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  • Highlights from Disney’s D23 Expo 2017

    This week, Disney held its bi-annual fan expo, D23, in Anaheim, CA. Marvel, Pixar, Disney Animation, Disney Interactive Studios, and Walt Disney Productions rolled out major announcements this weekend, while fans and industry insiders were treated to sneak-peek teasers, celebrity appearances, exclusive merchandise, incredible cosplay, and more. Here are some highlights.

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    A New “Star Wars” Park?

    Disney took the opportunity at D23 to reveal new details about its plans for a new themed-land called “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.” The project is shaping up to be one the company’s most immersive fan experiences.

    The Verge quoted Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek as explaining: “We are working on our most experiential concept ever … It combines a luxury resort with immersion in an authentic environment.” Basically, the goal will be for guests to live out their own “Star Wars” adventure throughout the course of their stay, complete with windows that look into outer space and a hotel designed like a spaceship.

    Celebrity Appearances

    Directors, stars, animators, and Disney giants were all present throughout the D23 Expo, and fans able to enjoy exclusive panels, talk-backs, and sneak-peeks presented by their favorite Disney stars. As Nerdist reported, “We saw the cast of ‘Descendants 2,’ ran into Mark Hamill and Stan Lee as Grand Marshalls of the Ultimate Fan Street Party, and saw ‘Black Panther’sChadwick Boseman running to his meet and greet. It was always good to keep an eye on the D23 app for surprise appearances.”

    Live-Action Films

    This year’s D23 Expo saw two jam-packed presentations, for animated and live-action films, respectively. Trailers, teasers, and A-list stars were in attendance to promote upcoming Disney live-action films.

    Slated for 2018 is “A Wrinkle in Time,” and director Ava DuVernay was there with stars Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling to screen the trailer. Audiences were also treated to a talks and teasers for upcoming mega projects, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”

    But that wasn’t all in the live-action arena. The expo also promoted upcoming live-action adaptations of Disney classics slated to be directed by industry giants: “The Lion King” (Jon Favreau), “Dumbo” (Tim Burton), and “Aladdin” (Guy Ritchie). You’ll be able to catch Disney’s n live action adventure, “Dumbo,” on March 29, 2019. “Aladdin” has been cast. Earlier this month rumors circulated online that Disney was having trouble casting the film. Will Smith has been tapped to play the Genie. “Power Rangers” break-out star Naomi Scott will play Jasmine, and jumping on the magic carpet as Aladdin is Mena Massoud.

    Animated Films

    In the animation category, Disney screened a short film called “The Speed Test,” and hosted panels and teasers for major upcoming releases including “Toy Story 4,” Pixar’s “Coco,” “The Incredibles 2,” “Frozen 2,” “Wreck it Ralph Breaks the Internet,” and an upcoming feature from Dan Scanlon, yet to be titled.

    Perhaps the biggest news on the floor was the fact that all of the living Disney Princesses would make an appearance in “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-it Ralph 2.”  The cast includes Auli‘i Cravalho from “Moana,” Kristen Bell from “Frozen,” Kelly MacDonald as “Merida,” Mandy Moore from “Tangled,” Anika Noni Rose from “The Princess and the Frog,” Irene Bedard from “Pocahontas,” Linda Larkin from “Aladdin,” Paige O’Hara from “Beauty and the Beast,” and Jodi Benson from “The Little Mermaid.”

    More details were also released for “The Incredibles 2.” Holly Hunter shared that her character, Mrs. Incredible, will be doing more of the heavy lifting this time around: “Bob’s actually home with the kids this time…”

    “Tangled: The Animated Series” amassed the original cast in the same place for the first time. Mandy Moore and Zachery Levi shared their enthusiasm for the characters. “Disney said they didn’t want to do the show without us,” Levi said.

    Video Games & VR

    The long-awaited third installment of the Kingdom Hearts series revealed a new playable world. Andy’s room from “Toy Story” will be a playable space in “Kingdom Hearts 3,” coming out in 2018.

    Marvel will be releasing a new VR game in 2018 titled “Powers United VR.” The game will allow the player to become their favorite hero, including Hulk, Rocket Raccoon, and Captain Marvel and will be exclusive to the Oculus Rift.

    Free Treats

    It wouldn’t be Disney if magic wasn’t present in every detail. At this year’s D23 Expo, the free swag was cold brew coffee with foam designs of iconic Disney characters — including Darth Vader. Shoppers were treated to exclusive merchandise launches not yet available anywhere else, from limited edition figurines to clothing lines.

    To see NYFA’s behind-the-scenes coverage of live events, follow us on #Snapchat @NYFilmAcademy.

  • Broadcast Journalism School Weekly Updates

    There are certain themes that I return to again and again. One of them — which current and former students will quickly recognize — is “I have seen the future, and it is on the phone.” Mobile phone, that is. The latest evidence comes from the BBC, as it prioritizes full motion video in its news app. Studies have shown that post engagement soars when you include video. This is a great time to be studying Broadcast Journalism, as we specialize in creating short-form, non-fiction video. You can’t find a more relevant course of study. Not so long ago, the BBC redesigned all of its websites in order to optimize them for mobile.
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    And speaking of the NYFA Broadcast Journalism course of study, a skill we put a great deal of emphasis on is the ability to conduct effective interviews. Getting the right “sound bite” takes one approach, while asking someone to speak directly “from the heart” is something else entirely. One of my favorite interviewers is Audie Cornish, who is an anchor/correspondent for NPR. (Formerly National Public Radio, but they changed their name to simply NPR so they didn’t seem wedded to a dinosaur technology. Personally, I love radio. But that’s another story…)

    The Columbia Journalism Review is doing a series on interviewing, and the most recent edition features Audie Cornish. (I’ll have more to say about Columbia University a little later.)

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    Being a journalist isn’t easy. But some of the people who practice our craft are literally risking their lives to deliver the news. Wired posted an article about a journalist who is “defying ISIS one video at a time.” It is a tremendous read. Yes, it is an old-fashioned “article.” But don’t let that put you off. There are important themes discussed here. And while most of us never have to make the sacrifices that the journalist being profiled regularly endures, inevitably during the course of your career you will be asked to make difficult decisions. The question is: What will you do?

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    So perhaps you were watching the National Geographic cable channel last night. The evening was called “Earth Live,” and it was a real-time, worldwide exploration of the planet’s wildlife. Absolutely amazing! Equally amazing, there were about 50 music segments in this “live” program, all of which were skillfully integrated by NYFA’s own Joel Spector. Joel is the audio wiz behind NYFA News, and he has been with the program since it started. We are incredibly lucky to have Joel, and he asked me to pass along a message to our current students: “Don’t over-modulate your audio! You can’t fix that in post-production!”

    OK … He really didn’t ask me to say that. But if he did request me to say something, it would likely be somewhat similar. Our graduates can attest to that.

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    Arrivals and departures are an essential aspect of our craft, and this week I announce the departure of our personal journalism instructor, Thor Neureiter. Thor worked with the Fall 2016 1-year students along with the Spring 2017 1-year class, and he did an outstanding job. How “outstanding”? So outstanding that he has been hired by Columbia University to direct their Video Journalism program. It is a great opportunity for Thor, though we will miss him. (And I still think, if you want to become a multimedia journalist, NYFA is the place to go.)

    That’s Thor below, with a fellow attendee at the (non-alcoholic) “toast” following the graduation of the Fall 2016 1-year Broadcast Journalism students. And its a good thing that glass is filled with seltzer, as some of the other attendees were a bit on the young side. (Look carefully…)

    Good luck, Thor…
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    Meanwhile, NYFA Broadcast Journalism graduate Christian Good continues his “world video tour,” this time shooting in Reykjavik, Iceland. And once again, he faces the difficult task of figuring out how to say “Good Morning” to the locals. “Góðan daginn, or something,” he writes.
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  • Behind the Scenes of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” With NYFA Alum & Digital Compositor Francesco Panzieri

    FRAN EDITED IMAGE 2NYFA alumnus Francesco Panzieri has been busy since completing his studies at the New York Film Academy, with credits running the gamut from the realism of “Mad Men” to the visionary science fiction of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Most recently, Panzieri has turned his hand as an in-house digital compositor with Marvel Studios for “Spider Man: Homecoming,” which opens July 7.

    “Spider Man: Homecoming” is the first installment of a new Spidey trilogy created through the first-time partnership between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures.

    According to Panzieri, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” will stand apart due to its combination of great storytelling, and a focus on the superhero’s dual struggles to become an Avenger and survive high school.

    “I believe ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ balances in a very successful way two key-elements of Peter Parker’s life in this movie, which are his teenage life as a high-school student and the struggles of a superhero to become an Avenger,” explains Panzier. “I think that the high-school part makes the character extremely compelling because it gives the audience a shared point of view with Peter, since all of us have been through similar life moments.”

    Panzieri muses that films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe continue to attract audiences not only through their jaw-dropping visuals, but primarily through their great storytelling. “Write something good,” he says, “Something really good, that people can relate to, and then use visual effects to enhance your cinematic vision of that story.”

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    NYFA 3D Animation alumnus Francesco Panzieri (right) pictured with actor Michael Mando (left), who plays Mac Gargan in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

    Along with a great story, Panzieri points to a new colorspace technology created by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences called ACES (Academy Color Encoding System) as a vital ingredient to the look of “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Panzieri says, “It was a cool experience for me to test it for the first time in my career and I look forward to ACES being the soon-standard-to-be on features, episodic and commercials.”

    He describes an atmosphere of camaraderie and excitement on set: “Since Sony Pictures owns the film rights to Spider-Man, the whole post-production process took place on the Sony Studios lot, in Culver City, California. Each morning, I got to walk by the original ‘Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1 car on my way to work, and that was a very stimulating and inspiring environment.”

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    Panzieri pictured with the original “Ghostbusters” Ecto-1 car.

    “In the studio we had every day all the top-notch leadership team of Marvel Studios surrounding us,” Panzieri recalled. “While we were working on the visual effects for the feature film, they were focused on refining and improving editing and storytelling with the director. What surprised me in a truly unique and positive way, was seeing first-class executives such as the Marvel ones hard at work from dawn’s early lights until late at night. In those moments I realized the true strength and secret of Marvel Studios that deservedly brought them to be number one in the entertainment industry: the love and energy that they put into each and every production they make. Everyone who works at Marvel is an extremely genuine, passionate and dedicated fellow; it’s a huge, big family where there is a unique synergy between all the roles.

    Transitioning from film school to major blockbuster productions is entirely a matter of building relationships, according to Panzieri — and being prepared for high-skilled hard work.

    “My job, it’s all about networking,” Panzieri reveals. “So what happened is that a connection that I had from when I worked on ‘Star Wars’ had called me to work on Spider-Man.”

    Panzieri points to his training at the New York Film Academy as playing a valuable role in preparing him for his work: “I must say that the long hours of classes and lab at the NYFA were definitely an advantage to me on every project I worked on thus far … I can definitely say that the instantaneous hands-on environment I found myself in during my time at NYFA was a true testament to how you’ve got to be when working in Hollywood. Visual effects is art, technology and science at the same time, and as such you need to be really focused, dedicated and good at craftsmanship to keep up with its high quality demands you face in entertainment.”

    “Spider-Man: homecoming” is the first installment of a new Spider-Man trilogy created through a first-time collaboration between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios. Box Office Pro has projected a box office opening of $135 million, which ScreenRant notes would make this the 6th largest opening out of 16 Marvel films.

     

  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Diversifies With 774 New Members

    On June 28, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy) admitted the biggest, most diverse class of new members in the institution’s 90-year history. According to the Academy’s official site, this year’s class includes 774 entertainment professionals from 57 countries, signaling a continuation of the Academy’s commitment to pursue greater diversity and inclusion for women and minorities within its ranks.

    The New York Film Academy has always celebrated the diversity of the international entertainment industry, which is reflected in our student body: 50 percent of NYFA students are from countries outside the U.S., with an equal representation of male and female students. As New York Film Academy President Michael J. Young notes, “This very diversity is a pillar of the industries our students hope to enter upon graduation,” and supports the raising of a new generation of film and media artists that can help build toward greater inclusion both onscreen and behind the scenes.

    The New York Film Academy has reported in its Gender Inequality in Film Infographic that approximately 5 men are employed for every 1 woman in the film industry, and women account for only 30.8 percent of speaking characters on screen — though women make up 50 percent of the U.S. population. Figures for the inclusion of minorities in the industry are no better, with NPR reporting in 2016 that a USC study found only “28.3 percent of characters with dialogue were from non-white racial/ethnic groups, though such groups are nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population.”

    As the LA Times notes, the 774 new members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are announced after a period of time in which the Academy, along with the wider entertainment industry, has attracted scrutiny and debate over issues of inequality. The underrepresentation of women and minorities created controversy during the 2016 and 2017 Oscars ceremonies, with many protesting the predominantly white and male nominations — nominated by a predominantly white and male Academy — under the rallying cry #OscarsSoWhite.
    According to an interview with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO, Dawn Hudson, in the LA Times, addressing inequality is a long-term project for the Academy: “That commitment [to diversity] has not waned and will not wane for many years to come. Because I don’t see this industry getting a lot more diverse or having more gender parity anytime real soon. So this work will be ongoing for the Academy. And I know that it has inspired others to follow suit.”

    According to the Academy’s website, while the addition of its 774 new members reflects a359 percent increase in women” and a “331 percent increase in people of color” inducted since 2015, the total percentage of membership for women and minorities in the Academy remains low, at 28 percent for women and 13 percent for minorities

    The New York Film Academy is committed to nurturing a diverse and international community for students, faculty, and staff. For the full list of the 774 new members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, click here.

    New York Film Academy takes a look at gender inequality in film

    July 3, 2017 • Entertainment News • Views: 1178

  • Highlights From the 71st Annual Tony Awards

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    The New York Film Academy was especially excited to watch the Tony Awards this year, as our Musical Theatre Program has welcomed many members of the Broadway community as instructors, guest speakers, and featured artists in our original movie musicals, from our Artistic Director Kristy Cates to visiting Master Class lecturer Jonathan Groff. For industry insiders and theatre lovers everywhere, the 71st Annual Tony Awards on Sunday was the theatre event of the season. The New York Film Academy provided live social media coverage on Twitter, while the live CBS broadcast of the Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall gave nearly 6 million home viewers a glimpse into an evening full of Broadway royalty, moving speeches, and much-anticipated performances, all hosted by Oscar-winning actor and NYFA guest speaker Kevin Spacey.

    In case you missed it, here are some highlights from the 71st Annual Tony Awards:

    Best Musical

    After much anticipation, audience favorite “Dear Evan Hansen” swept the Tony’s this season, taking home awards in not one, not two, but six categories — including the coveted spot for Best New Musical. The groundbreaking musical is a true original, featuring a small cast and orchestra and offering some innovative tie-ins to social media.

    Best Actor in a Musical

    Dear Evan Hansen” also gave us one of the evening’s brightest new stars, when leading actor Ben Platt snagged the Tony for Best Actor in a Musical. Platt received a rousing standing ovation from the live audience and the orchestra at the Tony’s, and used his moment in the spotlight to spread some inspiration.

    As quoted in the New York Times, Ben offered encouragement to fellow theatre kids: “To all young people watching at home, don’t waste any time trying to be like anybody but yourself, because the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful.”

    Best Actress in a Musical

    “Dear Evan Hansen” was not the only star of the evening. The Radio City Music Hall audience also swept to its feet to recognize and celebrate beloved industry icon Bette Midler, as she won the the Best Actress in a Musical award for her portrayal of Dolly Levi in the revival of “Hello, Dolly!” 

    Best Play

    While musicals and musical performances punctuated the evening, the Tony’s also celebrate legitimate Broadway performers and plays. This year, the category for Best Play (non-musical) was especially competitive, but in the end the award went to “Oslo,” which dramatizes the 1993 Middle East peace accords.

    Best Actress in a Play

    Laurie Metcalf had been nominated for a Tony Award four times before her emotionally-charged win on Sunday, when she took home the category for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Nora in “A Doll’s House, Part 2.”

    Most-buzzed Acceptance Speech

    Cynthia Nixon took the stage to accept an award for Best Featured Actress in a play for “The Little Foxes,” the Lillian Helman classic which was also nominated in the Best Revival of a Play category. During her acceptance speech, Nixon caused major internet buzz for quoting the playwright to make a political statement: ““Sixty years ago, [Hellman] wrote, ‘There are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it and other people who just stand around and watch them do it.’ My love, gratitude and undying respect go out to all the people in 2017 who are refusing to just stand and watch them do it.”

    Host Hall of Fame

    Kevin Spacey made his debut as a Tony Award host last weekend — and brought along some of his Hollywood pals for support. Spacey performed an affectionate homage to this season’s Broadway shows and playfully poked fun at himself for not being the first choice as this year’s host, bringing in pals like Steven Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg, and Billy Crystal to offer him hosting tips.

    Surprise Stars

    Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, rocked Radio City during Jill’s moment on stage. Mrs. Biden made a brief appearance during the ceremony to promote Got Your Six, a campaign benefitting military veterans. And Variety reports that the crowd’s enthusiasm for the political superstars cased selfie-seekers to create traffic jams at the after-party as they clamored for a pic with the Bidens.

    Lifetime Achievement Award

    James Earl Jones received recognition for a full and incredible career on the stage, taking home the  2017 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theater. The superstar, who has portrayed roles from Darth Vader in “Star Wars” to Othello on Broadway, graciously thanked the New York City Police Department during his moment on stage for their work keeping the Broadway community safe.

    Here is the full list of this year’s Tony Award winners, as reported by The Tony Awards website:

    BEST PLAY

    “Oslo”

    BEST MUSICAL

    “Dear Evan Hansen”

    BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY

    August Wilson’s “Jitney

    BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL

    “Hello, Dolly!”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY

    Kevin Kline for “Present Laughter”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY

    Laurie Metcalf for “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

    Ben Platt for “Dear Evan Hansen”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

    Bette Midler for “Hello, Dolly!”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY

    Michael Aronov for “Oslo”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY

    Cynthia Nixon for Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL

    Gavin Creel for “Hello, Dolly!”

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL

    Rachel Bay Jones for “Dear Evan Hansen”

    BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL

    Steven Levenson for “Dear Evan Hansen”

    BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE

    “Dear Evan Hansen” Music & Lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

    BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY

    Nigel Hook for “The Play That Goes Wrong”

    BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

    Mimi Lien for “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”

    BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY

    Jane Greenwood for Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes”

    BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

    Santo Loquasto for “Hello, Dolly!”

    BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY

    Christopher Akerlind for “Indecent”

    BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

    Bradley King for “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”

    BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY

    Rebecca Taichman for “Indecent”

    BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

    Christopher Ashley for “Come From Away”

    BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

    Andy Blankenbuehler for “Bandstand”

    BEST ORCHESTRATIONS

    Alex Lacamoire for “Dear Evan Hansen”

    SPECIAL TONY AWARD® FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THE THEATRE

    James Earl Jones

    REGIONAL THEATRE TONY AWARD

    Dallas Theater Center

    ISABELLE STEVENSON TONY AWARD

    Baayork Lee

    SPECIAL TONY AWARD

    Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin

    TONY HONORS FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE THEATRE

    Nina Lannan and Alan Wasser

     

    June 12, 2017 • Entertainment Australia, Entertainment News, Musical Theatre • Views: 1053

  • Netflix Announces New Series “Tidelands” to Film in Queensland, Australia

    netflix australiaQueensland, Australia, home of the New York Film Academy Australia Gold Coast, continues to cultivate film production and acting jobs, with last year being its best year attracting production expenditure of more than $200 million. “Aquaman” is currently being filmed in south-east Queensland and the location also hosted the international and domestic productions of “Pirates of the Caribbean 5,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Pacific Rim 2.” The most recent announcement of Netflix’s newest Australian series, “Tidelands,” adds to the list of yet another major production in the region.

    “Tidelands will be the very first Netflix Original Series to be commissioned and made completely in Australia, with all filming to take place in south-east Queensland,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

    “Tidelands,” which is expected to create eighty jobs for Queensland acting talent and crew, was written and developed through Brisbane-based production house Hoodlum.” Set in the fictional Australian sea-side town of Orphelin Bay where the residents harbor deep secrets and nothing is as it seems, the series plays out with a supernatural undercurrent. Production will begin in early 2018.

    “Screen Queensland is committed to investing in innovative projects with international appeal and ‘Tidelands’ will deliver great opportunities for Queensland. The series will film ten 50-minute episodes in Queensland for its first season,” said Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira.

    nyfa Australia gold coast

    NYFA Australia Gold Coast students filming on set

    “High-profile filmmakers now consider the Gold Coast as a world-class destination with excellent filming options and multi-skilled crew,” said NYFA Australia Gold Coast Director Tasha Cooper. “I don’t even bat an eyelid these days with the amount of blockbusters filming in our very own backyard. It’s become very much like living in Hollywood. It’s great for the local industry. ”

    NYFA Australia maintains exclusive premises, located at Village Roadshow Studios. NYFA Australia alumnus Damian Lang has worked on both “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Aquaman,” both of which were filmed in the Gold Coast. Between his on-set experience and filmmaking background, Lang is currently working on an idea for his first feature film.

    “It makes us proud and acknowledges what we’ve always known — our unique learning style offers students incredible training that set them up for life — whether on small scale productions or massive blockbusters,” said Cooper.

    May 25, 2017 • Entertainment Australia, Filmmaking • Views: 2335

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Alumna Performing with Ever After Parties

    Madison Jennings, graduate of the Acting for Film program at the New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast campus, is bringing fantasy characters to life in her role at Ever After Parties.

    sleeping beauty

    Ever After Parties provide multi-talented performers for not only children’s birthday parties, but also corporate events, weddings, schools and shopping mall displays, and were nominated for Best Party Entertainment in the What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2017.

    Playing Sleeping Beauty, “Snow White and Ana (“Frozen”), to name a few, Jennings has been spreading joy and wonder throughout the South East Queensland area.

    snow white

    During her time at NYFA Australia, Jennings enjoyed “the amazing bonds made with the lecturers and endless opportunities that followed with those bonds.” She continues, “I also loved being in such a tight knit community with fellow actors and filmmakers.”

    Jennings’ advice to aspiring performers is to “use the gifts you have been given to be a voice for those who don’t have one.” She believes that “hard work is silent, let your work be the words.”

    Now signed with Williams Talent, Jennings has already auditioned for the Queensland Theatre Company and has been auditioning for various roles in film and theatre productions.

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Alumnus Works on “Pacific Rim 2” and “Jungle”

    Joe TiernanSince graduating from the Filmmaking program at the New York Film Academy, Gold Coast, Joe Tiernan worked on back-to-back blockbuster projects such as “Pacific Rim 2” and “Jungle,” starring Daniel Radcliffe.

    With credits including Australian features “Australia Day,” “Flammable Children” and “Boar,” Tiernan believes NYFA has him well prepared for working in the real world of film and television. “Understanding on-set lingo is essential. I’m happy that was well covered at NYFA,” says Joe.

    Tiernan’s brush with legendary Australian actor Geoffrey Rush during the filming of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” at Village Roadshow Studios is one of his fondest memories of student life at NYFA Gold Coast.

    Discussing the making of a movie about his life, Tiernan explains, “Well, I’m a sucker for a good rom-com and I think Domnhall Gleeson is a champ.” The title? “Redheads,” says Joe.

    The opportunities keep on coming for Joe: “I’ve got two more Art Department gigs lined up on some local features this year though the grand plan is to get on a ‘Star Wars’ set, then I can die a happy man.”

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Grad Works on “Thor” and “Aquaman”

    Former New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast student, Damian Lang, has shot three award-winning short films thus far, and has worked as a Location Assistant on major Hollywood films like “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Aquaman,” both of which were filmed in the Gold Coast. Between his on-set experience and filmmaking background, Lang says he is currently working on an idea for his first feature film.

    damian lang

    Below is Lang’s description of his three award-winning shorts:

    “Unauthorised Tears”

    “This film is about trying to re-connect with people, woman particularly. I returned from Afghanistan with the Australian Infantry a few years back and developed some mental issues, which unfortunately ended in me losing my wife and job. This sent me on a bit of a downward spiral, but I always forced myself to get out and push through. The events in the film actually happened multiple times — just not usually with a fairy-tail ending.”

    Screenings:

    Caymen, Int Film Festival
    Stage One, Int Film Festival (Won ACS Best Cinematography)
    Long Beach Indie, Int Film Festival
    Screen IT, Gold Coast Film Festival
    Austin Revolution, Film Festival

    “Diamond In The Rough”

    “This film is about understanding your own beauty and worth. I went through a faze where I was trying to build myself into another person to attract certain types of women into my life. I found out it’s not very sustainable or fair on the other person.”

    Screenings:

    Colorado, Int Film Festival (Won Best Student Short)
    Fort Worth, Indie Film Festival
    International Video and Music Awards
    Roma, Cinemadoc Film Festival

    “The First Step”

    This film is about re-connecting even if it isn’t the easiest route, and also about betrayal at the most unexpected times. The idea stems from when I was in Afghanistan and there were multiple ego driven orders that put us in unnecessary danger. Duty first is what we always did, but now we have to live with the outcomes and the question ‘why’.”

    Screenings: (This film is still on the festival scene until December 2017)

    Around Films, Int Film Festival (Won Best Short film)
    Hollywood Screenings, Film Festival (Semi-finalist)

    Lang also directed a music video for the Gold Coast based DJ duo “Bombs Away,” which was featured on MTV.

  • NYFA Australia Opens New Gold Coast Location at Southport

    New York Film Academy Australia celebrated the Grand Opening of its newest Gold Coast location at Southport on February 28, 2017. Southport is home to one of the Gold Coast’s largest shopping complexes, Australia Fair, as well as trendy cafes and restaurants, Southport Yacht Club, exclusive Marina Mirage boutiques and a buzzing nightlife. Southport is also centrally located to the Gold Coast’s world famous surf beach, Surfers Paradise, and exciting attractions and theme parks.

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    NYFA-AU will retain a space at Village Roadshow Studios for production work and training. The location originally opened in Queensland, Australia in 2011 and for the past few years has operated at Village Road Show Studios – the studio location for many Hollywood films including “San Andreas,” “Unbroken,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “The Shallows,” “Kong: Skull Island,” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” among many others.

    The new NYFA-AU Gold Coast location now includes a 22,000 sqft (approx. 2,000sqm) state-of-the-art facility at Southport Central, encompassing a 90 seat theatre, automated dialogue replacement (ADR) room, editing rooms, post production rooms, production workshop studio, acting rooms with sprung floors for voice and movement classes and a sizeable equipment room.

    The Grand Opening allowed hundreds of staff, students, special guests and dignitaries to tour the impressive, state-of-the-art facility before the official ribbon cutting ceremony.

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    Warner Bros Movie World’s Austin Powers and Marilyn Monroe mingled with guests including Dawn Crichlow, Gold Coast Council and NYFA-AU Board of Directors, Jean Sherlock, Elle Bailey and Larry Z. Lazar, Esq. who made the trip from our United States campuses for the special event.

    Guests were invited to view a live Production Workshop, grab some popcorn, and have their photo’s taken in the NYFA photo booth with Hollywood props.

    Tasha Cooper, Campus Director, welcomed guests into the new theatre and introduced NYFA-AU Board Members and Dignitaries. She thanked the tremendous efforts of Elle Bailey, the Gold Coast team and the contractors who all contributed to the official opening. Ms. Cooper also highlighted NYFA-AU’s outstanding relationship with Village Roadshow Studios and how fortunate students were to continue to have exclusive access to train on the Village backlot.

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    (Left to Right) Facilities Manager, Ian Maclachlan; Director of NYFA-AU, Adrian Bennett; Director, Tasha Cooper

    Jean Sherlock, NYFA CEO, spoke about the vision his father, Jerry Sherlock, Founder, had when opening NYFA and how special it was for him to have seen it expand across the globe over the past 25 years, noting that Australia is one of his favorite destinations to visit. Arthur Helterbran Jnr., Academic Dean, talked about ‘storytelling’ being the core of the creative process and how excited NYFA-AU was to be a continued part of the Gold Coast’s story.

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    (Left to Right) Academic Dean, Art Helterbran Jnr.; Chair of Acting for Film, Stuart Lumsden; Chair of Filmmaking, Steve Pratt; Professor Alan Bowen-James

    A special mention to Michael Young, NYFA President and a NYFA-AU Board Director who was unable to attend, but was fittingly present leading the opening of the ceremony featured in our “We are the New York Film Academy” video. Also a special mention to Michael Caputo, NYFA Director of Operations, who made a trip to Australia with Elle Bailey in November 2016 to consult on the many technical elements that go into the creation of a visual and performing arts school like NYFA.

    NYFA-AU Gold Coast Alumnus, Damian Lang, recently employed by Marvel for “Thor: Raganork,” gave an impassioned speech on how NYFA changed his life and empowered veteran students by giving them a chance to find their voice as storytellers.

    Current NYFA Australia Acting for Film student, Jackson Price said NYFA was an incredible place to learn and bond with faculty and classmates.

    Five lucky guests received WB Movie World VIP prize passes in a raffle. NYFA Australia is expected to announce partnership news with WB in the near future. Stay tuned!

    March 17, 2017 • Community Highlights, Entertainment Australia • Views: 3284