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  • Shanghai Theatre Academy Studies Producing at NYFA NY and LA

    Given China’s rapidly growing movie business, students from the Shanghai Theatre Academy traveled to New York Film Academy for a Producing Workshop, which consisted of one week at the New York campus and one week at the Los Angeles campus.

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    The producer is the spark of the creativity in filmmaking,” said NYFA Senior Executive Vice President, David Klein while introducing the students to NYFA’s Producing Workshop. “If you don’t have a strong concept of how the story will be told, budgeting and preparing the numbers for the project will become extremely challenging.” 

    shangahi la

    The workshop provided an overview of what role the producer plays on a given production, with a strong emphasis on budgeting and scheduling in Movie Magic. Classes within the workshop also included Film Financing, as well as a Directing Class in order to have a filmmaker’s perspective on the process of filmmaking. “I always look to my director as my partner,” said NYFA NYC Producing Chair, Neal Weisman. “It’s my job as a producer to put the director’s vision up on the screen.”

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    Students also learned best practices for how to pitch their projects and, very importantly, where to find the money and how to control the project’s risk.

    “We have learned much and experienced the well developed producing system in Hollywood, said Shanghai student Hongyu Liu. “Thank you very much!”

    January 27, 2017 • Community Highlights, Producing • Views: 1461

  • NYFA Presents Artwork of Beijing Film Academy’s Sun Lijun

    This month, the New York Film Academy held an event that presented the work of Sun Lijun “Fan Beilu,” which included traditional art and his documentary “Go Together.”

    Professor Sun Lijun, vice president of the Beijing Film Academy, is committed to innovation and the training of young Chinese talent. He has made an outstanding contribution to the domestic animation industry. He has participated in the production of many animated films, including “Little Soldier,” “Sunny Story,” “Happy Running,” “Bateelaer Saga,” “Legend of a Rabbit, ” “Fantastic Adventure” and others.

    sun lijun

    Lijun noted that China is now the second largest movie market in the world behind Hollywood, but could learn more in terms of the quality of the content. According to Lijun, Chinese films are currently “dumplings” compared to American films, which he said were like “big cakes.” He hopes that more American filmmakers, such as the students from the New York Film Academy, will partner with Chinese filmmakers in order to continually improve the quality of the films.

    Lijun’s recent documentary “Go Together,” which he screened at NYFA’s theater at 17 Battery Place, tells the story of a group of Chinese filmmakers who show their animated film to underprivileged children in some of the remote areas of China’s Sichuan province.

    sun lijun

    Produced by and starring Sun Lijun, the film not only shows the whole picture of Sun’s journey with four other team members, but also the magnificent landscape and culture of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Starting in Chengdu and equipped with professional projection equipment, the team brought the magic and joy of the screen to towns on the plateau with an elevation of over 4,000 meters.

    More than just showing animated films for the children, Lijun’s actions have attracted tens of thousands of people’s attention through the internet and social media, and has become a charitable activity, which collects donation for the children in Ganzi.

    November 16, 2016 • Acting • Views: 1006

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

    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.

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    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.

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    “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.

    July 12, 2016 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3082

  • Screenwriting Instructor and NYFA Alumnus Team up for “Pali Road”

    pali roadWritten by New York Film Academy Screenwriting instructor Doc Pedrolie and directed by NYFA Beijing alumnus Jonathan Lim, the romantic thriller Pali Road opened April 29th in selected AMC, Regal and Consolidated theaters nationwide. Pedrolie has pitched and developed projects at Sony, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal, Fox, Fox 21, Jerry Bruckheimer, Parkes/MacDonald, Brillstein, and Gaunt Television. Before that, he worked as a story analyst for Amazon Studios for seven years. Lim has over 10 years’ experience in Film and Television in the Chinese market. He has created and produced several ongoing TV series for such international companies as the NBA, World Poker Tour and Sony Pictures Dr.Oz.

    Pali Road, a US-China co-production, stars Michelle Chen (You Are the Apple of My Eye), Jackson Rathbone (Twilight series), Sung Kang (Fast and Furious series) and Henry Ian Cusick (Lost, the 100). It was produced by Daxing Zhang, Cathy Lee, Kenneth Burke, and Jonathan Lim. Anthony Lim of Cuixing Media Group, Jon Chiew of Huace Media Group Grace Zhang and Geng Ling of Dadi Digital Cinema & China Film Assist, and Ricardo S. Galindez and Roy J. Tjioe of Island Film Group serve as executive producers.

    The story is a mysterious and thrilling journey in search for true love between two different worlds. Lily (Chen), a young doctor, wakes up from a car accident and discovers she is living a completely different life. Now married to her boyfriend’s rival, Dr. Mitch Kayne (Kang), and a mother to a 5-year-old son, she has an established life she remembers nothing about. Everyone around her denies that her boyfriend Neil (Rathbone) ever existed. As Lily begins to doubt her own sanity, memories of Neil resurface, causing her to encounter unexplainable incidents. While desperately searching for the truth of her past life, she questions her entire existence; but in the end, she discovers the meaning of true love.

    The film has already been nominated for the Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Narrative Film at the upcoming 32nd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Pali Road also received an Honorable mention for Best Feature Narrative at CAAMFest 2016 and was nominated for the Halekulani Award for Best Feature Narrative at last year’s Hawaii International Film Festival.

    See Pali Road is select theaters now!

    May 3, 2016 • Filmmaking, Screenwriting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1727

  • NYFA’s Ren Zhong Wins Big at Beijing Film Academy Awards

    Zhong Ren

    NYFA student Ren Zhong

    Congratulations to New York Film Academy Master of Arts in Film and Media Production student Ren Zhong, whose first semester film New Life won both Best Short Film and Audience’s Favorite Short Film at the Beijing Film Academy Awards.

    Zhong is an award-winning Chinese actor who has appeared in a number of films, including Beginning of the Great Revival 建党伟业 (2011) and Intern 青年医生 (1997). He’s also starred in several Chinese television series, such as Beijing Youth 北京青年 (2012), Man Group 男人帮 (2011) and Marriage Battle 婚姻保卫战 (2010), among others.

    ren zhongZhong’s short musical film features a girl who struggles with and, ultimately, matures from a difficult breakup with her boyfriend. Normally, a close friend would rise to this occasion, but more often than not, they do it out of obligation as a friend. However, this story depicts a helping hand from a stranger, who did it out of trust, sympathy and compassion. We are all expected to help one another as gregarious individuals. It is from this extraordinary experience that the main character becomes even stronger—mentally and psychologically.

    “It is a musical film about love,” said Zhong. “I have been studying at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus for only three months—it is impossible for me to know the states that well. Of course, I can make an ‘American film’ from my perspective, but the audience would not be able to relate to it. It is nearly impossible to make an authentic Chinese movie in LA. However, there is no better theme than a love story that touches every one of us and goes beyond age, race, gender and nationality.”

    Indeed it is quite a compelling film to people from all different backgrounds, and an incredible accomplishment for a student film.

    January 13, 2016 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights, Study Abroad • Views: 2551

  • NYFA Welcomes China Zhejiang Film and Media Group

    The China Zhejiang Film and Media Group recently visited the New York Film Academy’s 17 Battery location to get an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the New York City campus.

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    Dean of Asian Students Joy Zhu, President Michael Young and Senior Executive Vice President David Klein

    The international group was introduced to the visual and performing arts school by Dean of Asian Students Joy Zhu, as well as President Michael Young and Senior Executive Vice President David Klein.

    The Chinese film students were able to get a firsthand look at the breathtaking views that Battery Park has to offer, which includes New York Harbor, Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty. The tour included some of our classrooms, which were uniquely designed from scratch to meet the specific needs of the hands-on programs, including state-of-the-art production studios and sound stages with courses focusing on filmmaking, acting, musical theatre, screenwriting, 3D animation, producing, photography, broadcast journalism, and more.

    “It was a pleasure meeting the China Zhejiang Film and Media group,” said NYFA’s Director of Chinese Social Media, Nancy Shen. “NYFA is proud to serve the high-end Film and Television training program members in their pursuit of a world-class filmmaking education.”

    Indeed it was a thrill welcoming budding young talent from China, and we hope to meet with them and other international students in the near future!

    January 8, 2016 • Community Highlights, Study Abroad • Views: 1975

  • MFA Documentary Student’s ‘The Cost of Love’ Wins Indie Fest Award of Merit

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    Kai Lu at Cannes Film Festival

    New York Film Academy MFA Documentary student Kai Lu’s ‘Year One’ film, The Cost of Love, recently won the 2015 Indie Fest Award of Merit and is an official selection of the 23rd San Francisco Global Movie Festival. Lu is currently in negotiation to distribute the film through MUBI, a popular site for global film lovers.

    Lu’s film tells the story of a husband and wife who must leave their children in their village in rural China to live and work in Beijing. It is the only way they can make enough money to support their family because jobs and opportunities are very limited outside the big cities. In the past two decades, millions of Chinese have flooded into the urban centers seeking a better life — often leaving their children behind to be raised by their elderly grandparents.

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    photo from ‘The Cost of Love’

    For Kai Lu the issue hit home; Ai Yin, the wife of the couple he profiles in The Cost of Love is his father’s cousin. While Ai Yin and her husband Zhou work hard selling tomatoes in a Beijing marketplace, seven hundred miles away, her parents struggle to raise the couple’s three children. Her parents have health problems and their children feel resentful and abandoned. The film beautifully portrays the heartbreaking cost of love.

    Lu is currently completing his thesis film and his MFA Degree in Documentary at NYFA Los Angeles. Upon graduation in September, he hopes to get a job at the CCTV Film Channel in Beijing and devote himself to Chinese non-fiction.

    “My ultimate goal,” he says, “is to help an original Chinese film win the Academy Award.”

    August 20, 2015 • Documentary Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3271

  • A Stop Motion Gift from China

    New York Film Academy Los Angeles animation students recently enjoyed a rare treat when visiting professor and stop motion artist Xian Wu gave a presentation of his amazing works, including clips from Professor Wu’s most recent animated feature film. In an event hosted by NYFA Chair of 3-D Animation and Visual Effects, Mark Sawicki, the first presentation displayed work involving a beautiful setting of a village and a train station. The incredible detail put into the models was magical. Models were created at many different scales, and animated with the utmost patience and care to yield a charming cinema experience. The film was shot at 12 frames per second, and took 5 years to complete.

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    Next was a screening of the soon to be released animated feature that Professor Wu created. The characters were absolutely delightful, and had the audience cheering with pleasure. Professor Wu explained that the puppets had removable mouths attached with magnets to enable their expressions to change. The eyes had tiny holes in the middle of the pupil, allowing a small pin to be inserted to move the eyes to the proper position for each frame. The puppets were also able to stand on one foot by bolting the feet from underneath. For walking action, the little screw holes in the floor were filled in with colored clay to make the mounting trick invisible.

    The students were touched at the end of the evening when Professor Wu presented NYFA with an original stop motion puppet used in the film. This priceless animation art piece is now on display at the school for all to see. In gratitude, Mark Sawicki gave Professor Wu a signed copy of his stop motion book, “Animating with Stop Motion Pro,” published by Focal Press.
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    Mr. Wu’s gift to NYFA

    The event was a wonderful exchange of cultures in the field of animation that we are confident will continue in the years ahead.  Thank you so much, Professor Wu, for an unforgettable experience and your gift of an amazing piece of animation art.

    July 30, 2015 • 3D Animation, Guest Speakers • Views: 2657

  • East Meets West to Share the Magic of Animation

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    Animator Weiyu Wang

    New York Film Academy was thrilled to host animator Weiyu Wang (Let’s Wait Together) at our NYFA Los Angeles campus. As an artist in residence, Mr. Wang had the opportunity to create another beautiful and painterly animation film called Another Man. Weiyu was so appreciative for being our guest that he put together an event where he shared several short animation films made in China.

    Each film was lovingly created by hand using traditional animation techniques. Mr. Wang commented on the work of each of the artists (many he knows personally) and spoke about the state of fine art animation in China. He said many of the animators work in the commercial industry or are teachers like himself who create these films outside of the studio system as a means of personal expression. At the end of the program Mr. Wang shared the film he made here during his stay at NYFA.

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    Another Man is an exploration of the inter relationship of a character and his reflection. The imagery was gorgeous with masterful and compelling animation. At the end of the evening Mr. Wang addressed numerous questions from the international student body who were captivated by his presentation. Mark Sawicki, the chair of animation at the Los Angeles campus, was so grateful to Mr. Wang for putting together the event that he created a clay sculpture of the main character in Mr. Wang’s film as a commemorative of the evening. They both exchanged gifts with each other days before the artist left for China.

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    Mark Sawicki’s sculpture given to Mr. Wang

     

    We look forward to seeing you again, Mr. Wang, and are proud to have been able to have you as our guest during the making of your beautiful film.

    July 29, 2015 • 3D Animation, Guest Speakers • Views: 3435

  • MFA Filmmaking Grad Wins Best Short at Golden Pomegranate

    Jing Wen

    Jing Wen on set of “A, B,C or D?”

    Congratulations to the MFA Filmmaking graduate Jing Wen, whose film A, B, C, or D? won Best Short Film and Best Cinematographer (Xiaolong Liu) at the Golden Pomegranate International Film Festival in China. The film will also screen at Cannes in the upcoming Cannes Short Film Corner, where many of our students will have the chance to showcase their work to the public for the very first time.

    As most of know or remember, A, B, C, and D are the choices in a multiple choice test. This is precisely where Wen came up with the title for her film.

    “When we were young, there was always someone who could give you the right answer — maybe the teacher, maybe our parents,” recalls Wen. “When we grow up, A, B, C and D seem like the different choices in our life. What should we choose at every corner, or which one could lead us to success? Only you can discover the answer.”

    In Wen’s film, her main character, Gary, is a 45 year-old man — an age at which most people lose their energy to pursue lifelong dreams due to the pressures of family, work, money and responsibility. The conflict occurs after Gary is notified by his department manager that he will need to the blame for a particular mistake. This leads Gary with a very difficult decision: should he tell his boss the truth or keep silent?

    You can find out his decision at Wen’s next screening of A, B, C, or D? this May at the Cannes Short Film Corner.

    Wen is currently set to direct The Disappeared Fish, a forthcoming feature comedy film from Bai Ge Zhuang Film & Media Company.

     

    March 11, 2015 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3139