Robert Cosnahan
Author archives

  • Q&A with NYFA Documentary Filmmaking Alum Anna Khromova


    The boom microphone first appeared on a film set in 1929 and since then it has been an indispensable part of audio film production. Though it looks simple, (holding a boom mic out of frame, making sure it doesn’t fall on someone’s head, etc.) operating a boom mic requires technique and precision. Boom Operators work closely with production sound mixers by operating boom microphones, selecting and placing radio microphones, and maintaining the audio equipment. New York Film Academy (NYFA) 6-Week Documentary Filmmaking alum-turned-faculty Anna Khromova has been working as a boom operator since completing the program. Since her time as a student, her projects include work alongside notable names including Neil Patrick Harris and Gigi Hadid.

    Anna Khromova spoke with NYFA about her role as a boom mic operator, her work out routine and what it takes to work on set with boom mics.


    New York Film Academy (NYFA): What brought you to New York?

    Anna Khromova (AK): At some point in my life, I found myself too comfortable and decided I needed a challenge. So I quit my engineering job at a construction company in Moscow, where I worked as a Project Manager, and decided to explore other places. Moscow is a huge, vibrant city with a crazy fast pace of life. So when I was picking my destination, I looked for a city with the same kind of energy, if not more energetic and energizing. New York seemed like an obvious choice. And as you can see, the city still keeps inspiring me.

    NYFA: Do you enjoy being a boom operator?

    AK: Being a boom operator is a very challenging job, physically and mentally. You can ask my students and they would absolutely agree. So, it would be impossible for me to do my job without being absolutely in love with it. Production Sound Mixing is a very special profession. We are among a few first people who watch a film before anyone else. It is a truly special moment to witness a great performance so up-close and to be able to hear every little nuance of its sound.

    NYFA: What made you fall in love with the boom?

    AK: I fell in love with sound while I completed the 6-week Documentary program at the New York Film Academy. I was fascinated by how colorful and magnificent the world around us sounds through a microphone. I was hooked immediately and never looked back. While in school, I realized that something I enjoyed the most was actually being on a film set. So, I started to look more in-depth into the crew positions specifically that were not directing, production, or editing. The production sound team seemed like an obvious choice: I really loved doing it, I could afford to buy the whole sound gear package from the very beginning, and the demand is constant and only keeps growing.

    I also love that my job quite literally takes me places; because of sound I found myself standing on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial in front of thousands of people during the historic March on Washington for the feature length documentary Black Girls Ride, in a middle of the desert at the Joshua Tree Park shooting a horror feature film Falling Stars, and in the train that was rented to run between New York and New Jersey for hours to shoot a scene for The Inspection by Elegance Bratton. 

    NYFA: How did you become a NYFA instructor?

    AK:New York Film Academy – NY Chair of Cinematography Piero Basso texted me that the school was looking for a new Sound Instructor and that he and Andrea Swift, the Chair of Filmmaking and Documentary departments, thought that I would be the perfect match. I could not have been more happy and honored to hear that. Andrea always was one of my favorite teachers at NYFA and a role model.

    After graduation, I worked on over 300 different projects, including feature-length narrative and documentary films, TV shows for major TV channels, pilots, short films, music videos, commercials, corporate videos. Now, as a teacher, I have all kinds of stories to illustrate every aspect of sound recording and boom operating to my students. 

    NYFA: What’s the one piece of equipment you can’t live without?

    AK: This is the easy one. It’s my “blue” mic or Schoeps CMIT 5U Shotgun microphone. I can change recorders, wireless systems, and boompoles, but as long as I have this microphone on me, I am confident that I will make everyone, including the post-production crew, happy with my sound.

    NYFA: What’s the hardest part of being a boom operator? 

    AK: The hardest part of my job is waiting. Waiting on lights, waiting on talent, waiting on reset of the set.  We do a lot of waiting and it’s what I struggle with the most. When I am running behind the Steadicam operator, booming a scene, recording an interview, I am doing the job I love and fully engaged in the process. I don’t have a specific arms routine, but I enjoy climbing a lot. I think climbing and bouldering are two perfect activities for those who want to strengthen their arms and upper body. It’s a great combination of stretching and muscle.

    NYFA: Who’s been your favorite fashion icon you’ve worked with on set so far?

    AK: This is a hard question since I was fortunate to work with many talented designers and models. But yes, I do have my favorites. Don’t tell anyone. I love working with Gigi Hadid! She is a hard worker and the sweetest person. And believe me, after 12-hour shifts, it becomes obvious who is a nice one. Of the designers, I admire Peter Dundas, who let us in his magical world of fashion for the documentary TV series that we were shooting during New York Fashion Week. It takes a lot of nerve and patience to let a film crew follow your every step during the most important and stressful event of a year. 

    NYFA: What other projects are you working on right now?

    AK:This week, I am covering a statue opening in Madame Tussaud Museum, recording several interviews for the documentary film, and shooting 2 commercials. And I still have one day off, which is exciting because not all of my weeks have days off. No complaints here; as you may remember, I love being on a film set!

    NYFA: Anything we missed you’d like to speak on?

    AK: I would like to say thank you to [New York Film Academy] for asking these questions and sharing my story. I think it essential to share our stories with new filmmakers who are just at the beginning of their careers and might have a lot of doubts about themselves. When I enrolled at NYFA, I didn’t have any experience in film and had very minimal knowledge about the film industry in general. But I dared to try and now, I couldn’t be happier about that decision. I also post a lot of videos from film sets on my social media, not only to share some tips and tricks on recording sound but, first of all, to show that if I could do it, you can do it too.


    May 9, 2022 • Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 505

  • NYFA Acting Alum Anatolii Panchenko Stars in French Hit ‘Infiniti’



    NYFA Acting Alum Anatolii Panchenko Stars in French Hit 'Infiniti'

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film alum Anatolii Panchenko (Анатолий Панченко) was cast in the acclaimed mini-series, Infiniti. The series premiered at the Cannes International Series Festival, an independent association that aims to highlight series from around the world. This year the Cannes International Series Festival celebrates its 5th anniversary but the festival has already climbed the ranks of note-worthy festivals with highly-anticipated premieres. Past screenings and premieres include #FreeRayshawn, Killing Eve, Call My Agent!; and in April, Infiniti, produced by French powerhouse Canal +, premiered Out of Competition alongside Halo.

    The mini-series was directed by French director Thierry Poiraud (Black Spot, Don’t Grow Up, and Goal of the Dead) and written by Stéphane Pannetier (Research Unit, Les Ombres Rouges) and Julien Vanlerenberghe (Les Ombres Rouges, Famille d’accueil), the series follows a crew aboard the International Space Station after discovering the murdered corpse of a fellow astronaut on a roof in Kazakhstan. Now in search of the culprit, a French astronaut and Kazakh cop work together to solve the crime.

    Poiraud, Vanlerenberghe and Pannetier sat with Canal + to discuss the hit series. Vanlerenberghe says that the series was born out of a shared desire between him and Pannetier to create a project about outer space but from an “earth point of view.” The duo was inspired by spaceports like Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan (leased to Russia) because the spaceport is in the middle of nowhere and is not often depicted in cinema or TV. Poiraud told Canal+ that the trio found it difficult to scale their ambitions for the six-hour long mini-series. Once they began filming, they faced financial and geographical complications: Kazakhstan was far-removed and production was costly. However, Vanlerenberghe insists that constraints give birth to ideas. The show evolved, day by day, until the last day of shooting.

    Infiniti is an ambitious series, the show was filmed in France, Kazakhstan and Ukraine and was filmed in three languages: Russian, French and (primarily) English. NYFA Alum Panchenko starred alongside a stellar international cast: Céline Sallette (France), Daniyar Alshinov (Kazakhstan), Vlad Ivanov (Romania), Lex Shrapnel (England), Karina Arutyunyan (Uzbekistan), Ellora Torchia (England), Laurent Capelluto (Belgium), Jarreth Merz (Switzerland), and Samal Yeslyamova (Kazakhstan). There was not a shortage of languages on set, amongst the cast and crew a total of six languages were spoken.

    The efforts of actors like Anatolii Panchenko, the creators, and production crew proved to be successful. Since its premiere at Cannes International Series Festival, the show has garnered wide acclaim for its ambitious blend of sci-fi, mystery and romance. Read more about Anatolii’s work on Infiniti as well as his feature in a OnePlus Nord 2 5G commercial.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Acting for Film alum Anatolii Panchenko for his work on Infiniti!


    Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.


    May 9, 2022 • Acting • Views: 286

  • NYFA Alum Manuel Garcia Rulfo Stars in the Netflix Series The Lincoln Lawyer



    NYFA Alum Bill Hader's Barry Season 3 Is Still Killer

    The first iteration of The Lincoln Lawyer starred Mathew McConaughey as Mickey Haller in 2011. The film was based on the first book in the series by the same name, penned by acclaimed crime fiction novelist, Michael Connelly (Bosch). The film was successful, it received positive reviews and grossed $87 million (over a projected $75 million) and most importantly, according to Connelly fans, the film was true to the book.

    But there’s a new Lincoln Lawyer in town: NYFA One-Year Acting for Film alum Manuel Garcia-Rulfo. Rulfo is Mickey Haller in the Netflix Original Series The Lincoln Lawyer.

    The movie’s novelist, Michael Connelly spoke about the new series and its leading man on a blog post and said, “Manuel is the ideal Mickey Haller, who is following in the footsteps of his attorney father with the showmanship of his Mexican movie star mother,” Connelly continued, “He brings a powerful dynamic and dimension to the role — one that aligns with the books and brings authenticity to the Latinx heritage and roots of this Los Angeles-based story.”

    The new Netflix series, set to premiere May 13th on the streaming platform, picks up where the first film left off and chronicles the second book in the series, The Brass Verdict. In the book, Mickey Haller is a criminal defense attorney who practices law out of the back of his Lincoln town car, driving throughout Los Angeles; but a new case reveals a conspiracy that goes deeper than he could have imagined. The new series is helmed by legendary producer David E. Kelley (The Undoing, Big Little Lies) known for creating captivating legal dramas. Kelley was himself an attorney before turning to show business and he is the series’ showrunner, writer and executive producer alongside Michael Connelly.

    The Lincoln Lawyer series has been years in the making, eleven years to be exact. After the successful premiere of the film in 2011, there was talk of a film franchise for the book series. However, when that fell through the focus shifted to a TV series. The series was originally set to premiere at CBS before landing at Netflix.



    Manuel Garcia Rulfo spoke with the former Chair of the Acting Department and current Creative Director of the Acting Department, Lynda Goodfriend, about the upcoming series during a Q&A. He shared with NYFA students that he prepared for the role by reading the first and the second book in the Connelly series. Rulfo shared that although the character Mickey Haller was easy for him to understand, filming the series was a challenge for him. He confessed that is was the hardest project he’s worked on, “The work it requires, the tough hours, everyday you’re shooting long dialogues … you have to go day by day and come home at 9 o’clock at night and try to learn for the next day 11,14 pages of dialogue in a language that is not yours.”

    Check out the rest of the interview below!



    Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.


    May 6, 2022 • Acting, Diversity • Views: 273

  • Q&A with NYFA Acting Alum Danny Olabi


    Bobby Diggs, better known as the music artist “RZA,” is leading man to the hop hop music group Wu Tang Clan and had been in search of a biopic that portrays the legendary music group for almost 10 years before Hulu produced the series, Wu Tang Clan: An American Saga.

    The Emmy-nominated series follows the music group’s formation and Bobby Diggs’ original vision for Wu Tang Clan as he strove to unite a dozen young, black men torn between music and crime. Wu Tang Clan eventually rose to great heights and became one of the greatest success stories in Hip Hop history. Wu Tang Clan: An American Saga premiered to a sea of great reviews and was recently renewed for a third season. 

    New York Film Academy Acting for Film 2-Year Conservatory alum Danny Olabi played the role of Poppy in the series’ second season. 

    Olabi spoke with the NYFA about his work on the set of Wu Tang Clan: An American Saga, his newest projects and his advice on collaboration.



    New York Film Academy (NYFA): When did you know you wanted to pursue acting?

    Danny Olabi (DO): I have been interested in acting since I was a little boy. I’d watch TV and movies and think to myself, “Wow this is so cool and it looks like they’re having so much fun.” I’d come up with short film ideas and shoot them with my siblings and cousins on my iPad. As a kid I never really dwelled on the idea of actually going for it because it seemed so far-fetched. Around the time of my high school graduation, I started to think about my future. I was watching High School Musical with my mom one day and I just said, “Mom, I think I want to be an actor.” she responded, “well why aren’t you going to acting school?” and the rest is history. 


    NYFA: What was your first TikTok? What about the TikTok platform do you absolutely love as  an actor? 

    DO: My first TikTok was a repost of an old skit I posted on Instagram. Mostly because I didn’t know how to use TikTok yet and it was a good way to just get some content on there. You know, get myself started. What I love about Tik Tok is that it gave me an opportunity to stay creative when I had nothing else to do. As actors, it can feel like we have to wait to be hired to create. Or if we create our own stuff we need a ton of money. With Tik Tok all I needed was some ideas and my iPhone. Not only did I build an audience, I was able to generate some income and still do till this day. 


    NYFA: Who is your all-time favorite actor? Why?

    DO: My all-time favorite actor is none other than Will Smith. Growing up, I would watch The Fresh Prince with my brothers. And Will was one of the first people outside of my family that I looked up too and could relate to. To see a young black man who’s from the hood out here chasing and achieving his dreams was awesome! He was cool and funny! I wanted to be like him. Because of people like Will I’ll never give up. Because I never know who I’m inspiring. Just like Will inspired me.  


    NYFA: How was your experience on Wu-Tang:An American Saga?

    DO: Working on Wu-Tang: An American Saga was awesome. I got to meet the director the day before we shot my scene and right away I felt welcomed and comfortable. The first question he asked me was how I felt about Poppy and how I saw things unfolding in the scene. Coming into your first big acting gig is nerve racking, however the team’s openness and collaborative spirit was reassuring.


    NYFA: What prepares you to get into character on set or in casting calls? 

    DO: The process is different for every role. I’ve learned that for some roles, to do as little as possible. If the character resonates with me really well, I just learn my lines, soak up the circumstances, and dive in. Everything I learned in school and in the industry has helped a lot. Beats, actions, objectives, etc. But the main thing that I’ve learned on set and being in audition rooms is to craft and then let the work go and live in the moment. That’s easier said than done, but it’s something I continue to practice as much as I practice technique because it’s just as important.


    NYFA: So far, which project has been your favorite? 

    DO: I’ve been a part of some great sets. One that comes to mind is a short film I did called The Remixes. It was a sleep away set and the cast and crew were so fun to be around. Being away with an amazing group of people for 5 days on a beach house doing what we love. It doesn’t get much better than that. 


    NYFA: What is one of your fondest memories of your time studying at NYFA?

    DO: It’s so hard to choose. My time at the academy left me with priceless relationships and  memories that I will always cherish. If I had to choose one it would be the moment after  my second-year classmates and I finished our final physical theater performance. Preparing for that performance and learning that craft, although it was fun, was one of  the hardest things we ever endured as young artists and we leaned on each other for strength and support during that time. We were like our own little family. After the final performance we all huddled together in the dressing room and just had a moment of  appreciation for one another. We congratulated each other and just loved one another  for just being there. This is vulnerable work and having the right people by your side can make or break you. I’m glad I had them. 


    NYFA: How did completing your Acting For Film program at NYFA support your dreams?

    DO: It gave me a foundation. Although nothing is exactly like learning through actual experience, the NYFA instructors did a really good job of giving us an idea of what real set experiences are like in the classroom. So when I went out there and started auditioning and working, nothing was completely foreign. I remember my first time on a TV set. While they were setting up the shot I asked the DP what my frame was. He was so shocked as if he doesn’t usually hear that from a young actor. But based on what I learned in school I knew that the frame size could affect the way I delivered my lines.


    NYFA: What other projects are you working on?

    DO: Right now I have two short films set to hit festivals this year. I played a supporting role in a French New Wave film called Wet Seal Cigarettes. I also played the lead role in a Brooklyn Western film called Cowboy Killer. I’ve also written a few of my own things to exercise my creative muscles. Some monologues I plan to shoot on location soon. They are characters I could really see myself playing so I will post them on my Actors Access and social media to show casting directors what I can do. I also have a comedy sketch called Women Bring Out The Real You in post production. It was shot by NYFA’s very own Miguel Garzón Martínez. 



    Wet Seal Cigarettes draws its inspiration from the French New Wave Movement that swept through France in the late 1950’s. The movement gave us Francois Truffaut’s 400 Blows, Agnes Varda’s Cleo from 5-7, Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, and many other iconic films. 


    NYFA: Is there any advice you’d like to share with current NYFA students? 

    DO: As I have mentioned before, this is vulnerable and challenging work that we do. Trust yourselves, be patient and surround yourself with driven, hardworking, good people. Former AFF chair Peter Allen Stone told me something that has always stuck with me. He said, “Some days things will feel amazing and you’ll feel like the best actor in the world. Other days not so much. You’ll feel stuck and worried about your progress and even question if you’re good enough.” That’s completely normal and every artist goes through it. Just embrace it all and charge it to the game. Positivity is key. Focus on the love for the craft we all have and the amount of work you put into it because at the end of the day that is all we can control. 


    The New York Film Academy is proud of Danny Olabi’s latest work and wishes him success in his future projects.


    May 5, 2022 • Acting • Views: 292

  • NYFA Alum Bill Hader’s Barry Season 3 Is Still Killer



    NYFA Alum Bill Hader's Barry Season 3 Is Still Killer

    NYFA Alum Bill Hader’s Barry Season 3 Is Still Killer


    After a critically-acclaimed first and second season, NYFA Filmmaking alum Bill Hader’s HBO Original Series, Barry is back with impeccable reviews and a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. From the start, Barry boasted a 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while season 2 and 3 scored 100 percent.

    According to the critics’ consensus on season 3, “Bill Hader and company can take a well-deserved bow—Barry makes its belated return to the screen without missing a step, retaining its edge as one of television’s funniest and most unsettling offerings.”


    Bill Hader co-created, directed, wrote, executive-produced, and starred in the hit-series. Since its premiere in 2018, Barry has amassed 30 Emmy Primetime Award nominations and 6 Emmy Awards, including two ‘Best Lead Actors in a Comedy Series’ and ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.’

    The premise of the comedy-drama is a unique one: a hitman, Barry, travels to Los Angeles to kill someone and finds himself joining an acting class in the process. His acting teacher, Gene Cousineau, played by NYFA Guest Speaker Henry Winkler, becomes a mentor for him and Barry begins to question his life path and choices. He also meets Sally Reed, an aspiring actress with whom he begins a romantic relationship. Hader notes higher stakes for season 3, “This season’s Barry is unhinged … living a lie more than ever before.” Sally steps into the role of girl boss running her own show, Hank (Barry’s criminal associate) sneaks around with the enemy and Barry’s former acting teacher, Cousineau, is out for revenge.



    In a Q&A-List Series conversation with Tova Laiter back in 2019, Hader shared that the essence of Barry is in its protagonist. As an actor, you must feel things and as a hitman, you must detach yourself. Actors want to be seen and hitmen need to remain in the shadows. Hader’s knowledge of life as an actor made him the perfect man to lead this show. In the season 3 trailer, Barry says, ‘[Cousineau] didn’t just teach me how to be a better actor, he taught me how to be a human being,’ as though straight from the mouth of Stella Adler herself. The show does a remarkable job of capturing the essence of being an actor in Los Angeles while breathing real life and nuance into its leading hitman.


    Check out the rest of the conversation below:



    Since graduating from NYFA, Actor Bill Hader rose to fame and acclaim in a remarkable career in both film and television. Prior to Barry, Hader was a member of the cast of NBC’s Saturday Night Live for eight years, appearing in a total of 160 episodes over the course of his 8-season tenure. Hader received three Primetime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award for his comedic work on the NBC long-running show.

    New York Film Academy is proud of Bill Hader’s incredible work, well-deserved recognition, and the success of his latest series Barry.


    Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.


    May 3, 2022 • Filmmaking • Views: 212



    NYFA Documentary Filmmaking Instructor Claudia Raschke’s career has run the course of 33 years. She started her career in 1988 and worked her way up to lead cinematographer. In 2011, she was the cinematographer for the Oscar-nominated documentary God is Bigger Than Elvis about actress Dolores Hart who renounced her successful career at the age of 24 to become a Benedictine nun, the film’s success was a precursor of what was to come for Raschke. She has since been the director of photography for multiple award-winning films: the Emmy award-winning documentary RBG about the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Peabody Award-winning film Black Magic on ESPN, and Oscar short-listed films Mad Hot Ballroom, Particle Fever, Atomic Homefront and The Freedom to Marry.

    Right before the recent purchase of Twitter by tech magnate Elon Musk for $44 billion dollars, Raschke was working behind the camera to bring to life CNN +’s Land of the Giants: Titans of Tech, a five-part documentary-series about the world’s most powerful CEO’s and how their companies reshaped our world.

    Land of the Giants: Titans of Tech examines the rise of Meta (formerly Facebook), Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. This documentary series unearths the unabridged history of these organizations, from their meager origins to their current standing as billion-dollar entities and their impact on our society. The series uses a combination of archival footage and interviews with field experts, to give the viewers insight into the genesis of the worlds most influential companies and their polarizing founders: Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Reed Hastings, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

    Raschke has worked on many projects, of varying subjects but what ties them all together is her method and style of filmmaking: Cinéma vérité. The term itself comes from the French film movement that took off in the 1960s, wherein directors filmed people in everyday situations speaking unscripted dialogue and interacting authentically. The term is used to describe a style of filmmaking that is unimposing.

    NYFA Documentary Filmmaking Instructor Claudia Raschke behind the camera.

    Raschke has a masterful eye for the truth and her style of filming allows her to tackle nuanced and complex subjects, similar to the ones in Land of the Giants: Titans of Tech and God is Bigger than Elvis, with intimacy. During a conversation with 20/20 host Liz Hinlein, Raschke explained that the key to documentary filmmaking is ceasing the moment. She also shared with us that, at times, while filmmaking, there is a level of vulnerability shared by both the cinematographer and the subject. Raschke said “there is bonding because we experience something together: emotions, anger, resolve, struggle and when that happens they do turn to me.”

    Check out the interview below where Raschke discusses her experience filming the political legend Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the documentary film RBG, and cinéma vérité, the art of truthful documentary filmmaking.

    NYFA congratulates Claudia Raschke for her commitment to teaching and her creative success!


    Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.



    April 29, 2022 • Acting, Cinematography • Views: 210

  • New York Film Academy Named Top 25 School for Game Design & Animation


    NYFA Screenwriting Alum Mohamed Diab Directs Marvel Studios 'Moon Knight'

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) is excited to announce that for the second year in a row, our Game Design Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program was ranked as a ‘Top 25 Game Design BFA program in the U.S.’ by Animation Career Review. Our Animation department was also listed as a ‘Top 25 School in California for Animation’ and ‘Top 25 Animation School and College on the West Coast’ for 2022.

    Woot Woot!

    NYFA’s BFA in 3D Animation & VFX  is an eight-semester conservatory-based, full-time study undergraduate program. Our curriculum is designed to immerse gifted 3D Animation & VFX artists in all aspects of the discipline. NYFA’s 3D Animation & VFX programs provide a creative setting in which to challenge, inspire, and perfect the talents of its student body.

    It is an honor to be named among the ‘Top 25 Animation Schools on the West Coast’ by Animation Career Review and in honor of this achievement, we want to highlight the work of some of our alumni!

    Francesco Panzieri

    The NYFA 1-Year Conservatory 3D Animation & VFX alum Francesco Panzieri has a long list of credits ranging from Hollywood A-list films to popular TV series including Dune,Clash of the Titans, For Colored Girls, Madea’s Big Happy Family, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Jingle Jangle, and many more.

    In a conversation with NYFA, Francesco shared with us his advice for incoming students:

    “Working in visual effects requires a never-ending amount of passion every day. For me, to be able to work alongside the filmmakers and the visual effects supervisors of movies that I’ve grown up watching back in my days in Italy still represents my biggest source of motivation and admiration for the job. It is a very challenging field of work because it involves art, science, and physics. You have to be open to always learn new technologies and techniques, and the number one rule in my book is to never give up. You are constantly being challenged with new tasks, new requests, and it is up to you to figure out a way to face those challenges.”

    Diana Lobo Dias

    The NYFA 1-Year Conservatory 3D Animation & VFX Diana has worked on numerous VFX projects since graduating. Her credits include Ad Astra, Venom, Cats, Pokemon Detective Pikachu Ad, Sonic the Hedgehog and many more.

    Here’s Diana’s advice for new students:

    “You get out of NYFA what you put in when you show up each day with enthusiasm and a readiness to listen and learn, you’re planting seeds with your teachers and classmates that blossom into a professional network. I am very grateful for my teachers at NYFA who not only taught me the skills I needed but also nurtured my potential, and then gave me my first industry opportunities. A special shoutout to Rob, Boaz, Gavin, Tim, and Phoebe!”

    Andor Zahonyi

    NYFA’s 12-Week Filmmaking workshop alum and professional Digital Compositor Andor Zahonyi has not stopped creating breath-taking visuals since completing the program. Andor has almost 50 visual effects credits on IMDB and more than 300 TV commercials as either VFX supervisor, editor, lead VFX artist or VFX artist credited to him.

    The trailer for Andor’s most recent project,The HUN, saw great success in the festival circuit where it won first place in 12 festivals including Cannes World Film Festival, Europe Film Festival, Berlin Underground Film Festival, New Harvest Film Festival in Moscow and Hollywood Independent Filmmaker Awards and Festival.

    Guillermo Quesada

    NYFA alum Guillermo Quesada, graduated as a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Game Design at our Burbank-based campus. While studying at NYFA, he learned the art and craft of game design and storytelling at the professional level, acquiring the skills of game prototyping, playtesting, iteration, presentation, collaboration, and how to develop software using industry standards—including workflow, multiple platforms, and coding. All skills that he then transferred to his work in the remake of The Lion King using a virtual reality system.

    New York Film Academy is very proud of our reputation in the Animation, VFX and Game Design industries, and we wish the best of luck to all our alumni who keep moving forward to push the limits and create internationally-recognized works.


    Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.



    April 26, 2022 • 3D Animation, Game Design • Views: 250



    NYFA Screenwriting Alum Mohamed Diab Directs Marvel Studios 'Moon Knight'

    NYFA Cinematography Chair (LA) Anthony Richmond, ASC has worked on films of varying genres; Don’t Look Now, a horror film for which Richmond won a BAFTA Award,The Man Who Fell from Earth a sci-fi film starring David Bowie, the horror-thriller Candyman, and the iconic rom-com Legally Blonde all form part of his eclectic portfolio. In addition to his extensive work behind the camera and his invaluable time in the classroom, Richmond is also a member of the Academy Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (A.M.P.A.S), British Academy of Film & Television Arts (B.A.F.T.A), American Society of Cinematographers (A.S.C), and British Society of Cinematographers (B.S.C).

    Anthony Richmond’s career was covered in the April 2022 issue of American Cinematographer wherein the legendary magazine celebrates Richmond six-decade career and the way he’s captured rock-and-roll royalty throughout the years.

    In January 1969, only two short years after becoming a cinematographer and five years after beginning his career in the film industry without any formal training, Richmond was entrusted with filming The Beatles as they prepared their 12th studio album and rehearsed for a world tour in under three weeks.

    The initial release of Richmond’s Beatle footage was seen in Let It Be, a documentary that followed the Beatles through a “fly on the wall” perspective, devoid of narration and interviews from the band mates. In the first half of the film, the audience sees the band toil over songs, trying to make them better and rehearsing at Twickenham Film Studios in London. The Fab Four were not fond of Twickenham Studios and neither was Richmond who told American Cinematographer, “It was very boring — a big, old stage with a huge white cyc.” The colorful background we now recognize in the rehearsal space was Richmond’s doing. “There were a lot of lights rigged up in the gantry, so I had gaffer Jim Powell introduce different gel colors onto the cyc every day to get rid of the horribleness of the white.”

    Whereas the first half of the film is focused on the band’s collaboration, the last part of the film is all about the Beatles’ performance on the rooftop of Apple corps headquarters. The impromptu performance would be the Bealtes’ last live performance together but Richmond maintains that it was a good experience. “Let It Be was a really dark piece about the Beatles breaking up,” he says, “but it certainly wasn’t an unpleasant experience for me. It’s always fun shooting.”

    Richmond also says of the Beatles “[I] never thought of [the Beatles] as stars. I saw them as guys in a band. To me, stars were movie stars.” Perhaps it was best that Richmond was not starstruck by the most influential band of all time. Richmond’s footage is the gift that keeps giving and it’s the kind of footage that insists on the humanity of the Fab Four. It is why Peter Jackson and Jabez Olssen were able to edit almost 60 hours of footage for four years to bring us The Beatles: Get Back on Disney +.

    The new footage in Get Back redirects the attention to what made the band so dynamic. Get Back
    gives Beatles fans a front row seat into the band’s process and provides rock band novices a thorough introduction into the dynamics and mechanics of the legendary band.

    Richmond spoke with NYFA 20/20 host Liz Hilein about his career, acknowledging that while it was easier in the 60’s to learn on the job, these days, the film industry moves at such a rapid pace there is less time to teach onset and highlights the importance of studying the greats.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Chair of Cinematography (LA) Anthony Richmond, ASC on all of his success and his timeless films!


    Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.


    April 18, 2022 • Cinematography • Views: 15




    NYFA Screenwriting Alum Mohamed Diab Directs Marvel Studios 'Moon Knight'

    NYFA Screenwriting Alum Mohamed Diab Directs Marvel Studios “Moon Knight”

    April 7, 2022

    Marvel’s first Arab director may be new to Hollywood filmmaking, but Mohamed Diab has an internationally-acclaimed body of work to his name. NYFA 1-Year Screenwriting alum Mohamed Diab is an award-winning Egyptian screenwriter and director known for telling intimate stories. His directorial debut Cairo 678, the story of three women in search of justice after being victims of sexual harassment in Egypt, won several awards. But despite the great success of his first film, Diab waited five years to release his sophomore film. His reason: he wanted to be better. Diab told NYFA, “Time is your best ally … I got better. I spent five years working on myself, learning, watching movies, watching international cinema, trying to get better and trying to teach myself.” And the results of Diab’s five years of preparation were tangible, his second feature film, Clash, was the official opening selection at the 2016 Cannes Festival, ‘Un Certain Regard’ category.

    After the international success of his first two feature films, more doors opened. Diab found himself with a buffet of scripts and projects at his disposal – and he said “no” to them. For him, it was important to connect to the material and the projects weren’t clicking. Instead, he set out to write scripts with his wife and creative partner, Sarah Goher, and sold them to studios like Blumhouse Productions.

    Everything changed when he read Jeremy Slater’s script for Moon Knight. Diab and Goher immediately set out to prepare what would be a 200-page pitch complete with locations, a score, tone, pictures and costumes. The pitch would become Moon Knight’s bible, what is today the Marvel miniseries.

    Out of all the stories in the Marvel cinematic universe, Moon Knight was always the outcast in the catalog. Moon Knight made his first appearance in Werewolf by Night #32 as a man who received his powers as a byproduct of an ancient curse placed on him by an Egyptian god. The story, although it did not entirely align with the standard Marvel style, became a favorite amongst the editors at Marvel.

    The character and the story were distinct and for the Disney + miniseries, there was only one man for the job.

    Mohamed Diab and Oscar Isaac on the set of Moon Knight from Esquire

    Diab has long championed the fight for Arab representation and been vocal about misrepresentations of Egypt as a flat desert place with only pyramids interrupting the landscape. Diab told Screen Rant, “The way we are always portrayed in cinema has always bothered Egyptians, because it’s mostly not shot in Egypt. Imagine Paris, and you’re seeing Big Ben at the back. It’s insulting, and it hurts. Or it’s shot in Egypt, but you’re trying to make it a bit exotic, so you always see the pyramids and the desert.”

    As Marvel’s first Arab director, Diab made sure that this time around, Egypt was represented accurately. By collaborating closely with the film’s production designer and costume designer, Diab was able to depict Egypt as it is. He also made sure to bring along some of Egypt’s best, editor Ahmez Hafez and Egyptian composer Hesham Nazih to create the series’ score and ensured that 90% of the film’s Egyptians roles went to Egyptians. Diab told NYFA,“I hope that Moon Knight, if it succeeds, opens doors for more Egyptians – I tried my best to make a Moon Knight with an Egyptian flavor.”

    Diab’s 200-page bible and search for authenticity proved to be successful; the series premiered last week to rave reviews.

    Diab’s former screenwriting instructor and current Director of the Film Festival Department at NYFA, Crickett Rumley remembers Mohamed fondly, “I remember Mohamed as a thoughtful, inquisitive, observant student of both screenwriting and human nature. It’s been thrilling to watch him grow as a filmmaker, to see his stories connect with audiences first in his home country then in larger and larger arenas on the international film scene.”

    Mohamed Diab shared with NYFA his advice for aspiring filmmakers, “believe in yourself … The people who achieve their goals are the people who bet on themselves and take risks.” He added, “I knew one day I would be back [in Hollywood], I was in Hollywood 15 years ago and I knew I would be back when I was ready.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Mohamed Diab on all of his hard work, success and dedication to authentic representation!


    Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.


    April 11, 2022 • Diversity, Screenwriting • Views: 425



    NYFA Faculty Suki Medencevic is DP on Shining Vale

    Drum roll please!

    NYFA Australia Filmmaking Alum Stephen Osborne is no stranger to successful film releases. Since his short film, Jane, which he created as a New York Film Academy Australia (NYFA Australia) project, Stephen’s films have been collecting awards and screening at prestigious, internationally-acclaimed film festivals around the world like Los Angeles CineFest, Global Film Festival Award and the Gold Coast Film Festival in Australia.

    This year – for the second year in a row – a Stephen Osborne film has been selected for the Gold Coast Film Festival!

    The Gold Coast Film Festival is one of Australia’s stand-out festivals. With over two decades of international film production with the support of Warner Bros. Movie World and Village Roadshow Studios, the festival has dedicated itself to supporting the next generation of Australian filmmakers. The Gold Coast Film Festival has become a major event for the Australian film industry and ambitious filmmakers from around the globe; and this year, on April 26, Stephen Osborne’s feature film
    Dome House 6 will have its world premiere at the Home of the Arts (HOTA) theater as part of the festival’s official selection.

    Dome House 6 is set in the future, “after a significant collapse of civilization, it is a soft sci-fi thriller about trust, mischief, lust and control; that follows four seemingly unconnected people as they try to survive in a post-apocalyptic landscape.” The film includes a voice-over performance by Australian actress Charlotte Best, promising new-comer, Madyn Rae and actor and NYFA Australia alum Prem Sagar Krishnan.

    In 2021, his first feature film Strangeville was invited to screen at the acclaimed Gold Coast Film Festival  and compete in the Best Australian Indie Film category after the film’s world premiere at the Sydney Sci-fiction Film Festival. Strangeville, a film about a town by the same name known for its U.F.O activity, is home to mysterious alien abductions that are kept under wraps by the local law. The sci-fi film found much success and its lead actors were nominated in the Best Actor, Best Actress category at the Sydney Science Fiction Festival and hailed by Blunt Magazine as a “well-earned break for your viewing schedule.”

    Needless to say, Dome House 6 had big shoes to fill – and it did not disappoint.

    Check out this spotlight video on Award-Winning Filmmaker and NYFA Australia Filmmaking Grad Stephen Osborne.


    NYFA Australia’s presence is being felt all around the Gold Coast Film Festival. This year – again, for the second time in a row – recent Filmmaking graduates are premiering their NYFA Australia student short films at the EMERGE! screening. Anantha Krishna Raj’s film DIG and Jackson Fields’ film The Driver are joining a handful young filmmakers as they showcase their short films at EMERGE!, in the Gold Coast Film Festival continued effort to usher Queensland’s next generation of filmmakers onto the big screen.

    Dome House 6 screening and the Emerge! student short film showcase still have tickets available. To book your tickets, click the links below:

    The New York Film Academy and NYFA Australia congratulates Stephen Osborne, Anantha Krishna Raj and Jackson Fields for their success and hard work! We are excited to see their films which also showcase an array of NYFA Australia students and alumni as part of their cast and crews.


    Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.



    April 4, 2022 • Filmmaking, NYFA Australia • Views: 430