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  • A Peek Behind The VFX of “Avengers: Infinity War” with New York Film Academy Alum Francesco Panzieri

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    Francesco Infinity War

    A shot from The Avengers: Infinity War

    Francesco Panzieri is no stranger to big hits, both in television and film. Panzieri’s name has been included in the credits for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mad Men, True Detective, Westworld, and many others.

    Still, the New York Film Academy alum’s most recent work on Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War may be the biggest film he has worked on to date. The superhero blockbuster raked in $630 million on its opening weekend, which is the biggest opening of all time.

    The digital effects compositor sat down with us to discuss Avengers, his upcoming projects, and how his time at NYFA helped prepare him for career.

    NYFA: How did your experience on Infinity War compare to the other Marvel films you’ve worked on?
    Francesco Panzieri: On my first Marvel movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, I was actually working in-house within Marvel Studios, where I was tasked with 2D live-action visual effects. As such, my work scope was compositing actors from green screen onto photographed backgrounds, monitor insert, wire removal, plate re-timing, re-positioning, scale-up and split-screen.

    On Thor: Ragnarok and eventually Avengers: Infinity War, the team at Digital Domain had to deal with some intricate compositing of CG characters onto live-action plates. I came aboard late in the game on Thor, yet I was still lucky to get some cool looking shots, including the composite of a blue-screen take of Chris Hemsworth over a fully-CG environment in the Sakaar chase sequence, where Thor smashes the engine of a spaceship barehanded.

    On Avengers, stakes got higher. Almost every one of our shots in the sequence featured Thanos versus an Avenger; I was very lucky to get him in each of my five shots and by getting to work on one of the trailer shots released to the public two months before the movie came out. Captain America and Thor were the other two characters in my shots, so I also focused on locking down their hands onto Thanos’ gauntlet and head, to make sure that the audience would really perceive that rock solid hold as the Avengers attempt to save half the universe.

    DD had developed a technique to color-grade Thanos in a photo-realistic yet nonhuman way while adding some splash of purple on selected areas of his face and body. We also made a great use of the subsurface scattering render-layer to fine-tune his color and deep ID’s for his stubble and hair. Thanos was fully rendered in VRay with many proprietary skin shaders that DD has been continually refining for years; all the compositing was done in Nuke.

    NYFA: Was it harder to deal with mo-cap and completely CG characters like Thanos, Groot, and Rocket, or easier to incorporate VFX in their scenes?
    Francesco: The photo-realism that Digital Domain was trying to achieve on this feature definitely pushed the CG characters to be the most-challenging part. The team really cared about giving them a perfect fitting in the scene under every point of view. We made sure that black levels matched accurately to the live-action plate and brainstormed every possible interactive light from the environment onto the characters and vice versa.

    Ultimately, during every session of dailies, the supervisors kept asking, “How can we make the shot look spectacular?” or ‘What is this shot missing from looking memorable?” For Thanos, we had some great rigging work done to enhance all the muscle tension from Josh Brolin’s performance onto his digital character to help perceive the struggle during the fight scenes, as well as the weight he is bringing in the game to fight the Avengers.

    All of the Thanos work you see in the movie, with the exception of the sequence on Titan, belongs to the tireless work of the artists at Digital Domain.

    NYFA: How much direction, or conversely, freedom, are you given by the directors when crafting VFX?
    Francesco: It can vary. As previously mentioned, with Marvel, if you’re tasked with something that has already been done in their previous movies, you can rest assured that they will ask you to stay on that same beaten path. Of course, your work might exceed their expectations in terms of presentation and integration, but they really care about keeping the continuity with their previous movies as the MCU is a big shared playground.

    On another note, if you’re being asked to introduce something new to the visual story, you can really push the limit of your creativity and submit different versions for their review, as long as you also keep in mind what your VFX supervisor asks you to do and that your work must look coherent with the storytelling.

    Infinity War Francesco

    A shot from The Avengers: Infinity War

    NYFA: Was it easier creating VFX taking place in NYC and the real world or easier creating them in the totally made-up space fantasy worlds?
    Francesco: It is always easier to work with a photographed plate as a reference for compositing anything over it. Trying to create a fully CG environment without any real photographic reference can really make things unfriendly, unless you know precisely what you’re aiming at and what you want it to look like. The flexibility that comes with it can very well be a double-edged weapon if you’re on a tight deadline, however it also gives you plenty of creative freedom to fully express the storytelling.

    NYFA: How did NYFA prepare you for this particular job?
    Francesco: NYFA trained me to work very hard and for long hours. I was able to grasp a solid knowledge of 2D and 3D during my time there, thanks to a very organic and inclusive approach to the art of filmmaking and storytelling. I was able to develop technical and artistic skills that could help me find a job once I graduated, and I had a fantastic time during my studies.

    NYFA is excited Francesco’s upcoming work following the tremendous success of Avengers: Infinity War. You can learn more about him and his credits on his website.

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    May 17, 2018 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 641

  • Stranger Than Fiction at the IFC Center, Co-Presented by the New York Film Academy

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    Stranger Than Fiction

    Stranger Than Fiction with IFC and NYFA

    Stranger Than Fiction, the annual weekly documentary film series hosted by Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen and co-presented by IFC Center and the New York Film Academy, announces the spring season of its 14th year.

    The regular Stranger Than Fiction spring season is shown at IFC Center every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. for eight weeks, plus two Thursday night screenings, all starting April 17.

    The new season’s lineup kicked off with Sara Driver’s Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat (April 17), about the pre-fame years of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat; and will close with Jason Kohn’s Love Means Zero (June 5), about the controversial tennis coach Nick Bollittieri. Other works include New York rappers Nas and Dave East in Rapture (May 1).

    Legendary Queens rapper Nas

    Legendary Queens rapper Nas

    Each event includes a discussion with the filmmaker or special guests, followed by a gathering at a nearby bar. The full season schedule appears at the bottom of the blog. For detailed information, visit here or IFC Center’s website.

    Tickets for Stranger Than Fiction screenings are $17 for the general public and $14 for IFC Center members. A Season Pass, good for admission to all 10 evenings, is available for $99 ($80 for IFC members). A NYFA ID gets you nearly a 20% discount at the door!

    View the full schedule below:

    Jean-Michel Basquiat from "Boom For Real"

    Jean-Michel Basquiat from Boom For Real

    • April 17 – Opening Night: BOOM FOR REAL: THE LATE TEENAGE YEARS OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT (2017, 78 min) Q&A w/ dir Sara Driver
    • April 19 – Thursday Special: HAIKU ON A PLUM TREE (2016, 78 min) Q&A w/ dir Mujah Maraini-Melehi
    • April 24: THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND (2003, 92 min) Q&A w/ dir Sam Green & prod Carrie Lozano
    • May 1: RAPTURE: NAS & DAVE EAST (2018, 63 min) Q&A w/ dir Sacha Jenkins & EP Ben Selkow
    • May 8: GOTTI: GODFATHER AND SON (2018, 90 min) Q&A w/ dir Richard Stratton & subject John Gotti Jr
    • May 15: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRÉ (2017, 94 min) Q&A w/ dir Kate Novack
    • May 22: THE FOURTH ESTATE (2018, 90 min) Q&A w/ dir Liz Garbus
    • May 24 – Thursday Special: A JIHAD FOR LOVE (2007, 81 min) Q&A w/ dir Parvez Sharma
    • May 29: ATOMIC CAFE (1982, 92 min) Q&A w/ dirs. Pierce Rafferty, Kevin Rafferty & Jayne Loader
    • June 5 – Closing Night: LOVE MEANS ZERO (2017, 89 min) Q&A w/ dir Jason Kohn
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    April 18, 2018 • Documentary Filmmaking, Film Festivals • Views: 616

  • New York Film Academy Alumni to be Featured at ArtExpo in NYC

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    Every year, thousands from the art industry attend ArtExpo New York in search of trendsetting art and artists that will be shown in galleries worldwide. Hosting more than 35,000 avid art enthusiasts annually, ArtExpo is the largest international gathering of qualified trade buyers — including gallery owners and managers, art dealers, interior designers, architects, corporate art buyers, and art and framing retailers.

    Kingi Kingibe's photography

    Kingi Kingibe’s photography

    There will be 400+ innovative exhibiting artists, galleries, and publishers from across the globe, showcasing exciting original artwork, prints, paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, giclee, lithographs, glass works and more — all under one roof at Pier 94.

    New York Film Academy artist/alumni featured at ArtExpo 2018 include:

    Kingi Kingibe: From Nigeria, Kingibe has explored the devastating effects of cotton; from its role in the enslavement of African American people to its damaging effects on the planet. In a recent exhibit, the artist framed cotton plants in gold and transfers stunning portraits of Black women in vintage cotton clothing onto actual raw cotton. The exhibit juxtaposes the ubiquity of cotton with its barbaric origins.

    • NYFA alum Jon Henry

      Photos by NYFA alum Jon Henry

    Jon Henry: Henry graduated from the New York Film Academy Photography School’s 1-Year Conservatory and is a teaching assistant at the New York City campus. In his visual artwork, he focuses primarily on the black family and the community at large. He also explores the representation of athletes in fine art. His Stranger Fruit in Smack Mellon’s Hot Picks 2017 and you can read about him on the NYFA blog.

    NYFA alum Ana Paula Tizzi

    NYFA alum Ana Paula Tizzi

    Ana Paula Tizzi: The work she will be showing is entitled Dear Fubá, which illustrates her father’s advice via letters from Brazil. She uses photographs and cinemagraphs (photos with certain features that are animated). The artist says, “Among these are how to achieve self- acceptance, the importance of moderation and the need for persistence in work and life.”

    Alejandro Ibarra: LGBTQ+ families are often labeled “non-traditional,” and NYFA MFA grad Ibarra photographs both straight and LGBTQ+ family portraits in his series Piece by Piece, and addresses the irrelevancy of sexual orientation as it pertains to how families are classified.

    Photography by NYFA Alum Alejandro Ibarra

    Photography by NYFA Alum Alejandro Ibarra

    Natasha Rudenko: Bodily Confessions examines “femininity, national identity, and gender politics as a Russian born, white woman living in the United States.” Rudenko comes from a conservative background in Russia so her viewpoint is a unique one. The artist says, “This project is about my journey of recognizing and interpreting my whiteness, my body, my power, my presence and place through photography.

    Natasha Rudenko photography

    Natasha Rudenko photography

     

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  • Women’s History Month Industry Panel and Hidden Figures Screening at New York Film Academy South Beach

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    New York Film Academy South Beach screened the 2016 drama Hidden Figures this March as part of a month-long event series for Women’s History Month.

    Hidden Figures was based on the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly about three black female mathematicians who worked at NASA. The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe as mathematicians Katherine Goble Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, respectively. The release of the film came on the heels of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in 2016, and its critical and commercial success proved that the stories of women of color have been waiting to be told for decades.

    NYFA South Beach Chair of Filmmaking Maylen Dominguez said of the decision to screen this particular film: “These untold stories need to be told. They are part of our history that will disappear if we don’t share them now.” The Filmmaking Chair also served as moderator of the Q&A, which took place after the screening. The Q&A featured panelists who are working women in film, including:

    • NYFA Acting Instructor Susie Taylor
    • Producer Giorgia Lo Savio
    • NYFA Chair of Filmmaking Maylen Dominguez
    • Filmmaker Rhonda Mitrani
    • Actress Maha McCain

    “As a woman, there is no need to be demure or diminutive about your skills,” said Maha McCain, who is an acting instructor at University of Miami. She explained that women are often expected to be more passive, but that they shouldn’t be ashamed to proudly showcase their talent.

    Maylen Dominguez thoughtfully illustrated why it benefits women and men to be more inclusive in casting and hiring: “You’re helping showcase a full picture of humanity. That’s why we’re in film!”

    Filmmaker Rhonda Mitrani added, “Don’t take things personally.”

    Toward the end of the discussion, one of the students raised her hand to say, “Thank you so much for having this kind of discussion. I am about to graduate and I feel hopeful.”

    A male student added, “We want you to know we heard you and our generation is working hard to change how things are.”

    The common themes throughout were to “never give up, support each other, and do not let your voice be stifled. The industry panelists also repeated the idea that it is always important to allow a variety of different voices to be heard, as evidenced by Hidden Figures.

    For a complete look at all of NYFA’s events during Women’s History Month, check out our blog piece here.

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  • New York Film Academy Hosts Hip Hop Film Festival Screening Event

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    The New York Film Academy recently hosted screenings, a Q&A, and panel presented by the Hip Hop Film Festival and 247films.tv. The event at NYFA’s Battery Park theatre was entitled “WeWatch: Femme Fatale Edition” and was presented as part of a series of Women’s History Month events hosted by NYFA. The hip-hop-focused festival is based in Harlem, and was founded in 2015. The third annual festival will take place this year from August 2-5 in Harlem.

    NYFA-HHFF-WomensHistory

    The WeWatch event began with food and drinks presented by Revive Kombucha. Attendees shifted into the theatre for the three-hour screening and Q&A portion of the event. Hip Hop Film Festival founder C R Capers introduced and moderated the event.

    After the first screening of comedy web series Shampagne, Capers sat down with series creator and lead actress Melissa Mickens to talk about her process and what served as inspiration. Mickens’ real life experiences of being pigeonholed during auditions spurned her desire to shift focus and pursue a rap career. She also discussed filming on a budget and in Harlem, where she resides.

    Next up was Australian filmmaker Bella Ann Townes’ Hip Hop & Holiness, which profiled Matthew “Mystery” Peet,  a breakdancer, rapper, and graffiti tagger who also happens to be a pastor at church. Peet discusses his relationship to both hip hop culture and religion and how he does not feel they should be mutually exclusive. Townes won Best Emerging Australian Director for the documentary short at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival in 2017.

    Seattle creative Voleak Sip’s short film Float was third in the lineup. Sip was unable to attend the event, but she recorded a video explaining how her older brother was the inspiration behind the main character, Rocky, who is a Cambodian hustler still living with his parents. The music was a key element of the film, and sound editor Jono Hill was on hand to speak to C R about his process. While the film is set in the ’90s, the music was created by present-day producers and musicians who provided a fresh take on the prominent ’90s boombap hip-hop sound.

    The event concluded with Jasmine Callis’ powerful documentary short set entirely in North Philly. Stay Black, Baby: The Mixtape is a complex portrait of Black youth rising, Black art glorified, Black voices uncovered, Black struggle acknowledged, and Black empowerment revered. Over the course of 20 compelling minutes, the film shifted seamlessly from motivational to heartbreaking and back again, covering topics from Black pride and resilience to police brutality and misogyny.

    Callis, who currently works at New York Film Academy as a video editor and producer, attended the event and discussed her inspirations, including Spike Lee and Philadelphia hip-hop legends The Roots. During the Q&A, Capers raved about Callis’ work, which she said belongs in a museum.

    Keep an eye on the Hip Hop Film Festival’s website for upcoming events and details on the 2018 iteration of the festival.

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  • UploadVR Highlights New York Film Academy VR Faculty Member Hugh McGrory’s Company Datavized

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    New York City-based startup Datavized Technologies, Inc. is a media studio focused on Virtual Reality production and consultancy. The company, founded by New York Film Academy Virtual Reality Instructor Hugh McGrory, combines the immersive power of virtual reality with the seamless delivery of the mobile web. Datavized strives to build smart but accessible ways to experience cities. “At Datavized we build proprietary software tools using WebVR — virtual reality experiences that run on the web,” McGrory summarizes.

    McGrory and his company were recently featured in UploadVR, a leading digital virtual reality publication that was founded in 2014 in San Francisco. The article discusses Datavized opening beta access for their product after three years of development as well as the company’s presence at Data for Development Festival.

    Datavized Yellow Taxi

    Datavized NYC Yellow Taxi Example

    Datavized’s web-based drag and drop tools allow users to effortlessly turn spreadsheets into interactive 3D maps. The map above allows users to pare through country-by-country life expectancy between the years 1800 and 2015. Below is a map using NYC Yellow Taxi trip data that allows users to fully immerse themselves in New York City. In March 2018, the company announced plans to release a virtual reality air pollution visualization at the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Festival in Bristol, United Kingdom. In December, Datavized appeared at the United Nations Environment Assembly.

    Datavised Earth NYFA

    Life Expectancy Over Time Worldwide

    McGrory explains the appeal of his company’s tools: “The technical baseline is already there with WebVR being part of web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and on both Android and iOS for phones.” He continues, “But people don’t see it yet because they’re still viewing the web on 2D screens. The next step is tools and content for the immersive web.” McGrory excitedly describes the future of the medium, “This intersection of 3D, VR and the Web is exciting. He cautions against making rash comparisons to other recent technological advances saying, “This is not like moving from film to tape or VHS to DVD. It’s a big leap that’s more comparable to the transition from radio to TV.”

    As for any concerns about Datavized working better on certain devices compared to others, McGrory explained to UploadVR, “Datavized has been coded from the ground up for optimal performance across devices.”

    McGrory is currently a faculty member for the New York Film Academy’s New York campus. He is an award-winning director/producer and his past projects include serving as executive producer for Northern Ireland Screen/UK Film Council’s Deviate project and as filmmaker in residence at CINEMA Microscopy Lab, Yale University School of Medicine.

    See a video of Hugh McGrory discussing data science, VR, and more below:

    To learn more about NYFA’s VR programs, visit the virtual reality program page.

     

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  • Tom Fontana Visits New York Film Academy as Special Guest Speaker

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    This week, New York Film Academy welcomed producer Tom Fontana to its New York City campus as a part of the ongoing Producing Department Industry Speaker Series. As a part of the event, the full house of NYFA community attendees were treated to screenings of clips of Fontana’s work from police procedural Homicide: Life On the Street, HBO prison drama Oz, and BBC America drama Copper, a period piece set in the notorious 1860s New York City neighborhood of Five Points.

    During the talk, Fontana sat down with Producing Department instructor and Marcia Mule Productions founder Marcia Mule, each sharing their bond over the fact that they’re both from Buffalo, New York, with students. The producer went on to discuss his early career as a writer for theatre, which led to an opportunity to write for the influential medical drama St. Elsewhere. He wrote dozens of episodes between 1982-1988.

    Following St. Elsewhere, Fontana had a meandering path to his next job. Baltimore newspaper man David Simon (who would go on to create The Wire, The Corner, Treme, and The Deuce) sent his book Homicide: Life on the Killing Streets to fellow Baltimore-born director Barry Levinson, hoping it would become a film. Levinson suggested it was too dense with too many important characters, and instead pitched it as a TV show. This would ultimately become Homicide: Life on the Street, for which Fontana would go on to contribute to 67 episodes.

    While writing for Homicide, Fontana began to ponder what happened to the characters the writers would send off to prison. Fleshing out the stories for these forgotten offscreen characters became the inspiration for Oz, a master class in character building set in a fictional, experimental prison unit called Emerald City.

    HBO had never aired an original drama series and the timing for Oz — a gritty, realistic, brutal prison drama — was right.  Fontana told an interesting story about a discussion with Dick Wolf, who wanted to use the popular character John Munch (played by Richard Belzer) on his new show Law & Order. Fontana and the Homicide creators let Munch use the character for free and don’t get royalties for his presence in over 300 Law & Order episodes. He has also since appeared in The Wire and Arrested Development, among other shows.

    Oz premiered in 1997 and went on for six seasons, and ended up inspiring later-renowned HBO dramas such as The Wire, The Sopranos, and Boardwalk Empire.

    Tom Fontana has written and produced many more groundbreaking television series, including The Philanthropist and Netflix’s Borgia. He has received, among other distinctions, three Emmy Awards, four Peabody Awards, three Writers’ Guild Awards, Four Television Critics Association Awards, the Cable Ace Award, the Humanitas Prize, a Special Edgar and the first prize at the Cinema Tout Ecran Festival in Geneva.

    Fontana co-founded the non-profit charity, Stockings with Care. He’s on the Boards of the WGAE Foundation, The NYPD Police Museum, The Creative Coalition, The Acting Company, The Williamstown Theatre Festival and The International Council of The Paley Media Center.

    The New York Film Academy thanks Tom Fontana for sharing his time and expertise with our student community.

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  • “Mindhunter” Screening with Guest Speaker Happy Anderson at New York Film Academy

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    David Fincher’s critically-acclaimed Netflix series “Mindhunter” has been described by Slant Magazine as “addictive and resonant,” and features the work of two New York Film Academy (NYFA) instructors.

    In the wake of David Berkowitz (aka “Son of Sam”), Charles Manson and others, a new team within the FBI was formed to psychologically analyze the minds of killers. “Mindhunters” focuses on the early days of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) as its members struggle to understand the minds of serial killers, a term which had not yet been coined. The series stars New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Master Class lecturer Jonathan Groff, while veteran actor and NYFA instructor Happy Anderson is featured in two episodes of Season 1 in the chilling role of imprisoned killer Jerry Brudos.

    Jonathan Groff and Happy Anderson in a still from “Mindhunters,” via IMDB.

    This week, Anderson will return to NYFA’s New York City campus as a special guest in the New York Film Academy’s Guest Speaker Series, to share insights with students and discuss his career — which has included roles on acclaimed shows such “The Knick,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “The Deuce.” He will also be featured in “Bright” alongside Will Smith, which will be released December 22nd, 2017. Episode 7 of “Mindhunter,” in which Anderson guest stars, will be screened for students prior to a Q&A. NYFA Chair of Acting in New York City Peter Stone will be moderating the Q&A.

    “Mindhunter” has recently been renewed by Netflix for a second season which was announced in a tweet by the show’s official account:

    Watch the trailer for season one below:

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  • NYFA South Beach to Host Panel at Spectrum Art Show

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    Spectrum Miami

    New York Film Academy South Beach is honored to host an event during Discover Spectrum Miami on Friday, December 8 at 5pm. The event will take place during Miami’s annual, sprawling Art Basel festival, which draws a wide variety of art fans from all over the world to Florida’s southeast coast. The juried, contemporary art show takes place in Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District from December 6th until the 10th and features a diverse array of internationally renowned artists and galleries.

    Art Talk is one of a number of different events taking place during the five-day fine art event. Representing NYFA will be David Mager, Chair of Photography for NYFA NY, LA, and South Beach, Naomi White, Associate Chair of Photography NYFA LA, Angelika Rinnhofer, Photographer and NYFA Instructor, and Jon Henry, Photographer and NYFA alum.

    Inspiring Creativity
    Where does the inspiration come from?  What drives us as artists to pursue a thread of interest?  How do we know when we are onto something? How can we work toward finding the next project?

    Join New York Film Academy Faculty and Alumni in discussing how to inspire creativity, choose projects that are worth pursuing, and keep that creative inspiration alive.

    Panelists
    David Mager, Moderator
    Photographer
    Chair of Photography, NYFA NYC, LA, and SoBe
    David Mager is currently the Chair of the Photography Department at the New York Film Academy for the New York, Los Angeles, and South Beach campuses, where he has been providing a focused, hands on approach to students of photography. David is an award-winning photographer with over 20 years of experience in the publishing, editorial, and advertising industries.  Clients have included Disney, DK, Scholastic, Der Speigel, McGraw Hill, Penguin, Time Out NY, Parents Magazine, Paper, Flair, American Baby, and Park Place Magazine and many more. David received a Masters of Professional Studies in Digital Photography from The School of Visual Arts, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from New York University. He is also an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop Lightroom.

    Naomi White, Panelist
    Associate Chair of Photography, NYFA LA campus
    Naomi White is a feminist, visual artist, and educator, working in Los Angeles. She is the winner of PDN’s Objects of Desire award and has exhibited throughout North America and Europe, including bG gallery Bergamot Station, Tobey Fine Arts, Christopher Henry Gallery, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, GE World Headquarters, Saatchi Art Gallery, NAA Festival Novas Artes Associadas in Portugal, Scope Art Basel, Miami, and Photo LA. Her work has been published in PDN, The Brooklyn Rail, Uncertain States in the UK, and On Art & Aesthetics.

    White holds an MFA in Photography and Related Media from SVA in New York, and a BA in English Literature from San Francisco State. White investigates themes of consumerism and identity construction in our camera-bound world, focusing on the transformative power of photography to affect desire and change.

    Angelika Rinnhofer’s “a priori”

    Angelika Rinnhofer, Panelist
    Photographer
    NYFA Instructor South Beach campus
    Angelika Rinnhofer is an artist and an art educator. She works primarily in photography, video, dance and performance, but sometimes adopts non-traditional art media in her practice such as baking, gaming, and trace making. In her work, Rinnhofer reflects on the feeling of belonging and the effect of memory on her sense of affinity. For her current project “a priori”, Rinnhofer examines the impact that the discovery of a family secret may carry on a person’s sense of identity.

    Rinnhofer is the recipient of several grants and two fellowships, and the New York Foundation for the Arts/ARTSPIRE granted fiscal sponsorship to “a priori”. She has had a number of national and international exhibitions and her images have been featured in various professional publications. Her art has been shown in solo exhibitions at Miami Beach Urban Studios, the Jewish Community Center in Dresden, Germany, the New Britain Museum of Art in New Britain, CT, at Light Work in Syracuse, NY, at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in Miami, and the Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles.

    In 2010 Rinnhofer received her Master’s degree in Fine Arts in New Media from Transart Institute in Berlin.

    Jon Henry, Panelist
    Photographer
    NYFA Photography Alumni
    Jon Henry is an artist who was born and raised in Queens, NY. He studied at CUNY Queens College and New York Film Academy.  He is a visual artist who primarily works with photography. His practice focuses on two main areas: the black family, his own and the community at large. In specifically, looking at the mother/son relationship in the wake of the murders of African American men due to police violence.  His work also focuses on athletes and their representation in a fine art context. Stranger Fruit was recently selected by Smack Mellon for Hot Picks 2017 and the project was also on the short list for the Lucie Foundation grant.

    NYFA alum Jon Henry

    NYFA alum Jon Henry

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    November 27, 2017 • Photography, South Beach • Views: 937

  • A Closer Look at NYFA’s Graphic Design Program

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    New York Film Academy’s Graphic Design program utilizes contemporary design thinking within the context of the school’s film program. This unique curriculum offers special focus on areas of design practice relating to communication, narrative structure, storytelling, motion graphics, and the integration of design and film. Emphasis is placed on acquiring design fundamentals, understanding client design briefs, generating ideas, sketching, refining, prototyping, and production. Guided by a world-class faculty of respected and active professional graphic designers, 1-Year students develop a diverse design portfolio, professional fluency in industry standard software, and in-depth knowledge of graphic design.

    Graphic Design Student Work

    Graphic Design Student Work

    The Graphic Design Program at NYFA, located in New York City — the epicenter of all things design — afforded the recently graduated students many opportunities to visit museums, attend lectures, participate in design discussions with world famous graphic designers, and attend design show openings. Students got to see first hand how design studios run, what design work environments are like, and to hear how the vision and design philosophy of the studios is conveyed through the work. A few notable events, museums and lectures include:

    • Studio visit and discussion with Milton Glaser
    • Studio visit and discussion with Mirko Ilic
    • Studio visit and discussion with the Creative Director of Penguin Books, Paul Buckley
    • Design Opening: The Type Directors Club/TCD63/The World’s Best Typography
    • AIGA/American Institute for Graphic Arts/The Hillary for America Design Team
    • Posters and Patriotism and Propaganda by Design/The Museum of the City of New York/Lecture and exhibition
    • Art Deco Walking Tour of Lower Manhattan with NYFA Design Historian Keith Godard
    Type Directors Club Event

    Type Directors Club Event

    Student Success Stories

    Elle Hasanli uses her art as a tool for social justice. The self-proclaimed human rights activist is inspired by abstract patterns in everyday life and uses many of these elements in her design work. The Graphic Design alum has already landed an internship with Mirko Ilić Corp., an internationally recognized designer in NYC. “The mentors at NYFA made sure to provide us with practical skills so that we could enter the world of design,” Hasanli said. “In 8.5 months, I learned how to use InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects.” Because these programs are essential skills to get work, Hasanli felt more than equipped to enter the job market and learning them has clearly already paid off for her. She sums up the program as such: “I needed the basic skills and I needed the inspiration. I got both of them. The course promised to be very intensive and it was just what it promised. The program taught me how to communicate my ideas effectively through graphic design.”

    Baskerville Book Couple

    Baskerville Book Couple

    Graphic Design includes numerous feature projects including Motion Graphics: Personal Visual Identity, which involves a personal visual identity that reflects aspects of the student designer (i.e. Kevin Zhang’s love of music and dance). The Design for Interaction: Cross Platform Publication also deals with students’ personal areas of interest. For example, Elle Hasanli chose to focus on the symbiotic relationship between art and fashion, both past and present. Madrid Light City: Poster Competition (pictured below) invited all graphic designers to take part in an open poster exhibition supported by the Business Forum for Madrid, DIMAD, and the Madrid City Council.

    Madrid Light City

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    November 14, 2017 • Academic Programs, Graphic Design • Views: 868