“I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human.” Over the span of sixty nine years, the recently deceased legend of music, art, film, theatre and pop culture, David Bowie was indeed as extraordinary as he set out to be. Always setting the trends and breaking the boundaries as an artist, the entertainment icon and pioneer of glam rock’s legacy will live on forever.
David Bowie on set of “The Man Who Fell to Earth”
“He was a major, major artist,” said New York Film Academy Cinematography Chair, Anthony Richmond, who was Director of Photography on the Nicolas Roeg film The Man Who Fell to Earth, which starred Bowie as a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet. “He just kept reinventing himself.”
The 1976 British sci-fi film, which was actually shot in New Mexico, was originally cast for Peter O’ Toole. However, those who know the movie—which maintains its strong cult following due to its use of surreal imagery and unforgettable Bowie performances—know that it wouldn’t be nearly the same without him. “I don’t think there was another person who could play that part,” said Richmond. “Bowie was a bit like an alien himself—bringing his own artistry to the film.”
The British film was Richmond’s first film in which he spent the entire shoot in America. While on set, Richmond and director Nicolas Roeg would play some of Bowie’s hits, especially “Young Americans,” which was one of his more recent songs that Richmond was quite fond of.
Bowie would spend almost eight hours each morning getting into his alien costume. In fact, it was Richmond’s wife at the time who spent all morning dolling up Bowie.
“Unlike most rock stars, Bowie was incredibly professional,” said Richmond, a man who is no stranger to working with rock legends. Richmond was responsible for photography on the seminal British music scene of the late 60’s. He shot The Rolling Stones classic, “Sympathy For The Devil” for Jean-Luc Godard, and then collaborated with Michael Lindsey Hogg on The Rolling Stones’ “Rock And Roll Circus” and the Beatles’ “Let It Be.” His other rock and roll credits include: The Who’s “The Kids Are Alright,” as well as the Documentary “Glastonbury Fayre.”
David Bowie, Nicolas Roeg and Anthony Richmond
Like most of us, Richmond was a huge fan of Bowie’s work and would frequently see him in concert and listen to his music whenever he could.
“I was deeply saddened when I read the news this morning. We lost one of the most extraordinary artists of our time.”
The New York Film Academy Los Angeles is pleased to announce Tony Richmond, A.S.C., B.S.C., as its new Faculty Chair of the Cinematography Department.
Born and raised in London, Richmond began at the age of 16 as a messenger with Associate British Cinemas and later with Pathe-News, where he was promoted to the camera department. He next worked as Assistant Cameraman on such films as: Call Me Bwana; From Russia with Love; Devil-Ship Pirates; The Gorgan; A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum; Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 and David Leans’s Dr. Zhivago.
Tony Richmond and Anjelica Huston on the set of “Bastard Out of Carolina”
The award-winning cinematographer went on to numerous collaborations as Director of Photography for director Nicolas Roeg, lensing five of his films: Don’t Look Now — for which Richmond won the prestigious BAFTA award; The Man Who Fell To Earth; Bad Timing; Heart Of Darkness; and Full Body Massage for Showtime. Some of Richmond’s other credits include: The Sandlot; Candyman; Stardust for Michael Apted; Playing God; Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights; Rough Riders for John Milius; Silver Bears for Ivan Passer, That’s Life and Sunset for Blake Edwards;The Eagle Has Landed for John Sturges; and The Greek Tycoon for J. Lee Thompson. He also served as DP on Tony Goldwin’s directorial debut Walk On The Moon, Sean Penn’s directorial debut Indian Runner, and Anjelica Houston’s directorial debut Bastard Out Of Carolina, and collaborated again with her on Agnes Brown and Riding The Bus With My Sister.
Richmond was also responsible for photography on the seminal British music scene of the late 60’s. He shot the Rolling Stones classic, Sympathy For The Devil for Jean-Luc Godard, and then collaborated with Michael Lindsey Hogg on The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus and the Beatles’ Let It Be. His other rock and roll credits include: The Who’s The Kids Are Alright, as well as the Documentary Glastonbury Fayre.
Richmond will be taking over New York Film Academy’s Cinematography Program, which currently has a strong curriculum with a focus on hands-on, intensive learning.
“I believe that students learn cinematography by going out and shooting movies, and both the MFA and One-Year Cinematography programs offer our students the opportunity to make many projects,” said Richmond. “They have access to the latest equipment and technology, which we teach in combination with the fundamental concepts of visual storytelling.”
In recent years, Richmond has taught the next generation of cinematographers. He relishes mentoring aspiring filmmakers and looks forward to meeting with our students to discuss their needs on upcoming projects. Moving forward as Faculty Chair of the Department, Richmond hopes to strengthen NYFA’s connections to the professional film industry and maintain its position as one of the premier schools to study cinematography.
“I want to share the lessons I learned in my early days working with David Lean, Nicolas Roeg, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Blake Edwards, John Sturges, and pass this knowledge on to the next generation of cinematographers and filmmakers,” added Richmond. “I have worked as a cinematographer and director at the highest levels of the film business, and I understand what it takes to have a successful career in a very challenging industry. Though I started my career in a different era, I believe I can offer the students a perspective on how to do the cinematographer’s job, and how to work in a business that is constantly changing. Personal relationships are still key to your success as a filmmaker.”
Tony Richmond on set of Nicholas Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now”
Richmond stressed that though there have been a number of changes in how movies are made, personal relationships and networking are still the key to making it in the film business. You need to know how to do the job, you need to have a strong eye and you need to be good at working together with the director and everyone on the crew to put a great story on the screen. He also strongly recommends that current student filmmakers and recent graduates utilize the Internet and social media as way to get their work seen. In today’s modern entertainment world, they can act as your calling card into the business.
In closing, we’re thrilled and honored to have Tony Richmond as the new Chair of NYFA Los Angeles Cinematography Program. We believe Mr. Richmond will help guide our program to continue its development as one of the most rewarding schools for aspiring cinematographers.
One of the many enticing aspects of attending one of the New York Film Academy’s programs is the ability to learn hands-on from professionals who have and continue to have such a strong grasp of the professional entertainment business. The best teacher is someone with real life experience in his or her field. Our Los Angeles Acting for Film Chair, Lynda Goodfriend, oversees the acting for film school with a tremendously versatile and impressive background, having performed and acted in both New York City and Los Angeles.
After college, Goodfriend started her career as a professional dancer and singer on Broadway, Off Broadway and, as she puts it, “Way-off Broadway.”
“It was everything I’d dreamt of! One of the highlights was to work with a young performer just starting his career as well, John Travolta” recalls Goodfriend. “When I started to take my acting more seriously, I began studying with the master teachers Lee Strasberg and Sandy Meisner, which made me believe that my ultimate goal as a performer was to be a ‘dramatic actress.'”
After being in a couple of very small roles in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver with Robert De Niro and The Front with Woody Allen, Lynda drove to Los Angeles with ambition and her SAG card. To her surprise, Goodfriend booked a variety of sitcom roles, rather than the dramas she was accustomed to.
“I started classes at Harvey Lembeck’s comedy workshop and would come home crying after every class—it was so hard! But now I love comedy and appreciate the actors who do it well. Among my classmates was a young comedian who could not get work as an actor because he could not stick to the script, but he was brilliant at improv. A role came up on the series I was doing (Happy Days) and they could not cast the character, so I mentioned this guy from my class. He came in to audition, got the role, and the producers liked him so much they created a series of his own—it was called Mork and Mindy, and the actor, Robin Williams, became a huge star.”
Lynda Goodfriend as Lori Beth Cunningham with Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham on ‘Happy Days’
Lynda is most well known for her role as Lori Beth Cunningham in the hit TV series Happy Days. Along the way she did two other sitcom series, many guest star roles, and several roles in feature films working with such actors as Tom Hanks, Bette Midler, and Julia Roberts. One of her fondest moments, as she recalls, was working with Ray Bolger, the ‘Scarecrow’ from the Wizard of Oz, on an episode of Fantasy Island.
Taking a break from television, Goodfriend started her own acting school, The Actors Workout in NoHo (North Hollywood, the Theatre District), and developed two schools and a Theatre. She was also the head of a management company, Young Artists Management for many years, working with clients from top talent agencies such as CAA, ICM and William Morris.
She came back to teaching in 2006 at New York Film Academy, teaching Acting for Film and Scripted TV classes. In 2011, Lynda became—and still serves as—Chair of the Acting Department. “I feel like working in this position pulls together all that I’ve learned from my acting career, teaching and managing careers. And fortunately, since my daughter is a talent agent at one of the top agencies in LA, it’s easy to still keep up with the current trends in the industry, so I can help guide our students.”
“My goal for the Acting Department at NYFA is to continue to find more techniques and approaches to help actors learn their craft, as well as to expand our students’ opportunities to be involved in the industry after graduation. I love our program and have the honor to work with so many gifted instructors. Since becoming Chair, I have had the opportunity to add the Student Directed Plays, the Studio Classes (advanced “extra” courses in Meisner, Method and Chekov), Alumni Scene Study classes, as well as our extensive list of Drop In Classes—Auditioning, Stage Combat, Improv, Yoga, Meditation, Dance, Accent Reduction, Singing and Ballroom Dance—to support their training.”
“This program is an amazing gift for students who want to learn everything as an actor. When you graduate from this program you can hit the ground running! I believe that everything you do in life teaches you something about acting, so in my personal life I’ve always tried to do things that challenged me—I’ve raced airplanes, climbed mountains in the Himalayas, and am a competition rider along with my Swedish Warmblood horse, named ‘Othello.’ No matter what you do or pursue it’s all about the same thing—focus, hard work and commitment.”
The most important words of advice Goodfriend can give any actor that is pursuing a career are:
Work harder than everybody else
Don’t burn bridges
Do something every day to become a better actor: read scripts, plays or anything you can get your hands on, go to the theatre, watch great films, go to class
Last night, NBC and Lorne Michaels managed to manifest the highest population density of celebrities, musicians and comedians into one studio. That studio was 8H, and it was for the 40th anniversary of the iconic sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live.
Fans had the opportunity to see old sketches reprised, such as Dan Aykroyd’s Bassamatic, Celebrity Jeopardy, Wayne’s World and countless others. The event included appearances by a star-studded list of celebrities and former hosts like Robert De Niro, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin…the list goes on and on. To put it simply, it was like heaven on Earth for SNL fans.
While being captivated by television history, we recognized some New York Film Academy friends and family.
Former guest speaker, Molly Shannon, surprised fans with her socially awkward, Catholic school girl character, Mary Katherine Gallagher. Performing in front of some of the most well known and respected entertainers in the world, Mary became very nervous and began smelling her armpits…like this. Though, soon after, she proclaimed that she was still a Superstar!
Actress & SNL alum, Molly Shannon at a NYFA Guest Speaker Event
You may have also noticed another former guest speaker and Master Class Filmmaking Instructor James Signorelli. The SNL 40 show paid tribute to Signorelli by giving him his own unique SNL-style graphic during the broadcast. Signorelli has been a part of the show since 1976, having been the film segment producer for more than 400 episodes. He’s considered the king of ad parodies. If you’re thinking of a popular SNL commercial parody right now, James likely produced it.
Looking back at many of the classic comedy sketches from the early 1980s, you may recall the famous “Synchronized Swimming” sketch with Harry Shearer and Martin Short, or the classic “Assassination of Buckwheat” with Eddie Murphy. What you may or may not know is Claude Kerven, the New York Film Academy in New York City’s Chair of Filmmaking, directed these short comedy films along with many others.
The New York Film Academy is proud to have connections to the long-standing, ground-breaking show, SNL. Here’s to another 40 years!