John Powers
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  • New York Film Academy Hosts 2017 Writers Guild Foundation Veterans Writing Retreat

    katie buckland

    Opening remarks by Katie Buckland, Executive Director of the Writers Guild Foundation”

    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) was privileged to host the 2017 Writers Guild Foundation (WGF)Veterans Writing Retreat’ at the College’s campus in Burbank, CA on April 29 and 30. NYFA’s media content team and an all-veteran student crew filmed the event, which provided the vet students studying Filmmaking, Documentary, and Producing at NYFA with the valuable hands-on experience of working a large-scale production event.

    Now in its seventh year, the Veterans Writing Project pairs military veterans who are interested in writing for film and television with mentors who are members of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW). More than 75 veterans from all branches of the military and across the country— including 12 NYFA students and alumni — participated in the retreat.

    The mentors included seasoned film and TV writers such as Peter Casey (“Frasier”), David Isaacs (“Frasier”), Ken Levine (“M*A*S*H*”), and Ashley Edward Miller (“X-Men: First Class”). The two-day retreat consisted of workshops on developing story, structure, characters and culminated with a presentation on the elements of screenwriting from noted film writer Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips,” “The Hunger Games”).

    The Writers Guild Foundation (WGF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit is associated with the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and supports programs that positively impact and empower unique groups and communities of creative individuals who want to enter the entertainment industry as writers.

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    Veterans take part in a session about developing story, structure, and characters

    “The Writers Guild Foundation retreat for Veterans was an informative and extremely positive experience for me. The mentors were all fantastic and forthcoming. The staff made us feel welcomed and comfortable. I am grateful I had the opportunity and would recommend it to any other aspiring veteran writers,” said Adam Teitelbaum, US Navy, MFA Screenwriting student (BFA Screenwriting alumnus)

    The Veterans Advancement Program team at NYFA, which facilitated the production team tasked with filming the event, considered that aspect of the WGF event a huge success. Ed Gomez, MFA Documentary student exclaimed, “I had one of the greatest experiences and opportunities this past weekend at the New York Film Academy. As a Marine Corps Veteran and current NYFA Documentary student, I had the privilege of being part of the film crew responsible for filming the Writers Guild Foundation Veteran Writing Project. Not only did the experiences while taping this event reinforce what is being in taught in class, but more importantly I had the honor and prestige of meeting and hearing from some of greatest minds in the film industry. I hope to continue to be part of this experience next year.”

    May 9, 2017 • Acting, Veterans • Views: 1417

  • NYFA Hosts Veterans for Exclusive Game Design Workshop

    The New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) facilitated an exclusive, hands on Game Design workshop for service members and veterans that were interested in pursuing an education in the field of game design and game engineering. Veterans from across Southern California, including Los Angeles and San Diego, met at the College’s campus located in Burbank, CA.

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    “Veterans working together to build a game during the workshop”

    Several veteran nonprofits including Veterans in Film & Television (VFT), Team Push (TPU), and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) collaborated with NYFA to support the workshop. The special event focused on how to break into the game design industry. As part of the activity veterans participating worked together to build games.

    Bryan Parent, Founder of Team Push, and a workshop participant, stated, “These types of events are important to our veterans; it is an opportunity to learn how their military skills can be used in a civilian setting, where they can work together as a team with other veterans and co-workers, and to break apart any assumptions we have leaving the military, or what others think we are coming out of the military. NYFA put all of that into an easily digested workshop that left all of Team Push Up’s members asking for more.”

    The College’s Veterans Services Department organized the event; Chris Swain, NYFA’s Game Design Department Chair facilitated the workshop. Swain is a seasoned game designer and game design engineer, who has authored 50+ games for Activision, EA, Sony, Microsoft, Disney and many others.

    “The New York Film Academy has a long history of supporting veterans and while this workshop was geared towards those interested in learning more about the burgeoning game design industry, the occasion also provided an opportunity for veterans to network with each other and be around those with similar life experiences,” said Eric Brown, US Navy Veteran and Veterans Coordinator at NYFA.

    May 5, 2017 • Game Design, Veterans • Views: 1979

  • NYFA Veteran Students March in Veterans Day Parades

    Veterans Day 2016 was a very special occasion for the New York Film Academy (NYFA) as dozens of veteran students and their families marched in Veterans Day Parades in the three major cities where NYFA has campuses— Los Angeles, New York City and Miami.

    The NYFA student veterans in New York City marched along with nearly 20,000 participants in the 97th annual parade, which is the largest Veterans Day Parade in the country. The grand marshals of the parade were military servicemembers who also worked at Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks.

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    New York Film Academy Veterans and Their Families Marching in the Largest Veterans Day Parade in the Country

    Mayor Bill de Blasio, the 109th Mayor of New York City, also marched in the parade alongside representatives from the newly formed NYC Department of Veterans Services (DVS), including Brigadier General (ret.) Loree Sutton, MD, the Commissioner for DVS. NYFA vet students were invited by Commissioner Sutton to march with the DVS contingency and the Mayor.

    Students in Los Angeles joined the inaugural parade in Los Angeles, which was held on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus and was led by former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. The event featured live entertainment, a car show, children’s play area and games for the entire family.

    In South Florida, communities honored veterans with events in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Student veterans marched in the 19th annual Veterans Day Parade in Coconut Grove. These events also featured a community gathering, live music and food.

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    New York Film Academy Veterans and Their Families Marching in the Largest Veterans Day Parade in the Country

    “The parade was a great opportunity for NYFA veterans to come together to honor those whom they served with as well as veterans from all generations,” said NYFA Veterans Outreach Coordinator, Eric Brown, US Navy. “They were also able to feel the support from their communities for their service.”

    NYFA is thankful to support these annual events and is proud to serve military veterans and service members in their pursuit of a world-class education in filmmaking—and related disciplines—through its Veterans Advancement Program, which is Chaired by Colonel Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient.

    November 18, 2016 • Community Highlights, Veterans • Views: 1383

  • NYFA Student Veterans Attend Padres / Dodgers Rivalry Game

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    Veteran students presented Mr. Coy with a NYFA “signature bag” as appreciation for the wonderful experience he provided them

    Over this year’s Labor Day weekend, student veterans from the New York Film Academy were invited by the San Diego Padres Military Division to attend a game free of charge against their rival Los Angeles Dodgers. The San Diego Padres are highly supportive of our military servicemembers and veterans throughout the season and the theme for Sunday’s game was an Air Force Appreciation Day.

    padresNYFA veteran students also had the opportunity to join Matt Coy, Senior Director of Game Day Presentation in the production booth for pre-game production meetings. The students were able to sit side by side with the production staff and learn how the production of the game works first hand.

    Ruddy Cano, President of the NYFA Veterans Student Association, thanked Mr. Coy and the NYFA Veterans Support Office team for the opportunity to be behind the scenes at the San Digeo Padre’s game. Rudy stated, “It has been an outstanding experience to not only learn what it takes to produce a live major league game but how our training at NYFA actually corresponds to the real world.”

    We are grateful for the support that the San Diego Padres provide to our military and the veteran students attending the New York Film Academy.

    September 17, 2015 • Community Highlights, Student and Alumni Spotlights, Veterans • Views: 2484

  • NYFA Hosts Wounded Warrior Event with Guest Tom Sizemore

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    The New York Film Academy had the unique opportunity to host injured service members and their families from the Wounded Warrior Project for a daylong event at its state-of-art Burbank facilities. The events featured a tour of the New York Film Academy’s campus, a filmmaking and acting workshop taught by the Film Academy’s esteemed faculty. In addition to the workshops, NYFA screened True Romance followed by a Q&A with award-winning actor Tom Sizemore. In addition to his role on True Romance, Sizemore has appeared in such films as Heat, Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down and more.

    The warriors and their families had the opportunity to participate in an acting or filmmaking workshop. Those interested in the acting were put in front of a camera, and directed by a NYFA instructor on simple scenes while learning the fundamentals of acting. Many of them shared personal stories, which applied to being emotionally available in their work. They learned essential tools of the industry and how to translate their life experiences within their craft.

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    Warriors interested in filmmaking learned about the aspects of a film set, the qualities that make a good director and employment in the film industry. They also had the opportunity for intensive hands-on experience working with state-of-the-art cameras and equipment. They were asked to work as a team to direct, operate cameras, act, and shoot a scene from an existing film.

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    Actor Tom Sizemore at the New York Film Academy

    After the workshop, NYFA screened True Romance followed by a Q&A with award-winning actor Tom Sizemore. During the Q&A, Mr. Sizemore spoke to the more than 70 NYFA veterans and wounded warriors in attendance about his upbringing, the importance of his family, and military service as he has two brothers currently serving in the military. He was open and honest about his experiences as an actor, and the personal struggles he has endured throughout his career. Veterans in audience were able to ask Mr. Sizemore questions as well as those students attending classes at the New York and Australian campuses as it was live streamed. Mr. Sizemore stayed afterwards to take photos with many of the veterans and their families. They were extremely excited to meet him, and expressed their sincere gratitude for his attendance and his support shown to the veteran community.

    The New York Film Academy is appreciative of the Wounded Warrior Project and Tom Sizemore for collaborating on this event to support injured service members and their families.

     

    May 8, 2015 • Acting, Community Highlights, Guest Speakers • Views: 4001