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  • Filmmaking Students from NYFA Gold Coast Impress Audience

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    The audience at the New York Film Academy Gold Coast Campus Mid Year Screening got a double dose of talent on October 13, viewing projects from both its July 2017 Advanced Filmmakers and July 2017 Diploma Filmmakers.

    NYFA Gold Coast July 2017 Advanced Filmmaking and July 2017 Diploma Filmmaking Mid Year Screening

    The Advanced Filmmaking students showed off their skill in producing television commercials while the Diploma Filmmaking students showcased a diverse range of non-sync short films.

    “We are extremely proud of the work that our Advanced filmmakers have showcased tonight,” remarked Brian Vining, the Deputy Chair of Filmmaking at NYFA Gold Coast. He continued, “We are extremely proud of the work that our Advanced filmmakers have showcased tonight. Many of the television commercials have been conceived, shot and produced to a very high standard and several were indistinguishable from industry standard productions.”

    NYFA Gold Coast July 2017 Advanced Filmmaking and July 2017 Diploma Filmmaking Mid Year Screening

    NYFA Gold Coast prides itself in training our students in several diverse media, in order to better prepare them for careers in the real world workforce. But, of course, storytelling is just as important, and the Diploma Filmmaking students didn’t disappoint with their artful short films.

    Trevor Hawkins, Lecturer in Directing, Editing & Filmmaking for NYFA Gold Coast, had this to say about the July 2017 group: “There are certainly some promising young storytellers and filmmakers evident in our recent screenings of the July Advanced Filmmakers and the July Diploma Filmmakers.”

    NYFA Gold Coast July 2017 Advanced Filmmaking and July 2017 Diploma Filmmaking Mid Year Screening

    The screening was all the more successful considering it’s just the halfway point in the students’ syllabus. Hawkins added, “It’s always great to be involved in their journey as filmmakers and I certainly look forward to their future productions.”

    Congratulations to our NYFA Gold Coast July 2017 Diploma Filmmaking and Advanced Filmmaking students on such a triumphant night!

    NYFA Gold Coast July 2017 Advanced Filmmaking and July 2017 Diploma Filmmaking Mid Year Screening

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    October 17, 2017 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1797

  • Varun Verma on Becoming a Line Producer

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    Coming out of his MA Film and Media Production degree from the New York Film Academy Los Angeles, Varun Verma was hired by Replay Collective to work as a Line Producer for the production company. Replay Collective works with some of the most creative young filmmakers out there today to produce the most engaging content for major brands. While working for Replay, Verma has worked on almost a dozen high profile music videos, major commercials, and a few international short films.

    varun verma

    Varun Verma on set of one of his productions

    Given the fact that many of our recent graduates are deciding which specific field in the industry to explore, we decided to get some more insight into Verma’s career after film school, as well as his role as a Line Producer for Replay.

    Congrats on your success thus far! Can you tell us how you began working for Replay Collective?

    During my final semester, I was producing a NYFA thesis called Maquisard, directed by Kurt Claridades, in an abandoned town called Boron. The first day of the shoot, I found out that there was another production going on at the same location, which was being produced by Replay Collective. Since there were student and studio productions at the same location, it was a big challenge for me to coordinate with them and make sure every one returns home with completed work and making sure the director achieves his vision. One day, I sat with producer Sid Ganji, who I work with now, and scheduled in such a way that neither of our productions would ever conflict with each other. The very next day, I received a message from Sid saying they liked the way I handled the situation and would like to hire me as a freelance line producer on two music videos of for the popular Youtube artist, Trisha Paytas. Fortunately, my first music video project “Fat Chicks” went viral (almost 5 million views to date) and was covered by Cosmopolitan magazine. After a few more freelance gigs with Replay, I was finally offered a full-time job with the company.

    What are some of the challenges that come with your role as line producer?

    My job as Line Producer is to support the director’s vision under the given budget. This typically includes making sure the crew is content and treated well. Keeping calm in tough circumstances is a big challenge. For example, at a recent production, our A.D. had an accident in morning and it was a tough call whether to get a new A.D. or wait for his final call. Meanwhile, our crew became irritated and began complaining about the set not being organized and, as a result, there was a communication breakdown amongst the crew—which ultimately went to higher authority. Overall, it’s a high pressure job from all aspects. And it’s tough not to freak out and prioritize the task and think a step ahead with all of the possible consequences of a decision I make that I’m totally accountable for.

    Which  of the videos that you’ve worked on are you most proud of?

    Recently, I worked on a music video project “Problematic” by Ricky Dillon featuring Snoop Dogg that I am very proud of. Another video that I am proud of was “Steal the Show” by Ricky Dillon, as well as the EA Games’ “Battlefield Hardline” commercial. Every project comes with new challenges and creatives. As a producer, I love working on new creatives, which makes me explore the horizon and gain experience in something completely new.

    Was your experience at NYFA useful in terms of being prepared to work as a line producer?

    I never thought I would end up as a producer, but NYFA played a big role in teaching industry level ethics and detailed orientation of the hollywood industry. I’m very thankful to NYFA for the practical training, in which I was given the opportunity to experience every crew position and now, as a producer, it helps me understand what it takes to be in a particular crew position.

    What is your overall goal in the entertainment industry? What do you hope to achieve?

    Since I love producing, and it’s fun to work in numbers and creatives, my goal is to become youngest award-wining commercial producer and eventually work on feature movies.

     

    UPDATE: Varun’s latest project, A Good Girl, focuses on human trafficking and the plight of a young girl after she’s abducted. The film was released on May 10, 2018.

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    January 14, 2016 • Film School, Filmmaking, Producing, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5591

  • 8 Hilarious Commercials From Super Bowl XLIX

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    danny trejo

    For a lot of people, the best part of the Super Bowl are the commercials. After all, companies pay millions of dollars for just seconds of screen time, so of course try their darndest to make them count. This year had commercials of all kinds, including movie trailers and ads ranging the spectrum from dark and gritty to sexy to somber and sad. Fortunately, a lot of them were just downright funny, usually thanks to some well-cast celebrity casting. Here’s eight Super Bowl commercials from last night that we’re still chuckling from. List your favorites in the comments!

    1. Esurance

    Fans of Breaking Bad were pretty disappointed when they found out Bryan Cranston wouldn’t be reprising his legendary role as Walter White in the new spinoff Better Call Saul. They were probably ecstatic to see his surprise return to TV in the Esurance ad, where he works over the counter at a pharmacy.

    2. Nationwide

    Mindy Kaling wonders what a lot of us do sometimes—are we invisible?—and concludes that yes, yes she is. To the sounds of “Pretty Woman”, she takes advantage of her superpower in many ways, until she finds out—from a foiled attempt at smooching silver-haired Matt Damon—that she is completely visible.

    3. Snickers

    Snickers has made a great long-running campaign out of showing characters transformed into famous celebrities by their hunger. For the big game, they used footage of The Brady Bunch to present Machete star Danny Trejo as a hungry, grumpy, nose-bruised Marcia Brady. If that wasn’t hilarious enough, they throw in Steve Buscemi as jealous Jan.

    4. Kia Sorento

    Like a fine wine, Pierce Brosnan just gets classier with age. Never afraid to send up his image as James Bond, the commercial for Kia shows the former 007 imagining his Kia road trip filled with snipers and explosions. Instead he gets owls and log cabins. The ad has a happy ending though because Brosnan still gets his “fireworks.”

    5.  T-Mobile

    T-Mobile doubled down on its funny, beautiful women by having Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler team up for their ad. Both comediennes compete over the increasingly ridiculous rooms in their mansions where they can get Wi-Fi service. The episode ends with Chelsea trapped under the floorboards with a possum, or as she calls it, a rabbit.

    6. Avocados from Mexico

    The healthy green fruit didn’t need any celebrities for its commercial. Instead it used a very clever riff on sports drafts. In the very first draft ever, various animals and plant life are drafted by nations. Australia’s pick—the kangaroo. The ad succeeds in making its guacamole look delicious, though you can’t help but feel bad for that poor polar bear that wanted to hang out at the beach.

    7. BMW i3

    BMW was smart enough to use history for the bulk of its ad, playing a vintage clip of Today show hosts Katie Couric and Bryant Gumble showing their complete ignorance of the @ sign and the Internet. The ad then jumps to present day where the real-life personalities poke fun at themselves and struggle to understand the advanced technology of BMW’s latest model.

     8. Clash of Clans

    Tower defense game Clash of Clans shows how dedicated its players can be by casting Liam Neeson as a gamer who vows revenge on his conquerors. He also doesn’t like it when baristas mispronounce his name. Who would’ve thought that nothing could be funnier than Neeson denying mercy to BigBuffetBoy85.

    Which commercial was your favorite? Share in the comments below!

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    February 2, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 6227

  • The 10 Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

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    Super Bowl Sunday is that magical day during the football season when sports fans and media nuts join forces for an evening of advertising heaven and often it’s the Super Bowl commercials that are better remembered than the games themselves. After all, you might not remember who won the 1995 Super Bowl, but you probably can recall a certain commercial with three frogs uttering the iconic syllables “Bud,” “Weis,” and “Er.”

    Whether they’re funny, emotional, or simply just bizarre, watching Super Bowl ads has become almost as popular of a pastime as the game itself and many reputable filmmakers have used an amazing Super Bowl ad as a career launching pad. And this year, NYFA is getting in the game with two entries amongst the ten finalists of Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” contest; tune in this weekend to see if their ads get chosen!

    So in honor of Super Bowl XLIX taking place between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks this weekend, we decided to take a look at those Super Bowl commercials that are still impossible to forget. And let us know in the comments what your favorite Super Bowl commercials are!

    Apple – “1984”

    One of the most ambitious and successful Super Bowl ads of all time, this Ridley Scott-directed commercial from 1984 took George Orwell’s 1984 novel as its inspiration for announcing the new Macintosh computer. While most Super Bowl ads go for goofiness over gravitas, Scott’s miniature epic shows just how powerful an ad can be when all the elements come together perfectly.

    Pepsi – “Cindy Crawford”

    Though employing beautiful women to sell products has been a hallmark of the advertising industry seemingly forever, Pepsi managed to capture the 90s supermodel zeitgeist with this 1992 commercial showing a pair of young boys ogling legendary model Cindy Crawford. Pepsi offered up the commercial’s counterpoint a couple years later with their equally famous commercial featuring women admiring a shirtless construction worker.

    McDonald’s – “The Showdown”

    Who would have thought one of the most popular Super Bowl ads ever would be about basketball? However, when football fans saw NBA’s top stars Michael Jordan and Larry Bird taking their “rivalry” to the court in the most epic game of “HORSE” ever, advertising history was made.

    Coca Cola – “Mean Joe Greene”

    A commercial that helped pave the way for future athletes to poke fun at themselves via advertising, Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive tackle Greene starred in this heartwarming short in which his icy exterior is melted by a bottle of coke, offered up by a young fan, who he rewards with a jersey with the timeless line “Hey kid, catch!”

    Budweiser – “Bud” “Weis” “Er”

    While Budweiser has essentially “won” countless Super Bowl commercial breaks with their many iconic ads, this out-of-left-field spot showcases a trio of frogs harmonizing together to complete the company’s name. If you were able to get out of the mid-90s without hearing some random stranger utter this famous catchphrase, well, you probably didn’t live in the 90s.

    Reebok – “Terry Tate”

    While you can be forgiven for forgetting that this was in fact a Reebok commercial, the company was able to create a truly viral ad featuring the tough love dished out by “Terry Tate, Office Linebacker” who kept wayward office employees in line, no matter how brutally.

    Volkswagen – “The Force”

    Sometimes all you need is to evoke a solid “Awwww” to make your mark on the annals of Super Bowl ads and this 2011 commercial. Showcasing the foiled attempts of a toddler-sized Darth Vader attempting to use “the force” to move objects, by the time the commercial reaches its HaHa/Aw Shucks moment, you’ll have a hard time suppressing a genuine smile.

    Old Spice – “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”

    Signaling the mainstream acceptance of advertising’s “odd” age as commercials started to siphon the surreal humor of internet videos as Old Spice created a new advertising star by lampooning the traditional machismo of men’s scent ads…and don’t forget there’s a horse!

    Doritos – “Goat 4 Sale”

    Continuing Super Bowl commercials’ penchant for the peculiar, this 2013 Doritos ad is arguably the best of the bunch as a man inexplicably purchases a goat who develops a very serious Doritos addiction.

    Wendy’s – “Where’s the Beef?”

    Hard to believe as it may be, 1984 featured not just one but two of the most memorable commercials of all time with this goofy ode to beef that features three extremely funny older women repeatedly saying the still-classic line, “Where’s the Beef?”

     

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    January 30, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 6942

  • NYFA Acting Graduate Publishes New Book Based on Creativity

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    Sinapsis

    New York Film Academy acting graduate Dr. Ariel Orama López published a new theoretical framework based on Creativity and the recent findings of Neuroscience: the textbook is called CRËATIVE SYNAPSE: CRËATE.YOUR.UNIVERSE© (2013). It is the first theoretical framework that explains the behavior of the human being by integrating the following variables: creativity, neuroscience, and the new influence of the virtual universe. The collection book will be presented in the atrium of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, in a distinguished context of artists, health professionals and academics.

    Dr. Gregory J. Quirk, a prominent American researcher specialized in Neuroscience & Luca Spaghetti, the well-known Italian amico writer -who served as a guide to Elizabeth Gilbert on her journey through Italy while writing Eat Pray Love– elaborated the prologues of this substantial investigative work of thirteen years: they provide in their prologues a nourished and accurate view of this text book, according to their experiences. The art of the book includes the precious paintings and drawings of Ektor Rivera, Celestino & Ramon Bruin (from the Netherlands).

    The text arises from a practical & theoretical framework created by Dr. Ariel Orama López that departs from his preparation, experience and knowledge in science, human behavior, natural sciences and performing arts. It includes experiences of the author -with a logbook on his sensible hands- in contexts gifted with creativity and spirituality such as Mexico, California, Spain and Italy.

    AG COLOR

    Dr. Ariel Orama Lopez

    Ariel is a Puerto Rican professional actor & psychologist. He is a collegiate actor of the Colegio de Actores of Puerto Rico, a certified Executive Coach (specialized in Crëative Life Coaching) from TISOC, Barcelona, Spain and a licensed clinical psychologist. He was selected as a finalist of Taller TELEMUNDO: actores, in Miami, directed by the well-known actress nominated for an Oscar in the movie Babel (2006), the distinguished Mexican actress & professor Adriana Barraza.

    Ariel Orama has worked in commercials, theatre, short films, indie films, documentary, series, television, media writing, and voice-overs, summing more than 200 projects in arts (2001-2013). He is also a composer and singer: one of his songs (Seré/I’ll be) was selected for the Puerto Rican dramatic documentary The Eyes of the People (producers: Roberto Ponce & Gladys Albino) and his song (Alto Vuelas/ Flying Higher) was selected as the official Puerto Rican song for the World March from the Peace, celebrated in Argentina and New Zealand.

    He performed in fourteen Short-Films in California during his NYFA training in Acting for the Film (Los Angeles). Recently, he was selected as the Creative Coach & Consultant for the television program Idol Kids Puerto Rico (from the recognized English franchise Idol ©) and have offered courses at the Colegio de Actores de Puerto Rico and other relevant forums about Psychology of Character.

    Ariel directed and starred on the Puerto Rican Short-Film ESTEB∆N, which received national and international laurels and/or nominations (Director’s Choice: Best Film, Top Ten Film, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Editing & Best Music) in following contexts: Spain, California, Orlando and Puerto Rico.

    The Puerto Rican actor has received different awards in performing arts, including Best Direction Selection, Best concept, Best actor & Best Script. Ariel was one of the five recipients of the Sor Isolina Ferré Medal in Education of the Government of Puerto Rico, unique National distinction in service and education.

    Dr. Orama is member of the new movement Voces Unidas por el Cine Puertorriqueño and this special project has been presented on Telemundo (Acceso Total) expressing about of all this wonderful initiatives and his vision about the film in the Island.

    Currently, Ariel is co-directing and working as the scriptwriter (producer: Vane Vélez) for a documentary that will be presented on Festivals based on the emerging Film Industry in Puerto Rico -the “Shining Star of the Caribbean”-, called CINECONTRASTES©: it includes testimonials of relevant figures such as Jacobo Morales, Idalia Pérez Garay, Vicente Juarbe, among others relevant figures of the Industry.

    The book appeals to artists, academics, psychologists and to the general public. It is published in Spanish and soon in English. It can be acquired in different libraries of the World, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony.

    Prsentacion libro Dr Orama sept2013

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    September 9, 2013 • Acting, Diversity, International Diversity, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 8370

  • New York Film Academy’s Top 5 Robert De Niro Acting Roles

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    Roger Del Pozo is the Director of Acting Admissions at the New York Film Academy. In addition to his work at NYFA, he has also been a casting director in New York for the last 10 years. In that time he has cast hundreds of television commercials, as well as films, plays, voice overs, video games, music videos and industrials for many of the top casting companies and advertising agencies in New York.

    1. MEAN STREETS — The original! De Niro’s first movie with Martin Scorsese is certainly one of his best. Johnny Boy jumps off the screen with such vitality and menace that it seems almost “too real” to be simply called a performance. Both hysterical and frightening, De Niro created a character that set the precedent for gritty, urban performances.  Some may argue he defined American acting from the 1970’s forward.
    2. TAXI DRIVER — De Niro’s iconic role is memorable for so many reasons. The delivery, the transformation, the impact on popular culture… The mohawk! Travis Bickle was immortalized as “God’s Lonely Man”. He frightens because he is so effortlessly real. Nothing about this character feels like a performance. De Niro famously drove a night-shift cab for months to prepare for this role. It shows. We don’t doubt him for a minute. Who can look at cabbies the same way again after watching this? 
    3. RAGING BULL — Of course the famous weight gain is impressive. Everything else about this powerhouse performance, however, also shines. De Niro won his first Best Actor statute portraying the troubled pugilist Jake LaMotta, and he definitely deserved it. The fight scenes are some of the most realistic ever filmed. Most importantly, he humanizes a man with very few redeeming qualities. A classic in every way.
    4. THE GODFATHER 2 — De Niro had huge shoes to fill playing the young version of Vito Corleone, a role made famous by his hero Marlon Brando. He didn’t disappoint. Winning his first Academy Award, he spoke entirely in Sicilian which he learned for the role. De Niro portrays a young Don driven by his need for power and revenge. It’s a study in quiet strength and menace. Undoubtedly, this role solidified De Niro as an actor for the ages. 
    5. GOODFELLAS — De Niro teamed up with Martin Scorsese once again. As the leader of career gangsters, he is chillingly and darkly hilarious. One of my all time favorite films, this film would’ve sunk without De Niro’s performance. Jimmy Conway is so vibrant and memorable that De Niro has parlayed his later career playing a version of this role in subsequent roles. 
    Do you agree with Roger? Give us your thoughts. Moreover, don’t forget to learn more about the acting program here.
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    March 8, 2012 • Acting • Views: 1855