Author archives

  • NYFA Alum Stormi Henley Makes it to Hollywood on American Idol!!!


    New York Film Academy former student Stormi Henley made it past the first round of auditions in Nashville on American Idol last night, sending her onto the semifinals in Hollywood. Henley, a nineteen year old actress who was once crowned Miss Teen USA, sang “Father Can You Hear Me?” in front of Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez. Voted yes by Randy and Steven, Henley was ecstatic, running out of the room screaming and jumping up and down. We wish you all the best Stormi and can’t wait to see you on more episodes of Idol! Check out her audition!


    January 28, 2011 • Acting • Views: 6321

  • Retiring from the NFL is the BEGINNING for Simeon Rice


    Simeon RiceWhat do retired National Football League players do after leaving the field?  These athletes stay in the public eye- volunteering, lending their name and brand to different nonprofits and charities, raising monies that benefit their loved ones and community…doing outreach and giving back is the biggest part of being in the NFL, and their prestigious brotherhood of retirees.  Retiring before you are forty leaves an expanse of time to be filled with making dreams reality, and retooling oneself for after the last tackle.

    Simeon Rice has played football for the majority of his life- whether in high school, college, in the NFL, or for the United Football League, Rice has had his cleats and game face on.  Simeon, like all athletes, has many sides. Rice has a passion to create art and expose societal issues.  A natural satirist, Simeon is at ease discussing his career and goals.  In 2010 Simeon made the decision to pursue his other love- the entire entertainment industry.  Rice completed the 4-week and 8-week filmmaking workshops at the New York Film Academy (in Los Angeles).  While attending Rice wrote, directed, acted, produced and edited his work.  Simeon created relationships with his classmates and collaborated on multiple films.

    Simeon has evolved- he is now a Hollywood Director, Producer and Screenplay Writer.  NYFA had the opportunity to watch Executive Producer Rice’s first Short film When I Was King.  Simeon channels TechCrunch and Mashable’s hot topics into his film- primarily discussing the fundamental problems men and women have using social media sites for recreational purposes.  Unlike the movie Social Network, Simeon’s character Frank (Dolph Paulsen) is influenced by the bantering of single friends- and embraces his new freedom (by assuming that his fiance had walked away from their lives together, he needed to learn how to Facebook women and get action off of MySpace).  This comedic interpretation of social medias use to find a flings primary goal is to teach online safety practices; Frank had little online networking experience.  He is depicted as a 25 year old man without a Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn or FourSquare presence…we know, he is an anomaly?!  When I Was King makes the techno-savvy individual second guess; Simeon pushes the viewer to ask: Is being tied to so many through online friend requests dangerous?  Am I providing too much information, eliminating the dating and friendship processes?


    January 27, 2011 • Acting • Views: 6382

  • It’s ALWAYS the Victor Verhaeghe Hour, Starring Victor Verhaeghe!


    When Acting Instructor Victor Verhaeghe made his way into the office, he had so much to say to the New York Film Academy. Beyond just his teaching hours at NYFA and students, Victor has a lot of projects up his sleeve.  In the beginning of February, Victor will start shooting the second season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, continuing on as Ward Boss Damien Flemming. While tailoring his 1920’s themed character, Victor simultaneously acted as a Real Estate agent, alongside Rosie Perez and John Leguizamo while filming the summer 2011 full-length film Fugly.

    Boardwalk Empire

    If you haven’t gotten enough of Victor, you can catch him every month- live!

    @7pm on the last Sunday night of every month-  you can see Victor at the Abingdon Theatre ($15.00 regular admission, $10.00 NYFA student cost- must show valid ID).

    Reservations for the Victor Verhaeghe Hour (for January 23rd, February 27th, March 27th, and April 24th): (212)868-4444.


    January 10, 2011 • Acting • Views: 4184

  • Aksel Stasny, 25


    Photo of Aksel Stasny

    Aksel Stasny excelled in computer programming and internet technology during his high school years, but found his passion in film around the same time that he began to win multiple film and photography awards for his work. He eventually put aside his plans to get a degree in programming and moved to Vienna to pursue a crew position as a production assistant.  After working on sets for two years and freelancing as a photographer, Aksel enrolled in the University of Vienna’s “Theater and Film Science” department.

    Aksel felt that Austria was too small, the learning environment he searched for was one immersed in the industry and steeped with tradition and diversity. In 2009, Aksel made the move to New York City to attend the New York Film Academy. Aksel learned how to tweak his film-making skills, and finished the one year course.

    Today Aksel utilizes his Optional Practical Training (OPT) Visa to continue growing his reel and learning in the United States.  Currently, Aksel is part of the production team at Bayard Studios. Stasny’s latest film Coming Home has been selected by the World Film Festival in Montreal, and has been picked up by festivals on the eastern seaboard.

    “Only having to concentrate on your own ideas and the development of your photography and film craft is the biggest luxury I could have ever had. I enjoyed the whole year and never felt such a challenging but steady creative output before. Some of the connections I’ve made at school will be partnerships and friendships for the rest of my life…This summer I became the director of Emmy Award Winner Bill Barber’s TV-pilot comedy series B-Sharp – No more camera assistance jobs or commercials a la Vitamin-C shower heads for dogs and children.”- Aksel

    Aksel also says he is still focused on his photography- that he has not abandoned one craft for another.  He still contributes work to Desquval!


    January 4, 2011 • Acting • Views: 4447

  • "English Success Story by Park Kyung-lim"


    Photo of Park Kyung-lim

    New York Film Academy Alumni Park Kyung-lim has written a comedic response to learning English; Park originates from South Korea, and found her transition to an English-first society to have challenges. When Park returned to South Korea she found work on television and emceeing different shows.  She married, has had a child, and during her time on maternity leave and enjoying motherhood- she decided to write down her thoughts on being an American student- in her native tongue Korean- to alleviate the stigma of being an outsider within the USA, and to showcase the beauties of being able to learn and grow in both the English and Korean speaking worlds. NYFA encourages all of our future and past Korean speaking students to read “English Success Story by Park Kyung-lim” available online at Kyobo Bookstore.


    January 3, 2011 • Acting • Views: 7410

  • NYFA Faculty Spotlight: Brian Dilg, Photography


    My ultimate goal is to help students find their own creative voice, to create images that simply don’t look like anyone else’s.

    New York Film Academy blog has decided to catch up with a few of our talented faculty. Meet Brian Dilg, Chair of the NYFA Photography Department

    Photo by Brian Dilg

    Photo by Brian Dilg, all rights reserved.

    “I teach courses on the techniques and aesthetics of cameras, lenses and lighting, as well as digital darkroom practices. I also help students investigate their own creative process, the themes they’re particularly attuned to, and how to bridge the gap between theoretical understanding of technical concepts and real-time application. Part of that process is learning exactly how the human brain-eye system actually perceives the visual world, and the surprising ways in which we don’t actually see what we think we see, both as image-makers and as viewers. Understanding how cameras actually “see” light allows photographers to exploit the way the human eye seeks visual balance and harmony. Image-makers can than build layers of perception and meaning into images, which creates a rich discovery process for the viewer and rewards repeated viewing. At this image-saturated time in history, having this ability at your command gives photographers a major competitive advantage, and helps them overcome the tendency of flawless modern equipment to produce generic, forgettable work. My ultimate goal is to help students find their own creative voice, to create images that simply don’t look like anyone else’s.”

    Photo by Brian Dilg for In Montauk

    Photo by Brian Dilg. Shot on assignment for filmmaker Kim Cummings for the feature film In Montauk.

    Brian Dilg is an internationally published and collected photographer and award-winning filmmaker with over 20 years of professional teaching experience around the world. His images have been published in the New York Times, Time Out, and the Village Voice, and on book covers by Simon and Schuster, Random House and Hyperion. He has provided image retouching services to clients including Victoria’s Secret, Polo Ralph Lauren, Revlon, Nike, NBC and Allure. He is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop, an Adobe Certified Instructor, and a frequently consulted authority on retouching and color management hardware and software. His feature film directorial debut, “Auf Wiedersehen,” premiered at the 2010 Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival. He recently shot “The Greims” starring Wes Bentley (American Beauty), featured at the 2009 Vancouver International Film Festival. He previously served as the Technical Director of the film program and as the Director of the digital imaging program at the Maine Media Workshops. He did his graduate work in film production at New York University, where he was a full scholarship student. He has worked as director, cinematographer, and editor on over 70 other narrative, documentary, music video and commercial films. He currently serves as the Chair of the New York Film Academy Photography Department.


    December 31, 2010 • Acting • Views: 4575

  • Spotlight: NYFA Alum Cast In Men In Black 3


    Jason Liles has been a working actor since his recent graduation from the New York Film Academy Acting for Film Conservatory. The NYFA Blog was lucky to catch up with Liles, who graduated from his one-year acting program in May 2010, between filming scenes for Men in Black 3.

    Jason Liles

     “My advice for anyone considering an acting program at NYFA would be to first of all do it…”


    Jason, we just heard that you were cast as an alien in the new installment of Men in Black 3. How did you get the job?

    How I booked the role is quite interesting. They called me out of nowhere. I had gotten my first job being an extra last November on Boardwalk Empire. I was excited about being on a real set for the first time, but they called me the next day and told me they were sorry but they didn’t realize how tall I was (6’10”) and specifically for that scene the director didn’t want anyone over a certain height. However, they remembered my height and the first week after graduation in May, Grant Wilfley called me and said they wanted me for stand-in work for an entire episode of Royal Pains because the wrestler The Big Show was going to be on it. That was a great experience and I learned a lot about a set very quickly over a few days. About a month later I got a call from Grant Wilfley seeing if I wanted to come in and read for a part in Men In Black 3. I couldn’t believe the opportunity that had been presented to me and I was just so thankful. All my friends and family were so excited for me. It was the beginning of July when I went in, read a few lines for a camera at Grant Wilfley, and that was it. A month went by and I didn’t hear a thing so I figured I didn’t get it. Well at the end of August, almost 2 whole months later, they called me and told me that that scene I read for was cut but they still wanted me for a tall alien.

    What was the process like once you were cast?

    Over the course of the next few months I went in for 3 or 4 fittings for my head and costume. My role is a tall blue alien without any lines called Feelers. I’ve got an amazing head and matching arms I wear with an incredible costume.

    Have you gotten the opportunity to be in any key scenes?

    So far I’ve been in scenes with Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Emma Thompson, and Jemaine Clement. What’s really cool is six-time Oscar winning make up artist Rick Baker designed all the prosthetics and he is always on set. His work goes all the way back to the original Star Wars alien prosthetics. It’s an honor to get to work with such a legend and he’s such a great guy too. Wednesday December the 8th was his birthday and on set Barry (Sonnefeld, the director) surprised him on set with a cake with an alien arm coming out of the top. It was cool getting to share that experience as everyone in the cast and crew was singing Happy Birthday to him including Will, Tommy, and Emma. But what meant the most to me was at the end of the day when Rick made sure all the aliens got a big slice of cake (it wasn’t too big and there were easily over 100 people on set) for toughing it out in those prosthetics all day. When I thanked him, he thanked back me for working so hard. That meant a lot to me.

    Where else have you found work since NYFA?

    Since NYFA I did stand-in work on Royal Pains, was on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm with guest star Ricky Gervais, filmed a day on a new USA show called A Legal Mind. I also played a security guard for a few days on the finale of the new FX show Lights Out, and of course my alien Feelers in Men In Black 3. Also since NYFA I’ve been working a lot on my own music. I’ve got an exciting gig opening for Jake Clemons, the nephew of the legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons in January. That will be at the Zora Art Space in Brooklyn on January 13th. I’m also flying over to Scotland and Ireland in the spring as I’ve been invited to open for Scottish musician Mick Hargan as he releases his 2nd album. Then we’re planning on coming back to NYC and possibly playing at the Irish Craic Fest downtown along with some other gigs. I’m looking to have an EP done before that to take over and sell at gigs in the UK.

    Would you recommend the same NYFA Acting Conservatory program to other students?

    I would absolutely recommend the NYFA acting program. I feel it fully prepared me for the business. It gave me all the confidence and tools I need for anything in the acting world. I had no idea how much I didn’t know about acting until I went to NYFA. You get everything you need and more. There really are too many memories to pick from. Almost every day (really almost every class) I would pick up on something new or something memorable would happen. You form a new family with your section that I just wasn’t prepared for. These people are now my best friends in the world. My advice for anyone considering an acting program at NYFA would be to first of all do it and second of all to take huge risks, PLAY every chance you get (have fun with it; it’s called “playing” a character), and work hard on everything like it’s the biggest role of your life.


    December 15, 2010 • Acting • Views: 4365

  • Good University Ranking Guide Ranks NYFA Screenwriting Programs as the Best!


    The Good University Ranking Guide, a ranking of MBA and University League programs from Australia, Canada, UK, USA, and the World just ranked the New York Film Academy as one of the top schools for screenwriting. The site commented, “The Screenwriting Workshops and Programs of the NYFA are the most comprehensive screenwriting courses of all top film schools.” Check out our Screenwriting MFA program today!


    December 7, 2010 • Acting • Views: 6976

  • NYFA Alum Signs with Major Talent Agency


    New York Film Academy Acting School student Joy Rovaris has just signed with an LA based talent agency. Rovaris is a MFA acting student who completed her first year in New York this past May and is now working towards completing her degree at NYFA Los Angeles. Rovaris comments,” NYFA prepared me for auditioning because they gave me the training, pretty intense mock auditions, and then confidence needed to first send out my information and then to be at a ‘300% performance level’…(Paul Warner) once inside the door.  NYFA has helped me get to where I am because they exposed me to the science behind my natural talent.  The program was much more intense than I’d imagine.  I learned how to bring my emotions to JUST below the surface and let them fester and manifest through my body in a performance. No way I could have been ready for this prior to a year at NYFA. I feel the teachers I had at NYFA NYC have prepared me most for where I am now. We’ll see what else LA brings!” Congrats Joy!


    November 17, 2010 • Acting • Views: 4110



    The LA Examiner labeled New York Film Academy as the “TOP GUN OF MODERN FILM SCHOOLS” in its article praising the academy and founder Jerry Sherlock for his no-frills, hands-on approach to teaching filmmaking. Here is the full article:

    (Photo by current NYFA student Chris Chunk. Article written by Rob Irwin, Burbank Entertainment Industry Examiner, LA Examiner)

    It would be no misrepresentation to say clearly that the New York Film Academy is the future for modern filmmaking. Sure there are those venerable institutions such as NYU, USC and UCLA. All fine schools, of course, and in between classes in required academic areas like, oh I don’t know, The Love Life of the North American Fruit Fly perhaps one can get a decent education in film making over time. It is true that these fine schools have in the past and still do turn out some very successful writers, actors and directors. But in 1992 Producer Jerry Sherlock (Hunt for Red October) became frustrated with what he saw as a serious lack of good “hands on” real world film making information and education. Never the kind of man to sit still with an idea Jerry Sherlock created a workshop for film makers. It was the beginning of what has grown today into the New York Film Academy.

    It all started at Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Center. It was an intensive four week workshop that taught each student how to engage in visual story telling or film making. The word spread and soon the demand exceeded the available resources and growth was inevitable. And while the subject of Fruit Flies never got involved there really is much more to professional acting, writing and directing than could be reasonably presented in a four week work shop. The program rapidly grew into an intense immersion into the world of film making that led to the granting of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in just three years. That alone is brilliant in my opinion for giving every degree seeking student one extra year of real life.

    As this growth was taking place Solomon Brother’s currency trader extraordinaire Jean Sherlock was wrapping up a three year stint in the very exciting city of Hong Kong. He went back to his hometown of New York City and his father, Jerry Sherlock, brought him aboard the now degree granting and still rapidly growing New York Film Academy. Soon that brought Jean to Los Angeles and the back ot of Universal Studios where NYFA-Los Angeles lives today. New York Film Academy now has three full time campuses in; New York City, Los Angeles, and South Beach, Miami. But it was on the Los Angeles campus where I meet the very gracious Jean Sherlock.

    I honestly had no preconceptions about New York Film Academy, nothing good or bad. It really was a blank slate when I first sat down with Jean Sherlock to discover exactly where his school, the New York Film Academy, fit in amongst the well known giants. The picture that unfolded was rich and exciting.

    New York Film Academy offers its students a true immersion in real world hands on experience. For example at the New York Film Academy each student writes, shoots, directs and edits eight projects and works on crew of 28 more in the first year. That is intense. But it is possible in part because NYFA keeps class size down to about 16 students per section, even less for the acting classes. This allows a strong interplay between teacher and student. Oh and those teachers all come from strong academic and industry backgrounds. From day one the students work with real proven industry professionals and that quality is enhanced with regular guest speakers such as actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote), Producer/Director Doug Liman (Bourne Identity) and actress Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction). So impressive are their programs that many of the Hollywood elite have sent their children to NYFA. Psst! A Spielberg child has been seen on campus. Yes, that level.

    Film schools need equipment and that they have in abundance as well and it is all high level genuinely professional gear made for making movies. It is even possible for students to get access to top of the line Panavision gear and that just doesn’t happen in Gallop, NM. Which brings up the matter of location.

    With our official interview in the can Jean Sherlock turned me over to his trusted assistant Tom Slivinski for a tour of the rest of the campus. For that we used a vehicle because the campus is the Universal Studios back lot. All of it. Yes, THAT back lot, the one millions of tourists pay big money to ride around in a tram. This is all included in the NYFA package and it is clearly inspiring. There is just no better location for a top end film making school. Students at NYFA start at the pinnacle.

    Today the New York Film Academy has grown into a giant provider of high quality education in all major aspects of film making. They offer associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees across all three domestic campuses. They also offer a wide variety of summer programs directed at tweens, teens and adults. You should at least visit their website at and explore their many exciting offerings. The only thing NYFA doesn’t offer is a football team, but I am sure if you want they can make a movie about football. In the mean time if you or your child or a friend is passionate about a career in film making he or she would be well advised to read the information on the website and then arrange for a visit to the campus. The excitement and energy is palpable and real and it moves you. From its humble beginnings the New York Film Academy has truly emerged as the TOPGUN of modern film schools.


    October 22, 2010 • Acting • Views: 5999