Jack Picone
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  • 27-Hour Marvel Marathon Coming to Theaters

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    You’ve got a problem. You’ve been seeing the posters and the teasers and the trailers for the upcoming superhero sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron but you can’t quite remember all the backstories of all the characters and where everybody is at this point. How can you truly enjoy Iron Man and Hulk beating each other up or Captain America and Black Widow’s charming banter if you can’t remember what they were doing in the previous Avengers films?

    Well, don’t worry, Marvel’s got you covered. They’re offering a marathon of all ten MCU films in theaters, all leading up to a theatrical screening of the eleventh film—Avengers: Age of Ultron. Marvel helped you out last time, remember? When the first Avengers was released, it followed a marathon of the first five MCU films—Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger. In the three years since, the studio has added another four films, so with Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy, that adds up to a staggering 27-hour theatrical experience.

    Regal Cinemas and AMC are offering this package in limited cities beginning April 29th. It includes an exclusive Avengers medallion to prove to your boss that you only took off work to see over a day’s worth of comic book heroes. So get ready, it’ll be great practice for that 54-hour marathon in 2019 when Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 debuts.

    Only one Hulk movie, though.

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    March 9, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4901

  • ‘The Simpsons’ Predicted One of Science’s Greatest Discoveries

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    simpsons higgs boson

    The Simpsons has been ahead of its time since its inception, a forerunner of modern and post-modern television comedy from the moment Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart and Maggie became the yellow faces of primetime. What’s surprising the Internet this week is that the Matt Groening animated series, now in its 26th season, was also ahead of its time in advanced particle physics.

    In 2012, with help from the multi-billion dollar miles-wide Large Hadron Collider, scientists finally discovered the Higgs boson, the so-called “God-particle” that defines mass for all known matter. But apparently, Homer came very very close to figuring it out on his own in 1998’s episode The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace. The screenwriter of that season nine episode was David X. Cohen, a self-proclaimed math nerd known to sneak in obscure scientific and mathematic equations into The Simpsons and his own series, Futurama. The equation on the board came from a friend of Cohen’s and turned out to be an eerily accurate prediction of the particle’s long-sought after mass.

    Since being reported in The Independent, Homer’s prophecy has gone viral, another step in The Simpsons sudden return to cultural relevance since launching its own streaming service with FXX last summer. Since then, fans have made trending topics of canon-breaking episodes, started popular podcasts reviewing each episode, and—just last month—formed theories that Homer has been in a coma since 1993. It just goes to show that the series is still as talked about as it was when it first aired in 1989—a true testament to its cultural legacy.

     

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    March 5, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3239

  • Yahoo! TV Debuts Trailer for Community’s Resurrected Season Six

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    community trailer

    This week Yahoo premiered a trailer for the sixth season of the cult comedy sitcom, Community, the absurdist, pop-culture referencing show about a local college starring Joel McHale. Originally part of Must See TV with The Office, Parks & Recreation and 30 Rock, NBC cancelled Community (several times) and its hardcore fans thought they’d never get the “six seasons and a movie” they hoped for every year the show lived on the ratings bubble.

    While many hoped Netflix, Amazon or another network would come to Community’s rescue, few predicted its savior would be Yahoo, which had yet to start its own streaming service. While the show has lost some cast members, including Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, Jonathan Banks and John Oliver, season six will have new characters played by Keith David and Paget Brewster.

    While the show’s surprising resurrection and trailer is great news to its fanbase, it also highlights some major evolutions for the television industry. For one, it is the coming out party for Yahoo! Screen, which is using Community’s beloved cult status as a foothold to break into the increasingly-crowded streaming mediascape, much like Netflix did with Arrested Development in 2013. With its capital and buzzworthy CEO, Yahoo is poised to become a major player.

    For another, it shows that Amazon’s strategy was most likely not a fluke. Yahoo is joining other large companies not originally based in filmmaking and TV in providing original content online. It won’t be long before these corporate names are as synonymous with Emmys and ratings as the broadcast and cable networks.

    Finally, it’s another feather in the cap for vocal fanbases, who are succeeding more and more with bringing back their favorite shows with their passionate outcries. With more and more companies entering the TV game and having a lot more to prove, suddenly these TV viewers are finding themselves with more power than they ever expected. Now that’s community.

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    March 4, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3285

  • Netflix Announces Premiere Dates for Orange is the New Black and Wet Hot American Summer

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    wet hot american summer

    Already binge-watched all of House of Cards’ season three and find yourself scrambling for more streaming content to devour? Don’t worry—Netflix has you covered. The media giant announced this week the announce dates for three of their original series, as well as several other projects.

    The first premiere announced is June 5 for Sense8, the anticipated series by The Matrix creators Andy and Lana Wachowski, which recently made headlines with news that it would be incorporating footage of live births. It will be followed by Orange is the New Black—Netflix’s critically and audience-adored original series that isn’t House of Cards—which will overload FCC-protected bandwidths on June 12. Shortly after that, appropriately amidst a hot summer, a star-studded series sequel to Wet Hot American Summer will debut on July 17.

    Netflix has been making waves for some time now in its push to become a major league original content creator on the same level as television networks and even movie studios. It looks to be living up to that potential already this year with these original series as well as the Canadian thriller Between, the comedy specials Chris D’Elia: Incorrigible and Jen Kirkman: I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine), and the documentary What Happened, Miss Simone. With a ton more content currently being produced by Netflix, it’s only a matter of time before every week brings about a new premiere, so clear your schedules while you can.

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    March 3, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3359

  • Spielberg’s U-2 Movie Casts U2 Daughter

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    eve hewsonSt. James Place, a historical spy thriller, has quite the pedigree background behind it. Steven Spielberg will be directing a screenplay by Matt Charman and the Coen Brothers. Its cast includes Alan Alda, Amy Ryan, and frequent Spielberg collaborator Tom Hanks. Also included in the cast is Eve Hewson, 23, a rising star from Ireland who also happens to be the daughter of music legend Bono.

    Hewson studied acting at the New York Film Academy in 2005 and has since found roles in music videos, thrillers and romantic comedies. She currently co-stars with Clive Owen in the Cinemax medical drama The Knick.

    Spielberg’s hotly-anticipated film takes place in 1960 and stars Hanks as real-life lawyer James Donovan. Donovan was tasked with negotiating the release of a pilot shot down in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. Filming commenced last Fall in Hewson’s current hometown—Brooklyn, New York. Ironically, the plane shot down in both real life and in the movie was a U-2 spy plane, U-2 inspiring the name of Hewson’s father’s legendary rock band.

    Dream of co-starring with Tom Hanks in a Steven Spielberg film one day? Check out New York Film Academy’s acting school program today!

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    March 2, 2015 • Acting, Entertainment News, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5812

  • This Dress Is Showing Everyone the Power of Color

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    the dress

    By now, the only excuse for not knowing about #TheDress would be if your Internet’s been out for the past twelve hours. While some viral memes are said to be breaking the Internet, this one is breaking people’s brains—a grainy photo of a dress is splitting the world into those who see it as white and gold and those who see it as blue and black.

    Rumor is that the dress is, in fact, blue and black, but those in the white-and-gold camp believe this is some sort of truth-masking conspiracy, like the lone gunman and the moon landing. Wired has even published a scientific account explaining what’s going on here—it involves the cones and rods in our eyes that receive color and translate images in the visual cortex for the brain. Because of this, sometimes our brains can be tricked, which isn’t exactly news—who hasn’t been dumbfounded by optical illusions like this?

    But besides taking attention away from llama drama, #TheDress controversy has another big benefit—it’s showing everyone just how powerful and important the use of color can be in an image. The students in New York Film Academy’s filmmaking school and cinematography school programs know this all too well—one of the first things they learn is how to properly white balance their digital cameras. White balancing calibrates a camera to read white light as pure white, allowing the rest of the spectrum to fall properly into place. An improperly white balanced image may leave whites looking blue (or gold.) Filmmakers may intentionally warp the colors of their image. Blues can create a downbeat tone, much like minor keys in music. Orange and Reds are considered warm and can be used for the opposite effect in filmmaking.

    It’s not just filmmakers who benefit from playing with the science of color. Our students in New York Film Academy’s graphic design school programs learn how to change the way we perceive images with Photoshop and other software—tools that can break down an image into its very makeup of reds, blues and greens. Right now, they’re the ones everybody is looking to for a final, definite answer to #TheDress question. Of course, we’re all going to listen to our guts—and our eyes—no matter what they tell us.

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    February 27, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3572

  • Dr. Katz Is Going Live for Its 20th Anniversary

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    Twenty years ago, the animated series Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist aired on Comedy Central and began six seasons of squiggly cartoon avatars of leading standup comics complaining to the ultra-dry shrink. Created by and starring Jonathan Katz, the show has maintained its cult status ever since, as well introducing the world to popular voiceover artists H. Jon Benjamin and Laura Silverman.

    To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the show will have a special live performance at the Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival in Austin, Texas. Katz will hold staged therapy sessions with today’s leading comics, including Andy Kindler, Emo Philips, Maria Bamford, Dom Irrera, Dana Gould, and Eddie Pepitone as well as surprise guests.

    While it’s been fifteen years since the show produced new episodes, its legacy lives on today. In addition to Katz, the show was primarily produced by Loren Bouchard, who went on to create the equally-squiggly animated series, Home Movies. Today, he runs one of the most critically acclaimed animated shows on television, the Fox sitcom Bob’s Burgers.

    Interested in working in animated TV? Check out New York Film Academy’s animation school program and screenwriting school program today!

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    February 26, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3776

  • Telltale Is Making an Interactive TV-Video Game Hybrid

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    tell tale got

    Telltale Games, a premier video game studio known for its choose-your-own-adventure titles, announced it will be merging its specialty product with a live-action television show. It’s a potentially big step for both media, though a natural one for the company, which has found huge success adapting popular works like The Walking Dead, Fables and Game of Thrones.

    Their games, like the television shows some of them are based on, are structured and released episodically, each costing a small fee and consisting of a few hours of the overall story. Telltale’s The Walking Dead has so far released two seasons of five episodes each, which can also be purchased in bulk with season passes. Their games consist of top-end graphics and numerous cut scenes,–in effect, a TV show you watch but also control, making conversation and action choices for a playable protagonist. Telltale is known for making some of these choices strong moral dilemmas, sucking the player/viewer into a storyline against their will. Likewise these choices typically carry from episode to episode, season to season.

    Telltale’s new project will be both a video game and a live-action television series, with the same characters and storylines. Both will be released an episode at a time and depending on the choices made in the game, the television show may lead down a different path for the viewer. Conversely, watching the show first will affect the storyline of the game.

    Combining two separate media into a single interactive experience could be a groundbreaking event for visual storytelling, and only time will tell how successful it is executed and received. Plot details are unknown, but with Lionsgate producing the project, there’s a good chance it will see the light of day sooner than later. With mainstream Virtual Reality just around the corner, it might not be too long before people are living out entire fictional storylines from the comfort of their couch.

    Now is the time to get into game design. Check out our game design school programs here.

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    February 25, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3775

  • Emmys Announce New Rules for TV Awards

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    Not content to let the Oscars get all the press, the Academy of Television has announced new rule changes and categories to their award ceremony, shaking up the game for some of the most buzzed about TV shows. The rule changes are a response to a diversifying mediascape as well as rumblings of discontent with perceived loopholes and miscategorization in previous years’ ceremonies.

    Six major rule changes were announced:

    1. The number of series allowed in Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Drama Series has been increased from six to seven. This is a response to the greater number of content coming from more and more sources, though seven still may be not enough for some.
    2. The definition of “comedy” and “drama” are no longer based on content, but on running time. Any show over the length of thirty minutes is classified as a drama while any show less than thirty minutes is considered a comedy. This is seen as a blow to hour-long comedies like Orange is the New Black as well as dramas in general, as it expands the competition. Petitions can be submitted to move a show into another category, but it must be approved by an appointed Industry Panel.
    3. The Variety Series category is now split into two—between Outstanding Variety Sketch and Outstanding Variety Talk—to differentiate shows like The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. In effect, this doubles the nominees, and could be a boon to smaller shows in both categories like Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Portlandia.
    4. The field of voters in each category’s final round has been expanded and requires voters to watch the content online before submitting their votes.
    5. The definition of a “Guest Actor” has been specified to be actors who appear in less than 50% of a season’s episodes, excluding many shows’ tendencies to have a recurring guest star all season long. Roles such as these would now be considered in Lead or Supporting Actor categories.
    6. “Mini-Series” has been redefined as “Limited Series” and excludes shows whose characters or storylines carry over into subsequent mini-series or seasons. This will affect shows like Sherlock, which are currently considered mini-series, as well as anthology seasoned shows like True Detective and American Horror Story, which fit the new Limited Series parameters.
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    February 24, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3365

  • Independent Spirit Awards Liked ‘Birdman’ Too

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    birdman

    The big story about this year’s Oscars winners may very well be what else they’ve won—namely, the Independent Spirit Awards. The ceremony, as usual, was held the day before the Academy Awards, and rewarded films with smaller budgets and not supported by Hollywood’s largest studios. The show typically has a looser, more fun vibe where its celebrities mingle and goof off, similar to the Golden Globes. This year’s show was hosted by Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell.

    Like the Academy Awards, Birdman walked away with Best Feature. However, in one of the biggest differences from the Oscars, Richard Linklater was awarded Best Director for Boyhood. Julianne Moore, Patricia Arquette, and J.K. Simmons all foreshadowed their Oscar wins with acting awards, though Michael Keaton scored the win he couldn’t get Sunday for his starring role in Birdman. Citizenfour presaged its Best Documentary Oscar with a Spirit Award win in the same category. Even the Best Cinematography and Best Editing awards mirrored the Oscars, going to Birdman and Whiplash, respectively. Best Foreign Film winner Ida also got its Spirit Award equivalent for Best International Film.

    With nearly every major winner of the Spirit Awards going on to win their categories at the Academy Awards this weekend, the Oscars overwhelmingly went to films not directly produced or financed by the major studios. Is this a sign of the times, a decentralization of film’s powerhouse auteurs, or just a fluke? Evidence seems to point to the former—after all, five years ago Spirit winner The Hurt Locker beat out Avatar for the Best Picture, but only time will tell. Basically, let’s start the 2016 Oscar predictions!

    Here’s a full list of the winners:

    BEST FEATURE

    Birdman
 Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole

    BEST MALE LEAD

    Michael Keaton, Birdman

    BEST FEMALE LEAD

    Julianne Moore, Still Alice

    BEST DIRECTOR

    Richard Linklater, Boyhood

    BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

    Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

    BEST SUPPORTING MALE

    J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

    BEST SCREENPLAY

    Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler

    BEST DOCUMENTARY

    Citizenfour
 Director/Producer: Laura Poitras

    Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky

    BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

    Ida (Poland), Director: Pawel Pawlikowski

    BEST FIRST FEATURE

    Nightcrawler
 Director: Dan Gilroy; Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak

    BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

    Justin Simien, Dear White People

    BEST EDITING

    Tom Cross, Whiplash

    BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

    Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman

    JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD

    Land Ho!

    Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens; Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy

    LENSCRAFTERS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
  The Kill Team, Director: Dan Krauss

    PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
 Chris Chison

    KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
 H., Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia

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    February 23, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4141