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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Alumni Shoot Empire State Building Film

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    Isabel Padilla, recent graduate of the 1-Year Cinematography conservatory at New York Film Academy (NYFA), served as director of photography on the short film The Red Balloon, recently published on the official YouTube channel of the Empire State Building.

    Isabel Padilla

    NYFA Cinematography Alum Isabel Padilla

    The film, directed by Pedro Tamames, was the winner of a contest sponsored by the iconic New York skyscraper. Tamames submitted his ideas and storyboards a year ago, and was chosen to make the film out of all the submissions. Padilla has worked with Tamames for over three years, shooting all of his films—The Red Balloon was no exception.

    The film shot for two days in April and one in September on site at the Empire State Building. Padilla calls the shoot “a very unique and unforgettable experience for somebody who just moved to New York. The purpose of the project is to show students’ talent and to show the new Empire State facilities through a short film that everybody can enjoy. It was a great opportunity and a challenge, from which we all learned a lot through preparation and teamwork.”

    Padilla originally hails from Spain and attended the 1-Year Cinematography conservatory in Fall 2018 at NYFA’s New York campus in downtown Manhattan. She attributes her NYFA education and especially the lessons on delegating roles on set to the successful production of The Red Balloon despite its very tight schedule. 

    “Being able to delegate to other people was extremely helpful to be able to achieve the number of shots planned,” Padilla tells NYFA. “Communication is key, and both my ACs were from NYFA as well (Alejandro León and Beth Ribeiro), which, since we learned from the same place, made everything go smoother and more effectively.”

    Isabel Padilla

    NYFA Cinematography Alum Isabel Padilla

    Padilla has kept busy since graduating NYFA and is working hard to push herself both professionally and creatively. When asked what she would tell current students looking to pursue careers in cinematography, Padilla says, “My main advice is to get out there, to shoot with people you feel you have a creative connection with and to experiment with people from other atmospheres … Moreover, to create a good relationship with the director, be their friend. As a cinematographer, with a director you have to connect and see the project together as one, and to do that, you don’t just have two meetings but a full journey to get to the goal with both of you being happy and satisfied.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Cinematography alumni Isabel Padilla, Alejandro León, and Beth Ribeiro on seeing their work published by the Empire State Building and looks forward to seeing their future projects! 

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    December 30, 2019 • Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 281

  • New York Film Academy-Los Angeles (NYFA-LA) Chair of Cinematography Anthony B. Richmond Visits Guangzhou and Shenzhen

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    On December 7, Anthony B. Richmond, ASC, BSC, New York Film Academy-Los Angeles (NYFA-LA) Chair of Cinematography, was invited to the second International (Guangzhou) Film, Television and Animation Education Forum at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in Guangzhou. 

    tony richmond china
    In addition to working closely with talented, hard-working students as Cinematography Chair, Tony Richmond is a London-born, BAFTA-winning cinematographer who has shot numerous productions, including The Man Who Fell to Earth, Don’t Look Now, The Sandlot, Legally Blonde, and Sympathy for the Devil.

    As the guest speaker of the forum in Guangzhou, Richmond was able to share his decades of experience in cinematography, highlighting his skills in visual storytelling through clips from many of the critically-acclaimed films he’s worked on. Richmond was also able to take questions and interact with the audience.

    Two days later, on December 9, Richmond conducted a storyboard workshop at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, where he worked with students, designing storyboards and shot lists. They then discussed what they had done and how they would shoot their projects. Students really enjoyed the workshop and had done some impressive work on the storyboard designs. 

    tony richmond china
    On December 10, Anthony had a meeting in Shenzhen with Mr. Huang, Lin Ma, Xinning Wang and other senior filmmakers in Shenzhen. Mr. Huang is a director and the chief executive officer of Oriental Legend; Lin Ma is a producer; and Xinning Wang is the representative of Shenzhen Kingmouse Pictures Corporation. During the meeting, they exchanged ideas on the differences in filmmaking between China and America as well as the development of today’s movie market in China. 

    All in all, Tony Richmond’s trip was an informative and enlightening one that strengthened the continued relationship between New York Film Academy and the visual arts students and institutions of China.

    tony richmond china

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    December 24, 2019 • China, Cinematography • Views: 525

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Students Document Indigenous Culture During Trip to Peru Inspired by Chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz

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    Ten students from the Photography, Documentary Filmmaking, and Cinematography departments at New York Film Academy (NYFA) had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Peru by Mater Iniciativa, the biological and cultural research center behind Central Restaurante, the flagship restaurant of Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz, which integrates indigenous Peruvian ingredients into the menu based on actual altitudes in the landscape of the South American nation.

    The trip lasted 12 days and gave the NYFA students the value of expedition while also placing them in a professional setting to practice and demonstrate their skills in visual storytelling. By working side by side with the indigenous cultures of the region, these students proved themselves as burgeoning thought leaders who could tell the stories of others in compelling, ruminative ways.

    Peru Trip 2019
    The students were joined by NYFA-NY Chair of
    Photography David Mager, NYFA-NY Chair of Short-term Intensive Programs Jonathan Whittaker, and NYFA-NY Chair of Documentary Filmmaking Andrea Swift. “We were very lucky to find people like David, Jonathan, and Andrea to guide us and share in our excitement for the project and rejoice in an immersive experience,” said Diogo Miranda, the trip leader in Peru.

    The students that attended were Jessica Antania Trisno, Sheetal Prashant Upare, Francisca Andrea Ilabaca Paredes, Estelle Piezzoli, Nivetha Selvakkumar, Maria Elena Trajtenberg, Marco Ricci, Guntae Song, Beth Ribeiro, and Karoline Iversen.

    Peru Trip 2019
    The journey allowed these students the opportunity to learn all the ways the restaurant is collaborating with the community and implementing sustainable farming practices while bringing wares to a much larger, global market. Mater Iniciativa is committed to paying homage to Peruvian and Andean culture while merging the old with the new; revitalizing the Peruvian landscape and incorporating ingredients such as cacao and undiscovered flora and botanicals. NYFA students covered all aspects of the initiative, from clay workshops to salt mines, and visiting cacao farmers and potato farmers.

    Mater Iniciativa and their representative, Diogo Miranda, was thrilled to have NYFA students see these cultures up close. “We had a complex story to tell, which is why we needed NYFA to come in and tell our story for us in the best way possible as we break boundaries,” he stated. “Our partnership with NYFA was great and we hope this was just the beginning and that we can collaborate further in the many years to come.”

    The students were thrilled to participate in such a monumental life opportunity. “Exploring Peru with the Mil and Mater team was unbelievable,” declared Beth Ribeiro, a 1-Year Cinematography student. “There was a great amount of learning in terms of teamwork, delivering to a client, and the style of documentary film in general. Andrea was a brilliant director–I learned so much from her, and David was an incredible producer. I was thrilled to have gone.”

    Francisca Andrea Ilabaca, a student in the Spring 2019 1-Year Photography program agreed. “The trip was an amazing experience. Not only did we get to work with a great team of really passionate people but we also got to visit Peru in a completely different way while making an interesting documentary.”

    Mater Iniciativa was equally enthusiastic about the student artists. “The NYFA students were fantastic, super energetic,” added Miranda. “It’s an adventure and they were adventurous despite the disadvantages. They were respectful and it was wonderful to have them here.”

    New York Film Academy looks forward to continuing to build a relationship with Mater Iniciativa to help foster and nurture the voices of the next generation of visual storytellers.

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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Production Workshop Motionlapse From Start to Finish

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) instructor James H. Coburn had a brand new camera he was still playing around with, and thought it would be a cool idea to take a motionlapse video of one of his classes—and he was right, it was cool.

    The camera was a DJI Osmo Pocket, which can shoot in several modes including both time-lapse and motionlapse. Timelapse involves capturing an individual frame at set intervals, which helps show the passage of time over a much shorter time frame. Motionlapse involves the same concept, but with a pan or tilt in the camera movement.

    Coburn put the DJI Osmo Pocket to the test over the course of a production workshop, where students from the Fall MFA in Cinematography program shot a film in a garage on a very hot day in Burbank, California—home of NYFA-Los Angeles.

    Student director Derek Johnson filmed a process shot with a green screen and automobile over the course of several hours. All the students in the class had something to do on set and were busy throughout.

    The motionlapse, which slowly pans across the set in what results in just two minutes of footage, capture the day’s shoot, which lasted over three hours, showing the students’ hard work as if honeybees in a hive.

     

    Interested in working on a New York Film Academy production workshop one day? Check out the programs NYFA has to offer here.

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    November 25, 2019 • Cinematography • Views: 367

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Instructor Tommy Maddox-Upshaw Shoots Season 3 of FX’s ‘Snowfall’

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    Tommy Maddox-Upshaw, director of photography and New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography instructor, shot the third season of FX series Snowfall, which recently finished this Fall.

    Snowfall is the critically-acclaimed FX series Dave Andron co-created with iconic filmmaker John Singleton, who passed away earlier this year; Singleton was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for his debut film Boyz n the Hood, becoming the youngest person ever nominated for the former as well as the first African American.

    Snowfall is a period crime drama, set in 1983 Los Angeles and revolves around the crack epidemic that took the city by storm in the early 1980s. Maddox-Upshaw and Eliot Rockett alternated cinematographer duties for the show’s third season.

    Maddox-Upshaw is based in Los Angeles and teaches Cinematography at NYFA’s Burbank-based campus. He’s worked in both television and on feature films, including additional photography on Grown Ups 2, Beyond the Lights, and The Circle, and was the second unit director of photography on Straight Outta Compton. His credits as cinematographer include 48 Hours to Live, The Perfect Match, and Fixed.

    American Cinematographer, the international publication of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), recently did an in-depth profile on Snowfall and its signature look, interviewing both Maddox-Upshaw and Rockett. The article got into the nuts and bolts about the new equipment the show used in its third season, as well as the complicated location shoot of the season’s penultimate episode, which involved shooting in a neighborhood once deeply affected by the drug crisis depicted in the show.

    Maddox-Upshaw went into great detail not just about equipment used and how his team used it, but also the combination of using set lights—along with smoke and other effects—with the bright, impossible-to-ignore sunlight of Los Angeles, and was clearly passionate about every aspect of his job on the FX drama.

    “My gaze is a little more personal,” Maddox-Upshaw tells ASC. “Being a kid who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s in Mattapan, the inner city of Boston, during the crack era, I saw a lot of these same things happen, the drugs and violence in my neighborhood and in my own family.” 

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Cinematography instructor Tommy Maddox-Upshaw on shooting the latest season of Snowfall and looks forward to what projects he takes on next!

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    October 30, 2019 • Cinematography, Faculty Highlights • Views: 702

  • ‘Don’t Look Now’ Gets 4K Digital Restoration from Criterion Collection 

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    Forty-six years after its release, Don’t Look Now, the drama/thriller/horror directed by Nicolas Roeg and shot by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Los Angeles Chair of Cinematography Anthony B. Richmond, BSC, ASC, is still held up as a cinematic classic, so it’s no surprise that Criterion Collection has released a 4K digital restoration of the film.

    With the new restoration, many in the film world are taking another look at the beloved 1973 film, which stars Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland as a couple who’ve recently lost their daughter and come across a pair of elderly sisters—one of which claims to be a psychic in touch with the spirit of their child.

    Cinephilia & Beyond recently published an in-depth look at the film, including quotes from Roeg and Richmond. Cinephilia & Beyond started out as a small blog centered on independent film and has evolved into a community of passionate lovers of film, including A-list names like Guillermo del Toro, Ava DuVernay, and William Friedkin.

    The article, written by Jasun Horseley, takes the reader through the entire film from start to finish, with in-depth analysis on several key scenes, incorporating interviews and quotes from the filmmakers

    “It is a fabulous movie,” says Richmond, the director of photography for Don’t Look Now. “Not because I shot it, but it still stands up today. It was probably the most difficult thing I have shot, because in Venice everything goes in and out on barges. We shot it in the winter with an Italian crew, which was fantastic, because Venice in the winter is dark, cold and foreboding, which was wonderful.”

    Tony Richmond is the London-born, BAFTA-winning cinematographer who has shot numerous productions, including The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Sandlot, Legally Blonde, and Sympathy for the Devil. He is currently Chair of Cinematography at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus, where he works closely with talented, hard-working students. 

    Richmond also spoke with Antonia Quirke about Don’t Look Now on BBC’s Film Programme. Among other things discussed was the film’s infamous and oft-scrutinized sex scene between Sutherland and Christie. 

    The interview, which takes place during the first 11 minutes and 30 seconds of the show, can be found here.

    Don't Look Now

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    October 15, 2019 • Cinematography, Faculty Highlights • Views: 673

  • Short Close-Up Interviews New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography Alum Anna Vialova

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Cinematography alum Anna Vialova was recently interviewed by Short Close-Up Film Magazine.Anna Vialova

    Vialova hails from Ukraine, and first attended New York Film Academy in July 2015, enrolling in the 8-Week Filmmaking workshop at our Burbank-based campus. She followed that up in Spring 2018 with the advanced and rigorous studies in the 1-Year Conservatory at NYFA’s Cinematography school.

    Credits as a cinematographer include Devour, I Just Wanted to See You, Silent Voices, Things That Fall, and No Longer Perfect. Vialova also shot her own film, Brave. New., which she directed and produced. Additionally, Vialova is an accomplished photographer, and has had photos published in ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue UA, and L’officiel.

    Short Close-Up is an international, independent online magazine that covers a variety of culture, including, narrative, documentary, animation, music video, experimental, fashion, commercial, and mobile. Short Close-Up shares the experiences of established filmmakers by publishing in-depth profiles and interviews by the most in-demand filmmakers working today.

    In the interview, Vialova spoke about what inspired her to become a filmmaker, the important of collaborating on set, and the role film festivals have played in her life. She also asked about the relationship between a filmmaker and the artist, telling Short Close-Up, “I feel that the best thing I can do is to stay honest with my audience and myself. I don’t shoot scripts I don’t like. If I don’t feel connected to the story it will be disrespectful to director and audience to shoot it, because I won’t be able to tell the story in a best way.”

    New York Film Academy wishes Cinematography alum Anna Vialova the best of success as her career continues forward, and encourages everyone to check out her full interview with Short Close-Up here.

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    September 26, 2019 • #WomenOfNYFA, Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 802

  • New York Film Academy Los Angeles (NYFA-LA) Cinematography Students Shoot Crane Video

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    Cinematography Crane 2019

    Earlier this semester, Cinematography students from New York Film Academy (NYFA) were able to shoot footage with a large, professional crane. The shoot took place on a beautiful sunny day in a park new our Burbank-based campus, and was overseen by NYFA-LA Chair of Cinematography Anthony B. Richmond, ASC, BSC,  the BAFTA-winning director of photography whose credits include Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Sandlot, Legally Blonde, and Sympathy for the Devil.

    The students were able to work hands-on with the crane, getting cool, sweeping aerial shots that they could see from below on a monitor. Learning by doing and working hands-on with the same state-of-the-art equipment used by Hollywood better prepares students for work in the professional industry, and is a core value of NYFA’s educational principles.

    Check out some photos from the crane video set here:

     

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    September 1, 2019 • Cinematography • Views: 34

  • 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: 783

  • 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: 846