selected topics within our solar system, the course will engage students in more philosophical debates within astronomy including the origin of the universe and the search for extraterrestrial life.
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Principles of Geography

This course is a systematic study of the various elements that make up the Earth's physical environment, weather, climate, vegetation, and landforms. In this course students will learn to: interpret maps and analyze geospatial data; understand and explain the implications of associations and networks among phenomena in places; recognize and interpret the relationships among patterns and processes at different scales of analysis; define regions and evaluate the regionalization process; characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places.
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Coding

This course is designed for students with little or no programming experience. Its purpose is to provide students with an understanding of the role computation can play in solving problems. It also aims to help students, regardless of their major, to feel justifiably confident of their ability to write small programs that allow them to accomplish useful goals. Students will develop familiarity with popular scripting languages and will be able to create simple coding samples by the end of the class.
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History of Art, Theatre & Media

History of Art, Theatre & Media

Artists must know the history and tradition of the forms and fields in which they work. The courses offered in History of Art, Theatre and Media combine the historical study of filmmaking, theatre, and new media with studies of popular culture. By exposing students to great artists and masterpieces of the past, these courses invite them to historically situate the various ways in which media images reflect, construct, and shape the world they live in. Students achieve not only an understanding of how their own projects fit into the traditions of film, theatre and visual arts, but also gain an awareness of how to move that tradition forward in their own work.
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Critical Film Studies

This seminar focuses on the major developments, movements, and critical approaches in both Hollywood and international cinema from 1960 to the present. Students will continue to demonstrate an understanding of film history, and film form and technique. By emphasizing an understanding of the historical, cultural, commercial, and aesthetic contexts that influence film during this period, students will also be more informed about the universality of human experience as they begin to develop an appreciation of a film’s narrative and visual structure.
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Topics in Film Studies

This course covers in-depth study of selected directors, genres or themes and varies from semester to semester. Previous topics have included Film Noir, the American Dream, Eastern European Cinema, and the films of Burt Lancaster, among others.
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Art History

This course emphasizes the language of visual culture with a particular focus on the symbols, strategies and messages employed in major works. Incorporating the methods of art analysis, the course introduces students to different forms of visual culture, while comparing and contrasting these within a philosophical and historical setting.
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History of Theatre

This course provides a concise study of the history of theatre from the Greek and Roman theatre to the present. Each era of history will be examined through formal study, plays, theatre architecture and historical documents, as well as film versions of stage plays. Plays will be drawn from Western and non-Western sources. Students will be required to attend live theater performances to fulfill writing assignments.
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History of Photography

This course is an introduction to major conceptual trends and ideas in the history of photography, from its invention to the present day. Technological, artistic, social, cultural, and journalistic currents of the medium will be covered in depth.
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History of Graphic Design

This course surveys the pivotal events and achievements that led to the current state of graphic communication. Through lectures, videotapes, discussions, presentations, and research, students are introduced to the creative thinkers, important innovations, and breakthrough technologies that have shaped the evolution of visual communication.
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History of Documentary

This course will introduce students to the history and theory of documentary cinema. The course will review and analyze the evolution of the documentary film genre and the varieties of approaches adopted by nonfiction filmmakers. Study will include various modes of documentary form: expository, observational, interactive, reflective, and assorted hybrid modes. The course will also explore a number of other important areas in documentary filmmaking, including ethical and legal questions as well as the importance of thorough research.
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History of Animation

This course is an overview of the history and theory of animation including, the origin of animation forms, Hollywood studio animation, a sample of world animation, and contemporary animation. Screenings include a wide range of commercial and experimental works produced throughout the world. During the semester students will create small projects and written works pertaining to course topics.
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History of Sequential Art

Highlighting significant works of sequential art including their historical roots and major influences, students in this survey course will analyze trends, styles, techniques, and works of important artists across the sequential art spectrum.
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History of Video Games

Although the medium of video games is only forty years old, it already has a rich history that influences the industry today. An understanding of the history of video games is essential to the future game designer, not only because it serves as a common foundation for those who work in the industry, but only by understanding the mistakes and successes of the past will future game developers create the great games of tomorrow.
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Topics in Modern & Contemporary Art History

The course focuses on selected topics in art from the 1950s onward and varies from semester to semester. Content may include detailed studies of a particular artist, a school of artists, national movement or style.
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History of Design

This course narrates the history of design, from its roots at the beginning of the 19th century through the modern times. The course will address the social, economical, and political settings of each era, through the descriptions of the major design works of the past two centuries, analyzing every kind of design: architecture, interior, product, mobility, fashion, and graphic design.
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History of Illustration

The course emphasizes the language of visual culture with a particular focus on the symbols, strategies, and messages employed in major works of visual art. Incorporating the methods of art analysis, the course also introduces students to other forms of visual culture (architecture, advertising, fashion, gaming, and television), while comparing and contrasting these within a philosophical and historical setting.
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History & Aesthetics of Photography I

In this seminar students study, analyze and critique the work of master photographers from the birth of photography in the 19th century right up until 1960. Students will investigate the ways in which seminal photographers of this era held a mirror up to society, allowing us to see the technological, artistic, social, and cultural currents of life through the lens. Examining master photographers’ techniques, aesthetics, and approaches segues into students’ individual shooting and research projects.
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History & Aesthetics of Photography II

This course continues the history of photography from 1960 onwards, investigating cultural, historical and ideological aspects of this era’s most enduring and penetrating images. During class, students will trace the development of analog and digital photography throughout the rise and dominance of the electronic media. Discussions will focus on how these media permeate every aspect of mainstream consciousness and in turn, influence the way contemporary society reads images.
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Faculty

Mary Samuelson Mary Samuelson
Chair of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies (in progress); MA in Cinema and Media Studies; B.A. in English Literature, Magna Cum Laude; B.A. in Cinema-Television, Magna Cum Laude, UCLA. Kemp Niver Fellowship in Film History. Gilbert Cates Fellowship Recipient. Mellon Grant Recipient-Center for Primary Research Training.

Burak Arcan Burak Arcan
General Anthropology

MA in Archaeology, Bilkent University; BS in Anthropology and Classical Archaeology, Florida State University; AA in Business Administration, Daytona Beach Community College. Field experience at Cilicia maritime archaeological project. Assistant field supervisor and research assistant at Bilkent University.

Zareh Arevshatian Zareh Arevshatian
Film Studies

M.A. in Critical Studies, California State University, Northridge; B.A. in Radio-Television-Film, CSUN. Adjunct faculty at Los Angeles Mission College. Media Coordinator for the School of Film, TV, and Digital Media at UCLA. Background in retrospectives and festival programming, American Film Institute, American Cinematheque, and UCLA.

Brian Beery Brian Beery
English, Public Speaking

MFA Screenwriting, AFI. BA Theater Arts, UCSC. Vested member of SAG. Rewrote scripts based on recommendations from Oscar-nominated filmmakers. Winner, Kodak 35mm Award for “Speed Dating” and George Mayr Award for Excellence in Screenwriting. Recommended “Sideways” to Alexander Payne. Has worked on both sides of development, listening to and giving film pitches.

Camille Boag Camille Boag
Natural Sciences

Bachelor's in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley and a Master's of Science in Biology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Her most recent research focuses on the relationships between endemic rodents and invasive grass species in central California;

Megan Breen Megan Breen
Dramatic Literature; Comparative Lit

MFA in Dramatic Writing, USC School of Theatre; BFA in Dramturgy/Criticism, DePaul University. Writer of over a dozen plays, as well as television and feature length films.

Barbara Burgan Barbara Burgan
English

DMA Manhattan School of Music; MM Indiana University, Bloomington Faculty appointments at La Guardia Community College (NY), Kean University (NJ), University of South Dakota (Vermilion), extension divisions of Loyola Marymount University and UCLA. Accredited AP English instructor since 2008. National Endowment for the Humanities award recipient 2006.

Jennice Butler Jennice Butler
History of Acting

MFA in Acting, UC Irvine; BS in Theatre, University of Evansville. Member of The Road Theatre Company and Fugitive Kind Theatre. Other theatre companies she has performed for include: International City Theatre, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Summer Repertory Theatre and Loose Canon Collective.

Mike Civille Mike Civille
Film Studies; Cultural Studies

PhD American Studies (Boston University); MFA Film Studies (Boston University) As a film scholar, Mike has presented papers on Hollywood cinema and popular culture at the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, the Popular/American Culture Association, the California American Studies Association, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), and the Baseball Hall of Fame. As a film director, his short After June (2006) played at several nationwide film festivals including the Tribeca Film Festival and the Palm Spring International Festival of Short Films.

Mary Cobb Mary Cobb
Dramatic Literature

In addition to her continuing professional career, ongoing and former memberships in The Actors Studio, The Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company and others, Mary coaches professional actors in modern and Shakespearean roles. She has established children’s programs in Shakespeare throughout our country, including Crown Theatre-Go-Round in Kansas City, MO; Shakespeare for Fun in San Diego, CA; Resident Artists’ Children’s Theatre Program – KC, MO. She also participated in the CBS Radnor Directors Project.

Vanessa Conte Vanessa Conte
English; Pre-College English

MA in Linguistics, CSU, Long Beach; MFA in Painting, UCLA; BS in Studio Art and Art History, New York University; CertTESOL Certificate, St. Georg Institute, London, England.. Presented research at the California TESOL Conference and the American Association of Corpus Linguists. Exhibits paintings and drawings internationally. Research topics include gender and power dynamics in both visual and spoken language and pragmatics of second-language learners.

Anastasia Coon Anastasia Coon
Public Speaking; Critical Thinking

BFA in Theatre - Acting Emphasis, Chapman University. Conservatory Training Certificate, Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre. MFA Acting, UT Austin. Adjunct Instructor at USC, Teaching Artist: Pasadena Playhouse, Guest Artist: Directors Lab West, Board Member: 2nd Sundays Screenplays LA.

Aly Covington Aly Covington
Health & Wellness

MS in Health Administration and BS in Kinesiology/Athletic Training, Cal State University Northridge. NATA-BOC Certifed Athletic Trainer. 2008 NAWBO Youth Advocate of the Year for efforts toward childhood obesity. Serves on the Cultural Recreation Advisory Board for her local city council.

Merrilyn Crouch Merrilyn Crouch
English; Public Speaking

Merrilyn Crouch received an MFA in Theater from The University of Southern California and has worked as an actor, writer and director in commericals, television, and film for over 20 years. Merrilyn has written, produced and directed promos for clients including CNN International, TNT, FOX, Discovery Channel, NUVO TV and others. She can be seen on the Food Network’s Good Eats in the recurring role as Alton Brown’s sister, Marsha.

David D'Andrade David D'Andrade
Drawing; Art History

Award winning artist with exhibitions nationwide. Past and present teaching experience include: Instructor for New Roads School, adjunct instructor for Sonoma State University, El Camino College and Napa Valley College. Degrees: San Francisco Art Institute MFA 1996; San Francisco Art Institute BFA. 1994; Pratt Institute, attended 1982-85.

Tyrone Dixon Tyrone Dixon
Psychology

Received his B.A. from Texas Southern University in television and film MFA and earned his Masters of Fine Art in Producing from the American Film Institute. Tyrone will receive his PhD in Media Psychology January 23, 2016. Was a visiting professor at Texas Southern University for 4 years before joining the NYFA team. Has worked as an award winning producer/director for film and television for more than 20 years.

Janelle DolRayne Janelle DolRayne
Art, Culture & Society; English

MFA in Creative Writing, The Ohio State University; BA in English, University of Colorado. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Laurel Review, The Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, The Collagist, Parcel, Interrupture, and the 2013 Best of the Net Anthology, among others. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Vandewater Poetry Award.

Stephen Florian Stephen Florian
English

B.A. in English Literature, Grand Canyon University; Magna Cum Laude. M.A. in English with a focus on Rhetoric and Composition, California State University Northridge. Recipient: 2015 Mahlon Gaumer Award for best critical essay on English at California State University Northridge.

Michael Fuller Michael Fuller
Dramatic Writing, Dramatic Literature

Novelist, actor, director, and theater historian. BA Spanish, San Francisco State College, 1961.; MA, Drama, San Francisco State College, 1963; PhD, Communications/Drama, USC 1978

Mira Furlan Mira Furlan
Dramatic Literature

Award winning actress Mira Furlan has starred or co-starred in over 25 films, most notably the Academy Award ® nominated and Palme d’Ore winning “When Father Was Away on Business.” She has over forty television credits and starred in "Babylon 5", which she won a Sci-fi Universe award for best supporting actor. Mira’s work in her home country of Yugoslavia resulted in two Golden Arenas (Yugoslavia’s equivalent to an Oscar).

Ros Gentle Ros Gentle
Psychology

BDA, National Institute of Dramatic Art, University of NSW, Australia; Diploma in Teaching, Balmain Teachers' College of Advanced Education, Sydney. An actress of 40 years with teaching experience at NIDA, Actors Center, Joanne Baron/DW Brown Studio, and Australian Institute of Dramatic Art.

Lonnie Halouska Lonnie Halouska
Economics; Film Studies

MS, USC School of Cinema-Television; JD, Loyola University. Entertainment and telecommunications lawyer, negotiator and business manager for more than 20 years. Major studio and network background.

Richard Van Heertum Richard Van Heertum
Film Studies; Cultural Anthropology

Richard Van Heertum has a PhD in Cultural Studies and Education from UCLA and a MA in Economics from SDSU. He has published three books, 25 academic essays and chapters and over 150 articles in the mainstream media on film, music and culture.

Erin Hill Erin Hill
Film Studies

PhD and MA (UCLA), BA (University of Michigan). Visiting Professor, UCLA. Recipient: Chancellor's Prize, Jean Stone Fellowship, Collegium of University Teaching Fellowship (UCLA); Nina Leibman Fellowship (California Law Center), Newman Screenwriting Prize (University of Michigan). Recent published chapters in Making Media Work (NYU Press), The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies (Blackwell), Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries (Routledge). Forthcoming book: Never Done: "Women's Work" in Media Production History (Rutgers).

Jan-Ryder Hilton Jan-Ryder Hilton
English; Public Speaking

MS in Professional Writing from Towson University; BS in Communications from University of Baltimore; A+ and Network+ certified; proficient with online learning applications.

Clayton B. Hodges Clayton B. Hodges

Clayton is an actor, producer and teacher. Based in LA, Clayton works nationwide. Also, Core Faculty for LEAP Program of Saint Mary's College of California. MFA from American Conservatory Theatre, BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Michael George Hofrath Michael George Hofrath
World Religions; Critical Thinking

PhD candidate in Somatic Depth Psychology, MA in Somatic Depth Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpentaria; BS, in Marketing Management, Minor, in Speech Communications, from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Holds multiple certifications as a certified personal fitness trainer (CPFT) through the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), and Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). Certified as a Cancer Wellness Coach (T-3), in Athletic Spinal Injuries and Corrective Spine Rehabilitation from the Marina Spine Institute; Author of ‘Body Express Makeover” (Simon and Schuster, 2005).

Travis Holder Travis Holder
Theatre History

Trained at Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts, Goodman Theatre at University of Chicago; studied with Uta Hagan, Stella Adler, and Kenneth McMillan. Five plays produced nationally and wrote the screenplay for the award-winning 2010 feature film “Surprise Surprise.” Veteran of six Broadway productions and numerous national and international tours. Honored with the LA Drama Critics’ Circle Best Actor Award; Drama-Logue, ReviewPlays.com, Sage, and four Maddy Awards; six acting nominations from LA Weekly; Ovation, GLAAD, and NAACP nominations. Prominent theatre critic since 1987 for such publications as Back Stage, Entertainment Today, and ArtsInLA.

Terah Jackson Terah Jackson
Playwrights & Screenwriters

Terah Jackson earned a MFA from the AFI Conservatory and a BA in Philosophy from Howard University. He is an honoree of the 2015 Film Independent Screenwriters' Lab, 2013 Writers’ Guild of America-West’s Feature Writer Access Project, writer of a Nicholl Top 50 Screenplay, and a participant in the 2008 Lincoln Center’s Directors’ Lab, a four-time grant recipient from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and a 2010 Participant Media Narrative Intern.

Brandon Johns Brandon Johns
Philosophy & Ethics

Ph.D. in Philosophy, USC. Specializes in philosophy of action and mind. Also interested in animal rights.

Jeremy Jones Jeremy Jones
Environmental Biology

Jeremy Jones has a background in both technical and musical theatre as well as aerospace engineering. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in musical theatre from Palm Beach Atlantic University and studied engineering both at the University of South Florida and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Mr. Jones toured the country as a lighting technician, lighting designer and stage manager for several years and has been teaching in the liberal arts for nearly 10 years.

Louis Klonsky Louis Klonsky
Geology; Mathematics

MS in Geology, Rutgers University; BA in Physics, Columbia University. Adjunct lecturer, California State University, San Bernardino. Senior Staff Geophysicist, Chevron.

Konstantin Kremenetski Konstantin Kremenetski
Geography; Mathematics

B.S. Physical Geography, Moscow Lomonosov University, 1983 PhD Geomorphology and Paleogeography, Institute of Geography, USSR Academy of Sciences, 1987; Teaching experience in Earth Science, Environmental Science and Geography disciplines.

Daniel Kwon Daniel Kwon
Ethics; Critical Thinking

Ph.D. in Philosophy, USC. Specializes in Philosophy of Language, Linguistics, Philosophical Logic.

Paul Laverack Paul Laverack
Film Studies

MA in Screenwriting and MA in Mass Communication (Journalism), California State University, Northridge; BA in Theater, Elmira College. Paul has written and directed independent feature and short films, both narrative and documentary. He has also produced video content for the nonprofit Families In Schools foundation, traveled the nation as a stage performer, and taught students of all ages in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Paz Leon Paz Leon
Psychology

MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute. BFA in Film Studies and Modern Literature from Université Louis Loumiere, Lyon, France. She has directed several short films and music videos and is currently developing her first feature film.

Stephanie Lindquist Stephanie Lindquist
Drawing; Film Studies

MFA from The New York Academy of Art, Painting and Sculpture with an emphasis on anatomical study. BS from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, International Relations. Worked as a studio artist in Brooklyn before moving to LA, has exhibited work in New York as well as the Midwest. Has taught Drawing, Film Art and Film History courses at the New York Film Academy in Manhattan and currently teaches in Los Angeles.

Maja Manojlovic Maja Manojlovic
Film Studies

Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies (UCLA); M.A. in Cinema Studies (SFSU); B.A. in French Language and Literature (FSU); Diploma in Sociology of Culture (University of Ljubljana). Awarded Chancellor’s Fellowship and James Pendleton Foundation Prize at UCLA, Distinguished Achievement Award at SFSU, and scholarships by Open Society Institute - Slovenia and Centre Européen da la Culture – Transeuropéennes. Her work has been published in Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture and reprinted in Waking Life: Kino zwischen Technik und Leben by b_books, and in Cinema and Technology: Cultures, Theories, Practices by Palgrave Macmillan. She taught courses on Electronic Culture, Digital Narratives, and Stereoscopic 3-D Cinema Aesthetics at UCLA as well as a course on Media Aesthetics and Embodiment at USC.

Michael Matthys Michael Matthys
Public Speaking; Dramatic Literature

M.F.A. University of Minnesota; BA, Buffalo State College, teaches Dramatic Literature and Public Speaking. For NYFA he has also taught Voice, Movement, Dialects, Accent Reduction, Shakespeare, and History of Acting. As an actor, Michael has appeared at the Ahmanson Theatre, A Noise Within, Shakespeare LA and on many other stages. He also teaches physical acting at AADA and has served on the faculties of SDSU and Stella Adler Academy as well.

Kathleen McLaughlin Kathleen McLaughlin
History of Photo; Visual Aesthetics

Received her BS in Psychology (1990) and MFA in Photography (2001) from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She has received grants from Fulbright-Hayes (2015), United States Fulbright Senior Scholarship Program (2003), and the IREX (Individual Advanced Research Opportunities) Fellowship Program (2003). Kathleen’s images have recently been published in National Geographic Traveler Magazine (2015) and the Dutch FLOW Magazine (2015). Her work has been exhibited in numerous group and solo shows. She is an active member of the Society for Photographic Education.

David Melbye David Melbye
Film Studies

Ph.D., MA in Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California; MA in English, California State University, Los Angeles; BA, University of California, San Diego. Publications include: "Landscape Allegory in Cinema: From Wilderness to Wasteland," New York: Palgrave McMillan (July 2010).

Genia Michaela Genia Michaela
English; Public Speaking

Attended North Carolina School of the Arts, MIT and Yale, where she Physics, Opera, Screenwriting and Theatre, and played Division1 Ice Hockey. She is a SCUBA divemaster and has worked as a stunt freediver.

Barbara Multer-Wellin Barbara Multer-Wellin

Barbara Multer-Wellin has written and produced hundreds of hours of non-fiction television programming and web content. Her work has been seen on HBO, Showtime, PBS, Lifetime, KCET, The Discovery Channel, UPN, Lifetime, Fit-TV, TBS, HGTV, and TLC. She won a 2013 L.A. Area Emmy for her work on the series television and web series “Your Turn To Care” which was also the winner of a 2013 Gracie Award. Ms. Multer-Wellin has produced two films for the acclaimed PBS documentary series Independent Lens. “Taking The Heat: The First Women Firefighters of New York City,” a documentary narrated by Susan Sarandon. The second film, “Paul Conrad: Drawing Fire” was also selected for the first digital release of Independent Lens films.

She is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts and is a former Chair of the Documentary/Reality Committee of the Producer’s Guild of America .

Kevin Y Njabo Kevin Y Njabo
Environmental Biology

PhD in Biology (Behavior, Ecology and Evolution), Boston University. Adjunct Assistant Professor at UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Department of Environmental Health Sciences. Research interests in Ecology and Evolution of Tropical Diseases, Forest Conservation and Legislation.

Matteo Nurizzo Matteo Nurizzo
History of Design; Art History

Master of Science in Industrial Design and Fashion Management at the Politecnico di Milano ITALY. Designer of a baby Stroller for the company Brevi. Designer of the "Gundam" Lamp that covered various group exhibits of REUSE DESIGN in Europe Director and Editor of "Style In Frames". client: Comune di Milano, which the changes, in the city of Milan (Italy ), of fashion, culture, architecture and music,from 1920 till 2004. Accompanying the project itself isa 137 page book that tells a story of the city of Milan.

Founder of "King Milano" a Graphic-Video-Audio company (Not associated with anymore). Worked at Lillisimone as graphic and video artist. Clients: Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Tissot, Panerai, Opel. As freelance videographer and editor, clients: BM Factory, Banque PSA Finance, Castiglioni. Editor for various short indie films. Avid Certified Instructor since 2013.

Robert Pucci Robert Pucci
Film Studies

BA with honors in Economics, Gettysburg College; JD, Washington College of Law at American University; Licensed Attorney, NY and NJ; Writer “The Corruptor” New Line Cinema; Writer “The Spider & The Fly” Paramount Television, Writer of the fiction novel, “In Harlem’s Way.”

Cynthia Rena Cynthia Rena
Health & Wellness

Scott Rogers Scott Rogers
History of Video Games

BA Film Production (Screenwriting emphasis);BA Fine Arts (Illustration emphasis) Cal State University Long Beach, is a former Disney Imagineer who has designed many award-winning and beloved video games including: Pac-Man World, the Maximo series, God of War, Drawn to Life series, Darksiders and Warhammer 40K.

Yolanda Sanders Yolanda Sanders
Public Speaking

BA in Communications, Howard University; MFA in Acting, UCLA. Some of her work includes the national one-person show, “Faces of America,” Voice of America’s popular radio drama “Pay Day,” as well as other numerous radio dramas, documentaries, and PSA’s.

Matt Sarnoff Matt Sarnoff
Film Studies; Sociology

Matt Sarnoff received his BFA from Cooper Union and his MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to having TV series and feature film projects in development, he works as a creative consultant to production companies and teaches at New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.

Zoee Sciarrotta Zoee Sciarrotta
Visual Aesthetics

With a BFA in art and BA in psychology from the University of Iowa and a MFA in studio arts and MA in communication studies from California State University, Los Angeles, Zoee is a interdisciplinary-focused cultural studies scholar. Drawing from her work experience in fashion, photography, higher education, fine arts, and new media, her research is centered on understanding how we make meaning of our visual experiences in the world and how identities are formed in and through culture.

Jim Senti Jim Senti
Dramatic Lit; Comparative Literature

MFA , Harvard University and Moscow Art Theater. BA, Butler University; Studied with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Griffith University. Also teaches Performance in Communications at California State, Northridge. Founding company member of award winning Fugitive Kind Theatre Company in Los Angeles.

Shlomo Sher Shlomo Sher
Ethics; Critical Thinking

Shlomo Sher received his PhD in Philosophy with a focus on ethics from USC in 2009. He was a Research Associate at the USC Levan Institute of Humanities and Ethics (2009-2011) and has taught courses at USC, CSU Fullerton, CSU LA, Mt. St. Mary’s College, Beijing Normal University, and East China Normal University.

Fred Siegel Fred Siegel
Environmental Biology

Secondary Teaching Credential, Cal State University Long Beach; BA in Biology, UCLA; Post-graduate certification in science instruction by Cal Tech, Northern Arizona University, and Sea Education Association (SEA), Woods Hole, MA. Adjunct instructor at UCLA. Previous teaching assignments at Venice High School, Bell High School, and the American School of Barcelona.

Andrew Simpson Andrew Simpson
Public Speaking; Critical Thinking;

Double B.A in Political Science with a focus in international security and in Drama with a focus in acting from Stanford University. He teaches Critical Thinking, Public Speaking , Art/Culture/Society, Writing, US and World History, and Mathematics. As an actor, he starred in the independent films Heathens and Thieves, Dark Mountain, and The Phoenix Project, and appeared with Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice.

Sage Howard Simpson Sage Howard Simpson
Public Speaking; Critical Thinking

BA, Lewis & Clark: MFA, UC Irvine. Founding member of acclaimed theatre company The Fugitive Kind. Specializes in Film Studies, Public Speaking, and English composition.

Maya Montañez Smukler Maya Montañez Smukler
Film Studies

Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies, UCLA. Lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design, the New School, and UCLA where she teaches film and television studies. Forthcoming book: Liberating Hollywood: Women Directors and the Feminist Reform of 1970s American Cinema (Rutgers).

Diana Stanich Diana Stanich
Environmental Biology

ABPhD, Capella University; MBA, University of La Verne; MA in Physical Education/Health, California State University, Long Beach; BS in Kinesiology, University of California, Los Angeles. Professor of Kinesiology/Dance, Santa Clarita Community College District.

Riley Steiner Riley Steiner
Shakespeare; Theatre History

MFA in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin College in Virginia; was classically trained at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and studied acting for many years with the legendary Uta Hagen at HB Studios in New York. Has taught at Mary Baldwin College, Stuart Hall College Prep. Her play, Tucumcari, premiered at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Maureen Tabor Maureen Tabor
Psychology; Sociology

Maureen Tabor, PhD Yale University, started teaching at UC Berkeley and then turned to the stage where she acted, taught, and directed. Next was over a decade of work in major motion picture studios: Paramount and Warners. She then returned to academia in Southern California at California State University, Los Angeles, before joining NYFA in 2014.

Julie Taiwo Oni Julie Taiwo Oni
Art, Culture & Society; Cultures & Encounters

MFA in Dramatic Writing, USC; BA in Creative Writing, Pepperdine University. Professional playwright with productions in Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Also teaches English at Pepperdine University. Currently researching South African and mixed-race cultures and narratives.

Igor Torgeson Igor Torgeson
Mythology; Film Studies

M.F.A. Film, Boston University. B.A. Journalism, The George Washington University.

Igor works as a actor, producer and post-production specialist in Los Angeles. Over the past ten years, he has completed both long-form and short-form projects for a variety of clients, including Southern California Gas, McGraw-Hill, National Lampoon, and The Gameshow Network. Igor has taught at the UCLA Extension and NYFA, as well as having extensive experience teaching workshops at, ABC, NBC and CBS, as well as the 2012 DV Expo. Igor also teaches and performs improvisational comedy at theaters around the L.A. area with his troupe, The Captains of Industry.

Rajiv Uttamchandani Rajiv Uttamchandani
Astronomy; Physics

MS in Physics and Astrophysics, CSU Northridge. Renowned guest lecturer and author of publications on engineering, mechanics, and nanotechnology. Adjunct professor at Santa Monica College.

Rob Watt Rob Watt
Mathematics; Sociology

Rob Watt graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2007, where he majored in Theatre Arts and PreMed. He is passionate about teaching his students practical applications for the film and television industry. Problem solving is a large portion of filmmaking, and through the math and sciences, Rob aims to teach his NYFA students "how to think", as opposed to "what to think".
Steve Weese Steve Weese
Mathematics; Coding

BS in Computer Science, George Mason University; MS in Computer Information Technology, Regis University. Instructor and computer contractor for Anthem College, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, ECPI College of Technology, and Stratford University.

Alan Woolf Alan Woolf

MFA Acting NYU School of The Arts, BA English Univ of Rhode Island, over 100 theatre productions, imdb film and TV credits, directed numerous plays including West Coast premieres of Catholic School Girls, A Night for Colored Glass, and A Night At The Movies.



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