• Remembering NBA Legend, Academy Award Winner, and Supporter of the Arts Kobe Bryant


    NBA superstar and Academy Award winner Kobe Bryant was among nine passengers, including his daughter Gianna, who died tragically in a helicopter accident on Sunday, January 26.

    One of the greatest basketball players of all time, Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for twenty years, before retiring in 2016. Among his many athletic achievements, Bryant was the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points, the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history, and was selected to start the annual NBA All-Star game for a record 18 consecutive appearances—where he won a record-tying four MVP awards. Additionally, he won two Gold Medals as part of the United States Olympic team.

    After retiring from the NBA, Bryant made a name for himself off the court as a supporter of the visual arts. He founded the multimedia production company
    Granity Studios, which partners with award-winning writers, producers, and illustrators to develop original content that would marry sports concepts with fantasy and storytelling elements.

    Bryant wrote, produced, and hosted one of Granity’s first projects, Detail, a series for ESPN+ that aims to teach basketball by deconstructing in detail individual NBA playoff performances.

    In 2018, Bryant won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball, which he co-produced through Granity Studios. The animated short, directed by Glen Keane and scored by John Williams, visualizes the letter Bryant wrote announcing his retirement from the NBA. The film’s win made Bryant the first African American to win an Academy Award in that category and the first former professional athlete to be nominated and to win an Oscar in any category.

    Bryant’s cross-cultural contributions have left the sports community, arts community, the city of Los Angeles, and Bryant’s friends and family deep in shock and mourning. Just hours after the accident, the Grammy Awards were presented live, where numerous presenters, performers, and award winners—including Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and Alicia Keys—paid respects to the star and his family.

    Shaquille O’Neal, a New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum who played with Bryant on the Lakers and earned three consecutive NBA championships alongside him, was one of the countless mourners praising the life of Kobe Bryant on social media.

    “Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man,” O’Neal wrote in one of several posts remembering his friend. “That was what we had most in common. We love our families. Whenever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his.”

    New York Film Academy is deeply saddened by the loss of NBA legend and Academy Award winner Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and all those lost in Sunday’s crash. Rest in Peace, Black Mamba.


    January 27, 2020 • 3D Animation, Entertainment News, Filmmaking • Views: 3526

  • Forbes Interviews New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism Alum Alana Blaylock


    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Alana Blaylock has had a productive career since finishing the 8-week Broadcast Journalism workshop at NYFA’s New York City campus in the summer of 2011. It’s no surprise then that many in the indAlana Blaylockustry have taken notice of the Emmy Award winner, including Forbes Magazine, which recently published a profile on and interview with the up-and-coming producer.

    Blaylock has amassed an inspiring roster of credits since finishing her workshop at NYFA’s Broadcast Journalism school, which teaches aspiring reporters a well-rounded understanding of all aspects of the production process, including researching, writing, shooting, producing, and editing. This is important in the modern digital landscape as contemporary broadcast journalists are expected to be multimedia journalists, marrying their technical skills with their creative ones. 

    This is exactly what Blaylock has excelled at, and why she has already won an Emmy and why her career is taking off even as her path winds between both traditional roads and outside-the-box ones. Her credits include work on CNN, HBO, NBC News, National Geographic, and the ID Channel, including popular programs Deadline and United Shades of America. However, her work on newer streaming models like Amazon and YouTube is what has been generating a lot of buzz. 

    One of her latest projects is producing for Best Shot, a YouTube Originals docuseries executive produced by Lebron James and Maverick Carter for the NBA. The show follows the student basketball players of Newark Central High School as well as chronicling the life and career of their mentor, former NBA player and sports television personality Jay Williams.

    In addition to working in both traditional and digital media, Blaylock curates a strong online presence on social media, further highlighting her smart instincts in an ever-changing media landscape.

    “I love the visual storytelling that happens on Instagram,” Blaylock tells Forbes. “That’s the platform I probably use the most [in my personal life]. And I am inspired by movies, set design, museums, exhibits and artists.”

    She continues, “I try to take in as much new culture as possible and then decide what I want to do with it or how it fits into my process as a creative.”

    What lies ahead for Blaylock remains to be seen, but it’s clear whatever she does next will be insightful and successful due to the work she puts in and the philosophy that keeps her driven. When asked about keeping her own personal voice while working on other parties’ projects, Blaylock tells Forbes, “My brand evolves as I attain more world experience. I have to remain authentically Alana, and the projects that I take on are continuations of my career journey.

    “I can adapt to the demands of a project and still be the best version of myself. I remain steadfast in my goals while producing every show, documentary or collaboration. As a result of working on many projects, there’s always new information and experiences. It keeps me well-rounded.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Alana Blaylock on her career and looks forward to her future successes sure to come!

  • The Future Is Here. NBA Introduces Virtual Reality Footage


    NBA uses virtual reality during All-Star weekend

    Since taking over the league, Commissioner Adam Silver has been open to experimenting with new ways to expand the NBA. One way is to embrace new technologies; more specifically, virtual reality.

    It has been rumored for months that the NBA would be the first sports league to introduce virtual reality streams of its events. And during this past weekend’s All-Star festivities in New York, the rumors came closer to becoming a reality.

    Although not a live stream, the three point contest, dunk contest, and actual All-Star Game were all filmed with special virtual reality cameras.

    The footage will only be available for users of the Samsung Gear VR headset (powered by Oculus Rift) which is only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. While that limits the amount of people with access to the footage, it should be a great test case for bringing fans court-side through virtual reality.

    This could open the doors for virtual reality implementation elsewhere. While it could obviously be used for other leagues and different sporting events, the possibilities are endless.

    It’s not too much of a stretch to think that it could change the face of filmmaking. For example, a documentary filmed with the use of virtual reality could give the audience a whole different experience than a simple narration.

    We are still in the early days of experimenting with this type of media, but this is a huge step towards making it more mainstream.


    February 16, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3902

  • Final Hours of the Imagine Film Challenge

    imagine film challenge

    The Imagine Film Challenge is in full swing. Team NYFA (aka The Broken Slates) – including over two dozen actors from NYFA – are 24 Hours away from exhibiting Deliver Us, and hopefully “delivering us” a win! NYFA and the other three schools were required to film part of their projects on the Convention floor of the Cable Show.

    In a moment of life imitating art, a potential real life protest march interfered with the Broken Slates filming their own protest march. The Convention Center is right next to the Staples Center, where the Clippers play. Right before game-time, there was supposed to be a massive protest rally against the owner of the team (in light of his recent ban from the NBA due to his racist comments). NYFA had to then scramble to find a new location to film their own protest rally, which in the end turned out to be larger than the real-life demonstration.

    The team continues to film and edit as this is written, all in preparation for tomorrow’s screening at the Convention Center. Among the judges is Rutger Hauer from Blade Runner!

    “I’m very proud of NYFA‘s team for their ambition and work ethic,” says Eric Conner. “And to all of our two dozen plus actors for being part of the project.”

    The final films will be broadcast on Shorts TV.

    imagine film challenge 2

    May 1, 2014 • Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5601