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  • NYFA Students Attend Red Carpet Premiere of Russell Crowe Directorial Debut at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood

    nyfa student Last week New York Film Academy students received a special invitation to the Los Angeles premiere of Russell Crowe’s directorial debut film The Water Diviner at the historic Chinese Theater. Students from all departments and programs attended and got a rare, first-hand Hollywood red carpet event experience.

    NYFA producing student Emilio Madaio and acting student Tania Martínez where there and recounted the night’s events for us in an interview:

    What were your initial impressions of the event?

    Emilio: It was my first time at the Chinese Theater so I was really excited about it. With its (decorative) entrance it’s definitely a classy place. I saw some of the red carpet events before Russell Crowe arrived. It was fun to see it executed in real life—the interviewers behind the ropes courting the stars and trying to get there attention, the celebrities getting interviewed and posing for pictures with their best angle—that was interesting. I actually ended up sitting near the very front of the theater. Some of the movie’s cast like Yilmaz Erdogan and Ryan Corr sat close to me.

    Did you go with other NYFA students?

    Tania: I was with my whole class, except one person. There were 12 of us. And there were lots of people from other programs and classes too. Even one of my teachers was there. The whole theater was full and they had free popcorn and drinks for everyone.

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    Did you get to see Russell Crowe?

    Tania: I was seated little further back. But it didn’t matter because before the screening someone started talking (over a loudspeaker) saying, “Everyone please be seated…” and I didn’t realize who was talking but then I looked to my left and it was Russell Crowe. He was talking to the audience and making jokes. He didn’t even go onto the stage he just stayed upstairs (on a balcony) in the middle of the theater. Nobody realized it was him talking at first, then people started pointing and taking pictures.

    Emilio: Yes, he spoke from the back of the room and explained that usually at a premiere like this you will see the director talking at the front of the theater discussing why he wanted to make this movie, what happened on set, and what his influences were, but that he wasn’t going to do this. He just wanted to cut to the chase and let movie speak for itself. And he did it in a very funny way. He joked with the audience that after the screening they could trade in their ticket stubs with the Australian government to receive a free kola in the mail. After hearing Russell Crowe speak I decided he was a class act. He seemed like someone who had reached the top and wanted to give back. He supported the other actors in the movie, announcing who was in the audience and giving them a nice push, so to speak. He didn’t want to be the star that night; he wanted the movie to take the lead.

    premiere
    What did you think of the movie?

    Tania: Russell Crowe’s acting was great, as well as all the other actors. It’s the kind of movie that keeps you “in the movie” and engaged, and impacts you emotionally. And I’m a really family-oriented person and this movie has a great sense of family. I definitely recommend the movie.

    Emilio: I was very interested to see the directorial debut of an actor. The movie really delivered and exceeded my expectations. (As a producer) I was paying attention to the producing aspects of the movie and it’s much more than you would expect from a first time director. Would I recommend the movie to my friends? Yes!

    What happened after the screening?

    Tania: Afterwards many of the actors were talking to the crowd. People were congratulating them and taking pictures with them. I got to take pictures with a few of the cast members. It was interesting and nice. Walking through Hollywood you always see premieres and stuff going on, and normally you’re on the other side. And it was nice to be inside and to see it from another perspective. I really enjoyed it and want to go to another one!

    April 24, 2015 • Community Highlights, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 714

  • NYFA Military Students Produce Veterans PSA with Joe Mantegna

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    Actor Joe Mantegna with NYFA veteran students

    Today, military veteran students enrolled at the Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy produced a Public Service Announcement for partnering organization, The Soldiers Project. The PSA featured award-winning actor Joe Mantegna, who is a dedicated supporter of veterans and their families. The Soldier’s Project, a non-profit organization that offers counseling to service members, veterans and their families, has been a long time collaborator with The New York Film Academy, offering counseling and support to Veterans making the transition from military service to pursuing their dreams in the creative arts industries at NYFA.

    The PSA shoot was staffed by an all veteran film crew featuring veteran students from all branches of the military and studying various disciplines including filmmaking, producing, cinematography, and photography. The shoot offered a unique opportunity for Veteran students to come together and create a high quality video that will support their fellow veterans.

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    Ruddy Canohernandez, a BFA Producing student who produced the PSA, did so with the hope that his work would “open doors for other service members that he has been so lucky to take advantage of.” As a Marine, Mr. Canohernandez holds strong to the idea of never leaving a man behind, and sees his work as a producer as part of supporting his fellow service member. The PSA was directed by first year student and Army veteran Eric Milzaski, who was thrilled to have the opportunity to direct such a well known actor. In his own words, “this was a tremendous experience for me as a filmmaker, and we, as veteran students here, appreciate the opportunity that the NYFA Veterans Office was able was provide us with.”

    Mr. Mantegna was impressed by the hard work and professionalism of the veteran students and shared a desire to see more veterans working in the entertainment Industry. We will all be keeping our eyes out for this exciting PSA and the futures of these talented young filmmakers.

    -John Powers & Kelly Gardner

    April 24, 2015 • Community Highlights, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 389

  • New York Film Academy at WonderCon 2015

    WonderCon

    For the second year in a row, Adam Finer (Chair of Industry Outreach and Professional Development) and Nunzio DeFilippis (Screenwriting Department Chair) presented a panel on Franchise Development and Transmedia titled “Story Worlds: The Alchemy of Franchise Creation” at WonderCon in Anahiem, California. Joining them on stage this year for a witty, insightful exchange was Christina Weir (one of the co-creators of the Screenwriting Department’s Transmedia Track). The audience was engaged as the trio imparted wisdom about the world of stories and covered the elements that make up a successful franchise. Current New York Film Academy students and alumni joined the fast-paced and informative session, but the majority of the excited questions and panel interactions came from attendees interested in, or already trying, to create their own story worlds and franchises. The panel closed out Friday Night and attendees stayed till the very end to ask questions of Adam, Nunzio, and Christina, to discuss franchises and how to create or pitch their own ideas.

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    Adam, Nunzio, and Christina bantered their way through a variety of famous franchise examples, focusing on where they started and where they’ve gone: Batman started as a comic and has expanded to television shows, movies, and games; My Little Pony was originally a toy and grew into three different television series and movies; Harry Potter started as a novel series and has, thanks to fan contribution, grown into website and theme park interactive experiences. These are only a few of the examples, but Adam, Nunzio, and Christina went on to show that as long as you have an interesting world and dynamic characters to populate it, story worlds – franchises – can come from anywhere.

    In addition to the panel, New York Film Academy had a strong presence in the WonderCon Exhibition Hall with a booth that featured student work and was manned by Faculty, Staff and Student Volunteers. The booth was NYFA’s first at any comic convention, and our diligent staff and student volunteers were on hand all weekend to answer questions and talk with attendees interested in the wide array of educational paths available at the New York Film Academy.

    Written by Jennifer Sterner and Adam Finer

    April 16, 2015 • Community Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 316

  • Take a Virtual Tour of New York Film Academy Battery Park

    Coming up on it’s second year this July 2015, the New York Film Academy at Battery Park has proven to be an invaluable addition to our students and staff. The campus, located in lower Manhattan at 17 Battery Park South, occupies 72,000 square feet on two full floors and offers breathtaking views of Battery Park and The Statue of Liberty.

    Each classroom is uniquely designed from scratch to meet the specific needs of the hands-on programs, including state-of-the-art production studios and sound stages. Classes are held in Filmmaking, Acting, Musical Theatre, Screenwriting, Producing, Photography, Cinematography, Documentary Filmmaking, Broadcast Journalism, 3D Animation, Graphic Design and Game Design. This summer, we will kick off our renowned summer camp programs for kids and teens, which has been successfully operating since 1996.

    For those of you who are curious about the New York Film Academy and would like to take an introductory tour before visiting us in person, have a look below at our Google Virtual Tour below!

    April 13, 2015 • Academic Programs, Community Highlights • Views: 3069

  • NYFA Instructor William Dickerson Breaks Down Microbudget Filmmaking in “DETOUR: Hollywood”

    william dickersonIt’s a great time to be a filmmaker. With old models of film financing and distribution breaking down and increasingly cost-efficient and easy-to-use film production equipment available, filmmaking has become democratized. A handful of studio heads no longer stand between you and success in the entertainment industry. Now more than ever, the power to shape your career as a director is in your hands. This is the realization that film director and New York Film Academy instructor William Dickerson had a few years ago when a few of his scripts were seeing interest from studio development execs, but nobody was seriously considering him to direct any of them because he had never made a feature length movie. Dickerson and his writing partner decided to write a screenplay that could be made with a “microbudget” for William to direct outside the studio system. The film William directed was Detour, which centers around a man trapped inside of a car during a mudslide. The Hollywood Reporter declared Detour a “tautly efficient thriller that fully succeeds.” Dickerson established himself without waiting for anyone’s blessing and his directing career was underway.
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    NYFA Instructor William Dickerson

    To share the knowledge he gained from his experience of making Detour, William wrote the book DETOUR: Hollywood, How to Direct a Microbudget Film (or any film, for that matter). The book explains how to sidestep, or detour around, the Hollywood system and make a microbudget film by giving a detailed account of how Dickerson literally made Detour, thus DETOUR: Hollywood. This has to be the most clever film education book title in a long while. The book also contains some of the most meaningful and practical instruction on film directing ever provided in a text. For instance, Dickerson breaks down the concepts of Subtext and Point of View, the two most important yet neglected ingredients in filmmaking, in such a complete and digestible way that even directors already well-versed in story will have much to learn from it.

    Within DETOUR: Hollywood, William Dickerson analyzes all the hurtles he faced over the many years he spent trying to direct his first feature and the trial and error process that led him to what eventually DID work for him and will for you too. The obvious benefit to the reader is saving you time, money, and from unnecessary headache so that you can start your directing career sooner rather than later. Since making Detour, William Dickerson has experienced increasing success in film directing. Most recently William directed Don’t Look Back, a feature-length thriller that aired on Lifetime Movie Network and exhibits a level of craft in directing that is rarely achieved.

    William Dickerson’s book DETOUR: Hollywood, How to Direct a Microbudget Film (or any film, for that matter) comes out April 14th and can be ordered through Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/DETOUR-Hollywood-Direct-Microbudget-matter/dp/0985188634

    April 8, 2015 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 1904

  • New York Film Academy to Open in King’s Landing

    nyfa kings landing

    The New York Film Academy has officially announced the opening of a brand new campus located in King’s Landing on the continent of Westeros. King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms located on the east coast of Westeros, contains a diverse population of almost 500,000 people. While the land has fallen victim to attacks over the years—most notably when Lord Tywin betrayed King Aerys II Targaryen and ordered his army to brutally sack the city before turning it over to Robert Baratheon—the people in the region are enthusiastic to learn the arts. Call it their renaissance.

    Similar to the Academy’s other locations, the King’s Landing location, situated on Kingsroad, will offer knights, giants, Lords, and even Whitewalkers the opportunity to learn both visual and performing arts in a hands-on intensive environment.

    “We’re thrilled to open a campus in King’s Landing,” says NYFA President Michael Young. “We hope our exciting new location will attract not only students from King’s Landing, but also those in the other kingdoms, as well as those beyond The Wall.”

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    While dragons will not be permitted entry, the school will provide its students with a full RED Epic Dragon camera package, considered one of the most revolutionary cameras in the digital cinema spectrum.

    “I absolutely adore the world of cinema,” says future student Tyrion Lannister. “However, it has been one of the many luxuries deprived of me while my father was still alive. I truly look forward to learning the skills necessary to excel in the field of filmmaking.”

    NYFA frequently invites guest speakers from the entertainment industry like Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, and Al Pacino to speak to students on campus. The goal is to continue this model and invite local industry leaders like George R.R. Martin, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss to speak at the new King’s Landing location.

  • NYFA Covers Young Storytellers’ Final ‘Glee’ Big Show

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    As part of our on-going collaboration with the wonderful Young Storytellers Foundation, New York Film Academy students and alumni recently got the chance to film “THE FINAL GLEE BIG SHOW.”

    Glee cast members Mark Salling, Dot Marie Jones, Harry Shum Jr., Max Adler, and Alex Newell along with Chrissie Fit (Teen Beach Movie, Pitch Perfect 2) performed four different short screenplays written by a group of inventive middle schoolers.
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    The connection between Glee and Young Storytellers dates back to the organization’s very beginnings when Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk helped create what is now YSF. Since then, Mr Falchuk has regularly brought the cast of Glee to perform the student’s material as part of YSF’s “Big Show.” With Glee now coming to a close after six seasons, this performance truly marked the end of an era.

    NYFA was honored to be part of the experience, and congratulates the cast and crew of Glee as well as all the Young Storytellers Writers.

  • NYFA Australia Showcasing Their Talent

    It’s showcase time at New York Film Academy Australia. Both our Sydney and Gold Coast campuses, together with Acting for Film students, had been working effortlessly over the months putting together performances that showcase the students’ talents.

    Gold Coast had a busy three-day showcase schedule running throughout early March, featuring 34 of the Academy’s skilled acting students. Each and every night, the Helensvale Cultural Centre was filled with friends and family who had come along to support the graduate actors’ and actresses’ live performances and showreels. The room was filled with great energy and positive vibes as all graduates pulled-off an outstanding performance.

    Congratulations to the Gold Coast Acting for Film graduates:

    New York Film Academy Gold Coast Students

    New York Film Academy Gold Coast Students: Brandon Sherwood, Callum Whitton, Anthony Christodoulou, David Austin, Samantha Willis, Tara Wraith, Michael Stoeckert, Marie-Clare Loi Zou, Jasper Batenga, Will Wensley (instructor), Stephanie Kutty, Paris Moletti, Taryn Roberts and Christine Campbell.

    Thursday 5th March Performers

    • Caleb Saron
    • Christine Campbell
    • David Austin
    • Jim Rossngton
    • John McMahon
    • Marie-Clare Lou Zou
    • Max Gundy
    • Natalie Hunt
    • Rebecca Lyon
    • Samantha Willis
    • Villami Kama
    • Zac Bankowski

    Wednesday 11th March Performers

    • Anthony Christodoulou
    • Brody Arrowsmith
    • Callum Whitton
    • Georgia Pilling
    • Kiara Watson
    • Natalie Jones
    • Nicola Haks
    • Paris Moletti
    • Rhys Williamson
    • Sam Farell
    • Stephanie Kutty
    • Steve Budgen

    Thursday 12th March Performers

    • Ashley Dunscombe
    • Brandon Sherwood
    • Clare Brimmer
    • Jasper Batenga
    • Joshua Conboy
    • Kerri-Anne Keenan
    • Laura Scott
    • Tara Wraith
    • Taryn Roberts
    • Zoe Bankowski

     

    As we headed down the coast of Australia, on Friday 6th March, Sydney was preparing for an over-capacity performance at the Australian Theater for Young People, located above the Sydney Theatre Company and accompanied with the breathtaking backdrop of Walsh Bay.

    Over the months leading up to the showcase, acting one-year program graduates of the night, Chantelle Von Appen, Chris Strauss, Alexander Merlo, David Pound, Nicole Torode, Rafael Haddad and Andrew Murdoch were able to experience exactly why New York Film Academy programs are defined by their intensive, hands-on reputation. Graduates’ commitment and dedication truly shined on the night, with their high caliber execution of mixed scene performances and beat poetry receiving a well-deserved standing-ovation from audience members, family, friends, NYFA staff and instructors.

    With a buzz in the air, graduates continued to showcase their works to a number of agents and casting directors at the Sony Theatrette. The opportunity for students to present their showreels was nerve-wracking but again, was received positively by students, agents and casting directors, alike.

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    New York Film Academy Sydney Students on-stage showcasing their talents.

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    New York Film Academy Sydney. From left, Rafael Haddad, David Pound, Nicole Torode, Jennie Hughes (NYFA Sydney, General Manager), Alexander Merlo, Chantelle Von Appen, Chris Strauss & Andrew Murdoch.

    New York Film Academy would like to thank all students, graduates and teaching staff who worked tirelessly to produce such a successful program, making it possible to accomplish these inspiring events and performances. We congratulate all students who have now joined our NYFA Alumni family and look forward to another prosperous year working with talented, upcoming actors and actresses.

    View the photos from the events here:

  • ‘X-Files’ Alumnus Paul Brown to Teach Workshop at NYFA South Beach

    Paul BrownAfter a thirteen year hiatus, Fox has officially let fans know that the popular 90s TV show, The X-Files, will be returning for a brand new season. Series creator Chris Carter says the series will pick up right where it left off with stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny all on board to reprise their roles.

    The six-episode season is set to begin production this summer.

    In the meantime, X-Files alumnus Paul Brown will be teaching a workshop at the New York Film Academy’s South Beach campus.

    The Secret of Great Stories
    Workshop Featuring award-winning writer, director and producer, Paul Brown
    SATURDAY, APRIL 11th, 2015 at 12pm

    If you’re interested in attending the workshop, email southbeach@nyfa.edu

    Instructor Paul Brown is an award-winning writer, director and producer, having worked in film and television for over twenty-five years. He has produced over one-hundred television dramas, pilots, and movies, working on such series at The X-Files, Quantum Leap, The New Twilight Zone, Star Trek Voyager and Enterprise.  He has received nominations for three “Emmy Awards” and three “Golden Globes” as well as winning the “Edgar Award” from the Mystery Writers of America for Best TV Drama. He has also received the “Genesis Animal Rights Award.”

    He co-created Disney’s world-wide smash hit Camp Rock.  Most recently, he directed and co-wrote the dramatic feature film Heaven’s Rain in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.

    As a teacher for the New York Film Academy, he also gives lectures on writing, acting, and filmmaking throughout the year in Latin America, Europe, and Russia.

     

    March 25, 2015 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 330

  • Stephen Colbert to Interview George Lucas at Tribeca

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    For those of you on Stephen Colbert withdrawal, there’s a beacon of light ahead with the announcement from the Tribeca Film Festival that the long-time TV host will interview Star Wars creator George Lucas. The two are expected to discuss Lucas longstanding career as a filmmaker, which includes the classic franchises Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Fans also expect Lucas to unveil a bit about the upcoming films, which are being directed by J.J. Abrams, under Disney.

    Colbert hasn’t hidden his crush on Star Wars, having had an epic light saber duel with Comedy Central’s The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart. The force was strong for Colbert.

    While not everyone will be able to attend the exclusive interview this April in New York City, there is some solace in the fact that the brilliant comedy mind will be returning soon enough when he replaces David Letterman on the The Late Show this September.

    Now we just need to figure out how we’ll cope without Letterman…

    March 18, 2015 • Community Highlights, Entertainment News • Views: 395