The New York Film Academy (NYFA) was privileged to host the 2017 Writers Guild Foundation (WGF) ‘Veterans Writing Retreat’ at the College’s campus in Burbank, CA on April 29 and 30. NYFA’s media content team and an all-veteran student crew filmed the event, which provided the vet students studying Filmmaking, Documentary, and Producing at NYFA with the valuable hands-on experience of working a large-scale production event.
Now in its seventh year, the Veterans Writing Project pairs military veterans who are interested in writing for film and television with mentors who are members of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW). More than 75 veterans from all branches of the military and across the country— including 12 NYFA students and alumni — participated in the retreat.
The mentors included seasoned film and TV writers such as Peter Casey (“Frasier”), David Isaacs (“Frasier”), Ken Levine (“M*A*S*H*”), and Ashley Edward Miller (“X-Men: First Class”). The two-day retreat consisted of workshops on developing story, structure, characters and culminated with a presentation on the elements of screenwriting from noted film writer Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips,” “The Hunger Games”).
The Writers Guild Foundation (WGF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit is associated with the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and supports programs that positively impact and empower unique groups and communities of creative individuals who want to enter the entertainment industry as writers.
“The Writers Guild Foundation retreat for Veterans was an informative and extremely positive experience for me. The mentors were all fantastic and forthcoming. The staff made us feel welcomed and comfortable. I am grateful I had the opportunity and would recommend it to any other aspiring veteran writers,” said Adam Teitelbaum, US Navy, MFA Screenwriting student (BFA Screenwriting alumnus)
The Veterans Advancement Program team at NYFA, which facilitated the production team tasked with filming the event, considered that aspect of the WGF event a huge success. Ed Gomez, MFA Documentary student exclaimed, “I had one of the greatest experiences and opportunities this past weekend at the New York Film Academy. As a Marine Corps Veteran and current NYFA Documentary student, I had the privilege of being part of the film crew responsible for filming the Writers Guild Foundation Veteran Writing Project. Not only did the experiences while taping this event reinforce what is being in taught in class, but more importantly I had the honor and prestige of meeting and hearing from some of greatest minds in the film industry. I hope to continue to be part of this experience next year.”