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New York Film Academy Directing

Study Directing at the New York Film Academy

Filmmaking students operate a film camera on set Filmmaking students shooting a scene NYFA students learn how to use the Red One digital camera

Learn Film Direction

In movies and television, the film director holds a privileged position. Much like a conductor of an orchestra, a director must coordinate a whole team of actors, crew members, camera operators, producers, and the many other individual positions that make up a film set. A director is at once familiar with all of the elements of a production while making sure each department works well with each other, ensuring her or his creative vision is realized.

The New York Film Academy has film direction programs and workshops housed within our film school. In our directing program students learn the skills and traits of a successful director not simply by studying the fundamentals of filmmaking, but by actually becoming familiar with all aspects of movie production. Through the Academy’s philosophy of learning by doing, in just a single year in a directing program at the Academy, students will direct eight original films and crew on twenty-eight others, working in such positions as grip, gaffer, assistant camera operator, and much more.

In addition, directing students do not just learn how a film set works, but also how to take a film from an initial idea through creating a script to production and editing their films on professional digital editing equipment. Furthermore, students can choose to either focus solely on digital filmmaking in one of our short-term workshops, or also gain extensive experience working and filming with 16mm and 35mm film cameras in our conservatory and degree programs. Depending on program length, students also have the opportunity to learn with the state-of-the-art RED Scarlet or Epic Dragon cameras.

The faculty at the New York Film Academy’s directing program is comprised of accomplished, professional directors, filmmakers, screenwriters, producers, cinematographers, and other film professionals that represent a variety of different backgrounds and areas of expertise. The diversity of our faculty helps our students to become well-rounded directors.

Directing students at the Academy’s film school shoot both in the studio and out in the field, scouting locations throughout the Academy’s locations in NYC, LA, Miami, and around the world while forging creative and personal bonds with their classmates in both the directing and acting programs. Upon completing a directing workshop or program at the New York Film Academy, students have built their own director's reel, which they will take with them as they forge their own paths as film directors.

Directing Courses

When enrolling in the New York Film Academy’s film directing program, students can expect to take a variety of film direction courses that range from learning such fundamentals as screenwriting and directing to more advanced filmmaking courses.*

Director’s Craft Cinematography Digital Production Workshop
Digital Editing Screenwriting Sync Sound Production Workshop
Producing Acting for Directors Intermediate Film Production
Feature Screenplay Screenwriting Short Intermediate Film Crew Participation
Sound Design Film Aesthetics Intermediate Film Post-Production
Digital Editing Short Film Directing The Business of Filmmaking
Cinema Studies Psychology of Film Advanced Production Workshop
Camera & Lighting Intermediate Film Prep Elements of Feature Screenwriting
New Media Applied Film Studies Advanced Line Producing Workshop
Production Design Navigating the Industry Hands-on Camera and Lighting 16mm Film
Directing Actors Producing the Short Film Budgeting and Scheduling
35mm Filmmaking Documentary Filmmaking Pre-Production, Production & Post-Production
Casting Feature Film Directing
*Please choose a particular Directing Program or Workshop listed below to review its specific course offerings.

Directing Classes

Students considering taking a directing class at the New York Film Academy have the choice to enroll throughout the year via our year-round enrollment. Please click here to review the tuition fees and start dates for our directing classes.

Directing Degrees

Offered at our Los Angeles and South Beach campuses, the Academy offers four degree programs in filmmaking that help students to become film directors, ranging from undergraduate to graduate degree programs. In addition, students can enroll in a one- or two-year conservatory program and transfer their credits for advanced standing in one of the following directing degree programs.

Directing Programs

Aspiring directors who wish to spend a year or more immersing themselves in the theory and practice of filmmaking are encouraged to take one of our following conservatory film programs.

Directing Workshops

Designed for students who wish to obtain an introduction to the fundamentals in directing and filmmaking while gaining extensive hands-on experience in a short period of time, a short-term filmmaking workshop is the ideal choice. Click on one of the following workshops to learn more.

Directing Faculty

Upon enrolling in the directing program at the New York Film Academy, students study under the guidance of our faculty of accomplished directors. Students can expect to learn filmmaking with some of the following notable faculty members who are also successful directors of film, television, and theatre.
NYFA film school chair Claude Kerven Claude Kerven: As chair of the filmmaking department at the Academy’s New York City campus, Kerven teaches students in the craft of film direction. An accomplished film and television director, Kerven has directed over twenty-five segments for Saturday Night Live and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Special for his work directing the film High School Narc. He is also a Director’s Guild of America nominee for the film Birthday Boy and an Academy Award winner for Best Dramatic Student Film.

NYFA film school LA chair Arthur Helterbran Jr. Arthur Helterbran Jr.: Currently serving as the chair of filmmaking at the Academy’s Los Angeles campus, Helterbran Jr. teaches film directing at NYFA and earned his MFA in Film Directing at the California Institute of the Arts. He has served as the assistant director on the short films "Rosita Lopez for President" and "The Appointment." In addition to his directing work, he also produced numerous commercials that have aired in Southern California and his short films have competed in such festivals as The Rhode Island International Film Festival, The Nashville Film Festival, and Palm Springs International Short Fest.

NYFA film school faculty member Paul Warner Paul Warner: An instructor in directing, Warner is an accomplished director and writer who has directed over fifty theatre and movie productions. His short film In the Name of the Father and feature film Fall Time both competed at the Sundance Film Festival, with the latter being nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. He recently directed the dance theatre opera Women: The War Within and is next lined up to direct the film Reclaiming Eden. He also directed the 25th anniversary of the OUTmusic Awards in 2014.

Career Opportunities

In the directing workshops and programs held at the New York Film Academy’s film schools, our curriculum is designed to prepare aspiring directors for a number of positions in the film industry that include the following.

Film Director Television Director Web Series Director
Director of Photography Assistant Director Second Unit Director

Contact Us

To learn more about the directing programs and workshops offered at the New York Film Academy’s film school, please call us at +1 (212) 674-4300 or click on the following links below.


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