March 20, 2014

The New York Film Academy (NYFA) is embarking on a unique collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Northrop Grumman to introduce visual storytelling into the development of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

The JWST, scheduled for completion and launch in 2018, will be NASA’s successor to the world famous Hubble Space Telescope, and will enable scientists to better understand the deepest mysteries surrounding the birth and evolution of galaxies, the formation of stars and planets, and the potential existence of extraterrestrial life in the universe. To help raise widespread interest in and awareness of this historic endeavor, the New York Film Academy will utilize its extensive production resources to create an array of informative content that includes Public Service Announcements, interactive eBooks, advanced animations of key astronomical phenomena that JWST will observe, and interactive video kiosks to be placed in public places in order to engage and excite the general public.

“The New York Film Academy’s collaboration with NASA and the James Webb Space Telescope presents a unique opportunity for us to implement one of our society’s most significant scientific undertakings directly into the Academy’s curriculum and programs,” says astrophysicist and NYFA Director of STEAM Education Initiatives, Rajiv Uttamchandani. “This will be crucial to the furthering of our efforts to create educational environments that will strongly engage and excite visual arts students in the sciences.”

The New York Film Academy is an international film and performing arts school that prides itself on its hands-on approach to learning. NYFA offers MFAMABFABA and AFA degrees, conservatory programs and short-term workshops in filmmaking, acting for film, photography, producing, 3D animation, cinematography, screenwriting, documentary filmmaking, game design, musical theatre, broadcast journalism, dance, music video and digital editing. As such, the Academy possesses the talented and enthusiastic body of visual storytellers necessary to create engaging and interactive visuals. While the effort will be headed up by the Academy’s professional faculty, students will maintain an integral part of the project. Overall, both the Academy and NASA believe the collaboration will enable professionals within the scientific community to improve their abilities in the presentation and communication of complex ideas and concepts, while also providing opportunities to exploit fundamental methodologies in the scientific method to better structure the thinking of traditionally creative minded visual arts students.