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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Hosts Q&A with Cast & Crew of “Killer Under the Bed”

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    Killer Under the BedOn Friday, October 26, New York Film Academy (NYFA) hosted a screening of Lifetime’s Killer Under the Bed (2018), followed by a Q&A with director and NYFA instructor, Jeff Hare; producer, Ken Sanders; director of photography, Brad Rushing; and stars, Brec Bassinger and Madison Lawlor. The event was moderated by NYFA instructor, David Newman.

    Hare is a writer, director, and filmmaking instructor at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus, and has been working as a director of thrillers for the Lifetime channel for the last few years (A Lover Betrayed, Psycho In-Law, Nanny Killer).

    Sanders is a prolific producer for the Lifetime channel who has accumulated over 60 movie credits in the last 30 years (Accused at 17, Double Daddy, Stalked by My Doctor).

    Rushing’s career as a director of photography began with some small features in the 1990s then expanded into the music industry with music videos for Eminem, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Blink-182 and more. Rushing then moved back to film and television, and ultimately made his way to the Lifetime channel where he now works as a DP on many of its thrillers.

    Bassinger is an actress known for her roles in ABC’s The Goldbergs and Nickelodeon’s Bella and the Bulldogs and School of Rock. Lawlor is an actress known for her roles on TNT’s Franklin and Bash, Netlfix’s Dear White People, and the film, Daddy Issues (2018). The film also stars Kristy Swanson, eponymous star of the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    Moderator David Newman opened up the Q&A by asking about the inspiration for the film. Producer Ken Sanders explained that he was approached by the film’s writer about producing a movie about a voodoo doll; Sanders knew that there would have to be more meat to the story to get executive producers interested, so he began thinking about the topic. 

    Sanders then remembered a TV movie from his childhood that “terrified a generation” called Trilogy of Terror; in this film, the protagonist struggles to escape from an evil doll she purchases at an antique shop. Sanders decided to combine the voodoo concept and the evil doll concept into one, and, in a sense, remake Trilogy of Terror for a modern audience. It was important to him, though, that this film appeal to “multiple markets” and not just a “hardcore horror audience.”

    Newman went on to ask the panel about how they handled their tight shooting schedule — the Killer Under the Bed production team only had 14 days to shoot a feature-length film, which is less than half the time that most features take to shoot. DP Brad Rushing advised, “Be prepared… Meticulously know what you’re doing… [Have] contingency plans… and good communication with the producer and the director.” Killer Under the Bed

    Rushing added that he and director Jeff Hare had worked together before, and were largely on the same page aesthetically when it came to the look of the film.

    Newman inquired about how the team made the voodoo doll come to life onscreen. “Most of the doll’s motion was actual[ly] mechanical,” said director Jeff Hare, “it’s trying to keep that aesthetic of that 70s stuff [that] scared us… we tried to keep as many effects as we could practical and we also stole the whole Jaws thing of trying to keep it hidden for as long as we possibly could.”

    “I think oftentimes what you don’t see is a lot more frightening,” added Brad Rushing, “because the audience fills it in with their own imagination and personalizes it as their own boogeyman.”

    The New York Film Academy thanks Jeff Hare, Ken Sanders, Brad Rushing, Brec Bassinger, and Madison Lawlor for sharing their insights about making an independent thriller on a tight budget and in a short timeframe!

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    November 14, 2018 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 1751

  • New York Film Academy: What Makes Us Unique

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    New York Film Academy is one of the fastest growing, most hands-on film and acting schools in the world. With programs in filmmaking, acting, cinematography, producing, photography, game design, musical theatre, animation, screenwriting, documentary, broadcast journalism, and much more, there is a course for you! Check out a few reasons to study at New York Film Academy:

    Photo of Chord Overstreet

    NYFA Graduate Chord Overstreet stars as Sam on TV Series Glee!

    HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS: New York Film Academy offers the most hands-on film program in the world. From week one, film students have access to cameras and acting students perform screen tests.  In one year, students can expect to make 8 films and work on at least 28 more.

    Aubrey Plaza in Funny People

    NYFA Graduate Aubrey Plaza stars as Seth Rogen’s love interest in Funny People. She also stars alongside Amy Poehler in TV Series Parks and Rec.

    COLLABORATION BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS: Students are able to network with filmmakers, producers, cinematographers, actors, performers, animators, photographers and game designers without leaving the building! New York Film Academy supports collaboration between our departments through informal mixers, mandatory pitch sessions, and joint projects. Producing students are required to team up with filmmakers for at least one project. In addition, New York Film Academy offers regular casting calls through CASTNYFA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU-hWengEMU) that allow student and alumni actors to audition for up to 100 filmmakers at once, all casting upcoming projects.

    Lisa Cortes

    NYFA Graduate Lisa Cortes Co-Produced the Oscar-Winning film Precious 

    ACCESS TO INDUSTRY: New York Film Academy’s outstanding faculty includes several Oscar and Emmy Award winning filmmakers. Teaching staff have worked professionally for companies/networks including HBO, Disney, Discovery Channel, Fox, Comedy Central, Bravo, History Channel, and more. In addition, they hold degrees from NYU, UCLA, USC, AFI, and Columbia. The Musical Theatre instructors starred on Broadway in Wicked, The Addams Family, Chicago, Les Miserables, and more. Producing mentors have screened features at Sundance and Cannes in the past year. In addition, New York Film Academy invites several guests from the industry to screen work and provide advice and guidance. In the past few months, students have heard from actors including Sir Ben Kingsley (Ghandi), Kevin Kline (The Ice Storm), Glenn Close (Dangerous Liasons), Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket); directors including Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind); producers including Al Ruddy (The Godfather), Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman), and Debora Cahn (Grey’s Anatomy/West Wing). Steven Spielberg (Jaws) and Nancy Myers (It’s Complicated) will both speak this month.

    Paul Dano in Little Miss Sunshine

    NYFA Graduate Paul Dano starred in Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood

    DIVERSE STUDENT BODY: New York Film Academy has a student body that draws from over 76 countries. Students bring with them different artistic sensibilities, stories, and belief systems. This diversity of background allows students to receive a variety of opinions on their work and reveals new perspectives that strengthen them as artists. In addition, students have opportunities to network with filmmakers all over the world that will later provide valuable connections if they pursue international film production.

    NYFA Graduate Camilla Luddington as Kate Middleton

    NYFA Graduate Camilla Luddington (right) starred as Kate Middleton in Lifetime’s William & Kate.

    LOCATION: New York Film Academy is constantly expanding. Students can do year-round courses of study in New York, Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi, and Australia. The New York Film Academy also offers short-term opportunities at Disney Studios Florida and Harvard University and has international locations in Paris, France; Lugano, Switzerland; Mumbai, India; Florence, Italy; Rome, Italy; Moscow, Russia; Kyoto, Japan; Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, Korea; Lagos, Nigeria; Shanghai, China; and Beijing, China.

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    May 27, 2011 • Acting • Views: 4834