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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Instructor Suki Medencevic Interviewed By ‘American Cinematographer’

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    Professional director of photography and New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography instructor Suki Medencevic, ASC, ASBiH, SAS was recently profiled by American Cinematographer magazine.

    In 2010, Medencevic joined the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), the cultural, educational, and professional organization founded in Hollywood in 1919 to bring together professional cinematographers for advancements and advocation of the medium. In 1920 the ASC founded the magazine publication American Cinematographer, which focuses on art and cinematography and in its first 100 years has evolved to cover everything from foreign films to music videos. In their June 2019 issue, American Cinematographer showcased Medencevic in its Close-Up feature, interviewing him in a comprehensive Q&A format.

    Medencevic has worked steadily in the film industry since his first feature film job in 1994, both shooting and working in the camera department for numerous features, television shows, commercials, made-for-TV films, and documentaries. While still working professionally, he currently teaches cinematography students at New York Film Academy’s Burbank-based campus.

    Medencevic’s colleagues in NYFA’s cinematography department are thrilled to see ASC profile the talented artist, and weren’t at all surprised he was chosen for their Close-Up feature.

    Suki Medencevic
    “Suki is incredibly versatile as an instructor,” says Mike Williamson, Associate Chair of Cinematography at NYFA-Los Angeles. “He brings a high level of technical sophistication to the program, no doubt informed by his role as a member of the ASC Technology Committee. Recently he’s helped us develop the curriculum and integrate new material into some of our lighting classes.”

    Williamson adds, “Suki has a strong connection with his students, and we’re pleased to have him as a member of our faculty.”

    The Q&A in American Cinematographer covered several topics. Medencevic spoke about first studying the art form in Belgrade, Serbia from renowned European cinematographers, before delving into his transition to working professionally in the American film industry.

    Additionally, Medencevic cites Jaroslav Kučera, Vittorio Storaro, Chivo, and Roger Deakins as his favorite cinematographers, and the films Apocalypse Now and Enter the Dragon as two films that made strong impressions on him as a child. He also relayed some advice he once received from another professional cinematographer: “‘If you want to be a cinematographer, don’t waste your time doing anything else.’”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Cinematography instructor Suki Medencevic on his recent profile in American Cinematographer Magazine and encourages everyone to read the full interview here.

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    July 22, 2019 • Cinematography, Faculty Highlights • Views: 553

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes Oscar-Winning Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski to New York City Campus

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography students recently had the chance to meet and speak with one of the industry’s most renowned and well-known cinematographers, Janusz Kaminski. Kaminski previously spoke with NYFA students at our Burbank-based campus.

    Kaminski originally hails from Poland and only had a handful of cinematography credits to his name when Steven Spielberg chose him to shoot his passion project, Schindler’s List. Kaminski’s beautiful, mostly black-and-white photography earned him his first Academy Award. To date, he has been nominated for a Best Cinematography Oscar six times, winning again for Saving Private Ryan.

    Janusz Kaminski

    Since Schindler’s List, Kaminski has shot many of Spielberg’s films, including Amistad, Minority Report, Catch Me if You Can, Munich,  and Ready Player One, and is currently working on the upcoming remake of West Side Story. Other notable credits include The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Jerry Maguire.

    Last month, Kaminski spoke at length with NYFA Cinematography students at our New York campus in an intimate setting. He began by sitting down with little fanfare, just inches from the students, and telling them, “I’m here for you, what would you like to talk about?” followed by several questions both technical and related to the profession. All in all, the discussion was very congenial and lasted nearly three hours. The class was extremely friendly, and lasted almost three hours.

    Kaminski stressed to the students the importance of experience and working as much as possible, even if certain projects are low budget and are not going to earn much recognition. He also shared some personal details, including that the work he is most proud of is the film Munich, a difficult film that explores complex themes. Much of what he covered included the thought process of a professional cinematographer, which remains consistent no matter how much success or accolades one acquires in their career.

    Janusz Kaminski

    Kaminski also talked to students about taking risks and working hard, especially in finding the proper visual language for each film. He also focused extensively on how important it is for students to own their images, to find a language and style that is appropriate for the film they are doing, while always remembering that working fast is absolutely fundamental as well as keeping an eye on the production aspects of the job.

    “The meeting with Janusz Kaminski was an incredible experience for the students and for the instructors that have been able to participate,” says Piero Basso, NYFA-NY Chair of Cinematography.

    Basso adds, “Apart from the obvious knowledge and life experiences he has shared with us, the key element of his visit was that even a superstar DP like him, on the verge of shooting again with Steven Spielberg, hasn’t lost his connection to real life and to feelings that are common to every DP before starting a new job.

    “To hear him explaining that less than a week away from starting his new movie (nothing less than the remake of West Side Story) he is still thinking on how to approach it—and that he has a dose of healthy tension and worries about how it will turn out—is refreshing in a world where you are always wondering if your own choices are right, and often you don’t know it until later into the movie when turning back is virtually impossible.”

    Janusz Kaminski
    Since he was speaking with NYFA’s highly-trained cinematography students, he wasn’t afraid to get into the weeds and talk about very technical aspects of his artistic choices. Kaminski brought up the importance of filtration and the necessity of modifying the images while creating them to match the look and tone the filmmakers are exploring for their movie.

    Kaminski also discussed how sometimes lighting is done very simply and almost without any intervention, like in several sections of Saving Private Ryan, but how in other situations it becomes very important to use artificial light even in daytime exteriors—for example in War Horse, which was often lit in daytime to be able to save the beauty of the light in the background of the characters.

    New York Film Academy thanks legendary and Oscar-winning director of photography Janusz Kaminski for taking the time to share his expertise and experiences with our NYFA Cinematography students!

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    July 9, 2019 • Cinematography, Guest Speakers • Views: 488

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking & Cinematography Alum Jean de Meuron Invited to Join Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)

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    Earlier this month the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) invited 842 new members to join its rankings, including Oscar-nominated New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking & Cinematography alum Jean de Meuron.

    Megan Jean de Meuronde Meuron was previously nominated in 2017 for an Academy Award for the short film he executive-produced, La femme et le TGV. de Meuron hails from Switzerland and first enrolled at New York Film Academy in 2009, taking several workshops, including in Filmmaking. He followed his short-term studies with NYFA’s 1-year Conservatory in Cinematography. His latest project, sci-fi epic Megan (co-produced with Giuseppe Mercadante and Olcun Tan and directed by Greg Strasz), recently won a Telly Award for its proof-of-concept short. It’s no surprise the highly talented filmmaker has been tapped to join AMPAS.

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the body of producers, directors, screenwriters, actors, and other filmmaking industry leaders. Every year, AMPAS members vote on the Academy Awards embodied by the iconic golden statuette, Oscar.

    Over the past few years, due to a demand from the public to catch up to to the current cultural landscape, AMPAS has been inviting more women and people of color to diversify its body, which has been historically dominated by white men. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this year’s 842 invitees include members from 59 countries, half of whom are female and 29 percent of whom are people of color.AMPAS

    Invitees often include previous Oscar winners and nominees, as well as up-and-coming Hollywood stars. The 2019 list of invitees includes directors Jonathan M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), and performers Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Sterling K. Brown, Gemma Chan, Tom Holland, Claire Foy, Will Poulter, Lady Gaga, and Adele.

    “I am incredibly humbled and grateful to have been invited to join the Academy as a member of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch,” de Meuron tells NYFA. “It is such an honor and privilege to be a part of this organization of which many filmmakers, creatives, and executives belong to that have influenced as well as inspired me—and continue to do so.”

    New York Film Academy is incredibly excited for Filmmaking & Cinematography alum Jean de Meuron and congratulates him on his invitation to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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    July 9, 2019 • Cinematography, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 340

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking & Cinematography Alum Jean de Meuron’s Short ‘Megan’ Wins at the 2019 Telly Awards

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    Megan Jean de MeuronNew York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking and Cinematography alum Jean de Meuron can add another award to his mantle—his short film Megan was a Silver Winner at the 40th Annual Telly Awards.

    de Meuron hails from Switzerland and first enrolled at NYFA in 2009, taking several workshops, including in Filmmaking, before following his short-term studies with NYFA’s 1-year Conservatory in Cinematography. Since then, he’s been hard at work making award-winning projects. In 2017, he executive-produced the short film La femme et le TGV, which earned an Academy Award nomination. 

    Megan, a short film that also serves as a proof of concept for a feature science fiction epic in the vein of J.J. Abrams’s popular Cloverfield series, was a Silver Winner in the General – Online category. The proof of concept features breathtaking action bolstered by perfectly executed special effects, including a harrowing helicopter crash and the appearance of a colossal, ominous spaceship.

    The short was directed by Greg Strasz and produced by de Meuron, along with Giuseppe Mercadante and Olcun Tan. Megan previously won four awards at the 2018 Pitch to Screen Film Awards: Best Proof of Concept, Best Director, Best Cinematographer, and Best Editor, as well as Best International Sci-Fi Short at the 2018 London International Short Film Festival.

    “I am deeply honored, proud, and humbled that my team and I won a Telly Award,” de Meuron says of Megan’s Silver trophy. “This came as a complete surprise since companies like Disney, Lucasfilm, Netflix, Paramount, Viacom, CBS, DC Entertainment, and so forth were also honored for their work in various categories. We share the Silver Winner Award with CBS in the category 2019 Online: General Viral.”

    The Telly Awards were founded in 1979 to recognize achievements in local, regional, and cable television commercials with non-broadcast video and television programming included shortly after. The Telly Awards have kept up with the times and now embraces media content that can be seen on all screens—from the theater to your smartphone. This also includes awards for VR, television commercials, web series and branded content. This year’s event had a record-breaking amount 12,000 entries, of entries, from from all 50 states and five continents.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) congratulates Filmmaking & Cinematography alum Jean de Meuron on the success of Megan and its Silver Winner Award at the 40th Annual Telly Awards!

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    June 21, 2019 • Cinematography, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 361

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Alum Olga Vazquez Puertas Keeps Busy Behind the Camera

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography alum Olga Vazquez Puertas is keeping busy behind the camera, getting steady work in the camera department and as a director of photographer on numerous projects.

    Puertas hails from Spain and graduated from the 1-year Cinematography program at NYFA’s New York campus in 2011. “Since childhood, filmmaking has been my passion,” Puertas says on her website’s bio. “Early on, I discovered that what I really love is to speak through visual storytelling. I like to solve challenges collaboratively; controlling the light, composition and frame, achieving the look, mood and tone needed for each project.”Olga Vazquez Puertas

    Recently, Puertas has worked for automaker Audi, and filmed an ad with Kevin Hart for his game, Gold Ambush. She has served in the camera department on such films as Thoreau (2018), Night and Day (2015), On Golden Years (2014), Taste of Honey (2013), and The Therapy (2013).

    Additionally, she has worked as director of photography on Hooked (2019), Vedic Nights (2018), Love and Bullets (2017), A Lonely Woman (2018), Pinsky (2017) and the upcoming projects Asking for It, Treasure Trouble, and A Cute & a Button.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Cinematography alum on her busy resume and looks forward to seeing what she works on next!

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    June 12, 2019 • Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 518

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Students Shoot LGBTQIA+ Themed Alexa Workshop

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Students recently shot a workshop with the Alexa camera rig that was—appropriately for Pride Month, LGBTQIA+ themed.

    The Arri Alexa is a high-end camera that was introduced in 2010 and was camera manufacturer Arri’s first major digital cinematography apparatus. The Alexa is the camera of choice by many professional Hollywood filmmakers, and is used in high-budget feature films, television shows, and commercials throughout the industry.

    NYFA’s Cinematography students are taught with these major rigs, including the Alexa, the RED, and 35mm film. For their most recent Alexa workshop, the students filmed a short with an LGBTQIA+ theme. 

    The film told the story of a young woman named Allison, coming from her father’s funeral with what seems to be her boyfriend. It is soon revealed that he is not actually her boyfriend, but a platonic male friend Allison is using to hide her lesbian relationship with another woman—Rachel—from her family.

    LGBTQIA+ Alexa Workshop
    Allison and Rachel have a confrontation, with Allison storming out of the house to avoid a fight. They eventually reunite on a pier by the harbor, where Rachel tells a story about how she sought revenge toward an aunt that made her life impossible after her coming out, but then decided it was not worth it and that it was her aunt living the miserable life, not her. The film ends with Allison revealing she came out to her sister and, somewhat unexpectedly, her reaction was that she wanted to meet Rachel. 

    The two actresses playing the leads are both NYFA alumni. “They delivered quite a strong performance, and the cinematography work is quite interesting,” says NYFA Chair of Cinematography Piero Basso.

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    June 11, 2019 • Cinematography • Views: 270

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Alum Bob Nguyen Wins Cinematographer of the Year & Best Feature Film at the Australian Cinematographers Society Awards

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    Song Lang, the highly lauded Vietnamese feature film, picked up two major prizes at the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) Awards—Best Feature Film and 2019 Cinematographer of the Year—adding two more major awards to the growing list of accolades for New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Cinematography Alum Bob Nguyen.

    The film was shot by Nguyen, directed by Leon Le, and co-written by Le and Minh Ngoc Nguyen. It tells the story of an underground debt collector and a “reformed theatre” opera performer (known in Vietnam as cải lương) who form an unlikely bond in 1990s Saigon. 

    Nguyen enrolled at New York Film Academy’s Burbank-based campus in January 2013, where he earned his MFA and quickly networked with other students and served as director of photography on several short films. Using this network after graduation, Nguyen continued to find work around the world, including Italy, Australia, and Vietnam.

    For his work on the feature film Sut, Nguyen won the 2016 Golden Kite Award for Best Cinematography, the highest award for cinema in Vietnam, equivalent to an Academy Award.

    Bob Nguyen
    The Australian Cinematographers Society Awards are the highest honors for cinematography in Australia. The ACS was established in Sydney in 1958 to further the advancement of cinematography in all fields and to keep its members informed about new camera and lighting equipment and technology as well as provide a forum—through meetings, demos, and seminars, etc.—for its members to exchange ideas and network.

    “It is a major honor to be named Cinematographer of the Year by the Australian Cinematographers Society, and it is impressive that Bob has received this award so early in his career,” says Mike Williamson, NYFA-Los Angeles Associate Chair of Cinematography. “The ACS is a prestigious organization that counts many great cinematographers among its ranks, and it’s a significant achievement to receive this level of recognition from his peers.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates MFA Cinematography Alum Bob Nguyen on winning the Best Feature Film and 2019 Cinematographer of the Year ACS Awards and looks forward to seeing what he works on next!

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    June 10, 2019 • Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 418

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Cinematography Alum Tian Liu Builds Impressive Portfolio

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    Since graduating from the New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA in Cinematography program, alum Tian Liu (Fall 2015) has been keeping very busy. Liu has been steadily growing her career as a filmmaker and building her portfolio with credits as a photographer, producer, and cinematographer on several professional projects.

    Tian Liu
    Liu was born in China, where she studied sports journalism. While teaching orphans math as a volunteer in Kenya, Liu felt inspired to photograph their experience. After those images were professionally published, Liu realized she wanted to become a filmmaker. “I realized that images have power,” Liu tells NYFA. “It can tell others a story, it also can help people and give people a better life. I love telling stories and I want to be a visual artist.”

    Following her dream, Liu opened a photo studio and enrolled at New York Film Academy. At NYFA, Liu earned her MFA in Cinematography while studying under Chair of Cinematography Tony Richmond, ASC, BSC (Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Sandlot, Legally Blonde).

    Tian Liu
    “Without NYFA,” Liu says, I would not have been able to become a female Chinese cinematographer and do the kind of work I find so fulfilling.”

    The Piano, Liu’s thesis film completed at NYFA, has screened at over 35 film festivals, and has picked up an impressive 28 awards for Best Cinematography. Additionally, she has worked on over 40 film projects that used 16mm and 35mm film, and has shot several films as director of photography. Recently, Liu worked on a feature film in Louisiana, as well as a camera operator for Oscar-nominated cinematographer Dean Cundey, ASC (Jurassic Park, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) on the feature documentary Motionless. Liu has also worked in New York City for the United Nations and an esteemed advertisement firm.

    Liu has also found success as a photographer publishing her work in high-profile magazines and newspapers, including China Daily. Over 40 images she’s shot have been featured in Vogue Italia.

    In addition to her work behind the camera, Liu has been a strong voice for female cinematographers, and recently gave a talk at USC about working in the industry as a female, Chinese cinematographer. While the film industry works to course correct issues of gender inequality, women still make up a distressingly small proportion of working professional cinematographers.

    New York Film Academy congratulates MFA in Cinematography alum Tian Liu on her continued success in the industry and thanks her sharing her experiences with the filmmaking community.

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    May 9, 2019 • Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 622

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Cinematography Alum Daniela Rodriguez Martinez Racks Up Multiple Awards

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Daniela Rodriguez Martinez has kept busy since earning her MFA in Cinematography. With over seven years of experience based in Los Angeles, Martinez has worked on live television, music videos, interviews, documentaries, short films, feature films, and television series, and has picked up multiple awards and nominations along the way.

    Daniela Rodriguez Martinez

    Martinez is originally from Bogota, Colombia and enrolled in NYFA’s MFA in Cinematography program in Fall 2016. While studying at our Los Angeles campus, Martinez was able to work hands-on with advanced professional filmmaking gear used by the industry under the tutelage of Tony Richmond, BSC, ASC—director of photography of films including The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Sandlot, Legally Blonde, and Don’t Look Now.

    “My time at the New York Film Academy gave me the concepts, knowledge, and network to start working in the industry,” Martinez tells NYFA. “I am very grateful to have been able to study there.”

    Daniela Rodriguez Martinez

    Martinez’s films have been shown both domestically and around the world, including Nigeria. She has had the opportunity to work with several high profile actors including Sharon Stone, Marta Kristen, and Simon Miller. Her awards climb into the double digits, including honors from the European Cinematography Awards, Berlin Flash Film Festival, Miami Independent Film Festival, and Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, among many others. Martinez most recently won Best Action Film at the 2019 Festigious International Film Festival in Los Angeles.

    Martinez’s success is all the more notable considering the enormous gender gap in cinematography. Currently, only three percent of directors of photography in Hollywood are women. It wasn’t until last year that a woman was even nominated at the Academy Awards for Cinematography; this year, no women were recognized.

    Daniela Rodriguez Martinez

    I have found that as a woman I must prove to be two or three times more qualified than a man to be considered as a director of photography on a project,” Martinez says. “Nonetheless, so far it has been a quite an adventure and …  I hope to remain a director of photography here in Los Angeles for many years and continue to grow in the industry and contributing to this change that is happening.”

    Currently, Martinez is working on multiple projects, including a television series about vegan food, a web series, and several short films.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates MFA alum Daniela Rodriguez Martinez on her numerous awards and festival appearances and looks forward to following her career in cinematography as it continues to progress!

    Daniela Rodriguez Martinez


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    April 9, 2019 • Acting • Views: 738

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Cinematography Alum Jude Abadi Wins Best Student Cinematography Award

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailThis summer, New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Cinematography alum Jude Abadi added a very important accolade to her resume when she won the Best Student Cinematography Award at the European Cinematography Awards. The award was for her work as director of photography on the short film The End of the World.

    The European Cinematography Awards are a film competition for filmmakers worldwide. According to their mission statement, the ECA supports “new and student filmmakers, who are just beginning their careers with a supportive and enthusiastic audience for their creative efforts,” as well as gives filmmakers “access to film industry professionals who can offer guidance and other forms of career assistance.”

    Best Student Cinematography Award

    Of the award, Abadi told NYFA that she was “ecstatic.” Abadi enrolled in the MFA program at NYFA’s cinematography school in Fall 2016, an accelerated, conservatory-based graduate program designed to instruct gifted and hardworking prospective directors of photography in a hands-on, professional environment. The cinematography school is chaired by Tony Richmond, A.S.C., B.S.C., who has shot many well-known films including Sympathy for the Devil, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Legally Blonde.

    “Jude did a great job shooting this film, and putting it together,” said Mike Williamson, a NYFA instructor and one of Abadi’s thesis advisors, who worked with her as she shot the film. He continued, “It can be difficult to maintain a consistent look when you’re shooting a long scene in a practical location, but her work over several shooting days matches very nicely. Her team made a strong film, and this award is well-deserved.”

    The End of the World was filmed in Los Angeles and tells the story of a married couple taken hostage by a crazed stranger, and their attempts to defuse their captor and his inane ramblings. It was written by Nabil Chowdhary and directed by NYFA alum Joshua M.G. Thomas. The film co-stars Buffy Milner, another NYFA alum who has recently written, directed, and acted in the film Type.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Jude Abadi on her prestigious award and wishes her the best of luck as her career continues forward!Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 22, 2018 • #WomenOfNYFA, Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 313