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  • Advice from Channing Tatum’s Agent, Louise Ward

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    A very full theatre of NYFA students in Los Angeles welcomed Talent Agent Louise Ward to speak to them this past week. Her clients include Channing Tatum and Oscar Isaac. Producer Tova Laiter and Chair of Acting Lynda Goodfriend moderated this event.

    louise ward

    Louise Ward spoke to NYFA students about her work as a talent agent, about starting out and skipping the usual first few steps to become an agent—becoming a manager rather than starting out in the mailroom and working her way up. At the time, being a manager was seen as being a “hand holder” for an actor.

    Now she works as a talent agent. She said she “doesn’t do favor meetings”—she likes to get recommendations from directors who have worked with an actor, or have seen the actor in a play or a film at a festival. She even likes to call up casting directors and ask about the person who came in second for the role. All the other agents are swarming on the person who got the role, Ward said.

    Louise Ward said that her job was to help actors and actresses to take their “aspirations and make them less lofty, more transactional…to give [their] career a trajectory.”

    louise ward nyfa

    A student asked Ward about her advice for international actors. Ward said that they should stick with their own accent for auditions, otherwise the casting agents would spend more time focusing on the accent, rather than the acting choices made. But this doesn’t mean that actors shouldn’t work on their accent, in general, allowing them to have more options. Ward also said that the western entertainment industry was finally looking a little more globally, slowly.

    Ward advised the students in the crowd to never stop working. “Even when you aren’t [acting], you should be working,” Ward said. “Work on accents, on cold reading, on forming relationships with people. Get your teeth cleaned.”

    “You need to know your superpower,” Ward told the students about going into the industry.

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    March 21, 2016 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 7449

  • NYFA Screenwriting Graduates Celebrate with Industry Pitch-Fest

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    On September 17th, 2015, graduating MFA, BFA, and AFA New York Film Academy Screenwriting students attended their culminating Industry Pitch-Fest Event, held at the Andaz Hotel up on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.

    pitch fest

    A catered event and mingling opportunity for the students, executives, and faculty alike, this capstone event celebrated the New York Film Academy’s graduating MFA, BFA, and AFA Screenwriting students, offering them a professional outlet to jumpstart their careers by pitching their thesis projects to industry executives.

    These writing students, having spent their final semester in their Business of Screenwriting III class preparing and fine-tuning their pitches for their thesis film and TV projects, shined on this pinnacle evening, leaving with new professional contacts and a flurry of interest in the scripts they’d worked so hard on all year.

     

    screenwriting pitch

    Considered by the school to be their first night as professional screenwriters, this group of bright students brought their A-game, as they pitched agents, managers and production company representatives in a relaxed, round-table environment.

    Hosted by NYFA’s Business of Screenwriting curriculum head, David O’Leary, in conjunction with NYFA’s Screenwriting Chair Nunzio DeFilippis and Associate Chair Adam Finer, the event featured representatives from various Hollywood companies.

     

    screenwriting pitch fest

    Attendees included Hollywood literary agencies and management companies, including representatives from ICM, BenderSpink, Underground Management, and Next Level Entertainment, as well film and TV production companies, including Original Film, Marc Platt Productions, Taggart Productions, Closed on Monday / Oni Press, and Bright Whale Entertainment, amongst others.

    NYFA wishes to thank its participants, without whom this evening could not have been possible. Also, we’d like to extend a big congratulations to all of our May ’14 MFA, BFA and AFA graduates!

    Onwards and upwards!

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    September 24, 2015 • Community Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 4178

  • Screenwriter John Glosser Joins NYFA’s Business of Screenwriting Class

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    John GlosserOn July 29th, Black List screenwriter John Glosser joined New York Film Academy’s Business of Screenwriting class to discuss breaking into Hollywood, his life as a writer, and his unique perspective on the film industry.

    “If you’re not addicted to doing this, don’t do it,” Glosser advised, “Seriously, it has to be addiction because it’s just such a difficult career to break into. You have to want it as bad as an aspiring athlete wants to become a professional.”

    Glosser spoke about his early days working on-set as a Unit Production Manager on such horror films as Splinter and about first getting repped. “I went backwards; I got my agent and then my manager, but it all comes down to relationships. In the end, a friend of a friend is what got my script in front of the right people.”

    That script was The Broken, which not only placed on the 2012 Blacklist, but got Sam Worthington attached to produce and Nicolas Cage attached to star. The crime drama tells the story of a farmer in 1967, grieving for his murdered son, who discovers a suspicious cover-up on the part of a corrupt sheriff.

    Glosser went on to speak about his experiences developing projects with various A-list directors and producers since The Broken hit the town, but closed with his belief about the most fundamental thing in this business —

    “Voice”, Glosser affirmed, “is the most important attribute as a writer you can look to build. You all have one, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. You need to cultivate that voice… I don’t care if you write a story about an Elf living in Tokyo who drinks tea and falls in love with a flower. If you have a voice, people will notice.”

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    August 6, 2014 • Guest Speakers, Screenwriting • Views: 6726

  • How to Land a Literary Agent Out of Film School

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    radmin

    Linne Radmin

    Tuesday night, we had a packed house at New York Film Academy Los Angeles for our guest speaker — brought in by Producer Tova Laiter — Literary Manager, Linne Radmin. Radmin spent seven years at ICM as a senior literary manager before founding the Radmin Company, a boutique literary management and production company based in Beverly Hills that represents screenwriters and directors. She has worked with a diverse range of clients which include Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Leslie Dixon (Mrs. Doubtfire), and Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street). The Radmin Company’s current clients include Student Academy Award winner Shawn Wines, who is working on a comedy pilot for Warner Bros, Cinco Paul and Ken Saurio (Despicable Me), Todd Alcott (Antz), and several more.

    When Linne was asked by Tova how she decides whom to represent, she responded, “I have to be in love with the work and believe that I can help the writer.” Tova then asked her to expand on how the writer/manager relationship works and how it’s formed; Linne responded, “Crafting a query! The initial letter – and it needs to be intelligent, clear, creative, decisive. Be bold, but not obnoxious.”

    The film school students, many of which were screenwriters, had very specific questions for Linne. Lawrence, a writer, wanted to know where in a screenplay does Linne expect to find the inciting incident. Linne, without hesitating, responded, “page 12 or 13!”

    She also admitted that although good writing is often timeless and just plain good, there are definitely topical trends which affect or are affected by the marketplace. Currently? “Rom-coms are out, emotional sci-fi is in!”

    Linne admitted that today’s market is tough for film school students and emerging writers, encouraging them to have both an agent and a manager. “Agencies have so scaled back – so better to have more voices in the marketplace by having both an agent and a manager, ideally a manager first. Eventually, also, a lawyer!”

    Linne added that in all of this, branding is highly important! When asked by a student how she sifts through all the material she examines she said, “Passion for the material coupled with an idea, notion, plan about how I can use this is the marketplace. Branding matters.”

    Asked by Diego, an MFA Filmmaking student from Columbia, how directors carve themselves out when looking for representation, she said, “Shoot, shoot and shoot! Put it online, do a webseries. Just keep shooting!” Having a reel is obviously of utmost importance for directors, whereas screenwriters should be more concerned with GOOD WRITING.

    Stephanie, a Swedish screenwriting student asked Linne what is important to think about for those looking for a manager. “Hopefully you will have choices here. You want to feel that the manager listens to your ideas. Also, what feels right is probably the way to go!” She also said it’s okay to be your own advocate, “If you feel your manager’s involvement is too little or too much, speak up!”

    About the influx of lucrative quality television, Linne said, “Now some managers are strictly working in TV, but less are only in features. There is some great programing on TV now, so it’s good to be open.”

    Asked by a student about getting into a TV writing room, Linne admitted this is highly competitive and usually the Showrunner (Executive Producer of TV show) hires his or her writers.

    Some general tips that came out during the evening:

    1. Become a writer’s assistant if you can

    2. Agents and managers should take 10%

    3. Enter legitimate writing contests

    4. Brand yourself! Once you have a hit, you will have more freedom to write something within a different genre

    Linne also noted that the Radmin Company is always looking for interns!

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    January 17, 2014 • Film School, Guest Speakers, Screenwriting • Views: 6105