new york film academy
Posts

  • NYFA LA Welcomes Talent Manager Carol Brodie

    carol bodieThe New York Film Academy was thrilled to have Talent Manager Carol Bodie speak with the Acting for Film Department in Los Angeles this past week. Tova Laiter, Director of the Guest Speakers Series, hosted the evening along side NYFA Instructor Anne Moore.

    Bodie is responsible for helping guide the careers of many Hollywood elites including Jon Hamm, Jada Pinkett Smith, Joel Edgerton, Jim Sturgess, David Oyelowo, Kim Cattrall, Winona Ryder, Hailee Steinfeld, Rosie Perez, Calista Flockhart, and many others. Bodie has also produced “Girl Interrupted” and is working with many of Hollywood’s rising stars including Ruby Rose.

    Bodie kicked off the Q and A by welcoming all of her “future clients.” Bodie started her career when she moved to LA in her early twenties. She hadn’t expected to get in the entertainment industry, but all of her acting friends encouraged her to get work at an agency. When she finally found an agent she wanted to work with she realized she didn’t know what she was doing. “I literally answered the phone, ‘Hello.”

    Despite being told assistants do not get promoted it didn’t take long for Bodie to rise through the ranks. “I literally worked harder than anyone else,” she said. “I would get there at seven in the morning. Then I’d work all day. Stephen (her boss) would leave for a screening or event. He’d come back after and leave post-it notes all over my desk. So, I was working Saturdays and Sundays.”

    Bodie at NYFA LABodie had a lot of advice for her students. One insider tip is to find moments to surprise the casting director. “You have to remember Casting Directors are people too. We have bad days. We get bored.” Bodie suggests that if you’re given two scenes to read, read the second piece first. You’ll instantly have the director’s attention.

    “For actors the only thing to do is act. Do a play even if it is a small production,” Bodie suggests. “It’s all about relationships. Become friends with assistants and managers.” This way you’ll be the first to hear about all of the auditions.

    “Get out of your own head,” Bodie told the students. “Make it about the other person. By focusing on other people it relaxes you. Go to IMDb and look at what they’ve cast. They’re a person, too. They’ll want to tell you about their experience.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Ms. Bodie for taking the time to speak with our students.

    April 21, 2017 • Acting • Views: 287

  • Producing Grad Inks TV Series Deal From NYFA Guest Speaker

    Heidi Segal Recent Producing graduate from the New York Film Academy’s 1-Year Producing Conservatory, Heidi Segal, is a shining example of how it’s never too late to change your career and pursue an endeavor that is much more fulfilling. The former government contractor of 25 years rediscovered her creativity and hit the ground running while learning the craft of producing. She’s been busy working on several projects since graduating from the program, and was able to catch us up with her new career in a recent interview.

    What made you decide to transition from government contractor to producing for film and TV?

    After escaping an abusive marriage in early 2015, I relocated from Annapolis to Baltimore, MD to be closer to my client base. That summer I discovered “House of Cards” season 4 was shooting in the city and was curious about what it’s like being on set. So I signed up to be an extra and ended up working on the show 9 days over the next couple of months, to include being Robin Wright’s stand-in for a day. Since my industry had become so standardized, there was no longer anything creative about it, so I started crewing for friends on their first films or web series and taking acting classes. Quickly realizing that I preferred being behind the camera instead of in front of it, and enjoying the creative process of filmmaking, I decided to take a couple months off work and attend the 8-week Filmmaking program at NYFA with the intention of returning to Baltimore and my career. However, halfway through the filmmaking course, I realized producing films and TV series was exactly what I should have been doing years ago. Between my natural creativity and 25+ years of directly-relevant business experience, I immediately signed up for NYFA’s 1-Year Producing Conservatory, quit my consulting business, moved to NYC, started Mixed Sygnls Productions, LLC, and went back to school. I’m glad I did.

    Would you say the producing school at NYFA was useful in terms of what you’re currently working on?

    Absolutely. There is no way I could have executed this career transition as completely and efficiently as I have. Without the formal training and networking opportunities provided by the program, it would take me years to figure out I’m doing. I would not have been able to quit my career and focus solely on creating films and TV series.

    Can you tell me a little bit about your short film, “Matthew’s Monsters”? 

    The logline is: Happy-go-lucky by day, a young boy is haunted by the sounds of monsters stomping around his room when the lights go out…until he discovers the source of the monsters’ footsteps.

    I adapted “Matthew’s Monsters” from a story in the book “Icarus of Brooklyn” by Matthew Alper. I wrote the screenplay, cast the two characters (a 4 year-old boy and his mother), directed, and edited the film. I also optioned “Icarus of Brooklyn” for my thesis project and am now developing it into a feature film.

    “Matthew’s Monsters” will be screening at the Cannes Short Film Corner and is being considered for 35 other film festivals worldwide.

    matthews monsters

    “Matthew’s Monsters”

    Can you talk a little bit about your series, “Rough Cut”? Where did the idea come from and what is the status of the project?

    We had a reality TV sizzle reel assignment in the Producing Conservatory 2nd quarter. Each student had to come up with their own concept and pitch to the Producing Department Chair, Neal Weisman. I came up with an entertainment industry-related competition/reality series. I apparently went overboard on my assignment and produced a full pitch package. Neil and Richard D’Angelo suggested I take the project out of the school and find an experienced reality TV Showrunner to attach as a Co-Producer and start marketing the series. I pitched the project to Eric Leemon after he came in for a guest lecture. He loved it, we inked a deal, and he handed it off to his agent at William Morris Endeavor (WME) to shop around for a buyer.

    You’ve recently been working with ID/Discovery. Can you tell me what your position is at the network?

    We had an internship requirement in the Producing Conservatory 4th quarter. Eric Leemon facilitated getting me onboard with HudSun Media here in NYC to work on the development team on the Discovery ID Channel crime reality show Bad Blood season 2. I worked as a researcher to identify murder cases that met the show’s concept for episode consideration. After graduating from NYFA, HudSun Media hired me on an as-needed basis to continue episode research support and to help the production team prepare to shoot and produce episode 5. All 6 episodes are in post production – so my work there is complete.

    What do you hope to achieve at Cannes, especially with your involvement in the Cannes Film Business Program?

    The networking opportunity at Cannes is my primary focus. I’m hoping to find financing and distribution deals for my upcoming feature films and possibly for “Rough Cut” and the other TV series I am creating.

    What else are you currently working on?

    Under my company, Mixed Sygnls Productions, LLC, I have optioned four feature films. I am currently developing and preparing to produce two of the smaller budget features — “My Name is Velouria,” a $2M action thriller that I plan to shoot in upstate NY this fall, and “Icarus of Brooklyn,” a $3M coming-of-age drama set in Brooklyn in the late 70s, early 80s that I plan to shoot in NYC next spring.

    The other two features will be in the $15-25M range with production planned for late 2018 into 2019. I am also producing a teaser for Michael C. Bryan’s book “Creepy Kid” that will be published later this year. We plan to co-produce a feature film and TV series based on the book. In addition to “Rough Cut,” I am also creating a comedy reality TV series called “Kinda Sketchy” and two narrative TV series. I am creating “Bad Wolff”as a limited series about domestic abuse and domestic violence with the plan to launch a follow-on drama series called “Closure.”

    April 20, 2017 • Producing, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 527

  • Roadside Attractions’ Eric d’Arbeloff Screens “Manchester by the Sea” at NYFA LA

    Students packed the Riverside Theater in Los Angeles to see one of last year’s most critically acclaimed films, “Manchester by the Sea,” and hear from one of the men who made the film possible, Co-Founder of Roadside Attractions, Eric d’Arbeloff. Roadside Attractions has released over 130 films including “Winter’s Bone,” “Love & Friendship,” “Southside with You,” “Mr. Holmes,” “Love & Mercy,” “The Cove,” “Margin Call,” “Arbitrage,” “Hello My Name is Doris,” The September Issue,” and “Mud.” Tova Laiter, Director of the New York Film Academy’s Guest Speakers Series, hosted the evening alongside NYFA Instructor Shaun Conan.

    Eric d’Arbeloff

    D’Arbeloff started by giving a little history on his company. “We are a small company focused on theatrical releasing. We’re kind of like a specialty boutique production company. We don’t do VOD releases or direct to video. We have a relatively small slate compared to some of our competitors. Typically, an IFC or Sony Picture Classics will do thirty or forty films a year. We’re more like ten or twelve films a year. From the get go the company was always designed for partnerships.”

    It was that spirit of partnership that brought Roadside Attraction to Amazon. Their first film together, “Chi-Raq,” opened to great critical acclaim. Thinking bigger has always been part of their DNA.

    Exhibition community is still establishing the rules with the rise of streaming services. Netflix, for example, likes to release everything on the same day. If you can watch it in theaters you can watch it on the app. But d’Arbeloff and Roadside believe that films like “Manchester by the Sea” wouldn’t exist without a theatrical release and critical discussion. Neither model is better, d’Arbeloff stressed. But he’s in the camp of traditional releasing.

    He explained the different aspects of his job, which include curating the right types of film. Prints and advertising budgets are a difficult challenge. One of the largest challenges is picking the right release date. Holidays, elections, award season and other film release dates all play a key factor in when a movie comes out. D’Arbeloff described this process as “reading the tea leaves.”

    During the Q and A portion one student, Theresa, asked, “Is there any advice to young filmmakers who get their shorts into festivals and are rewarded? How do we manage to transition to features from shorts? Should we wait for feedback or start on a new project?”

    Eric d’Arbeloff at NYFA LA

    “The great thing is there are multiple avenues to make a name for yourself,” d’Arbeloff replied. “I think it certainly helps if you’re a writer or someone who likes to read and is good at developing material. There was a time when I was a producer. I would go to Sundance and keep tabs on all the filmmakers. When I first started you really had to decide, ‘are you going to be in television or film? Are you interested in business or are you interested in creative?’ That’s not the case anymore. I really want to encourage you guys to try everything. There are no boundaries.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. d’Arbeloff for taking the time to speak with our students. Roadside’s latest picture by Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Barcelona) entitled “Love & Friendship” starring Kate Beckinsale is currently available on Amazon.

    For more information on Roadside Attractions, you can click here.

    April 19, 2017 • Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 1190

  • NYFA Welcomes Diversity Chair Dr. Nancy Kwang Johnson

    The Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy (NYFA) has a new Chair of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, Dr. Nancy Kwang Johnson. Nancy is responsible for formulating NYFA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy and its Diversity Strategic Plan, creating multicultural programming, and spearheading strategic partnerships for faculty, students, and staff.

    nancy kwang

    Nancy brings two decades of experience as an educator, higher education administrator, and consultant to the role of Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Most notably, Nancy was invited to the first Korean American Briefing at the White House (2012). She received the “President’s Excellence in Diversity” award at Western Illinois University. Nancy attended Vassar, and has an MPA, MA, and PhD (in Government) from Cornell.

    As a multiracial female (her mother is Korean, her father is African-American, and her paternal great grandmother is full-blooded Cherokee), Nancy is no stranger to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a polyglot, Nancy speaks Korean and English (her mother tongues), basic Albanian and Wolof, and has taught International Relations in French.

    With expertise in Race, Ethnicity, and Diaspora Studies, Nancy has lived in South Korea, France, Senegal, Canada, Albania, and Serbia. In North America, Nancy has taught at the New School, Texas Tech, Temple, Colgate, Washington University, Yale, Western Illinois University, Georgetown, University of Windsor, and the University of Ottawa.

    The Dean of the College organized a series of “meet and greets” in Barham and Riverside so that NYFA students could become acquainted with NYFA’s incoming Chief Diversity Officer. At Barham, Nancy engaged in a listening tour comprised of thirty-five students and provided a silhouette of her strategic vision for diversity, equity and inclusion. The students expressed their enthusiasm for the inclusive and diaspora-informed nature of upcoming events such as “A Conversation with NBC’s Diversity Initiatives Team,” and news of the partnership Nancy recently forged with East West Players Theatre.

    nyfa diversity

    At Riverside, NYFA students Amjad Tkroni and Hanan Higgi (active in clubs and organizations) were eager to recruit their fellow students. When asked how they felt about Nancy the girls broke into giggles, “She’s so cute. She’s able to say exactly what her vision for the future is in one sentence. Plus she has so many great events coming up.” The girls were particularly excited for the Second Line Festival (May 5th) – an International Dance Festival showcasing hip hop, West African, Indian, and Russian choreography of the NYFA Dance Troupe.

    For her part, Nancy had this to say about meeting her new students:

    “I was so humbled by the fact that the Dean of the College wanted to have a ‘meet and greet’ in my honor. On this end, I was truly inspired by my town hall-like dialogue with the students, and definitely learned a lot about their innate desire to have truly diverse, equitable and inclusive events across campus. In this regard, I am forever indebted to President Michael Young and NYFA leadership for accepting my pitch to re-brand the Department to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Our new brand, I believe, reflects the world we live in today. We are NYFA.”

    The New York Film Academy is proud to count Dr. Johnson amongst their ranks and looks forward to the NYFA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy, the NYFA Diversity Strategic Plan, multicultural programming and Strategic Diversity Initiatives to be formulated and implemented to create a sense of belongingness and community for NYFA faculty, students, and staff. Be sure not to miss out on these amazing opportunities coming soon.

    LIST OF UPCOMING EVENTS

    April 10th (7:30-9:00 p.m.) — NYFA Burbank’s 1st Open Mic Night.

    Our hostess for the evening will be Aida Rodriguez (recently featured in Robert De Niro’s latest film, “The Comedian”). Aida was also a finalist in NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and will be appearing as the first Latina in Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam.

    April 24th       Inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Speaker Series (TBA)

    May 2nd         “A Conversation with NBC’s Diversity Initiatives Team”

    May 5th          Second Line Festival: An International Celebration of Diversity

    April 19, 2017 • Community Highlights • Views: 1138

  • Acting for Film Alumnus Torsten Colijn Nominated for Best Ensemble Cast

    torstenThe 2017 FirstGlance Film Festival Los Angeles has announced its official nominations for the 17th edition, which will take place April 20-23.

    Torsten Colijn, an Acting for Film alumnus from the New York Film Academy Los Angeles, has been nominated as part of the ‘Best Ensemble Cast (short)’ for his role in his first US film production “Leben – Life,” a coming of age story about passion for life, exploration, and self acceptance.

    “I truly did not see this one coming,” said Colijn. “This is really awesome, and such a big compliment to the whole international cast. Claudia Claase, Anastasiya Kuptsevych, Musa Lutfi Trevathan, we all did our best to make this story come to life. With great co-directing by Chessa Mehlman and Ian Sumner.”

    The film addresses the struggles that LGBT youth face while showing strength, beauty, and happiness as two women find each other during their travels through Europe. Colijn plays a waiter, whom one of the women comes across on her journey.

    For Torsten it’s his first USA nomination, although he’s acted in over 60 European film, TV and theatre projects.

    “My training at NYFA taught me about the business of film in America, which is totally different than the Dutch film scene,” said Colijn.

    Earlier this year Torsten attended the Canada Independent Film Festival, in Montreal, on behalf of the producer of the Belgian drama film “Rose,” in which Torsten stars as the emphatic doctor, Zachee, who is determined to save the life of a young girl named Rose. With 12 awards worldwide and 43 nominations so far, “Rose” had its Canadian premiere in Montreal as the film had the honor of kicking of the film festival.

    Colijn is represented by Eric Stevens from Rainbow High Entertainment.

    April 18, 2017 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1585

  • NYFA Game Design Mentor Meetup with Aaron Pulkka

    This past week the New York Film Academy Game Department held a Game Mentor Meetup. The special event focused on the history and development of Virtual Reality. VR pioneer and NYFA Instructor Aaron Pulkka led the discussion.

    nyfa vr games

    Before the presentation, high school students hoping to attend NYFA, current NYFA students, and instructors from nearly every department gathered outside of the theater. Pizza, soda, and snacks were served. Through mouthfuls of hot cheese, participants buzzed over which VR headset was worth the price tag, which game best utilized its VR feature and whether the future of VR relied on lasers or motion capture and other topics.

    With full bellies and buzzing brains, the students filed into the Riverside theater. Pulkka spoke for over an hour giving first-hand knowledge of the rise of Virtual Reality. Pulkka worked on the “Aladdin’s Carpet Ride” at Walt Disney World in Florida, which first utilized VR in 1998, and many other groundbreaking projects.

    He also broke down the key factors of establishing a VR world. The gamer must move in the space, but space cannot come to the gamer or they will be too disoriented to keep playing. This is known as an explicit camera. Light and sound help establish where in space the gamer is supposed to be.

    pullka

    Pulkka then walked the students through the different kinds of headsets. The Play Station 4 has sold three times as many VR headsets as the next leading brands, but there’s an HDMI cable limiting the player’s movements. Google Cardboard costs anywhere from $2 to $30, but you have to have an expensive smartphone and the games are limited.

    A highlight of the night was Pulkka’s demonstration of the Microsoft Hololens augmented reality headset. He created a VR program in Unity and output it to the Hololens. He then walked around the room dropping giant 3D cubes on the audience.

    A great lesson was the difference between VR and 360-degree videos. Pulkka says, “If you can’t interact with the world it’s not VR. 360 videos, like the ones you see on YouTube or Facebook, are not considered VR.”

    After the presentation, the audience spilled into the lobby to converse about all they learned and enjoy cupcakes. A group of students was overheard excitedly chattering about their VR projects. Game students are free to explore VR in any of their Game Studio semester projects. And there is one VR class currently available documentary students with more planned in the future.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank those who participated in this exciting conversation. You can join the conversation by watching the discussion here.

    April 17, 2017 • Game Design • Views: 1400

  • International Documentary Association Virtual Reality Event at NYFA LA

    This past week the New York Film Academy sponsored a special event for members of the International Documentary Association (IDA) at the NYFA’s Los Angeles Campus. Entitled, VR 101 for Documentary, the workshop was moderated by VR Director and Cinematographer Celine Tricart and featured speakers from ground-breaking VR production company The Emblematic Group, and a VR camera demo from AbelCine, a leading provider of equipment and services to the production, broadcast and new media industries.

    IDA Event

    Virtual Reality has been threatening to conquer the gaming world for decades but new cellphone technology used with inexpensive VR viewers like the Google Cardboard have allowed for first widespread distribution of Virtual Reality projects, particularly documentaries. Platforms like the New York Times, OpDocs, Jaunt VR and Frontline VR, are releasing new material often called “immersive journalism.” The goal of NYFA’s VR Workshop was to allow IDA documentarians to “look under the hood” of VR to begin to understand what it takes to direct, produce and edit in this new medium.

    In VR and all 360-degree formats virtually all the film grammar developed over one hundred years of “flatties” or 2-dimensional films do not apply. No cutting to a close-up or a wide shot, in fact not much cutting at all for fear of inducing motion sickness in the viewer. All the “tricks” filmmakers use to direct the attention of the viewer are not possible in a 360-degree universe where the viewer decides what to look at when, and to some extent for how long.

    ida nyfa la

    Using sound and light to direct the viewer’s attention, defining the difference between 360 video and VR, and creating a new cinematic language were key talking points for the speakers. Senior Producer of The Emblematic Group Cedric Gamelin and Marketing Manager Ivana Coleman expounded on the possibilities of storytelling in this new medium, showing the audience examples of the Emblematic Group’s work in both live action and animated VR documentary shorts. Nicholas Samero and Sean George of AbelCine demonstrated a number of different VR cameras, from the 2-camera Kodak 4K 360 to the 8 -camera Nokia Ozo, and the 24-camera Jaunt VR.

    The afternoon was spent in a NYFA edit room where Tricart took participants through the post –production workflow for VR that includes downloading the media from all of the cameras, stitching the images from the various cameras together, editing scenes together, and outputting the edited media. Then each participant was able to view the VR scenes they had cut together.

    nyfa ida vr

    Barbara Multer-Wellin, Chair of Documentary for the Los Angeles campus recommend checking out the Op-Docs Video Channel, Jaunt VR, and Frontline VR to begin exploring Virtual Reality Documentaries. Multer-Wellin has already begun to include elements of VR in her classes and hopes to expand the program soon.

    When asked what she learned from the presentation Multer-Wellin said, “We (filmmakers) are used to having a lot of control. In VR, you’re giving the audience the control with the ability to make cuts themselves with their eyes. This is exciting but it is also kind of scary.” Celine Tricart said she loves VR because. “It’s like the very beginning cinema. All the rules have been thrown out the window and we’re making it up as we go along.”

    April 14, 2017 • Community Highlights, Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 1282

  • Filmmaking Alumnus John Jencks Returns to NYFA to Screen “The Hippopotamus”

    Earlier this month, New York Film Academy Filmmaking alumnus John Jencks returned to NYFA Los Angeles to screen his feature film, “The Hippopotamus,” starring NYFA Board Member Matthew Modine.

    Having grown up in the UK, Jencks recalls his time as a student, hitting up three movies a day at the local theater. His fascination with films took a step further when he worked on a commercial shoot in Portgual with his friends. “I enjoyed the camaraderie of it all,” he said. Ultimately, Jencks relished the multitude of challenges and coming up with different solutions.

    john jencksIt was at that point that Jencks wanted to create his own projects under the tutelage of industry professionals in Los Angeles, where his father happened to live and teach at a local university.

    “I chose NYFA because they give you a camera and let you go on with it,” he said. “It’s an environment where I can make a lot of mistakes and then work them out with industry professionals.”

    While at NYFA, Jencks quickly found his clique who he bonded with and shot a series of short films that helped build his reel and filmmaking experience. After graduating from NYFA, he got a job at the production company, Muse. “I was the first person at work and the last person to leave, but as long as I kept a smile on my face, they’d keep giving me more and more responsibility,” said Jencks about his time with Muse.

    From there he took a job as a 3rd AD on a feature film that was filming in Utah. The film, “Blind Dating,” which starred Chris Pine, introduced Jencks to a fairly large budget production.

    He then went on to produce “Lying” which premiered at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes, though things didn’t go quite as he’d hoped. “I was booed by the crowd. I believe the film may have been too pretentious, even for the French,” he quipped. Nevertheless, Jencks pressed on in his career, starting his own production company, Electric Shadow Company.

    Jencks has now been working in the film industry for over 10 years as a producer, writer and director. His short film, “Go Away, Please!” (2009) won the Shooting People prize at London Short Film Festival. His debut feature, “The Fold,” starred Catherine McCormack and got its cinematic release in 2013.

    Interestingly enough, back in 2002, while staying at producer Roger Corman’s home, Jencks noticed Stephen Fry’s novel, “The Hippopotamus,” resting alongside his guest bed. “I laughed and laughed,” said Jencks. “I responded very well to the protagonist and antagonist. I thought this story would do well if we were able to take the essence of it and provide a traditional narrative structure.”

    Years later he acquired the rights to the novel and directed the film under his production company.

    When it comes to directing his actors, Jencks talks about using the script as the blueprint to abide by, and how he interprets it is a really interesting journey. His job is to ensure each and every talented actor is on the same page. “You have to tie everything together. That’s the job of the director,” he adds.

    Aside from his directing credits, Jencks has executive producer credits on “Swallows and Amazons” (Andrew Scott, Rafe Spall and Kelly Macdonald); “The Trust” (Nic Cage and Elijah Wood), “Terminal” (Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, Mike Myers) and “The Crow” remake.

    As for his role as executive producer, Jencks says he trusts his directors and tries not to get involved with the creative.

    john jencks

    NYFA Dean of the College Sonny Calderon with John Jencks

    Outside of the entertainment business, Jencks is a family man and a keen advocate of human rights. He’s closely involved with Reprieve and Just for Kids Law.

    He is the proud custodian of the internationally renowned “Garden of Cosmic Speculation” designed and created by his father, architect and landform artist Charles Jencks and late mother Maggie Keswick Jencksat, at their family home near Dumfries. His parents are also the founders of Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres, which now have 17 units at major NHS cancer hospitals throughout the UK and overseas.

    For those with an affinity for wine, Jencks is also passionate about natural wine and is a part owner of Aubert and Mascoli Ltd, which supplies organic and biodynamic wine to some of the UK’s best restaurants and various discerning private clients.

    April 14, 2017 • Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1664

  • Actor Dolph Lundgren Screens “Rocky IV” at NYFA LA

    Star of “Rocky IV” and “The Expendables,” Dolph Lundgren, visited the Los Angeles campus of New York Film Academy this past week. Students from all majors filled the number twelve theater on the Warner Brothers lot. NYFA LA Admissions Director, Chris Devane hosted the evening.

    dolph lundgren

    Lundgren is well known for his roles as a karate-kicking villain in the James Bond film “A View to Kill” and He-Man in “Masters of the Universe.” Recently he’s been venturing into television. He hosted his own series “Race to the Scene.” He’s played himself in the Nickelodeon animated series “Sanjay and Craig,” and government strongman, Konstantin Kovar, in the CW’s “Arrow.”

    Devane asked a question from a student at the NYFA Australia campus. The student, Andy, asked, “What was your greatest challenge working as an actor?”

    Lundgren responded, “My greatest challenge is you want to make it fresh for yourself all the time. You have to find something fresh in the material for you to be excited about the role. I always have a secret about the character. I don’t tell anyone, not even the director. It takes something to make you excited to come to set every day.”

    One of the instructors in attendance, Aviv Rubenstein, asked, “Upon viewing this movie (“Rocky IV”) as an adult, it seems like Drago is more of a reluctant soldier. You don’t say, ‘I will break you.’ You say, ‘I must break you.’ How much of that is in the script, how much of that is in your performance, and how much of that is in the directing?”

    “You’re completely correct. Some of it was in Stallone’s script. Drago is the Frankenstein myth created by the system. Dr. Frankenstein is the bad guy and the monster is just the creation. That’s why I think this character resonates,” Lundgren said.

    lundgren at nyfa

    Lundgren also credited his dialect coach who not only helped him perfect his Russian accent but also was a Meisner trained actor. He helped Lundgren play the second level since Drago was so stoic they would have him behave embarrassed at certain lines, and these behaviors were not in the script.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. Lundgren for taking the time to speak with our students. You can catch Dolph Lundgren in his upcoming films, “Nordic Light,” “Black Water,” and “Dead Trigger.” Lundgren has also recently joined Warner Bros. “Aquaman” film opposite Jason Momoa, which will be shooting at Village Roadshow Studios — where NYFA Australia Gold Coast students have the opportunity to film.

    April 13, 2017 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 1586

  • Environmental Biology’s Field Trip to LA Natural History Museum

    The New York Film Academy prides itself in its “learn by doing” approach to curriculum instruction; students are not just lectured on concepts but are able to get their hands on equipment and physically learn the tools and techniques they will need in their trade. This concept was extended this week in the Sciences here at NYFA as Environmental Biology instructors took every one of their 120 students to the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. They visited five exhibits in particular that reinforced class curricula; students observed specialized adaptations of today’s mammals in the North American Mammal Hall and the African Mammal Hall, they witnessed the evolution of the modern human in the Age of Mammals exhibit (where famous Lucy is housed!), colossal dinosaur fossils awed in the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit, and species of native plants and animals were identified in the museum’s serene Nature Gardens.

    environmental biology

    Learning a concept from a PowerPoint in class can’t compare with seeing it unfold in front of your eyes. It is one thing to be lectured on natural selection in a classroom, for example, and another to observe the changes in mammal skeletons over thousands of years as they became what they are today, and speculate as to the reasons why. Pig-sized horses just couldn’t run away fast enough from predators of the era, so they developed longer and longer legs until they could! Those with short legs died before they could reproduce and pass on their short-legged genes. The result is the modern day, long-legged horse. This concept was reinforced in the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit, where students were asked to come up with what types of adaptations a modern dinosaur might have in order to live on today’s planet.

    Students were also able to put their ecology chops to the test, as they had to organize living plants and animals in the Nature Gardens into the food web of California’s native ecosystem. They discovered that when you take a moment to document all the life around you, you realize that, even in Los Angeles, we are surrounded! The idea here was that an appreciation of nature and the life around us not only reinforces concepts of biodiversity learned in class, but also hopefully instills more application of conservation in student’s lives.

    Instructors were thrilled at the profusion of “wows” and wide eyes. Such engagement in a subject so outside of their core film school curriculum is impressive and inspiring!

    April 13, 2017 • Community Highlights • Views: 1429