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  • NYFA Broadcast Journalism: June Updates

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    This Spring’s graduation was a graduation like no other. Not just here at the New York Film Academy, but across the United States and around the world. COVID-19 pretty much changed everything.

    Cover of the May 2020 issue of ‘The New Yorker’

    As you might expect, our grads — working at local, national and international news organizations — are in the middle of covering what is the story of a lifetime. But one Broadcast Conservatory program grad, award-winning investigative journalist George Colli, has been involved in a singularly unique way.

    NYFA Alum George Colli

    George is developing a new, online news platform, but he put everything on “hold” after he spoke to news sources across his home state of Connecticut about what was then a potentially deadly shortage of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Put simply, initially there wasn’t any. George used his reporting skills to not only reveal the depth of this problem, but also find critically needed supplies, then put together an organization to distribute them to the places where they were needed the most. That included literally millions of face masks.

    NYFA alum George Colli (Right) covering shortage of PPE

    While we are proud of all of our grads, there is a special place in our hearts for George Colli. He helped (and continues to help) save countless lives…

    Earlier this year, former NYFA Broadcast Journalism student Sura Ali signed up for one of our short-term Broadcast Journalism workshops. Her “modest” goal was to to do nothing less than change her life. She wanted to reinvent herself. And, based on a recent LinkedIn posting, it looks like Sura found what she was looking for.
    “When I was 28, studying at the New York Film Academy, I was told ‘you are talented, outgoing and lively.’ I did a double take… wait what? They appreciate my voice and activism here? I finally felt at home.”
    Thanks, Sura. We’re glad to know that you found what you were looking for at NYFA.

    As most of you know, I normally spend a lot of time traveling. Over the past three months, beyond weekly trips to the supermarket, I haven’t gone anywhere. But I did have a chance to travel “virtually” to Manila, to participate in an online event tied to World Press Freedom Day. It was great to interact with 125+ journalism students. Thanks to the American Embassy in Manila for the opportunity to participate. (And in the spirit of “Where’s Waldo,” can you find me in the picture below?)

    This week I am “virtually” attending the Cannes International Film Festival, in support of my indie feature film Invisible Love. While I’d love to share it with you’ll have to wait until Spring 2021 for its release. But I can share with you the preview/trailer. A period piece, this China/Vietnam/U.S. co-production takes place during the 1930’s in what was then known as French Indochina. Today, it is Vietnam.

    For the time being, we are only offering our 4-Week Broadcast Journalism workshop onlineYou can find more information here.

    Stay Tuned,
    Bill Einreinhofer
    Chair, NYFA Broadcast Journalism Department
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  • NYFA Instructor and Cinematography Chair, Piero Basso, Shoots Critically Acclaimed Film ‘Working Man’

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    Like many films slated for a 2020 release, the low-budget indie film, Working Man, had to cancel its theatrical release due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The film then opted to be released on streaming platforms like Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu and Fandango Now. NYFA instructor and Cinematography Chair, Piero Basso, spoke with NYFA about his work as the Director of Photography (DP) and how Working Man is the film many need right now.

    Working Man centers around factory worker Allery Parker who, after many years in the workforce, finds himself out of a job and attempts to cope with his newfound unemployment. Eventually Parker’s existence takes a turn as he leads his former co-workers in a secret crusade to pressure their bosses to reopen their former work facility. For the first time, Parker feels like the man in charge. However, when truths are revealed, Parker must confront the loss and pain he’s been working so hard to avoid.

    Official film poster for ‘Working Man’

    Piero Basso’s work as a DP on Working Man was hailed by Hollywood Reporter, saying the “sense of place is well captured by cinematographer Piero Basso.” Basso first got involved in the project after connecting with Tara Tovarek, a producer Basso worked with when shooting the National Geographic series American Genius.She [Tovarek]  felt I had the right personal approach [for the production] considering this was the director’s first feature film and he [Director Rober Jury] needed not only the proper technical support, but someone to confront his vision without being overwhelmed by the experience.” 

    Basso explains that he was also interested to work on the project because it reminded him of personal struggles that he has experienced growing up in Turin, Italy. “It was the center of the industry manufacturing for companies like FIAT, and it has seen a steady and painful decline over the years.” Basso shares. “I have always been fascinated by factories and industrial buildings, as well as the manual work. Visually, it has always intrigued me because of the metal, the reflections, the coldness of the structures, often mixed with the warmth of the work (fire, furnaces, machine executing tasks).”

    Still from ‘Working Man’ (Cinematographer: Piero Basso)

    For Basso, Working Man, at its core, is a humane story grounded in reality that is “able to focus on the main character’s emotions in a non superficial way.”

    For cinematographers, it is a common trait for DPs to leave their personal artistic mark on a project. For Basso, he leaves his mark in a different way. “I personally find it more interesting if my mark is achieved without bringing a special attention to the cinematography, but instead allowing it to disappear in a full integration in the narrative storytelling.”

    While working alongside the director and screenwriter for Working Man [Robert Jury], Basso had several sessions with Jury to discuss the visual concept of the film. “We both felt that this film needed to be approached with a very strong agreement between us on how we wanted to portray the film.” 

    Still from ‘Working Man’ (Cinematographer: Piero Basso)

    Due to the quick 20 day shoot, Basso recalls, “I approached every scene with a sense of urgency to deliver as much as possible space to the actor/director team to bring their characters to life.” Basso also shared that the film was shot on Arri Alexa using Master Prime lenses, a luxury in many cases for mid/low budget films like Working Man.”This allowed us to shoot with a much smaller lighting set up than traditional films.”

    Like many filmmakers, some shoots don’t always go as expected. Basso recalls that portraying the small town of Joliet, IL, while actually shooting in Chicago, IL, made it tough to find locations as the production needed to convey a sense of community that felt realistic to show a sense of community. 

    This sense of community was essential in “showing the powerful capacity of different people to rally together and become, out of many, one entity and how the strength of the group is much stronger than each other’s weakness.”

    Still from ‘Working Man’ (Cinematographer: Piero Basso)

    Basso also notes that the project and sense of place needed to feel authentic. “I loved to see the wrinkles, the imperfections in the skin, and the bodies and ethnicities reflecting a true average of society instead of the Hollywood version of it.” 

    At a time when many around the world are out of a job and America has reached an unemployment level that rivals the Great Depression, Working Man has been released as a poignant time. “Now, with COVID-19 and millions of people losing jobs and the entire society completely shaken up, Working Man is more relevant than ever,” says Basso. “As a character says in the movie ‘a person needs a job to survive, but you need work to feel like you are worth something,’ and I believe today this is a feeling many people can share.

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate NYFA instructor and Chair of Cinematography, Piero Basso, on his latest cinematography achievement and encourages everyone to check out Working Man, now available to view on demand.

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    June 10, 2020 • Cinematography, Faculty Highlights • Views: 614

  • NYFA Instructor & Alum, Arnold Song, Builds Demo for Houdini Hive Worldwide Presentation

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    On Monday, May 18, 2020, SideFX will host their annual Houdini Hive Worldwide presentation that explores the various techniques used by top studios and artists to meet a wide variety of studio production needs. NYFA instructor & alum, Arnold Song, who works at SideFX, is part of the team testing and building the demos for the presentation.

    Houdini, the premiere procedural animation software by SideFX, is a universally adopted software across animation studio giants like Dreamworks, Disney, and Pixar. (In fact, it is one of the few “off the shelf” pieces of software that Pixar uses).

    NYFA instructor and alum Arnold Song

    NYFA had the opportunity to speak to Song about his work for the presentation, the future of Animation and VFX, and any advice he has for students interested in pursuing a path in this industry.

    When asked about his presentation for the event, Song commented that it will be centered on how things can be done in a new system in Houdini (USD Workflow), called Solaris. USD stands for Universal Scene Description and it allows 3D data to be interchanged among different suites of digital creation applications. The Solaris presentation, Song says, will allow animators and VFX artists to learn “how to bring in USD assets, how to select different models from the one asset set, how you can add effects on the USD asset, and, finally, how to use the new render engine, Karma, to render it.”

    Houdini (USD) Workflow

    “For me, everything is new,” says Song. “I didn’t know anything about USD at the beginning, and Solaris is still under development. Putting two completely new things together, and creating a good result [with his team] is the most fun part.”

    Rendered image using Houdini software

    When asked what advice Song has for students who want to get into effects animation, Song shared this response:

    “Effects animation is unlike other departments like modeling, animation, and lighting. Making an effect is slow. You change some values, and you wait anywhere from ten minutes to a few hours,” he begins. “There is no correct way to make something, which means there could be 100+ ways to make a similar effect. This increases the opportunity to make a totally unique effect but, at the same time, it is really hard to get to know how exactly things should work. So, be patient and just keep practicing.”

    USD could become a replacement for the now standard python language. To see Houdini accepting it so enthusiastically means that it is here to stay and will most likely become the standard of the future. It seems that SideFX, and NYFA alum and instructor Arnold Song, are signaling that USD will become the programming language of the future for Animation and VFX.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) would like to congratulate NYFA alum and instructor Arnold song on his upcoming presentation for Houdini Hive Worldwide and would like to thank him for sharing more about his work on Polaris and his advice to future students.

    For more information on the 3D & VFX Animation School at NYFA, check out our website here. 

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    May 15, 2020 • 3D Animation, Alumni Events, Faculty Highlights • Views: 646

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Producing and Filmmaking Instructor Denise Carlson Produces ITS A DOG’S LIFE on Disney+

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    Not all heroes wear capes, but they do have fur. It’s a Dog’s Life, an upcoming Disney+ docu series explores the incredible role that many dogs play to make the lives of others better. New York Film Academy (NYFA) producing and filmmaking instructor Denise Carlson is one of the producers on the series that will be available on the Disney streaming platform May 15, 2020. 

    It’s a Dog’s Life is hosted by voiceover legend Bill Farmer, known for his iconic role as Disney’s Goofy, as he crosses the country to meet different dogs doing incredible jobs or extraordinary activities and explores the special bond between dogs and humans. 

    Title card for ‘It’s A Dog’s Life’

    Carlson, who had previous experience with Disney while working at Disney Channel, was a clear fit for this project given her past production experience and her enthusiasm for animal foster care and animal rescue. “Seriously, there is nothing about working with the dogs that I did not love,” Carlson tells NYFA. “But my favorite part of this project is actually the people involved. We have an amazing group of people who came together to put this show together.”

    Each episode of It’s a Dog’s Life explores a new dog that goes well beyond just fetching the stick in the backyard; dogs like Monte, the latest celebrity dog who starred in the recent live action adaptation of Lady and the Tramp. “It [the show] fits right into the Disney brand, in general, especially since there have been so many dogs in Disney shows and movies,” says Carlson. “It also crosses cultural boundaries- I mean, who doesn’t like dogs?”

    Carlson with Monte, dog turned actor featured in ‘Lady in the Tramp’

    With so many different stories featured on the show, Carlson says the one that sticks out the most is the episode dedicated to SuperCorgi Jojo, the surfing corgi. “It is incredibly touching. Jojo started surfing as therapy after a bad injury,” she says. “Jojo is the happiest little dog and you can tell he loves what he does.”

    Carlson with SuperCorgi Jojo, the surfing corgi

    New York Film Academy congratulates filmmaking and producing instructor Denise Carlson on her new series It’s A Dog’s Life and encourages everyone to celebrate man’s best friend and all the wonderful things dogs do for us by watching It’s A Dog’s Life when it comes out on May 15, 2020 on Disney+.

    Watch the trailer for It’s A Dog’s Life below:

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    May 13, 2020 • Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 790

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting Instructor Alan Trezza Writes and Executive Produces ‘We Summon the Darkness’

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    We Summon the Darkness, a horror film written and executive produced by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screenwriting instructor Alan Trezza, recently screened at Fantastic Fest.

    Trezza teaches screenwriting to students at New York Film Academy’s Burbank-based campus. Trezza previously wrote and directed the short film Burying the Ex, which was adapted into a feature directed by Joe Dante.

    “I learned a great deal writing and executive producing We Summon the Darkness,” Trezza tells NYFA, “and I look forward to sharing all the lessons I’ve learned with my students.”

    The film stars Alexandra Daddario, Maddie Hasson, Amy Forsyth, and Johnny Knoxville, and was directed by Marc Meyers. A period story set in the height of the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s, the movie follows three best friends into heavy metal after they head off to a secluded party one night, where the evening takes a deadly turn.

    We Summon the Darkness has been receiving overwhelmingly positive praise, including at Fantastic Fest, with Bloody Disgusting calling the film “a metal mayhem joyride” with “extremely likable, fully realized characters in a fully fleshed out world.” 

    Fantastic Fest is an annual festival held in Austin, Texas that focuses on genre films, including horror, fantasy, science fiction, action, and cult movies. This year’s Fantastic Fest was held from September 19 – 26.


    We Summon the Darkness
    will next be holding its premiere on Thursday, October 17, at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, followed by Q&A with director Marc Meyers and cast members Keean Johnson, Johnny Knoxville, Logan Miller, Maddie Hasson, Amy Forsyth, and Austin Swift. Tickets to the screening are available here.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Screenwriting instructor Alan Trezza on his new film We Summon the Darkness and encourages everyone who can to attend to the Los Angeles premiere on October 17!

    (UPDATE: 4.3.2020) We Summon the Darkness will be available to view on iTunes and Amazon on Friday, April 10, 2020.

    ‘We Summon the Darkness’ Official Film Poster

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    April 3, 2020 • Faculty Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 2273

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX Faculty Matt Galuppo Works on 3 Super Bowl Commercials

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    One of the biggest advantages to studying 3D Animation & Visual Effects at New York Film Academy (NYFA) is studying under faculty members who not only have experience in the industry, but also continue to work in it and have the most up-to-date and relevant perspectives from the inside out.

    Matt Galuppo, Associate Chair of the NYFA-LA 3D Animation & VFX school, is one of these experienced faculty members, with credits as a visual effects artist on films including Divergent, Hercules, Warcraft, The Maze Runner, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014). Most recently, he worked on not one but three Super Bowl commercials as part of the pitch and pre-pro team for the production companies behind them:

    Microsoft – Bring it to the Surface
    m:United

    Verizon 5G
    McCann Ericson

    NFL 100 Opening – Take It to the House
    72 and Sunny

    super bowl liv

    In his own words, Galuppo describes what it was like pitching and working on Super Bowl commercials seen by millions of television and streaming viewers:

    Working on the pitch and pre-production for every commercial is different. It can shift between visual research and script breakdowns to taking passes on the actual script itself. You have to have a great sense of collaboration, client sensibilities, visual storytelling, as well as copywriting. It is doing a little bit of everything over a very short period of time.

    Whatever the individual asks for, most agency and production company pitches usually culminate in some sort of treatment or deck. The purpose of these is to take the agency and brand step by step through the spot, covering everything from pacing, tone, story arc, etc.

    For the Microsoft spot centering on the first female coach in the Super Bowl, it included watching and reading hours of interviews of the coach, Katie Sower, to better get to know her. What came out of that research was that she was an avid journaler, and we were able to use her reading from her old journals as a narrative frame for the longer spot itself.

    The Verizon 5G spot did a great job of doing what no one else was doing. While everyone else was talking about smartphones and emerging technologies, Verizon reframed the conversation around those how jobs could work with or without the technology. It refocused the conversation on the bravery and humanity of first responders and their organic relationship to technology.

    The trick of the NFL 100 opening is a giant montage across America where every shot had to include references to both past and present NFL players, coaches, and commentators, while also referencing the city themselves. The agency was very open to hearing additional gag pitches for the teams and cities involved.

    New York Film Academy thanks Associate Chair of NYFA-LA 3D Animation & VFX Matt Galuppo for describing what it was like behind the scenes working on these Super Bowl ads!

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    March 26, 2020 • 3D Animation, Faculty Highlights • Views: 957

  • Award-Winning Director & Cinematographer Liz Hinlein Joins New York Film Academy (NYFA) As Creative Director of Filmmaking & Cinematography

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) is delighted to announce the addition of award-winning director and cinematographer Liz Hinlein to our faculty as the new Creative Director of Filmmaking & Cinematography. Over the course of her career, Hinlein has made a name for herself in a traditionally male-dominated industry as a passionate, talented filmmaker and director of photography whose work has spanned the fields of feature film, advertising, music video and VR/AR/XR.

    Born in Philadelphia and educated in the Quaker school system, Hinlein earned her MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute and her BFA in Film & Television from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Hinlein’s debut feature film, Other People’s Children, earned several awards on the film festival circuit—including Best of the Fest at the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival and Best Director at the NYLA International Film Festival—and is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime and iTunes.

    Liz Hinlein

    NYFA Filmmaking & Cinematography Creative Director Liz Hinlein

    Hinlein’s wealth of experience and passion for innovation makes her a perfect fit for New York Film Academy, which boasts a diverse and international student body from over 120 countries. With the film industry hungrier than ever for filmmakers and visual artists from every background, Hinlein will be an invaluable asset to NYFA Filmmaking and Cinematography students looking to express the world their stories in their own ways.

    “Stepping in to my new role as Creative Director of the Film and Cinematography departments at New York Film Academy is an exciting new challenge,” says Hinlein. “My vision is to elevate the departments and expand their reach as a dynamic creative hub for creators, filmmakers, and visionary thinkers in New York. We’re building a meeting ground where students and the creative community can nurture ideas, collaborate, and learn from one another. NYFA’s Film and Cinematography departments are a refreshing win-win for students and the industry alike.”

    Hinlein has been at the forefront of a rapidly-evolving visual medium. Recently, her VR film for Byton Auto was nominated for Best Branded Entertainment/Commercial at the 2019 CES VR Fest. In 2018 she directed Accenture’s VR film, Behind the Style, winning that same award. Most recently, Hinlein spent time China writing and directing The Dream Factory, a series of seven epic branding films for the prestigious Sichuan Film and Television University, using Google Translate to navigate her way through the country. Currently Liz is in pre-production on OSAGE ’85, a groundbreaking immersive documentary experience. 

    In television, Hinlein was selected for the DGA DDI TV Directing Program, the Sony Diversity Program and the Viacom Diversity Program. Her visual expertise comes from a background of directing commercials and music videos for top brands, including Dove, Lifetime, Revlon, Gillette, Maybelline, A&E, and MAC Cosmetics. Additionally, Hinlein has created films for superstar musicians such as Mary J. Blige and Britney Spears, and has been commissioned to photograph Quincy Jones, Incubus, and Fishbone. 

    Hinlein’s success in multiple fields also reflects NYFA’s commitment to combating gender inequality in the entertainment/media industry by educating and training more women to fill important roles on film and television sets. With a student body that is nearly 50% women, one of Hinlein’s first initiatives as Creative Director will be to form a NYFA Film Femme Club, where students can come together to inspire genuine conversation, encourage self-confidence, collaborate to create healthy media, and establish platforms that empower women to generate a positive impact on the entertainment industry.

    New York Film Academy looks forward to the exciting energy and ideas filmmaker Liz Hinlein will share with our Filmmaking and Cinematography students!

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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Game Design Presents ‘Death Stranding’ Game Deconstruction Dinner

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    On February 19, over 40 students and game industry professionals gathered at New York Film Academy’s Burbank-based campus for an analysis of the hit video game Death Stranding as part of a series of Game Deconstruction Dinners. The Game Deconstruction Dinner is an ongoing educational, inspirational, and networking event sponsored by the NYFA Game Design department.

    Scott Rogers, a NYFA Game Design instructor and industry veteran whose credits include God of War, Pac-Man World, and Darksiders, conducted the deconstruction using the Playcentric System.

    The Playcentric System, which originated in the book Game Design Workshop by Tracy Fullerton and Chris Swain, analyzes the dramatic, formal and dynamic systems of a video game.

     Death Stranding is the newest PS4 video game from famed game director Hideo Kojima. The player inhabits the character of a deliveryman who attempts to connect America’s survivors after a supernatural catastrophe.

    Rogers illustrated the Playcentric System using examples collected from over 50 hours of video gameplay. Overall, Rogers’ opinion of the game was positive and many of the guests left the event excited to try Death Stranding for themselves.

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    February 27, 2020 • Faculty Highlights, Game Design • Views: 732

  • Photo Arts Conservatory at New York Film Academy (PAC at NYFA) Showcases Work in Photo LA

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    This year, the Photo Arts Conservatory at New York Film Academy (PAC at NYFA) participated in Photo LA, the annual event that links local and global artists and thinkers by sharing work to create an encompassing photographic experience. Students, alumni, and faculty were able to showcase their work alongside galleries, artists, collectors, dealers, and publishers. 

    Photo LA 2020

    PAC at NYFA curated an exciting show representing the values, aesthetics, and the intellectual rigor of our students, alumni, and faculty. The work shows our strong commitment to facilitating an education that combines fine art and commercial skills with critical theory and contemporary issues. We are thrilled to be a community of global visual storytellers, made up of students and faculty from around the world. 

    Additionally. PAC at NYFA also produced, hosted, and moderated three panels at FOCUS Photo LA. Our first panel featured photographer and NYFA faculty Lane Barden discussing his work in the MONUMENTality exhibition at the Getty. Frances Terpak, Curator of Photographs at the Getty Research Institute, joined the discussion, sharing her process of curating the show and the ideas behind it. Also there to deepen the conversation was Roberto Scheiberg, architect from the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, who was present and an active player in the funding and exhibiting of the Linear City project at Woodbury University’s gallery in Hollywood (Wuho). 

    Our next panel was called Social Media Giants: Thoughts and Advice on Instagram, which featured Baz Here (NYFA MFA Photography student), Maddie Smith (BFA Photography student), and Alejandro Ibarra (MFA alum and NYFA instructor), who all have strong Instagram followings. Silvi Naci, artist, curator, and NYFA faculty, moderated the discussion exploring their use of Instagram as a platform, how they got their following, and what they saw the future of Instagram to be for photography. 

    Photo LA 2020

    Our last and totally sold out panel was a round table discussion called Photo Reps: The Inside Scoop on Intersectional Trends in Advertising. Artist reps and photo producers discussed their experiences in finding and representing diverse photographers and the roles women and people of color take in the making of commercial imagery. This panel featured Maren Levinson (RedEye), Jigisha Bouverat (BOUVERAT COLLECTIVE), Jen Lamping (Director of Photo Production at RPA), and Clarissa Garrett (Producer at 72andsunny), and was moderated by artist and PAC at NYFA faculty Amanda Rowan.

    Artists from PAC at NYFA that exhibited at Photo LA included:

    Changhao Song, BFA Alum
    Eric Magana, BFA Student
    Baz Here, MFA Student
    Dia Yunzhi Wang, MFA Alum
    Oluwasegun Oladele-Ajose, 1-Year Conservatory Alum
    Suge Hou, BFA Student
    Yilin Li, MFA Alum
    Jon Henry, 1-Year Conservatory Alum and Faculty
    Mengmeng Lu, BFA Alum and Faculty
    Angel Alvarado, Digital Lab Coordinator
    Amanda Rowan, Faculty
    Andre Keichian, Faculty
    Jackie Neale, Faculty
    Lane Barden, Faculty
    Kean O’Brien, Co-Chair
    Naomi White, Co-Chair

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    February 5, 2020 • Faculty Highlights, Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 924

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Represented at 2020 Visual Effects Society Awards

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) was well-represented at this year’s Visual Effects Society Awards, awarded by the Visual Effects Society (VES) entertainment industry’s only organization representing the full breadth of visual effects practitioners including artists, animators, technologists, model makers, educators, studio leaders, supervisors, PR/marketing specialists and producers in all areas of entertainment from film, television and commercials to music videos and games.

    Visual Effects Society Awards

    NYFA MFA Game Design alum Guillermo Quesada worked on the VR technology used for 2019’s The Lion King, which won the evening’s top honor for Outstanding Visual Effects, as well as awards for virtual cinematography and created digital environments.

    NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alum Alexandra LoRusso worked on the Game of Thrones finale “The Iron Throne,” which won Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project and did effects animation for nominee Gemini Man.

    NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alum Francesco Panzieri worked as a compositor on two nominees–Spider-Man: Far from Home and Terminator: Dark Fate. Both of these films were also worked on by NYFA 3D Animation & VFX instructor Nate Usiak.

    His colleague, NYFA 3D Animation & VFX instructor Kelley Williams, did tech animation for Frozen 2, which earned multiple nominations and won Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature.

    Craig Caton, the NYFA 3D Animation & VFX Chair, worked as an anim servo on nominees Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Jurassic World: The Ride; the latter won Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project while the former won Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal or Animated Project.

    Here is a full list of this year’s Visual Effects Society Awards nominees and winners:

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
    Richard Hollander
    Kevin Sherwood
    Eric Saindon
    Richard Baneham
    Bob Trevino

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME
    Dan DeLeeuw
    Jen Underdahl
    Russell Earl
    Matt Aitken
    Daniel Sudick

    GEMINI MAN
    Bill Westenhofer
    Karen Murphy-Mundell
    Guy Williams
    Sheldon Stopsack
    Mark Hawker

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Roger Guyett
    Stacy Bissell
    Patrick Tubach
    Neal Scanlan
    Dominic Tuohy

    WINNER: THE LION KING
    Robert Legato

    Tom Peitzman
    Adam Valdez
    Andrew R. Jones

    Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    1917
    Guillaume Rocheron
    Sona Pak
    Greg Butler
    Vijay Selvam
    Dominic Tuohy

    FORD V FERRARI
    Olivier Dumont
    Kathy Siegel
    Dave Morley
    Malte Sarnes
    Mark Byers

    JOKER
    Edwin Rivera
    Brice Parker
    Mathew Giampa
    Bryan Godwin
    Jeff Brink

    THE AERONAUTS
    Louis Morin
    Annie Godin
    Christian Kaestner
    Ara Khanikian
    Mike Dawson

    WINNER: THE IRISHMAN
    Pablo Helman
    Mitchell Ferm
    Jill Brooks
    Leandro Estebecorena
    Jeff Brink

    Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

    FROZEN 2
    Steve Goldberg
    Peter Del Vecho
    Mark Hammel
    Michael Giaimo

    KLAUS
    Sergio Pablos
    Matthew Teevan
    Marcin Jakubowski
    Szymon Biernacki

    WINNER: MISSING LINK
    Brad Schiff
    Travis Knight
    Steve Emerson
    Benoit Dubuc

    THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART
    David Burgess
    Timothy Jason Smith
    Mark Theriault
    John Rix

    TOY STORY 4
    Josh Cooley
    Mark Nielsen
    Bob Moyer
    Gary Bruins

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Joe Bauer
    Steve Kullback
    Ted Rae
    Mohsen Mousavi
    Sam Conway

    HIS DARK MATERIALS; “The Fight to the Death”
    Russell Dodgson
    James Whitlam
    Shawn Hillier
    Robert Harrington

    LADY AND THE TRAMP
    Robert Weaver
    Christopher Raimo
    Arslan Elver
    Michael Cozens
    Bruno Van Zeebroeck

    LOST IN SPACE; “Ninety-Seven”
    Jabbar Raisani
    Terron Pratt
    Niklas Jacobson
    Juri Stanossek
    Paul Benjamin

    STRANGER THINGS – “Chapter Six: E Pluribus Unum”
    Paul Graff
    Tom Ford
    Michael Maher Jr.
    Martin Pelletier
    Andy Sowers

    WINNER: THE MANDALORIAN; “The Child”
    Richard Bluff
    Abbigail Keller
    Jason Porter
    Hayden Jones
    Roy K. Cancino

    Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

    WINNER: CHERNOBYL; “1:23:45”
    Max Dennison
    Lindsay McFarlane
    Clare Cheetham
    Paul Jones
    Claudius Christian Rauch

    LIVING WITH YOURSELF; “Nice Knowing You”
    Jay Worth
    Jacqueline VandenBussche
    Chris Wright
    Tristan Zerafa

    SEE; “Godflame”
    Adrian de Wet
    Eve Fizzinoglia
    Matthew Welford
    Pedro Sabrosa
    Tom Blacklock

    THE CROWN; “Aberfan”
    Ben Turner
    Reece Ewing
    David Fleet
    Jonathan Wood

    VIKINGS; “What Happens in the Cave”
    Dominic Remane
    Mike Borrett
    Ovidiu Cinazan
    Tom Morrison
    Paul Byrne

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

    Call of Duty Modern Warfare
    Charles Chabert
    Chris Parise
    Attila Zalanyi
    Patrick Hagar

    WINNER: Control
    Janne Pulkkinen

    Elmeri Raitanen
    Matti Hämäläinen
    James Tottman

    Gears 5
    Aryan Hanbeck
    Laura Kippax
    Greg Mitchell
    Stu Maxwell

    Myth: A Frozen Tale
    Jeff Gipson
    Nicholas Russell
    Brittney Lee
    Jose Luis Gomez Diaz

    Vader Immortal: Episode I
    Ben Snow
    Mike Doran
    Aaron McBride
    Steve Henricks

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

    “Anthem Conviction”
    Viktor Muller
    Lenka Likarova
    Chris Harvey
    Petr Marek

    “BMW Legend”
    Michael Gregory
    Christian Downes
    Tim Kafka
    Toya Drechsler

    WINNER: “Hennessy: The Seven Worlds”
    Carsten Keller
    Selçuk Ergen
    Kiril Mirkov
    William Laban

    “PlayStation: Feel The Power of Pro”
    Sam Driscoll
    Clare Melia
    Gary Driver
    Stefan Susemihl

    “Purdey’s: Hummingbird”
    Jules Janaud
    Emma Cook
    Matthew Thomas
    Philip Child

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

    Avengers: Damage Control
    Michael Koperwas
    Sherief Fattouh
    Ian Bowie
    Kishore Vijay
    Curtis Hickman

    Jurassic World: The Ride
    Hayden Landis
    Friend Wells
    Heath Kraynak
    Ellen Coss

    Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
    Asa Kalama
    Rob Huebner
    Khatsho Orfali
    Susan Greenhow

    WINNER: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
    Jason Bayever

    Patrick Kearney
    Carol Norton
    Bill George

    Universal Sphere
    James Healy
    Morgan MacCuish
    Ben West
    Charlie Bayliss

    Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature

    WINNER: ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL; Alita
    Michael Cozens
    Mark Haenga
    Olivier Lesaint
    Dejan Momcilovic

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME; Smart Hulk
    Kevin Martel
    Ebrahim Jahromi
    Sven Jensen
    Robert Allman

    GEMINI MAN; Junior
    Paul Story
    Stuart Adcock
    Emiliano Padovani
    Marco Revelant

    THE LION KING; Scar
    Gabriel Arnold
    James Hood
    Julia Friedl
    Daniel Fotheringham

    Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature

    FROZEN 2; The Water Nøkk
    Svetla Radivoeva
    Marc Bryant
    Richard E. Lehmann
    Cameron Black

    KLAUS; Jesper
    Yoshimichi Tamura
    Alfredo Cassano
    Maxime Delalande
    Jason Schwartzman

    WINNER: MISSING LINK; Susan
    Rachelle Lambden
    Brenda Baumgarten
    Morgan Hay
    Benoit Dubuc

    TOY STORY 4; Bo Peep
    Radford Hurn
    Tanja Krampfert
    George Nguyen
    Becki Rocha Tower

    Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project

    LADY AND THE TRAMP; Tramp
    Thiago Martins
    Arslan Elver
    Stanislas Paillereau
    Martine Chartrand

    WINNER: STRANGER THINGS 3; Tom/Bruce Monster
    Joseph Dubé-Arsenault
    Antoine Barthod
    Frederick Gagnon
    Xavier Lafarge

    THE MANDALORIAN; “The Child”; Mudhorn
    Terry Bannon
    Rudy Massar
    Hugo Leygnac

    THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY; “Pilot”; Pogo
    Aidan Martin
    Craig Young
    Olivier Beierlein
    Laurent Herveic

    Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial

    “Apex Legends”; Meltdown; Mirage
    Chris Bayol
    John Fielding
    Derrick Sesson
    Nole Murphy

    “Churchill”; Churchie
    Martino Madeddu
    Philippe Moine
    Clement Granjon
    Jon Wood

    WINNER: “Cyberpunk 2077”; Dex
    Jonas Ekman
    Jonas Skoog
    Marek Madej
    Grzegorz Chojnacki

    “John Lewis”; Excitable Edgar; Edgar
    Tim van Hussen
    Diarmid Harrison-Murray
    Amir Bazazi
    Michael Diprose

    Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

    ALADDIN; Agrabah
    Daniel Schmid
    Falk Boje
    Stanislaw Marek
    Kevin George

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL; Iron City
    John Stevenson-Galvin
    Ryan Arcus
    Mathias Larserud
    Mark Tait

    MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN; Penn Station
    John Bair
    Vance Miller
    Sebastian Romero
    Steve Sullivan

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER; Pasaana Desert
    Daniele Bigi
    Steve Hardy
    John Seru
    Steven Denyer

    WINNER: THE LION KING; The Pridelands
    Marco Rolandi
    Luca Bonatti
    Jules Bodenstein
    Filippo Preti

    Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

    FROZEN 2; Giants’ Gorge
    Samy Segura
    Jay V. Jackson
    Justin Cram
    Scott Townsend

    HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD; The Hidden World
    Chris Grun
    Ronnie Cleland
    Ariel Chisholm
    Philippe Brochu

    MISSING LINK; Passage to India Jungle
    Oliver Jones
    Phil Brotherton
    Nick Mariana
    Ralph Procida

    WINNER: TOY STORY 4; Antiques Mall
    Hosuk Chang
    Andrew Finley
    Alison Leaf
    Philip Shoebottom

    Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

    WINNER: GAME OF THRONES; The Iron Throne; Red Keep Plaza
    Carlos Patrick DeLeon
    Alonso Bocanegra Martinez
    Marcela Silva
    Benjamin Ross

    LOST IN SPACE; Precipice; The Trench
    Philip Engström
    Benjamin Bernon
    Martin Bergquist
    Xuan Prada

    THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE; The Endless Forest
    Sulé Bryan
    Charles Chorein
    Christian Waite
    Martyn Hawkins

    THE MANDALORIAN; Nevarro Town
    Alex Murtaza
    Yanick Gaudreau
    Marco Tremblay
    Maryse Bouchard

    Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
    Emile Ghorayeb
    Simon Jung
    Nick Epstein
    Mike Perry

    WINNER: THE LION KING
    Robert Legato

    Caleb Deschanel
    Ben Grossmann
    AJ Sciutto

    THE MANDALORIAN; “The Prisoner”; The Roost
    Richard Bluff
    Jason Porter
    Landis Fields IV
    Barry Baz Idoine

    TOY STORY 4
    Jean-Claude Kalache
    Patrick Lin

    Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

    LOST IN SPACE; The Resolute
    Xuan Prada
    Jason Martin
    Jonathan Vårdstedt
    Eric Andersson

    MISSING LINK; The Manchuria
    Todd Alan Harvey
    Dan Casey
    Katy Hughes

    THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE; Rocket Train
    Neil Taylor
    Casi Blume
    Ben McDougal
    Chris Kuhn

    WINNER: THE MANDALORIAN; “The Sin”; The Razorcrest
    Doug Chiang
    Jay Machado
    John Goodson
    Landis Fields IV

    Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

    DUMBO; Bubble Elephants
    Sam Hancock
    Victor Glushchenko
    Andrew Savchenko
    Arthur Moody

    SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME; Molten Man
    Adam Gailey
    Jacob Santamaria
    Jacob Clark
    Stephanie Molk

    WINNER: STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Don Wong

    Thibault Gauriau
    Goncalo Cabaca
    François-Maxence Desplanques

    THE LION KING
    David Schneider
    Samantha Hiscock
    Andy Feery
    Kostas Strevlos

    Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

    ABOMINABLE
    Alex Timchenko
    Domin Lee
    Michael Losure
    Eric Warren

    WINNER: FROZEN 2
    Erin V. Ramos

    Scott Townsend
    Thomas Wickes
    Rattanin Sirinaruemarn

    HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD; Water and Waterfalls
    Derek Cheung
    Baptiste Van Opstal
    Youxi Woo
    Jason Mayer

    TOY STORY 4
    Alexis Angelidis
    Amit Baadkar
    Lyon Liew
    Michael Lorenzen

    Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Marcel Kern
    Paul Fuller
    Ryo Sakaguchi
    Thomas Hartmann

    “Hennessy: The Seven Worlds”
    Selçuk Ergen
    Radu Ciubotariu
    Andreu Lucio
    Vincent Ullmann

    LOST IN SPACE; “Precipice”; Water Planet
    Juri Bryan
    Hugo Medda
    Kristian Olsson
    John Perrigo

    WINNER: STRANGER THINGS 3; Melting Tom/Bruce
    Nathan Arbuckle
    Christian Gaumond
    James Dong
    Aleksandr Starkov

    THE MANDALORIAN; “The Child”; Mudhorn
    Xavier Martin Ramirez
    Ian Baxter
    Fabio Siino
    Andrea Rosa

    Outstanding Compositing in a Feature

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
    Adam Bradley
    Carlo Scaduto
    Hirofumi Takeda
    Ben Roberts

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME
    Tim Walker
    Blake Winder
    Tobias Wiesner
    Joerg Bruemmer

    CAPTAIN MARVEL; Young Nick Fury
    Trent Claus
    David Moreno Hernandez
    Jeremiah Sweeney
    Yuki Uehara

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Jeff Sutherland
    John Galloway
    Sam Bassett
    Charles Lai

    WINNER: THE IRISHMAN
    Nelson Sepulveda

    Vincent Papaix
    Benjamin O’Brien
    Christopher Doerhoff

    Outstanding Compositing in an Episode

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Scott Joseph
    James Elster
    Corinne Teo
    Sean Heuston

    WINNER: GAME OF THRONES; “The Long Night”; Dragon Ground Battle
    Mark Richardson
    Darren Christie
    Nathan Abbot
    Owen Longstaff

    STRANGER THINGS 3; Starcourt Mall Battle
    Simon Lehembre
    Andrew Kowbell
    Karim El-Masry
    Miklos Mesterhazy

    WATCHMEN; “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”; Looking Glass
    Nathaniel Larouche
    Iyi Tubi
    Perunika Yorgova
    Mitchell Beaton

    Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial

    “BMW Legend”
    Toya Drechsler
    Vivek Tekale
    Guillaume Weiss
    Alexander Kulikov

    “Feeding America; I Am Hunger in America”
    Dan Giraldo
    Marcelo Pasqualino
    Alexander Koester

    WINNER: “Hennessy; The Seven Worlds”
    Rod Norman
    Guillaume Weiss
    Alexander Kulikov
    Alessandro Granella

    “PlayStation: Feel the Power of Pro”
    Gary Driver
    Stefan Susemihl
    Greg Spencer
    Theajo Dharan

    Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal or Animated Project

    ALADDIN; Magic Carpet
    Mark Holt
    Jay Mallet
    Will Wyatt
    Dickon Mitchell

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Sam Conway
    Terry Palmer
    Laurence Harvey
    Alastair Vardy

    TERMINATOR: DARK FATE
    Neil Corbould
    David Brighton
    Ray Ferguson
    Keith Dawson

    WINNER: THE DARK CRYSTAL: THE AGE OF RESISTANCE; “She Knows All the Secrets”
    Sean Mathiesen
    Jon Savage
    Toby Froud
    Phil Harvey

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

    DOWNFALL
    Matías Heker
    Stephen Moroz
    Bradley Cocksedge

    LOVE AND FIFTY MEGATONS
    Denis Krez
    Josephine Roß
    Paulo Scatena
    Lukas Löffler

    OEIL POUR OEIL
    Alan Guimont
    Thomas Boileau
    Malcolm Hunt
    Robin Courtoise

    WINNER: THE BEAUTY
    Marc Angele
    Aleksandra Todorovic
    Pascal Schelbli
    Noel Winzen

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