alumni
Posts

  • NYFA Doc Grad Raises Awareness for Environment in “Recycled Mississippi”

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    As a strong advocate in raising awareness about environmental issues, former documentary student Gary Bencheghib has recently set out on a unique voyage to combine his two passions: the environment and documentary filmmaking.

    recycled mississippi

    Beginning in 2009, Bencheghib founded Make A Change World, an organization to raise awareness about environmental pollution and sustainable waste management. The platform was also used to distribute a miniseries to promote the official release of his New York Film Academy thesis film, The Reclamation, which will soon be a 40-minute documentary set for release in early 2017.

    “NYFA completely changed my life in giving me the best formation imaginable on the entire filmmaking spectrum — from shooting to editing and producing,” said Bencheghib.

    The two initial episodes of the series have reached over 3 million people after having been pirated by different sources in Indonesia. The miniseries was covered by CNN, Rolling Stone, and various international media outlets, while also helping to increase the official petition against proposed artificial islands in South Bali by 20,000 signatures.

    His latest project, Recycled Mississippi, is an ambitious project in which he attempts the first ever zero-waste expedition by traveling one of the world’s longest and most polluted rivers on the “ioco,” a boat made from plastic bottles and recycled materials.

    recycled mississippi

    The expedition team is made up of 6 environmentalists: expedition leader Dan Cullum, who has been leading ‘recycled expeditions’ on kayaks made from plastic bottles in New Zealand for the past three years; filmmaker and producer Gary Bencheghib; the Swiss Engineering duo includes Livio Knori, the Captain of the vessel and responsible for the overall design and build of the boat ‘ioco’ and Hannes Stauffer, responsible for the woodwork and mechanical componentry of ‘ioco’; and American adventurers Sebastian Engelhart and Zander Hartung.

    The international team will be producing a 40 minute documentary about their expedition and the people and communities along the river that are working to protect and preserve it. Their journey commenced in Minneapolis, MN on the 19th of June and will finish at the end of August at the Gulf of Mexico.

    “This project has by far been the biggest I have undertaken to date,” said Bencheghib. “The expedition, on many levels, has been an experience of a lifetime, filled with amazing encounters. The river people who we have met along the way have been a testament to the deep care people around the world have for our planet.”

    The film, Mississippi Recycled, should be released in early 2017 and will be made freely available to students and teachers worldwide as an environmental platform to living a more sustainable life.

    More recently, Gary and his environmental activist partner and brother Sam were featured in EcoWatch, the nation’s largest environmental sustainability news site, for paddle boarding the Gowanus Canal and Newton Creek. The brothers are creating an 8-part video series to draw attention to polluted waterways. Their series #BroCleanBKLN premiered on Facebook Dec. 7, 2017.

    Gary was quoted in EcoWatch as saying, “In increasingly uncertain times for our environment, there has never been a more important time than now to take action to clean up and restore our waterways. If we can start by showing a good example here in New York, the world will follow!”

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • Broadcast Journalism Alumni Highlights for August 2016

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
    It was an eventful week for New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism graduates. In Denmark, NYFA grad Celina Liv Danielsen has joined Nyheder TV2 as a journalist. She is working at the first 24-hour Danish news channel.
    NYFA grad Celina Liv Danielsen

    NYFA grad Celina Liv Danielsen

    “Celina is one of the hardest working students I have ever met,” said NYFA Broadcast Journalism Chair, Bill Einreinhofer. “Her personal credo is to ‘do your best, nothing less.’ And she is a fabulous writer. Congratulations, Celina!”
    NYFA grad Chiara Carcano

    Another of our grads, Chiara Carcano, was chosen to be one of the co-hosts of the 2016 edition of the Italian travel show Donnavventura. “Kiki” was selected from 180,000 contests, and starting on September 10th, she will be traveling the world for the next 100 days.

    Recent graduate Federica Polidoro explained that the series is “Amazons for the digital age.” (No, not an online marketplace, but the female warriors of classical literature.) She will be facing challenging and extreme conditions, and reporting her experiences to TV, radio and magazine audiences. Congratulations Kiki, and don’t forget to wear your NYFA t-shirt!

    Patricia Saad

    By this time you have likely seen at least some of the network coverage of the Rio Olympics. But Brazilian NYFA grad Patricia Saad is taking a very different approach, exploring the local implications and legacy of the Olympic Games.

    Take a look at Canal Ilumida. And that “walk and talk” she does in the introductory video… she learned how to do that at NYFA. Nice job, Patricia!

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    August 8, 2016 • Broadcast Journalism, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3703

  • NYFA Grad Working with DP for “Big Bang Theory” and “Mom”

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    rebecka KristenssonThrough the assistance of the New York Film Academy’s Alumni Department, recent grads have had their share of success in landing some really solid opportunities in the entertainment business. Such has been the case with alumna, Rebecka Kristensson, who is currently working with the talented Steven V. Silver, ASC. Silver is the Director of Photography for both The Big Bang Theory and Mom. Now that Kristensson has had the chance to settle into her new position, we thought we’d catch up to see how everything is going at her new job.

    Congrats on landing a gig with Steven V. Silver! Can you tell us how this exciting position came about?

    I got the opportunity of working with him from a job ad that was sent out by some instructors at NYFA; in my case by my amazing mentor Denise Carlson (originally from Barbara Weintraub). I applied, and somehow my application reached Steven, with a few other applications. He called me in for an interview, and a few hours into our lunch meeting he hired me on the spot and the rest is history.

    What are some of the tasks in your position?

    My position entails many different tasks, such as scheduling, coordinating with post production and Technicolor, staying updated on newly drafted scripts, floor plans, etc. I’ve been working on websites and with publicity, especially since receiving two recent Emmy nominations for Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series, which he received for both ”Mom” and “The Big Bang Theory” this year. Also, since the production schedules overlap, I often represent Steven wherever he cannot be present.

    What are some of the challenges? What are some of the perks?

    The perks are definitely working with extremely talented and professional people that I look up to a lot. I get to pick Steven’s brain a lot — someone who’s been successful in the industry for a long time, creating the look of shows such as Two And A Half Men, Dharma & Greg, The Big Bang Theory, and Mom, as well as established the look of the pilot of How I Met Your Mother. Lucky for me, Steven is truly an amazing mentor. Also, I get to run around Warner Brother’s lot every day, which is always exciting. To be part of the Chuck Lorre machine is definitely an honor, and very educational indeed.

    Do you believe your NYFA education was useful in terms of being able to work with a cinematographer on MOM and BIG BANG THEORY?

    Definitely! I would neither have received the job ad, nor been considered for the actual job, if it wasn’t for NYFA. Even more so, I would never be able to keep up with this job and professional team without my producing degree.

    What are you hoping this job will lead to? Where would you like to be in 5 years?

    I hope this job will lead to great connections, lots of wisdom, and more opportunities with Steven, Warner Brothers and Chuck Lorre Productions. Outside the studio, I’ve launched a Swedish production company with my two partners – directors and writers – Petter Englund and Johan Englund, which I hope will stay active five years from now creating original content.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    August 5, 2016 • #WomenOfNYFA, Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 7115

  • NYFA Grad’s Photography Portfolio Hosted by Vogue Italia

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Italian native and New York Film Academy Photography graduate, Paolo Testa, says he’s “constantly working on different projects” since graduating. His work primarily deals with magazines and clients in the fashion industry.

    paolo testa

    photography by Paolo Testa

    “I believe that a photography school offers you a priceless opportunity: taking pictures for the sake of taking them,” says Testa. “This allows your creativity to flow and gives you a lot of room for exploration and experimentation. Once you are out of school, you need to work and you lose your free time. My most memorable time at NYFA was spent in the studio. I was using it every day for the sake of experiencing and gaining more knowledge of the studio protocol.”

    Testa’s latest work can be seen in WWD. Outside of the fashion industry, Testa is shooting a personal project called “My America” that will be showcased in the next issue of C41 Magazine, a fine art photography magazine distributed worldwide.

    palo testa

    photography by Paolo Testa

    Additionally, Testa has an active portfolio on the Vogue Italia website. Some of his photos have won awards on the website, including two of which won the Best of vogue.it.

    As for some advice that Testa has for our current students and recent graduates, he says, “If you want to make it, you need to focus on one type of photography. Be honest with yourself and don’t try to imitate someone else’s work. Find your own language and write your own story with your own unique style.”

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    August 4, 2016 • International Diversity, Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6204

  • NYFA Grads Awarded TriBeCa Film Grant for Screenplay “Falcon Lake”

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Not only does the New York Film Academy provide an intensive hands-on experience, but it also sometimes plays the role of matchmaker for actors, filmmakers, writers and other creative artists to begin a professional relationship that will last far beyond their years as students.

    Such is the case for two alumni, Sara Seligman and Thomas Bond, who met at NYFA and began a working relationship as writing partners. Sara and Tom first met while taking the One-Year Filmmaking Program in 2007. The two initially worked on each other’s thesis films – Sara was Tom’s AD and Tom was Sara’s DP. After school they continued collaborating, and currently they have several feature film scripts that they’ve co-written.

    falcon lake

    One of their screenplays, Falcon Lake, was awarded a TriBeCa Film Institute Grant, which brought about the attention of potential film financiers and production companies. Through that attention, the team found producer, Anne Clements, and attached Oscar-nominee Adriana Barraza to play one of the leading roles. And more recently, Tom and Sara were selected to participate in the 2016 Film Independent Fast Track. Through that they received even more attention, both for their script and as writers in general. They had the opportunity to meet with several more production companies and agencies, such as WME. They have now landed their first investors and are still looking to gather the remainder of the production budget.

    Falcon Lake began at NYFA as Sara’s first-year thesis film, Blessed the Fruit of Thy Womb. Her short was the seed that began the idea, and slowly it grew and evolved into the script it is today.

    “The most important thing is to know that the skills we learn in school can be strengthened with practice, from directing to lighting to writing,” says Seligman in regards to her time at NYFA. “NYFA taught us that, when it comes to filmmaking, going out and doing the work is the only way to succeed, and repetition is the way to turn the work from decent to good to great,” added Bond.

    sara seligman

    Sara Seligman on set

    In addition to their writing careers, both Sara and Tom have spent time working on film and TV sets, including The Mindy Project and The People Vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. “Working on TV and film sets has been extremely important in furthering my career,” said Seligman. “We can learn a lot in film school, but practical experience is invaluable. When applying for jobs, it’s the experience that matters most. Getting on-set experience helps me to learn all facets of the filmmaking process.”

    “Working on set, you learn to manage the different legs of a project, and the personalities involved,” added Bond. “I love the challenge of working as a team under pressurized constraints, like budget and time restrictions. You really learn who is capable of what, and who will be around for the long haul in an industry that is very unforgiving.”

    tom sara

    Thomas Bond at LA Film Festival

    Sara and Tom continue to develop and collaborate on screenplays while holding steady jobs in the creative field. Sara is currently working as an Associate Producer at the ad agency Innocean. Before that, she was Jennifer Todd’s assistant on Ben Affleck’s Live By Night and key set PA for The Mindy Project. “I’m proud of the evolvement that each project has meant, and that I was able to work for one of my favorite directors on Live by Night with one of the best DPs in the world Bob Richardson,” said Seligman.

    For the past several years, Tom has spent much of his time in the documentary world. “My proudest achievement is definitely getting the chance to work with Albert Maysles at his production company in Harlem, which I did for two years,” said Bond. “Working with a legend, who was so nice, smart, and giving, is an experience I’ll treasure forever. Rest In Peace, Albert!”

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    August 3, 2016 • Filmmaking, Screenwriting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3169

  • NYFA Alumni Form Kaleidocircle Productions

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    A group of recent New York Film Academy alumni have teamed together to create a production company called Kaleidocircle Productions. Established as fifteen eager actors looking to continue their journey together, they are now a solid group of 12; Aleigha Spinks, Will Parker, Max Turner, Esther Van Zyl, Cesar Brandi, Vitoria Mattos, Laika Lalonde, Victoria Ruud, Natalia Garcez, Ana Paula Marques, Litha Bam and Jen Theophilus.

    Kaleidocircle Productions

    Kaleidocircle Productions

    The production team, a multi-cultural film ensemble, collaborates with actors, filmmakers, writers, photographers, and musicians. They are working to provide high quality entertainment on a global platform while maintaining a level of intimacy and magnitude with their audience. Kaleidocircle strives to provoke, spark, and affect every walk of life the best way possible.

    “Our team thrives on creativity and success from every corner of the globe,” said Aleigha K. Spinks, Managing Director.

    Working within the LGBTQ community is very important to the company, with many of its founding members being a part of the community. Providing opportunities for not just young creatives, but minorities, alike. No matter the level of experience, Kaleidocircle is always willing to assist in the development of creative individuals.

    Kaleidocircle Productions

    “I have managed to not only act, but, write, direct and produce original material of high quality thanks to our companies network of artists across 6 continents,” said Will Parker, Artistic Director.

    K-Circle, as they like to abbreviate sometimes, has created contemporary promotional material for the non-profit organization, Hetrick Martin Institute. They will also be producing their first professional short film in the fall — a story inspired by the true events of the gas explosions in New York City. They hope to touch their audience, evoking raw and honest emotions, while relaying a message of hope to each and every one of us.

    Be sure to check out and follow K-Circle on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    August 2, 2016 • Acting, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6210

  • Students and Alumni Meet with Agents

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    As the clock struck 7:00 at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles Campus the lobby began to fill with acting students and alumni. Agents from Abrams Artists Agency, Central Artists, Daniel Hoff Agency, DDO Artists Agency, Howard Talent West, Ideal Talent Agency, LA Management, McKeon-Myones Management, Media Artists Group, Prodigy Talent, Debra Manners Talent Management, sat perched behind desks ready to take the student’s head shots and discuss their future.

    Frederico Mallet a recent MFA Acting graduate attended the recent looking for commercial and theatrical representation. “I think it’s fantastic that Barbara made this happen,” said Mallet. “Because she is really great. She’s one of the finest people at NYFA. She’s at it all the time. She cares so much about us and I’m really grateful that she did this.”

    unnamed

    The event was organized and run by Barbara Weintraub, Chair of Industry Outreach and Professional Development. She wanted to give recent and soon to be graduates an opportunity not only to network and practice pitching themselves but hopefully to land an agent and secure work.

    Spring 2015 graduate, Katisha Seargent, “I graduated in May and I’ve been trying to get out there. I was doing a lot of self-submissions. I was so grateful to the school put together a program to help us get that foot in the door because it’s something we’ve been trying to do since we graduated.”

    “I watched the footage that they made us shoot on our very first week at NYfA and I just compare it to where I am now and the growth is just exponential. It’s ridiculous. I learned so many things. My interpersonal communication skills rose exponentially. My confidence…it just went through the roof. I’m playing roles now that I never thought that I would do, that I didn’t think I was good at. I found out I have a comedic side. I never thought I was funny. You find out so much about yourself through this process here at NYFA.”

    unnamed-1

    Acting student Owen Rousu knew he only had two minutes to impress the agents, “I have a commercial agent already so I’m looking more for theatrical. My little spiel goes, ‘Hey, I’m Owen. This is my theatrical headshot. I’m looking for theatrical representation; either a manager or an agent. I’m SAG eligible. I think what sets me apart from other actors is I spent five years in the army. I deployed twice as a US Army Ranger. So, the roles that I would go up for are usually army, marines, cops, firefighters, or the bad guy, apparently. I get a lot of villains, which actually, I love.”

    When all was said and done we had several students reach back to tell us about their experience.

    unnamed-3

    The meet and greet was such a great event! I got an audition for commercial representation at Daniel Hoff! Which is an agency I’ve wanted to audition for so bad!

    So, thank you!

    Best,
    Linnea

    Thank you so much for yesterday the event was great! I was already contacted by two talent agencies!
     
    So, thank you so much! Those events must keep on going! They are of great help.
     Gonzalo
    Thanks for last night event!! I got contacted by DDO agency already for an interview next Thursday for possible representation!
    Thanks,
    Todd
    unnamed-2

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank all the agencies that came to view our students and the current students and alumni who took advantage of this opportunity.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 21, 2016 • Acting, Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4149

  • Former Student to Present Photo Exhibition at Cloud Gallery in NYC

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
    Stone Wong

    Stone Wong

    Born and raised in Hong Kong, the New York based photographer and former New York Film Academy Photography student Stone Wong has been featured in Gothesque Magazine and Nam Magazine.

    With a focus in fashion, beauty and portrait photography, Wong is especially strong in capturing the emotional moments of people, and he has a keen sense in presenting a blend of Chinese and Western culture in his works.

    Beginning this Thursday, July 14, 2016, Wong will be presenting a Solo Photo Exhibition “In Search of Hong Kong” at the Cloud Gallery in New York City (66 W Broadway). His exhibition will run until July 28th.

    Recently, NYFA had a chance to catch up with the busy photographer before his upcoming exhibition.

    Would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself and your background?

    My name is Huang Ka Kit. You can call me Stone. I was born and raised in Hong Kong. I grew up in a very normal family with my parents in the fashion trading industry. After I graduated from high school, I started helping them out while working as part-time photographer at the same time. It wasn’t until I turned 29 years old that I decided to chase my dream as a photographer.

    What drew you to study photography at NYFA?

    I fell in love with photography when I first owned a camera at the age of 17. When I turned 29, I realized life is not all about making money, so I decided to put a hold on my work in the fashion trading industry and pursue my dream in photography.

    When I think of photography and fashion, New York is always the first city that pops up in my mind. I always wanted to live and study in New York at least once in my life. I’ve been learning photography on my own for a few years but I’ve never received any professional training. New York Film Academy provides the most hands-on program as far as I know. That’s why I decided to come to NYFA to improve my skills.

    work by Stone Wong for Gothesque

    work by Stone Wong for Gothesque

    What was your favorite aspect of your Photography Program at NYFA?

    What I truly enjoyed the most was the close connection between our instructors and the students. It goes beyond class hours. Whenever I had any technical questions, regardless of time and distance, I could always ask for guidance and advice from my teachers during and after the class. For example, they guided me through the way of exploring and figuring out what photography means to me both as a photographer and an audience through my own efforts. Students have to rack their brains to express their feeling towards photographs and critique them in a professional way under instruction. Among all the courses, I love “Vision and Style” the most.

    I also love the way students work as a team just like in a real work environment.

    Before joining NYFA, I learned all of my technical skills from the Internet. I took photos based on whatever ideas or concepts popped into my mind. NYFA’s program helped me put my “scrapped” techniques and knowledge together in a more systematic and structured way, further improving my understanding of the art and technique as a photographer in a profound way. It also gave me a clearer direction of where I’m going to in terms of personal artistic style and career path through teaching me how to develop a concept, compose an image, use color, interact with models and eventually tell a story.

    nam

    Wong’s work for Nam magazine

    What’s your favorite work that you have produced thus far?

    My final project “Lost in Chinatown” is my favorite work produced out of the NYFA program. In my opinion, photographic work should not only appeal to our eyes but also to our minds, which means I expect these visual images to influence people in a more meaningful way.

    As a New York based Hong Kong photographer, I’m very proud to have a Chinese identity with strong experience in culturally diverse environment, which enhanced my reflection of China. From this “Lost In Chinatown” series, I want to create a peculiar yet coherent collection that challenges people’s perceptions on Chinese beauty. By having an American stylist, a Japanese make-up artist and a Chinese model to collaborate in this project, I tried to present vivid visuals of China in its new era.

    "Lost in Chinatown" by Stone Wong

    “Lost in Chinatown” by Stone Wong

    What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced during the production process and how did you solve it?

    It’s all about leveraging between creating a high quality photograph and dealing with the difficulties encountered all the way through pre-production to post-production: the limited time and resources to conceptualize a creative idea, setting up everything for shooting, controlling the unpredictable circumstances on set, and the necessary technical skills to polish your work and develop it into something you desired. I want my work to be perfect, so I will spare no effort to achieve what I want.

    In what ways do you think NYFA helped you to develop the business skills needed to succeed as a professional photographer?

    The program itself is very practical and inspires me a lot. The techniques and theoretical knowledge that I obtained from classes have been applied to some of my favorite photographic pieces.

    Which artist influences you most and why?

    Annie Leibovitz is one of my favorite artists. She is a great storyteller. Her photographs are just like condensed romantic films appealing to her audience emotionally. We have all the necessary recipes including lighting, scene, mood and subject — now you just need to blend everything together into a decent and delightful meal. That’s something I’ve always been looking for and working on.

    wong

    “Deviate in Murk” by Stone Wong

    Can you tell us about your solo fashion photography exhibition coming up this July?

    Yes, I’m going to have my first ever solo photography exhibition at the Cloud Gallery in New York City. It’s called “In Search of Hong Kong Vision.” It will showcase some of my favorite pieces of work, including “Lost in Chinatown,” “Film Noir,” “The Lady,” “Fear,” “Deviate in Murk,” “The Gentlemen and Dark is Coming.” I want to present a harmonious blend of Chinese and Western culture while sharing a special view for China’s rapid development, Hong Kong and international vision, and humanity issues.

    Hong Kong is my root, but I travelled and lived in different cities in China and the U.S. in order to widen my perspectives and culture inspirations. There is no definite answer for Hong Kong Vision. By understanding through thinking and discovering through experiencing, I attempt to define this unique view of Hong Kong Vision, and present his distinctive sense of Chinese and Western culture into his fashion photography and portrait works. I love the saying that “Photography is not only about the moment of pressing the shutter, photography is nothing but eternity.”

    This exhibition will open on Thursday, July 14th, 2016 with a public reception at 7pm for the artist.

    Please find out more information from the following link.

    Where do you see yourself as a photographer in five years?

    I want to be a full-time fashion and commercial photographer without compromising. I will keep working on my “In search of Hong Kong” project. I hope a couple of years later when I look back on today’s work, the quality of my work grows simultaneously with the increase of my age and accumulation of life experiences.

    Any additional advice you would like to give to NYFA photography students?

    If you love photography and decided to devote yourself to this industry, you should get started as early as possible. Photography cultivates your life in an artistic and educational way. It teaches you to appreciate the world and the fine parts of it by concentrating it into a tiny little image. But before you choose this career path, you should be aware that it’s a road with no turning back. It’s the enthusiasm and hard work that support you at the end of the day, so just be prepared to face all the challenges and the endless efforts you should make on your road to success. If you are not quite sure about it yet, you probably should enter schools like New York Film Academy and figure out who you want to be and where you want to go.

    If you would like more information about Stone and to see his portfolio, please check out his website, Facebook & Instagram.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • NYFA Alumni Panel Talks Business, Networking and Movie Trivia Following Screening of “Hellion”

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy had the pleasure of welcoming back alumni Tanner Beard, Steven Garcia, Ashley Eberbach, and Ryan Rottman. These former students returned after over a decade, having attended NYFA Los Angeles when it was a small group of offices running out of the Universal backlot.

    The evening started with Hellion, starring Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad and produced by Tanner Beard’s production company, Silver Sail Entertainment. They also screened a trailer of an upcoming film from Silver Sail Entertainment. Filmmaking instructor Eric Conner moderated the Q&A that followed.

    alumni nyfa tanner

    One of the first things the group focused on was the importance of being a positive person to work with, with Ryan Rottman saying, “In this town, the nicer you are, the more real you are…people appreciate that.” Rottman has acted in several TV series, including 90210, The Lying Game, and Happyland. He’ll be appearing in the upcoming film, Billionaire Boys Club.

    Steven Garcia, VP, Current Programing and Development at B17 Entertainment, added, “I’m thankful I’ve surrounded myself with good people. I’ve been a good enough teammate to have them keep me around.”

    This went along with the question they were asked about how to network. The whole panel agreed when Rottman said to “talk to other people.” Beard added that students should “surround [themselves] with people who love what you love and do what you do. Once you get out of school you’re so hungry for it, you forget it’s going to take time.”

    6 Bullets to Hell – Video Game Doc from Ashley Eberbach on Vimeo.

    They did admit how difficult the business could be, but their hope was to show that it is possible to succeed. Beard said that “it never gets easier. It was something I wanted very badly. I took the glass half full approach.”

    Rottman advised that students “not [let] it beat you down…just keep going. I know people who booked it…do your best.”

    nyfa alumni panel

    Ashley Eberbach, who works as a photographer and runs a multi-media production company in Los Angeles, chimed in, saying, “I think we all have war stories of like ‘I can’t believe that worked out.’ Make the best of it—the minute you break, that’s when you have a disaster. Making movies is supposed to be fun.”

    They reminisced fondly about their time at NYFA, and Beard said that “it is so cool…we are so happy to be here.”

    They concluded the evening with a movie trivia contest with prizes like Silver Sail Entertainment T-shirts and a signed event poster. We hope this will be the first of many visits back from these thriving, successful graduates.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • Former Students Return to Discuss Production of First Feature

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy Producing and Screenwriting Alumni Justin Ford and Mark DeBarr spoke with current students last night about collaborations and their first feature film Lemons. Set in New York’s Lower East Side, the low budget film charts the breakup of a relationship between two Millenials.

    nyfa mixer

    NYFA alumni Justin Ford and Mike DeBarr with NYFA Producing Chair, Neil Weisman

    Written and directed by Mike DeBarr, produced by Justin Ford, and shot by fellow NYFA Producing graduate Heikki Herlin, the film is currently in post-production. Mike and Heikki also share producing credit.

    Having met at NYFA, Justin and Mike spoke about the development, financing, and production of the project, and shared their marketing and distribution plans in a conversation moderated by Producing Department Chair Neal Weisman.

    nyfa mixer event

    The team hopes to launch Lemons at a prominent film festival in early 2017. A mixer followed, encouraging current Producing and Screenwriting students to start their own NYFA collaborations.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail