music video

  • Music Video Students Visit Rolling Stone HQ


    rolling stone

    For many decades, Rolling Stone Magazine has been a leading force in music and entertainment culture. Its ability to catapult an artist’s career is quite remarkable. The same could be said for the music video and its ability to launch the careers of so many talented directors. In fact, a slew of today’s top film directors like David Fincher and Spike Jonze began their careers by making music videos. In the New York Film Academy’s Rolling Stone Music Video Workshop, we provide that very same training ground.

    rolling stone

    This week, our music video students had the privilege of visiting the world-famous headquarters of Rolling Stone Magazine in New York City. As part of the tour, students had an opportunity to gawk at the Hallway of Covers, which displays every Rolling Stone cover since its inception in 1967. As you can imagine, our music video students were in awe of the massive display. Our hope is that it was also inspiring for the young artists. You never know, perhaps their face could be on the cover someday.

    rolling stone mag


    January 30, 2015 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4889

  • NYFA Teams Up with R&B Star Banky W.




    The New York Film Academy has recently collaborated with R&B sensation, Banky W, on his latest music video for the upcoming single, “Unborn Child” featuring hip hop artist, Lynxxx.

    Hailing from Lagos, Nigeria, Banky enrolled in NYFA’s Union Square campus to study an 8-week Filmmaking course where he was able to develop his skills to co-produce and co-direct his largest music video to date alongside Jonathan Whittaker, Chair of Short-Term Filmmaking Program at The New York Film Academy. With a NYFA crew comprised of former students, assistants, and faculty, “Unborn Child” was shot on the stellar Red Epic at Gary’s Loft in Midtown and just off Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx in only 2 days. The video stars Banky, Lynxxx, and 8-week Acting for Film student Aminat Ayinde.

    Banky plays the role of an NYPD officer that finds out the unexpected news that his girlfriend, Ayinde, is now pregnant. As he departs for what he thinks will be just another day on the job, the mother of his unborn child will soon find out that Banky is injured in the line of duty and leaves Lynxxx, his fellow NYPD partner, to deliver an important letter of heartfelt words and lessons for his child to live by in this emotional song and video.

    The video is currently in post-production at the New York Film Academy and is pending information on the premiere. One thing we know for sure is that we are extremely proud to have had Banky join us as a student and collaborator on this project. Working with Banky firsthand, Jonathan Whittaker says, “For someone of Banky’s stature to trust me with their vision is a tremendous honor. There is no higher sense of accomplishment than collaborating with students who are putting into practice what they have learned in my classroom.”


    November 14, 2014 • Acting, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5477

  • Acting Alumni Spotlight: Mia Ella Jordan Stars in ‘Basketball Girlfriend’


    Mia Ella Jordan

    Within two months of graduating from New York Film Academy’s One-Year Acting for Film Conservatory, Mia Ella Jordan was cast in the feature film, Basketball Girlfriend, which is now available to rent on RedBox. She was also in Jez Dior’s music video, Who Drank My Whiskey, which, at one point in time earlier this year, was the #1 song trending on Twitter. Aside from those two projects, she was the lead actress in the short, I-589, which premiered at the LA Indie Film Festival.

    Hailing from Santiago de Chile, Mia had originally auditioned with Basketball Girlfriend director Jean-Claude La Marre for another project and, some time later, he called her in to audition for the role of Jenny and cast her that day. This is fairly common in the industry, so don’t get too discouraged when you don’t land the initial audition. Maintain strong relationships with directors and casting directors.

    Mia had been working in theatre for quite a while and while she loved it, her heart was in film. After attending an international school fair in Santiago, she was drawn to NYFA. Mia felt the Acting for Film courses were the perfect compliment to her previous acting training in theatre.

    “The Meisner technique has been the most useful to me in terms of auditioning and being on-set,” said Mia. “I’ve heard from a lot of actors and even some agents that Meisner doesn’t help in auditions, but to me listening is everything because it sustains my being in the present and so it instills me in my truth.”

    Mia eventually hopes to reach a point in her career where she can choose specific roles that truly resonate with her. As an actress, she believes she has a wonderful responsibility with the audience and wants to honor it by creating and being a part of projects that truly inspire and make a difference.

    Recently, Mia finished acting in another music video for Jez Dior’s single, Clean Me Up. She’s also finishing up filming a short film, I Forgot You Were Here, where she plays a blind woman in a troubled relationship. “I love it because it’s not moral and I believe art never should be,” she says.

    Check out Mia Ella Jordan in Jez Dior’s Who Drank My Whiskey.


    August 13, 2014 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6181

  • New York Film Academy in Association with Warner Bros. Records Produces Jenny Lewis’ New Music Video


    Jenny Lewis Video

    One of the many exciting partnerships the New York Film Academy has developed is with Warner Bros. Records. From this exciting collaboration, the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles was tapped to film the music video for popular singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis’ new song She’s Not Me, which comes off her new album, The Voyager. Following production, the video was edited by NYFA student, Saud Al-Moghirah, and is now live to view on Jenny’s Youtube page!

    Have a look at the video below, which is a time-lapse of a mural painted outside of the famous Amoeba Music in Hollywood. Jenny’s full album, The Voyager, will be released July 29th by Warner Bros. Records.


  • AFA Filmmaking Grad Becomes DP / Associate Producer for Revolt TV


    Joshua Berry

    Since graduating from New York Film Academy’s AFA Filmmaking Program, Joshua Berry has quickly climbed the ranks on Revolt TV’s In Harm’s Way, a music television show that consists of music videos, band interviews and performances, as well as interstitial segments with the host of the show. Josh is Director of Photography/Associate Producer on the show. Given the tight budget, Josh works with a small crew consisting of him, a sound mixer, and sometimes a freelance camera operator. Most of their shoots consist of a four camera set up: Josh will operate one camera, set another one up on a tripod, mount a GoPro for a super wide angle, and a B Cam operator. Not only that, he sets up all of the lighting and electric as well.

    In his associate producer role, Josh is tasked with gathering elements that his editor requires. These elements consist of stock photos, pulling music for the show, and organizing all of the music videos that come in for the show.

    “My NYFA education was definitely helpful for what I am doing today,” says Josh. “I run a set essentially by myself and I am partially able to do that because of the constant hands on training at NYFA, which taught me how to preform every position on a film set.”

    As Josh continues to develop invaluable skills on set every day, he hopes to one day ‘tell a story’. To do so, Josh hopes to someday work on a narrative film or TV series, whether it be as a director of photography or director.


    May 6, 2014 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4579

  • NYFA Students to Compete in Music Video Competition


    September Soul Music logo

    The New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, in association with director/producer D. Channsin Berry, is holding a music video competition open to NYFA LA students.

    The director and producer of such noteworthy documentaries as Dark Girls and The Black Line (Profile of the African-American Woman Part 3), Mr. Berry has recently formed his own music company September Soul Music and is giving students at NYFA LA the opportunity to submit ideas to direct, produce, and edit music videos for two of his artists. The songs include “Movin” by R&B/Adult Contemporary artist Electric Blue Man and “Extremes” by R&B/Pop artist Corey Cross.

    Producing instructor and Chair of Diversity Development Cheryl Bedford, who recently moderated a panel on Black Hollywood at NYFA LA that included Mr. Berry, says, “NYFA’s Black Hollywood Panel has brought together wonderful partnerships.  These are excellent opportunities for our students!”

    Students who are eligible to submit their pitches to Mr. Berry are second or third year honor students and each candidate must put together a crew of NYFA LA students in good academic standing. The music video for Corey Cross will be performance-based while Electric Blue Man’s treatment should be smooth and classy, along the lines of Pharrell Wiliams’ “Happy” music video. The location is a small sound stage and a white cyc, allowing students a great deal of freedom in bringing their pitches to life. Both music videos will be shot on the same day, encouraging students to keep their ideas inexpensive and of high quality. Mr. Berry will then actively promote the music videos, offering students a chance to get their names out in the entertainment industry.

    Students interested in participating should submit their ideas to by Monday, April 28th. A committee will then narrow the field down to five finalists, each of whom will have five minutes to pitch his or her idea to Mr. Berry.


    April 24, 2014 • Contests, Filmmaking • Views: 3462

  • A ‘Second Wind’ For NYFA Grad Sarah Choi


    As most of us know, going through a breakup can be a very difficult and tumultuous time. And while some of us tend to get down, struggling to get through the days, artists often find inspiration from the ordeal. This was the case for New York Film Academy documentary graduate, Sarah Choi. Sarah’s recent music video Second Wind captures the breakups of three young women through a choreographed dance number set to the tune of Arcade Fire’s Afterlife.

    “What helped me get through the first few months after the breakup was renewing my commitment to telling stories through my films; and also taking dance classes,” said Sarah. “I found it therapeutic to let loose and try to communicate my feelings through movement and music.”

    Sarah teamed up with a number of NYFA filmmakers from all over the world to create the film, which was shot in a very short period of time due to conflicting schedules. Her Director of Photography, Tomas Velasquez (from Colombia), Assistant Camera, Mihyun Park (from South Korea), and Gaffer, Aleksandra Miasnikova (from Belarus), have great chemistry founded upon respect and friendship. “We met while studying at the New York Film Academy, and I would love to continue working on projects with them!”

    The video has already garnished praise across the web including a mention on The Huffington Post called Dealing with Love.

    You can watch the video in its entirety below. Enjoy!

    Director of Photography: Tomas Velasquez
    Assistant Camera: Mihyun Park
    Gaffer: Aleksandra Miasnikova
    Production Coordinator: Leslie Stanfield
    Colorist: Jared Melman
    Cast: Breton Tyner-Bryan, Leigh Schanfein, Sarah Choi
    Key Make-up Artist: Mallory Passione
    Hairstylists: Zachary Hart, Mallory Pace, Marykate Osick

  • NYFA Students Star in Richie Ramone’s New Music Video

    Richie Ramone

    Richie Ramone

    As the drummer of the legendary New York punk rock group, The Ramones, Richie Ramone channels his experiences to perform in the short film/music video, Criminal, directed by Steven Hanft.

    “Ramone came to me with a limited video budget and asked if I could make him a music video that was a full on psycho thriller with a plot,” said Steven Hanft. “Something with suspense, like a Hitchcock TV show, or like Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. I said yeah, I could try. I penned the script going with the idea of a short suspense film about two desperate bank robbers hiding out on the outskirts of Los Angeles.”

    Through the help of New York Film Academy Acting for Film Instructor, Melissa Sullivan, Steven was able to cast two of her student actors, Bonnie Lawrence and Nikita Tserev, to play the young outlaw lead parts in the short.

    The video is slated to premiere on in early January 2014 and will coincide with the release of Richie Ramone’s single Criminal.

    Nikita pool close up _Criminal_

    Nikita Tserva

    Bonnie Lawrence

    Bonnie Lawrence


    December 9, 2013 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4263

  • New York Film Academy’s Top 5 Robert De Niro Acting Roles


    Roger Del Pozo is the Director of Acting Admissions at the New York Film Academy. In addition to his work at NYFA, he has also been a casting director in New York for the last 10 years. In that time he has cast hundreds of 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.

    1. MEAN STREETS — The original! De Niro’s first movie with Martin Scorsese is certainly one of his best. Johnny Boy jumps off the screen with such vitality and menace that it seems almost “too real” to be simply called a performance. Both hysterical and frightening, De Niro created a character that set the precedent for gritty, urban performances.  Some may argue he defined American acting from the 1970’s forward.
    2. TAXI DRIVER — De Niro’s iconic role is memorable for so many reasons. The delivery, the transformation, the impact on popular culture… The mohawk! Travis Bickle was immortalized as “God’s Lonely Man”. He frightens because he is so effortlessly real. Nothing about this character feels like a performance. De Niro famously drove a night-shift cab for months to prepare for this role. It shows. We don’t doubt him for a minute. Who can look at cabbies the same way again after watching this? 
    3. RAGING BULL — Of course the famous weight gain is impressive. Everything else about this powerhouse performance, however, also shines. De Niro won his first Best Actor statute portraying the troubled pugilist Jake LaMotta, and he definitely deserved it. The fight scenes are some of the most realistic ever filmed. Most importantly, he humanizes a man with very few redeeming qualities. A classic in every way.
    4. THE GODFATHER 2 — De Niro had huge shoes to fill playing the young version of Vito Corleone, a role made famous by his hero Marlon Brando. He didn’t disappoint. Winning his first Academy Award, he spoke entirely in Sicilian which he learned for the role. De Niro portrays a young Don driven by his need for power and revenge. It’s a study in quiet strength and menace. Undoubtedly, this role solidified De Niro as an actor for the ages. 
    5. GOODFELLAS — De Niro teamed up with Martin Scorsese once again. As the leader of career gangsters, he is chillingly and darkly hilarious. One of my all time favorite films, this film would’ve sunk without De Niro’s performance. Jimmy Conway is so vibrant and memorable that De Niro has parlayed his later career playing a version of this role in subsequent roles. 
    Do you agree with Roger? Give us your thoughts. Moreover, don’t forget to learn more about the acting program here.

    March 8, 2012 • Acting • Views: 1855

  • Alum Kemi Adetiba Makes Her Name in Music Video Production


    Kemi Adetiba’s ambition within the entertainment industry has expanded the breadth of her career from fashionista to lawyer to DJ to director and producer of music videos. Perhaps the first Nigerian woman to have successfully broken into this many branches of the industry and made a name for herself in music video production, the New York Film Academy filmmaking graduate is known for her impeccable attention to detail when conceptualizing, shooting and editing her videos. She’s attracted attention in the Nigerian entertainment industry for pushing herself to keep learning more about filmmaking techniques and technology even after becoming successful.

    Her drive to diversify her talents is how Kemi ended up studying filmmaking and production with us at the New York Film Academy. She explained her journey to NYFA in an interview last year.

    I’m a restless person, highly ambitious, and I hunger to learn more. You tend to get the ‘side-eye’ though, because you are a woman and have no formal training. Well, I couldn’t do anything to change the former, but I ‘heck-sure’ could do something to change the latter. So I picked up my junk and went back to school.

    A lot of people thought I was crazy for leaving at the supposed height of my career, but I went through it, graduated, and I’m now better for it. I’m actually gearing up to do a more concentrated course in cinematography. I want to stand anywhere, open my mouth, and know what I’m taking about – at least within my industry.

    A 2008 graduate of NYFA, she drew from her heritage when producing her thesis film, Across the Bloodied Ocean. The film tells the story of a wealthy African family living in the United States, dealing with their daughter’s refusal to return home to take part in a traditional coming of age ritual.

    Right now, Kemi splits her time between Lagos and New York City. She has recently signed with an American management agency and is frequently invited to speak at film festivals and music conferences when she isn’t producing videos.

    Above, we’ve posted her most recent video for the artist Bez. Check out more of Kemi’s work in fashion and music video directing and production on fashion blog Ladybrille.


    August 16, 2010 • Acting • Views: 3779