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  • NYFA Tunes in for the 74th Annual Golden Globes

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    Once again the New York Film Academy was live on social media talking Golden Globes and, this year, rooting for former student Issa Rae on her nomination for Best Actress in a TV Comedy or Musical for her performance on HBO’s “Insecure,” a show she writes, produces, and acts in. While the award went to Tracee Ellis Ross for “Blackish,” we commend Issa on her tremendous success with her hit series, which began a few years back as a web-series.

    golden globes

    With the Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon hosting the evening, there were many familiar faces on hand not only from our favorite shows and films of the year, but from former guest speakers of NYFA, including Jonah Hill who was nominated for his part in “War Dogs.”

    The big winner of the evening was the musical “La La Land,” which won all seven of its nominated categories: best picture comedy/musical, lead actor honors for Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and awards for director, screenplay, song and score. The film received a wonderful review from our newest faculty member, film critic Peter Rainer, and is considered the heavy favorite for the Academy Awards as well.

    zootopia

    It was also a delight to watch comic actors Steve Carrell and Kristin Wiig present the award for Best Animated Feature to “Zootopia.” Last year,  NYFA hosted an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the award-winning animated film with Disney animator, Darrin Butters, who has been an animator for all of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ top hits including “Big Hero 6,” “Frozen” and “Tangled.”

    Perhaps one of the most talked about moments from last night was Meryl Steep’s moving speech after receiving the Cecil B. Demille award. She spoke of the talented actors and actresses she’s worked with who come from all over the world. “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners,” Streep said after describing the diverse backgrounds of some of her acting contemporaries.

    We’re very familiar with artists from all over the world, as more than 50% of NYFA’s enrollment is international. Tens of thousands of visual and performing artists from nearly 120 countries have studied at NYFA since its founding 25 years ago, including dozens of Fulbright Foreign Students. We hope to see more of our students and alumni at upcoming award ceremonies!

    Below is a list of winners and nominees from the 2017 Golden Globes.

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    January 9, 2017 • Community Highlights, Entertainment News • Views: 3518

  • #MyBoyhood: How Would You Have Aged in ‘Boyhood’?

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    Michael Keaton

    Michael Keaton

    As the groundbreaking Richard Linklater film Boyhood continues to pick up steam with its Golden Globe Award for Best Picture, Drama, we at the New York Film Academy thought it’d be fun to see what other nominees and actors would look like as a child, compared to today. Imagine having twelve years of your life documented into an award-winning film. Pretty cool, right?

    We’ve compiled several famous actors “boyhood” or “girlhood” photos and placed them beside a current photo to start off the trend.

    How do your boyhood comparisons pair up to these celebs? Post your child photo alongside of a current photo and share it with us on Twitter or Instagram with #MyBoyhood.

    Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck

    Benedict Cumberbatch

    Benedict Cumberbatch

    Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum

    Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal

    jennifer aniston

    Jennifer Aniston

    Michael Keaton

    Michael Keaton

    Reese Witherspoon

    Reese Witherspoon

    Rosamund Pike

    Rosamund Pike

    Steve Carell

    Steve Carell

    You’re next! Don’t forget to tag your picture comparison with #MyBoyhood. Look forward to seeing your posts on social media!

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    January 12, 2015 • Acting, Community Highlights, Entertainment News • Views: 7974

  • This Year’s Golden Globes Points to Likely Oscar Winners

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    tina fey and poehler

    Photo: Paul Drinkwater, AP

    With last night’s 72nd annual Golden Globes taking place in Los Angeles, the ceremony continued to cement its reputation as the best indicator of who will likely be taking the top awards at this year’s Academy Awards. And while co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler—hosting the awards for their third and final time—offered plenty of laughs and well-meaning digs, the winners of the night gave the best insight on how this awards season will likely play out.

    To that effect, Boyhood continued to clean up the awards circuit, nabbing the Best Picture, Drama award along with a Best Supporting Actress award for front-runner Patricia Arquette and the Best Director award for Richard Linklater. While Ava DuVernay is still widely believed to be receiving a nomination for Best Director on Thursday when the Academy Award nominees are announced, making her the first African-American woman to ever receive the honor, last night’s win for Linklater seems to indicate that it is his category to lose. However, with The Grand Hotel Budapest picking up the Best Picture, Comedy or Musical category, this dark horse seems more likely than ever to earn a few nominations on Thursday and add some intrigue to an increasingly predictable awards season.

    While Boyhood was widely believed to be a lock for those three awards, the other likely Oscar front runners also got their due last night with Julianne Moore winning the award for Best Actress, Drama for her turn in Still Alice while Michael Keaton picked up his award for Best Actor, Musical or Comedy. However, as the Globes breaks up the best picture and actor categories into Drama and Musical or Comedy, both Keaton’s and Moore’s main competitors also walked away with awards, with Amy Adams winning for Big Eyes and Eddie Redmayne picking up a Best Actor, Drama for his turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. However, both the Best Actor and Actress categories remain highly competitive with actors like Jennifer Anniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhall, and David Oyelowo making these categories the least predictable.

    The same cannot be said of the Best Supporting Actor category, with JK Simmons accepting the award for his terrifying turn in Whiplash. Simply put, at this point it seems hard to imagine any actors other than Arquette and Simmons cleaning up the Supporting categories when the Oscars air on February 22nd.

    What did you think of last night’s telecast and who would you like to see walking away with nominations on Thursday? What films do you think might end up giving Boyhood a run for its money?

    A full list of last night’s winners can be viewed here.

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    January 12, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4270

  • NYFA Screens Best Picture Winner ’12 Years A Slave’ with Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt

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    Sean Bobbitt at NYFA LA

    Sean Bobbitt at NYFA LA

    A day after 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, New York Film Academy Los Angeles students were treated to a private screening of the film at Warner Brothers studios followed by a Q&A with Sean Bobbitt, the film’s acclaimed cinematographer (fresh from winning the Spirit award for his work the previous day).

    Sean Bobbitt is a British cinematographer, born in America, but grew up all over the world including England where his father was in the oil industry and worked abroad. He spent years working as a news and documentary cameraman before moving into narrative. He met Steve McQueen thirteen years ago when the director of 12 Years a Slave was doing art installations. After seeing Michael Winterbottom’s Wonderland, Bobbitt’s first narrative feature, McQueen’s wife admired his work and encouraged McQueen to meet Bobbitt. During his first meeting with McQueen, Bobbitt recalls thinking the director was “Either an absolute genius or an absolute lunatic, but either way it was going to be interesting doing something with him.”

    Throughout the years, Sean Bobbitt and Steve McQueen have developed a potent cinematic language that is such a breath of fresh air. An example of this is their propensity for long takes. Regarding this, Bobbitt said, “I think a part of the reason it is so powerful is because of that simplicity. We’re not used to it anymore. We’re used to the edit, the edit, the edit, so when you walk away from that people really look at it because it’s unusual, it’s different. And I think by extending those shots, it draws people into the scene, hopefully.” In regards specifically to the long shot in 12 Years a Slave in which actress Lupita Nyong’o’s character gets relentlessly whipped Bobbit said, “What we think happens is by not putting an edit here, particularly in scene of extreme violence, the audience is pulled in further and further into the story. As soon as you put a cut in, they are subconsciously reminded that it’s a film and that they don’t need to be upset because it’s a film. If there’s no cut, there’s no escape.”


    Bobbitt discussed the thrill of exploring different techniques with different directors. Different from McQueen’s style, on “A Place Beyond the Pines” director Derek Cianfrance would run take after take and experiment with improve. “Derek is someone who you go into a scene and you just go at it. All handheld, thirty-five millimeter, two-perf, and we would literally just put another mag on a go and go. But he had a reason for that and a method to it that was so fascinating to watch,” Bobbitt said. “The actors were really able to explore the scene itself and come around to a performance.”

    After being asked about the sacred relationship between the cinematographer and director Bobbitt said, “From day one it has to do with personality. If you get on with a director and you see the same things, or you over time start to see the same things. It does take time and it takes effort from both people. It’s important as a cinematographer that you get as long of a pre-production period as you can. On average, if you do not have five weeks of pre-production with the director, you don’t have enough time. Because as you become closer to the (shoot) day, your access (to the director) becomes less and less. So you’ve got to come in with ideas.”

    A student asked Bobbitt what he looks for when choosing a project to work on, to which he said, “I have always been very choosy about the projects I’ve done. I have waited months, unemployed, for the right films. And I have designed my life so that I can go for months without an income. And I think that’s the key. Because you’re going to be giving your life, or you should be giving your life, to whatever film you’re going to be doing. So do the films you think are worth it, in any point in your career. The only caveat I would give to that is that in the early part of your career as a cinematographer, shoot anything. It’s about experience, and the only way you get experience as a cinematographer is by shooting. Nothing else.”

    Bobbitt said that he reads every script that he receives and that, “The first time I read it I don’t read it as a cinematographer. I just read it… thinking is this a good story? Did this move me in some way? Is this interesting, is this original, is there something here that’s worth the effort?”

    What was blatantly apparent during the Q&A was how extremely authentic Sean Bobbitt is. Clearly this permeates through his work and allows him to create such meaningful art. It was a pleasure to hear him speak and he offered sage advice to the audience who clung to his every word. A giant within his craft, Sean Bobbitt’s work has elevated the cinematic art form and his future is now brighter than ever.

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    March 5, 2014 • Guest Speakers • Views: 5565

  • Recent NYFA Guest Gaby Tana’s ‘Philomena’ Nominated for Best Picture

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    Gaby Tana

    Gaby Tana

    The New York Film Academy Producing Department congratulates Industry Speaker Gaby Tana on her Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, Philomena. Besides four Oscar nominations for this film, Gaby’s other film in current release, The Invisible Woman, also received an Academy Award nomination (Best Costume Design).

    Gaby recently spent an evening with our students discussing all aspects of the producing process. Congrats and good luck, Gaby Tana!

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    January 31, 2014 • Producing • Views: 4419

  • And the Oscar Nominees are…

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    86th oscars

    We all dream of someday having our own Oscar nominations, but for now let’s see which talented artists and films were nominated for this year’s 86th Annual Academy Awards…

    Best Motion Picture of the Year
    Nominees:

    • American Hustle (2013)
    • Captain Phillips (2013)
    • Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
    • Gravity (2013)
    • Her (2013)
    • Nebraska (2013)
    • Philomena (2013)
    • 12 Years a Slave (2013)
    • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
    Nominees:

    • Christian Bale for American Hustle (2013)
    • Bruce Dern for Nebraska (2013)
    • Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
    • Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
    • Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

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    January 16, 2014 • Academic Programs • Views: 4341

  • Pixar’s Rules for Great Storytelling

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    Pixar Animation

    Thanks to department chair Eric Conner of the screenwriting program for this great tip! A story artist at Pixar Animation Studios had been tweeting a series of “story basics” which illustrates the kind of talent that exists at Pixar. Their overwhelming success is easily demonstrated by the numbers. 7 out of 12 Pixar films were nominated for Best Screenplay at the Oscars and the company won the Animated Feature Academy Award 6 times. They have 13 consecutive box-office toppers and 2 Best Picture nominations. If that’s not proof of their genius, then we don’t know what is. Steve Jobs purchased the studio in 1986 for $10 million. It was originally a hardware company with only one animator on its staff. Now it’s widely reputed to be one of the best film studios on the planet. Here’s a quote on Deadline from the producer of the latest Pixar hit Brave, which debuted at number 1 at the Box Office this weekend. They attribute their phenomenal success to the basic wisdom that story trumps all.

    It was not easy. The biggest challenges at Pixar are always the stories. We want really original stories that come from the hearts and minds of our filmmakers. We take years in crafting the story and improving it and changing it; throwing things out that aren’t working and adding things that do work. All of that  is just the jumping off point for the technology and how we are going to make this happen.

    Without further ado, here are 22 pointers from Pixar’s story artists for creating a compelling story and building a mega-successful franchise. Don’t forget to learn more about our animation curriculum and become a top-notch animator for Pixar. Click here to request more information on the program!

    1. You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

    2. You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.

    3. Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
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    June 25, 2012 • 3D Animation, Film School, Screenwriting • Views: 3476