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  • NYFA LA Filmmaking Student’s “Daughter of the Lake” Highlighted in Turkey’s “Vatan” News

    New York Film Academy AFA Filmmaking student Ozlem Altingoz’s most recent horror film, “Daughter of the Lake,” has received numerous awards at film festivals all around the world, including Best Horror Film and Best Film at Fastidious LA, Best Short Film at the Los Angeles Horror Competiton, and Best Original Story Award at the Los Angeles Film Awards, among others.

    Buzz of the film has spread across her hometown of Istanbul, Turkey, where she was highlighted in “Vatan,” a popular Turkish daily newspaper.

    “Daughter of the Lake” is about a group of friends who take a trip through the country, hoping to have a nice getaway for the weekend. However, their trip takes a dangerous turn when their tire mysteriously pops on an old stretch of road through the woods. From there, they stumble upon an older man’s home, who just so happens to be holding a deadly secret upstairs.

    With some experience in acting and TV in Turkey, Ozlem Altingoz came to NYFA Los Angeles to pursue her professional aspirations of becoming a director and producer.

    “NYFA has helped me a lot,” said Altingoz. “The NYFA instructors are really helpful. I’ve always wanted to shoot a horror film, and I was able to achieve my dream here. If you believe in yourself you can make your film great — trust me you can make amazing films.”

    Altingoz is now working on her next film, which she says will also be horror film (with a lot of blood).

    “I’m so excited to shoot my thesis,” she said. “I believe it is goıg to be another great film, and I’m already searching for locations, actors, and more.”

    August 31, 2017 • Film School, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 991

  • NYFA Gold Coast Holds Mid-Year Screening for May ’17 Filmmakers

    This August, the New York Film Academy Gold Coast held the May 2017 Filmmaking mid-year screening showcase for it’s May 2017 intake Filmmaking students at the new, purpose-built Southport campus theatre.

    Filmmaking Lecturer Trevor Hawkins, stated, “It’s all about storytelling and turning good ideas into good films. And that’s what our May intake of student filmmakers are showcasing with their mid-year screening of their non-sync films.”

    As a part of the New York Film Academy Australia’s commitment to hands-on education, the mid-year showcase provides students with the opportunity to screen their work from class for an invited audience of peers, friends, and family.

    Mr. Hawkins continued, “With an impressive variety of story ideas, our new and emerging filmmakers have explored numerous genres including comedy, drama, action, science fiction, gangster and social comment.

    “Each film has left a lasting impression which is a sign of good filmmaking and we congratulate all students on a job well done!  And, as we all know, filmmaking is like learning a musical instrument, it’s all about practice, practice, practice. So we all look forward to their next films.”

    Congratulations to our Filmmaking students for their successful mid-year screenings.

  • Where Are They Now: NYFA Beijing Filmmaking Alumni

    When it comes to New York Film Academy alumni, we are always very excited to hear the answer to the eternal question: where are they now? New York Film Academy 4-Week Filmmaking Program graduates in Beijing, China, have taken our commitment to hands-on learning to new heights after leaving their four-week intensive programs. We recently had a chance to check in and see what NYFA Beijing alumni Terry Chan, Cao Yaoyao, Phoenix Liu, and Nan Zhang have been up to since completing their certificate programs.

    Terry Chan

    Terry Chan is well known for his work as a composer of the Wang Kai-Wai film, “Days of Being Wild.” The film won Best Film at the 10th Hong Kong Film Awards. He also composed the score of “He Ri Jun Zai Lai,” which was nominated for Best Original Score at the 11th Hong Kong Film Awards and the 28th Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards. Chan also scored fellow NYFA alum Phoenix Liu’s film “30 1/2,” which won for Best Original Score at the Asians On Film Festival 2013.

    Recently, Terry has been working on some new videos for absolutefitnesshk while also keeping busy producing albums and directing concerts for many well-known singers in Hong Kong and Taiwan, including Faye Wong, Sammi Cheng, Kelly Chan, Karen Mok, Joey Yung and Elva Hsiao.

    Cao Yaoyao

    Director Cao Yaoyao is well known for her work on popular Chinese television programs, especially “If You Are the One.” This adaptation of the ITV program “Take Me Out” (“Taken Out” on Network 10 in Australia) became the most popular dating reality show in China, with a staggering audience of 50,000,000 per episode.

    Phoenix Liu

    Phoenix Liu is the director of the film “30 1/2,” for which she collaborated with composer and fellow NYFA alum Terry Chan. Phoenix also directed the first Chinese Australian study abroad TV series “Wanderers.”

    Nan Zhang

    Nan Zhang recently worked as a script supervisor on the “Once Upon a Time,” a romantic and dramatic Chinese fantasy feature produced by Alibaba Pictures and directed by Zhao Xiaoding and Anthony LaMolinara. The film, based on popular fantasy novel “Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles Peach Blossoms” also known as “To the Sky Kingdom,” grossed CN¥175 million, or approximately $25,000,000, on its opening day. The film releases in August 2017 in North America.

    Zhang is also assistant director on the film “Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings,” slated to release in 2018.

  • NYFA Los Angeles Welcomes Casting Director Nancy Nayor as Guest Speaker

    This month, New York Film Academy Summer program acting for film and filmmaking students were invited to a Q & A with casting directing extraordinaire, Nancy Nayor after watching “Before I Fall,” which she has cast. Director of the Q & A Series Tova Laiter hosted the evening.

    Nayor 001

    Nayor who served for 14 years of head of Universal Feature casting before striking on her own, is best known for her work with directors such as: Steven Spielberg Spike Lee, Ron Howard, Oliver Stone, John Hughes & Sam Raimi’s among many others.

    Her movies include the following: “Act of Valor,” “Ouija,” “Road Trip,” “The Whole Nine Yards,” “The Grudge,” “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “When a Stranger Calls,” “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,” “Darkman,” “Casper,” and Wes Craven’s “Scream 4.”

    Nayor gave the students a strong list of do’s and don’t within the casting room. One that surprised many students was: do not shake hands, especially during germ season. Casting directors can meet with over 40 people in a day. They cannot afford to get sick.

    The biggest tip of the night was not to be too nervous and to not over-rehearse before going into an audition so the emotions can shine through. Prepare, yes, but Nayor shared that actors are not necessarily required to be off book, and should not be nervous about every flub. Directors are looking for multiple things, such as how well an actor works with a group or their ability to improvise. But most importantly, they want to know that an actor can be human on camera.

    Laiter asked Nayor about the difference between casting for comedy and drama. Nayor mentioned several differences: “I think it’s different in the sense that there’s a comic timing. People who have it are born with it. You can develop it, but in the end, you’re either born with it or you’re not. In dramatic casting people have to really go for it. Actors really have to commit.”  

    Nayor 008

    Nayor also advised dramatic actors to stick to the script more so than comedic actors who may improvise. “When I worked on ‘21 and Over,’ people came into the audition room idolizing these two great writers from ‘The Hang Over.’ But the writers were so tired of their own words. They wanted the actors to improvise… ”

    One student asked, “How do you get discovered?” Nayor responded, “There’s no way you can be undiscovered, technically, because there’s this thing called YouTube. I’m a big believer in self-tapes, whether that’s actors and writers coming together or you writing for yourself. You don’t have to wait for permission to be creative. That project can be a calling card for you.”

    Laiter shared that some of the people who work with Spielberg, whether a composer or cinematographer, had said in NYFA Q&As that he had found them by watching movies on TV late at night, so you never know who is going to see it.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Nancy Nayor for taking the time to speak with our students. Naylor has done casting for 12 films scheduled for release in 2017 including “Delirium” and “Scorched Earth.”

     

    July 27, 2017 • Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 2185

  • NYFA Gold Coast Filmmaking Students Triumph at Final Film Screenings

    NYFA Gold Coast was pleased to celebrate with the Class of July 2016 Diploma of Screen and Media – Filmmaking students at their Final Film Screenings on the June 7-82017. The Final Film Screenings were held at Event Cinemas Pacific Fair.

    The screening was a huge success and showcased the diverse range of talent from NYFA Gold Coast’s filmmaking students.

    Congratulations to all of the graduating students for their success!

    #NYFAAUSTRALIA #NYFAJULY16SCREENING #NYFAGC

  • NYFA Alumni interviewed for Brazilian TV Program “Planeta Brasil”

    NYFA MFA filmmaking alumnus Rafael Nani recently found a unique venue to share his student NYFA experience — Brazilian TV juggernaut Globo’s program “Planeta Brasil.” The program aims to show how Brazilian nationals live outside of their homeland, highlighting success stories as well as the inevitable struggles in foreign cultures. “Planeta Globo” came to interview Nani in Los Angeles while the then-student was hard at work on the set of his NYFA thesis film, “Bloody Eyes.”

    “Planeta Globo” spoke with Nani about his previous short film projects, including “Rose Garden,” which he filmed during his first year at the New York Film Academy. Nani, who recently completed NYFA’s MFA program at the Los Angeles campus, shared his perspective on some of the finer points of filmmaking and the complexities of directing a film.

    In addition, “Planeta Globo” seized the chance to shine the spotlight on five other NYFA Los Angeles grads and students: acting for film alumnae Sabrina Percario and Carolina Inoue; filmmaking student Iylia M. Idris; film and media production student Ricardo Mata; and NYFA New York filmmaking alumna Flavia Vieira. These five were showing the true community spirit of NYFA while working with Nani on the set of “Bloody Eyes.”

    Each discussed their different roles on set.

    Percario, the project’s supervising producer, discussed the challenges and advantages of working on a multicultural set. Inoue, who is in charge of production design, spoke about the importance of getting right look down for the film. Idris is both first and second assistant camera person for the film, and she explained the different responsibilities for each role. Vieira is lending her expertise to the picture as the lead makeup artist, and discussed the ways good (or bad) make up can effect the look of a film. Finally, Mata, the resident sound technician, explained the differences and similarities between working on short and feature length films.

    You can see the whole segment here, along with more interviews of the cast and crew.

    July 18, 2017 • Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1543

  • NYFA Alumnus Todd Lien Talks “You Have More Friends Than You Know” on NYFA Hour

    On Thursday, June 13, New York Film Academy alumnus Todd Lien appeared on the NYFA Hour for a special Pride month interview. The Popcorn Talk Network was proud to host the filmmaker, who in the past year has worked as a composer, writer, director, and actor.

    Lien’s latest project is a music video for Jeff Marx song “You Have More Friends Than You Know.” The song has been performed on Ryan Murphy’s Fox hit “Glee” and was created for the It Gets Better Organization.

    Screenshot 2017-06-20 07.30.43

    When Lien first heard the song he was reminded of a good friend who lost his battle to depression. His friend was openly gay and married, but his family didn’t support him. He took his life. Lien wanted to re-write the story even it was just fictional. “What would have happened if I had reached out?” Lien asked.

    So, he announced his intentions to create a music video on Kickstarter. Marx caught wind of the campaign and donated the majority of the money to get the project made.

    Lien then took the original score and arranged it for members of the NYFA – LA Glee Club. Each voice was recorded individually and then mixed together. Lien also acted in the video, asking a fellow NYFA graduate to direct the video.

    Screenshot 2017-06-20 07.31.04

    The music video for “You Have More Friends Than You Know” can be viewed here. To watch Todd Lien’s entire interview on Popcorn Talk’s NYFA Hour click here.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. Lien for sharing his powerful story and his incredible work.

    June 20, 2017 • Academic Programs, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 702

  • NYFA Filmmaking Summer 2016 Final Screenings and Graduation

    Last week the New York Film Academy held its commencement and final film screening for the Summer 2016 Section A & B Filmmaking students. Students had the opportunity to work on eight films over the year, including a thesis film, which screened at the NYFA theater in Battery Park.

    nyfa filmmaking

    Following the reception, introductions were given by Senior Executive Vice President David Klein, Filmmaking Chair Claude Kerven, and Directing Instructors Brad Sample and Paul Warner.

    “On behalf of all the staff and teachers at the New York Film Academy, we would like to offer our sincerest congratulations on your competition of this very difficult, very rewarding year. As instructors and administrators, we witness firsthand the effort you all collectively put in to create the astounding number of films required in this program,” said Kerven. “This isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. The fact that you are here today to screen these cuts of your thesis films is a testament to your hard work, your commitment, and your desire to excel in filmmaking.

    claude kerven

    Graduates of the program join a large international network of alumni who have gone on to much success in the industry.

    The following films screened over a two day span at the Academy.

    film grads

    filmmaking grad 2016

     

  • NYFA LA Filmmakers and Game Designers Meet with Composers

    On Monday, May 8th New York Film Academy students from the Documentary, Game Design, and Filmmaking gathered to do a one-on-one meet and greet with composers from the Academy of Scoring Arts and the Los Angeles College of Music.

    composers

    Students went round robin style as they interviewed with the twenty different composers. They described their projects, what they hoped the music would achieve, listened to samples, and spoke about the best way to connect and communicate with composers when working on a project.

    Head of Documentary and organizer of the meet and greet, Barbara Multer-Wellin, was excited to have students explore original music for their projects. “A good score can change the way an audience feels about what their viewing,” she said. “A great score can make a picture. Cultivating these relationships early is vital for our students.”

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    One student, Juanita Alvarez described the experience as one her favorite opportunities at NYFA. “The only thing I can’t get at NYFA is a film score,” said Alvarez. “Originally, I had placed fair use music I found online over the film. But after meeting not one, but four great composers tonight and hearing what they could do for my project, I’ll be making room in my budget for an original score.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank the composers who took the time to speak with our students.

    May 26, 2017 • Community Highlights, Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 2191

  • NYFA Alumni Team Up on Short Film “Worth It?”

    worth itInspired by films like “The Jungle Book,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Gravity,” and “Inception,” among others, Edgar Vega began his career working as a Lighting/Compositing artist on a feature animated film in Guadalajara, Mexico. From there, he wanted to further his knowledge and skill in the field of cinematography and decided to leave his hometown of Mexico to study at the 1-Year Cinematography Program at the New York Film Academy.

    “After working on that feature film I needed to properly learn the origins of lighting for picture as well as how camera and light reinforces the narrative,” said Vega. “There was always an interest in narrative since I did my Bachelor’s in Animation & Digital Arts back in Guadalajara, but I never had a real approach to lighting until I worked in this film I’ve mentioned. The final look of it relied more on illustration rather than the use of cinematography tools, which is not bad, it was just the vision of the director at the time. I believe that in a film that uses 3D and CGI rendering tools that produce photorealistic images, cinematography would be the right tool for producing and achieving the desired result.”

    Vega wanted to learn and experiment with merging both worlds like “Gravity” and the other films that inspired him. He says his favorite cinematographer is Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki, not only because he’s from his country, but also because while filming “Gravity,” Lubezki and the VFX Supervisor Tim Webber developed technology to merge the hybrid CGI and live action into one image. “That was the challenge there,” said Vega. “They had to determine how lights would affect character’s faces, and then match it to composite the live action and animation perfectly.” The film ended up winning the Academy Award in both fields in 2015.

    Since graduating from the Cinematography Program, Vega has had the opportunity to work as a Lighting/Compositing Artist on the Nick Jr. series called “Block Party.”

    “Chris Papa, Scott Kennell, and their team were developing a new pre-school franchise that speaks about teamwork and unity,” Vega said about the series. “I was invited onto ‘Block Party’ to develop a possible final look, which earned an internally good response. As a result, a first episode was made. Thanks to the concepts learned at NYFA, I was able to assertively respond to the necessities of both Chris and Scott.”

    He is now in postproduction on his thesis film, “Marcus,” which merges live action and CGI.

    Vega also was the DP on NYFA Filmmaking alumna Cheyenne Pasquer’s film, “Worth It?,” which screened at the London Monthly Film Festival December 2016, Miami Independent Film Festival December 2016, The Lovecraft January 2017, and the California Women’s Film Festival February 2017, where it was nominated for Best Director.

    “At the beginning we both had a lot of questions about the complexity of the film, since the script was extensive for the amount of days I could afford to shoot,” said Pasquer about her collaboration with Vega. “Most of the shoot was overnight, so I think the adaptation was a crucial skill that me and Edgar developed during the shoot of ‘Worth it?’ We were both in a difficult scenario not only because the film was physically demanding, but also because we successfully worked out with our crew and actors. As a DP he delivered beautiful shots that matched with the requirement of the story, both aesthetically and narrative wise.”

    “Worth It?” will be screening at this year’s Cannes Short Film Corner in May.

    April 28, 2017 • Cinematography, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2502