Michael Kunselman
Author archives

  • Colonel Jack Jacobs Holds Lecture for New York Film Academy (NYFA) Los Angeles Veteran-Students

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    On November 15, 2018 New York Film Academy Los Angeles veteran-students gathered in the NYFA Theater, for a special lecture from Medal of Honor Recipient and appointed Chair of NYFA’s Veterans Advancement Program Colonel Jack Jacobs.

    Colonel Jacobs served in the U.S. Military for more than 20 years and his gallantry in Vietnam earned him the Medal of Honor—the nation’s highest combat honor—as well as two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. Colonel Jacobs is a military strategist and on-air analyst for NBC and MSNBC News.

    Colonel Jacobs’ mission at NYFA is to support the Academy’s veteran-students’ transition from the military to exciting careers in media and entertainment.

    The evening began with a screening of the documentary about Colonel Jacobs that recounted the events that took place during the Vietnam War and Colonel Jacobs’ dauntless actions that later earned him the Medal of Honor.

    Honorable Col. Jack Jacobs (MoH Recipient) with NYFA veteran-students.

    During the talk, Colonel Jacobs discussed his personal experience in transitioning from the military to civilian life and offered his advice to the veterans in attendance. The Colonel’s personal experiences, his inspiration, and at times his wit, touched several pungent topics. He emphasized his belief that the military is the only place that will give an 18-year-old man or woman a large amount of responsibility and this prepares them – more than most 18-year old who have not served – for nearly any career and circumstance. “An employer who hires a veteran, gains a huge benefit due to the work ethic and skills that they learned and honed while serving our great Country” stated Jacobs. He spoke on how veterans should walk into a job interview confident that with their military background, they know both how to follow and how to lead.

    The evening concluded with Colonel Jacobs taking photos and talking with the NYFA veteran-students as well as other vets in attendance from Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME), and the Veterans Affairs (VA).

    It was truly a great experience and very inspirational evening for everyone in attendance.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    December 6, 2018 • Community Highlights, Guest Speakers, Veterans • Views: 796

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Collaborates with Hire Heroes USA

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) Department of Veteran Services (DVS) had the pleasure of once again partnering with Hire Heroes USA (HHUSA) to host a daylong exclusive employment workshop for NYFA’s veteran students. NYFA veteran-students and veteran-alums participated in the event as well as a select group of members from Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME).

    Hire Heroes USA is a registered nonprofit that provides free career coaching and job sourcing to those transitioning out of the US military; the organization assists veterans and spouses with finding employment as well as providing career counseling and job sourcing. 

    The critical elements of the workshop focused on a practicum in resume formatting, networking tactics, and how to fully prepare for an interview. Jamie Rimphanli and Amy Dodson, representatives from Hire Heroes USA, led the workshop and shared valuable insight on navigating the job search process.

    Hire Heroes USA

    Jamie Rimphanli (second from left) and Amy Dodson (far right) meet with veterans from the employment workshop.

    Additionally, industry professionals joined the event during the day for a moderated Q&A session. Panelists represented Mattel Industries, Warner Brothers, Paramount Studios, Legendary Entertainment, and other top entertainment companies. These experts discussed how they got their start in the industry and provided advice to the attendees on kickstarting their careers.

    Following the panel, the veterans had the opportunity to network with the industry professionals and the informative day concluded at a local restaurant for a mixer that provided a more intimate setting in which to build contacts.

    Of the event, US Navy Veteran and NYFA BFA Producing student Jonathan Garza remarked, “The Hire Heroes Workshop gave me a lot of valuable information that I will take into the job search once I finish my degree. This is a wonderful organization that all veterans looking to get into the workforce should utilize.

    New York Film Academy has been privileged to enroll more than 1500 veteran students and military dependents at our campuses since 2009. In addition to educating veterans with hands-on, intensive programs using state-of-the-art equipment, NYFA’s Division of Veterans Services (DVS), led by NYFA Chair of Veterans Advancement Program Colonel Jack Jacobs, has been able to bring unique opportunities to its veterans students while supporting the veteran community.

    The NYFA Department of Veteran Services is extremely grateful to Hire Heroes USA for providing this wonderful opportunity provided to NYFA veteran-students and looks forward to future collaborations! 

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    September 7, 2018 • Community Highlights, Veterans • Views: 844

  • “Unbroken” Sequel Screened For New York Film Academy (NYFA) Veterans

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    On August 13, 2018, the New York Film Academy’s Department of Veteran Services, was honored to host an advanced screening of the next chapter in the Louis Zamperini story, Unbroken: Path to Redemption. The film is the sequel to the 2014 film, Unbroken, directed by Academy Award Winner®, Angelina Jolie, and hits theaters later this year. Following the screening, producers Matthew Baer and Luke Zamperini, son of Louis Zamperini, treated the audience to a Q&A moderated by Navy veteran and New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Acting Alumnus, Ron Ringo.

    The event was part of the NYFA DVS series of events that includes guest speakers, film screenings, master classes, workshops, and employment trainings — all which promote industry engagement for NYFA’s veteran-students and the wider veteran communities in Los Angeles, New York City, and Miami (South Beach).

    Unbroken Q&A

    Photo Caption: (left to right) Ron Ringo, Matthew Baer, and Luke Zamperini discuss their experience in creating Unbroken: Path to Redemption.

    Baer and Zamperini shared their experiences creating the film, as well as stories about Louis Zamperini himself. With having only 20 days to shoot the entire film, Baer addressed the challenges that he faced along with sharing a lot of valuable information for aspiring filmmakers. Zamperini shared stories of his father and explained how powerful it is seeing his father’s inspirational story depicted on the big screen for everyone to experience. Being on set and seeing his family members being portrayed by actors was incredibly surreal to him. 

    BFA Producing student and US Navy veteran Jonathan Garza commented, “Louis Zamperini’s inspirational and powerful story should be seen by everyone. He is a true American Hero.” He added, “I also enjoyed hearing from Matthew and his insight from years of producing. He mentioned that he still runs into the same problems producing studio films that he did when he was in film school, but on a larger scale.”

    Luke Zamperini is the President and CEO of the Louis Zamperini Youth Ministries Foundation.  Matthew Baer’s other producing credits include The Hurricane starring Denzel Washington, City by the Sea with Robert De Niro and James Franco, and the first chapter in the Louis Zamperini story, Unbroken — among many other successful films. 

    The New York Film Academy thanks Matthew Baer and Luke Zamperini for their generosity and willingness to share their stories and to help students pursuing careers in the film industry.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    August 21, 2018 • Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 1119

  • New York Film Academy Division of Veterans Services Welcomes Casting Director Robert McGee, C.S.A as Guest Speaker

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Division of Veterans Services (DVS) recently welcomed NYFA’s veteran students and alumni, together with members of Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME), to a screening of the hit animated series Rick and Morty. Following the screening, the audience was treated to a Q&A with casting director extraordinaire, Robert McGee, C.S.A.

    The event was part of the NYFA DVS series of events that includes guest speakers, film screenings, master classes, workshops, and employment trainings — all of which promote industry engagement for NYFA’s veteran students, as well as the wider veteran communities, in Los Angeles, New York City, and South Beach (Miami).

    In addition to Rick and Morty, McGee has cast such hit shows as The Cleveland Show and Wizards of Waverly Place, as well as successful films such as The Virgin Suicides and World’s Greatest Dad, which starred Robin Williams. McGee is currently casting the newest rendition of The Adams Family, which stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Oscar Isaac, Nick Kroll, and Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron.

    With over 20 years of experience in the casting business in both live action and animation, McGee enjoyed sharing valuable insight on the casting process for both live action and voice over work. McGee is very passionate about the casting business and enjoys meeting actors.

    “The Q&A with Mr. McGee was very insightful,” said NYFA BFA Producing student and U.S. Navy veteran Jonathan Garza. “As a Producing student it was very informative, learning the complexities of what a casting director goes through and how intricate the casting process is.”

    The New York Film Academy thanks Robert McGee for his generosity and willingness to help veterans pursuing careers in the film industry.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • Student Veterans Organization Hosts Open Mic Night at Local VFW

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
    veterans open mic

    NYFA Veterans who showcased their talents gather together after the event”

    On Friday, April 21, the Student Veterans Organization (SVO) of the New York Film Academy hosted an Open Mic night at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Ship 8103 in Burbank, CA. The Open Mic night provided an excellent opportunity for veterans to more deeply develop camaraderie and fellowship.

    The VFW eagerly supported the NYFA SVO event, which brought many younger Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to the VFW. The NYFA SVO President Vincent Cugno, who is a BFA Acting student at the College, hosted the evening and brought together current fellow NYFA veteran students, and alumni, who wanted to showcase their talents. Gino Filiponi, NYFA Acting for Film student, stated “It was great to share some laughs with fellow veterans.”

    Seasoned comic Travis Frazee—who has showcased at local comedy clubs—was the headliner for the evening. Frazee, currently a student in NYFA’s BFA Program, has performed routines at venues including the “Ha Ha Comedy Club,” “Flappers,” and “The Comedy Store.”

    This was the first of many events that the NYFA Student Veteran Organization will be organizing. Other activities include community service engagement, BBQ’s, sports nights, and more that are all designed to bring veteran students together.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    April 28, 2017 • Acting, Veterans • Views: 4046

  • New York Film Academy Welcomes Newest Incoming Veteran Student Class

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    The New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) is proud to welcome a new group of veteran students, many of which are transitioning from the military and into higher education for the first time. All new veterans were greeted in their first week with veteran-specific orientations conducted by the NYFA Veteran Services Offices at each of the three US campuses (New York City, Los Angeles, and South Beach) that are designed specifically to accommodate their diverse set of needs and help to set them up for success. Several Veteran Service Organizations (VSO’s) from the local areas sent representatives to educate the new cohort of veteran students on the benefits, resources, and programs available to them at NYFA and in the external veteran community.

    veterans in ny

    New York: New veteran students in New York are excited to begin their academic journey.

    In New York, representatives from The Mission Continues, American Corporate Partners, and Black Veterans for Social Justice provided important information to the veterans about initiatives that are offered by their organizations. These services include professional development assistance, emergency housing and legal assistance, as well as volunteer opportunities for those looking to give back to their communities.

    Veteran Services Coordinator, Christopher Paparis announced some new additions for veterans on campus, including the recent opening of the on-campus Veterans Lounge, and a new Fellowship position exclusively available to NYFA veterans with the NYC Department of Veteran Services and NYC City Service Corps.

    In Los Angeles and South Beach, Veteran Services Coordinators spoke to new NYFA veteran students about the many services and resources that the NYFA Veteran Services Offices provide, such as military benefits advising, transitioning information, the School’s Veterans Advancement Program and essentials of student life on campus. A representative from the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) came to speak about the various WWP programs and extended an invitation for the veterans to join the organization.

    veterans los angeles

    Los Angeles: New veteran students at the Los Angeles campus pose for a group photo at the veteran orientation

    Army veteran and One-Year Filmmaking student, Corey Bourque said, “The LA Veterans team were very helpful in the orientation. They went above and beyond to make us feel welcomed and helped with questions. I also enjoyed learning about all of the programs and resources available from the Wounded Warrior Project. I was unaware that they offered so much. I am proud to be a veteran attending the New York Film Academy and look forward to my time here.”

    NYFA is honored to serve our nations heroes and are happy to assist them as they begin their academic journey and their careers within the film industry.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    February 16, 2017 • Community Highlights • Views: 3658

  • LA Rams Welcome New York Film Academy Veterans

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    On Sunday, December 11, the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts Veteran Students enjoyed an afternoon at the LA Memorial Coliseum to watch the Los Angeles Rams host the Atlanta Falcons. This opportunity was made possible by a generous ticket donation from the LA Rams organization, which is a proud supporter of military servicemembers and veterans.

    la rams

    Veterans enjoyed the afternoon experiencing the game — and simply being with their fellow veterans. A few of the NYFA veteran students stated that this was the first live NFL game that they’ve ever attended. Veteran Services Coordinator Michael Kunselman, a U.S. Navy veteran, stated, “It feels great to be able to provide these social opportunities to our veteran students… and seeing how much they enjoyed the game feels great. The NYFA courses are intensive and require a huge amount of focus, time, and energy; this is a great way for everyone to blow off steam and relax together.”

    The LA Rams fell to the Atlanta Falcons with a final score of 42-14.

    The New York Film Academy is extremely grateful for the support that the Los Angeles Rams organization provided to our military, and to the veteran students at NYFA.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    December 20, 2016 • Community Highlights, Veterans • Views: 3402

  • NYFA Veteran Students’ Sports Nights: Veterans Week

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    The Veterans Day “Week” of celebrations in honor of the Nation’s Servicemembers began last week at the LA campus of the New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA).

    nyfa veterans

    New York Film Academy students enjoying the Los Angeles Clippers game supported by the Clipper’s ‘Military Mondays’ Program.

    Thanks to a generous donation by the Los Angeles Clippers to NYFA veteran students, approximately 25 students enjoyed an evening of veteran camaraderie and fun, while watching the Clippers defeat the Detroit Pistons by a score of 114-82.

    ‘Military Mondays’ are held on the first Monday game of every month during the regular season. The games are a small way for the Clippers organization to say ‘thank you’ to the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Services, and to offer appreciation for their sacrifices in serving the country. During the game, they pay recognition to a ‘Hero of the Game’ in which they honor a servicemember on the court and share their story.

    NYFA student and U.S. Army veteran, Maurice Roberson had the honor and privilege of singing the National Anthem in front of approximately 19,000 fans on Monday night. Maurice is currently pursuing his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Acting for Film.

    The following evening, the Los Angeles Lakers hosted 20 NYFA veteran students for their “Salute to Our Troops” to enjoy the matchup between the LA Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks. At the start of the 2nd quarter the LA Lakers spotlighted the NYFA veterans on the jumbo tron, as the crowd cheered and applauded our veterans for their service.

    Retired Army veteran and Photography Department student Vance Pritchett had this to say about the event; “Being at the game surrounded by my fellow veterans and classmates made me feel greatly appreciated. Being publicly recognized for my time in service let me know that the time that I was serving my country away from home is very much appreciated.”

    The New York Film Academy is extremely grateful for the opportunity that the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers have provided to our veteran students. The NYFA Offices of Veteran Services will continue to provide professional and social opportunities to the NYFA veteran students.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    November 15, 2016 • Community Highlights, Veterans • Views: 2942

  • NYFA South Beach Sponsors Miami Web Fest & Vet Fest

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
    juan duenas

    New York Film Academy Veteran Services Coordinator, Juan Duenas on the red carpet at the Miami Vet Fest.

    The South Beach, Miami campus of the New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) was a key sponsor of the 3rd Annual Miami Web Festival, and Miami VET Festival, which were simultaneously held recently in the “Magic City.”

    The Miami Web Fest is a four-day event showcasing the hottest new web series content from around the world. The festival is designed to create a work-play environment, attracting Miami’s vast and multicultural community of arts enthusiasts.

    During the Miami Web Fest, NYFA Filmmaking instructor Herschel Faber taught an exclusive Master Class for interested filmmakers. The workshop provided an overview of the importance of the screenplay, tips and tricks for making filmmaking dollars go further, shot framing, cinematography, and working with talent. The session provided a great overview of filmmaking with a concentration on utilizing storytelling in a visual and dynamic way. Professor Faber, who teaches Filmmaking at NYFA South Beach, brought a wealth of experience as he has spent the last 16 years working as a writer, director and producer of film and TV.

    The event also featured the VET Fest, which is a division of the Miami Web Fest designed to showcase films and web series with military themes or films created by military filmmakers. Bryan Thompson, a US Army Veteran and award-winning filmmaker created the VET Fest. Veteran filmmakers from across the country met at the event to showcase their films. As part of the support of the Vet Fest, NYFA’s Veteran Service Division provided a Filmmaking Program Scholarship, which was awarded to the veteran who was selected in the category of the “Best Film in the Festival.” The winner has the opportunity to use the scholarship at any of NYFAs domestic campuses.

    New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts, and the NYFA Veterans Service Division, are proud supporters of the Miami Web Fest and the VET Fest, which brought together hundreds of aspiring filmmakers including many service members.

    For more information on NYFA’s South Beach campus, please see miami.nyfa.edu.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 21, 2016 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 3447

  • NYFA Welcomes Incoming Student Veterans

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    The New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts recently welcomed its newest incoming class of military veterans and dependents to the Los Angeles, New York, and South Beach campuses.

    nyfa la vets

    In an effort to continuously support veterans, the Veterans Services team at each campus hosted a specific orientation for incoming veteran students. The orientation focused on helping veterans to acclimate to the campus community. The Vet team staff members provided an overview of the services they provide including assisting with GI bill benefits, housing, VA healthcare and also invited community partners that serve veterans to speak to the group.

    Several of community partners included the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Soldiers Project and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Each of the representatives spoke about how the organizations support veterans and the unique services that they provide. Freddie Basnight, Army Veteran and Acting student stated, “The veteran orientation was a very informative and supportive event for military veterans. It was great to meet fellow veterans and know that the College truly supports veterans.”

    veterans orientation

    A representative from the VA healthcare system briefed the group about VA healthcare benefits and veterans were able to enroll in the VA healthcare system on the spot. Many of the veterans stayed after the orientation to network amongst each other and speak with NYFA representatives and veteran community partners. We would like to welcome all of the newest military veterans and dependents to the New York Film Academy campus community.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 3, 2016 • Community Highlights, Veterans • Views: 3458