George Clooney
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  • Fan Creates Supercut of Batman in the Movies

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    Batman

    Just when Spider-Man thought he could hog up all the press, a fan-made supercut of Batman has managed to go viral this week. The cut focuses only on the many interpretations of Batman in cinema, from his earliest days as a superhero to present day.

    Batman debuted in Detective Comics #1, shortly after Superman first revolutionized comic-book superheroes. His first film adaptation came quickly, in 1943 with the serial Batman, featuring already iconic features like the Bat Cave. Its sequel, Batman and Robin, followed six years later. Batman didn’t return until its famously campy TV adaptation starring Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo, which eventually saw its own cinematic spin-off.

    In 1989, Tim Burton helped usher in the age of the modern multimedia blockbuster with Batman, a darker, edgier gothic take on the hero starring Michael Keaton. It doubled down on all those elements with Batman Returns. During the 90s, Batman also got an animated theatrical release with Mask of the Phantasm. Though hand-drawn, to this day the film still gets heaps of critical praise.

    Joel Schumacher took over the live-action franchise from Tim Burton, directing Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, increasingly campier efforts starring Val Kilmer and George Clooney, respectively. Christopher Nolan ushered in yet another darker reboot with The Dark Knight Trilogy, starring Christian Bale from 2005 to 2012.

    Of course, Bruce Wayne’s Hollywood legacy won’t end there. Ben Affleck will be starring as the Caped Crusader in Batman v. Superman next year while Will Arnett’s scene-stealing Lego Batman is likely to get his own spin-off film. The goth metal loving version of the character also makes a cameo in Jacob T. Swinney’s supercut, which includes original film scores from the Batman films. Even if you’re not a big Batman fan, the video is worth a look just for its decade-spanning look at superhero cinema.

    Still no supercut of Hulk movies though.

    The Evolution of Batman in Cinema from Jacob T. Swinney on Vimeo.

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    February 12, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4454

  • Celebrity Photographer and WireImage.com Co-Founder Jeff Vespa Visits NYFA

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    jjeff vespa

    The New York Film Academy Los Angeles was honored to welcome celebrity photographer and co-founder of WireImage.com, Jeff Vespa, for a viewing of his work and Q&A. Mr. Vespa has recently released his first coffee table book, The Art of Discovery (Rizzoli Publications). It’s a book of 100 portraits of celebrities along with quotes about an important moment of discovery in their lives. The event was moderated by producer Tova Laiter and NYFA photography instructor Astor Morgan.

    Jeff Vespa is most widely known as co-founder of the photo agency website WireImage.com, which was sold to Getty Images for $207 million. He is the official photographer of the Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Jeff joined forces with Paris Hilton to create the NY Times Bestselling books Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose in 2004 and its sequel in 2005. Vespa was the Editor-at-Large of the LIFE.com before launching Verge (www.verge.is), a web magazine dedicated to discovering new talent.

    jeff vespa

    While showcasing his recently published book, which included portraits of celebrities such as Seth Rogan, Nicole Kidman, and George Clooney to name just a few, Jeff discussed the transition of his career path from producer to full-time photographer and how he initiated the WireImage company which later sold to Getty Images. Early on, Jeff attended graduate school for producing and began working at a film studio. He realized, however, that his true passion was away from a desk and working in a much more immediately creative capacity. At the time photography was just a hobby, but he tinkered with the idea of getting paid to take pictures and started snatching up whatever small gigs he could get. His employers saw Jeff’s obvious talent in capturing a moment on film and his opportunities became larger and larger until he soon became the go-to guy for the world’s largest film festivals.

    Mr. Vespa’s advice focused mainly on taking your destiny into your own hands — no matter what career path you are on. Whether it was becoming the official photographer for the Sundance Film Festival, co-founding WireImages.com, or being one of the prolific and respected celebrity photographers in the world, Jeff has achieved everything because he decided to make it happen and never gave up. Jeff’s entrepreneurial achievements are as impressive as his photographic artistry. He’s the type of person who just makes things happen and refuses to be a victim of bad luck or difficult circumstance. Jeff’s empowered spirit is truly infectious.

    Jeff also generously shared details about his lighting technique and directing his subjects. Students were eager to hear stories about how he got the shots that have made him a successful photographer. He encouraged students to stick with what they are passionate about rather than following trends and to keep shooting — a lot!

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    November 25, 2014 • Guest Speakers, Photography • Views: 9041

  • NYFA Screens ‘The Monuments Men’ with Writer / Producer Grant Heslov

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    Grant Heslov NYFA

    Tova Laiter with Grant Heslov at a full house

    Grant Heslov, Academy Award winning Writer/ Producer (Argo) and George Clooney’s partner at Smokehouse, was the guest tonight at the New York Film Academy for a sneak preview of the upcoming SONY Pictures release The Monuments Men! Over 220 eager students participated in the Q&A, which was moderated by Producer Tova Laiter.

    One of the first questions on Tova’s mind was how the film came about. Grant, a very funny and charming speaker, told the students that, “I was traveling, forgot my book at the hotel, so I went to the airport bookstore. I really loved it. It was a story I’d never heard before and George (Clooney) and I decided to make it. You never know what you’re going to find in an airport!”

    When asked by Tova how he and Clooney met Grant described his college days. “It was the summer of my freshman year, when I was about 19. I took an acting class and George was in it. We’ve been friends ever since.”

    grant heslovGrant earned a BFA in Theater and Acting at USC and was an actor for 20 years. He feels that his education in acting has been a great base for much of the work he does in terms of writing and character, being on sets, and observing how it’s all done.

    A student asked Grant about the writing process and specifically about handling a writing block in the middle of a project. Grant admitted that writing is challenging. “The middle is always hard. I’m lucky that I write with a partner. You have to turn off your editor mind and just write whatever.”

    Steven, a student, asked Grant what drives him, especially now that he is an accomplished actor, writer and producer. “The desire to tell good stories is the drive.”

    Grant plays a doctor in The Monuments Men, although this was not planned. He told the story of a British actor whose wife went into labor and pulled out of the project at the last minute. George Clooney suggested Grant jump in and play the doctor. “I still have my SAG card,” he joked.

    Student, Marielle asked Grant about the responsibility involved in telling real stories, which he has done plenty of in recent film projects (Good Night and Good Luck, Argo, and now The Monuments Men). Grant explained, “We aren’t making docs or docu-dramas, but you try to stay true. In Good Night and Good Luck, for example, we had access to the newscasters as they were still around. In Argo, we stuck pretty close to the story except for the end. In this film, there were hundreds of Monuments Men. Then you are trying to piece it all together, and we changed the names so we can get into the flaws of the characters more.”

    Asked what were his biggest assets and obstacles in becoming a filmmaker, he joked that in both cases it was, “being an actor.”

    A student asked Grant what was his relationship with art and history as a storyteller. “I love art and I love history. I am interested in World War II –as it was a defining moment in history. I’m Jewish, and there is a connection.”

    Clearly Grant and George have a good system in place working together. He shared with the audience that all of their films have been produced and completed under budget. The Monuments Men finished $5 million under budget and they wrote it in 3-4 months.

    Finally, Grant told another comedic story about having a hard time naming their production company, Smokehouse Productions. He said that his and George’s office was directly across the street from the restaurant in Burbank, and that they used to go there to drink at the bar (It is also across the street from one of the NYFA buildings in Burbank). One day, George called him and suggested they name their production company after the restaurant.

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    February 3, 2014 • Guest Speakers • Views: 5861