Gold Coast
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  • Netflix Announces New Series “Tidelands” to Film in Queensland, Australia

    netflix australiaQueensland, Australia, home of the New York Film Academy Australia Gold Coast, continues to cultivate film production and acting jobs, with last year being its best year attracting production expenditure of more than $200 million. “Aquaman” is currently being filmed in south-east Queensland and the location also hosted the international and domestic productions of “Pirates of the Caribbean 5,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Pacific Rim 2.” The most recent announcement of Netflix’s newest Australian series, “Tidelands,” adds to the list of yet another major production in the region.

    “Tidelands will be the very first Netflix Original Series to be commissioned and made completely in Australia, with all filming to take place in south-east Queensland,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

    “Tidelands,” which is expected to create eighty jobs for Queensland acting talent and crew, was written and developed through Brisbane-based production house Hoodlum.” Set in the fictional Australian sea-side town of Orphelin Bay where the residents harbor deep secrets and nothing is as it seems, the series plays out with a supernatural undercurrent. Production will begin in early 2018.

    “Screen Queensland is committed to investing in innovative projects with international appeal and ‘Tidelands’ will deliver great opportunities for Queensland. The series will film ten 50-minute episodes in Queensland for its first season,” said Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira.

    nyfa Australia gold coast

    NYFA Australia Gold Coast students filming on set

    “High-profile filmmakers now consider the Gold Coast as a world-class destination with excellent filming options and multi-skilled crew,” said NYFA Australia Gold Coast Director Tasha Cooper. “I don’t even bat an eyelid these days with the amount of blockbusters filming in our very own backyard. It’s become very much like living in Hollywood. It’s great for the local industry. ”

    NYFA Australia maintains exclusive premises, located at Village Roadshow Studios. NYFA Australia alumnus Damian Lang has worked on both “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Aquaman,” both of which were filmed in the Gold Coast. Between his on-set experience and filmmaking background, Lang is currently working on an idea for his first feature film.

    “It makes us proud and acknowledges what we’ve always known — our unique learning style offers students incredible training that set them up for life — whether on small scale productions or massive blockbusters,” said Cooper.

    May 25, 2017 • Entertainment Australia, Filmmaking • Views: 2335

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Alumna Performing with Ever After Parties

    Madison Jennings, graduate of the Acting for Film program at the New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast campus, is bringing fantasy characters to life in her role at Ever After Parties.

    sleeping beauty

    Ever After Parties provide multi-talented performers for not only children’s birthday parties, but also corporate events, weddings, schools and shopping mall displays, and were nominated for Best Party Entertainment in the What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2017.

    Playing Sleeping Beauty, “Snow White and Ana (“Frozen”), to name a few, Jennings has been spreading joy and wonder throughout the South East Queensland area.

    snow white

    During her time at NYFA Australia, Jennings enjoyed “the amazing bonds made with the lecturers and endless opportunities that followed with those bonds.” She continues, “I also loved being in such a tight knit community with fellow actors and filmmakers.”

    Jennings’ advice to aspiring performers is to “use the gifts you have been given to be a voice for those who don’t have one.” She believes that “hard work is silent, let your work be the words.”

    Now signed with Williams Talent, Jennings has already auditioned for the Queensland Theatre Company and has been auditioning for various roles in film and theatre productions.

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Alumnus Works on “Pacific Rim 2” and “Jungle”

    Joe TiernanSince graduating from the Filmmaking program at the New York Film Academy, Gold Coast, Joe Tiernan worked on back-to-back blockbuster projects such as “Pacific Rim 2” and “Jungle,” starring Daniel Radcliffe.

    With credits including Australian features “Australia Day,” “Flammable Children” and “Boar,” Tiernan believes NYFA has him well prepared for working in the real world of film and television. “Understanding on-set lingo is essential. I’m happy that was well covered at NYFA,” says Joe.

    Tiernan’s brush with legendary Australian actor Geoffrey Rush during the filming of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” at Village Roadshow Studios is one of his fondest memories of student life at NYFA Gold Coast.

    Discussing the making of a movie about his life, Tiernan explains, “Well, I’m a sucker for a good rom-com and I think Domnhall Gleeson is a champ.” The title? “Redheads,” says Joe.

    The opportunities keep on coming for Joe: “I’ve got two more Art Department gigs lined up on some local features this year though the grand plan is to get on a ‘Star Wars’ set, then I can die a happy man.”

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Grad Works on “Thor” and “Aquaman”

    Former New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast student, Damian Lang, has shot three award-winning short films thus far, and has worked as a Location Assistant on major Hollywood films like “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Aquaman,” both of which were filmed in the Gold Coast. Between his on-set experience and filmmaking background, Lang says he is currently working on an idea for his first feature film.

    damian lang

    Below is Lang’s description of his three award-winning shorts:

    “Unauthorised Tears”

    “This film is about trying to re-connect with people, woman particularly. I returned from Afghanistan with the Australian Infantry a few years back and developed some mental issues, which unfortunately ended in me losing my wife and job. This sent me on a bit of a downward spiral, but I always forced myself to get out and push through. The events in the film actually happened multiple times — just not usually with a fairy-tail ending.”

    Screenings:

    Caymen, Int Film Festival
    Stage One, Int Film Festival (Won ACS Best Cinematography)
    Long Beach Indie, Int Film Festival
    Screen IT, Gold Coast Film Festival
    Austin Revolution, Film Festival

    “Diamond In The Rough”

    “This film is about understanding your own beauty and worth. I went through a faze where I was trying to build myself into another person to attract certain types of women into my life. I found out it’s not very sustainable or fair on the other person.”

    Screenings:

    Colorado, Int Film Festival (Won Best Student Short)
    Fort Worth, Indie Film Festival
    International Video and Music Awards
    Roma, Cinemadoc Film Festival

    “The First Step”

    This film is about re-connecting even if it isn’t the easiest route, and also about betrayal at the most unexpected times. The idea stems from when I was in Afghanistan and there were multiple ego driven orders that put us in unnecessary danger. Duty first is what we always did, but now we have to live with the outcomes and the question ‘why’.”

    Screenings: (This film is still on the festival scene until December 2017)

    Around Films, Int Film Festival (Won Best Short film)
    Hollywood Screenings, Film Festival (Semi-finalist)

    Lang also directed a music video for the Gold Coast based DJ duo “Bombs Away,” which was featured on MTV.

  • NYFA Australia Opens New Gold Coast Location at Southport

    New York Film Academy Australia celebrated the Grand Opening of its newest Gold Coast location at Southport on February 28, 2017. Southport is home to one of the Gold Coast’s largest shopping complexes, Australia Fair, as well as trendy cafes and restaurants, Southport Yacht Club, exclusive Marina Mirage boutiques and a buzzing nightlife. Southport is also centrally located to the Gold Coast’s world famous surf beach, Surfers Paradise, and exciting attractions and theme parks.

    nyfa au students

    NYFA-AU will retain a space at Village Roadshow Studios for production work and training. The location originally opened in Queensland, Australia in 2011 and for the past few years has operated at Village Road Show Studios – the studio location for many Hollywood films including “San Andreas,” “Unbroken,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “The Shallows,” “Kong: Skull Island,” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” among many others.

    The new NYFA-AU Gold Coast location now includes a 22,000 sqft (approx. 2,000sqm) state-of-the-art facility at Southport Central, encompassing a 90 seat theatre, automated dialogue replacement (ADR) room, editing rooms, post production rooms, production workshop studio, acting rooms with sprung floors for voice and movement classes and a sizeable equipment room.

    The Grand Opening allowed hundreds of staff, students, special guests and dignitaries to tour the impressive, state-of-the-art facility before the official ribbon cutting ceremony.

    nyfa au
    Warner Bros Movie World’s Austin Powers and Marilyn Monroe mingled with guests including Dawn Crichlow, Gold Coast Council and NYFA-AU Board of Directors, Jean Sherlock, Elle Bailey and Larry Z. Lazar, Esq. who made the trip from our United States campuses for the special event.

    Guests were invited to view a live Production Workshop, grab some popcorn, and have their photo’s taken in the NYFA photo booth with Hollywood props.

    Tasha Cooper, Campus Director, welcomed guests into the new theatre and introduced NYFA-AU Board Members and Dignitaries. She thanked the tremendous efforts of Elle Bailey, the Gold Coast team and the contractors who all contributed to the official opening. Ms. Cooper also highlighted NYFA-AU’s outstanding relationship with Village Roadshow Studios and how fortunate students were to continue to have exclusive access to train on the Village backlot.

    nyfa au tasha cooper

    (Left to Right) Facilities Manager, Ian Maclachlan; Director of NYFA-AU, Adrian Bennett; Director, Tasha Cooper

    Jean Sherlock, NYFA CEO, spoke about the vision his father, Jerry Sherlock, Founder, had when opening NYFA and how special it was for him to have seen it expand across the globe over the past 25 years, noting that Australia is one of his favorite destinations to visit. Arthur Helterbran Jnr., Academic Dean, talked about ‘storytelling’ being the core of the creative process and how excited NYFA-AU was to be a continued part of the Gold Coast’s story.

    nyfa au

    (Left to Right) Academic Dean, Art Helterbran Jnr.; Chair of Acting for Film, Stuart Lumsden; Chair of Filmmaking, Steve Pratt; Professor Alan Bowen-James

    A special mention to Michael Young, NYFA President and a NYFA-AU Board Director who was unable to attend, but was fittingly present leading the opening of the ceremony featured in our “We are the New York Film Academy” video. Also a special mention to Michael Caputo, NYFA Director of Operations, who made a trip to Australia with Elle Bailey in November 2016 to consult on the many technical elements that go into the creation of a visual and performing arts school like NYFA.

    NYFA-AU Gold Coast Alumnus, Damian Lang, recently employed by Marvel for “Thor: Raganork,” gave an impassioned speech on how NYFA changed his life and empowered veteran students by giving them a chance to find their voice as storytellers.

    Current NYFA Australia Acting for Film student, Jackson Price said NYFA was an incredible place to learn and bond with faculty and classmates.

    Five lucky guests received WB Movie World VIP prize passes in a raffle. NYFA Australia is expected to announce partnership news with WB in the near future. Stay tuned!

    March 17, 2017 • Community Highlights, Entertainment Australia • Views: 3284

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Grad Stars in ABC’s “Newton’s Law”

    Makwaya Masudi, a graduate of the Acting for Film program at the New York Film Academy, Gold Coast, has landed the opportunity of a lifetime as a series regular on the new ABC program “Newton’s Law” starring iconic Australian actor Claudia Karvan (“The Heartbreak Kid,” “Paperback Hero,” “Daybreakers”).

    Masudi, a Kenyan native who came to Australia as a refugee, plays Zareb Mulumba – an office cleaner turned legal client to Karvan’s character Josephine Newton. The stellar cast also includes Toby Schmitz (“McLeod’s Daughters,” “Home and Away,” “The Pacific”), Georgina Naidu (“Offspring,” “Winners and Losers”) and Miranda Tapsell (“The Sapphires,” “Love Child”).

    Of his student experience at the New York Film Academy, Makwaya says, “NYFA trained me on how to work under a huge amount of pressure like calm water. It also gave me so much experience and helped me find out what type of actor I am.” He also believes that “getting to study in a production set-like environment” helped him prepare for the real world of television and entertainment.

    Acting opportunities are now in abundance for Masudi as he sets his sights on the American market. Check out Makwaya as Zareb Mulumba on “Newton’s Law” Thursday nights on ABC.

    February 20, 2017 • Acting, Entertainment Australia, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1916

  • From Football to Acting for Film

    Kevin Gordon is no stranger to the spotlight. Known in the football world as “Flash” Gordon, Kevin Gordon decided to make the switch from sports to school in 2016, after six years as a professional Australian National Rugby League (NRL) player for the Gold Coast Titans.

    kevin gordon

    A self-confessed Will Smith fan, Kevin’s online videos such as “Magic Carpet” along with his impersonations of characters such as William Wallace (“Braveheart”) and Khal Drogo (“Game of Thrones”) generated a social media buzz that further fueled his desire to pursue acting.

    Auditioning for the Acting for Film at New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast, Kevin’s humble charm and strong on-camera look won over the interview panel, and he secured himself a place on the course to study at the Los Angeles campus.

    “NYFA was good for me ’cause I didn’t know anything about acting… and NYFA was really welcoming for students,” Kevin says.

    Since graduating, Kevin has been fortunate to secure an OPT Visa, which will allow him to work in the US throughout 2017.

    kevin g

    “I started my OPT in October last year, and had a busy two months before the Christmas break,” he says. “I did a lot of auditions, and got into a few student films and other shows that are going to be online later in the year.”

    Gordon credits NYFA for giving him “the confidence to go and audition for any role, whether it’s in LA or anywhere in the world.”

    Kevin’s big news for 2017 is his role in an upcoming Chinese feature film – “it was my first time being on a professional set and it felt good. It’s going to be another big year for me. I’m going to continue improving myself and make some big movies!”

    January 31, 2017 • Entertainment Australia, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2260

  • NYFA Australia Gold Coast Grad’s “Mannequin” Wins Award at Reel Horror Film Fest

    A self-proclaimed horror film buff, New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast alumnus Zach-McCoy Davies’ latest short film “Mannequin” recently won an award at the Reel Horror Film Festival held at Movie World on the Gold Coast. The Reel Horror Film Festival is a part of Warner Bros. Movie World Theme Park’s Fright Nights, which is held during the Halloween season.

    “Mannequin” has also screened at the Princeton Student Film Festival, as well as Willoughby Shorts and Screen It Film Fest in Australia.

    Zach Davies

    His short horror film focuses on a lonely costume designer working within a dark theatre who begins hearing bumps in the night upon the arrival of a bubble-wrapped mannequin.

    “NYFA prepared me for the reality of the business. It is hard work, you will be pushed aside more often than not but it’s how you bounce back that shows whether you can make it in the industry,”said Davies on his experience as a student at NYFA Australia.

    Overall, Davies says he enjoyed the atmosphere of being on the backlot and seeing other films being produced. “The lecturers also made the classes engaging, and being able to direct/write/edit your own short film with cinema grade equipment was a massive plus,” added Davies.

    His advice to aspiring filmmakers is that “no matter what the circumstance, the struggle will always pay off in the end…if you keep pushing forward.”

    Davies has recently started his own video production company servicing small businesses and clients on the Gold Coast, from weddings to corporate videos. Keep an eye out for his next short horror film, which is currently in the works.

    January 11, 2017 • Entertainment Australia, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2050

  • NYFA Australia Alum’s “Ice Cold” Wins Best Foreign Short at Action on Film Festival

    Jonathan G wins awardWriter, Director, Producer and Editor Jonathan Gesthuizen’s short film “Ice Cold,” which he produced while attending the New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast, officially won Best Foreign Short Film at the 2016 Action on Film (AOF) International Film Festival Los Angeles.

    “It was great to be recognized by the judges and our film peers,” said Gesthuizen. “The competition was fierce, and I enjoyed watching some really great films. The atmosphere was surreal, prestigious, exciting and intimidating all at the same time.”

    A glitzy red carpet formal awards evening concluded the festival last month in Hollywood, where Gesthuizen was awarded his prize.

    “I feel honored and excited about winning this award and how it will assist us in gaining the traction we need for the making of the feature, which has recently been written with help of co-writer Paul Gough,” added Gesthuizen. “Most people associate a film’s success with the budget the producer and director have to work with, but this is not always the case, as a $70,000 film won an award at the festival in the same category over another with a $20 million budget. It’s all about getting the story across and how well you can engage your audience with the characters.”

    Gesthuizen aims to have a feature version of “Ice Cold” completed and entered into next years AOF.

    He will begin casting in late October in both New Zealand and Australia. Filming will begin shortly after that with a release date set for late July 2017.

    If you would like to support this project please check out their Facebook page “Ice Cold” for further information.

    October 7, 2016 • Entertainment Australia, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2340

  • NYFA Australia Grad Jessica Bridger Lands Camera Gig with Channel 7 News

    One of our recent One Year Filmmaking graduates, Jessica Bridger, from New York Film Academy Australia, Gold Coast, is now a Weekend Camera Operator for the local Channel 7 News, which covers Rockhampton and the Central Queensland Region.
    jessica bridger

    We recently caught up with Ms. Bridger to learn more about her and her new career.

    If someone was making a movie about your life, what genre would it be, who would play you and what would be the title?

    Comedy/drama; Emma Stone or Hailee Steinfeld; and “Adulthood: Are you sure?”

    If you had one sentence / log line that could change the world, what would it be?

    Do what you love, not what you’re told to.

    Or

    You’ll always find a way, no matter what.

    What did you enjoy most about studying at NYFA?

    Definitely working with new and interesting people and collaborating on different projects.

    How has NYFA prepared you for working in the “real world” of Film/TV/Entertainment?

    If I didn’t have the knowledge I have now, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’ve only been gone a year and already amounted to something in the industry. It’s amazing what can happen within the space of a year.

    What exciting project/s and/or plans do you have now or coming up?

    Right now I’m just taking each day as it comes. Weekend camera operating is something different everyday. I could be shooting a football game one minute and going to an accident or house fire the next. I’m interested to see where I’m headed in my career.

    September 12, 2016 • Entertainment Australia, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3252