On January 9, The New York Film Academy Los Angeles campus facilitated a unique day of workshops for more than twenty-five soldiers from the 201st and 222nd Public Affairs detachments.
With the support of the New York Film Academy’s Foundation, the College was honored to have the opportunity to work with this exemplary group of servicemembers.
The 201st and 222nd units are both based out of Bell, CA and consist of public affairs officers, combat photographers, combat correspondents and broadcast specialists who are involved in creating, filming, reporting, hosting and editing news and entertainment radio and television program.
These groups are primarily responsible for participating in and supervising the operation of audio or video news for the American Forces Network (AFN), The Pentagon Channel or Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). Combat Correspondents, or broadcast journalists in the 222nd prepare scripts and news copy for radio and television programs and participate as hosts, announcers, masters of ceremonies, and actors in radio and television broadcasts. The 222nd has a long, proud history of telling soldiers’ stories as they serve all over the world. Most recently, the 222nd supported the public affairs mission with two yearlong tours of duty in Baghdad, Iraq.
The classes were taught by NYFA instructors in the College’s Filmmaking Department, who have decades of experience in the industry. Documentary Chair, Barbara Multer-Wellin led the program. The first workshop provided an overview on essential interview techniques and how to formulate intriguing interview questions, which were then used to dialogue with special guests John Henry and Nick Searcy.
John Henry is the co-founder of Purple Star Veterans and families, a non-profit created to assist struggling transitioning veterans and their families, and Nick Searcy is a renowned actor who has starred on productions such as: Tigerland, Castaway, The Fugitive, and most current ongoing TV series (Justified). The soldiers interviewed the gentlemen utilizing the techniques and interview skills they procured through the workshop.
After the interview techniques session the participants divided into two groups for instruction on camera and lighting techniques and how to properly light a set for an interview and on the importance of sound and how to achieve the best sound quality for a high quality interview. Lance Fisher (Filmmaking Instructor) instructed one group and the other was taught sound by James Coburn (Filmmaking Instructor).
At the end of the intense training day, Christopher Cardoza, a Specialist assigned to the 201st Public Affairs Detachment stated, “This experience was without a doubt, one of the most honorable moments of my military career. I was able to practice the proper tools of Networking, Building Relationships, and having a Rolodex of greatness!” In addition to his service at the 201st, Specialist Cardoza is a BFA student at NYFA and assisted the College’s Veterans Service staff in putting this successful event together.
“One of the greatest hands-on training that our unit has performed, in the time I’ve been with the 201st,” remarked SPC Kris Wright.
These workshops were tailored for our 201st and 222nd guests, and based on the New York Film Academy’s mission to provide the most hands-on instruction in the world and the participating members from the 201st and 222nd Public Affairs Detachment soldiers were very thankful for the trainings, which provided the opportunity to gain a large amount of knowledge that will be instrumental in the growth of their careers.
The New York Film Academy, the world’s largest and most prestigious visual and performing arts private institution, is a certified and award-winning Military Friendly School committed to supporting this newest generation of veterans. NYFA is proud to serve military veterans and servicemembers in their pursuit of a world-class education in filmmaking—and related disciplines—through its Veterans Advancement Program Chaired by Colonel Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient.
The 201st posted this article after attending our workshop on January 9th. You will have to be logged in to Facebook in order to view. Please click here to check it out.
-Michael Kunselman and Eric Brown