Filmmaking
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  • Summer Camp Students Film on Universal “Western” Lot

    The New York Film Academy had a huge day on the Universal Backlot last Thursday as the tweens, teens, and Young Storyteller summer camps hit the Western lot to shoot twenty different films in just eight hours. Universal is the largest studio in the world and the Western set is one of their oldest and most recognized.

    young storytellers

    Students gathered on the set at 8am and were led a thorough safety meeting. Once the meeting wrapped, students broke into groups and set out across the lot to location scout. Potential sets included a saloon, stables, an apothecary, and façade of a stately home.

    Stories ranged from a tale of a sci-fi superhero, who’s been pushed around one too many times, to a standoff in a barn. The students explored every genre from romantic comedy to horror. The films shot on the lot will be screened at New York Film Academy for students and their families.

    young storytellers

    One of New York Film Academy’s acting students, Katisha Sargeant, said of her experience, “These kids humble me. Watching their passion for film has renewed my desire to pursue this craft.”

    One student said of her experience, “I’m glad we had a lot of time to think about the story before we got here. You just have to trust in your training and your crew and hope for the best.”

    universal backlot

    New York Film Academy would like to thank Universal Studios for their support and use of their lots.

    August 17, 2016 • Acting, Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1691

  • NYFA Australia Instructors to Join Port Shorts Young Filmmaker Masterclasses

    New York Film Academy Australia and Port Shorts Ambassadors will be participating in Port Shorts Young Filmmaker Masterclasses with teams of high school film students in Cairns and Mossman on August 18th and 19th. New York Film Academy Australia instructors Brian Vining and Dean Mayer will join Screen Queensland production incentive and attractions Manager Gina Black.

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    2016 Port Shorts Film Festival Call for Entries with Ambassador Stephen Curry from Port Shorts Inc on Vimeo.

    Port Shorts Film Festival ambassadors Stephen Curry (The Castle, The Cup), Wolf Creek EP Matt Hearn and screenwriter Kier Shorey (Blurred), will deliver a free workshop in Port Douglas later this month. With a prize pool worth more than $15,000 up for grabs, the Port Shorts Film Festival shines the spotlight on the imagination of Australia’s most creative minds, with a support network geared to stimulate the next generation of filmmakers.

    Port Shorts Film Festival Director Alison George said organizers were delighted to bring up such a well-credentialed film industry panel for the benefit of the Far North Queensland filmmaking community.

    “Port Shorts is very proud to present the free Port Shorts Masterclass Series and we would like to thank Festivals Australia for helping to fund the workshops as well as our Ambassadors, New York Film Academy Australia and Screen Queensland for supporting us with their involvement,” said George.

    The main Port Shorts Film Festival is held in Port Douglas October 28-29. For more information, please visit www.portshorts.com.

    August 16, 2016 • Entertainment Australia, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 424

  • NYFA Grad’s Award-Winning Thesis to Screen at SAG Short Film Showcase

    kellen crewThe Moment I Was Alone, directed by New York Film Academy graduate Kellen Gibbs, has been nominated for 20 awards at seven different festivals, winning Best Screenplay at Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, Judges Choice at Monarch International Film Festival, Best Independent Film Score at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, Award of Merit at the United International Film Festival, and Best College Student Film at Sanford International Film Festival. It premiered at the Carmel International Film Festival, also screened at Take Two Film Festival and will now be screening at the SAG Short Film Showcase on August 30th.

    The film’s soundtrack was composed by Canadian-born and Toronto-based film composer Isaias Garcia, who is 3-time SOCAN & 2-time Hollywood Music in Media Awards winner. He and his team at MASTR Studios (Media Arts Symphony of Toronto) produced and mixed the original score at their Toronto studio in collaboration with the Ostrich Studio Orchestra in Argentina who recorded the soundtrack with a live orchestra.

    With all of the awards racking up for Gibbs, we thought we’d find out more about his film and his young career as an award-winning filmmaker.

    Can you tell us a little bit about THE MOMENT I WAS ALONE? 

    “The Moment I Was Alone” is a short I did as my thesis film at NYFA. It follows Quinn, an adolescent child who, while searching for her mother in an over populated street, witnesses time completely stop around her. To me it’s a coming of age story; watching this young girl grow and experience life from an almost third person perspective of it while dealing with the issues that she herself faces. What am I? Who am I? Can I love? Why do we love? Why did this happen? In some way or another these are questions that everyone asks themselves. I guess you can say that was the big idea for the film; make people think. Create something that’s thought provoking and can drop you into a new world and take you on an emotional journey.

    kelln gibbs

    How did this film come about? 

    The idea has been sitting with me for a long time. It came first as an idea just revolving around a story where time stopped. I’ve seen the idea a lot in superhero movies, cartoons, TV shows; I wanted to take it on a different route then I’ve seen it taken before. I loved the idea that a person can be completely surrounded by people but be so isolated and lonely at the same time. Over time and while at NYFA, the story turned into what it is now and needless to say I am very proud of what it became.

    How would you describe your experience at NYFA?

    I loved my time at the New York Film Academy. I have had some very influential teachers who have really helped and guided me throughout. Not only that but I think one of the factors about NYFA that really helped me was how hands-on and accessible everything was. It requires hard work because it’s not just theory we’re being taught; at NYFA you go out and make movies. And the outcome can be so gratifying. You don’t just look at movies and say, “I wish I could make that.” You get to say “I MADE that.”

    Would you say NYFA’s training was useful in terms of being prepared to write/direct this film?

    Absolutely. I never could have made this movie two years ago. NYFA has made me look at movies differently — deeper. And in extension, I now look at my movies the same way. This is all thanks to my teachers at NYFA.

    What do you hope will come about from the SAG Showcase?

    The film has already done so many things that I wasn’t expecting. It’s brought together different countries by its musical score, showcased the ability of many NYFA students along with rising newcomers in the industry. And after winning all the awards that we have, traveling around to different film festivals and being nominated for many more, I am just beyond honored to have been chosen to screen at the SAG Showcase. Of course I hope that the screening can help as I continue propelling my career forward but I am just incredibly excited to have had the opportunity to screen and show my film at so many places. That’s by far one of the best experiences; I’ve seen my movie so many times now but when you get in front of a new crowd and you get to hear the reactions of people viewing it for the first time, it rejuvenates you and makes it as if I am watching it for the first time again. You never really know what can come from these experiences but it’s always a blast and this one is just such an honor.

    Are you currently working on any other projects?

    Yes, sir! After graduating NYFA I was approached by an author by the name of George Lippert. He has asked me to adapt his novel “The Freezing Season” into a feature film and we are heavily into the process now with the goal of filming in February of next year. Many of the same people who worked on “The Moment I Was Alone” will be returning to work on this with us. These connections last. Things are definitely in the works and that will absolutely be an experience I can’t wait for.

    August 15, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3720

  • NYFA Student’s “Tempting Fate” Wins Four Awards at The Dove Foundation

    tempting fateKevin Nwankwor is a current New York Film Academy film student, whose Tempting Fate won four out of five Doves at the Dove Foundation. We sat down and talked to Nwankwor about his latest works, the early years of his career, and what he plans to do next.

    Tell us a little about your film.

    Nwankwor: Tempting Fate is a movie about two brothers, one of deep faith and the other buried in a life of crime, their worlds are torn apart when the wrong brother goes to jail and the other commits an unforgivable act.

    The older brother, Edu, is a talented singer. He is calm, reflective and peaceful. He relies on his spirituality and the love of his wonderful girlfriend, Tracey, to help him combat a life-threatening illness.

    On the other hand, Ugo is hotheaded, impulsive and at times a menacing human being. He finds himself wrapped in a life of crime which he knows will lead him down a path of destruction, but it’s not an easy one to leave; a point his gang leader Scorpion has made clear.

    In an attempt to get money for a lifesaving procedure for his brother, Ugo triggers a chain of events that sends their worlds crashing. The film deals with themes of love, betrayal, and forgiveness.

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    You started your film career here at NYFA. What was the transition, from student to professional, like?

    Nwankwor: It was not easy. First, there was this fear of failure. Then doubt sets in. But again, I must commend NYFA instructors because they took their time to really open my eyes to the “make believes” that happens in movies, not only by teaching but also sending us links to materials and showing us where we can get discounts as filmmakers.

    My experience at NYFA made the transition an easy one, but above all the huge support from my family including my wife, Unoma Nwankwor, who is an award-winning author, my two kids, my special uncle who is also my Executive Producer, my Mum, and parents-in-law is what made the transition smooth.

    Assistant Director is notoriously one of the most physically and mentally challenging jobs on set. What did your time as an AD teach you about the filmmaking process?

    I worked as a Director in three of my movies and as an Assistant Director in two other movies. To be successful as an assistant director, you really have to work with a director that knows what he is doing – a director that knows his stuff. The worst thing that can happen to you as an AD is to work on an unprofessional set.

    Yes, it is your duty as the assistant director to run the set but, unfortunately, if the director is unprofessional, late to sets, and the members of the crew are the director’s family members and you are kind of in a position where you know things are wrong but unfortunately your hands are tied you can only make the best of your situation.

    Yes, I love it when I work as an assistant director but with a professional crew life is easier for you. Working as a producer / director… has been a pleasant journey for me especially with the skills I acquired from NYFA in terms of movie budgeting and scheduling. Before I started at NYFA, I was passionate about filmmaking. I knew what I wanted. NYFA groomed me and equipped me with skills towards my vision of making exceptional movies not just to entertain but also to inspire, motivate, and change lives.

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    What were you feeling the first time your film premiered?  

    Nwankwor: Hmmm – Tears, tears, and more tears. I trusted God all the way. I had some doubts along the way, tried to quit at some point but realized that quitting was not an option. But the very day the movie premiered I was filled with tears especially because I knew that I created a movie that made people cry and rejoice when they left the theater. Listening to their testimonies and reviews was fulfilling for me.

    Now that you’ve shown your film, are you looking for distribution? 

    Nwankwor: Yes, we are seeking distribution for TV and another medium. We are currently on Pay-Per-View Stage on Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play but we are in talks with Netflix at the moment and hopefully some other distribution companies. We made a Spanish dub of the movie so it’s available in Spanish and English.

    Kevin Nwankwor

    What advice would you give to current students looking for success? 

    Nwankwor: Nothing is impossible. It all starts with overcoming fear. When I made my first budget it was $500K. I did not have $400 in my account… but I went on my knees asking God to direct me to the right person. The first person I pitched this project to was the last person I was expecting to act because he doesn’t look like a man that has a passion for entertainment.

    But as God will have it, he believed in me and invested in the project and me. Soon the film was made. So, don’t be discouraged, be tenacious, work hard, have a positive attitude and above all believe in your project because if you do not, no one will, and if you believe that it will succeed then you will be willing to take the risk. No success without risk, even if it does not come immediately. It will surely come, so stay focused.

    What’s up next for you? 

    Nwankwor: I am currently working on two projects now: Selina, a collaboration with Nachipala Productions, and Muna, which is my next feature film. My goal is to complete this new phase I started with NYFA. With the support from NYFA, I would like to go back to Africa and help the youths to hone their skills and talents in filmmaking and acting.

    You can find more about Tempting Fate and Nwankwor’s other works at www.facebook.com/TemptingFateFilm/ and on Instagram and Twitter at @knn335.

    August 12, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2193

  • NYFA Australia Grad’s “Ice Cold” to Screen at Several International Film Festivals

    Prior to attending the New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast, Jonathan Gesthuizen had never written a script. “I really struggled with it to begin with and soon realized that, while it was my weakest skill, it was the area of filmmaking that I was most passionate about,” said NYFA Australia alumnus Jonathan Gesthuizen. “The Director’s Craft Workshops and screenwriting classes were pivotal to being able to co-write and direct Ice Cold.

    ice cold

    Now, Gesthuizen’s short film Ice Cold, which he produced while at NYFA Australia, will be screened at international film festivals after being officially selected for the Tokyo On-Line Lift Off festival, Access Code India festival, Eurofest in St Petersburg, Russia and Action on Film Festival in Los Angeles.

    Ice Cold was submitted for my Digital Dialogue film assignment,” recalled Gesthuizen. “Bobby Mailman (acting student, co-writer) and I were both students mid 2015 and the story came about when Bobby and myself collaborated on an idea based loosely around some of her early childhood memories.”

    The short film is an action, thriller, romantic drama that centers around Jonny, Bella, and Dion as they struggle to grow up and survive in a world overcome with drugs, alcohol and violence. It is a story based around a young indigenous girl and her childhood sweetheart, Jonny, who are separated in their early teens and later reunite and escape from the clutches of Bella’s ruthless drug kingpin boyfriend.

    Ice Cold is about love breaking something open and conquering all, no matter what the obstacles are,” said Gesthuizen. “It’s about new beginnings, change, and how deeply love can be in its most simplest moments.”

    Gesthuizen hopes the networking opportunities at the festivals will be a great opportunity to meet with other filmmakers and industry members as he tries to secure full feature funding from his script that is close to completion.

    ice cold still

    “It’s a huge jump from a short to a feature length film, but I believe in the story and that it will gain traction once exposed to a wider audience,” he says. “It’s also a great chance to be able to see how we stand side by side against our other film associates.”

    In addition to Ice Cold, Gesthuizen says he’s currently writing a couple of other short film projects. One of his projects, Twenty to Heaven, is about a true life experience about a caving expedition that went wrong in the early 90’s and how he and others came close to death. The other is a film called Isle of Broken Dreams, which is about a secondhand opshop that has a huge selection of second hand wedding dresses. The film centers around several main characters and their stories as to how their dresses came to be at the shop.

    August 11, 2016 • Entertainment Australia, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1147

  • NYFA Grad Luba Salp Introduces Photography Series “Ambivalence”

    big wave

    photo by Luba Salp

    Originally from Moscow, Russia, Luba Salp (Liubov Salpagarova) received her education in the UK, France, and Australia before being awarded a scholarship to attend New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. After graduating she interned for numerous production companies including photography icon David LaChapelle.

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    photography by Luba Salp

    Recently Luba shot a feature documentary “Hollywood Dreams of Rodion Nahapetov” for a major Russian TV Channel One. She’s also worked with major commercial clients that include Nike, Malibu Rum, UPS, Taco Bell, Zippo and more.

    Now, Luba is introducing a new art series, Ambivalence, inspired by her passion for surfing. Ambivalence is a series of photographs taken by the NYFA alumna while surfing in Manhattan Beach, California.

    Cinematography Reel from Luba Salp on Vimeo.

    Each photograph captures the moment when a wave is about to break. This moment — one of simultaneous dread and supreme joy — represents opposing yet inseparable sides of the surfing experience. When this moment is captured as a still image and the dimension of time is removed, it opens up to an entirely abstract perception. The subjective drama of a wave breaking with its unpredictable outcomes is transformed into an objective drama of beholding a monumental landscape. In this way the series can be viewed as a meditation on time.

    For more information on Luba and her art work, please visit her website at www.lubasalp.com.

    August 10, 2016 • Filmmaking, Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1702

  • NYFA Summer Camp Grad Michael Gallagher Releases “Internet Famous”

    Michael Gallagher began his filmmaking as a Freshman at New York Film Academy’s high school summer program. Whether it was a comedy about a dinosaur with bladder issues or a movie about a prison-bound sea captain (shot entirely in French!), no idea was too out there for his imagination.

    internet famous

    Over the next few years, Michael returned for NYFA’s advanced summer programs and continued making films on his own. Before he even finished high school, Michael had directed Oscar-nominated Michael Lerner and won numerous awards himself.

    Soon after high school, Michael began the comedy site “Totally Sketch,” which currently tallies 1.2 Million “Beautiful” Subscribers (Michael’s own words) and over 400 MILLION VIEWS!

    As Michael explained,  “When we first started, people (on YouTube) were just turning on WebCams. I thought I’d take what I learned at NYFA and take a more cinematic approach (to my comedy shorts).

    In 2012, Michael co-wrote and directed the horror feature “Smiley,” starring Caitlin Gerard, Shane Dawson and featuring Rogert Bart and Keith David.  (Link On ITUNES –  )  The trailer scared up more than 30 Million hits on youtube and introduced the world to the creepiest slasher’s mask this side of “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th”.

    Returning to his Internet / comedy roots, Michael co-wrote and directed the parody “Internet Famous,” now available on iTunes and streaming on Netflix. 

    Michael explained, “The movie is about five internet personalities who travel across the country to compete in a talent competition. The problem is – they don’t have any talent.”

    The mockumentary stars Shane Dawson and other internet stars who were more than happy to mock their corner of the Industry. “These are people I’ve worked with in the past. It was fun to bring them in to parody themselves,” said Gallagher. “Shane (in particular) wanted to take the piss out of what he’s doing and comment on all the people who he works (around).”

    A Maker Studios co-production, “Internet Famous” was one of the most highly touted projects at this year’s VidCon (the Comic0-Con for the YouTube generation!)

    But “Internet Famous” is more than just a series of gags, as Michael lets the characters’ emotional stakes never get lost in all the youtube mockery. “Even in Airplane, you care if they land the plane.”

    Gallagher is already gearing up for his next film “The Thinning,” which will be coming to a computer near you this fall.

    August 9, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1657

  • NYFA Student Showcase at Venice Film Festival

    73rd Venice Film Festival NYFA Student Showcase

    The New York Film Academy and the Venice Film Festival will be providing an unprecedented opportunity to five of our students and alumni as they will be be showcasing their films at the brand-new Venice Production Bridge platform in the morning of September 1st at the Spazio Incontri of Venice’s Excelsior Hotel.

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    NYFA alumnus Giorgio Pasotti

    The five NYFA student films that were selected include fiction, documentary and animation. The showcase will be introduced by NYFA alumnus Giorgio Pasotti, who has acted in Italian films such as the Academy Award Winning film The Great Beauty, After Midnight, and Salty Air.

    Following the showcase will be a networking cocktail hour from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m., as well as one-on-one info sessions for those interested in learning more about NYFA’s hands-on programs, including its Florence, Italy location, just a short train ride away from Venice.

    The following five short films will screen on Sept. 1st:

    The Life Of Janka, by Luis Henriquez Viloria (fiction)

    After the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, thousands of kids went to the streets and became a target for organizations of child traffickers. These kids were traded like livestock. “Life of Janka” is a fictional story of two brothers who go through such an experience.

    Fumo, by Sean Miyakawa (fiction)

    Set in the mid-1920’s, a frustrated sound composer works as one of the first sound engineers in the history of cinema who happened to be madly in love with the main actress of the production. On the day he decides to finally declare his love to her, he finds out about an affair going on between her and the director. The discovery drives him crazy.

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    Alive & Kicking: The Soccer Grannies of South Africa, by Lara-Ann de Wet (documentary)

    In Limpopo, South Africa, the village grannies lace up their soccer boots and start kicking their way down the field — and through centuries of oppressive taboos. They play serious soccer and then break into the laughter and traditional song that help fuel their singular struggle for decent lives and a league of their own.

    The Perfumist, by Yukari Akaba, Shannon Lee, Daniela Lobo Dias, Sandra Rivero Ortiz (animation)

    “The Perfumist” is a dramatic story highlighting the battle of Machine-Equipped Man against Cosmic Nature. Seeking the perfect scent for his perfume, Benedict Malville runs into the consequences of trampling on sacred, natural ground.

    The Right Way, by Elena Zobak Alekperov & Flavia Groba Bandeira (animation)

    A short animated story of the day in a mom’s life of raising her young child. While the child tests the mother’s patience, there is a final moment of relief after the mom reveals her secret oasis within the confines of the home.

    August 8, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3311

  • Pulitzer Prize Nominee Peter Rainer Discusses Film Critique

    rainerThis past week, Pulitzer Prize nominee Peter Rainer stopped by New York Film Academy – Los Angeles to discuss what makes a good critic, what he sees as the next wave of filmmaking, and, of course, his years and development as a cinematic journalist. Dean of the College, Sonny Calderon, hosted the event.

    Rainer began his career as a film critic for his college newspaper. In fact, he eventually became the managing editor of the paper, so he could give himself more space for his film reviews. “I really had this jones to be a critic ever since my dad gave me this book called Agee on Film: Criticism and Comment on the Movies. I learned you could be a real writer and still be a critic.”

    He continued, “When I graduated, I went to the library and wrote out a list of 50 publications that I could work for. Not knowing anybody. And I just sent my best work. I think I got two responses. One was from William F. Buckley. John Ford had died around that time so they asked me to do a piece on Ford. That was my first published piece as a writer. “

    Rainer’s first permanent job was with Mademoiselle Magazine. Rainer said of his time there, “The first film I ever reviewed professionally was Chinatown. And I also did an interview with Robert Towne. He let it slip for the first time anywhere that he did an uncredited rewrite of Bonnie and Clyde.” This scoop became a huge Hollywood controversy and put Rainer on the map as a serious journalist.

    paul rainer

    From there, Rainer moved onto the L.A. Times. I had six years at the times. It was an interesting time. I think then the publishing industry had a very cozy relationship with Hollywood.”

    Rainer went on to describe the difficulties critics have faced balancing thoughtful journalism with the demands of their publications’ advertising departments. When the studios keep your paper afloat it’s best not to upset them. “I thought being a critic was this refined thing. It’s connected to the dynamo of journalism, which means you’re connected to advertising. Critics were considered to be antagonistic to the advertisers.”

    Speaking on the state of the pictures today Rainer said, ”I’m always amazed that films that are remade are always the ones that worked the first time. What you should do is remake a film that had a great idea but failed. I see 300 movies a year. I’d say 280 of them are – ugh. I wish I had more time to watch TV. A lot of what’s going on in television, right now, is more exciting than the movies. When I started in the mid 70’s maybe five or eight movies were released a week. Now…it’s more like 25. I never walk out of a film I’m going to review. I still have this ridiculous notion that at some point the film is going to get good or there’ll be some breakthrough performance…”

    Paul Rainer

    To end the evening Rainer read his eulogy to the person he considers the greatest actor of all time, Marlon Brando. A sincere hush fell over the students as they listened to the ups and downs of Brando’s career and how, through it all, he remained the best at his craft.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Peter Rainer for his time and insight. Calderon highly suggests reading Rainer’s book, Rainer on Film: Thirty Years of Film Writing in Turbulent and Transformative Era. This is a great book for film lovers and creators and gives a broad history of one of the medium’s best critics. You can catch reviews from Rainer at the Christian Science Monitor and on NPR’s FilmWeek.

    August 8, 2016 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 1362

  • NYFA Grads Awarded TriBeCa Film Grant for Screenplay “Falcon Lake”

    Not only does the New York Film Academy provide an intensive hands-on experience, but it also sometimes plays the role of matchmaker for actors, filmmakers, writers and other creative artists to begin a professional relationship that will last far beyond their years as students.

    Such is the case for two alumni, Sara Seligman and Thomas Bond, who met at NYFA and began a working relationship as writing partners. Sara and Tom first met while taking the One-Year Filmmaking Program in 2007. The two initially worked on each other’s thesis films – Sara was Tom’s AD and Tom was Sara’s DP. After school they continued collaborating, and currently they have several feature film scripts that they’ve co-written.

    falcon lake

    One of their screenplays, Falcon Lake, was awarded a TriBeCa Film Institute Grant, which brought about the attention of potential film financiers and production companies. Through that attention, the team found producer, Anne Clements, and attached Oscar-nominee Adriana Barraza to play one of the leading roles. And more recently, Tom and Sara were selected to participate in the 2016 Film Independent Fast Track. Through that they received even more attention, both for their script and as writers in general. They had the opportunity to meet with several more production companies and agencies, such as WME. They have now landed their first investors and are still looking to gather the remainder of the production budget.

    Falcon Lake began at NYFA as Sara’s first-year thesis film, Blessed the Fruit of Thy Womb. Her short was the seed that began the idea, and slowly it grew and evolved into the script it is today.

    “The most important thing is to know that the skills we learn in school can be strengthened with practice, from directing to lighting to writing,” says Seligman in regards to her time at NYFA. “NYFA taught us that, when it comes to filmmaking, going out and doing the work is the only way to succeed, and repetition is the way to turn the work from decent to good to great,” added Bond.

    sara seligman

    Sara Seligman on set

    In addition to their writing careers, both Sara and Tom have spent time working on film and TV sets, including The Mindy Project and The People Vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. “Working on TV and film sets has been extremely important in furthering my career,” said Seligman. “We can learn a lot in film school, but practical experience is invaluable. When applying for jobs, it’s the experience that matters most. Getting on-set experience helps me to learn all facets of the filmmaking process.”

    “Working on set, you learn to manage the different legs of a project, and the personalities involved,” added Bond. “I love the challenge of working as a team under pressurized constraints, like budget and time restrictions. You really learn who is capable of what, and who will be around for the long haul in an industry that is very unforgiving.”

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    Thomas Bond at LA Film Festival

    Sara and Tom continue to develop and collaborate on screenplays while holding steady jobs in the creative field. Sara is currently working as an Associate Producer at the ad agency Innocean. Before that, she was Jennifer Todd’s assistant on Ben Affleck’s Live By Night and key set PA for The Mindy Project. “I’m proud of the evolvement that each project has meant, and that I was able to work for one of my favorite directors on Live by Night with one of the best DPs in the world Bob Richardson,” said Seligman.

    For the past several years, Tom has spent much of his time in the documentary world. “My proudest achievement is definitely getting the chance to work with Albert Maysles at his production company in Harlem, which I did for two years,” said Bond. “Working with a legend, who was so nice, smart, and giving, is an experience I’ll treasure forever. Rest In Peace, Albert!”

    August 3, 2016 • Filmmaking, Screenwriting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 960