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  • NYFA Australia Welcomes Cinematographer Toby Oliver as Guest Speaker

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    Sydney students were fortunate to hear from native Australian, award-winning cinematographer Toby Oliver, who has forged a successful career in the U.S. and internationally. Moderated by NYFA Australia Dean of Faculty Art Helterbran Jr., it was an inspiring Guest Speaker event which centered on the topic of work ethic in the film industry.

    Some of Mr. Oliver’s recent credits include thriller “Get Out,” with Allison Williams and Daniel Kaluuya, filmed in the U.S. state of Alabama. According to IMDB, “Get Out” ranked #1 at the U.S. Box Office on its opening weekend in February 2017.

    NYFA Sydney student Charlie was particularly pleased to hear from a cinematographer with so much experience working in intense movies. “I love horror films,” Charlie shared after the event. “It was so amazing to hear from a DoP who has worked on films I really loved. It’s was the best talk ever.”

    An accredited member of the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS), and the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), Toby’s credits also include the Australian WWI epic “Beneath Hill 60,” (Australian Academy nomination); TV movie “Beaconsfield” (Gold ACS Award and the ACS Best in Show); “Wolf Creek 2” (ACS Gold Award, Venice Film Festival); and “Carlotta” (Australian Academy nomination). In his uniquely international career, Toby has also created a prolific body of work in China, including the romantic Chinese-language “Waiting Alone” as well as the Australia/China co-production “33 Postcards.”

    Toby’s advice to the international student community of NYFA Australia centered on the importance of having a strong work ethic: “…(working in the film industry) is all about work ethic. If you want to do something, you got to do it properly…all the way through to the end.”

    He also pointed to having an awareness of the whole team on the film set as being essential to a film’s success, no matter the role. “Having actors who got that kind of skills to be aware of the filmmaking process, as well as their own performance, is not easy, but it can usually help make a better movie.”

    NYFA Australia students found Toby’s stories and insights particularly inspiring, given the cinematographer’s breadth and depth of experience. “Very inspiring to hear from a true Hollywood master,” said student Anthony. “This talk gave me a good idea how to work my way to success.”

    Fellow student Simon agreed. “Toby was generous with his time, sharing his insights and knowledge into the industry and his own creative and collaborative practice.”

    The New York Film Academy Australia would like to thank Toby Oliver for visiting our Sydney campus as a Guest Speaker.

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  • NYFA Sydney Grad Wins Best Film at Willoughby Shorts Film Festival

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    Angus Young is making a name for himself in Australia and no, it’s not as a lead guitarist for AC/DC. The New York Film Academy Sydney graduate recently won Best Overall Film at the Willoughby Shorts Film Festival for his film The Lemonade Theory. Young teamed up with fellow graduate Ethan Thomas, who was the film’s director of photography on the five day shoot.

    The short begins with Young Mother Sophia (Kelly Robinson), who wakes up to what she expects to be a normal day, but quickly spirals out of control. Much to her alarm, there is a strange man (Peter McAllum) in the house with her and no matter where she looks, Sophia can’t find her daughter.

    angus young

    Told from the first point of view perspective, the film is essentially a ‘monster in the house’ thriller about a woman and an evil housekeeper who drugs her and steals her children. When you watch the film for a second time, having known the ending, Lemonade Theory is about the housekeeper sustaining love in the face of adversity.

    Lemonade Theory came about through a story my father told me about his grandfather,” said Young. “His father was a sufferer of dementia and believed that he was living in 1930. It’s a jilting paradox to think that someone can believe that, so I explored the idea a little deeper and wrote the story to work as a love story.”

    At the moment, Young is producing and directing a few projects. One project is an animated series called Elliot, which is working on again with his very close collaborator, Ethan Thomas. He’s also working on another animated series for YouTube and a very adventurous feature film, which is set to shoot around December 2016.


    “In comparison to other film schools, which rely heavily on government mandated literacy and theoretical work, the New York Film Academy approach of practical immersion proved to teach me more in that short amount of time than my friends at competing institutions,” said Young. “After a year, and producing eight films—three of which have won several awards—I think NYFA has a thing or two to say about the teaching methods that really work.”

    Young says he’d like to see himself constantly evolve, finding new and innovative ways to push the threshold of entertainment.

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    October 22, 2015 • Entertainment Australia, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4289