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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Celebrates 2020 Golden Globe Nominations

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    Nominations for the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced this morning, with several going to projects that New York Film Academy (NYFA) alumni, faculty, and guest speakers have worked on, including HBO’s Barry, starring NYFA alum Bill Hader.

    Barry Bill Hader

    NYFA alum Bill Hader (right) in HBO’s ‘Barry’

    The awards are selected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). This year’s nominations were announced early on December 9 by Tim Allen, Dakota Fanning, and Susan Kelechi Watson, who were joined by Golden Globe ambassadors Dylan and Paris Brosnan, HFPA President Lorenzo Soria, and Barry Adelman of Dick Clark Productions.

    Netflix dominated the list with 17 total nominations, with several going to the Martin Scorsese epic The Irishman, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for co-stars Joe Pesci and previous NYFA guest speaker Al Pacino. 

    Marriage Story and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood also earned several nominations each. NYFA guest speaker Nathan Kelly served as unit production manager on Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, which earned nods for Best Motion Picture – Comedy, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and acting nominations for stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Original Score, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actress, and Best Actor, with the latter going to star and previous NYFA guest speaker Adam Driver.

    The NYFA community worked on other films nominated this year, including three nominees for  Best Motion Picture – Animated. NYFA Game Design alum Guillermo Quesada helped develop the VR technology used to film Jon Favreau’s remake of The Lion King. NYFA 3D Animation & Visual Effects instructor Kelley Williams, who has worked as a character TD, rigger, and modeler, did animation work on the Disney sequel Frozen II. NYFA guest speaker Tony Hale starred as the breakout new character Forky in the Pixar hit Toy Story 4.

    tony hale
    The Golden Globes cover television in addition to theatrical film releases; this year, TV productions Chernobyl, The Crown, and Unbelievable led the crop of nominations. HBO’s Barry, co-created by NYFA Filmmaking alum and previous guest speaker Bill Hader, picked up multiple nods, including Best TV Series – Musical or Comedy, Best Supporting Actor for NYFA guest speaker Henry Winkler, and Best Actor for Hader, who earned a nomination for the same role last year as well (as well as two Primetime Emmys.)

    New York Film Academy is delighted to see the NYFA community represented once again at the Golden Globes and congratulates all of the 2020 Golden Globe nominees. The 77th annual Golden Globe Awards will air live on NBC from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET on January 5.

    Here is a full list of this year’s Golden Globe nominees:

    Best Picture, Drama
    1917
    The Irishman
    Joker
    Marriage Story
    The Two Popes

    Best Actor, Drama
    Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari
    Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
    Adam Driver, Marriage Story
    Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
    Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

    Best Actress, Drama
    Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
    Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
    Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
    Charlize Theron, Bombshell
    Renée Zellweger, Judy

    Best Picture, Musical or Comedy
    Dolemite Is My Name
    Jojo Rabbit
    Knives Out
    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
    Rocketman

    Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
    Daniel Craig, Knives Out
    Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
    Taron Egerton, Rocketman
    Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

    Best Actress, Musical or Comedy
    Ana De Armas, Knives Out
    Awkwafina, The Farewell
    Cate Blanchett, Where’d You Go, Bernadette
    Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart
    Emma Thompson, Late Night

    Best Supporting Actor
    Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
    Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
    Al Pacino, The Irishman
    Joe Pesci, The Irishman
    Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Best Supporting Actress
    Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
    Annette Bening, The Report
    Laura Dern, Marriage Story
    Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
    Margot Robbie, Bombshell

    Best Director
    Bong Joon-ho, Parasite
    Sam Mendes, 1917
    Todd Phillips, Joker
    Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
    Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Best Screenplay
    Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
    Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won, Parasite
    Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes
    Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
    Steven Zaillian, The Irishman

    Best Original Score
    Alexandre Desplat, Little Women
    Hildur Guđnadóttir, Joker
    Randy Newman, Marriage Story
    Thomas Newman, 1917
    Daniel Pemberton, Motherless Brooklyn

    Best Original Song
    “Beautiful Ghosts,” Cats
    “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” Rocketman
    “Into the Unknown,” Frozen II
    “Spirit,” The Lion King
    “Stand Up,” Harriet

    Best Foreign Language Film
    The Farewell, U.S.A.
    Les Misérables, France
    Pain and Glory, Spain
    Parasite, South Korea
    Portrait of a Lady on Fire, France

    Best Animated Film
    Frozen II
    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
    The Lion King
    Missing Link
    Toy Story 4

    Best TV Drama
    Big Little Lies (HBO)
    The Crown (Netflix)
    Killing Eve (BBC America)
    The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
    Succession (HBO)

    Best Actor, TV Drama
    Brian Cox, Succession
    Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
    Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
    Tobias Menzies, The Crown
    Billy Porter, Pose

    Best Actress, TV Drama
    Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
    Olivia Colman, The Crown
    Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
    Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
    Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show

    Best TV Musical or Comedy
    Barry (HBO)
    Fleabag (Amazon)
    The Kominksy Method (Netflix)
    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
    The Politician (Netflix)

    Best Actor, TV Musical or Comedy
    Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
    Bill Hader, Barry
    Ben Platt, The Politician
    Paul Rudd, Living With Yourself
    Ramy Youssef, Ramy

    Best Actress, TV Musical or Comedy
    Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
    Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
    Kirsten Dunst, On Becoming a God in Central Florida
    Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
    Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag

    Best TV Miniseries/Movie
    Catch-22 (Hulu)
    Chernobyl (HBO)
    Fosse/Verdon (FX)
    The Loudest Voice (Showtime)
    Unbelievable (Netflix)

    Best Actor, TV Miniseries/Movie
    Christopher Abbott, Catch-22
    Sacha Baron Cohen, The Spy
    Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice
    Jared Harris, Chernobyl
    Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon

    Best Actress, TV Miniseries/Movie
    Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable
    Joey King, The Act
    Helen Mirren, Catherine the Great
    Merritt Wever, Unbelievable
    Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon

    Best Supporting Actor, TV
    Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
    Kieran Culkin, Succession
    Andrew Scott, Fleabag
    Stellan Skarsgård, Chernobyl
    Henry Winkler, Barry

    Best Supporting Actress, TV
    Patricia Arquette, The Act
    Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
    Toni Collette, Unbelievable
    Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
    Emily Watson, Chernobyl

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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes Top CAA Agent Chris Andrews

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    On Tuesday, December 3, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) had the pleasure to host Chris Andrews, top talent agent at the industry-leading Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Tova Laiter, Director of the NYFA Q&A Series, moderated the event.

    Chris Andrews

    Andrews is based in Los Angeles and represents many of the Hollywood’s leading actors, including Daniel Craig, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Saoirse Ronan, Nicole Kidman, Jon Hamm, Ben Kingsley, Ian McKellen, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emily Blunt, and Edgar Ramirez, among others. He has been instrumental in the development and advancement of his clients’ careers around the globe.

    Laiter opened the Q&A by asking Andrews how he became an agent and started with CAA. Andrews discussed his history in the industry, from working in the mailroom (“you meet everybody—agents and clients”) to his current work as one of the company’s top agents. Through his story and the entire session, Andrews emphasized the importance of hard work and ambition. 

    One student asked Andrews for advice on how to get an agent when first starting out in their craft. Andrews replied,  “Work brings work … if you can get one job it’ll lead to something else. Anybody you meet – write their name down, get their phone number, get their email address, remember that … keep it handy so that you have it. Don’t be like ‘Oh, I think I met her’… You should know who you’ve met along the way … you never know who you’re going to meet.”

    Chris Andrews

    Andrews left the students with some inspirational words. “Time is precious. It goes by really, really fast … Take it in … If you love film, if you love acting, if you love producing, if you love writing—read great writers, watch great directors, watch great actors. You will learn something, because it’ll teach you where the bar is higher … You have to live in that hope, still, of dreaming of ‘I can be better’ … that’s what propels me.”

    New York Film Academy thanks CAA agent Chris Andrews for taking the time to share his experience and expertise with our students.

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    December 6, 2019 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 241

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Screens Groundbreaking VR Film ‘Agent Emerson’ with Director and BFA Filmmaking alum Ilya Rozhkov and Filmmaking Team

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) recently hosted a screening of groundbreaking VR action film Agent Emerson, followed by a Q&A with award-winning writer, director, producer, and NYFA BFA Filmmaking alum Ilya Rozhkov; Associate Producer & VP of Development of the Rogue Initiative, Bradley Etheridge; and Line Producer and NYFA alum, Radhika Womack. The event was held on Friday, November 15 at NYFA’s Burbank-based campus, with the president of the NYFA Broadcasting Club, Derek “DJ” Johnson II, moderating.

    BFA Filmmaking alum Ilya Rozhkov has directed award-winning shorts including Wes-Andresonesque Sabre Dance, starring Olympian Greg Louganis as Salvador Dali. His films have been distributed worldwide, featured on NBC, and screened at over 50+ festivals; winning numerous awards including Best Picture and Best Director. 

    Agent Emerson Ilya Rozhkov
    As a lead development executive at Rogue Initiative, Bradley Etheridge is responsible for input for both creative and business development. Etheridge’s diverse range of duties includes working with directors, writers, and producers on film, TV, and VR projects; managing Rogue’s internal team of game developers; and interfacing with contacts in various industries for everything from investment to content distribution opportunities. 

    Radhika Womack began her career producing commercials in the Indian film industry. Since moving to the United States, she has produced a number of feature films, shorts, documentaries, and music videos. Her most recent credits include producing the feature film In This Gray Place and line-producing Agent Emerson.  

    DJ Johnson II opened the Q&A by asking how the idea of Agent Emerson came about, highlighting the fact that Rozhkov conceptualized the film’s story with Womack during their time as students at NYFA.

    The VR film allows the audience to see an action movie from the 360-degree POV of its hero. The film, starring Andrew Bowen, Lyndsy Fonseca, and Tony Denison, has toured with Samsung and Verizon Media in a series of events in several states and recently had its successful red carpet premiere with high-profile guests from major Hollywood studios, Silicon Valley, the Producers Guild, the VR industry, and several Academy Award nominees.

    Agent Emerson Ilya Rozhkov

    “It was a very long planning process; about a year of it,” Rozhkov shared. “When I thought about it for the first time, I tried to figure out what would make it unique as a storytelling medium, just like people were with movies 120 years ago. So when the script was there and the concept was there, we started looking into technology and it simply did not exist, so I sat down with engineers and we had to create technology to make this possible.” 

    Johnson continued by inquiring how you set a frame that is 360 degrees. Rozhkov joked by saying, “Just like how there is no spoon in The Matrix, there is no frame in VR.” Rozhkov continued, “It’s storytelling through location and it’s a cinematic medium for sure, but it takes a lot from theater and it takes a lot from gaming. There’s no storytelling laws, especially when we started, so we had to find what works and just like any film, figure out the storytelling language.” 

    When asked about what the biggest challenge the filmmaking team faced during production, Womack expressed, “The biggest challenge was the technology. There’s so many unknowns in filmmaking already, and here you just triple that. It’s just sitting and brainstorming all the things you need even though there’s a lot of similarity with regular productions and other narratives. You have your locations, your permits, your crew, and the camera is taken care of, but again it’s a much bigger department than you would have on a regular film. The biggest challenge was to let everyone in every department know the difference: if you can see the camera, the camera can see you.” 
    Agent Emerson Ilya Rozhkov

    The Q&A then opened up for questions from the audience. A student asked the filmmaking team, “How did you combine the digital assets with the footage from your camera while maintaining the stereoscopic effect of the film?” 

    Rozhkov answered, “Everything was carefully measured, and we had a lot of sensor data from set that helped a lot. 360 degree video has a lot of limitations, especially when it comes to 3D, so we utilized game engine to bypass some of them. The film tracks in real time where you’re looking and adjusts the 3D accordingly.” 

    New York Film Academy thanks BFA Filmmaking alum Ilya Rozhkov, as well as Bradley Etheridge, and Radhika Womack for sharing their VR film and expertise with our students. Agent Emerson will be released on Oculus Rift (Go and Quest), HTC Vive, and Cosmos on November 22. 

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    November 19, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Virtual Reality • Views: 551

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige

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    On Wednesday, October 23, New York Film Academy (NYFA) had the pleasure to host Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios and Chief Creative Officer of Marvel. He is also the producer of Marvel’s hit movies and #5 in last week’s Hollywood Reporter’s top 100 most important people in the movie business. Tova Laiter, Director of the NYFA Q&A Series, moderated the event.

    Feige has been the driving creative force behind several billion-dollar franchises and an unprecedented number of blockbuster feature films, all connected to create the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In his current role as producer and president of Marvel Studios, Feige is a hands-on producer and oversees Marvel Studios’ feature film productions, whose 23 films released have all opened #1 at the box office and collectively grossed over $21 billion worldwide. Eight of the MCU films have crossed the $1 billion threshold at the global box office. Avengers: Endgame broke records on its way to becoming the highest-grossing worldwide release of all time after just 89 days in theaters. Most recently, Feige was just announced as producer for a new Star Wars franchise. 

    Kevin Feige

    Following a compilation reel of all the Marvel films, Laiter opened up the Q&A by inquiring what it takes to create those successful Marvel movies, asking “Is there a formula, or some concept, that you would like to share with us?” 

    Feige answered, “I wish there was a formula I could divvy out to everybody, but the truth is, we came about as a studio in an interesting way. We were tasked with making two movies in 2008, and I had been with Marvel for five to six years at that point. I learned just by being around filmmakers. By the time we got to Iron Man, I got to use everything I learned—the good and the bad—and focus our vision on what we wanted.” 

    Feige shared his more of his wisdom, telling NYFA students, “You need a couple things to make a great film. You need an amazing team and you need to trust that team around you. We’ve been very lucky with the filmmakers we’ve worked with, in that they’ve all wanted to work with us and make a fun crowd-pleasing movie. It’s easy to stop when it’s hard and it’s easy to settle, but we don’t. Once we announce a movie and it’s release date, we are committed. We reshoot and edit sometimes up to the premiere and once we added a shot to Avengers the day after… Obviously we earned the trust of the studio to do that.”

    Kevin Feige

    Laiter then opened up the Q&A to students. When asked by a student what he believes was the key to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Feige expressed, “I think the key to success was Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and dozens of writers and artists that created an amazing world in the span of 40+ years. It’s amazing. And not just them, but we also have these new artists putting their own spin on these characters. There’s too many people responsible for it.” 

    New York Film Academy would like to thank Marvel Studios President and Marvel Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige for his time and for sharing his film expertise with our students!

    Kevin Feige

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    October 25, 2019 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 501

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes Participant Media CEO David Linde

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    David Linde, CEO of Participant Media, the leading global media company dedicated to entertainment that inspires and compels social change, recently spent a morning in conversation with New York Film Academy (NYFA) Producing Chair Neal Weisman as the latest NYFA Producing Department Industry Speaker. Linde and Participant are coming off a hot streak having produced recent Oscar winners Green Book and Roma.

    Linde spoke at NYFA’s New York campus. Attending the speaker series event were students of the NYFA Producing department, as well as students from the NYFA Documentary, Screenwriting, and Filmmaking departments.David Linde

    Linde shared his biographical highlights, starting with his first job in the paralegal department of Paramount Studios in New York City.  He discussed his move into film sales starting with Fox Lorber, and then Miramax, before becoming a partner of the seminal New York production outfit Good Machine. 

    Many of Linde’s relationships with acclaimed filmmakers were forged during this period, including directors Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Ang Lee, Todd Haynes, and Todd Solondz. Linde lavished high praise on one of his mentors, legendary producer Saul Zaentz; they worked together on The English Patient (winner of nine Academy Awards).

    Linde also shared his experience as Chairman of Universal Pictures, where his lengthy—and ultimately successful—campaign brought the studio full force into animation and the family market.

    Two major themes emerged from the discussion – Linde spoke extensively about melding his sales perspective with long-standing relationships with filmmakers. As Co-Head of Focus Features, he went on to distribute such notable projects like Brokeback Mountain, The Motorcycle Diaries, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 21 Grams, and Lost in Translation.

    David Linde

    Linde also shared Participant’s philosophy of backing entertaining narrative feature films and documentaries that can serve as catalysts for social change. 

    He spoke extensively of the social and political action inspired by Roma. One victory cited by Linde is that domestic workers in Mexico will now be entitled to participate in their country’s social security system. Weisman mentioned that comparable efforts are underway through Participant’s work in the US in conjunction with the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Students are encouraged to check out the social action element of the Participant website here.

    Linde also addressed the role of Netflix in the distribution of Roma and the industry-at-large. Both Participant and Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón are exceedingly pleased with the way Netflix rolled out the picture, as well as the large viewing figures. Weisman mentioned that Roma blazed a trail for a new kind of hybrid distribution model, about to be put to use with the release of the new Martin Scorsese film The Irishman.

    Linde then inspired the students in attendance by noting that the advent of streaming services has created great opportunities as there are “so many new buyers.”

    New York Film Academy thanks CEO of Participant Media, David Linde, for generously sharing his insight and wisdom with our students!

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    October 21, 2019 • Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 599

  • Q&A with Veteran Game Designer and NYFA Instructor Andrew Ashcraft

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    On Thursday, September 26, New York Film Academy hosted veteran and award-winning game designer and NYFA instructor Andrew Ashcraft.

    Ashcraft came to speak at NYFA as part of the school’s Masters of Game Design series, a speaker series in which distinguished members of the gaming industry visit for an informal chat with NYFA instructor Scott Rogers about their career in gaming. The series has included industry luminaries like Insomniac Games president Ted Price and veteran writer and game designer John Zuur Platten.

    The event was attended by over 50 students and industry professionals who has been invited by the school. Ashcraft and Rogers talked about Ashcraft’s 23-year career, starting with his early years at UCLA, before moving on to his transition into the gaming industry and his vast experience creating games for Sony Santa Monica, Disney Mobile, THQ, and Activision. Ashcraft’s career as an independent designer of board games and LARPs was also discussed. Audience attendees were then invited to ask Ashcraft a series of questions. 

    Andy Ashcraft

    In addition to working for major game development companies, Ashcraft teaches for the NYFA Game Design school at our Los Angeles campus, where students are given the chance to make multiple games, work with a variety of different professionals, and build their portfolio to help them find a game design career after college.

    New York Film Academy thanks instructor and veteran game designer Andrew Ashcraft for taking the time to speak with our students and sharing his expertise. 

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    October 18, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 649

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes ‘John Wick’ Creator Derek Kolstad

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    Derek Kolstad, creator and writer of the iconic action franchise starring Keanu Reeves, John Wick, spoke with students at New York Film Academy (NYFA) at a special event on Tuesday, October 15, moderated by Tova Laiter, Director of the NYFA Q&A Series.

    Derek Kolstad penned the original screenplay for John Wick, which has become Lionsgate’s most profitable franchise with two sequels, a VR game, a mobile game, and a probable third sequel, as well as executive producing a planned scripted TV adaptation that Kolstad is executive producing and a comic book series that he is consulting on.

    Derek Kolstad

    Additionally, Kolstad most recently wrapped as a co-executive producer on the highly-anticipated Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier for Marvel Studios.

    Following a screening of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Laiter opened up the Q&A by asking Kolstad how he got his start in the business and how that led to his success as a screenwriter. “I started to write screenplays since I was 13,” Kolstad began, continuing, “when I didn’t even know the format. I wrote and filed it. I became a salesman and then one day, it was 2000, I drove out to LA and I got noticed right away.”

    He added, “I wrote a script called Acolyte and I got a manager and did two direct-to-DVD movies that were an ungodly challenge. I was going to walk away and one producer on that project introduced me to managers Mike Goldberg and Josh Adler, who are still my reps, and they saved me.”

    Speaking of his inspiration for creating the series, Kolstad shared, “When I wrote John Wick, I was writing a love letter to the movies I loved. I wrote that initial screenplay in three days, the second draft in two weeks, sold it in February, and we went into production that November. So when you think of overnight success, I know I’m blessed, but I worked hard and long to get to that point.” 

    Derek Kolstad

    Laiter also asked Kolstad about the moment when John Wick clicked for him. Kolstad answered, “John Wick was just me suddenly going, ‘I’m going to stop trying to be who I’m not and just embrace what I love.’” 

    The Q&A was then opened up to student filmmakers, where Kolstad was asked how the John Wick franchise stood out from other action movies in the market. Kolstad credited the success to the importance of character relationships, saying, “A good movie, regardless of genre, is a good movie. It comes down to the character and their relationships, and the audience wanting to be a part of that character’s life.”       

    New York Film Academy would like to thank Derek Kolstad for joining us and sharing his expertise with our students!

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    October 17, 2019 • Guest Speakers, Screenwriting • Views: 496

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Hosts Creators Society Panel on Animation Careers

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    Last month, New York Film Academy (NYFA) hosted the Creators Society monthly meeting and panel discussion. The Creators Society is a group of passionate, like-minded members of the animation community who work in the fields of film, TV, commercials, visual effects, VR/AR, and gaming. The topic for August’s panel was “Freelance Vs. Big Studios: Navigating a Career in Animation.”

    Artists, producers, and animators from DreamWorks, Warner Brothers, Disney, and more came to NYFA to mingle and share their advice with Creator Society members and students of the NYFA 3D & Visual Effects Animation department. 

    Creators Society Panel Sept 2019

    The panelists included:

    Melody Severns: Severns started her career interning at Film Roman and moved into the role of layout artist on The Simpsons (both the show and movie). She’s worked in production management on Monster High, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, and DC Superhero Girls. She is also the founder and head of Girls Drawin’ Girls, an art organization dedicated to promoting the work female artists in the animation industry.

    Daniel “Hashi” Hashimoto: Hashi worked for DreamWorks Animation’s visual development team. Since 2014, Hashi has been using his VFX skills to turn the playtime of his young son, James, into the viral webseries Action Movie Kid, which has over a million followers across social media. He’s partnered with Disney, LucasFilm, Warner Brothers, Target, and Toys ‘R’ Us in commercial campaigns, and is now a Senior Content Creator at Red Giant, creating their series Cheap Tricks. Hashi still consults for animation studios on upcoming feature film projects and is developing new and fun ideas with his writing partners.

    Liz Climo: Climo has worked in animation as a writer, storyboard artist, layout artist, and animator on shows like The Simpsons and Harvey Beaks, as well as The Simpsons Movie. She is also the writer and illustrator of the Rory the Dinosaur series of children’s books, as well as You Don’t Want A Unicorn, Lobster is the Best Medicine, and other titles.

    Creators Society Panel Sept 2019

    Students and alumni attending the event had a wonderful time listening to the panelists. Here are just some of the responses from the attendees:

    “My first Creator Society event was an extremely pleasant, eye-opening experience. To have the chance to mingle with artists in the industry, make connections, and listen to their stories and experiences is invaluable.

    “One of the things I took from this event was that as an artist, you don’t have to be good at everything. Most of the people I spoke with—along with the event’s speakers—weren’t jack-of-all-trades types but were instead exceptionally good at something that made them artistically unique, which (along with luck and the right connections) is what helps you get a job in the industry.”

    -Hilmar Loftsson, BFA 3D & VFX Animation Student

    “They talked about how to stand out as a woman in the animation industry—to which they talked about making yourself be seen and occupying space. Like not sitting in a corner where no one sees you, but instead take your space and make yourself be noticed and not be overshadowed by the men. Which, in a way, I think it can be applied to recent hires in the sense of voicing their opinions and not being afraid to give suggestions that might help the overall project.”
    -Juan Gordillo, BFA 3D & VFX Animation Student

    “The event with the Creator Society was the first of its kind for NYFA, and a successful one at it. The panel was divided between professionals who work at bigger companies and ones that are self-employed and work as freelance. It was very interesting and helpful to hear the collected thoughts of these brilliant panelists, on the differences between working at a studio for others and being your own boss. 

    “They talked about what traits artists should have when working at bigger studios, what to expect, and the division between creativity and technicality at these two different settings. The four professional panelists were also very fun to listen to. They were serious with their answers and opinions, yet in a joking and funny way that made the event more casual and fun than a boring Q&A session. Students and visitors responded positively to the event, and many wanted to talk to the panelists afterwards.”
    -Gayatri Ankam, 1-Year 3D & VFX Animation Alumni

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    September 5, 2019 • 3D Animation, Guest Speakers • Views: 629

  • New York Film Academy Australia Welcomes Academy Award Winner Ben Osmo to Gold Coast Campus

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    On Thursday, August 22, New York Film Academy Australia (NYFA-AU) hosted a master class with former NYFA-AU instructor and Academy Award winner Ben Osmo.

    Osmo, a sound recordist and mixer, is known for his work on films including Dead Calm (1989), Strictly Ballroom (1991), Alien: Covenant (2017), and Peter Rabbit (2018). His work on 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road earned him the Oscar for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing at the 88th Academy Awards, which he shared with Chris Jenkins and Gregg Rudloff.

    Ben Osmo Gold Coast

    Speaking at length with NYFA-AU students at the Gold Coast campus in an intimate setting, Osmo shared the knowledge he gained over a career of almost 30 years in the sound industry and that includes an Oscar and 13 other award wins and nine nominations.

    Osmo began the master class by sharing his journey working on Mad Max: Fury Road, telling NYFA-AU students: “To be a good filmmaker, it’s good to know all the phases of filmmaking, and sound—it’s one of the important ones. You can’t get good sound unless you get cooperation from all the film crew, we are all in it together, and to succeed we need each other.”

    Students listened intently as Osmo talked about the importance of how sound can make or break a film, and how to be flexible with film crews. He also shared some personal experiences both technical and related to the profession. 

    “The master class with Ben Osmo was insightful, inspiring, and gave an incredible perspective into the importance of sound for our students,” says Patrick Ryan, NYFA-AU Deputy Chair of Filmmaking.

    New York Film Academy Australia thanks former NYFA-AU instructor and Academy Award winner Ben Osmo for taking the time to share his expertise and experiences with our NYFA-AU students!

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    September 4, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 501

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes Golden Globe Winner & ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Star Rachel Bloom

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) welcomed Rachel Bloom, the Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-nominated writer, producer, and co-creator of the CW’s hit series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, on Wednesday, August 21. Bloom spoke with students in an event at NYFA’s Burbank-based campus, moderated by Tova Laiter, Director of the NYFA Q&A Series.

    Rachel Bloom is most widely known as the star of the CW musical dramedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which she co-created and executive produced with Aline Brosh McKenna. For her lead role in the series, Bloom won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy, as well as winning at the Critics’ Choice Awards, and TCA Awards. She is also a four-time Emmy nominee for both Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and the Adult Swim sketch series Robot Chicken, which she wrote for.

    Rachel Bloom

    Bloom also wrote and performed in Yes: It’s Really Us Singing: The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Concert Special!, which aired after the series finale on the CW, and recently voiced the role of Batgirl in Batman VS. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Bloom will be featured next in The Angry Birds Movie 2 opposite Jason Sudeikis as well as Trolls 2: Trolls World Tour with Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake.

    Tova Laiter began the Q&A by asking Bloom how the idea for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend came about. “I had been doing comedic music videos on my YouTube channel for quite some time,” replied Bloom. “Apparently, Aline saw them and I got an email from her saying she wants to meet with me to discuss a potential musical television show with CBS. It came out of the blue.” Suddenly, the musical comedy ideas that Rachel had pitched and been turned down had become alive and viable.

    As for developing the skills necessary to be discovered, Bloom told the enthusiastic crowd, “I have to believe that hard work and honing your craft work out and pan out, but you can’t necessarily do it for that end goal because that’s just luck and there’s a lot of factors.” She added, “You have to love the craft and you have to love the work.” 

    Bloom continued on by advising students to “hone the process first and make connections in organic ways, but get good at your work first and then see what happens.”

    Rachel Bloom

    The Q&A then opened up to NYFA students. Bloom was asked how she and her team defined the line between homage and satire of musical theatre on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Bloom answered, “It’s a very inexact science and a lot of it was gut and emotion. A lot of it came from my own un-ironic love of musical theatre and learning comedy and realizing that a lot of musical theatre is goofy and embarrassing, but still loving it. It’s just mostly instinctive.” 

    The Q&A ended with Bloom being asked how she approaches writing and portraying characters with mental health issues without turning them into caricatures. Bloom articulated the importance of “coming at it from a first-person perspective and coming at it with empathy.”  

    New York Film Academy would like to thank writer, performer, and Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom for sharing her expertise with our students!

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    September 4, 2019 • Acting, Guest Speakers, Musical Theatre, Screenwriting • Views: 503