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  • 2018 New York Film Academy (NYFA) Summer Camps Were An “Incredible Experience”

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    Another school year beginning means another summer must come to an end, but for many young students, it was a summer they’ll never forget. These students spent their summer break at New York Film Academy’s various camp programs, getting to meet new people from around the globe and studying fun, artistic skills that may lead them (eventually, no rush!) to exciting, prosperous careers!

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) offers summer camps to both kids and teenagers in a variety of fields. Teen camps are located around the world, including New York City, Miami, Harvard University, Paris, Australia, and Florence, Italy. Los Angeles Summer Camps 2018

    Each teen camp is built around a challenging and intensive curriculum that combines in-class instruction with faculty-supervised workshops using the same state-of-the-art equipment professionals and NYFA’s adult students use. In between these rigorous but fun exercises, students bond over exciting, supervised activities.

    This year, at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus, located in the heart of Hollywood, over 600 students attended the kids and teens camps offered. Students arrived from all over the world, many of them returning for their second, third, and even fourth summers running! Camps that ran included Filmmaking, Acting for Film, Screenwriting, 3D Animation, Music Video, Photography, Documentary, and Game Design.

    One of the perks of NYFA’s Los Angeles campus includes unique access to the Backlot of Universal Studios, where campers could shoot and act in their film projects. The backlot includes famous sets of Mexico, Western, Colonial St, Elm St., Log Cabin, Europe, Courthouse Square — featured in blockbuster movies like Back to the Future and Nightmare on Elm Street.Los Angeles Summer Camps 2018

    At the end of each camp, which ranged from one to eight weeks, students screened or presented their work at NYFA’s main school building, along with popcorn and a red carpet step-and-repeat photo session.

    “Teaching with the summer program is the best!” remarked instructor Jason Crossman. 

    Fellow camp instructor Bruce MacWilliams agreed, adding “I really enjoyed teaching the kids and teens this summer! It was a lot of work, but very rewarding!”

    Students that stayed overnight during the camps stayed at Toluca Hills, where NYFA faculty, counselors, and RAs supervised pool parties and game nights. Other activities the students participated in between workshop classes included going to theme parks like Universal Studios, Six Flags, and Disneyland. 

    Campers also visited Santa Monica, The Grove, The Americana, and Universal CityWalk. Other activities included laser tag, bowling, mini golf, video arcades, karaoke, dance classes, and tie-dye sessions.

    Los Angeles Summer Camps 2018

    Photography Campers Exhibit Their Work

    New York Film Academy, famous for its guest speakers and Q&As with industry leaders and professionals, had two such events specifically for the teen campers. The award-winning documentary High School 9-1-1 was screened, followed by a Q&A with director Tim Warren and producer Kelli Joan Bennett. And John Altschuler, co-creator of the HBO hit comedy Silicon Valley, spoke with students as well.

    Many students couldn’t hold back their gratitude for their summer to remember. “Thank you so much for everything,” said camper Gemma Penglase, continuing, “the camp has been the most incredible experience, and I loved every moment of it and I will definitely be back.”

    Jade Klacko, another camper, shared a similar sentiment, adding, “On a personal note, I wanted to express my gratitude to you and to everyone responsible at NYFA for making my time so memorable.” Klacko went on, “I wanted to say that it was one of the best experiences of my life and I was so sad to leave to go back to Florida and say goodbye. You run such an amazing program and I am so thankful that I got to experience this three-week summer program at NYFA.”

    Interested in attending New York Film Academy’s kids & teen camps next summer? You can check out more information here!

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    September 20, 2018 • Community Highlights, Summer Camps • Views: 878

  • Chinese Students Thank New York Film Academy (NYFA) For Photography Workshop

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    Earlier this August, students from the Shanghai Theatre Academy attended a 1-week Photography workshop at New York Film Academy’s New York City campus. The Shanghai Theatre Academy is a public university in China dedicated to dramatic art education and was founded in 1945. Its predecessor was Shanghai Municipal Experimental Theatre School, cofounded by the famous educator Gu Yuxiu. Shanghai Theatre Academy

    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) photography school provides a unique experience not found elsewhere; with a passionate focus on the practical elements of photography, NYFA empowers students to master not only the essential basics taught by other good photography schools, but also the technical and business practices that will set them apart in their professional photography career.

    NYFA’s photography school offers several programs and courses, including youth camps in the summer. The young students from Shanghai Theatre Academy visited for one week, and were able to practice hands-on with state-of-the-art-equipment. 

    After the completion of their course, the Chinese students wrote NYFA a very grateful and heartwarming thank you letter:

    “Thank you, New York Film Academy!

    This summer, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the camp organized by the New York Film Academy. The staff members from the Academy provided us with everything we needed to learn about filmmaking: knowledgeable teaching staff, filmmaking equipment, lively teaching environments, new filmmaking concepts, on-site practice, and much more! We have learned so much in so short a time. The skills we have learned and the practice we have observed will help us significantly in many ways moving forward! 

    We want to say, once again, that we truly appreciate this lifetime experience at New York Film Academy. Who knows? Someone from this camp group may become a filmmaker, all because of this first taste of filmmaking in the US, at the New York Film Academy! Thank you, the New York Film Academy!”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates the students from Shanghai Theatre Academy and congratulates them on a job well done! 

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    August 24, 2018 • Diversity, Photography • Views: 884

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Game Design Camp Students Hold Demo Night

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    Game Design Demo Night Summer 2018
    On July 27, the six graduates of the 1-Week Game Design Camp celebrated a week of hard work and education with their very own Demo Night, showing off the different video games they had worked on putting together. The event was held at the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus.

    The five-day course the campers completed is intensive, especially for students as young as these, and covers every step of the process to design and build an original video game. “During this week,” stated Game Design Instructor Jeb Havens, “we worked on prototyping, coding, creating a story behind the game… and they came up with the games you see here.”

    Along the way, the students learned how the video games they grew up playing really work, and gained an appreciation for both the craft and the art of game design. The course taught them how to use the software Unity so they could each construct their own game.

    The students’ parents and relatives were invited to attend the Demo Night, along with counselors and campers from other courses, including Filmmaking, Photography, and Acting. Six computer stations were set up, each with one of the students’ games. Everyone invited had a chance to play the games.

    Some of the games were quite hard to beat, a testament to the hard work and design that went into their assembling. Parents were thrilled to be challenged by their kids’ skillfully crafted games. Many players kept trying over and over to beat the trickier games. The environment was energetic and fun all throughout the night.

    “I’m very impressed with what these students created in such a short amount of time,” Havens continued. “Building a game takes months and months of work, and what [the students] did here in only five days is impressive!”

    At the end of the night, and week-long course, each student left camp with a copy of their game, so they can have other friends and family members play it back home. The brief but intensive and hands-on Game Design camp can be a stepping stone to longer, more advanced programs in game coding and design. 

    The New York Film Academy congratulates the 1-Week Game Design Camp students on their hard work and well-designed, challenging, fun, new games. 

    Interested in learning game design? Check out more information on New York Film Academy’s programs here!

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    August 1, 2018 • Community Highlights, Game Design • Views: 1071

  • Here’s Where I Stand by New York Film Academy PCMT Plays for Everytown and March for Our Lives

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    As the March for Our Lives Movement conducts rallies and students around the country commemorate the 20th anniversary of Columbine with walkouts on April 20, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre (PCMT)’s will donate all proceeds from its powerful update of the movie musical Camp’s smash hit Here’s Where I Stand to Everytown for Gun Safety, a charity focused on protecting communities from gun violence. The non-profit organization, first founded by concerned mothers, “is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities,” and has inspired more than 4 million people to “come together to make their own communities safer.” 

    Students from around the country also joined together March 24 in the first March for Our Lives protest, in at least 50 cities throughout the U.S. On that day, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre (PCMT) raised its voice in support. PCMT’s powerful update of the movie musical Camp’s smash hit Here’s Where I Stand is available for digital download on iTunes (go to iTunes Store, not iTunes Music, and search “PCMT”), Google Play, and Bandcamp.

    To download on iTunes, open iTunes Store (not iTunes Music) and search for “PCMT”.

     

    In line with the March for Our Lives rallies and Everytown’s message of community and hope, Here’s Where I Stand offers an empowering message for young people in its lyrics:

    In this life we’ve come so far

    but we’re only who we are (who we are)

    Courage of love (courage of love)

    will show us the way (show us the way)

    From the time PCMT first conceived the Here’s Where I Stand project in October of 2017 to March For Our Lives’ first rally on March 24, there had been 18 school shootings. New York Film Academy students and faculty alike at PCMT have been inspired by the students around the country who are raising their voices for safety and change.

    Here’s Where I Stand is a powerful song that resonates differently for everyone,” says PCMT Artistic Director Kristy Cates.  “It is a song about having the courage to speak your truth and take a stand for what you believe in. As we’ve seen young people around the country respond to the epidemic of gun violence by raising their voices for change, we as musical theatre performers thought this was the perfect way for us to lend our own voices in support this movement.”

    The PCMT’s music video is directed by The New York Film Academy’s PCMT was highlighted by Variety as one of the most cutting-edge musical theatre training programs.

    To download on iTunes, open iTunes Store (not iTunes Music) and search for “PCMT.” To download PCMT’s Here’s Where I Stand to your Apple or Android devices from Google Play or Bandcamp, click the icons below:

     

    If you experience any difficulties downloading the track on iTunes through your phone app, please try your desktop.

    Thank you to the talented students who lent their voices to the song and cause (in alphabetical order):

    Alexandra Attardi, Alyssa Carrigan, Cecilie Kiorbye Bertelsen, Clara Colombo, Damaris Olivo, Ekaterina Chigvintseva, Gabriella Malm, Giuliana Deantoni Tanze, Grace Strickland, Hannah Swanson, Helora Danna Santos da Rosa, Jenna Bruce, Lisbeth Celis, Madeline Mancebo, Majeste Pearson, Maria Cavanaugh, Maria Christina Mosquera, Marije Louise Maliepaard, Micaela Haskins, Michael Baccari, Nathaniel Anderson, Nicole Goldstein, Noah Chartrand, Paige Gittelson, Rebecca Keenan, Ruby Locknar, Ryan Curley, Samuel Beard, Sarah Elizabeth Venners.
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  • New York Film Academy High School Camp Grad Spotlight: Oksana Kuzychenko

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    Two-time champion of the Russian National Hip-Hop Dancing Championship among junior teams, Oksana Kuzychenko, has always wanted to dedicate her life to the preforming and visual arts. In her early childhood she took dancing and singing classes and lately she discovered her new passion for photography. Last summer Oksana spent 4 weeks in Los Angeles learning Acting for Film at the New York Film Academy High School Camp.

    high school summer camp

    Recently, we spoke with Oksana to catch up on her life after NYFA summer camp.

    Can you please share with us what you’ve been up to since graduating from our summer program?

    Currently, I’m finishing my senior year of high school, teaching stretching classes, and dancing. Last December our team won junior league in the Cheer-Hip-Hop Competition at the International Forum of Contemporary Dance and Cheersport. At the same competition, my sister and I took second place among junior duos.

    Also, in May, our team finished fifth at the 13th World Dance Olympiad in the “Teams Show” category among adults. For us it is a great achievement, because we moved into the adult league only last year and had to compete against teams who have danced in the adult league for more than 3-5 years.

    Would you say your experience at NYFA was useful in terms of your dancing performances?

    It helped me to become less shy and fearless. Now, when I perform on stage, I feel more confident. Also, when I teach stretching I use breathing exercises, which we practiced in my NYFA Voice & Movement class.

    In addition, I learned at NYFA how to make short videos and now I often film different school events.

    What was most memorable about your time at NYFA?

    Acting in short student films on the Universal Studios backlot. Never in my life have I been so close to the real world of cinema.

    Did you have any favorite instructors?

    Andrew Bloch! He is very kind, cheerful and thoughtful. He cared about every single student and constantly encouraged us. My English wasn’t very good at that time and Andrew Bloch treated me with understanding and support.

    In the future, do you plan on building a professional career in dancing or is it something you consider more of a hobby?

    Since childhood, my dream was to become an actress—act in the theatre and movies. And of course, as an actress, it is a huge plus to be flexible and rhythmic. But if my acting dream does not come true, I will open my own dance school and will raise new champions!

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  • NYFA Alumna Aubrey Plaza from ‘Parks & Recreation’ Revisits Her Alma Mater

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    aubrey plaza

    Aubrey Plaza

    New York Film Academy students gathered in a theater on the Warner Bros. studios lot in Los Angeles to watch a special screening of the indie comedy Safety Not Guaranteed, and participate in a Q&A with the film’s star actress, Aubrey Plaza. The discussion was moderated by producer Tova Laiter and NYFA acting instructor Anne Moore.

    Aubrey is most widely known for playing the deadpan employee April Ludgate in the hit TV series Parks and Recreation. She has appeared in Funny People—directed by Judd Apatow—as Seth Rogan’s love interest, as well as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Portlandia, Derrick Comedy’s Mystery Team, a CollegeHumor short alongside Jason Bateman and Will Arnett, the Sundance hit Life After Beth, and the speaking voice of Grumpy Cat in their upcoming original movie Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever. Her first starring role alongside Mark Duplass in Safety Not Guaranteed, directed by Colin Trevorrow (Jurrassic World), was critically acclaimed. Aubrey loves performing improv and stand up comedy and has appeared regularly at The Upright Citizens Brigade, Laugh Factory, and The Improv.

    Aubrey, having attended NYFA’s high school summer camp for filmmaking in 2001, was enthusiastic about returning to her alma mater and talking to students who are journeying down the same road she took not to long ago. She had fond memories of her experience at the New York Film Academy and even said that she learned more practical knowledge about filmmaking in those weeks she spent at NYFA than in the first two years of undergraduate film school. She was also very adamant that the short films she made at NYFA were integral in making her college application package successful. Aubrey established a sincere connection with the over 150 high school NYFA students in attendance and they were eager to ask her questions.

    Plaza discussed how she managed to foray into the mainstream. In 2007 she appeared in a web series called The Jeannie Tate Show — a mock talk show about a soccer mom who interviews celebrities in her van while running errands. Aubrey played Jeannie Tate’s delinquent junkie daughter who harasses the show’s guests. This got the attention of an agent who contacted her. Plaza called and emailed the agent regularly checking on whether any roles appropriate for her had come across his desk. Finally, in 2009, the agent recommended Aubrey try out for Seth Rogen’s love interest, Daisy, in Judd Apatow’s Funny People. Since stand up comedy is a focus of the show and the character Daisy is a stand up comic, Aubrey began signing herself up for open mic nights at comedy clubs and bars all across New York City. It was extremely terrifying for her at first but she became more and more confident in doing it. She had her friend film her during the stand up routines and she sent the tapes in to Judd Apatow and his casting director and they loved her. Instead of just auditioning and hoping she got the part, Aubrey took initiative and took her destiny into her own hands.

    Aubrey reminisced about her time on the wildly successful series Parks and Recreation, noting that the relaxed environment of a TV series allowed her and comedian co-stars like Amy Poehler and Aziz Ansari to try different things and improv. This contrasts for her with the more stringent environment of a movie set which demands that actors say their exact line, precisely hit marks and find their light just right — however, Aubrey loves both challenges. When talking about what it was like to work with Chris Pratt, Aubrey admitted that she absolutely adores him and says he’s like a smart “giant puppy,” but that she was not as obsessed as her character.

    After Aubrey was asked, “If you could be in any movie franchise, what would it be?” she immediately burst out with, “Catwoman!” Yes that’s right, she would love to reinvent the DC Comics character and add her own Aubrey Plaza brand of charm and wit much like what was done with Guardians of the Galaxy. Everyone in the audience cheered, she sold us on it and now we too want to see Aubrey play Catwoman on the silver screen.

    We sincerely thank Aubrey for returning to the New York Film Academy and we wish her continued success in her exciting career!

    Aubrey also stars in Matt Spicer’s dark comedy “Ingrid Goes West,” releasing August 2017.

     

     

     

     

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    August 10, 2015 • Acting, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 10423