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  • NYFA New York Welcomes “The Magicians” Actress Jade Tailor as Guest Speaker

    Actress Jade Tailor of Syfy’s fantasy series “The Magicians” received a warm welcome to NYFA New York City’s campus as a recent Guest Speaker. NYFA Acting for Film Chair Glynis Rigsby hosted the event, guiding the conversation through many inspiring stories from Tailor’s career. 

    “The big key is knowing your work so well that it doesn’t feel like work anymore,” Tailor told her audience of NYFA acting for film and musical theatre students. “Then you just get to play and enjoy it in the moment.”

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    Tailor is perhaps best known for her starring turn as Kady Orloff-Diaz in “The Magicians,” but NYFA students were inspired to hear the multifaceted artist’s story. The actress pursued her childhood dream despite various obstacles, and continues to nurture a passion for using her work as a platform to benefit others.

    “I’ve always wanted to fight for people who were not privileged, who had a difficult time,” Tailor shared, “And I am blessed to have this platform, and I feel it’s my duty to utilize it in any way I can. I think that’s what the drive is, now that I have some semblance of being in the spotlight: I want to utilize that for good. And I want to do work that inspires me and inspires others.”

    Growing up in Los Angeles with a mother who had worked as an actress in the 1970s and a father who had served in the Israeli Army’s Mossad division, Tailor says her family background gave her a unique perspective and helped her prepare for the realities of the industry, with a deep appreciation for training and craft.

    “In a lot of ways those two aspects [of my parents] were a foundation of me working that hard,” Tailor explained. She learned to overcome nerves as a child in acting classes with actress Dee Wallace, of “E.T. the Extraterrestrial” fame. Upon deciding to pursue acting as an adult, Tailor candidly shared that there were years of “literally counting pennies to pay the rent,” a reality that encouraged many students to hear acknowledged by a working actor.

    “It was definitely a long arduous road,” Tailor said. “But I knew I would get there if I put everything into it.”

    The actress repeatedly emphasized the importance of developing confidence and making the decision to focus on the craft above all. She shared that this shift in mindset helped her enjoy the process and connect with her character during a pivotal audition for the producers of “True Blood,” where she went on to portray lead actor Stephen Moyer’s first victim.

    “I really let go in that room and went, who is this character, what is her intention here? And I connected to the work and who she was, and I got a call a couple of hours later that I got the job.”

    After booking “True Blood,” Tailor shared, “I was like ‘Yes I made it!’ and then I got no work. There are gonna be moments where you get this great gig and then there’s a lull for a long time.”

    She stressed the importance of “having a great team behind you” as an actor, as well as “being conscious of the fact that you are going to have to sustain” through slow seasons as well as busy seasons. Tailor’s hard work was rewarded in 2015 when she booked “Aquarius” with David Duchovny: “I’ve been lucky to work with amazing people,” she said. 

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    It was while working on “Aquarius” that Executive Producer John McNamara approached Tailor about reading for a role in “The Magicians,” which turned out to be a surprising story as well. Tailor originally auditioned for the role of Margot, but producers decided the role of Kady was a better fit, a character very different from the roles Tailor had previously portrayed on television. 

    “I am so lucky to be on this amazing show that I love and that’s really fun with a great cast and crew,” Tailor said of “The Magicians.” Yet even in this busy season, the actress has her vision cast for the long term, and is working to develop projects through her own production company, Eyeris Entertainment.

    Tailor executive-produced “But I Love Him,” a film born through the actresses’ volunteer work as a domestic violence counselor. The piece dramatizes a woman’s experience through the cycle of abuse, and premiered at various festivals. “But I Love Him” is now used by various organizations as an education tool for raising awareness about domestic violence.

    Among the many nuggets of wisdom Tailor shared, she advised students to trust their own uniqueness, bring their own authenticity to each role, and build confidence through hard work. This is advice Tailor puts into practice herself. “The work is so important to me,” shared Tailor, “And I always want to do work that is meaningful and inspires me and inspires others. I think when you’re inspired yourself it’s going to read to other people and then other people are going to be inspired too.”

    When students asked about her acting technique, Jade jokes that she calls herself an “eclectic realist,” pointing to the uniqueness of each human being. “We have different things that will resonate, with some of us more so than others,” she explained. “Some people are more logical beings, some of us are more emotional beings. For me, I’m instinctively more emotional.”

    In imagining what’s next for her, Tailor shared she’d love to return to live performance. She has a passion for theatre, having sung at The Blue Note and performed in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Of the stage, Jade says, “It’s my background and my heart, and to go back to Broadway at some point would be amazing … but to do good work that inspires people, that’s really the end goal.”

    Season 2 of “The Magicians” is now available on Netflix. The New York Film Academy would like to thank Jade Tailor for her visit in our Guest Speaker Series.

    July 7, 2017 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 1041

  • NYFA Summer Camp Students Enjoy Special Screening of “Top Gun”

    _A4A1610On Saturday, July 1, teens and tweens participating in the New York Film Academy Summer Camp in Los Angeles took a break from the hard work of filmmaking to see a summer blockbuster classic. “Top Gun” was screening in the field at the Autry Museum.  

    Usually, the students are hard at work developing their film projects. Most days, they are learning the difference between camera lens sizes, rehearsing a new acting technique, experimenting with the latest 3D technology, revising a script or shooting on a professional backlot. On this night, however, their hard work was rewarded with a special screening.

     

    _A4A1611This screening was unique because it was surrounded by some of the top food trucks in Los Angeles. For many of the students, this was the first time they had seen a movie under the stars. The combination of live music and multicultural food trucks made the night an event.

    The head of Summer Camps, Ale Salinas said, “This is a unique and fun experience.
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    The New York Film Academy is proud of the great strides out Summer Camp students are making and hope their night off was a fun one.  

     

  • NYFA Gold Coast Celebrates the 4th of July

    NU4A0357In keeping with the New York Film Academy’s international community spirit, around 70 students and staff from New York Film Academy Gold Coast celebrated the American holiday 4th of July, at the Southport Campus.

    Acting and filmmaking students from all intakes came together with the 1-week teen campers to celebrate this all-American themed event.

    The celebrations also fell on orientation day for the July 2017 actors, filmmakers and screenwriters, who joined the festivities, as they were welcomed to NYFA Australia.

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    Students and staff partied to all of the great American songs while indulging in hot dogs, snow cones and an array of red, white and blue candy. Students also had fun posing at the American-themed photo booth and tested their knowledge on a 4th of July Quiz.

    And, to connect the American celebrations to a universal love for film, the movie “Independence Day” was screened at the on-campus theatre for students to enjoy.

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    Campus Manager DJ Stonier said of the event: “The students and staff all in attendance had a blast and it was wonderful to see everyone enjoying each others company. It’s important to celebrate significant events that bring staff and students together that are also equally important across our campuses globally. At NYFA Australia our philosophy is to create a sense of belonging, community and celebration, both within and outside of the academic realm.”

    January 2017 Diploma Acting student Evelyn Dolan said, “Wow, it was so amazing to be part of this celebration for all of the students and the Academy. I can’t wait until next year’s.”

  • NYFA Hosts Actor Matt Ross in Guest Speaker Series

    The New York Film Academy was proud to welcome director and actor, Matt Ross, to the Los Angeles campus for a screening of his latest film, “Captain Fantastic.”  Director of the Q and A Series Tova Laiter, a producer known for her work on “Glory,” hosted the evening. Student packed the theater to standing room only.

    Matt Ross is a standout character actor in Hollywood. In the film world, he’s known for such hits as “American Psycho,” “The Aviator,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” and “Twelve Monkeys.” He’s no stranger to television either, having appeared in “Six Feet Under,” “Big Love,” “Magic City,” “Revolution,” “American Horror Story,” and, most recently, on HBO’s “Silicon Valley” as Gavin Belson.  

    Matt Ross 006Ross is also a writer and director. His latest work, “Captain Fantastic” stars Viggo Mortensen as Ben Cash, a man who raises his six children in the wilderness with his wife. The family has shunned all technology, but when Ben’s wife dies, he has to take his children out into the world.

    Laiter asked Ross about navigating the tension between the time one needs to immerse oneself in his/her profession, and the time one needs for parenting.

    “We live in a culture where you have to navigate work and parenting,” Ross said. He felt that it was easier for him to do this than many of the women he’s met that try to do the same thing. Society is ok with him being a father and a working creator. There’s a lot of societal pressure to be the perfect mom first.

    Laiter then turned the conversation to Ross’ beginnings. Ross grew up in rural California to similar circumstances as depicted in the movie, not knowing anyone in the entertainment business, but he applied and was accepted to Juilliard’s acting program. “I made films before I acted. I didn’t think I wanted to act. I just wanted to tell stories and that’s all acting is.”  

    But Ross was not satisfied with acting alone, revealing, “I taught myself to write.”

    His film “28 Hotel Rooms,” which portrays discovering marriage after romance, was inspired by director Mike Leigh, who workshops intensively with his actors. The short film received notice at Sundance and led to him writing and directing “Captain Fantastic,” which won him directing kudos in Cannes and a SAG nomination for Viggo Mortensen.

    Matt Ross 003Students were eager to speak with Ross about his acting career. One student asked, “How does the on-set dynamic and environment change as an actor as you’re working on sets like ‘American Psycho’ with actors like Christian Bale, as opposed to working on ‘Silicone Valley’ with comedians like T.J. Miller and Kumail Nanjiani?”

    “I don’t think there’s any difference,” Ross responded. “I don’t come from comedy,  improvisation or stand-up. But, I think it’s all problem-solving. For comedy, you have the added difficulty of identifying and illuminating what’s humorous, whereas with drama you’re more focused on illuminating the perceived truth. It’s the same goal.”

    One student asked Ross if having so many children on set of “Captain Fantastic” was an exceptional challenge for him as a director.

    Ross replied, “They’re not difficult in the ways that people think they’ll be difficult. The difficulty was that they were having too good a time and so they’re playing around too much. I was worried about losing the light.”

    Ross advised the students, “Everyone has a process. My job is to create an environment in which their process can flourish. Kids need more time to get in character. Charlie was really young. Sometimes I’d have to break things down. Sometimes Viggo would push Charlie. Sometimes I would give him things to try. We’d play until we got it right.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Matt Ross for taking the time to speak with our students. “Captain Fantastic” is now available for download on Amazon.

    July 5, 2017 • Academic Programs, Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 1566

  • June Graduation for NYFA Teens and Kids Summer Camps

    On Friday, June 27, the first New York Film Academy teen and kids summer camp programs came to an end. As students waited for their graduation ceremony to start, they took selfies while their parents banded together.

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    As the lights dimmed, the acting students presented their one to two minute monologues. Their head shots were projected before the video began. Filmed against a white background “audition style,” each actor chose a unique piece to perform.

    Then, the student’s short films were screened. Their backdrop was the Universal backlot, the same place “Hairspray” was filmed. Students were given a challenge to make a movie without dialogue. They wrote, directed, filmed, and edited their own productions from start to finish.

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    Their instructors and councilors were in attendance and issued certificates of completion. In their farewells they offered words of encouragement. Camera Instructor Bart Mastronardi offered the wise words of Helen Keller: “Life is either an incredible journey or it’s nothing at all.”

    “In five days you’ve done an amazing job. This is one of the best one-week programs. You’re all so ambitious. Parents and grandparents keep pushing these kids. They really appreciate it. Even if they don’t always show it,” said NYFA Instructor Martin Thompson.

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    After they collected their certificates each student was given a copy of their work to use for reels or to share with friends and family. The graduates and their families finished the night with cupcakes and dancing by the pool.

    Head of programs Ale Salinas described the programs objectively in her farewell, stating, “Some of you may have learned that this isn’t what you want to do at all, that’s valid, too. But I’m being honest when I say we’re going to miss you.”  6B2A0062

    The New York Film Academy would like to congratulate all of the students in finishing their first film. We look forward to the seeing second film real soon.

  • NYFA Filmmaking Alumnus Samuel Nieves Interns With NFL Films

    Jer OTR1NYFA filmmaking alumnus Sam Jeremy Nieves has not only navigated the transition from military to civilian life, but also the transition from life as a film school student to securing a coveted spot as a Cinematography Intern with NFL Films.

    Sam took some time out of his busy schedule to share with the New York Film Academy community about his incredible journey, and the determination to do “whatever it takes” that has inspired his hard work along the way.

    NYFA: Hi Sam, congratulations on your upcoming internship with NFL Films! To start off, can you tell us a little bit about where you’re from and why you decided to study at the New York Film Academy?

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    Sam Jeremy Nieves

    SJN: I was born and raised in Philadelphia. It’s a very hard-working, hands-on type of city, which is how I learn best. I knew at about age 14 that I wanted to go to film school, while shooting mini-chase scenes with my hot wheels cars, taking classes for film photography and mass media, and doing video work for my church.

    When the time came, however, I could not afford film school and was devastated, but still determined to take whatever detour necessary to get where I wanted to go. The “detour” in this case was the Marine Corps. I knew I could use the G.I. Bill to help pay for college, so I chose to become a Combat Photographer (turning down a $25,000 bonus offer for another military job, in the process) with the Marines, earning my G.I. Bill, and making my own way to college.

    I was stationed at Miramar (where they filmed “Top Gun”!) in San Diego, and Camp Pendleton, which put me in California towards the end of my enlistment. Originally, I had my sights set on attending film school in Florida, but already living in California, I began searching for a school within the state that had a very hands-on type of bachelor’s degree program in filmmaking, and that also accepted the G.I. Bill. That’s when I found out about the New York Film Academy.

    NYFA: What led you to choose a path in cinematography? What inspires you most as a cinematographer?

    Cinematography Reel from Sam Jeremy Nieves on Vimeo.

    SJN: Cinematography, for me, is a deep-seated passion and craft that I’m always learning and pursuing.

    I started taking film photographs around age 10, with my mother’s camera. I was bored with the traditional photos, taken at family BBQ’s and pool parties, and I thought I could do something a little different. My mother let me use her camera more and more, encouraging me to keep going. That was the beginning of my life-long passion for creative imagery.

    Another moment I experienced, that further sealed my career choice, happened around age 17. I had been doing camera work and intro videos for my church for a few years, and one video in particular culminated with the illusion of a man being hit by a speeding car. I couldn’t wait to see what the reaction from the audience would be. When the moment came, it drew an audible gasp from the crowd of over 200 people, and it was the most incredible feeling, sitting among them in that moment, having created something that truly captured them for an instant, making them feel something. I knew, right then, that I wanted to keep on doing this for a long time, creating images, and experiences like that for people to lose themselves in.

    Initially, I wanted to enroll in the cinematography program at NYFA, but it’s a master’s degree program rather than a bachelor’s. So, I chose the filmmaking program instead, seeing it as an opportunity to shoot more projects as the lone cinematographer in a class full of directors.

    Inspiration, for me, comes primarily from music, or other people’s work. I love hearing a great piece of music, and translating the emotions of it into visual ideas. I’m also a big fan of Roger Deakins and Emmanuel Lubezki. I think their work is incredible, and innovative, and their attitudes toward their craft are very humble.

    NYFA: As a veteran student, you’ve transitioned both from military to civilian life, and from film school to securing a competitive internship. What advice would you offer to fellow students facing similar transitions?

    Photo by Sam Jeremy Nieves: http://www.samjeremynieves.com/

    Photo by Sam Jeremy Nieves: www.samjeremynieves.com

    SJN: The transition from military to civilian life can be very different, from person to person, but I think the success of my own transition came from having a specific goal, a plan for that goal, and following through with it. Never go into a transition without some sort of plan, or at least an idea of what you want to do, especially when you have the advantage of knowing when that transition will happen.

    My goal, even before enlisting with the Marine Corps, was to go to film school. My plan was to apply to my school of choice, set up my G.I. Bill, and find a new apartment, all within the last 12 months of my enlistment. I followed through with that plan, and ended up with a bachelor’s degree in filmmaking, that I am very proud of, and thankful for.

    The next transition was much more difficult to navigate, but again, having a specific goal in mind was essential. I was about to graduate film school with a family to take care of (my wife and newborn son), no more G.I. Bill benefits (which paid for our apartment), and no income. It was the most challenging time of my life, and it deeply tested my passion, and career choice. I knew that if I was going to make it work, I’d have to get out of my comfort zone, and be willing to do whatever it takes. This seems to be where a lot of people get stuck and give up, but if you really want it, you have to be passionately stubborn, and push through the inevitable challenges. You really have to take advantage of every avenue you can, especially in an industry like this, where everyone’s path seems vastly different.

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    Photo by Sam Jeremy Nieves: www.samjeremynieves.com

    My wife and I decided to move back home, with my parents, who graciously prepared the whole first floor of their house for us to stay in until we could find a job and an apartment. This really seemed like an embarrassing step backward, but again, I knew I had to be willing to make difficult decisions, and do whatever it takes to make this work. You often hear “it’s all about who you know,” and this quote was always very frustrating to me because I felt as though I didn’t have a dad that was a famous Hollywood director, or a great aunt that was some famous executive producer. But sometimes, “the people you know,” aren’t that obvious.

    One person that was extremely helpful was Chair of Industry Outreach and Professional Development at NYFA, Barbara Weintraub. Barbara incredibly makes herself available as a resource to the entire school, and can be that “person you know,” to help along the way. She helped me restructure my resume and fine-tune my cover letter when I was applying to NFL Films, and answered any questions I had about the process.

    I also found out, through conversation, that my uncle had a co-worker who had worked for NFL Films in the past, so I asked my uncle if he could talk to him for me. He said “of course,” and also showed him my resume and cover letter, which gave him enough confidence to contact NFL Films on my behalf, referring me for the interview I was after.

    It’s great if you have someone who can help you land the interview, but at the end of the day, they can only get you in the room, it’s up to you to get the job.

    NYFA: Would you say your time at NYFA prepared you for pursuing this internship opportunity?

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    Photo by Sam Jeremy Nieves: www.samjeremynieves.com

    SJN: I know that my time at NYFA was very important in my pursuit of this internship opportunity. I also recognized early on that it was up to me to get the most out of my college experience, and not anyone else’s responsibility — including the instructors. I learned as much as I possibly could, asked questions, got my hands on every piece of camera equipment NYFA had to offer, got on as many sets as possible, and shot as many projects as time would allow.

    During my interview at NFL films, I was then able to talk about my experience with a wide variety of cameras, and formats, and my versatility in learning new equipment. I graduated NYFA, having taken full advantage of everything their program, instructors, and staff had to offer. I had gained a new confidence in my craft, and in my experience, that became evident during my interview, and had an effect on the way I spoke and carried myself.

    There were several especially great teachers that I had the pleasure of learning from at the New York Film Academy, and I made sure I learned everything I could from them, regardless of any previous experience or knowledge I might have already had, coming into the program. NYFA has a great program, for anyone who is willing to do the work, and really pursue their craft.

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    Photo by Sam Jeremy Nieves: www.samjeremynieves.com

    NYFA: Can you tell us a little bit about what will you be doing as an intern with NFL Films?

    SJN: As a Cinematography Intern with NFL Films, I will be working and learning directly from the best cinematographers in the sports industry, seeing how they operate, firsthand, on and off the football field. I will also be assisting in many ways, including prepping camera equipment, running cable, driving camera trucks, filling out camera reports, and so on.

    Interestingly, I’ve done all of those things many times on various sets during my time at NYFA, and was even asked about this during my initial interview at NFL Films. I’m looking forward to the experience because it puts me in close proximity to people who know much more than I do about the craft that I love.

    NYFA: Are you currently working on any other projects you’d like to tell us about?

    SJN: While looking for a job, or internship, I was also making myself available for freelance work. I recently worked with the Office of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, shooting video and photos of their Special Operations Group during an overnight, woodland training exercise. It was very exciting, and similar to the kind of work I did as a Combat Photographer for the Marine Corps. I also got involved with a local hockey charity event, featuring several players from the Philadelphia Flyers, during which I will also be shooting video and photos.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Sam Jeremy Nieves for sharing a bit of his story with the NYFA community and fellow Veteran students.

    July 3, 2017 • Acting, Community Highlights, Veterans • Views: 2278

  • NYFA Los Angeles Hosts Exclusive Talent Meet & Greet for Acting for Film Students

    On Thursday, June 23, Chair of Industry Outreach and Professional Development Barbara Weintraub held her annual Talent Meet and Greet. The event serves as a giant casting call exclusive to New York Film Academy acting for film students.

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    NYFA Meet & Greet Industry Guests

    Actors were encouraged to prepare their pitches and research each agency before they arrived. At 7 p.m. students began lining up in the lobby of the Riverside building, head shots and resumes in hand.

    Agents from Moving Pictures Artists, Brady, Brannon and Rich, Coast to Coast Talent, Debra Manners Talent Management, Ideal Talent, and Prodigy Talent were ready to receive the students. Agents from the Daniel Hoff Agency said they wouldn’t be surprised to find new talent at NYFA: “We had someone come last year. We knew we would be coming back.”

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    Weintraub said of the evening, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our acting alumni to find representation and help further their careers after graduating.”

    After making her way around the tables, Gina Powerless joked that she had been a little nervous at first but at the end of the night, she was singing a different tune. Powerless felt she was well received and hoped to get a phone call shortly.

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    The next day, students were getting appointments. Laura “Fernada” Ruiz Niebla said, “I have a meeting Wednesday next week with Jean Marc from Central artists. Thank you for the opportunity and looking forward to seeing you soon.” Lucia O’Brien heard from Moving Pictures Artists the following morning, and Nuria “Nunu” Vega was contacted by Renee at the Daniel Hoff Agency. She has since been signed.

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    The New York Film Academy would like to thank the agencies and organizations that helped make this event so special and wish a heartfelt good luck to each of our students in their search for representation.

     

    June 30, 2017 • Academic Programs, Acting, Community Highlights • Views: 1574

  • NYFA Co-Sponsors The Best Of Miami

    Miami, Florida is a paradise that is not only brimming with creativity, but is also a thriving center for business-savvy professionals. As a part of this diverse and bustling community, the New York Film Academy’s South Beach campus is honored to have had the opportunity to co-sponsor June’s The Best of Miami event.

    On June 27Miami New Times, celebrating its 30th anniversary, put together a party that filled the newest of Miami’s finest venues, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.

    The party had a line that wrapped around the Museum entrance. Everyone from the “who’s who” of Miami was anticipating the event, which included vendors from all over Miami. Each of the six floors of the Frost Museum had something exciting going on, and the New York Film Academy South Beach was happy to join in on the festivities as a co-sponsor. NYFA’s booth was situated inside the planetarium where the attendees were able to mingle amongst the stars.
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    On the same floor just across the way located inside what is known as their Deep Aquarium a DJ was spinning tracks while attendees from the diverse crowd broke it down on the dance floor. Above the dance floor was the deepest part of the aquarium that hung low nearly able to touch by an outstretched hand. A few doors down was a minimally lit room with columns of jellyfish swimming around lighting up the room in a natural artistic manner.
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    NYFA’s guests of honor included Acting for Film Chair Mark Mochabee, Filmmaking Chair Maylen Dominguez, and Program Coordinator Laura Gasperini. Although the event was filled with tons to do, the New York Film Academy carved out its own niche in the planetarium. The top floor of the aquarium was open for the attendees to pet a live stingray while they swiftly swam by.

    One of the most memorable aspects of this event was the skyline, a filmmakers dream; surrounded by water with a backdrop of Brickell on one side and downtown Miami on the other.

    Miami New Times made a wave with this event, finding the perfect and newest venue in Miami to throw a spectacular party. The New York Film Academy was able to make its presence in South Beach known while enjoying the fun of the event, which reminded every attendee of Miami’s motto: “We live where you vacation.”

    June 30, 2017 • Acting, Community Highlights, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 134

  • NYFA Sydney Filmmaking Student Wins UBER Competition

    The sharing economy has created all kinds of opportunities for people and organizations to come together in new ways. Recently, ride-sharing giant Uber connected with 90 Seconds to create a contest, inviting filmmakers to submit a film concept around the theme “a shared ride.” Finalists were selected to compete for votes in the Uber & 90 Seconds Short Film Festival, and first prize was taken home by New York Film Academy Sydney filmmaking student Michael Gosden for his short, “Hitchin’ a Trike.” Michael’s video has since surpassed 3 million views on Youtube.

    We had a chance to sit down with Michael and hear a little bit about his journey with NYFA and the inspiration behind his film “Hitchin’ a Trike.”

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    Filmmaker Michael Gosden.

    NYFA: Congratulations on your success in the Uber & 90 Seconds Short Film Festival! First, can you tell us a little about yourself and why you chose New York Film Academy?

    I originally grew up on the Central Coast and moved to Melbourne in 2011 to study acting with the Victorian College of the Arts. Being there solidified my passion for storytelling and, with a few friends, I started to create work outside of acting. We would shoot short films, web series, music clips and even a few feature films. I quickly found that being behind the camera was just as exciting as being in front of it. But I found that our guerrilla filmmaking approach was limited by my day-to-day obligations, and I wanted to commit to immersing myself in film as much as possible for a period of time. That’s what attracted me to the New York Film Academy Australia. The hands-on approach to study was exactly what I wanted.

    How did your entry to the UBER competition come about? What drew you to it?

    It popped up on my news feed and this was around a time between semesters, so there was a tiny gap in my hectic schedule to pursue. I had a great little team of friends that were available and the story I came up with was a simple one. Also, it had a pretty great cash prize attached to it, and being a student in Sydney is hard!

    What inspired your idea for “Hitchin’ a Trike”?

    Nostalgia was my biggest inspiration, to be honest. The only thing Uber attached specifically to the brief was the theme “shared ride,” and it made me think about the moments I spent with my older brothers in our little kid bike gang, and how we would often have to share bikes if one of the other had broken down for whatever reason. I just ran with that idea and intertwined it to what I understood Uber to be at the time.

    Would you say your time at NYFA was useful in terms of preparing you for your work in the competition?

    Definitely. Primarily in my preparation, which I severely lacked the skills for beforehand. We had one day to shoot, so we couldn’t waste time with shot listing or anything like that.

    With over 3 million views on your UBER video, what are you planning next?

    I have a mockumentary web series that I shot before starting at NYFA about a group of master sommeliers (expert wine tasters) and how they are put through different tests to be inducted into the Grand Master Sommilier Society, the Illuminati of wine society. I put that on hold while studying and now I want to edit and distribute that to the world.

    I also have a one-shot feature film that I wrote and directed, with a friend, a few years ago that is premiering at the Perth Revelation International film festival. I also have a treatments for a TV show and three features that I want to explore more and hopefully get some funding for. So I’m guessing that will keep me busy over the next few years.

    As a filmmaker, what is your driving passion?

    For who I am at the moment, the driving force has always been to try and tell the story of people or communities that wouldn’t have otherwise had the chance. I don’t know if I necessarily have an overall goal or message: That usually comes when I start focusing onto a story. But the passion definitely comes from the excitement I feel when a film leaves you with a greater sense of that topic than when you first walked in, good or bad. I just hope that people are changed by the stories I create.

    Is there anything I missed that you’d like to talk about?

    If you happen to be in Perth for the Revelation film festival, it’d be great if you went along and supported my film “Watch the Sunset.” You can find all the information here.

    The New York Film Academy would like to congratulate Michael Gosden on his success with “Hitchin’ a Trike” and thank him for sharing some of his story with the NYFA community.

    June 30, 2017 • Acting, Contests, Film School, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2686

  • NYFA Welcomes Hire Heroes USA

    On June 24, The New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) Veteran Services Department was fortunate to collaborate with Hire Heroes USA (HHUSA) to host a daylong exclusive employment workshop for NYFA’s veteran students. The NYFA military students also benefited from one-on-one time with the Transition Specialists from HHUSA.

    Hire Heroes and New York Film Academy

    Hire Heroes visits the New York Film Academy

     

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    Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit that provides free, expert career coaching and job sourcing to hundreds of transitioning U.S. military members.

     

    Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit that provides free, expert career coaching and job sourcing to hundreds of transitioning U.S. military members, assisting veterans and spouses with finding employment.

    The first half of the eight-hour workshop was a practicum related to resume theory, networking techniques, and how to affectively prepare for an interview. Representatives from Hire Heroes USA, Jamie Rimphanli and Walter Serrano, coached veteran students on how to properly format their resumes and discussed, in-depth, the importance of networking and how to prepare for a job interview.

    For the second half of the workshop, industry professionals from Disney Studios, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Legendary Entertainment, and Plan A Locations joined the workshop for a moderated Q&A panel discussion. Panelists discussed how they began their careers in the entertainment industry and how they’ve navigated their careers for success.

    Highlights from the day included an exercise that had all of the participants do a speed networking session. Also, HHUSA brought a photographer who took professional head shots for the veteran students’ LinkedIn pages.

    “We felt that this training and these types of vet student-centric activities are increasingly important because they help prepare our students to meet with HR/Talent Acquisition teams from the major studios,” explained NYFA Director of Veterans Services Department John Powers.  

    Retired Army veteran and MFA cinematography student Bryan Hudson stated, “The Hire Heroes USA workshop was a fantastic forum to introduce veterans with industry insiders and provide the opportunity to learn from them. The event was beneficial to everyone involved about learning the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of the interview process and how to break into the entertainment industry. One thing that I learned from the workshop is to establish relationships that will be beneficial to both parties. Thank you to the NYFA Veterans Department for putting on this marvelous event, and I hope that this will be the first of many events with Hire Heroes USA.”

    The NYFA Veteran Services Department is extremely grateful to Hire Heroes USA for partnering with us to bring this wonderful opportunity to NYFA veteran students.