Caron Allen
Author archives

  • Documentary Students Produce Promo for Burbank Arts for All



    New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles Documentary Department was on display Thursday, May 21st, when their Community Film Project concluded with a presentation at the NYFA theatre, celebrating the MFA Jan ’14 class production of a promotional film for the Burbank Arts for All Foundation (BAFA). The event highlighted the work of writer-director Michelle Flores, sound recordist and mixer Raed Salagoor, and DP-cameraperson Alejandro Talens, who, along with June Zhou, producer, and Omar Monge, editor, created a 3 and ½ minute promo for BAFA as their client.

    The Community Film Project was designed to give students real-life experience with a non-profit organization by having them pitch an idea, receive a client’s feedback, and then create a film according to the client’s needs. The class used their documentary film training to create a piece both informational and emotional, as the goal was to educate the public on BAFA’s multiple role in raising awareness and funds for arts programming in Burbank’s public schools.

    This very ambitious project involved shooting ten interviews and activities in several public schools over 10 days. “There were several script changes and film revisions along the way, which is typical in a client relationship,” states instructor Denise Hamilton, who supervised the project. The results — a pleased Executive Director of BAFA, Trena Pitchford, who will be using the promo in an upcoming fundraising gala.


    May 27, 2015 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3560

  • Documentarian Harrison Engle Speaks at NYFA Los Angeles


    harrison engle

    With more than 80 films to his credit, Director/Producer Harrison Engle came to New York Film Academy to share his vast experience with our Los Angeles campus students. Harrison has directed documentaries for nearly every broadcast and cable network. Among his many films are Benny Carter: Symphony in Riffs (A&E), The Lost Kennedy Home Movies (History Channel), They Came to Play (PBS) and Obsessed with Vertigo (AMC). He has created tributes for seven Academy Awards telecasts and is a past president of the International Documentary Association.

    Harrison screened his Emmy nominated film, “The Indomitable Teddy Roosevelt,” which he directed for ABC. Recently the documentary has been re-released as a boxed set with Roosevelt memorabilia.

    Harrison reminisced about studying film before there were film schools, and hiring the young Philip Glass to score his first short film. Engle’s main message to the students was “perseverance” – “Do what you love because you love it and never give up on your dreams.”


    March 27, 2015 • Documentary Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 5338

  • Filmmaker Chris Paine Screens ‘Revenge of the Electric Car’ at NYFA


    revenge of electric car

    In 2006, Chris Paine’s documentary Who Killed The Electric Car told the tale of the life and death of the EV1, the first mass-produced electric car that was recalled and destroyed by its maker, General Motors. The film had a very successful theatrical release and ignited much discussion about the future of electric cars.

    Just five years later, in 2011, Paine told New York Film Academy students, the tide had turned, and he felt compelled to return to the topic with his follow-up film, Revenge of the Electric Car. The sequel follows four entrepreneurs as they fight to bring electric cars back to the world market in the midst of a global recession.

    Paine discussed his creative process with the NYFA students and the difficulties of gaining access to the major automakers he profiled.


    March 3, 2015 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3488

  • Documentary Community Film Project Screening

    nyfa documentary

    Sept ’13 MFA Documentary class in Los Angeles

    On Friday January 22nd, the Sept ’13 MFA Documentary class in Los Angeles presented its two final films as the culmination of their Community Film Project class. The semester-long project centered on selecting a non-profit organization and producing a promotional film for them.

    The two films created in the project were a 3-minute piece focusing on a participant in the Urban Possibilities twelve-week empowerment program and a 5-minute film overview of Urban Possibilities. Both films aimed to capture how UP’s multi-dimensional workshops assist homeless people on Skid Row.

    Producer Ivoree Myles and Writer-Director Abi Prieto began the screening with a Powerpoint presentation, taking the audience through the process that culminated in the creation of the two films. Urban Possibilities was represented at the screening by its founder and CEO, Eyvette Jones-Johnson.

    One crew member in the audience freely admitted he was moved to tears watching the films. Everyone who worked on the film echoed Ivoree and Abi’s sentiments that while the shooting schedule was a difficult one, the experience they gained on the project was invaluable.


    February 3, 2015 • Community Highlights, Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 3876

  • Filmmaker Denny Tedesco Brings ‘The Wrecking Crew’ to NYFA LA


    The Wrecking Crew at NYFA

    Last week the Documentary Department at the Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy held its first Industry Perspectives Class of the Fall semester. Our first guest lecturer in the series was director Denny Tedesco, who screened his film The Wrecking Crew. Denny has worked on a number of Comedy Central productions, as well as The 72nd Annual Awards.

    His most recent documentary film tells the story of a group of studio musicians in LA who played on hits for such famous artists as The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, The Monkees, and the Mamas and the Papas. The group also comprised Phil Spector’s famous Wall of Sound. The music industry in the 1960s was rapidly changing from artists who had others create the arrangements, write and compose the music, and play the instruments, to bands who did everything themselves. The film interviews include icons such as Glen Campbell, Cher, Brian Wilson, Dick Clark, and the members of the Wrecking Crew itself. It also includes footage of Phil Spector and Gold Star Studios and other recording sessions from that era.

    The Wrecking Crew has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures and will have a theatrical release in March 2015.


    October 16, 2014 • Documentary Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 4048