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  • On Set of ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ with NYFA’s Acting Students

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    New York Film Academy Acting students recently had the rare opportunity of stepping onto one of the busiest sets in television, NCIS: Los Angeles as well as visiting their post production facilities on the Paramount Studios lot with Acting for Film Instructor, Melissa Sullivan.

    Paramount set

    Paramount set

    Our gracious host, Eric Whitmyre, Producer and head of the Editorial Department, discussed the show’s processes for each episode from production to post-production. Students got a first hand look of the editorial facilities, meeting editor Ed Sailor and the assistant editor Eric Lucas, before touring the sound stages that include a massive two-story set piece of the main headquarters in the show.

    Eric Olsen

    Eric Olsen

    Eric Christian Olsen, who plays ‘Detective Marty Deeks’ in the show, gave us a few minutes of his time and kind words about his life experiences as an actor.

    Students were also greeted whole-heartedly by LL Cool J, who plays ‘Special Agent Sam Hanna.’

    A big thanks to Eric Whitmyre and the NCIS: Los Angeles family for the visit and their time.

    -Shawn Dawes

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    December 12, 2013 • Acting • Views: 6485

  • NYFA Students Star in Richie Ramone’s New Music Video

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    Richie Ramone

    Richie Ramone

    As the drummer of the legendary New York punk rock group, The Ramones, Richie Ramone channels his experiences to perform in the short film/music video, Criminal, directed by Steven Hanft.

    “Ramone came to me with a limited video budget and asked if I could make him a music video that was a full on psycho thriller with a plot,” said Steven Hanft. “Something with suspense, like a Hitchcock TV show, or like Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. I said yeah, I could try. I penned the script going with the idea of a short suspense film about two desperate bank robbers hiding out on the outskirts of Los Angeles.”

    Through the help of New York Film Academy Acting for Film Instructor, Melissa Sullivan, Steven was able to cast two of her student actors, Bonnie Lawrence and Nikita Tserev, to play the young outlaw lead parts in the short.

    The video is slated to premiere on Billboard.com in early January 2014 and will coincide with the release of Richie Ramone’s single Criminal.

    Nikita pool close up _Criminal_

    Nikita Tserva

    Bonnie Lawrence

    Bonnie Lawrence

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    December 9, 2013 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4349

  • NYFA On the Lot: Paramount Studios

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    New York Film Academy Acting for Film students on the Paramount Studios backlot

    New York Film Academy Acting for Film students were recently invited to tour Paramount Studios, and visit the set of NCIS: Los Angeles, the popular television drama starring Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J.

    In the conference room with Erik Whitmyre, Co-Producer for NCIS: Los Angeles

    In the conference room with Erik Whitmyre, Co-Producer for NCIS: Los Angeles

    Paramount Studios, the last major studio in Hollywood proper, moved into its current home in 1927. Paramount built its legacy as the home to legendary actors and directors including Mae West, W.C. Fields, D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille, the Marx Brothers, and Claudette Colbert. Students entered the historic lot, walking past trailers and crew working on the hit TV show, Glee, before moving onto the Technicolor building. Working on projects for HBO and Marvel, Technicolor has the highest security for any post-production building in the world.

    Inside the conference room, Erik Whitmyre, Co-Producer for NCIS: Los Angeles, spoke to excited students about all aspects of filming and post-production. He spoke about what makes an actor great, the importance of physical continuity (while being able to alter the emotional performance of his/her character), attitude on set, how the voice translates on film, and what makes a great close-up.

    On the set of NCIS: Los Angeles

    On the set of NCIS: Los Angeles

    Students then visited the editing team, where Assistant Editor Eric Wilson showed them the latest episodes they were working on. Whitmyre explained the evolution of technology, the systems that editors had worked on in the past, and what they are working with now. Students also spoke with VFX Supervisor Robert Konuch. Along with Russell Welch and James Olney, the team had overseen the effects on CSI: Miami, and are now working with the NCIS: Los Angeles crew. Robert and the team were busy at work, adding snow to a winter scene shot in the desert. Before leaving the NCIS set, students got to take a visit to the set of NCIS headquarters.

    The students ended their tour at the studio’s Bronson Gate, where Norma Desmond entered the lot in Sunset Blvd. Legend has it that the upper filigree was added to the gate after a throng of adoring female fans swarmed security and climbed the gate, trying to chase silent film star Rudolph Valentino!

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    March 27, 2013 • Academic Programs, Acting • Views: 4986

  • Taiwanese Celeb Attends NYFA Acting Workshop

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    Hannah Quinlivan recently finished a 8-Week Acting for Film Workshop at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus. The Taiwanese-Australian actress first gained attention in Taiwan when she joined a successful girl group in 2008. Since then she has worked as a model, acted on a television drama, and has been a host on MTV and game shows. She recently landed her first major role in a feature film, and came to New York Film Academy to brush up on her acting skills.

    “I’ve had a really good time here. I really jumped out of my safe zone,” she says. “That was a really big step for me. And I really enjoyed my time shooting on the Universal Studios backlot. I used to really enjoy the Universal tour, and now I got the chance to shoot there!” Hannah says she loved the short-term program and looks forward to returning to New York Film Academy soon.

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  • Actors Can Never Stop Learning

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    After dreaming of studying acting in New York for ten years, South African native, Donnalee Roberts made her dreams come true with New York Film Academy’s 8 Week Acting for Film workshop. However, Donnalee came to NYFA with an already blossoming career in acting and filmmaking back at home. Roberts is a regular on the popular South African soap, 7de Laan, where she plays the vibrant young waitress, Annelie. “It is amazing to play this part,” said Donnalee. “A lot of young girls can relate to the character.”

    In addition to her work on the popular television show, Donnalee will star in the feature film, Klein Karoo. The film plays off the central location of the South African town, Klein Karoo. Landing the role was another dream of Donnalee’s, rewarding her the opportunity to work with a director she’s always admired and respected. Though, she wasn’t always lucky in her career. Donnalee spoke about perseverance and maintaining a positive attitude in the highly competitive field of acting. “You can go on 100 auditions and never get the part. It just means the part wasn’t meant for you, but don’t give up.”

    Next, Donnalee will be playing the lead in a new romantic comedy, Pad na jou HART (Road to Your Heart), which she co-wrote and is co-producing. “I’m very excited about where the South African film industry is going.”

    Aside from her passionate acting and filmmaking work, Donnalee is heavily involved with a charity called Children of Fire. The charity aids young burn victims in South Africa. For more information on how you can help in this cause visit their website: http://www.firechildren.org.

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  • From Hollywood to Bollywood

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    Originally from Kolkata, India, Sharad Malhotra took an early interest in sports. He played soccer and cricket as a child. He went on to play professionally for the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). He also spent some time working as a financial advisor. He hadn’t really considered a life on the silver screen, but at his girlfriend’s suggestion, Sharad got in contact with scouts from Zee TV, a leading entertainment channel in India — a choice changed the course of his life.

    After getting good feedback and support from Zee TV, Sharad moved to Mumbai where he began going on auditions. He modeled for a number of national and international print campaigns before landing a leading role on Banoo Main Teri Dulhann, a wildly popular Indian soap opera.

    He won several Best Actor awards for his work on the television show, but Sharad says, “I was hungry to learn more and better the craft. So as soon as my show ended, I headed toward the mecca of acting and filmmaking.” Impressed by New York Film Academy’s list of notable grads (including Paul Dano and Owen Kline, and Bollywood actors Imran Khan and Ahana Deol), Sharad decided to move from the west coast of India to the west coast of America, to attend the school’s Los Angeles campus.

    “It was a beautiful amalgamation of students of different… creeds, color, religions, nationalities, all coming under one roof with their own unique creative abilities and bonding over a common passion called cinema,” he says. “As we say in India, NYFA is a complete paisa wasool — worth every penny!”

    Since completing an Acting for Film program in 2009, Sharad has been busy at work in Mumbai. He recently completed his first Bollywood feature film, From Sydney With Love – the story of a small town girl from West Bengal who finds a new love and a new life while attending school in Australia. Sharad is looking forward to the Indian premiere of From Sydney With Love on August 31. The buzz about the film has already led to interest from film directors looking to book him for future projects.

    Sharad describes his journey as, “nothing short of a beautiful roller coaster ride…. It helped me mature as a person and made me realize that the essential five ingredients that are solely responsible for fulfilling dreams: patience, hard work, determination, belief, and finally the luck factor to put it all in place. From a cricketer to a financial advisor to a model and now an actor, it’s been one helluva fun trip.”

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  • Understanding the Craft of Acting

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    Grant Turnbull with Liam Neeson

    Since Grant Turnbull graduated from New York Film Academy’s Acting for Film in 2011, he’s been booking steady work. Hailing from a small town outside of Belfast, Ireland, Grant took the risk to move to New York City, where he felt was the place to fulfill his acting aspirations. While most of his acting peers stayed local, Grant went for it all. It is that drive and ambition that has sustained his early career. “I have always been a deep person with a love for the performing arts, but the New York Film Academy taught me about ‘depth.’ Depth in my performance, depth in myself, and the ability to see depth in other people. Respect: respect for my fellow actors, respect for people’s stories, where they came from, what their hardships where. Understanding: understanding people’s troubles and always trying to help. This was something I was always good at, but now I could use it in my acting.”

    With his maturity and formal education, Grant was ready for the competitive world of acting. After shooting a commercial for Royal Caribbean Cruises, Grant landed commercial spots for major brands like Just for Men, Gold Bond, Alfani Suits, ESPN, Major League Baseball, and an NFL catalogue advertisement. He is currently working with the Bella Agency where he is constantly on call for auditions. For the second year in a row, Grant starred in Shakespeare in the Parking Lot’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. The play, held in the Lower East Side, performed in front of record crowds of 300 people per night. Grant is currently gearing up for an independent feature film, 19th Hole, which will be shooting this September in Connecticut.

    Grant’s strongest recommendation to current students is to put everything they have into the program. Be prepared for every class and never ever be late! “I made sure I put everything I had into the school and, in return, three of my teachers cast me in two plays and a feature film. I acquired an agent from a faculty recommendation, and was able to audition for The Good Wife, Boardwalk Empire, The Big C, and Gossip Girl. After that, I landed parts on White Collar, Smash and The Good Wife. My first day at NYFA an instructor told me, ‘Grant you may be in school, but your career has already started.’ He was right.”

     

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    August 14, 2012 • Acting, International Diversity, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5479

  • Sprinting Toward Hollywood: A Pro Athlete Turned Actress

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    As a child in Markham, Ontario, Charlotte Plummer was involved in countless extra-curricular activities: ballet, modern dance, piano, accordion, trombone, horseback riding, acting classes. She did well in all of them, but started aggressively pursuing sports in high school. By the end of her 9th grade year, she was already being offered scholarships for universities in the United States.

    After finishing high school, she accepted a scholarship to New Orleans’ prestigious Tulane University, receiving her BA in Psychology, with a minor in Exercise and Sports Science. She was a conference athlete for the school, an NCAA qualifier, and won at the Penn Relays. She started as a 400-meter hurdler, and ended up as a runner in the 800-meter dash, making it to the Olympic trials for Canada.

    Though she originally planned on going into sports psychology, Charlotte had worked with mentally disturbed adolescents during school, and decided to change her path. As she says, “I asked myself, ‘Do I want to work with pampered athletes, or people who really need help?’” She ended up working with individuals with brain injuries, mostly resulting from car accidents. She helped patients with rehabilitation, speech therapy, psychology, and fitness.

    A series of injuries took Charlotte away from the world of competitive sports, but through her experience in track, she became an athletic model and did a lot of commercial work for Tennis Canada, Nike, and Pfizer. A chance meeting with a New York Film Academy representative led to another scholarship, and soon Charlotte would be pursuing her MFA in Acting for Film. “Doors have opened up, and I have to step into every door that is open to me,” says Charlotte.

    She began her studies at the school’s New York City campus before finishing at the Universal Studios campus in Los Angeles. “I’m glad I did New York and L.A.,” says Charlotte. “New York is definitely more theater based. In L.A. you really get the business side. You learn a lot in production and writing.”

    Just a few weeks before graduation, Charlotte participated in the Acting for Film showcase, produced by Valorie Hubbard. Scores of agents and managers came to see the showcase, and every student received callbacks the following week. Charlotte took 3 meetings, and is currently deciding which agent to sign with. She is also in rehearsals for an upcoming short film, and going on auditions. Of her education, Charlotte says, “You don’t realize while you’re in it how much you’ve learned. Now when I go on auditions I’m surprised at how prepared I am. Because there‘s so many teachers of so many backgrounds, you get so many perspectives.”

    Charlotte looks forward to a career in film, but also hopes to continue with mentorship. “I feel like young people are so lost in this world and have no concept of dreams,” she says. “I’m pursuing my reality. I’ve lived so many dreams. I’m able to make them realities. I’m still striving.”

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  • Bevin Prince is ‘Redefining Love.’

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    You may know Bevin from her long-run as ‘Bevin Mirskey’ on the hit CW show One Tree Hill or maybe you caught her on Fox’s House. We know Ms. Prince from our Acting for Film program, where she was ever present as the sweetest girl to deal with, not to mention she could act.

    “There are times when you’re in class and a student does a first read, you kind of just have to lean back in your chair a bit to give the student room. You just say, ‘Wow, they’ve got it,’ and Bevin has it,” said New York Film Academy instructor Robert Goodman.

    She is currently in a new film titled Redefining Love which you can check out the trailer for below, the film received a limited theatrical release for Valentine’s Day this past weekend:

    According to the films creators-

    “Redefining Love is the story of the search for the answer to that question. The movie features a hot young cast including Jodie Sweetin (Full House), Serah D’Laine (Wild Things 3), Timothy Woodward Jr. (Whittaker Bay), Bevin Prince (One Tree Hill), and introducing Ryan Small and Jessica Rose Smith.”

    Congratulations to NYFA’s Prince(ss), we look forward to speaking with her in the next couple of weeks regarding several of her upcoming projects, life as a working actor and the trials and tribulations of being a young actor in life… Of course, we will have that posted up for you guys here within the next week or two.

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    February 19, 2009 • Acting • Views: 4509