film school

  • The New York Film Academy & India’s Bollywood


    India’s film industry, colloquially known as Bollywood, is the biggest in the world, and aspiring Indian filmmakers need an edge, (or a connection), in order to get a leg up in the business. The New York Film Academy’s own Vice President of International Relations recently visited the country to meet with aspiring filmmakers. She had some interesting comments about what it takes to get recognized in the industry.

    India has huge potential in the area of education in filmmaking and acting. Last year we saw over 100 students signing up at our institute and the number is slated to grow further as more and more students realize the importance of technical know-how in this space.

    NYFA has already produced Bollywood successes. Imran Khan, currently one of the biggest stars in Bollywood, is one of our alumns. So the question remains, is NYFA going to start a school in India? Our Vice President admitted that the New York Film Academy is open to expanding in the country.

    It will, however, be in the long-term, we have only just begun an active association with India, and yes, we do not rule out the possibility of a branch or some sort of joint venture here in the future.

    The response from young filmmakers in India has been great, and no one can deny that there is a lot of passion for film in the country. Hopefully, NYFA’s involvement with Bollywood will continue to grow stronger, and we will have the opportunity of working with more and more students from India!


    July 9, 2010 • Acting • Views: 9854

  • The History of Our Film School


    The history of film schools began less then 40 years ago. The history of our film school is much more recent and vastly different.

    While film schools started popping up in the 1970’s the New York Film Academy’s President and Founder, Jerry Sherlock, was busy making an impact within the motion picture industry.

    As an independent producer for Hollywood films, stage and television Sherlock developed projects for Disney, Warner Brothers, United Artists, Paramount, E.M.I. and others. Among his many credits are Executive Producer of the major motion picture and Oscar winning film, The Hunt For Red October, the Producer for Lolita, a Broadway production; and Executive Producer of the Television Production, Amal and the Night Visitors, for CBS.

    Not too shabby coming from someone who dropped out of school at age 14, joined a traveling carnival and later joined the United States Air Force.

    Working In Hollywood Has Its Advantages

    While working in Hollywood as a Film Producer, Sherlock was involved in conversations with his fellow Hollywood peers about where to send their sons and daughters to learn filmmaking and acting. This got the self-made businessman thinking.

    After a a little research, he discovered that anyone interested in a career in filmmaking or acting at the time was limited to two choices. 1) learn on their own or 2) enroll in an expensive university to study film for four years to attend lectures and study from books.

    Jerry asked himself why students have to spend thousands of dollars on an advanced degree just to “study” filmmaking when all it really took to learn filmmaking was practice with on latest equipment using the latest teqhniques while receiving hands-on instruction from a proffesional.  Without much delay, Sherlock opened the New York Film Academy in 1992 within Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Film Center in New York City.

    Pioneering Hands-On Filmmaking Classes

    Two years after graduating it’s first film class, the New York Film Academy had become known throughout the industry for offering “boot camp” style workshops for future filmmakers.

    The curriculum offered at NYFA consisted of intensive hands-on traning from day one. The first day of classes students had a camera in their hand and by the end of the first week they where shooting thier first film.

    The New York Film Academy was unlike any other film school at that time. We pioneered the teaching of hands-on learning with professional film equipment. Many critics thought we were crazy putting equipment in the “untrained” hands of students so soon. But Jerry knew better.

    He knew that the best way to learn filmmaking was to make films; not in a lecture hall or watching film, but actually working on a real set creating with other students.

    Competing With The “Best”

    After attracing the sons and daughters of many of Hollywood’s elite such as Steven Spielberg, Kevin Kline, Susan Surandon, Pierce Brosner and many more – a number of the “top” film colleges and universities started taking notice.

    Many of these schools started offering “hands-on” courses within their program and giving students the opportunity to shoot feature length films.

    Film School Perfected…Almost

    NYFA has since grown into its own building in historic Tammany Hall. Many of the original faculty, including Sherlock himself, are still with the Academy-and they come from some of the country’s most prestigious film programs, including NYU, USC, UCLA, AFI, Stanford and Harvard.

    In 2005, the New York Film Academy became an accredited college and began offering one and two year courses for college credit, plus, a two year Master of Fine Arts program.

    Just like our students, we are always learning and perfecting our craft as teachers of the art and science of filmmaking. Today, we have thousands of successful graduates working in the motion picture industry througought the world. All of whom have enjoyed our intensive, hands-on film courses that have remained the foundation of our curriculum since opening our doors in 1992.

    Even though our film school was NOT found by four naked guys on the Brooklyn bridge, we feel our history is what seperates us from all other film schoools and is an excellent indicator of where we are going.


    July 21, 2009 • Acting • Views: 6700

  • Film School Alumni Babar Ahmed Directs Feature Film, Royal Kill


    The feature film by award-winning director and New York Film Academy alumni, Babar Ahmed, Royal Kill starring Gail Kim, and Academy Award nominees Eric Roberts and Pat Morita will be released at AMC Theatres in Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. on April 10, 2009.

    Babar Ahmed’s (Genius) second feature film shows the full potential of a new generation of independent movie makers. Based on historical facts, the story evolves around a high school girl (Lalaine) who is facing a fierce assassin (Gail Kim) from a kingdom in the Far East. Twists and turns lead the audience to test the boundaries between good and evil. Supported by Eric Roberts (The Dark Night) and the late Pat Morita in his last movie appearance (Karate Kid), a breathtaking battle unfolds.

    The outstanding cast of this action-thriller is made to electrify the audience. With Gail Kim, a WWE champion in her first feature, and Oscar-nominated actors Eric Roberts and Pat Morita, Royal Kill will bring fans of all ages into the theater seats. Lalaine, the star of Disney’s TV show “Lizzy McGuire,” shows her tremendous breakthrough potential.


    Los Angeles, California Area
    AMC Ontario, 4549 Mills Circle, Ontario, CA 91764
    AMC Covina, 1414 N Azusa Ave, Covina, CA91722

    Chicago Area
    AMC Cantera , 28250 Diehl Rd, Warrenville, IL60555
    AMC South Barrington, 175 Studio Drive, South Barrington, IL 60010

    Washington D.C. Area
    AMC Hoffman, 206 Swamp Fox Rd, Alexandria, VA22314

    Note: His last movie Genius has received 3 international awards.

    Interview with Babar Ahmed at the DC Independent Film Festival.


    April 9, 2009 • Acting • Views: 4641

  • Film School Student Stephanie Okereke in The News


    Nollywood actress, Stephanie Okereke landed her first acting roles in the 1997 movies Compromise and Waterloo. Over the years, the Imo State-born actress has grown to become one of Nigeria’s foremost actresses, having featured in over a hundred movies.

    She got her big break in 2003 in the movie Emotional Crack, which earned her two awards (out of eight nominations) at the Reel Awards for the Best Actress, English and Actress of The Year. The following year, Emotional Crack premiered at the African Film Festival in the United States.

    This opened the door to many opportunities for the actress. As a result, Hollywood came calling in 2005 and the beautiful actress auditioned for a role in The Good Shepherd which featured Robert De Niro, but an unfortunate car accident on her way to the AMAA awards in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State hindered her chances of appearing in the film.

    Ups & Downs

    The actress, who is also a model, was the second runner-up in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria contest in 2002, which was won by Chineye Akinlade nee Ochuba. Despite the fame, the English and Literary Studies graduate of the University of Calabar has had her own fair share of problems and scandals.

    In 2007, the leggy actress called it quits with her husband of two years, Chikelue Iloenyosi, a former player with the Nigerian National football team, who nursed her after her 2005 accident. Okereke was able to bounce back after the incident and she landed a role in the MNET sponsored series, Snitch, shot in South Africa in 2006. She played a Nigerian undercover agent in the series.

    Taking Control

    Having trained at the New York Film Academy Film School, the talented actress cut her teeth as a director, scriptwriter and producer last year with the movie Through the Glass. The movie, shot in the US, featured a Nigerian and American cast.


    March 23, 2009 • Acting • Views: 6500

  • Film & Television Industry Statistics


    Cinema is an incredible artistic medium, but it is also the basis for a multi-billion dollar industry.  Although the major motion picture industry is changing, and independent filmmakers are reaching new levels of creative and economic success each year, audiences worldwide still love going to the movies! That’s good news for anyone considering film school.

    More information can be found by taking a look at the current statistics from the Motion Picture Association of America:

    •    Over 357,000 employees helped make 2007 a historic year for the movie industry.  In fact, there were 19,000 more people working in the industry than there was a decade prior.

    •    In 2007 the worldwide box office reached a historic high of $26.72 Billion, a    4.9 % increase from the 2006 box office of $25.47 Billion!

    •    Here in the United States the box office rose 5.4 % in 2007, reaching $9.63 Billion.

    •    United States customers bought a total of 1.4 billion movie tickets in 2007. The average American went to 6 movies between the middle of 2006 and the middle of 2007.

    •    50 % more films earned over the $100 million mark in the domestic box office than in the year prior.

    •    The average U.S. citizen spent 1,962 hours watching movies or TV in 2007; an increase of 6% from 2003.

    •    Americans also spent 6 % more money on filmed entertainment in 2007 than in the previous year.

    •    DVD players helped bring home theater entertainment into 87 % of American homes.

    •    Similarly, digital cable subscriptions were up 5% in 2007, bringing more Americans a wider variety of options for quality programming.

    We all enjoy different styles of films and television shows, and that means there are myriad opportunities for creative people to have lasting careers in a successful industry.  Working in film and television is certainly a challenging vocation, but it is also exciting and rewarding!  The preceding statistics speak to the fact that employees in this industry are in a position to profit from an ever-increasing desire for quality entertainment!


    March 23, 2009 • Acting • Views: 7599

  • What’s The Best Film School For You?


    Where should you go to film school? The answer to that question requires a lot of research. There are vast, and important, differences between each film program. Some film schools require you to spend one to two years before you even touch a camera while others may have you working with a camera your first week of classes.   Here are the most important factors to look for when deciding what film school is best for you.

    The Real Price

    Tuition, room and board ranges from $17,000-$55,000 per year for many of the top college credited film schools. The tuition you will pay can be found by browsing the schools website. What you wont find on the website, are the costs of  film, books, shooting insurance, equipment insurance, lab fees, cast and crew and the list goes on. All of this can add up…sometimes more then tuition itself! Add all of this up and you will have the the real price of film school.

    Class Size

    Being able to work one on one with the instructor is important. The larger the class size, the less personal attention you will receive. Look for class sizes under 20 if you want hands-on instruction and the ability to interact with your instructor regularly.

    Location of Study

    It is true that you can learn to make films anywhere in the world but there are only a few cities that can help launch your career in filmmaking. A city with a healthy film industry will allow you to network with filmmakers and actors,  participate in film festivals and provide you with the resources you need to create your film.  The obvious cities are Hollywood, known for big budget films, and New York City,  the independent filmmaking mecca of the world. Austin, Seattle, Abu Dhabi, Vancouver, Paris and London are also great cities.

    Student to Faculty Ratio

    There is a lot that happens outside the classroom you will need help with as a film school student. Housing, financial aid, equipment maintenance, teaching assistants, and academic advisers are all instrumental to your success. A good student to faculty ratio is 20:1 or less.

    Equipment, Facilities & Availability

    Many schools have film equipment and computer/editing labs available for your use, but how often will it be available for use. Is it from 10AM-2PM on Fridays only or is it all weekend. The quality of equipment and facilities you will be using is also very important. Will you have access to the new state of the art RED One AD Camera and the original Arri-S 16mm, or will you be shooting with a off the shelf consumer camera. Are the computer labs running on the latest Adobe Editing Suits with Mac Pro computers or software and hardware from a year ago.

    Amount of Time Spent Using Equipment

    Once you know what equipment you will be using and when you will have access to it you will need to know the amount of time you will be spending working with the equipment both inside and outside the classroom. The longer you spend working on set, the more comfortable and proficient you will become. After graduation, you should be able to walk onto any set and know your way around.

    Student Work

    Probably the most important factor to look for when deciding which film school is best for you is students films. The reels of the schools students is a good indicator of the quality of work you will be able to produce. The quality of work you produce is ultimately up to you, however, you will be depending on the resources, teachings and instruction of the school to help create it. From the editing suite software to the caliber of students you will be working with on your film, this will play a critical role in your finished works. Whatever you do during your time at film school, make sure your reel is top notch when you leave – this is your resume.

    Professional Alumni

    Who in the film industry has attended the school. This will be your network after you graduate. Do you have to go to school where your favorite director or editor graduated from – no. But, it is very important that the schools graduates are actually working in the industry. The larger your professional network is, the more opportunities you will have and the easier it will be to create film.

    Working Instructors

    As the old saying goes, “only take advice from people that are where you want to be”.  The same applies for learning. Professional filmmakers who are successful in their careers make much better instructors/teachers. They are able to discuss their real world experience and apply it to what they are teaching you. Another factor that is important is your instructors education. When applying, ask for the names of who your instructors would be. Go home and Google them to learn more about their past works and accomplishments.

    Closing thoughts…

    Remember that the name of the school you attend really does not matter in your pursuit of becoming a professional filmmaker. Film producers want to see your completed works – make sure you enroll in a school that provides you with the instruction and resources you need to produce your best work.

    The connections you make and the work you create while at school are the most valuable assets you will have after graduation. If you can find the right school that will give you the opportunities to produce high quality work and make the right connections, your dream of becoming a professional filmmaker is not to far away.

    Think New York Film Academy

    When conducting your research we hope you will consider the New York Film Academy. Please give us a call with any question you may have – (212) 674-4300. Our Admissions department is happy to help you make the best decision for your career in filmmaking.


    February 18, 2009 • Acting • Views: 4170

  • 3D Animation School Teaches ZBrush


    This is a post for the 1 year animation 2nd semester group project, which encompasses many disciplines necessary for an animation and visual effects (vfx) career:

    Today’s class was an introduction to ZBrush.

    ZBrush is a digital sculpting and painting program that allows a far greater intuitive and creative approach to making detailed and photo-realistic characters than has been available with more traditional animation and modeling softwares. Because ZBrush allows the artist to sculpt models containing many millions of polygons (something previously unheard of), the technical and logistical limitations that constrained previous workflows are now a thing of the past. Students and professionals now feel free to express themselves in a more pure and direct manner, similar to the way a sculptor might feel when modeling with clay.

    ZBrush has gained great prominence in the movie and gaming industry as a fast and efficient way of creating complex and believable characters inhabiting their productions. For instance games developer Ubisoft used ZBrush extensively in their production pipeline for both Rainbow Six: Vegas and Assassin’s Creed.

    By Robert Appleton, New York Film Academy 3D Animation Instructor


    February 11, 2009 • Acting • Views: 5679

  • Hugh Jackman is NYFA’s Newest Star


    Hugh Jackman gave four New York Film Academy film school students the opportunity of a lifetime when he agreed to participate in one of their class projects.

    The lucky just grew luckier when TMZ included a blurb of the shoot on their website and also made mention of the film on their daily program.

    “We ran into him two days in a row,” NYFA eight-week film student (who also happened to be the cinematographer) Nic Blair said. “The second day we were doing reshoots and we asked him if he’d be willing to participate. He was hanging out with his son and said sure, they could both do it.”

    We will have the final edited film up as soon as the students finish editing, check back soon!


    February 5, 2009 • Acting • Views: 5391

  • Spielberg’s Son Gets Behind Camera at NYFA Film School


    From BBC News – The eldest son of director Steven Spielberg has completed work on his first film, a short thriller about a couple caught up in a string of murders.

    Max Spielberg, 17, wrote, produced, directed, filmed and edited the movie, entitled Snap Shot, during a filmmaking workshop run by the New York Film Academy.

    He attended the four-week course, held at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, over the summer.

    The film focuses on a tourist couple whose camera becomes mixed up with that of a serial killer, drawing them into the investigation when their photos turn out to be of his victims.

    There are no plans for the film to be given a public screening in the near future.

    “It will be for his own personal use when he pursues other avenues in the industry,” said a spokesperson for the New York Film Academy.


    October 3, 2002 • Acting • Views: 6661