• NYFA Students & Alumni Crew Up for TIFF’s “After the Storm”

    “After the Storm,” a film from first-time writer and director Jessica Oyelowo, recently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Jessica’s husband, David Oyelowo, known for his betrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King in the award-winning film “Selma,” was a producer on the project.
    on set of "After the Storm"

    on set of “After the Storm”

    Shot in only four days at Oyelowo’s home in Tarzana, the production included a number of New York Film Academy students and alumni in its crew. Giulia Governo, a NYFA alumna from the Cinematography program, was the 1st AC on the shoot; David Hebrero, a NYFA alumnus from the Filmmaking program, was the gaffer; Konstantin Frolov, a NYFA alumnus from the Cinematography program, was the boom operator; Vince GE, a student from the Filmmaking program, was a Production Assistant; and Joann Wong, a student in the Filmmaking program, was in the swing department.
    after the storm

    on set of “After the Storm”

    Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Belle,” “Beyond the Lights”), Chiké Okonkwo (“The Birth of a Nation”) and newcomer Caleb Oyelowo (Jessica’s son) star in the film about the emotional journey of an African American family in the wake of tragedy.
    after the storm

    on set of “After the Storm”

    “I became interested in what it’s like for the families of those out on the front lines,” said director, Jessica Oyelowo. “What happens to relationships when things go wrong, change doesn’t come, or loved ones are away or taken away?”

    “The movie has a bit of a surreal tone, as it deals with how tragedy can affect a family in ways they may not be fully aware of,” said NYFA Instructor Craig Ross.

    The film recently screened at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City. For more information, visit their Facebook page at

  • Cinematography Grad Hired by DP Tony Richmond for “Diary of Wimpy Kid”

    It’s often a difficult and stressful process finding your first job out of college — no matter what line of work you’re in. That’s why it is essential to network and ask around to the people you know best. With one of the New York Film Academy Cinematography program’s recent graduates, Jeremy Harris, he was able to parlay his relationship with the program’s chair, Tony Richmond, into an Assistant to the Director of Photography position on a major motion picture.

    Jeremy Harris

    Jeremy Harris (on right)

    Richmond has an extensive background in cinematography, having worked on major productions like “The Sandlot,” “Legally Blonde,” “Men of Honor” and countless others. While serving as chair of the program, Richmond continues to work in the field. His upcoming Director of Photography work will be on the film “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,” with his former student at his side.

    We caught up with Jeremy Harris to find out how he landed the role with Mr. Richmond and what his plans are while on set and in the future.

    jeremy harris

    Jeremy Harris on set of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul”

    How did this position come about?

    This position came about a month or so before graduation. Our class was with Tony on a production workshop. We were on lunch break, if I can recall, and Tony asked me if I had family in Atlanta, which I do. Then he mentioned he may be working on a film there and wondered if it went through would I want to go with him. Obviously I couldn’t refuse, especially seeing that it’s another opportunity to learn even more from one of the best, and someone who unconsciously shaped my childhood with “The Sandlot.”

    Can you tell me a little bit about the role you have with Tony and on-set?

    My position on set is Assistant to the Director of Photography. I assume it will be something similar to a Camera PA but whatever the job calls for, I am overly excited and willing to take part in this production.

    Jeremy Harris with Tony Richmond

    Jeremy Harris with Tony Richmond

    What do you expect to achieve / learn from this position?

    This will be my first feature set I’m taking part in, so I know there will be a lot of learning coming with the territory. Being with Tony every step of the way will definitely allow for some needed new knowledge and skills as an aspiring cinematographer; but I love operating and gripping as well, so I will definitely be keeping a watchful eye on those positions on set and ready with plenty of questions. I will be surrounded by nothing but experienced professionals on set, so I plan on soaking in all the information I can — especially set etiquette and procedures — because I take pride in not wasting time or money on set.

    Is your goal to be the main cinematographer on feature films? Is there any style or genre that you prefer?

    Yes, my goal is to be the main cinematographer on feature films. I started out as a news and documentary camera operator, which helped me transition into film and I still have a love and passion for operating, but cinematographer is the main objective. Outside of feature films I’ve had a growing interest in creating art installations.

    1 chance

    still from “1 Chance”

    How would you describe your overall experience in the NYFA Cinematography program?

    Honestly, I loved every minute of my time in the cinematography program. I’ve learned so much over the course of these two years that I would have never thought I could possibly retain. I think NYFA has the best group of cinematographers to not only instruct us but prepare each and every person that comes through that program for life, in general. This has been the best decision I’ve made in my life.

    Are you working on any films of your own that you’d like to share with us?

    I recently DP’d a close friend’s thesis that I would love for people to see. I think the story is amazing and very touching. The title is “1 Chance” and I think it is a great representation of the times, and really gives the audience hope in the world we live in today. Other than that, I am really focusing on learning a lot from this upcoming experience with Tony Richmond and coming back to Los Angeles — or wherever I may land — and applying my knowledge and skills to all endeavors to come.

    September 14, 2016 • Cinematography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2601

  • NYFA Cinematography Instructor Showcases “Tales of Poe” at Comic-Con

    Comic-Con is the nation’s largest convention. It attracts fans not just of capes and cowls, but also genre fans. This year, New York Film Academy cinematography teacher, Bart Mastronardi, spoke on a horror panel about his forth-coming film Tales of Poe. Mastronardi took some time to tell us about his experience and what makes Comic-Con a great place to showcase your work.

    tales of poe

    Can you tell us a little about your film?

    Tales of Poe is an anthology film based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. I wanted to make a movie using Poe’s stories in a cinematic way that has not been used before.

    The cast is made up of the horror genre’s best: Amy Steel (Friday the 13th part 2); Adrienne King (Friday the 13th part 1); Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Sharknado: The Fourth Awakens); Lesleh Donaldson (Happy Birthday To Me, Curtains); Debbie Rochon (Satan Hates You); along with Randy Jones (The Village People).

    We spent four years making the movie on an independent budget. I chose three of Poe’s works for filming: The Tell-Tale Heart, which I wrote and directed; The Cask of Amontillado, written and directed by Alan Rowe Kelly; and Dreams, which I directed and was adapted by screenwriter, Michael Varrati. I produced the film with Alan Rowe Kelly.

    What did you gain from showcasing at Comic-Con?

    A large amount of exposure and attention. Showcasing Tales of Poe at Comic-Con helped to gain a lot of attention to the movie including the cast and us, as filmmakers, too. Tales of Poe is an independent film in the horror genre so being asked to attend Comic-Con was an honor. It allowed the film to be seen on a large- scale platform and reach a broader audience.

    Our numbers began to increase in regards to publicity. Being at Comic-Con is, to a degree, equivalent to being at the Academy Awards. That is how big Comic-Con is. It’s immensely fun to be there as a fan and buyer, but to be there as a guest will draw audiences to your work, which is what you want it to do.

    tell tale heart

    What are your future goals for this film?

    Actually, Tales of Poe is going to be distributed this October 11th from Wild Eye Releasing on DVD, VOD and other platforms for viewing for North American sales. We are also focusing on international platforms, too. We do have a Tales of Poe poster and DVD signing with some of our cast and crew at Dark Delicacies in Burbank and in NYC at Forbidden Planet closer to the film’s release date.

    The film is in great hands with Wild Eye Releasing as they have been publicizing the film outside of the genre and within the core genre markets. It has already had its premiere and festival run for two straight years. We are all excited about the new journey the movie is taking this October.

    Tell us about how you got into filmmaking?

    I always loved movies not so much television, but movies. I watched all the black and white Universal horror movies. Frankenstein was my favorite. My dad always took me to the movies when I was a kid. I grew up in Queens, NY. Movie theaters were all over the neighborhood.

    He took me to see Star Wars when I was five years old and boy did that the film have a huge impression on me as a kid. When I was twelve my dad took me to see Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter in 1984 and that solidified my love for filmmaking and the horror genre. I hadn’t seen anything like it before. It made me excited about movies even more.

    I knew then, filming and horror would be my future. I began to read “Fangoria Magazine”. I still do. I went to the Weekend Of Horrors Conventions and met my favorite horror celebrities. I wanted to be a part of the world. I knew that many people wanted to be directors, so me being a photographer, I studied cinematography, which led me to get into a great independent horror community in NYC. Then, I met filmmaker, Alan Rowe Kelly, and he formed this great friendship that led us to be business partners, which led to Tales of Poe.

    As a director, I approached my films on a personal level. This means I financed them myself for artistic means. My first film, Vindication, took 4 years to make and I was honored when the great horror master, Clive Barker, reached out and attached his name to Vindication with an incredible review. His touch opened so many doors for me. It brought a larger budget and reputable name actors to Tales of Poe. Because of those connections Tales of Poe has a Hollywood premiere at the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Blvd and at the NYC Horror Film Festival at the Tribeca Movie Theater.

    What advice would you give to students interested in showcasing their work at Comic-Con?

    Do it! But, do it with purpose! That means you go with posters, characters dressed up, T-shirts, bags, cast, crew, business cards. Find out who will be there in regards to publicity and ask them for interviews, platforms to showcase, panels to speak on if you can.

    Use your social media to the film’s advantage. Social Media is the best form of free publicity and it gets the word around fast. Comic-Con is not a film festival so don’t think you are selling the film. What a filmmaker needs to do is publicize and market the film. Comic-Con will help you find an audience who enjoys genre works of all kinds. You will reach an incredible amount of people.

    What filmmakers must understand is that Comic-Con is for a specific audience. You will not gain interest marketing your latest drama. Comic-Con focuses on specific genre markets. These are the markets I work in as it interests me as a filmmaker. To be an invited guest to speak as a director and showcase Tales of Poe at Comic-Con two years in a row has only benefitted the film. I am honored to be there, but I also know what I had to do to help get the interest for Tales of Poe out there.

    What is the networking scene at Comic-Con like?

    Networking at Comic-Con is incredibly insane and intense as there are many talented people there showcasing their work and art on so many levels. Comic-Con represents the best on a visual scale. It is colorful, loud and big with so much going on in the area. You walk around and something is being promoted in and out of the convention center. The trick is to be prepared to network with as much as you can bring to it. If you go to Comic-Con as just a fan to look around, buy merchandise and see what it offers then great. If you are going for networking then you must bring your game face.

    tales of poe

    What was it like speaking on a panel at Comic-Con?

    It is an honor and so much fun. I have to thank Michael Varrati for asking me to be a part of it. I was there to talk at the biggest, most attended comic book genre convention in the world as an independent filmmaker in the horror genre for Tales of Poe. Talk about it all coming full circle at that moment from being that kid watching Star Wars and Friday the 13th to speaking at Comic-Con.

    Aside from being excited as a fan, being there gave me a platform to discuss the issues the horror genre faces and how Tales of Poe is a part of those issues, too. The panel is a great way to have a dialogue with peers and audience. A filmmaker’s presence at events is important in getting the word out there. Audiences want to know what we have to say outside of print. My presence allows them to meet, greet, and hear what I have to say. It’s a personal thing for audiences to meet and hear the filmmakers as it connects them to the film a bit more. I enjoy the publicity and getting out there to talk to audiences about my work. At Comic-Con it means so much more to me because I love what Comic-Con is. I was that kid who grew up on comics, genre, and fan-fare.

    How important are signings like this in getting your project to the intended audience?

    It is important if you are looking to draw more of an audience to see your movie and get the word out there to be present. Audiences love it when the actors and filmmakers show up to talk, sign, and take pictures.

    For me it is fun. I also know it is important to understand that art is what we as filmmakers bring to our work. But, at the end of the day it is business particularly once distribution gets involved and money exchanges hand.

    If I want to be a part of something then I have to put myself out there to get the intended audience to see what I have produced. Tales of Poe is a very important film to me. I spend four years of my life with Alan producing and directing it to get it out there.

    I equate it to being a parent. When someone has a child you must raise it, educate it, feed it, clothe it, send it to school and do all the things that are important to helping it grow and experience life. The same is with a film. I make movies to fulfill my own artistic needs, but once I am completed with the film it goes to the audiences. They then watch it, giving the movie a new life.

    It’s a great journey if you want it to be. The signings help the film reach an audience on a personal level. Combine that with good social media and the word spreads fast. If the audiences publicize it right away, and if they love it they will talk about it even more. It gets the buzz about your film heard.

    Do you plan on going next year? Why or why not?

    I was planning on going next year as just a fan of Comic-Con. Spend the weekend in San Diego to feel the excitement on a different scale. For two years in a row, I was invited to speak and promote my work. Next year, I would love to go just to go, enjoy San Diego, and be that kid again. But if invited again I would certainly go.

    What’s up next for you?

    I literally just moved from NYC teaching at NYFA in NYC to Los Angeles to teach at NYFA full time. Much of my time is devoted to educating young filmmakers on the understanding of filmmaking through cinematography and lighting. I’ve been a teacher for over 15 years, so to teach filmmaking full time is a lot of fun.

    Besides the promotional circuit for Tales of Poe, I shot a short film called MONTY that will be premiering this year from director Billy Clift, based on actor Montgomery Clift. It was a beautiful art piece to film it as I was the cinematographer. I own my own photography business, too, so I am always working on new projects with other artists. My personal project that I am doing right now is my first photography book focusing on portraits. Another project is to catch up with sleep.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mastronardi for his time. You can learn more about Mastronardi and his work at

    August 9, 2016 • Cinematography, Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 1820

  • NYFA Grad Working with DP for “Big Bang Theory” and “Mom”

    rebecka KristenssonThrough the assistance of the New York Film Academy’s Alumni Department, recent grads have had their share of success in landing some really solid opportunities in the entertainment business. Such has been the case with alumna, Rebecka Kristensson, who is currently working with the talented Steven V. Silver, ASC. Silver is the Director of Photography for both The Big Bang Theory and Mom. Now that Kristensson has had the chance to settle into her new position, we thought we’d catch up to see how everything is going at her new job.

    Congrats on landing a gig with Steven V. Silver! Can you tell us how this exciting position came about?

    I got the opportunity of working with him from a job ad that was sent out by some instructors at NYFA; in my case by my amazing mentor Denise Carlson (originally from Barbara Weintraub). I applied, and somehow my application reached Steven, with a few other applications. He called me in for an interview, and a few hours into our lunch meeting he hired me on the spot and the rest is history.

    What are some of the tasks in your position?

    My position entails many different tasks, such as scheduling, coordinating with post production and Technicolor, staying updated on newly drafted scripts, floor plans, etc. I’ve been working on websites and with publicity, especially since receiving two recent Emmy nominations for Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series, which he received for both ”Mom” and “The Big Bang Theory” this year. Also, since the production schedules overlap, I often represent Steven wherever he cannot be present.

    What are some of the challenges? What are some of the perks?

    The perks are definitely working with extremely talented and professional people that I look up to a lot. I get to pick Steven’s brain a lot — someone who’s been successful in the industry for a long time, creating the look of shows such as Two And A Half Men, Dharma & Greg, The Big Bang Theory, and Mom, as well as established the look of the pilot of How I Met Your Mother. Lucky for me, Steven is truly an amazing mentor. Also, I get to run around Warner Brother’s lot every day, which is always exciting. To be part of the Chuck Lorre machine is definitely an honor, and very educational indeed.

    Do you believe your NYFA education was useful in terms of being able to work with a cinematographer on MOM and BIG BANG THEORY?

    Definitely! I would neither have received the job ad, nor been considered for the actual job, if it wasn’t for NYFA. Even more so, I would never be able to keep up with this job and professional team without my producing degree.

    What are you hoping this job will lead to? Where would you like to be in 5 years?

    I hope this job will lead to great connections, lots of wisdom, and more opportunities with Steven, Warner Brothers and Chuck Lorre Productions. Outside the studio, I’ve launched a Swedish production company with my two partners – directors and writers – Petter Englund and Johan Englund, which I hope will stay active five years from now creating original content.

    August 5, 2016 • Cinematography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2791

  • MFA Cinematography Students Film Scenes for Master’s Lighting Workshop

    The Fall 2015 MFA Cinematography students have just completed Master’s Lighting, one of several major workshop classes in the third semester of the MFA Cinematography program. The class was taught by instructor Tommy Maddox-Upshaw, whose recent credits include Straight Outta Compton (2nd unit DP), The Perfect Match (DP), and The Miki Howard Story (DP). He demonstrated a variety of current lighting techniques including how to approach large-scale night exteriors, the use of mixed lighting, and some new approaches to using color in a scene.

    master class cinematography

    The week-long workshop began with a visit to the Cine Power & Light rental house. Students learned how to set up powerful lights including 10K tungsten fresnels, 9-light Maxi-Brutes, and 4K HMI PAR’s, carefully going over proper safety protocols for all of the equipment involved. The students were then introduced to generators, power distribution equipment, and the heavy-gauge cable needed to run power to these bigger lights.

    On the second day of the workshop, the students visited Griffith Park to shoot day and night exterior setups using a range of big lighting units and a 600 amp generator. This advanced equipment gave the students the necessary power to use lights in day exterior setting, controlling contrast and balancing the sunlight. These tools also allowed them to light a large night exterior scene, mixing different colored light sources to give the scene more depth.


    The class then moved to the Sybil Brand Institute, a decommissioned women’s prison where they have shot a number of films and television shows including Legally Blonde, 24, CSI: Miami, and Desperate Housewives. Students used the same lighting package to experiment with new techniques over the next two days of the workshop, shooting scenes on the Red Dragon digital cinema camera.

    cinema class

    The workshop concluded with a Cinematography Practicum at the Sybil Brand facility. The practicum shoot was lead by instructor Gilber Shilton, whose directing credits include episodes of Law & Order, MacGyver, Beverly Hills 90210, and Quantum Leap. With guidance from his instructors, student cinematographer Jaan Utno shot a tense scene in the jail setting. The class worked together to light more than 15 shots, incorporating techniques from the previous workshop days.

    Students leave the workshop with greater knowledge of how to light challenging scenes on a larger scale. Having worked with generators and power distribution systems, they will be ready to work at the high level of skill demanded by professional productions.

    July 20, 2016 • Cinematography, Community Highlights • Views: 2050

  • Student Networking Night in LA

    Every semester New York Film Academy Los Angeles gathers young aspiring professionals together to provide them with an opportunity to establish new connections and share their ideas and projects while building a strong list of professional contacts. It was a huge turn out for Student Networking Night on June 24th, which was hosted by NYFA’s Chair of Industry Outreach, Barbara Weintraub.

    meet greet

    “This is my second networking event at NYFA and it’s very helpful,” remarked MA Filmmaking Student, Daniel Peres Morel. “Here I’m getting all type of connections—meeting producers, cinematographers, people who I become friends with, collaborate with—and I’m very grateful for that opportunity.”

    In the creative spirit of “meet & greet,” non-profit organization NewFilmmakers LA (NFMLA) joined the event to share information about all the wonderful showcases and screenings they organize monthly to support emerging filmmakers. NFMLA provides a forum where filmmakers can be recognized for their contributions, have open audience discussions about their projects and connect with industry professionals for insight on distribution, production, acquisition and representation.

    newfilmmakers la

    “This event is really important, because connections you make here could bring you on further when you go into your life after school,” commented One-Year Acting for Film student Stephanie Weise.

    Business cards were exchanged, filmmakers crewed up and lots of pizza was eaten!

    nyfa la networking

    “It was a great event to meet actors, actresses, directors, and filmmakers all under one roof,” added One-Year Cinematography student Zachary Haussmann.

    NYFA is very excited that students from different programs were able to find collaborators with shared interests.

  • “Men of Honor” Filmmakers Visit NYFA LA

    Following a screening of Men of Honor, students at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus welcomed Director George Tillman, Jr., Producer Robert Teitel, and Cinematographer and NYFA Cinematography Chair Anthony Richmond, for a Q&A. Men of Honor, starring Robert De Niro, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Charlize Theron, is based on the true story of Master Chief Petty Officer Carl Brashear, a man who overcame racism and the amputation of his left leg to become the first U.S Navy Master Diver. NYFA’s Dean of the College, Sonny Calderon, moderated the event.

    tillman and teitel

    Director George Tillman, Jr. and Producer Robert Teitel

    George Tillman, Jr. is a director/producer/writer, best known for the Barbershop franchise, Notorious, a film about rapper Notorious B.I.G., Faster, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and the adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel, The Longest Ride.” Tillman also wrote, directed and produced the award-winning film Soul Food, with his producing partner, Robert Teitel. Teitel is a producer best known for his work on Tillman’s films, as well as Jayne Mansfield’s Car, and Nothing Like the Holidays (for which he wrote the story). NYFA Cinematography Chair and Cinematographer Anthony Richmond has had a long and illustrious career, starting in the 1960s with the Rock and Roll scene, working with, Jean-Luc Goddard, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, and then making his way into features on films such as The Man Who Fell to Earth, Legally Blonde, and The Sandlot, among many others. The tight-knit group reminisced about their experiences on Men of Honor, relating fascinating tales from the production, as well as invaluable words of wisdom.

    Tillman spoke very fondly of working with Robert De Niro. He related one episode on set in which the legendary actor picked up a phone while acting and the heavy prop struck him in the head. De Niro quickly regrouped and yelled for the cameras to “Keep rolling!” and to start the scene again. Without missing a beat De Niro recognized that this incident provided him an opportunity and he used the unexpected emotions to give a better performance in the next take.

    Cinematographer and NYFA Cinematography Chair Tony Richmond related a funny anecdote about his experience with the costume design for the film. A U.S. Navy ship provides the backdrop for the film, which of course means the story involves many sailors in uniform–white uniforms. Anyone who’s tried to film an actor wearing white knows that achieving proper exposure balance within the scene becomes very difficult. When Tony first got to set on the deck of the ship and saw a hundred extras wearing white under the blistering sun he said he almost had a heart attack. However, the highly skilled DP quickly found solutions to make all the shots work.


    NYFA’s Dean of the College, Sonny Calderon, Director George Tillman, Jr., Producer Robert Teitel, and NYFA LA Cinematography Chair, Anthony Richmond

    Producer Robert Teitel related the importance of how film school supplies students with the opportunity to create a “calling card” with which to break into the business. This is what he did with his 30-minute short Paula, which won several awards, including the Student Academy Award. This is also when he forged what was to become his very successful long-term partnership with George Tillman, Jr., who directed the short. The short helped Robert and George raise $150,000 and produced Scenes for the Soul, a feature film that was shot in Chicago, using local talent and resources. Scenes for the Soul was sold to Jackson-McHenry at Savoy Pictures for $1 million.

    We thank George Tilman, Jr., and Robert Teitel for visiting our school and wish them the best of luck in their careers!

    written by Melissa Enright and Robert Cosnahan

    June 23, 2016 • Cinematography, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 1317

  • “Good Luck Chuck” Screening at NYFA Los Angeles

    On Thursday, April 21st, New York Film Academy students were treated to a screening and Q & A of the hit Dane Cook / Jessica Alba romantic comedy, Good Luck Chuck. Director Mark Helfrich and Director of Cinematography / NYFA Chair of Cinematography, Tony Richmond, A.S.C., B.S.C., spoke with students at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus. Sonny Calderon, NYFA’s Dean of the College, moderated the discussion.

    nyfa good luck chuck

    NYFA Dean of the College, Sonny Calderon; Cinematography Chair, Tony Richmond; Director Mark Helfrich

    When asked how the movie came together, Helfrich said, “I’ve always wanted to direct,” which sent him on the search for scripts. He finally took on Good Luck Chuck, which at that time was a much softer romantic comedy, deciding to turn it into the very sexy R-rated romantic comedy that it became. Commenting on the value of the writing process in the development of the film, Helfrich said, “A screenwriter is worth his weight in gold.” He went on to add that a good script is one where you can’t wait to get to the next page.

    Being relatively new to directing after establishing himself as an editor, Helfrich now had to work with actors in a new way. Sonny Calderon asked him how he went about learning those new skills. Helfrich drew on his experience on previous sets in a non-directorial capacity, when he would visit the set as an editor and watch the director work with actors.

    The conversation turned to the relationship of directing to editing. Helfrich said that some directors have the movie cut in their head before they shoot, tying that to clarity of vision. This clarity of vision from a director, he said, also influences the amount of coverage directors use to cover the scene, saying also that he leans toward the minimum amount of coverage required. Sonny went on to add that a lot of reshooting tends to kill energy on the part of actors, particularly in a comedy. Helfrich said that the current trend is to “over cover” scenes.

    Sonny asked Helfrich about the emergence of digital editing and the differences between that and film editing. Helfrich said that he likes both, adding about film, “It was tangible.”  When asked what he looks for in a director, Tony told the audience to look for someone they like, adding, “I’ve never worked with anybody I didn’t like.”

    May 6, 2016 • Cinematography, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 1112

  • Matthew Modine’s “Super Sex” Premieres at Tribeca

    Friend and frequent guest of the New York Film Academy, Matthew Modine premiered his short film last week at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film, Super Sex, was shot by Julio Macat and stars Kevin Nealon, Elizbeth Perkins, Efren Ramirez, Ruby Modine, and the legendary Ed Asner. Given Modine’s strong relationship and respect to the Academy and its students, he and his team crewed up with the NYFA Industry Lab—a program set up at the Los Angeles campus to provide real world experience while preparing students for life after graduation

    “It’s important to give back,” said Modine in an interview with Rafael Pi Roman from MetroFocus. “All of these experiences that we have in our life. It’s important to give people the opportunity to apprentice.”

    Several students, in fact, had the opportunity to be an apprentice to Modine and Hollywood cinematographer, Julio Macat. Evan Stulc of the Industry Lab’s camera department was brought on to be Macat’s camera assistant, giving him an amazing opportunity to work with one of the leading cinematographers in the motion picture industry. Macat has worked as cinematographer on films like Home Alone, Ace Ventura, Horrible Bosses 2, and many others.

    julio macat

    Julio Macat with NYFA Industry Lab student

    “It was a fantastic experience,” said NYFA’s Evan Stulc. “I learned so much about the craft working alongside a legend like Julio.”

    Modine and his producer, Joe Toronto, also interviewed NYFA students eager to work on the film. Toronto chose Mara Topic as an Associate Producer. Joann Wong, Alyssa Manno, Egor Povolotskiy, Aaron Pong, James Geyer, David Mori, and Nick Ramsey worked in the art, lighting, and editorial departments.

    modine nyfa

    Matthew Modine on set of “Super Sex”

    “It was wonderful working with the NYFA students,” said Toronto. “They were helpful and enthusiastic and worked hand-in-hand with experienced professionals. I feel the best way to learn a craft is by doing—and they did!”

    The film received a terrific response at the TFF, which leads us to believe we’ll be seeing Modine’s feature films in the near future.

    To watch the full interview with Matthew Modine on MetroFocus, in which he discusses his film, his upcoming projects and his work with the New York Film Academy, please click HERE.

    April 25, 2016 • Cinematography, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4360

  • Cinematographer Julio Macat Talks Comedy with Students after ‘Horrible Bosses 2’ Showing

    Last week, New York Film Academy welcomed Julio Macat, a cinematographer known for his work on comedies such as the Home Alone series, Wedding Crashers, and Pitch Perfect, for a Q&A after screening Horrible Bosses 2. Horrible Bosses 2 features an ensemble cast of Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, and Chris Pine. The discussion was moderated by Dean of Students Eric Conner and Associate Chair of the Cinematography Department Mike Williamson.

    julio macat

    Julio Macat

    Macat arrived before the film started to introduce the film and let students know what to be watching for. He specifically talked about style when shooting comedy, saying that when he first started in the industry, “comedies were shot in kind of a bright way, less contrast. I’ve been able to do comedies that are less bright, more rich,” he added. He also talked about how it isn’t just music that affects the pace of a film, it’s “figuring out when the camera should be moving and when it should be static.”

    After the film, Dean of Students Eric Conner introduced Macat, and started the Q&A. Macat opened up about his personal attitude toward filming, telling students that they should always be flexible and go with the flow when filming and that “the worst thing to do is to fix yourself, 100%, this is what you’re going to do—most of your best work is going to be happy accidents.”

    macat eric conner

    Macat asked the students about themselves when they came up to ask questions, and when one student expressed a nervousness about lighting, Macat reassured them, saying that, “it took me years to get a hang of lighting. What helped me most about lighting [was] observing real light.”

    His final word of advice to our students was to “work with something they’re passionate about.”

    March 14, 2016 • Cinematography, Guest Speakers • Views: 2446