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  • 20th BRAFF MarketPlace at NYFA South Beach

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    Recently, the New York Film Academy South Beach hosted a number of filmmaking workshops as part of the 20th Brazilian Film Festival of Miami. The 20th BRAFF kicked off on Sept. 17 with the US premiere of “Enchanted” (2014) — Tizuka Yamasaki’s love story centered in the mythical world of the Caruanas — at New World Symphony – SoundScape Park.

    pedro and carvalho

    Filmmaker Walter Carvalho with NYFA’s Pedro Fernandes

    The festival continued from Sept. 17 to the 20 at Miami Beach Cinematheque with two programs: Special Documentaries and the Brazilian Female Film Directors’ Screenings, the latter with a focus on women’s achievements in the audiovisual generating debates on women equality in contemporary society.

    The Competitive screenings were hosted by the art deco-style Colony Theatre from Sept. 21 to 24. Films in competition represented a diverse panorama of the latest Brazilian productions.

    The two day BRAFF MarketPlace event, which took place Sept. 19 and Sept. 22 at NYFA South Beach, included the following workshops:

    Welcome Remarks

    • Sandy Lighterman, – Film Commissioner – Miami-Dade Office of Film & Entertainment
    • Adriana Dutra – Founder & Director – Inffinito Festival Circuit & Brazilian Film Festival of Miami

    RioFilme, Rio’s Audiovisual Content Promotion and Investment Agency

    By Claudia Pedrozo – President – RioFilme

    An overview of the mission, objectives and operations of RioFilme’s investment lines, co-production and co-distribution operations and training programs.

    RioFilme & Film Commission Int’l Film Project Partnership Platform

    By Steve Solot – President – Rio Film Commission

    Solot introduced the International Film Project Partnership Platform, where filmmakers are able to get involved with a co-production with Rio Film, which is located in Brazil.

    This new and unique initiative aims to generate visibility and provide a contact interface between producers of the city and state of Rio de Janeiro and international actors to perform feature film projects, whether co-production, investment, marketing, agency sales or any other form of international partnership.

    “I loved the opportunity to get involved with the industry, said NYFA SB BFA Acting for Film student, Manuel Zota. “I was able to talk about my family production company, and hopefully we will be able to do something.”

    Music and Cinema: The Sound as language

    By Mo. Rodrigo Toffolo – Orchestra Ouro Preto

    Toffolo characterized the sound as acoustic phenomenon, understanding the transformation of its comprehension as a form of art until it gets to the movie theaters. An approach to sound as language.

    Book Launch & Cocktail reception

    “The Expanding Brazilian Film, Television and Digital Industry”

    By Steve Solot – President – Rio Film Commission

    Filmmaker Walter Carvalho – Screening & Debate

    brazil festival

    The event began with a screening of legendary cinematographer and director Walter Carvalho’s latest film followed by a casual filmmaking debate. After showing his work, “Keep the ridgeline, not the fainting plains,” Carvalho opened to a Q&A that transformed into a masterclass where students were able to get some insight from the legendary filmmaker.

    “I really liked the talk with Walter,” said BFA Filmmaking student, Ester Meyer Nunes. “He was able to show me so much in so little time.”

    “Filmmaker Success Strategies:  How to Increase Visibility and Financial Success for your Next Film”

    By Joanne Butcher – Independent Producer

    Students were given the opportunity to learn insider secrets of the film business — how to translate your creative filmmaking skills to rock your marketing and overcome internal blocks to financial and critical success.

    Butcher provided tips on how to improve your chances of success as a filmmaker, discussing a lot about the financial aspect of it. Students were also offered the chance to network with the indie-producer as well.

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    September 27, 2016 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 3661

  • NYFA South Beach Campus Hosts Premiere Screening: “Beyond Glory”

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    A red carpet, lights beaming into the sky, celebrities and local dignitaries posing for photographs—this was the scene this past Saturday night at the City of Miami’s historic Manuel Artime Theater, where the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) South Beach campus held a Hollywood-style film event in support of the veterans community of South Florida.

    nyfa south beach jacobs

    NYFA is grateful to have partnered with the City of Miami’s Office of Film & Television, Miami Dade College, and 8180 Films in presenting the documentary film, Beyond Glory, written and performed by the award-winning stage and screen star, Stephen Lang. The film was directed by Larry Brand, narrated by Gary Sinise, and was executive-produced by multiple film-industry award-winners, James Cameron and Jon Landau.

    Beyond Glory tells the stories of eight veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It renders first-hand accounts of valor that resulted in the awarding of the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor. The oral histories of these eight men are brought to life through Lang’s commanding performance. The Wall Street Journal’s entertainment critic reported the experience as, “One of the richest, most complex pieces of acting I’ve seen in my theater-going life”. On hand Saturday for the Q & A with Mr. Lang was NYFA’s-own Colonel Jack Jacobs, the College’s Chair of the Veteran’s Advancement Program. The conversation, which was moderated by Maylen Dominquez, Associate Chair of Filmmaking at NYFA’s South Beach campus, was an inspirational exchange between the actor and Colonel Jacob’s, who is one of 75 living Medal of Honor recipients. Both Col. Jacobs and Mr. Lang personally knew the Medal of Honor recipients portrayed in the film, and there was a wonderful exchange of stories both of the battlefield valor and the colorful characters of the men.

    colonel jacobs

    The program began with a celebration of the collaboration between the City of Miami and NYFA. Mayor Tomas Regalado presented the key to the City of Miami to Colonel Jacobs in recognition of his valor in service to the country. The Mayor also presented Mr. Lang with a special certificate of appreciation. Lt. Col. Antonio Colmenares, the Director of Veteran Services in the City of Miami, spoke passionately about the need to support local veterans and joined the Mayor and others in welcoming the New York Film Academy to the South Florida community. NYFA’s VP and South Beach Director, Elli Ventouras, spoke about the College’s facility in South Beach, opened last September, which offers degree programs and workshops in filmmaking, acting, and photography, among other professional disciplines.

    It was a special evening, enjoyed by many Miami citizens—including those in military service—as well as NYFA faculty and students.

    You may view the entire photo album of our photo booth on the NYFA Facebook page by clicking HERE.

    For more images from the event, please click HERE.

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    April 25, 2016 • Acting, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 3767

  • Award-Winning Photographer Ralph Gibson Holds Lecture at NYFA NYC

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    The words were simple, yet dramatically impactful: “We are all in the same boat, I have just been in it longer,” said the world renowned photographer Ralph Gibson this past Saturday at the New York Film Academy’s campus at Battery Place in New York City. The crowd eased back into their seats now relaxed and eager to listen to more.

    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) was delighted to host a sensational event featuring Mr. Gibson, who is the Chair of NYFA Department of Contemporary Photography. The renowned photographer provided an exhilarating presentation and demonstration to more than 160 guests; the NYFA photography studio was packed with prospective photography students, hobbyists, and professional photographers.

    gibson

    Mr. Gibson began by introducing himself and his background through an informal lecture and slide show that represented the last 50+ years of his illustrious career woven into six decades of contemporary fine art photography. At times the stories matching the iconic Gibson images were very personal, such as a photograph that he shot years after the death of his mother that led to a delayed mourning of her loss in a profound way.

    While in the US Navy, Mr. Gibson became immensely adept at the technical skills associated with photography by working (and practically living) in the darkroom located deep in the hull of the ship. After his service he attended the San Francisco Art Institute and soon after began working as an assistant to the legendary FSA photographer Dorothea Lange. Mr. Gibson printed many of Ms. Lange’s iconic photographs and admits that while she was a terrible technician it was “the sheer force of her will” that her masterful images immersed from the darkroom’s chemicals. He gives credit to Ms. Lange for teaching him the concept that every great photograph is made only if by having a “point of departure” and that it is always important to have a destination in mind. Early in his career he had the great opportunity to work with the great photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank, of whom he is a still friend with today. He met other luminaries in the world of photography such as Mary Ellen Mark, the legendary photographer who passed away this past May. Mr. Gibson and Ms. Mark arrived in New York City as young struggling artists around the same time.

    gibson light

    Through Mr. Gibson’s photographs that were displayed on two large screens, we were taken on a visual walk through many distinct periods of his work, and exposed to the world through his life of travel with his ever-present 50mm lens. Of particular interest was the photographer’s transition from film to working digitally and more recently creating work combining still and video. After the lecture he provided a demonstration based on the theme of “natural light” where Mr. Gibson provided the audience with tips ranging from camera handling to how the body and light are captured in the frame of the picture. His lecture stressed his strong preference for the use of natural light in his work. In fact, he says he hardly ever uses artificial light. He proudly displayed the “Gibson Special Edition” camera that the Leica Company produced in his honor.

    Mr. Gibson challenged the participants to become immersed deeply in art, music, literature, history, and geography in order to become better visual thinkers. He said that everyone in the room is capable of creating a masterpiece, an icon photographic, but it must be intentional!

    Not only will Mr. Gibson be teaching Master Classes to NYFA’s Photography Programs in New York City, Los Angeles, and South Beach campuses, he will also open his New York studio to students on an individual basis.

    photography gibson

    It’s an honor and a pleasure for the New York Film Academy to introduce Mr. Gibson to our current and prospective students. His experience and pearls of wisdom are invaluable assets, and we look forward to a bright, naturally lit, future for our photography program!

    More About Ralph Gibson

    Mr. Gibson holds two Honorary Doctorate degrees and his awards include fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Leica Medal of Excellence, the Lucie Lifetime Award and the Silver Plumb Award. He is a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, and this spring Gibson was honored with the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. Later this year, the Mary Boone Gallery will host a retrospective exhibition of his work.

    NYFA’s BFA Photography degree program is offered at all three domestic campuses of New York Film Academy: New York, Los Angeles, and South Beach, Miami.

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    July 17, 2015 • Guest Speakers, Photography • Views: 7001

  • NYFA South Beach Open House with Ralph Gibson and Col. Jacobs

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    ralph gibson

    Ralph Gibson with editor of Nuestro Magazine, Alida Hernandez

    In a full room of prospective students, the New York Film Academy South Beach hosted an Open House with award-winning photographer Ralph Gibson and Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Jack Jacobs. Both Mr. Gibson and Colonel Jacobs have recently joined NYFA — Gibson as Chair of its Department of Contemporary Photography and Colonel Jacobs as Chair of Veteran’s Advancement Program.

    Mr. Gibson spoke intimately, offering his advice and beliefs on photography as an art form, as a career and as a philosophy on how it relates to society and culture. He commanded the room for two hours while taking questions from students who were looking for insight and opinions from the prolific Mr. Gibson. He also spoke candidly about trends in photography like the popularity of instagram and shooting from your iPhone. In his own charismatic way, Mr. Gibson provided a fresh prospective on the techniques and style that will last as long as still photography remains a popular form of expression.

    col jacobs

    Colonel Jacobs with Mr. Scoleri, Veterans Service Officer

    “It was great to have Mr. Gibson speak so candidly to prospective students about the world of photography and how our programs here at NYFA teach you in an immersive and practical environment — as oppose to the traditional, sit, listen and watch approach,” said NYFA Photography Enrollment Advisor, Evan Leone.

    Colonel Jacobs, who spoke one-on-one with prospective veteran students, emphasized his belief that military men and women are the most competent and hard-working individuals in society, and that hiring a veteran is not an act of charity, as many feel, but a benefit to the employer. Colonel Jacobs was able to provide each student with his own first-hand experience of transitioning from the military to a career in the media. This was Jacobs’ third NYFA campus visit, as he previously spoke at NYFA’s Los Angeles and New York City locations.

    Next on the Open House tour for Gibson are Los Angeles and New York City. Ralph Gibson will be conducting his special “Natural Light Portraits” Workshop at NYFA Los Angeles on June 20th from 1:00pm-2:30pm. Following that will be a New York Open House on July 11th at NYFA Battery Park, located at 17 Battery Place in Manhattan, from 12:00pm – 2:00pm.

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    June 9, 2015 • Academic Programs, Community Highlights • Views: 4419

  • New York Film Academy Photo Shoot at Bloomingdale’s Miami

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    miami bloomingdales

    The New York Film Academy South Beach Photography department, led by Photography Co-Chair Paul Sunday, held a “Movie Madness” event with Bloomingdale’s Miami in The Falls. The photography event created a movie-like atmosphere in the cosmetics department, giving ladies the opportunity to feel what it’s like to be prepped before a photo shoot. Many of the people we met were naturals and shined behind the camera!

    “I’ve collaborated with Bloomingdale’s many times over the years.  It’s always been fun and inspiring,” said Co-Chair of NYFA’s Photography Program, Paul Sunday. “The Hollywood makeup event at the Falls was no exception. The beauty team at Bloomies was stellar. They embodied what we teach our photography students; vision, style and professionalism are ingredients for success.”

    nyfa bloomies

    Since 2013, the 10,000 square ft. South Beach location, with facilities on the second floor and in the Penthouse Suite of 420 Lincoln Road, has quickly become a desired home for aspiring photographers, actors and filmmakers to truly hone their craft in a hands-on learning environment.

    Catered to all levels of expertise, the NYFA South Beach Photography program offers short-term, long-term and degree programs. Each curriculum is designed to allow students to develop their own unique voice so that they can build a photography portfolio that is immediately recognizable as their own.

    If you’re interested in learning more about the New York Film Academy South Beach Photography School, visit https://miami.nyfa.edu/photography/.

    To view more photos from our event, please visit our Facebook Album by clicking here.

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    June 2, 2015 • Community Highlights, Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5370

  • NYFA South Beach Open House with Ralph Gibson & Col. Jacobs

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    This upcoming Saturday, May 30th, 2015 the New York Film Academy South Beach will be hosting an Open House with special guests: award-winning photographer Ralph Gibson, Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Jack Jacobs, as well as Director of Performing Arts Enrollment, Roger Del Pozo and NYFA South Beach Filmmaking Instructor, George E. Fernandez.

    miami open house

    Ralph Gibson, who was recently appointed to Chair of the Department of Contemporary Photography at the New York Film Academy, is that rare artist who has touched the masters of the past half century—from the Beat Generation in San Francisco to the vigor of yesterday’s born-digital, cross-media creations. He began his professional career as an assistant to Dorothea Lange and, to date, has published over 40 photography monographs and his photographs are included in over 170 museum collections around the world. Gibson’s awards include fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Leica Medal of Excellence, the Lucie Lifetime Award and the Silver Plumb Award.

    ralph gibson photography

    photography by Ralph Gibson

    Colonel Jack Jacobs, the Chair of the New York Film Academy’s Veterans Advancement Program, served in the U.S. Military for more than 20 years and his gallantry in Vietnam earned him the Medal of Honor — the nation’s highest combat honor — two Silver Stars and three Bronze Stars. Colonel Jacobs is currently a military strategist and on-air analyst for NBC and MSNBC News.

    In addition to his work at NYFA, Roger Del Pozo has also been a casting director in New York for the last 12 years. In that time, he has cast over a thousand television commercials, as well as films, plays, voice overs, video games, music videos and industrials for many of the top Casting Companies and Advertising Agencies in New York. Some projects Mr. Del Pozo has cast include national campaigns for Apple, Microsoft, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sony, General Electric, AT&T, Fisher Price, Nickelodeon, Cheerios, Verizon, Ikea, Nintendo, Toyota, Mercedes and Heineken, just to name a few.

    G.E. Fernandez started out as a writer. His play, Vietnam Trilogy, was a major hit at the Veteran’s Theater in Los Angeles, winning the Drama-logue award of Best Actor for Richard Chavez. His first feature film, Cease Fire, starring Don Johnson, Lisa Blount, went on to become a critical success. Through the 1990’s he started to make entry into the Television World, by creating and producing the European TV Series Pilot Night Screams. Mr. Fernandez has now moved back to South Florida and has created Magic City Distribution & Production, a marketing and distribution company for Indie Films.

    The Open House is open to prospective students and members of the press. If you’re interested in attending or have questions, please email southbeach@nyfa.edu.

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    May 26, 2015 • Academic Programs, Community Highlights • Views: 4356

  • ‘X-Files’ Alumnus Paul Brown to Teach Workshop at NYFA South Beach

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    Paul BrownAfter a thirteen year hiatus, Fox has officially let fans know that the popular 90s TV show, The X-Files, will be returning for a brand new season. Series creator Chris Carter says the series will pick up right where it left off with stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny all on board to reprise their roles.

    The six-episode season is set to begin production this summer.

    In the meantime, X-Files alumnus Paul Brown will be teaching a workshop at the New York Film Academy’s South Beach campus.

    The Secret of Great Stories
    Workshop Featuring award-winning writer, director and producer, Paul Brown
    SATURDAY, APRIL 11th, 2015 at 12pm

    If you’re interested in attending the workshop, email southbeach@nyfa.edu

    Instructor Paul Brown is an award-winning writer, director and producer, having worked in film and television for over twenty-five years. He has produced over one-hundred television dramas, pilots, and movies, working on such series at The X-Files, Quantum Leap, The New Twilight Zone, Star Trek Voyager and Enterprise.  He has received nominations for three “Emmy Awards” and three “Golden Globes” as well as winning the “Edgar Award” from the Mystery Writers of America for Best TV Drama. He has also received the “Genesis Animal Rights Award.”

    He co-created Disney’s world-wide smash hit Camp Rock.  Most recently, he directed and co-wrote the dramatic feature film Heaven’s Rain in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.

    As a teacher for the New York Film Academy, he also gives lectures on writing, acting, and filmmaking throughout the year in Latin America, Europe, and Russia.

     

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    March 25, 2015 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6057

  • NYFA Hosts Successful Open House in South Beach

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    Miami NYFA

    The New York Film Academy hosted an Open House over the weekend at its new South Beach location in the Penthouse Suite of 420 Lincoln Road. The new facility, with ocean views all around, was filled to the brim with prospective students excited about studying Filmmaking, Acting, and Photography.

    “It was a terrific open house,” said NYFA Senior Director, David Klein. “We had a full crowd of interested people, many of whom have already enrolled in the programs, and we are looking forward to helping all of them achieve their goals.”

    NYFA’s hands-on programs in South Beach begin January 2014. If you have any questions about our new South Beach location, please email film@nyfa.edu or call 1-212-674-4300 or 1-800-611-3456.

    NYFA South Beach

    NYFA South Beach

     

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    November 4, 2013 • Film School • Views: 4096

  • NYFA Acting Graduate Publishes New Book Based on Creativity

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    Sinapsis

    New York Film Academy acting graduate Dr. Ariel Orama López published a new theoretical framework based on Creativity and the recent findings of Neuroscience: the textbook is called CRËATIVE SYNAPSE: CRËATE.YOUR.UNIVERSE© (2013). It is the first theoretical framework that explains the behavior of the human being by integrating the following variables: creativity, neuroscience, and the new influence of the virtual universe. The collection book will be presented in the atrium of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, in a distinguished context of artists, health professionals and academics.

    Dr. Gregory J. Quirk, a prominent American researcher specialized in Neuroscience & Luca Spaghetti, the well-known Italian amico writer -who served as a guide to Elizabeth Gilbert on her journey through Italy while writing Eat Pray Love– elaborated the prologues of this substantial investigative work of thirteen years: they provide in their prologues a nourished and accurate view of this text book, according to their experiences. The art of the book includes the precious paintings and drawings of Ektor Rivera, Celestino & Ramon Bruin (from the Netherlands).

    The text arises from a practical & theoretical framework created by Dr. Ariel Orama López that departs from his preparation, experience and knowledge in science, human behavior, natural sciences and performing arts. It includes experiences of the author -with a logbook on his sensible hands- in contexts gifted with creativity and spirituality such as Mexico, California, Spain and Italy.

    AG COLOR

    Dr. Ariel Orama Lopez

    Ariel is a Puerto Rican professional actor & psychologist. He is a collegiate actor of the Colegio de Actores of Puerto Rico, a certified Executive Coach (specialized in Crëative Life Coaching) from TISOC, Barcelona, Spain and a licensed clinical psychologist. He was selected as a finalist of Taller TELEMUNDO: actores, in Miami, directed by the well-known actress nominated for an Oscar in the movie Babel (2006), the distinguished Mexican actress & professor Adriana Barraza.

    Ariel Orama has worked in commercials, theatre, short films, indie films, documentary, series, television, media writing, and voice-overs, summing more than 200 projects in arts (2001-2013). He is also a composer and singer: one of his songs (Seré/I’ll be) was selected for the Puerto Rican dramatic documentary The Eyes of the People (producers: Roberto Ponce & Gladys Albino) and his song (Alto Vuelas/ Flying Higher) was selected as the official Puerto Rican song for the World March from the Peace, celebrated in Argentina and New Zealand.

    He performed in fourteen Short-Films in California during his NYFA training in Acting for the Film (Los Angeles). Recently, he was selected as the Creative Coach & Consultant for the television program Idol Kids Puerto Rico (from the recognized English franchise Idol ©) and have offered courses at the Colegio de Actores de Puerto Rico and other relevant forums about Psychology of Character.

    Ariel directed and starred on the Puerto Rican Short-Film ESTEB∆N, which received national and international laurels and/or nominations (Director’s Choice: Best Film, Top Ten Film, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Editing & Best Music) in following contexts: Spain, California, Orlando and Puerto Rico.

    The Puerto Rican actor has received different awards in performing arts, including Best Direction Selection, Best concept, Best actor & Best Script. Ariel was one of the five recipients of the Sor Isolina Ferré Medal in Education of the Government of Puerto Rico, unique National distinction in service and education.

    Dr. Orama is member of the new movement Voces Unidas por el Cine Puertorriqueño and this special project has been presented on Telemundo (Acceso Total) expressing about of all this wonderful initiatives and his vision about the film in the Island.

    Currently, Ariel is co-directing and working as the scriptwriter (producer: Vane Vélez) for a documentary that will be presented on Festivals based on the emerging Film Industry in Puerto Rico -the “Shining Star of the Caribbean”-, called CINECONTRASTES©: it includes testimonials of relevant figures such as Jacobo Morales, Idalia Pérez Garay, Vicente Juarbe, among others relevant figures of the Industry.

    The book appeals to artists, academics, psychologists and to the general public. It is published in Spanish and soon in English. It can be acquired in different libraries of the World, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony.

    Prsentacion libro Dr Orama sept2013

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    September 9, 2013 • Acting, Diversity, International Diversity, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 8500

  • The Psychology of Learning Film

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    David Egozi was a college student visiting New York from his hometown of Miami, Florida. One weekend, he saw a magazine advertisement about a certain film school. As the son of a news broadcaster, David grew up surrounded by cameras and lighting. A chip off the block, as they say, since he visited the school and quickly transferred to the New York Film Academy. David’s transition from liberal arts to the technical training provided at NYFA seems to be a seamless one. The most important lesson he has learned here, however, is something beyond skill. “[Department Chair] Claude really pushes us. It’s persistence that matters. It’s commitment. Always giving 110% percent.”

    A remarkably thoughtful young man, David admitted to having difficulty structuring his thoughts. “My head’s always been cluttered. Filmmaking allows me to organize my ideas and my feelings and turn them into something tangible.” He pursued filmmaking after working on creating videos for bars and clubs who were trying to promote their parties. After beginning his studies, however, he understood that the making of art had more to do than marketing it to an audience. Studying narrative helped him to appreciate the internal process of thought and emotion.

    “We shot in Super 35mm. Not digital.” – Nicola Raggi

    Speaking to Nicola Raggi also reveals a filmmaking student who recounts a growing experience. Originally from Sienna University in Italy, Nicola felt his education wasn’t teaching him anything. After winning a Bernardo Bertolucci scholarship for the Cinematography program, he decided to take the plunge into New York City. “I learned more in one year [at NYFA] than I did in five years at Sienna,” he said. Learning both digital and film, Nicola feels his skillset is finally complete. Because of the hands-on nature of our curriculum, Nicola quickly realized “the harsh reality of filmmaking”. The hours of long and brutal. Tensions can run high. As he said, “You learn how to behave on set. Working with the cast and crew can be difficult without sleep or much food.”

    Nicola and David both learned to solve specific types of problems. They learned to adapt and improvise in response to unexpected situations. The ability to think creatively is highly desirable in today’s rapidly changing world. However, can we safely say that many of America’s classrooms focus on helping students develop as creative thinkers? Arts education teaches young people today to create and control. There is a fundamental difference between being consumers of the mainstream media and being producers able to share their creations in order to influence minds and shape how a society behaves. If the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement is any indication, today’s students are growing up in a socially connected world which is very different from previous generations. Modern times have increasingly deemed the exchange of information as pivotal to everyday life, however, educators now are recognizing that information is only useful when it is transformed into knowledge.

    What David learned from the technical knowledge and creative execution was the ability to develop his own ideas, test them, discover boundaries, experiment, receive input, and generate newer ideas based on the feedback he received. Students like Nicola learned to work under stress, collaboratively and creatively, for long periods of time. This is socio-emotional learning. There is evidence that social and emotional capacities are just as brain-based as mathematical and linguistic competencies. Education should have both pedagogic and systemic dimensions. It is statistically proven that the skill-set which socio-emotional education such as the arts can lead to higher standardized test scores. Schools should promote socio-emotional competencies because it is a holistic approach to comprehensively educating our young people. It provides the skill-set necessary to creatively address today’s problems. If anything, a creative curriculum empowers students to believe they’re equipped to do anything they truly believe in.

    After graduation, Nicola continued work as a cinematographer with his production company The Loading Lab. He is the Director of Photography for the commercial being produced by CenterLight Health System, which currently ranks among the nation’s leading resources for long term residential and community-based healthcare. This commercial, which is also directed by NYFA alumnus Dmytro Maliuga, will air in four different languages on local television stations. David is currently finishing up his studies and expressed confidence in his newfound ability. “My dad hired a film crew for his business recently. For casting, directing, editing… I was like, ‘Why?’ I can do it. All of it. I learned everything.”

    To learn more about our filmmaking programs, click here.

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    May 29, 2012 • Cinematography, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 13308