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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) AFA Acting for Film Alum Gonzalo Martin Nominated for BAFTA Game Award for ‘Life is Strange 2’

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) AFA Acting for Film Alum Gonzalo Martin has been nominated for a BAFTA Game Award for his voiceover work in the critically-acclaimed video game Life is Strange 2. Martin will be competing in the Best Performer in a Leading Role category, along with notable actors Logan Marshall-Green (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Prometheus) and Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead, The Boondock Saints). The winners of the prestigious awards will be announced at the 2020 British Academy Games Awards ceremony on Thursday, April 2.

    Gonzalo Martin

    NYFA AFA Acting for Film Alum Gonzalo Martin

    Gonzalo Martin stars as lead protagonist Sean Diaz, who the player controls throughout the game. Martin is an Acting for Film alum from New York Film Academy, having attended the AFA program in 2015, and has previously been a part of the Academy’s admissions team. 

    Life is Strange 2 is a graphic adventure video game, available on nearly all major platforms (including Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC and macOS), and is the sequel to the smash hit and critically-acclaimed Life is Strange, originally released in 2015. That title has sold over three million copies to date and comes from Square Enix, the Japanese developer and publisher of wildly popular games Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Dragon Quest, among others. 

    The game was developed by Dontnod Entertainment (Vampyr, Twin Mirror) and has already been nominated for several gaming awards and won the Special Jury Prize at the 2018 Ping Awards. The game tells the story of young brothers Sean and Daniel Diaz, who are on the run from the police. The game is a third-person story adventure, with dialogue trees and gaming decisions affecting the story and future episodes.

    “It’s an honor to be nominated for such a prestigious award in a field that I am just getting my feet in,” Martin tells NYFA. “I already feel like I have won, just because of being nominated side-to-side with all these other amazing actors, whose work I admire so much, such as Norman Reedus.”

    Martin’s previous acting roles include BuzzFeed Murder Mystery Stories, and the films I’ll Be Next Door for Christmas and When It Rings. He is currently finishing with post-production of the first feature film he’s produced and starred in, titled Back to Lyla, which features more than five other NYFA alumni on the production.

    “I am a very, very proud NYFA alum,” adds Martin. “And the most fulfilling thing about this nomination was the ability to go back to school and share this amazing news with all my teachers and mentors. They are a big part of the reason why I have made it this far.”

     

    UPDATE (4.3.20): Gonzalo Martin was awarded the BAFTA Game Award for Best Performer in a Leading Role for Life is Strange 2. The winners of the BAFTA Game Awards were announced at the 2020 British Academy Games Awards ceremony via livestream on Thursday, April 2.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Gonzalo Martin on his exciting BAFTA Game Award win for Best Performer in a Leading Role for Square Enix’s Life is Strange 2!

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    March 20, 2020 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 673

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Game Design Presents ‘Death Stranding’ Game Deconstruction Dinner

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    On February 19, over 40 students and game industry professionals gathered at New York Film Academy’s Burbank-based campus for an analysis of the hit video game Death Stranding as part of a series of Game Deconstruction Dinners. The Game Deconstruction Dinner is an ongoing educational, inspirational, and networking event sponsored by the NYFA Game Design department.

    Scott Rogers, a NYFA Game Design instructor and industry veteran whose credits include God of War, Pac-Man World, and Darksiders, conducted the deconstruction using the Playcentric System.

    The Playcentric System, which originated in the book Game Design Workshop by Tracy Fullerton and Chris Swain, analyzes the dramatic, formal and dynamic systems of a video game.

     Death Stranding is the newest PS4 video game from famed game director Hideo Kojima. The player inhabits the character of a deliveryman who attempts to connect America’s survivors after a supernatural catastrophe.

    Rogers illustrated the Playcentric System using examples collected from over 50 hours of video gameplay. Overall, Rogers’ opinion of the game was positive and many of the guests left the event excited to try Death Stranding for themselves.

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    February 27, 2020 • Faculty Highlights, Game Design • Views: 643

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Represented at 2020 Visual Effects Society Awards

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) was well-represented at this year’s Visual Effects Society Awards, awarded by the Visual Effects Society (VES) entertainment industry’s only organization representing the full breadth of visual effects practitioners including artists, animators, technologists, model makers, educators, studio leaders, supervisors, PR/marketing specialists and producers in all areas of entertainment from film, television and commercials to music videos and games.

    Visual Effects Society Awards

    NYFA MFA Game Design alum Guillermo Quesada worked on the VR technology used for 2019’s The Lion King, which won the evening’s top honor for Outstanding Visual Effects, as well as awards for virtual cinematography and created digital environments.

    NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alum Alexandra LoRusso worked on the Game of Thrones finale “The Iron Throne,” which won Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project and did effects animation for nominee Gemini Man.

    NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alum Francesco Panzieri worked as a compositor on two nominees–Spider-Man: Far from Home and Terminator: Dark Fate. Both of these films were also worked on by NYFA 3D Animation & VFX instructor Nate Usiak.

    His colleague, NYFA 3D Animation & VFX instructor Kelley Williams, did tech animation for Frozen 2, which earned multiple nominations and won Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature.

    Craig Caton, the NYFA 3D Animation & VFX Chair, worked as an anim servo on nominees Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Jurassic World: The Ride; the latter won Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project while the former won Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal or Animated Project.

    Here is a full list of this year’s Visual Effects Society Awards nominees and winners:

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
    Richard Hollander
    Kevin Sherwood
    Eric Saindon
    Richard Baneham
    Bob Trevino

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME
    Dan DeLeeuw
    Jen Underdahl
    Russell Earl
    Matt Aitken
    Daniel Sudick

    GEMINI MAN
    Bill Westenhofer
    Karen Murphy-Mundell
    Guy Williams
    Sheldon Stopsack
    Mark Hawker

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Roger Guyett
    Stacy Bissell
    Patrick Tubach
    Neal Scanlan
    Dominic Tuohy

    WINNER: THE LION KING
    Robert Legato

    Tom Peitzman
    Adam Valdez
    Andrew R. Jones

    Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    1917
    Guillaume Rocheron
    Sona Pak
    Greg Butler
    Vijay Selvam
    Dominic Tuohy

    FORD V FERRARI
    Olivier Dumont
    Kathy Siegel
    Dave Morley
    Malte Sarnes
    Mark Byers

    JOKER
    Edwin Rivera
    Brice Parker
    Mathew Giampa
    Bryan Godwin
    Jeff Brink

    THE AERONAUTS
    Louis Morin
    Annie Godin
    Christian Kaestner
    Ara Khanikian
    Mike Dawson

    WINNER: THE IRISHMAN
    Pablo Helman
    Mitchell Ferm
    Jill Brooks
    Leandro Estebecorena
    Jeff Brink

    Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

    FROZEN 2
    Steve Goldberg
    Peter Del Vecho
    Mark Hammel
    Michael Giaimo

    KLAUS
    Sergio Pablos
    Matthew Teevan
    Marcin Jakubowski
    Szymon Biernacki

    WINNER: MISSING LINK
    Brad Schiff
    Travis Knight
    Steve Emerson
    Benoit Dubuc

    THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART
    David Burgess
    Timothy Jason Smith
    Mark Theriault
    John Rix

    TOY STORY 4
    Josh Cooley
    Mark Nielsen
    Bob Moyer
    Gary Bruins

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Joe Bauer
    Steve Kullback
    Ted Rae
    Mohsen Mousavi
    Sam Conway

    HIS DARK MATERIALS; “The Fight to the Death”
    Russell Dodgson
    James Whitlam
    Shawn Hillier
    Robert Harrington

    LADY AND THE TRAMP
    Robert Weaver
    Christopher Raimo
    Arslan Elver
    Michael Cozens
    Bruno Van Zeebroeck

    LOST IN SPACE; “Ninety-Seven”
    Jabbar Raisani
    Terron Pratt
    Niklas Jacobson
    Juri Stanossek
    Paul Benjamin

    STRANGER THINGS – “Chapter Six: E Pluribus Unum”
    Paul Graff
    Tom Ford
    Michael Maher Jr.
    Martin Pelletier
    Andy Sowers

    WINNER: THE MANDALORIAN; “The Child”
    Richard Bluff
    Abbigail Keller
    Jason Porter
    Hayden Jones
    Roy K. Cancino

    Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

    WINNER: CHERNOBYL; “1:23:45”
    Max Dennison
    Lindsay McFarlane
    Clare Cheetham
    Paul Jones
    Claudius Christian Rauch

    LIVING WITH YOURSELF; “Nice Knowing You”
    Jay Worth
    Jacqueline VandenBussche
    Chris Wright
    Tristan Zerafa

    SEE; “Godflame”
    Adrian de Wet
    Eve Fizzinoglia
    Matthew Welford
    Pedro Sabrosa
    Tom Blacklock

    THE CROWN; “Aberfan”
    Ben Turner
    Reece Ewing
    David Fleet
    Jonathan Wood

    VIKINGS; “What Happens in the Cave”
    Dominic Remane
    Mike Borrett
    Ovidiu Cinazan
    Tom Morrison
    Paul Byrne

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

    Call of Duty Modern Warfare
    Charles Chabert
    Chris Parise
    Attila Zalanyi
    Patrick Hagar

    WINNER: Control
    Janne Pulkkinen

    Elmeri Raitanen
    Matti Hämäläinen
    James Tottman

    Gears 5
    Aryan Hanbeck
    Laura Kippax
    Greg Mitchell
    Stu Maxwell

    Myth: A Frozen Tale
    Jeff Gipson
    Nicholas Russell
    Brittney Lee
    Jose Luis Gomez Diaz

    Vader Immortal: Episode I
    Ben Snow
    Mike Doran
    Aaron McBride
    Steve Henricks

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

    “Anthem Conviction”
    Viktor Muller
    Lenka Likarova
    Chris Harvey
    Petr Marek

    “BMW Legend”
    Michael Gregory
    Christian Downes
    Tim Kafka
    Toya Drechsler

    WINNER: “Hennessy: The Seven Worlds”
    Carsten Keller
    Selçuk Ergen
    Kiril Mirkov
    William Laban

    “PlayStation: Feel The Power of Pro”
    Sam Driscoll
    Clare Melia
    Gary Driver
    Stefan Susemihl

    “Purdey’s: Hummingbird”
    Jules Janaud
    Emma Cook
    Matthew Thomas
    Philip Child

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

    Avengers: Damage Control
    Michael Koperwas
    Sherief Fattouh
    Ian Bowie
    Kishore Vijay
    Curtis Hickman

    Jurassic World: The Ride
    Hayden Landis
    Friend Wells
    Heath Kraynak
    Ellen Coss

    Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
    Asa Kalama
    Rob Huebner
    Khatsho Orfali
    Susan Greenhow

    WINNER: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
    Jason Bayever

    Patrick Kearney
    Carol Norton
    Bill George

    Universal Sphere
    James Healy
    Morgan MacCuish
    Ben West
    Charlie Bayliss

    Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature

    WINNER: ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL; Alita
    Michael Cozens
    Mark Haenga
    Olivier Lesaint
    Dejan Momcilovic

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME; Smart Hulk
    Kevin Martel
    Ebrahim Jahromi
    Sven Jensen
    Robert Allman

    GEMINI MAN; Junior
    Paul Story
    Stuart Adcock
    Emiliano Padovani
    Marco Revelant

    THE LION KING; Scar
    Gabriel Arnold
    James Hood
    Julia Friedl
    Daniel Fotheringham

    Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature

    FROZEN 2; The Water Nøkk
    Svetla Radivoeva
    Marc Bryant
    Richard E. Lehmann
    Cameron Black

    KLAUS; Jesper
    Yoshimichi Tamura
    Alfredo Cassano
    Maxime Delalande
    Jason Schwartzman

    WINNER: MISSING LINK; Susan
    Rachelle Lambden
    Brenda Baumgarten
    Morgan Hay
    Benoit Dubuc

    TOY STORY 4; Bo Peep
    Radford Hurn
    Tanja Krampfert
    George Nguyen
    Becki Rocha Tower

    Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project

    LADY AND THE TRAMP; Tramp
    Thiago Martins
    Arslan Elver
    Stanislas Paillereau
    Martine Chartrand

    WINNER: STRANGER THINGS 3; Tom/Bruce Monster
    Joseph Dubé-Arsenault
    Antoine Barthod
    Frederick Gagnon
    Xavier Lafarge

    THE MANDALORIAN; “The Child”; Mudhorn
    Terry Bannon
    Rudy Massar
    Hugo Leygnac

    THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY; “Pilot”; Pogo
    Aidan Martin
    Craig Young
    Olivier Beierlein
    Laurent Herveic

    Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial

    “Apex Legends”; Meltdown; Mirage
    Chris Bayol
    John Fielding
    Derrick Sesson
    Nole Murphy

    “Churchill”; Churchie
    Martino Madeddu
    Philippe Moine
    Clement Granjon
    Jon Wood

    WINNER: “Cyberpunk 2077”; Dex
    Jonas Ekman
    Jonas Skoog
    Marek Madej
    Grzegorz Chojnacki

    “John Lewis”; Excitable Edgar; Edgar
    Tim van Hussen
    Diarmid Harrison-Murray
    Amir Bazazi
    Michael Diprose

    Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

    ALADDIN; Agrabah
    Daniel Schmid
    Falk Boje
    Stanislaw Marek
    Kevin George

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL; Iron City
    John Stevenson-Galvin
    Ryan Arcus
    Mathias Larserud
    Mark Tait

    MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN; Penn Station
    John Bair
    Vance Miller
    Sebastian Romero
    Steve Sullivan

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER; Pasaana Desert
    Daniele Bigi
    Steve Hardy
    John Seru
    Steven Denyer

    WINNER: THE LION KING; The Pridelands
    Marco Rolandi
    Luca Bonatti
    Jules Bodenstein
    Filippo Preti

    Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

    FROZEN 2; Giants’ Gorge
    Samy Segura
    Jay V. Jackson
    Justin Cram
    Scott Townsend

    HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD; The Hidden World
    Chris Grun
    Ronnie Cleland
    Ariel Chisholm
    Philippe Brochu

    MISSING LINK; Passage to India Jungle
    Oliver Jones
    Phil Brotherton
    Nick Mariana
    Ralph Procida

    WINNER: TOY STORY 4; Antiques Mall
    Hosuk Chang
    Andrew Finley
    Alison Leaf
    Philip Shoebottom

    Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

    WINNER: GAME OF THRONES; The Iron Throne; Red Keep Plaza
    Carlos Patrick DeLeon
    Alonso Bocanegra Martinez
    Marcela Silva
    Benjamin Ross

    LOST IN SPACE; Precipice; The Trench
    Philip Engström
    Benjamin Bernon
    Martin Bergquist
    Xuan Prada

    THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE; The Endless Forest
    Sulé Bryan
    Charles Chorein
    Christian Waite
    Martyn Hawkins

    THE MANDALORIAN; Nevarro Town
    Alex Murtaza
    Yanick Gaudreau
    Marco Tremblay
    Maryse Bouchard

    Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
    Emile Ghorayeb
    Simon Jung
    Nick Epstein
    Mike Perry

    WINNER: THE LION KING
    Robert Legato

    Caleb Deschanel
    Ben Grossmann
    AJ Sciutto

    THE MANDALORIAN; “The Prisoner”; The Roost
    Richard Bluff
    Jason Porter
    Landis Fields IV
    Barry Baz Idoine

    TOY STORY 4
    Jean-Claude Kalache
    Patrick Lin

    Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

    LOST IN SPACE; The Resolute
    Xuan Prada
    Jason Martin
    Jonathan Vårdstedt
    Eric Andersson

    MISSING LINK; The Manchuria
    Todd Alan Harvey
    Dan Casey
    Katy Hughes

    THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE; Rocket Train
    Neil Taylor
    Casi Blume
    Ben McDougal
    Chris Kuhn

    WINNER: THE MANDALORIAN; “The Sin”; The Razorcrest
    Doug Chiang
    Jay Machado
    John Goodson
    Landis Fields IV

    Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

    DUMBO; Bubble Elephants
    Sam Hancock
    Victor Glushchenko
    Andrew Savchenko
    Arthur Moody

    SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME; Molten Man
    Adam Gailey
    Jacob Santamaria
    Jacob Clark
    Stephanie Molk

    WINNER: STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Don Wong

    Thibault Gauriau
    Goncalo Cabaca
    François-Maxence Desplanques

    THE LION KING
    David Schneider
    Samantha Hiscock
    Andy Feery
    Kostas Strevlos

    Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

    ABOMINABLE
    Alex Timchenko
    Domin Lee
    Michael Losure
    Eric Warren

    WINNER: FROZEN 2
    Erin V. Ramos

    Scott Townsend
    Thomas Wickes
    Rattanin Sirinaruemarn

    HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD; Water and Waterfalls
    Derek Cheung
    Baptiste Van Opstal
    Youxi Woo
    Jason Mayer

    TOY STORY 4
    Alexis Angelidis
    Amit Baadkar
    Lyon Liew
    Michael Lorenzen

    Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Marcel Kern
    Paul Fuller
    Ryo Sakaguchi
    Thomas Hartmann

    “Hennessy: The Seven Worlds”
    Selçuk Ergen
    Radu Ciubotariu
    Andreu Lucio
    Vincent Ullmann

    LOST IN SPACE; “Precipice”; Water Planet
    Juri Bryan
    Hugo Medda
    Kristian Olsson
    John Perrigo

    WINNER: STRANGER THINGS 3; Melting Tom/Bruce
    Nathan Arbuckle
    Christian Gaumond
    James Dong
    Aleksandr Starkov

    THE MANDALORIAN; “The Child”; Mudhorn
    Xavier Martin Ramirez
    Ian Baxter
    Fabio Siino
    Andrea Rosa

    Outstanding Compositing in a Feature

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
    Adam Bradley
    Carlo Scaduto
    Hirofumi Takeda
    Ben Roberts

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME
    Tim Walker
    Blake Winder
    Tobias Wiesner
    Joerg Bruemmer

    CAPTAIN MARVEL; Young Nick Fury
    Trent Claus
    David Moreno Hernandez
    Jeremiah Sweeney
    Yuki Uehara

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Jeff Sutherland
    John Galloway
    Sam Bassett
    Charles Lai

    WINNER: THE IRISHMAN
    Nelson Sepulveda

    Vincent Papaix
    Benjamin O’Brien
    Christopher Doerhoff

    Outstanding Compositing in an Episode

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Scott Joseph
    James Elster
    Corinne Teo
    Sean Heuston

    WINNER: GAME OF THRONES; “The Long Night”; Dragon Ground Battle
    Mark Richardson
    Darren Christie
    Nathan Abbot
    Owen Longstaff

    STRANGER THINGS 3; Starcourt Mall Battle
    Simon Lehembre
    Andrew Kowbell
    Karim El-Masry
    Miklos Mesterhazy

    WATCHMEN; “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”; Looking Glass
    Nathaniel Larouche
    Iyi Tubi
    Perunika Yorgova
    Mitchell Beaton

    Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial

    “BMW Legend”
    Toya Drechsler
    Vivek Tekale
    Guillaume Weiss
    Alexander Kulikov

    “Feeding America; I Am Hunger in America”
    Dan Giraldo
    Marcelo Pasqualino
    Alexander Koester

    WINNER: “Hennessy; The Seven Worlds”
    Rod Norman
    Guillaume Weiss
    Alexander Kulikov
    Alessandro Granella

    “PlayStation: Feel the Power of Pro”
    Gary Driver
    Stefan Susemihl
    Greg Spencer
    Theajo Dharan

    Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal or Animated Project

    ALADDIN; Magic Carpet
    Mark Holt
    Jay Mallet
    Will Wyatt
    Dickon Mitchell

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Sam Conway
    Terry Palmer
    Laurence Harvey
    Alastair Vardy

    TERMINATOR: DARK FATE
    Neil Corbould
    David Brighton
    Ray Ferguson
    Keith Dawson

    WINNER: THE DARK CRYSTAL: THE AGE OF RESISTANCE; “She Knows All the Secrets”
    Sean Mathiesen
    Jon Savage
    Toby Froud
    Phil Harvey

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

    DOWNFALL
    Matías Heker
    Stephen Moroz
    Bradley Cocksedge

    LOVE AND FIFTY MEGATONS
    Denis Krez
    Josephine Roß
    Paulo Scatena
    Lukas Löffler

    OEIL POUR OEIL
    Alan Guimont
    Thomas Boileau
    Malcolm Hunt
    Robin Courtoise

    WINNER: THE BEAUTY
    Marc Angele
    Aleksandra Todorovic
    Pascal Schelbli
    Noel Winzen

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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) BFA 3D Animation & VFX Students Arina Andriushchenko & Nathan Hacker Work on ‘Borderlands 3’ Holiday Video

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) BFA 3D Animation & VFX students Arina Andriushchenko and Nathan Hacker were able to add some professional experience to their portfolios before even graduating their BFA studies at our Burbank-based campus. The pair recently had the opportunity to do some animation work for a commercial advertising the hit video game Borderlands 3.

    Arina Andriushchenko and Nathan Hacker Borderlands 3
    The Borderlands franchise comprises a series of action role-playing, first-person shooter video games created by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games that merges western, fantasy, and sci-fi genres. Borderlands 3 was released earlier this year after much anticipation from the series’s passionate fanbase.

    The newest ad for the game arrived just in time for the holidays and recalls the stop motion wintry animation of classic Rankin/Bass productions like Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town.


    Andriushchenko and Hacker worked as part of the commercial’s art department, collaborating with NYFA instructors Tony Candelaria and Misha Klein on the video’s stop motion animation. Klein teaches stop motion at NYFA; Candelaria teaches sculpture.

    Andriushchenko worked on the character puppets for Sheep and Skag characters’ puppets as well as assisting Candelaria, who created all the sculptures for the puppets. Misha Klein was the main animator of the video.

    “We were very glad to work with our teachers together,” says Andriushchenko, “and, in general, it was just an amazing experience. We’ve learned a lot.”

    He and Hacker also did decorations for the sets, creating Christmas trees and their decorations, elements for the cave, gingerbread men garland, and other assorted props. Additionally, they worked on facial expressions for the puppets.

    New York Film Academy congratulates BFA in 3D Animation & VFX students Arina Andriushchenko and Nathan Hacker on their hard work and for getting a head start on their careers on animation!

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    December 30, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1070

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes Veteran Game Developer Tony Barnes

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    On Thursday, October 24, New York Film Academy played host to veteran game developer Antonio “Tony” Barnes.

    Tony Barnes
    Barnes came to speak at NYFA as part of the school’s Masters of Game Design program. The Masters of Game Design is a speaker series in which distinguished members of the gaming industry visit for an informal chat with NYFA Game Design instructor Scott Rogers about their careers in gaming.

    The event was attended by over 45 students and industry professionals who have been invited by the school. Barnes and Rogers talked about Barnes’ 30-year career, starting with his early days of making his own games, followed by his work at Crystal Dynamics, EA, The Collective, THQ, Double Helix, and other AAA companies. He has worked on hit games, including Medal of Honor (2010) and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). 

    Barnes gave students advice on how to pitch games and how to be an effective creative director. Additionally, he discussed his recent IGDA BIG Lifetime Achievement award. Audience attendees were then invited to ask Barnes questions. 

    Tony Barnes
    New York Film Academy thanks veteran game developer Tony Barnes for taking the time to share his experience and expertise with our students! 

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    December 13, 2019 • Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 808

  • Q&A with Veteran Game Designer and NYFA Instructor Andrew Ashcraft

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    On Thursday, September 26, New York Film Academy hosted veteran and award-winning game designer and NYFA instructor Andrew Ashcraft.

    Ashcraft came to speak at NYFA as part of the school’s Masters of Game Design series, a speaker series in which distinguished members of the gaming industry visit for an informal chat with NYFA instructor Scott Rogers about their career in gaming. The series has included industry luminaries like Insomniac Games president Ted Price and veteran writer and game designer John Zuur Platten.

    The event was attended by over 50 students and industry professionals who has been invited by the school. Ashcraft and Rogers talked about Ashcraft’s 23-year career, starting with his early years at UCLA, before moving on to his transition into the gaming industry and his vast experience creating games for Sony Santa Monica, Disney Mobile, THQ, and Activision. Ashcraft’s career as an independent designer of board games and LARPs was also discussed. Audience attendees were then invited to ask Ashcraft a series of questions. 

    Andy Ashcraft

    In addition to working for major game development companies, Ashcraft teaches for the NYFA Game Design school at our Los Angeles campus, where students are given the chance to make multiple games, work with a variety of different professionals, and build their portfolio to help them find a game design career after college.

    New York Film Academy thanks instructor and veteran game designer Andrew Ashcraft for taking the time to speak with our students and sharing his expertise. 

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    October 18, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 1059

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Game Design Alum Drew Fletcher Works on ‘Avatar’ Game

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    Drew Fletcher, graduate of the MFA in Game Design program at New York Film Academy (NYFA) is working on the video game adaptation for the massive blockbuster Avatar franchise. The game is being produced by FoxNext.

    The game, being developed for mobile, is called Avatar: Pandora Rising, and is based on the 2009 film Avatar, the 2009 Best Picture nominee that held the all-time box office record for nearly a decade. Two sequels have already been filmed with director James Cameron, with subsequent sequels already in pre-production. 

    Fletcher, who earned his MFA in Game Design from NYFA’s Los Angeles campus after enrolling in 2015, is working on the game as a QA Tester. His responsibilities include playing the game to seek and log any functional or gameplay bugs. His work on Avatar: Pandora Rising is specializing as the QA pro for combat play; the combat system being developed is similar to Clash Royale.

    Fletcher, who knows the ins and outs of the game even outside its combat play, describes Avatar: Pandora Rising as a “4x game. The objective of our game is to gain resources, build up your army/commanders, build up your alliance and rule Pandora. Similar games to ours in different parts are Rise of Civilization and Clash Royale.”Drew Fletcher

    He enthusiastically adds, “For more information download the game early next year!”

    In addition to Avatar, Fletcher is working on a personal project, saying it is “a mix of color theory and Paper Mario.” While pursing his career in game design, he’s also working on the side researching voiceover acting. 

    Giving advice to current and future NYFA students, Fletcher says, “NYFA gave you the tools to succeed, but the road to your dreams will be long—but worth the fight!”

    New York Film Academy congratulates MFA Game Design alum Drew Fletcher on his cool job and looks forward to seeing his future work as a game designer! 

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    October 3, 2019 • Game Design, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 899

  • New York Film Academy Game Design (NYFA) Welcomes Disney Imagineer Jonathan Ackley

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    On August 15, 2019, New York Film Academy (NYFA) hosted Disney Imagineer Jonathan Ackley.


    Ackley spoke at NYFA’s Burbank-based campus as part of the school’s Masters of Game Design series. The Masters of Game Design speaker series hosts distinguished members of the gaming industry visit for an informal chat with NYFA Game Design instructor Scott Rogers and NYFA students about their careers in gaming.

    The event was attended by over 50 students and industry professionals who had been invited to the school. Rogers spoke with Ackley about his 27-year career, including his transition from the video game industry into creating experiences for theme parks.

    Also discussed was Ackley’s work on LucasArts adventure games, Lego Mindstorms, and Disney Parks and Resort projects including Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, and the Disney Play app. After the hour-long conversation, audience attendees were then invited to ask Ackley questions in an insightful Q&A session.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) thanks Disney Imagineer Jonathan Ackley for speaking with students as part of our Masters of Game Design series!

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    September 10, 2019 • Game Design • Views: 725

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Game Design Welcomes Veteran Writer & Game Designer John Zuur Platten 

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    On July 18, 2019, New York Film Academy (NYFA) hosted veteran writer and game designer John Zuur Platten. 

    Zuur Platten came to speak at NYFA as part of the school’s Masters of Game Design program, a speaker series in which distinguished members of the gaming industry visit for an informal chat with NYFA Game Design instructor Scott Rogers and NYFA students about their careers in gaming.

    John Zuur Platten

    The event was attended by over 50 students and industry professionals who have been invited to the school. Zuur Platten and Rogers talked about Zuur Platten’s 26-year career, including his transition from the movie VFX industry into gaming.

    Also discussed was Zuur Platten’s work on the Fear Effect and Ghostbusters video games, the mobile game Ingress, the mega-hit Pokemon Go, and his latest work on Jurassic World Evolution. After the hour-long conversation, students and audience attendees were then invited to ask Zuur Platten questions.

    New York Film Academy thanks veteran writer and game designer John Zuur Platten for taking the time to share his expertise with our students!

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    August 7, 2019 • Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 594

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Game Design Alum Guillermo Quesada Helps Develop The Lion King VR Set

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    Magnopus, the visual development company that employs New York Film Academy (NYFA) Game Design alum Guillermo Quesada, helped create Disney’s new remake of The Lion King in an innovative, groundbreaking way—with VR.

    Guillermo QuesadaThe company pioneered a virtual reality system that allowed director Jon Favreau (Iron Man), director of photography Caleb Deschanel (The Passion of the Christ), and The Lion King crew to shoot a film that used extensive computer imagery in a physical three dimensional space. By mimicking what it would be like to shoot on a live action soundstage, The Lion King crew used the VR tools developed by Magnopus to place themselves in a virtual landscape of the African savannah and visualize how their animal characters would interact in the space.

    According to the io9 piece that went into extensive detail about the process, 90 percent of The Lion King was created in a nondescript warehouse on a backroad in Los Angeles. Monitors and VR kits, mostly HTC Vive headsets, were placed around a large open space—with the virtual savannah existing only in code.

    NYFA alum Guillermo Quesada, originally from Spain, joined the company’s large team of bright, young, VR and AR developers after graduating from the NYFA MFA in Game Design program at our Burbank-based campus. While studying at NYFA, he was taught the art and craft of game design and storytelling at the professional level, acquiring the skills of game prototyping, playtesting, iteration, presentation, collaboration, and how to develop software using industry standards—including workflow, multiple platforms, and coding.

    “At NYFA Guillermo was pushing boundaries and innovating,” recounts Matt Galuppo, NYFA Associate Chair of Games and Animation. “He was the first student to produce a full VR game and make it part of his game showcase. He went on to use the skills he learned developing that game to develop tools for the film industry.”

    After months of post-production, Disney’s latest remake was released in theaters on July 19 and boasted an all-star cast that included Donald Glover, Beyoncé, James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, and John Oliver, among several others. The film was a commercial juggernaut, becoming Disney’s fourth film of 2019 to gross over $1 billion in less than a month.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA MFA in Game Design alum Guillermo Quesada and the entire Magnopus team on giving Disney’s filmmakers the tools to bring The Lion King back to life!

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    August 6, 2019 • Game Design, Student & Alumni Spotlights, Virtual Reality • Views: 788