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  • 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: 604

  • 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: 579

  • 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: 793

  • 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: 506

  • 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: 697

  • 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: 1039

  • 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: 1047

  • New York Film Academy New York (NYFA-NY) Chair of Cinematography Piero Basso Shoots New Features & TV Series

    FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailIt’s been a busy year for cinematographer Piero Basso, AIC—in addition to becoming the new Chair of Cinematography at New York Film Academy New York (NYFA-NY), Basso has recently seen the premieres of two feature films he worked on as director of photography and will soon be seeing the debut of a television series he shot.

    Basso, who originally hails from Italy and was an instructor at NYFA for years before becoming Cinematography Chair, served as director of photography for the feature film Working Man. The film received a strong welcome at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, with Basso’s cinematography especially highlighted in a positive review from The Hollywood Reporter. 

    With a solid cast and great looking photography, the film is expected to have a strong run on the festival circuit and will hopefully reach a larger and larger audience.

    Piero Basso
    Dafne
    , a feature film Basso shot in Italy last summer, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in the Panorama section and went on to win the prestigious FIPRESCI award for Best Feature Film of Panorama. 

    The film has an upcoming release in Italy and has been already sold in several countries around the world (France, Spain, and Japan, to name a few), and will also most likely have a very strong festival presence. The film has been very well received by critics, including a positive review covering the film’s award-winning premiere at Berlin.

    In addition to the two features, Basso also shot a high-profile television series for one of Italy’s major networks, RAI. The series was shot over a year ago but its upcoming premiere will coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Aquila Earthquake, which is the fictional drama’s subject. Basso served as cinematographer for all 12 episodes of the high-quality series, which will be premiering later this Spring.

    These projects haven’t distracted Basso from his new duties as Cinematography Chair, however. “Since I became the Chair of the Cinematography department last fall I have been crazy busy figuring out how to run the program and make sure the student experience is at its best as it was with my predecessor,” Basso tells NYFA. “But now it’s starting to feel like the time to work on expanding and promoting the program to make sure it will find even better and more students in the future.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA-NY Chair of Cinematography Piero Basso on the premieres of his work and looks forward to seeing his further success in both cinema and with our students right here at NYFA!Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    March 2, 2019 • Cinematography, Faculty Highlights • Views: 219

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

    FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailThis 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!Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 22, 2018 • #WomenOfNYFA, Cinematography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 603

  • “Sympathy for the Devil” at 50: New York Film Academy (NYFA) Los Angeles Chair of Cinematography Tony Richmond Presents Restored Godard Film 

    FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFifty years ago, Jean-Luc Godard filmed an intimate, groundbreaking documentary about the Rolling Stones, capturing the recording of one of their most seminal tracks: “Sympathy for the Devil.” The 1968 documentary shares the same title, though it was originally titled One Plus One before its producers controversially took final cut away from Godard. sympathy for the devil

    The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) recently held a limited theatrical release for the 50th anniversary of Sympathy for the Devil, which was kicked off with a Q&A with New York Film Academy-Los Angeles (NYFA-LA) Chair of Cinematography Tony Richmond, A.S.C., B.S.C. Richmond served as Godard’s director of photography on the documentary, and supervised the color grading of the newly restored, 4K version of the film.

    The restoration was done in London by Arrow Films, working off the still-preserved original 35mm negative. “It’s just wonderful,” says Richmond of the project, adding it was “such an honor to go back to a film I shot fifty years ago and give it another life.”

    Sympathy for the Devil was one of Richmond’s earliest films as director of photography. He has mostly worked on narrative features since then, including Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Sandlot, and Legally Blonde. The London-born, BAFTA-winning cinematographer has resided as Faculty Chair of NYFA-LA’s cinematography school since 2015, where students receive hands-on training in the unique visual language of film with state-of-the-art equipment they can use on their classmates’ productions. 

    Sympathy was a landmark moment in rock and roll documentaries, preceding other films like Gimme Shelter and The Last Waltz. Along with a strong political message, the film captured the birth of one of the Rolling Stones’ most famous hits. It was also a turbulent shoot, with legendary French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard butting heads with his producers, who changed his original ending. As an infamous story goes, at a screening of the film, Godard attempted to screen his original ending outside in the parking lot, and when one of the producers intervened, he punched him in the face. 

    Additionally, some of the film was shot on the streets guerilla-style, without permits. Some shots included jumping out of Godard’s car to film his wife, Anna, spray-painting walls, roads, and vehicles, and then hopping back in the car and taking off before the police arrived.

    With an incredible story told by the film and another one around the making of it, it was no surprise that MoMA would host a limited release on its 50th anniversary. The Q&A with Tony Richmond was held after the September 13 screening, which Richmond told NYFA was “a great success. I enjoyed the Q&A, telling them how much in awe I was with Jean-Luc Godard and what an honor it was to shoot a film for him at such a young age.”

    In a recent profile by Rolling Stone magazine, Richmond went into further detail about the shoot, describing how they would pre-light for each member of the band before they would stroll into the studio after a late night of recording and maybe some hard partying: “We knew where Mick was gonna be, where Keith was gonna be, where Brian and Charlie were gonna be, and it was lit in such a way that we never had to touch anything between takes or disturb the Stones in any way…

    “And then the guys would come in, and they’d get down to work, and we would shoot. We were very quiet, and we had a very, very small crew — just a guy pushing the dolly, a focus-puller, Jean-Luc and I, and everybody else was way in the background.”

    Speaking with NYFA, Richmond added, “I wouldn’t know what we were going to shoot until [Mick Jagger] arrived on the set. I can’t tell you how exciting and frightening that was.”

    All told, the new 4K restoration and MoMA’s limited release of Sympathy for the Devil went very well, and included both the theatrical and Godard’s original ending. Richmond told Rolling Stone, “I hadn’t seen it again on a large screen until recently. And I have to say, I think it’s really fantastic… You really see how they’re putting the music together.”

    [UPDATE: November 7, 2018: Sympathy for the Devil will also be screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles on November 8, 2018.]Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 15, 2018 • Cinematography, Documentary Filmmaking, Faculty Highlights • Views: 1263