Celina Liv Danielsen
This month marked ten years since the start of the tragic, still ongoing Syrian civil war. NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Nour Idriss, who comes from Aleppo, found herself stranded in New York City when all flights back home to Syria were canceled. Enrolling in NYFA, she reinvented herself as a multimedia journalist, then found a home at CBS News. Recently she wasn’t just the producer of stories about the past decade, she became part of the story herself.She wrote: “I still can’t believe I’m actually doing this! I’m a journalist! And I owe you for this dream I’m living.”Thank you for your kind words, Nour. I think countless hours of hard work had a lot to do with it too…It is often said that journalism is the first draft of history. NYFA grad Celina Liv Danielsen can certainly attest to that. A producer/reporter for TV2 In Denmark, she was on-the-scene when violence broke out in Washington DC this past January. Needless to say, it wasn’t the story she thought she was going to report, the official announcement of the winner of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.Livia Fernanda enrolled in NYFA to develop her reporting skills. Up until that point, she had worked strictly as an in-studio weather reporter. Now an on-air reporter with Grupo Jovem Pan in São Paulo, she demonstrated the difference between covering Brazilian Carnival in 2020 and 2021 with two striking photos.Staying in Brazil (I know, Brasil), congratulations to NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Beatriz Puente, now producing for CNN Brasil, based in Rio!When Eduvie Martin came to NYFA from Nigeria, she had already developed strong on-camera skills. What she felt she lacked were the technical skills essential to success. She has over a decade of experience in communications and reputation management for global brands and start-ups in Europe and Africa. And as this Linkedin posting can attest, she can multitask with the best of them!Lorenzo Capezzuoli Ranchi always looks dapper “on-air,” or I guess I should say “in cyberspace.” He is a regular contributor to the Italian digital media app 264 Zoom. He continues to bring to his stories the same unique qualities that served him so well on the projects he produced as a student here at NYFA.Elina Mukherjee, who is back home in India, writes: “These days I work at a food/travel/lifestyle channel called Gobble. …venturing into digital content has been a shift from mainstream journalism. But so far I am really enjoying myself.”Closer to home, NYFA alum Dr. Nicole Cross continues to do great things at Spectrum News in Texas. She is not only a wonderful news anchor, studio host and field reporter. She is also a powerful role model for young African American women, and other women of color, who might be considering a career in Journalism.Emilie Cruz was recently promoted at ViacomCBS to Senior Manager – Editorial/Creative Strategy. If you look at her LinkedIn page, you’ll notice that she chose for her profile picture a still shot taken from one of the stories she did at NYFA. She’s even holding an NYFA News mic!Thanks, Emilie!As regular readers of the Broadcast Journalism Update know, last Summer Evgenia Vlasova and I co-taught a three-week online workshop for early-career Russian journalists. This past January, we all got together (virtually, of course) to find out how everyone was doing. Each participant had produced a story on the theme: 2020 – Not The Year Anyone Expected.Anastasia Dzutstsati’s story examined The Church In The Era of COVID, while Ekaterina Frolova created a global digital experiment, asking people the question 2020: The End or the Beginning? If you have a few minutes to spare, I have posted these stories and others on Vimeo. They are definitely worth screening.Stay tuned for NYFA Moscow Journalism Summer School II, taking place this July and August in (hopefully) in Moscow. Support for this innovative enterprise comes from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.Finally, I am proud to announce that my independent feature film, Invisible Love, won several prizes at the Paris International Film Festival including Best Narrative Feature. Here is a link to the trailer. Coming to a digital platform or theater near you (if you live in Vietnam or China) soon. Here in the United States? Probably next year…For more information on NYFA’s Broadcast Journalism program, click here.
2020 has been an eventful year, and even though there are less than two months to go, the pace of events shows no sign of slowing down.
“Deep in the Heart of Texas” (which is the title of a famous old song… I know a lot about “old songs”), former NYFA student Nicole Cross had a long night that dragged into the early morning (and beyond) as one of the anchors/presenters for Election Night coverage on Spectrum News 1, a 24-hour local news channel available throughout Texas.
Danish TV producer/reporter Celina Liv Danielsen spent many, many hours in Las Vegas. But not at any of the casinos. Instead, she was at the Clark County Administration Building waiting for the latest vote count.
Karen Hua remembered the first rule of TV reporting… drink water.NYFA instructor Evgenia Vlasova has a substantial social media presence. She discovered what it is like for a major network to see your story, and liked it so much they decide they want to do it too… Personally, I think Genia’s version was better!
Speaking of Genia, she and I co-hosted a two-hour webinar on TV production during the age of COVID. The first hour looked at TV news production, while in the second hour we explored change in the production of talk shows, episodic television, and feature films. The webinar is part of a three-day conference called Astana Media Week, which draws TV producers and executives from throughout Central Asia.
And, in keeping with NYFA production protocols, we wore our masks.
Of course, lots of other things happened over the last few months. Broadcast Journalism graduate Federica Polidoro covered the legendary Biennale de Venezia, one of the few international film festivals that actually took place in-person this year.
In Brazil, NYFA alum Daniella Gemignani celebrated a work anniversary at media giant Globo, in Sao Paulo Brazil.
Paula Varejao, who works on Globo’s Mais Globosat, continues going to places I can only dream of visiting.
Broadcast Journalism grad Beatriz Puente is working for Band TV. And while she loves her job as a producer, I think she might love being an on-air reporter even more…
One of her recent stories was how a well-known dance club in Rio opened and violated every COVID-19 rule you could imagine. This is why Journalism is so important. Frankly, there are times when Journalism is literally a matter of life and death.
Many time zones away, former NYFA student Abiola Jinadu has established her own production company in Nigeria. The company specializes in a wide range of video programming, the same way we train our students to be multimedia journalists capable of working in many different settings. Congratulations, Abiola!
Closer to New York City, NYFA grad Kendall Bunch made her way to Marquette, Michigan (one of the smaller TV markets in the United States) to start her career. It is a path many of us have taken. Myself, I spent a couple of years in Madison, Wisconsin…
Broadcast Journalism alum (and U.S. Navy veteran) Clyde D. Gunter is now a Content Strategist at ESPN Original Content.
And current Broadcast Journalism student (and part-time Good Morning America studio crew member) Brett Mills shows how to maintain social distancing with a Sony FS5 HD/4K camera.Stay tuned for more updates from Broadcast students, alumni, and faculty. For more information about our Broadcast Journalism programs, click here.
Things usually slow down over the course of the Summer. But that wasn’t the case for the NYFA Broadcast Journalism department, or many of our graduates.Starting in late July, Evgenia Vlasova and myself co-taught NYFA’s first Moscow Journalism Summer School (JSS). Thanks to support from the U.S. State Department, we were able to offer an intensive three-week course-of-study to early career Russian journalists along with a number of current university students.It was a real challenge, seeing as we had to conduct the entire workshop online with participants spread out over seven time zones. While classes started for Genia and me at 7:00 AM in New York, it was 2:00 PM for students in Moscow and 6:00 PM in Siberia. (The Siberian students regularly finished classwork after midnight!)The stories the workshop participants created were nothing short of spectacular, covering a wide range contemporary topics. And no two were the same. Everyone approached their topic with their own personal style.NYFA alum George Colli, who many of you know from the NYFA website, lent his experience and perspective as well. He spoke from the point of view of someone who knows what it takes to create compelling TV news stories under tight deadlines. (And now he has a beard! A look many of you reading this know I always find fashionable…)Other grads graciously agreed to “drop in” on our Zoom sessions as guest speakers. Among them was Karen Hua, who “called in” while covering an out-of-control wildfire in Southern California for KGET in Bakersfield.
Starla Sampaco is a news anchor at KCTS, the PBS station in Seattle as well as an entrepreneur building her own digital platform.And Gillian Kemmerer, who has firsthand experience working in Russia covering sports, business, and the business of sports.Other NYFA Broadcast Journalism grads have been busy too. Isabella Faria is now a reporter at CNN Brasil. She came to New York to learn to shoot and edit, used those skills to get a job in the video department of Brazil’s largest newspaper, was hired by CNN as a producer, then promoted to an on-air position. She wrote to me: “You know I can’t thank NYFA enough for all the incredible classes. They sure helped me to get where I am now “Congratulations, Isabella!And speaking of Brazil (OK… Brasil) Livia Fernanda got a challenging assignment back in August. She had to explain the U.S. Presidential Election — in particular, “political conventions” — to her viewers.On a far more serious note, Celina Liv Danielsen covered the violent reaction to the recent shooting of an African-American man multiple times by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin for TV2 in Denmark.
Georgia Hammond is working on a series of video essays about the people of Strathbogie Shire, in the Australian state of Victoria, and their efforts to combat the loneliness and isolation that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.Finally, Turkish alum Esra Ozturk is an example of how, after you study how to make TV news, you might find yourself in a job in which you are interviewed on TV news. In this case, on TRT World, the global English-language service of Turkish Radio and Television.
Without a doubt, the spread of the COVID-19 virus is at the top of TV newscasts around the world. That’s not surprising. That said, it is “business as usual” for the Broadcast Journalism department. And even if we can’t meet in Manhattan, my office in cyberspace is functioning just fine.
Something else that has been transformed is the U.S. Presidential race. Big campaign rallies have been cancelled, until further note. But, before they were, NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Celina Liv Danielsen was traveling throughout the United States for Denmark’s TV2, and was able to capture when President Donald Trump arrived in New Hampshire.
As voters were getting ready for Super Tuesday and the selection of Democratic convention delegates in 11 different states, NYFA alum Karen Hua covered a Bernie Sanders rally in California for the NBC affiliate station in Bakersfield; note that she covered this event solo and posted on social media. TV news reporters are now expected to do so, as such
postings are essential to building and maintaining audiences.
Meanwhile, Brazilian Broadcast Journalism graduate Livia Fernanda had a far more pleasant assignment. She got to cover Carnival in Saō Paulo… but everything ended at midnight with the arrival of Ash Wednesday.Former NYFA student Suzane de Oliveira works for the French news agency AFP in Rio de Janeiro. An important part of her job is taking international AFP stories and repackaging them for the Brazilian TV market. Certainly one of the most moving stories I have seen in a long time was about a father in Syria, who found the best way to keep his young daughter calm as their town was under artillery and aerial bombardment was to make her laugh. Every time an explosion took place nearby, the two would burst into exuberant laughter.Of course, some of our Brazilian grads (like some of our Danish grads) find their way back to New York City. Mariana Janjacomo was reporting from in front of the New York Stock Exchange recently, explaining the confusing economic news. She works for Jovem Pan, the main Brazilian radio station based in São Paulo. It is also the largest network of radio stations in the southern hemisphere and Latin America. Like other legacy media companies, they’ve branched out into online video news.Thanks to all of you that passed along information about the NYFA Moscow Journalism Summer School (JSS). We received more than three times as many applications and queries as we have available openings. Successful candidates will be notified later this month.Finally, if the Cannes Film Festival takes place this May (and right now, that is a big “if”) my independent feature film Invisible Love will be part of the Marche du Film. I must admit I was seriously surprised when I received a copy of the latest poster for the film, and discovered I got top billing! If anybody’s names should be up there, it ought to be Vietnamese actress Hoàng Phượng and NYFA Acting for Film alum Kazy Tauginas. They portray the two characters seen walking on a beach, near Da Nang in Viet Nam, in the poster.Stay tuned for more.
While there are sure to be some warm days ahead, by and large summer is pretty much over here in New York. Looking back over the past few months, NYFA Broadcast Journalism graduates have been exceptionally busy.
Two major earthquakes in Southern California had Karen Hua of KGET in Bakersfield putting in long days—and equally long nights. It was a situation where people depended on TV news reporters to provide them with accurate, up-to-date information. When it comes to natural disasters, it can sometimes be a matter of life and death.
NYFA grad Celina Liv Danielsen is North America bureau producer for TV2 in Denmark. She was asked to explain how the President of the United States had announced a desire to “buy” Greenland from Denmark, a massive island that Denmark doesn’t “own.” President Trump cancelled a trip to Denmark after his “offer” was rejected.
One of the secrets in our craft is how there are “news” jobs that don’t involve working at TV stations. Take Bruna Bloch, one of our alums in Brazil. She is now the digital media producer for a company called Hub Coworking. She wrote: “I will be responsible for their social media and content :)”
Broadcast Journalism grad Miraj Haq, who lives and works in Pakistan, recently posted: “This is the good news I have been meaning to tell all of you. I have signed my first drama with Hum Tv/MD Productions.” That’s right, he is poised to become a TV drama star. This follows making the official presidential campaign biography for the current President of Pakistan, and establishing himself as a popular video blogger (vlogger).
NYFA alum Emilie Olsson is a radio news anchor in Stockholm. She recently wrote an episode of Svenska Mordhistorier, a podcast that probes famous (and not-so-famous) Swedish murder cases. She: “Written script for this episode of the podcast Swedish Mordhistorier! Please go into the link and listen!” It’s another example of how the lines between different nonfiction genres have blurred. In fact, these days any project you create really has to be designed for cross-platform distribution.
Regular readers of the Broadcast Journalism Update might remember that I am one of the producers of an independent feature film called Invisible Love. Shot in Vietnam, with post-production in China, over the past couple weeks we have been doing ADR sessions here in New York. NYFA Acting for Film grad Kazy Tauginas plays a leading role. I portray a minor character. It’s a period piece, set in 1930’s French Indochina. We are looking towards a Spring 2020 release.
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism Alum Celina Liv Danielsen Covers the 2019 Oscars Red Carpet
There is no evening more exciting than when the Academy Awards are handed out. It’s so important that TV networks from around the world send reporters to cover it. This year that included New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism grad Celina Liv Danielsen.
Danielsen was at the Oscars representing Danish network TV2. “One of the more fun Sundays,” she said in an epic understatement. NYFA helped teach her digital production skills. Her fashion sense, however, she likely learned somewhere else.
Danielsen recently covered the tragic wildfires in California late last year, as well as covering the United Nations for TV2. In September 2018, Danielsen also reported live from the memorial service for the late Senator John McCain.
Meanwhile, down in Brazil—where it is summer—NYFA grad Daniella Gemignani did the first of two weeks of coverage leading up to the Catholic feast of Ash Wednesday. It’s better known as CARNIVAL. Daniella reports for Globo TV in São Paulo.
Meanwhile, NYFA alum Paula Menezes is reporting on Brazilian sports. (You know, things like “futbal.”) A grad of one of our 8-week Broadcast Journalism workshops, she says she is having the time of her life. She even sent along some visual evidence…
So, we started with the Oscars and that’s how we’ll end. I’d like to thank the Academy… the Beijing Film Academy… for lending me their Academy Award when I visited last September. Giving a lecture at this prestigious school was in itself an honor. But to have the opportunity to hold a genuine Oscar is priceless. Of course, I do have an independent feature film coming out later this year…
Congratulations New York Film Academy (NYFA) Documentary Filmmaking Instructor Bob Eisenhardt – Editor of Academy Award Winner ‘Free Solo’The 2019 awards season concluded last night with the 91st Academy Awards, where Oscars were presented to Green Book for Best Picture, and Free Solo for Best Documentary Feature, among many others.
Free Solo is the critically-acclaimed and visually arresting National Geographic documentary following rock climber Alex Honnold as he attempts to scale El Capitan, arguably the most dangerous climb in the world–without a rope.
The film was directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, and edited by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Documentary Filmmaking instructor, Bob Eisenhardt.Also a three-time Emmy winner, Eisenhardt was previously nominated by the Academy for Best Short Documentary as Director and Editor of Spaces: The Architecture of Paul Rudolph. He has also edited another two Oscar-nominated films as well as three that were shortlisted.
Free Solo’s Oscar win follows on the heels of the British Film and Television Academy Award (BAFTA) for Best Documentary. A week before that, the American Cinema Editors awarded Eisenhardt their coveted “Eddie” Award – the highest honor accorded a documentary editor.
The NYFA community celebrated other nominations as well—Documentary Department cinematography instructor, Director of Photography, Claudia Raschke, shot RBG, another excellent, high-profile contender in the Best Documentary category. Best Actress nominee Glenn Close and Best Supporting Actor nominee Adam Driver are both previous guest speakers for the Academy. NYFA alum Francesco Panzieri worked as a VFX artist on Avengers: Infinity War, which was nominated for Best Visual Effects. Broadcast Journalism alum Celina Liv Danielsen attended the ceremony, covering the red carpet for Danish network TV-2.New York Film Academy congratulates all the winners and nominees of the evening and applauds Documentary Filmmaking instructor Bob Eisenhardt for his exceptional work on Academy Award winner Free Solo!
As anyone who follows American media knows, stories about President Donald Trump and his administration have monopolized the news for months. But this week, an even bigger story dominated the headlines. Two massive California wildfires, one in the mountains of Northern California and the second in coastal Southern California, have devastated communities and resulted (as of today) in the deaths of more than 50 people. An additional 100+ people are missing.
News coverage of these tragedies has served an important public service function. And two New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism school graduates are on the scene, documenting the fires and their aftermath.
NYFA alum Celina Liv Danielsen, along with photographer Thomas Hass, are there working for the Danish television network DK2. Earlier this week, they visited what remained of a small Northern California town ironically called Paradise. It wasn’t an easy assignment, one which takes an emotional as well as physical toll…
Karen Hua is also a NYFA graduate. She is reporter with the NBC TV station in the Southern California city of Bakersfield. While not threatened by fire — at least not yet — area residents have experienced the side effects of these blazes for months. Karen wrote earlier this week:
“The fires in Southern California are relatively close to us in Bakersfield. We’re a 2-hour drive from the Ventura/Malibu area, and we’ve been covering them extensively…
“Ultimately I’m okay, and everyone in Bakersfield is safe — there aren’t too many trees in our city to spread flames. However, we’ve seen toxic air quality and heat as a result of the fires around the state this year. This summer was terrible with the Carr, Medicino, and Ferguson Fires. There were days when the entire city was advised to stay indoors. But we are fortunate we are all safe.”
There are many ways to cover the same story. A digital producer/editor, working at ABC News headquarters in New York, created a powerful story for the ABC late night news program Nightline. The story, distributed over multiple platforms, captured the sheer terror of what is taking place…
Public Television took a somewhat different approach. Friend and former colleague Miles O’Brian was in California shooting material for an upcoming episode of the popular Nova science series. While his focus was on previous wildfires, he and his team found themselves in the middle of a new “mega-fire,” an event so large that it literally creates its own weather. Miles was interviewed on the PBS NewsHour, for which I once produced.
As commentator Richard Reinhold noted earlier this year in TVNewsCheck, increasingly local TV news reporters are becoming “first responders,” often arriving on the scene of major events at the same time (or even before) police, fire, and emergency medical teams.
That’s why it is so important that we get the story right. People will act on the information we give them. We have to make sure it is accurate.
Episodic Instagram, Austin Veterans, Copenhagen TV2, and More From New York Film Academy’s Broadcast Journalism SchoolDigiday posted a fascinating article last week about storytelling in the digital age. The premise was that “publishers” (the online sort) are treating Instagram stories like episodic television. It’s really a brilliant innovation. The way people process information is changing (or should that be “has changed?”). People react less to words and more to images. So how do you take what would otherwise be disjointed arrays of pixels and give them staying power? You tell a story — and episodic television has been telling stories since the dawn of the TV era. By creating basic storylines, that carry over from “episode” to “episode,” you create anticipation, tension, interest and (most importantly) audiences!The same is true in nonfiction video too.NYFA grad Melissa Aleman is back in the Weekly Update again, this time with Col. Jack Jacobs, the chair of the NYFA Veterans Advancement Program. Melissa was the videographer at a special veterans event that NYFA held in Austin, Texas. It is wonderful to see how Melissa is using the skills she learned as a Broadcast Journalism student not just to build a career, but to “give back” as well. Meanwhile, Col. Jack Jacoba is the heart and soul of our veterans’ activities here at NYFA.So how do you produce news stories in the digital era? Well, you can learn a lot from NYFA grad Celina Liv Danielsen. She works in the news department at TV2, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Look carefully at the picture below — Liv is using three microphones. Two are wireless lavalier mics (see the antennae on the back of the camera?), and one is a mini-shotgun mounted on the front of the camera. Just like she learned to do here at NYFA!The skills students learn in the NYFA Broadcast Journalism program can be used in a number of different ways. Recently I heard from graduate Karina Gaudereto. She is working for a company called SEVEN PR, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She wrote:This is a PR Agency for techlology startups, and I am a press agent for some companies in this area … There is one TV production called Floresta Produções which is a joint venture with Sony Entertainment. They make one of the most famous reality shows here like Lady Night at Multishow, and also UFC, Shark Tank, and shows like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. They called out our help because they want to expand their productions for branded content and TV premium. It’s been cool but tough!
Here is a screen grab from one of Karina’s student projects. I know for a fact she misses New York … if not the winter weather.
As this is the final Weekly Update for 2017, I wanted to tell you about what some of the NYFA Broadcast Journalism graduates have been doing recently…
Celina Liv Danielsen is one of the hardest working people I ever met, and that hard work has apparently paid off. I heard from her last week via Facebook: “I have been working at the Danish television company TV2 for a year now, and I just found out that I’m among (together with a colleague) a nominee for the Best News Story of the Year at the award show ‘TV Prisen 2018.’ I just wanted to thank you and the school for teaching me so much…”
Congratulations, Celina! Not bad for one year on the job…Meanwhile, more recent alum Melissa Aleman is now working on “Somos Texas,” a series that airs on Azteca TV. And her most recent story has a definite holiday theme: “Don’t miss out on the best location to take your selfie this Christmas! Today I’ll be showing you the place that has more than 4 million Christmas lights! Don’t miss a brand new holiday edition of #SomosTexas only on #azteca.”
Want to find out about the plot of the next blockbuster film in the Jurassic Park series, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”? NYFA grad Daniella Gemignani interviewed director A.J Bayona for Globo TV in Brazil.
Bryanna Reynolds recently interviewed international entertainment legend Kylie Minogue at the Melbourne premiere of the “Swinging Safari,” which Bryanna describes as “an Australian comedy.” It’s a coming-of-age film that takes place in the 1970s.When Elina Mukherjee went to Times Square to report a NYFA student project earlier this year, she had no idea it would turn out to be a job interview for TV Asia USA. Someone from the New Jersey-based programming service saw her doing her stand-up, and he was so impressed he offered her a job as a freelance reporter after she graduated. Her first assignment is the Global Healthcare Summit taking place in India. Then she will be reporting stories from Long Island, which is a suburb of New York City. Congratulations, Elina!Finally, on a personal note, it was an amazing year. I never dreamed I’d be asked to participate in the international version of a major CCTV cultural history series … and end up as the host. The six-part documentary series is headed to the MIPTV international TV market in Cannes next April.Have a wonderful holiday, whatever tradition(s) you follow, and I’ll be back next year with more news about the NYFA Broadcast Journalism department.Until then, stay tuned!