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  • NYFA Filmmaking Alumnus Premieres “Bullock the Bruiser” at Manhattan Film Festival

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    bullock the bruiserNew York Film Academy Filmmaking alumnus Marcelo Mayen delivered an impressive thesis film that premiered at the Manhattan Film Festival at the Cinema Village in New York City. His film, “Bullock the Bruiser,” is an action-thriller with elements of comedy that surround Wilson “The Bruiser” Bullock, who gains his superhero persona after hospitalizing the most hated man in the city, Richard Tucker. However, in order for Wilson to win back the love of his ex-girlfriend, he’s going to have to prove that he’s done indulging his petty superhero identity.

    “The main theme I explore in this film is wanting a fresh start in life,” said Mayen. “Whether we’ve wanted to explore a new career, leave a toxic relationship, or move to a new city, we’ve all been at a point where we’ve wanted a clean slate. But we also know there’s always something — or someone — that tries to keep us from getting that clean slate we need in order to achieve happiness, whatever that means for us. That’s the main theme I explore, and it was inspired by my own decision to move to New York City three years ago to pursue my passion for filmmaking and telling stories.”

    Mayen admits that while Guy Ritchie’s “Snatch” certainly had an influence on his approach to Bullock, his inspiration comes from an eclectic mix of directors from other genres. “I wanted to find inspiration in films that balanced the perfect amount of comedy, action, and drama while keeping the pacing of the film entertaining and fun for the audience,” said Mayen.

    Perhaps the most challenging part of the project was the post-production phase. Being a meticulous director, Mayen says, “I never like to rush art. I am so glad to have met my wonderful post-production team, Jay Rothman, Jose Venutolo, and Nate Seymour because they shared my same passion and determination to make sure this was a film worth showing.”

    Speaking on his time at NYFA, Mayen says it was an extremely fast-paced learning environment that introduced him to many techniques including the importance of editing, sound, color-grading, lighting, cinematography, and all the elements that make up a great film.

    Bullock the Bruiser

    NYFA photo by Stephany Viera

    Mayen is currently working on two projects. One is a feature length action-comedy screenplay that he plans to pitch to studios and enter into The Blacklist. The other is a short film that will involve a Latino lead and will deal with issues of racism and the struggles of being an illegal immigrant in the era of Trump.

    “Bullock the Bruiser” will be screening next at the NewFilmmakers Festival at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

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    April 25, 2017 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3387

  • Broadcast Journalism Alumnae Cover Stock Exchange and Ellis Island Hospital

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    On any given weekday morning you can find New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism School alumna Gillian Kemmerer reporting from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Asset TV, where Gillian is the senior U.S. anchor, has updated its look with new graphics and the service with new programming. In this business, you can’t stand still. (And when you have an exclusive, you can’t be shy about saying so!)

    Chenavari Net Long Going Into French Election from Asset TV US on Vimeo.

    DelphineThis Friday, a remarkable news story produced by current NYFA Broadcast Journalism student Delphine Darmency is being shown at an event sponsored by New York Women in Film & Television. They will be screening Delphine’s story “Ellis Island Hospital,” which she created as a class project in the Fall 2016 1-Year Broadcast Journalism course. In fact, it is the first long-form story she ever produced.

    It says a great deal about Delphine that her story was chosen to be included in a prestigious professional film series. She came to NYFA from her native France to become a multimedia journalist. Obviously, she has already learned a great deal.

    The screening takes place at the Kaufman Astoria Studios (34-12 36th Street, Astoria) on Friday April 28 at 6:30 pm. Admission is free. RSVP online to reserve a seat. Delphine’s story is part of a series called “Women Filmmakers: Immigrant Stories,” and is screening along with director Teresa H. Mular’s film “Four Journeys.”

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    April 24, 2017 • Broadcast Journalism, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3983

  • NYFA LA Welcomes Talent Manager Carol Brodie

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    carol bodieThe New York Film Academy was thrilled to have Talent Manager Carol Bodie speak with the Acting for Film Department in Los Angeles this past week. Tova Laiter, Director of the Guest Speakers Series, hosted the evening along side NYFA Instructor Anne Moore.

    Bodie is responsible for helping guide the careers of many Hollywood elites including Jon Hamm, Jada Pinkett Smith, Joel Edgerton, Jim Sturgess, David Oyelowo, Kim Cattrall, Winona Ryder, Hailee Steinfeld, Rosie Perez, Calista Flockhart, and many others. Bodie has also produced “Girl Interrupted” and is working with many of Hollywood’s rising stars including Ruby Rose.

    Bodie kicked off the Q and A by welcoming all of her “future clients.” Bodie started her career when she moved to LA in her early twenties. She hadn’t expected to get in the entertainment industry, but all of her acting friends encouraged her to get work at an agency. When she finally found an agent she wanted to work with she realized she didn’t know what she was doing. “I literally answered the phone, ‘Hello.”

    Despite being told assistants do not get promoted it didn’t take long for Bodie to rise through the ranks. “I literally worked harder than anyone else,” she said. “I would get there at seven in the morning. Then I’d work all day. Stephen (her boss) would leave for a screening or event. He’d come back after and leave post-it notes all over my desk. So, I was working Saturdays and Sundays.”

    Bodie at NYFA LABodie had a lot of advice for her students. One insider tip is to find moments to surprise the casting director. “You have to remember Casting Directors are people too. We have bad days. We get bored.” Bodie suggests that if you’re given two scenes to read, read the second piece first. You’ll instantly have the director’s attention.

    “For actors the only thing to do is act. Do a play even if it is a small production,” Bodie suggests. “It’s all about relationships. Become friends with assistants and managers.” This way you’ll be the first to hear about all of the auditions.

    “Get out of your own head,” Bodie told the students. “Make it about the other person. By focusing on other people it relaxes you. Go to IMDb and look at what they’ve cast. They’re a person, too. They’ll want to tell you about their experience.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Ms. Bodie for taking the time to speak with our students.

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    April 21, 2017 • Acting • Views: 4872

  • Producing Grad Inks TV Series Deal From NYFA Guest Speaker

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    Heidi Segal Recent Producing graduate from the New York Film Academy’s 1-Year Producing Conservatory, Heidi Segal, is a shining example of how it’s never too late to change your career and pursue an endeavor that is much more fulfilling. The former government contractor of 25 years rediscovered her creativity and hit the ground running while learning the craft of producing. She’s been busy working on several projects since graduating from the program, and was able to catch us up with her new career in a recent interview.

    Heidi’s student short from the 8-week Filmmaking program, “Must Luv Zombies,” is an official selection of the NewFilmmakers NY 2017 Summer Film Series and was also selected and screened at the Katra Film Festival. She has also been brought on as a co-producer for a feature film “Beyond the Rush.” The concept short won Best Overall Short in the 2017 RINCON Int’l Film Festival and and Audience Award Winner of NewFilmmakers NY 2017 Spring Film Series.

    What made you decide to transition from government contractor to producing for film and TV?

    After escaping an abusive marriage in early 2015, I relocated from Annapolis to Baltimore, MD to be closer to my client base. That summer I discovered “House of Cards” season 4 was shooting in the city and was curious about what it’s like being on set. So I signed up to be an extra and ended up working on the show 9 days over the next couple of months, to include being Robin Wright’s stand-in for a day. Since my industry had become so standardized, there was no longer anything creative about it, so I started crewing for friends on their first films or web series and taking acting classes. Quickly realizing that I preferred being behind the camera instead of in front of it, and enjoying the creative process of filmmaking, I decided to take a couple months off work and attend the 8-week Filmmaking program at NYFA with the intention of returning to Baltimore and my career. However, halfway through the filmmaking course, I realized producing films and TV series was exactly what I should have been doing years ago. Between my natural creativity and 25+ years of directly-relevant business experience, I immediately signed up for NYFA’s 1-Year Producing Conservatory, quit my consulting business, moved to NYC, started Mixed Sygnls Productions, LLC, and went back to school. I’m glad I did.

    Would you say the producing school at NYFA was useful in terms of what you’re currently working on?

    Absolutely. There is no way I could have executed this career transition as completely and efficiently as I have. Without the formal training and networking opportunities provided by the program, it would take me years to figure out I’m doing. I would not have been able to quit my career and focus solely on creating films and TV series.

    Can you tell me a little bit about your short film, “Matthew’s Monsters”? 

    The logline is: Happy-go-lucky by day, a young boy is haunted by the sounds of monsters stomping around his room when the lights go out…until he discovers the source of the monsters’ footsteps.

    I adapted “Matthew’s Monsters” from a story in the book “Icarus of Brooklyn” by Matthew Alper. I wrote the screenplay, cast the two characters (a 4 year-old boy and his mother), directed, and edited the film. I also optioned “Icarus of Brooklyn” for my thesis project and am now developing it into a feature film.

    “Matthew’s Monsters” will be screening at the Cannes Short Film Corner and is being considered for 35 other film festivals worldwide.

    matthews monsters

    “Matthew’s Monsters”

    Can you talk a little bit about your series, “Rough Cut”? Where did the idea come from and what is the status of the project?

    We had a reality TV sizzle reel assignment in the Producing Conservatory 2nd quarter. Each student had to come up with their own concept and pitch to the Producing Department Chair, Neal Weisman. I came up with an entertainment industry-related competition/reality series. I apparently went overboard on my assignment and produced a full pitch package. Neil and Richard D’Angelo suggested I take the project out of the school and find an experienced reality TV Showrunner to attach as a Co-Producer and start marketing the series. I pitched the project to Eric Leemon after he came in for a guest lecture. He loved it, we inked a deal, and he handed it off to his agent at William Morris Endeavor (WME) to shop around for a buyer.

    You’ve recently been working with ID/Discovery. Can you tell me what your position is at the network?

    We had an internship requirement in the Producing Conservatory 4th quarter. Eric Leemon facilitated getting me onboard with HudSun Media here in NYC to work on the development team on the Discovery ID Channel crime reality show Bad Blood season 2. I worked as a researcher to identify murder cases that met the show’s concept for episode consideration. After graduating from NYFA, HudSun Media hired me on an as-needed basis to continue episode research support and to help the production team prepare to shoot and produce episode 5. All 6 episodes are in post production – so my work there is complete.

    What do you hope to achieve at Cannes, especially with your involvement in the Cannes Film Business Program?

    The networking opportunity at Cannes is my primary focus. I’m hoping to find financing and distribution deals for my upcoming feature films and possibly for “Rough Cut” and the other TV series I am creating.

    What else are you currently working on?

    Under my company, Mixed Sygnls Productions, LLC, I have optioned four feature films. I am currently developing and preparing to produce two of the smaller budget features — “My Name is Velouria,” a $2M action thriller that I plan to shoot in upstate NY this fall, and “Icarus of Brooklyn,” a $3M coming-of-age drama set in Brooklyn in the late 70s, early 80s that I plan to shoot in NYC next spring.

    The other two features will be in the $15-25M range with production planned for late 2018 into 2019. I am also producing a teaser for Michael C. Bryan’s book “Creepy Kid” that will be published later this year. We plan to co-produce a feature film and TV series based on the book. In addition to “Rough Cut,” I am also creating a comedy reality TV series called “Kinda Sketchy” and two narrative TV series. I am creating “Bad Wolff”as a limited series about domestic abuse and domestic violence with the plan to launch a follow-on drama series called “Closure.”


    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Heidi Segal for taking the time to share her story with our community.

     

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    April 20, 2017 • #WomenOfNYFA, Diversity, Producing, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4630

  • Roadside Attractions’ Eric d’Arbeloff Screens “Manchester by the Sea” at NYFA LA

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    Students packed the Riverside Theater in Los Angeles to see one of last year’s most critically acclaimed films, “Manchester by the Sea,” and hear from one of the men who made the film possible, Co-Founder of Roadside Attractions, Eric d’Arbeloff. Roadside Attractions has released over 130 films including “Winter’s Bone,” “Love & Friendship,” “Southside with You,” “Mr. Holmes,” “Love & Mercy,” “The Cove,” “Margin Call,” “Arbitrage,” “Hello My Name is Doris,” The September Issue,” and “Mud.” Tova Laiter, Director of the New York Film Academy’s Guest Speakers Series, hosted the evening alongside NYFA Instructor Shaun Conan.

    Eric d’Arbeloff

    D’Arbeloff started by giving a little history on his company. “We are a small company focused on theatrical releasing. We’re kind of like a specialty boutique production company. We don’t do VOD releases or direct to video. We have a relatively small slate compared to some of our competitors. Typically, an IFC or Sony Picture Classics will do thirty or forty films a year. We’re more like ten or twelve films a year. From the get go the company was always designed for partnerships.”

    It was that spirit of partnership that brought Roadside Attraction to Amazon. Their first film together, “Chi-Raq,” opened to great critical acclaim. Thinking bigger has always been part of their DNA.

    Exhibition community is still establishing the rules with the rise of streaming services. Netflix, for example, likes to release everything on the same day. If you can watch it in theaters you can watch it on the app. But d’Arbeloff and Roadside believe that films like “Manchester by the Sea” wouldn’t exist without a theatrical release and critical discussion. Neither model is better, d’Arbeloff stressed. But he’s in the camp of traditional releasing.

    He explained the different aspects of his job, which include curating the right types of film. Prints and advertising budgets are a difficult challenge. One of the largest challenges is picking the right release date. Holidays, elections, award season and other film release dates all play a key factor in when a movie comes out. D’Arbeloff described this process as “reading the tea leaves.”

    During the Q and A portion one student, Theresa, asked, “Is there any advice to young filmmakers who get their shorts into festivals and are rewarded? How do we manage to transition to features from shorts? Should we wait for feedback or start on a new project?”

    Eric d’Arbeloff at NYFA LA

    “The great thing is there are multiple avenues to make a name for yourself,” d’Arbeloff replied. “I think it certainly helps if you’re a writer or someone who likes to read and is good at developing material. There was a time when I was a producer. I would go to Sundance and keep tabs on all the filmmakers. When I first started you really had to decide, ‘are you going to be in television or film? Are you interested in business or are you interested in creative?’ That’s not the case anymore. I really want to encourage you guys to try everything. There are no boundaries.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. d’Arbeloff for taking the time to speak with our students. Roadside’s latest picture by Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Barcelona) entitled “Love & Friendship” starring Kate Beckinsale is currently available on Amazon.

    For more information on Roadside Attractions, you can click here.

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    April 19, 2017 • Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 4442

  • NYFA Welcomes Diversity Chair Dr. Nancy Kwang Johnson

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    The Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy (NYFA) has a new Chair of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, Dr. Nancy Kwang Johnson. Nancy is responsible for formulating NYFA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy and its Diversity Strategic Plan, creating multicultural programming, and spearheading strategic partnerships for faculty, students, and staff.

    nancy kwang

    Nancy brings two decades of experience as an educator, higher education administrator, and consultant to the role of Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Most notably, Nancy was invited to the first Korean American Briefing at the White House (2012). She received the “President’s Excellence in Diversity” award at Western Illinois University. Nancy attended Vassar, and has an MPA, MA, and PhD (in Government) from Cornell.

    As a multiracial female (her mother is Korean, her father is African-American, and her paternal great grandmother is full-blooded Cherokee), Nancy is no stranger to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a polyglot, Nancy speaks Korean and English (her mother tongues), basic Albanian and Wolof, and has taught International Relations in French.

    With expertise in Race, Ethnicity, and Diaspora Studies, Nancy has lived in South Korea, France, Senegal, Canada, Albania, and Serbia. In North America, Nancy has taught at the New School, Texas Tech, Temple, Colgate, Washington University, Yale, Western Illinois University, Georgetown, University of Windsor, and the University of Ottawa.

    The Dean of the College organized a series of “meet and greets” in Barham and Riverside so that NYFA students could become acquainted with NYFA’s incoming Chief Diversity Officer. At Barham, Nancy engaged in a listening tour comprised of thirty-five students and provided a silhouette of her strategic vision for diversity, equity and inclusion. The students expressed their enthusiasm for the inclusive and diaspora-informed nature of upcoming events such as “A Conversation with NBC’s Diversity Initiatives Team,” and news of the partnership Nancy recently forged with East West Players Theatre.

    nyfa diversity

    At Riverside, NYFA students Amjad Tkroni and Hanan Higgi (active in clubs and organizations) were eager to recruit their fellow students. When asked how they felt about Nancy the girls broke into giggles, “She’s so cute. She’s able to say exactly what her vision for the future is in one sentence. Plus she has so many great events coming up.” The girls were particularly excited for the Second Line Festival (May 5th) – an International Dance Festival showcasing hip hop, West African, Indian, and Russian choreography of the NYFA Dance Troupe.

    For her part, Nancy had this to say about meeting her new students:

    “I was so humbled by the fact that the Dean of the College wanted to have a ‘meet and greet’ in my honor. On this end, I was truly inspired by my town hall-like dialogue with the students, and definitely learned a lot about their innate desire to have truly diverse, equitable and inclusive events across campus. In this regard, I am forever indebted to President Michael Young and NYFA leadership for accepting my pitch to re-brand the Department to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Our new brand, I believe, reflects the world we live in today. We are NYFA.”

    The New York Film Academy is proud to count Dr. Johnson amongst their ranks and looks forward to the NYFA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy, the NYFA Diversity Strategic Plan, multicultural programming and Strategic Diversity Initiatives to be formulated and implemented to create a sense of belongingness and community for NYFA faculty, students, and staff. Be sure not to miss out on these amazing opportunities coming soon.

    LIST OF UPCOMING EVENTS

    April 10th (7:30-9:00 p.m.) — NYFA Burbank’s 1st Open Mic Night.

    Our hostess for the evening will be Aida Rodriguez (recently featured in Robert De Niro’s latest film, “The Comedian”). Aida was also a finalist in NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and will be appearing as the first Latina in Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam.

    April 24th       Inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Speaker Series (TBA)

    May 2nd         “A Conversation with NBC’s Diversity Initiatives Team”

    May 5th          Second Line Festival: An International Celebration of Diversity

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    April 19, 2017 • Community Highlights • Views: 3326

  • April 2017 Broadcast Journalism Alumni News

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    Nicole CrossThe New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism Department has more exciting news regarding its alumni.

    Nicole Cross snagged four Associated Press Louisiana awards recently, including Best Daytime Newscast and Achievement. Nicole came to NYFA to begin a total career change, and she treated class time and project assignments as if they were a “job,” tackling everything with discipline, thoroughness and passion. She even made her way to Washington, DC so that she had stand-ups shot there for her Resume Reel.

    Christian Good arrived at NYFA fresh from a degree program in law enforcement. The Toronto Police Department’s loss was our gain. Upon graduation, Christian started building his freelance career as a multimedia journalist. Most recently, he has been traveling the world. He’s working with fashion designer and writer Marcia Sherrill. This past week we found out the two of them were “rolling in rupees” in New Delhi.

    Chritian Goode and Marcia Sherrill in New Dehli
    Prior to enrolling at NYFA, Akeem Holmes received a BA in Communications and Media Studies from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. (He was an outstanding basketball player there too.) Now Akeem is taking the skills he learned at NYFA and returning to his alma mater, where he is building a digital media team to cover the Randolph-Macon sports program. He is training students from the Filmmaking and Journalism programs how to make sports stories that are engaging, exciting and fun.

    That’s Akeem back in his student days, waiting to shoot a talk show segment utilizing a green screen effect to create a “virtual set.” He’s with classmates Kecia Gayle (center) and Maia Walker (left).

    NYFA News green screen

    Finally, congratulations to Spring 2017 8-Week Workshop grad Lizzie Yang, who is working as a full-time freelance Production Assistance at Lincoln Square Productions. “I bet you are familiar with it, but it’s a production company under ABC News. Even though (for now) my contract would only last until the project I’m assigned to is finished, hopefully I can jump onto other projects while I am here and continue working. I am assigned to a 2-hour long documentary production about the last 100 days of Princess Diana, since it’s the 20th anniversary of her death in 1997.”

    Congrats to all of these fine Broadcast Journalism alumni!

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    April 18, 2017 • Broadcast Journalism, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3561

  • Acting for Film Alumnus Torsten Colijn Nominated for Best Ensemble Cast

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    torstenThe 2017 FirstGlance Film Festival Los Angeles has announced its official nominations for the 17th edition, which will take place April 20-23.

    Torsten Colijn, an Acting for Film alumnus from the New York Film Academy Los Angeles, has been nominated as part of the ‘Best Ensemble Cast (short)’ for his role in his first US film production “Leben – Life,” a coming of age story about passion for life, exploration, and self acceptance.

    “I truly did not see this one coming,” said Colijn. “This is really awesome, and such a big compliment to the whole international cast. Claudia Claase, Anastasiya Kuptsevych, Musa Lutfi Trevathan, we all did our best to make this story come to life. With great co-directing by Chessa Mehlman and Ian Sumner.”

    The film addresses the struggles that LGBT youth face while showing strength, beauty, and happiness as two women find each other during their travels through Europe. Colijn plays a waiter, whom one of the women comes across on her journey.

    For Torsten it’s his first USA nomination, although he’s acted in over 60 European film, TV and theatre projects.

    “My training at NYFA taught me about the business of film in America, which is totally different than the Dutch film scene,” said Colijn.

    Earlier this year Torsten attended the Canada Independent Film Festival, in Montreal, on behalf of the producer of the Belgian drama film “Rose,” in which Torsten stars as the emphatic doctor, Zachee, who is determined to save the life of a young girl named Rose. With 12 awards worldwide and 43 nominations so far, “Rose” had its Canadian premiere in Montreal as the film had the honor of kicking of the film festival.

    Colijn is represented by Eric Stevens from Rainbow High Entertainment.

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    April 18, 2017 • Acting, International Diversity, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4204

  • NYFA Game Design Mentor Meetup with Aaron Pulkka

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    This past week the New York Film Academy Game Department held a Game Mentor Meetup. The special event focused on the history and development of Virtual Reality. VR pioneer and NYFA Instructor Aaron Pulkka led the discussion.

    nyfa vr games

    Before the presentation, high school students hoping to attend NYFA, current NYFA students, and instructors from nearly every department gathered outside of the theater. Pizza, soda, and snacks were served. Through mouthfuls of hot cheese, participants buzzed over which VR headset was worth the price tag, which game best utilized its VR feature and whether the future of VR relied on lasers or motion capture and other topics.

    With full bellies and buzzing brains, the students filed into the Riverside theater. Pulkka spoke for over an hour giving first-hand knowledge of the rise of Virtual Reality. Pulkka worked on the “Aladdin’s Carpet Ride” at Walt Disney World in Florida, which first utilized VR in 1998, and many other groundbreaking projects.

    He also broke down the key factors of establishing a VR world. The gamer must move in the space, but space cannot come to the gamer or they will be too disoriented to keep playing. This is known as an explicit camera. Light and sound help establish where in space the gamer is supposed to be.

    pullka

    Pulkka then walked the students through the different kinds of headsets. The Play Station 4 has sold three times as many VR headsets as the next leading brands, but there’s an HDMI cable limiting the player’s movements. Google Cardboard costs anywhere from $2 to $30, but you have to have an expensive smartphone and the games are limited.

    A highlight of the night was Pulkka’s demonstration of the Microsoft Hololens augmented reality headset. He created a VR program in Unity and output it to the Hololens. He then walked around the room dropping giant 3D cubes on the audience.

    A great lesson was the difference between VR and 360-degree videos. Pulkka says, “If you can’t interact with the world it’s not VR. 360 videos, like the ones you see on YouTube or Facebook, are not considered VR.”

    After the presentation, the audience spilled into the lobby to converse about all they learned and enjoy cupcakes. A group of students was overheard excitedly chattering about their VR projects. Game students are free to explore VR in any of their Game Studio semester projects. And there is one VR class currently available documentary students with more planned in the future.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank those who participated in this exciting conversation. You can join the conversation by watching the discussion here.

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    April 17, 2017 • Game Design • Views: 3430

  • NYFA Producing Dept. Hosts Evening with Producer Carla Singer

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    Last week, the Producing Department at the New York Film Academy hosted an evening with producer Carla Singer. The event was moderated by NYFA NY Chair of Producing Neal Weisman.

    carla singer

    Singer is president and executive producer of Carla Singer Productions, an independent production company that has produced over 30 television movies as well as documentaries and reality series. Her credits include “Freshman Father,” a Hallmark Channel movie, and Disney Channel films “T*witches,” and “T*witches Too.” For TNT, the company executive produced “The Portrait” starring Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall, as well as “Forgotten Prisoners: The Amnesty Files.” At TBS Ms. Singer produced a documentary “The Black West,” which was nominated for a Cable Ace award. She also produced “A Refusenik’s Diary” for PBS, for which she received an Emmy.

    Her extensive credits include the made-for-television movies “A Marriage of Convenience” starring Jane Seymour, “Indefensible: The Truth About Edward Brannigan” starring Brian Dennehy, “Taken Away,” “Angel Flight Down” and “Cold Heart of a Killer.”

    Singer became vice president of drama programming for CBS Television at a time when hardly any women were accepted into upper management at the networks. As a female pioneer for the network, and the industry in general, Singer helped create the extremely successful drama series, “Murder She Wrote,” as well as “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” and “The Equalizer.”

    carla singer with neal weisman

    Producer Carla Singer with NYFA Producing Chair Neal Weisman

    However, Singer’s career certainly wasn’t handed to her. Beginning her career in Israeli TV, Singer recalled working as an assistant director, but was credited and paid for the role of a PA due to the fact that she was a woman. Her career would continue to be an uphill climb due to her gender, but Singer kept one foot in front of the other and pressed on to tremendous success. While she feels there is still gender inequality in film and TV, Singer does acknowledge the progress since her beginnings.

    “You have to be very persistent,” said Singer. “You have to be risk tolerant. You have to take that risk — even if it’s scary.” Singer recalled two times in her life where she took a pay cut in order to work in a position that could propel her career into the direction she was confident would lead her on the right path.

    Singer advised students to appreciate and take advantage of the creative talent around them. After all, the people you’re working with now are going to be your network, and are going to climb the proverbial latter with you.

    While many of us get caught up in the creative aspect of filmmaking, Singer did advise producing students that, “It’s a business, and you need to make money. Even though that’s a bit crass. You should keep that in your head.” 

    “Carla Singer proved to be an inspiration to the cross section of NYFA Producers, Screenwriters, and Actors who attended the event,” said Weisman. “Emphasizing the need to take career risks and seek mentors, her wisdom gained from decades of television experience was both informative and motivating.”

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    April 17, 2017 • Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 3611