The New York Film Academy (NYFA) has just completed its annual MFA Production Design and Cinematography Practicum, as a three-day production at the Laurel Canyon Stages.
Throughout the practicum, NYFA Instructor Anthony Cook stepped in to offer guidance and support as the students worked through the many problems that can arise on set. Color theory, storytelling, and layout were all discussed throughout the class. Chair of Cinematography Tony Richmond oversaw the production.
“Production designers work hand in hand with the cinematographers,” Cook said. “Production Design is really another character in the film. It should be as carefully considered as the actors. It’s an unbelievably important component of crafting a good story.”
The New York Film Academy had created the Production Design Practicum for Cinematographers largely to help rising producers understand, through hands-on experience, the vital importance and intricacies of production design.
The three-day shoot took place at the Laurel Canyon Stages. The New York Film Academy has been working with the studio for several years.
“They’re always friendly and supportive,” said Associate Chair of Cinematography Mike Williamson.
Students were involved in every aspect of filming. They raised flats, designed the interior, directed the scene, and filmed the project.
“They did everything. Right down to picking the sheets on the bed,” Cook said.
NYFA alumna Natalie Whittle and actor Shamar Sanders were brought in by Cook to act for the student scenes. Once the set was wrapped, the students were then able to edit the footage.
The New York Film Academy Practicums are an opportunity for students to hone their skills in a real-world environment, under the conditions of a professional set.
Cook was proud of his students stating, “The students did a really good job. It was a great experience. They handled themselves just like I would expect them to.”
The New York Film Academy would like to thank all of the students who participated in this practicum as well as the instructors who made it possible.