Cinematography
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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Production Workshop Motionlapse From Start to Finish

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) instructor James H. Coburn had a brand new camera he was still playing around with, and thought it would be a cool idea to take a motionlapse video of one of his classes—and he was right, it was cool.

    The camera was a DJI Osmo Pocket, which can shoot in several modes including both time-lapse and motionlapse. Timelapse involves capturing an individual frame at set intervals, which helps show the passage of time over a much shorter time frame. Motionlapse involves the same concept, but with a pan or tilt in the camera movement.

    Coburn put the DJI Osmo Pocket to the test over the course of a production workshop, where students from the Fall MFA in Cinematography program shot a film in a garage on a very hot day in Burbank, California—home of NYFA-Los Angeles.

    Student director Derek Johnson filmed a process shot with a green screen and automobile over the course of several hours. All the students in the class had something to do on set and were busy throughout.

    The motionlapse, which slowly pans across the set in what results in just two minutes of footage, capture the day’s shoot, which lasted over three hours, showing the students’ hard work as if honeybees in a hive.

     

    Interested in working on a New York Film Academy production workshop one day? Check out the programs NYFA has to offer here.

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    November 25, 2019 • Cinematography • Views: 263

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Instructor Tommy Maddox-Upshaw Shoots Season 3 of FX’s ‘Snowfall’

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    Tommy Maddox-Upshaw, director of photography and New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography instructor, shot the third season of FX series Snowfall, which recently finished this Fall.

    Snowfall is the critically-acclaimed FX series Dave Andron co-created with iconic filmmaker John Singleton, who passed away earlier this year; Singleton was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for his debut film Boyz n the Hood, becoming the youngest person ever nominated for the former as well as the first African American.

    Snowfall is a period crime drama, set in 1983 Los Angeles and revolves around the crack epidemic that took the city by storm in the early 1980s. Maddox-Upshaw and Eliot Rockett alternated cinematographer duties for the show’s third season.

    Maddox-Upshaw is based in Los Angeles and teaches Cinematography at NYFA’s Burbank-based campus. He’s worked in both television and on feature films, including additional photography on Grown Ups 2, Beyond the Lights, and The Circle, and was the second unit director of photography on Straight Outta Compton. His credits as cinematographer include 48 Hours to Live, The Perfect Match, and Fixed.

    American Cinematographer, the international publication of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), recently did an in-depth profile on Snowfall and its signature look, interviewing both Maddox-Upshaw and Rockett. The article got into the nuts and bolts about the new equipment the show used in its third season, as well as the complicated location shoot of the season’s penultimate episode, which involved shooting in a neighborhood once deeply affected by the drug crisis depicted in the show.

    Maddox-Upshaw went into great detail not just about equipment used and how his team used it, but also the combination of using set lights—along with smoke and other effects—with the bright, impossible-to-ignore sunlight of Los Angeles, and was clearly passionate about every aspect of his job on the FX drama.

    “My gaze is a little more personal,” Maddox-Upshaw tells ASC. “Being a kid who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s in Mattapan, the inner city of Boston, during the crack era, I saw a lot of these same things happen, the drugs and violence in my neighborhood and in my own family.” 

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Cinematography instructor Tommy Maddox-Upshaw on shooting the latest season of Snowfall and looks forward to what projects he takes on next!

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    October 30, 2019 • Cinematography, Faculty Highlights • Views: 575

  • ‘Don’t Look Now’ Gets 4K Digital Restoration from Criterion Collection 

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    Forty-six years after its release, Don’t Look Now, the drama/thriller/horror directed by Nicolas Roeg and shot by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Los Angeles Chair of Cinematography Anthony B. Richmond, BSC, ASC, is still held up as a cinematic classic, so it’s no surprise that Criterion Collection has released a 4K digital restoration of the film.

    With the new restoration, many in the film world are taking another look at the beloved 1973 film, which stars Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland as a couple who’ve recently lost their daughter and come across a pair of elderly sisters—one of which claims to be a psychic in touch with the spirit of their child.

    Cinephilia & Beyond recently published an in-depth look at the film, including quotes from Roeg and Richmond. Cinephilia & Beyond started out as a small blog centered on independent film and has evolved into a community of passionate lovers of film, including A-list names like Guillermo del Toro, Ava DuVernay, and William Friedkin.

    The article, written by Jasun Horseley, takes the reader through the entire film from start to finish, with in-depth analysis on several key scenes, incorporating interviews and quotes from the filmmakers

    “It is a fabulous movie,” says Richmond, the director of photography for Don’t Look Now. “Not because I shot it, but it still stands up today. It was probably the most difficult thing I have shot, because in Venice everything goes in and out on barges. We shot it in the winter with an Italian crew, which was fantastic, because Venice in the winter is dark, cold and foreboding, which was wonderful.”

    Tony Richmond is the London-born, BAFTA-winning cinematographer who has shot numerous productions, including The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Sandlot, Legally Blonde, and Sympathy for the Devil. He is currently Chair of Cinematography at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus, where he works closely with talented, hard-working students. 

    Richmond also spoke with Antonia Quirke about Don’t Look Now on BBC’s Film Programme. Among other things discussed was the film’s infamous and oft-scrutinized sex scene between Sutherland and Christie. 

    The interview, which takes place during the first 11 minutes and 30 seconds of the show, can be found here.

    Don't Look Now

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    October 15, 2019 • Cinematography, Faculty Highlights • Views: 447

  • Short Close-Up Interviews New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Alum Anna Vialova

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography alum Anna Vialova was recently interviewed by Short Close-Up Film Magazine.Anna Vialova

    Vialova hails from Ukraine, and first attended New York Film Academy in July 2015, enrolling in the 8-Week Filmmaking workshop at our Burbank-based campus. She followed that up in Spring 2018 with the advanced and rigorous studies in the 1-Year Conservatory at NYFA’s Cinematography school.

    Credits as a cinematographer include Devour, I Just Wanted to See You, Silent Voices, Things That Fall, and No Longer Perfect. Vialova also shot her own film, Brave. New., which she directed and produced. Additionally, Vialova is an accomplished photographer, and has had photos published in ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue UA, and L’officiel.

    Short Close-Up is an international, independent online magazine that covers a variety of culture, including, narrative, documentary, animation, music video, experimental, fashion, commercial, and mobile. Short Close-Up shares the experiences of established filmmakers by publishing in-depth profiles and interviews by the most in-demand filmmakers working today.

    In the interview, Vialova spoke about what inspired her to become a filmmaker, the important of collaborating on set, and the role film festivals have played in her life. She also asked about the relationship between a filmmaker and the artist, telling Short Close-Up, “I feel that the best thing I can do is to stay honest with my audience and myself. I don’t shoot scripts I don’t like. If I don’t feel connected to the story it will be disrespectful to director and audience to shoot it, because I won’t be able to tell the story in a best way.”

    New York Film Academy wishes Cinematography alum Anna Vialova the best of success as her career continues forward, and encourages everyone to check out her full interview with Short Close-Up here.

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    September 26, 2019 • #WomenOfNYFA, Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 724

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Instructor Suki Medencevic Interviewed By ‘American Cinematographer’

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    Professional director of photography and New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography instructor Suki Medencevic, ASC, ASBiH, SAS was recently profiled by American Cinematographer magazine.

    In 2010, Medencevic joined the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), the cultural, educational, and professional organization founded in Hollywood in 1919 to bring together professional cinematographers for advancements and advocation of the medium. In 1920 the ASC founded the magazine publication American Cinematographer, which focuses on art and cinematography and in its first 100 years has evolved to cover everything from foreign films to music videos. In their June 2019 issue, American Cinematographer showcased Medencevic in its Close-Up feature, interviewing him in a comprehensive Q&A format.

    Medencevic has worked steadily in the film industry since his first feature film job in 1994, both shooting and working in the camera department for numerous features, television shows, commercials, made-for-TV films, and documentaries. While still working professionally, he currently teaches cinematography students at New York Film Academy’s Burbank-based campus.

    Medencevic’s colleagues in NYFA’s cinematography department are thrilled to see ASC profile the talented artist, and weren’t at all surprised he was chosen for their Close-Up feature.

    Suki Medencevic
    “Suki is incredibly versatile as an instructor,” says Mike Williamson, Associate Chair of Cinematography at NYFA-Los Angeles. “He brings a high level of technical sophistication to the program, no doubt informed by his role as a member of the ASC Technology Committee. Recently he’s helped us develop the curriculum and integrate new material into some of our lighting classes.”

    Williamson adds, “Suki has a strong connection with his students, and we’re pleased to have him as a member of our faculty.”

    The Q&A in American Cinematographer covered several topics. Medencevic spoke about first studying the art form in Belgrade, Serbia from renowned European cinematographers, before delving into his transition to working professionally in the American film industry.

    Additionally, Medencevic cites Jaroslav Kučera, Vittorio Storaro, Chivo, and Roger Deakins as his favorite cinematographers, and the films Apocalypse Now and Enter the Dragon as two films that made strong impressions on him as a child. He also relayed some advice he once received from another professional cinematographer: “‘If you want to be a cinematographer, don’t waste your time doing anything else.’”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Cinematography instructor Suki Medencevic on his recent profile in American Cinematographer Magazine and encourages everyone to read the full interview here.

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    July 22, 2019 • Cinematography, Faculty Highlights • Views: 712

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes Oscar-Winning Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski to New York City Campus

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography students recently had the chance to meet and speak with one of the industry’s most renowned and well-known cinematographers, Janusz Kaminski. Kaminski previously spoke with NYFA students at our Burbank-based campus.

    Kaminski originally hails from Poland and only had a handful of cinematography credits to his name when Steven Spielberg chose him to shoot his passion project, Schindler’s List. Kaminski’s beautiful, mostly black-and-white photography earned him his first Academy Award. To date, he has been nominated for a Best Cinematography Oscar six times, winning again for Saving Private Ryan.

    Janusz Kaminski

    Since Schindler’s List, Kaminski has shot many of Spielberg’s films, including Amistad, Minority Report, Catch Me if You Can, Munich,  and Ready Player One, and is currently working on the upcoming remake of West Side Story. Other notable credits include The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Jerry Maguire.

    Last month, Kaminski spoke at length with NYFA Cinematography students at our New York campus in an intimate setting. He began by sitting down with little fanfare, just inches from the students, and telling them, “I’m here for you, what would you like to talk about?” followed by several questions both technical and related to the profession. All in all, the discussion was very congenial and lasted nearly three hours. The class was extremely friendly, and lasted almost three hours.

    Kaminski stressed to the students the importance of experience and working as much as possible, even if certain projects are low budget and are not going to earn much recognition. He also shared some personal details, including that the work he is most proud of is the film Munich, a difficult film that explores complex themes. Much of what he covered included the thought process of a professional cinematographer, which remains consistent no matter how much success or accolades one acquires in their career.

    Janusz Kaminski

    Kaminski also talked to students about taking risks and working hard, especially in finding the proper visual language for each film. He also focused extensively on how important it is for students to own their images, to find a language and style that is appropriate for the film they are doing, while always remembering that working fast is absolutely fundamental as well as keeping an eye on the production aspects of the job.

    “The meeting with Janusz Kaminski was an incredible experience for the students and for the instructors that have been able to participate,” says Piero Basso, NYFA-NY Chair of Cinematography.

    Basso adds, “Apart from the obvious knowledge and life experiences he has shared with us, the key element of his visit was that even a superstar DP like him, on the verge of shooting again with Steven Spielberg, hasn’t lost his connection to real life and to feelings that are common to every DP before starting a new job.

    “To hear him explaining that less than a week away from starting his new movie (nothing less than the remake of West Side Story) he is still thinking on how to approach it—and that he has a dose of healthy tension and worries about how it will turn out—is refreshing in a world where you are always wondering if your own choices are right, and often you don’t know it until later into the movie when turning back is virtually impossible.”

    Janusz Kaminski
    Since he was speaking with NYFA’s highly-trained cinematography students, he wasn’t afraid to get into the weeds and talk about very technical aspects of his artistic choices. Kaminski brought up the importance of filtration and the necessity of modifying the images while creating them to match the look and tone the filmmakers are exploring for their movie.

    Kaminski also discussed how sometimes lighting is done very simply and almost without any intervention, like in several sections of Saving Private Ryan, but how in other situations it becomes very important to use artificial light even in daytime exteriors—for example in War Horse, which was often lit in daytime to be able to save the beauty of the light in the background of the characters.

    New York Film Academy thanks legendary and Oscar-winning director of photography Janusz Kaminski for taking the time to share his expertise and experiences with our NYFA Cinematography students!

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    July 9, 2019 • Cinematography, Guest Speakers • Views: 736

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking & Cinematography Alum Jean de Meuron Invited to Join Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)

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    Earlier this month the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) invited 842 new members to join its rankings, including Oscar-nominated New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking & Cinematography alum Jean de Meuron.

    Megan Jean de Meuronde Meuron was previously nominated in 2017 for an Academy Award for the short film he executive-produced, La femme et le TGV. de Meuron hails from Switzerland and first enrolled at New York Film Academy in 2009, taking several workshops, including in Filmmaking. He followed his short-term studies with NYFA’s 1-year Conservatory in Cinematography. His latest project, sci-fi epic Megan (co-produced with Giuseppe Mercadante and Olcun Tan and directed by Greg Strasz), recently won a Telly Award for its proof-of-concept short. It’s no surprise the highly talented filmmaker has been tapped to join AMPAS.

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the body of producers, directors, screenwriters, actors, and other filmmaking industry leaders. Every year, AMPAS members vote on the Academy Awards embodied by the iconic golden statuette, Oscar.

    Over the past few years, due to a demand from the public to catch up to to the current cultural landscape, AMPAS has been inviting more women and people of color to diversify its body, which has been historically dominated by white men. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this year’s 842 invitees include members from 59 countries, half of whom are female and 29 percent of whom are people of color.AMPAS

    Invitees often include previous Oscar winners and nominees, as well as up-and-coming Hollywood stars. The 2019 list of invitees includes directors Jonathan M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), and performers Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Sterling K. Brown, Gemma Chan, Tom Holland, Claire Foy, Will Poulter, Lady Gaga, and Adele.

    “I am incredibly humbled and grateful to have been invited to join the Academy as a member of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch,” de Meuron tells NYFA. “It is such an honor and privilege to be a part of this organization of which many filmmakers, creatives, and executives belong to that have influenced as well as inspired me—and continue to do so.”

    New York Film Academy is incredibly excited for Filmmaking & Cinematography alum Jean de Meuron and congratulates him on his invitation to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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    July 9, 2019 • Cinematography, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 478

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking & Cinematography Alum Jean de Meuron’s Short ‘Megan’ Wins at the 2019 Telly Awards

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    Megan Jean de MeuronNew York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking and Cinematography alum Jean de Meuron can add another award to his mantle—his short film Megan was a Silver Winner at the 40th Annual Telly Awards.

    de Meuron hails from Switzerland and first enrolled at NYFA in 2009, taking several workshops, including in Filmmaking, before following his short-term studies with NYFA’s 1-year Conservatory in Cinematography. Since then, he’s been hard at work making award-winning projects. In 2017, he executive-produced the short film La femme et le TGV, which earned an Academy Award nomination. 

    Megan, a short film that also serves as a proof of concept for a feature science fiction epic in the vein of J.J. Abrams’s popular Cloverfield series, was a Silver Winner in the General – Online category. The proof of concept features breathtaking action bolstered by perfectly executed special effects, including a harrowing helicopter crash and the appearance of a colossal, ominous spaceship.

    The short was directed by Greg Strasz and produced by de Meuron, along with Giuseppe Mercadante and Olcun Tan. Megan previously won four awards at the 2018 Pitch to Screen Film Awards: Best Proof of Concept, Best Director, Best Cinematographer, and Best Editor, as well as Best International Sci-Fi Short at the 2018 London International Short Film Festival.

    “I am deeply honored, proud, and humbled that my team and I won a Telly Award,” de Meuron says of Megan’s Silver trophy. “This came as a complete surprise since companies like Disney, Lucasfilm, Netflix, Paramount, Viacom, CBS, DC Entertainment, and so forth were also honored for their work in various categories. We share the Silver Winner Award with CBS in the category 2019 Online: General Viral.”

    The Telly Awards were founded in 1979 to recognize achievements in local, regional, and cable television commercials with non-broadcast video and television programming included shortly after. The Telly Awards have kept up with the times and now embraces media content that can be seen on all screens—from the theater to your smartphone. This also includes awards for VR, television commercials, web series and branded content. This year’s event had a record-breaking amount 12,000 entries, of entries, from from all 50 states and five continents.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) congratulates Filmmaking & Cinematography alum Jean de Meuron on the success of Megan and its Silver Winner Award at the 40th Annual Telly Awards!

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    June 21, 2019 • Cinematography, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 485

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Alum Olga Vazquez Puertas Keeps Busy Behind the Camera

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography alum Olga Vazquez Puertas is keeping busy behind the camera, getting steady work in the camera department and as a director of photographer on numerous projects.

    Puertas hails from Spain and graduated from the 1-year Cinematography program at NYFA’s New York campus in 2011. “Since childhood, filmmaking has been my passion,” Puertas says on her website’s bio. “Early on, I discovered that what I really love is to speak through visual storytelling. I like to solve challenges collaboratively; controlling the light, composition and frame, achieving the look, mood and tone needed for each project.”Olga Vazquez Puertas

    Recently, Puertas has worked for automaker Audi, and filmed an ad with Kevin Hart for his game, Gold Ambush. She has served in the camera department on such films as Thoreau (2018), Night and Day (2015), On Golden Years (2014), Taste of Honey (2013), and The Therapy (2013).

    Additionally, she has worked as director of photography on Hooked (2019), Vedic Nights (2018), Love and Bullets (2017), A Lonely Woman (2018), Pinsky (2017) and the upcoming projects Asking for It, Treasure Trouble, and A Cute & a Button.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Cinematography alum on her busy resume and looks forward to seeing what she works on next!

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    June 12, 2019 • Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 691

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Students Shoot LGBTQIA+ Themed Alexa Workshop

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Students recently shot a workshop with the Alexa camera rig that was—appropriately for Pride Month, LGBTQIA+ themed.

    The Arri Alexa is a high-end camera that was introduced in 2010 and was camera manufacturer Arri’s first major digital cinematography apparatus. The Alexa is the camera of choice by many professional Hollywood filmmakers, and is used in high-budget feature films, television shows, and commercials throughout the industry.

    NYFA’s Cinematography students are taught with these major rigs, including the Alexa, the RED, and 35mm film. For their most recent Alexa workshop, the students filmed a short with an LGBTQIA+ theme. 

    The film told the story of a young woman named Allison, coming from her father’s funeral with what seems to be her boyfriend. It is soon revealed that he is not actually her boyfriend, but a platonic male friend Allison is using to hide her lesbian relationship with another woman—Rachel—from her family.

    LGBTQIA+ Alexa Workshop
    Allison and Rachel have a confrontation, with Allison storming out of the house to avoid a fight. They eventually reunite on a pier by the harbor, where Rachel tells a story about how she sought revenge toward an aunt that made her life impossible after her coming out, but then decided it was not worth it and that it was her aunt living the miserable life, not her. The film ends with Allison revealing she came out to her sister and, somewhat unexpectedly, her reaction was that she wanted to meet Rachel. 

    The two actresses playing the leads are both NYFA alumni. “They delivered quite a strong performance, and the cinematography work is quite interesting,” says NYFA Chair of Cinematography Piero Basso.

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    June 11, 2019 • Cinematography • Views: 428