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  • Hire Heroes USA and NYFA Collaborate to Support Veterans Employment

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    On October 21, New York Film Academy (NYFA) held a special day-long professional development workshop with Hire Heroes USA, an event open to New York City’s diverse array of veterans seeking careers in film, television, and broadcast journalism. This training session follows a very successful NYFA Hire Heroes USA event that was held at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus.

    Hire Heroes USA is a highly successful nonprofit organization that provides free career coaching and job sourcing to transitioning U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses. To date, Hire Heroes USA has found more than 20,000 jobs for veterans.

    Together with NYFA, the organization tailored the day’s instruction and training uniquely for the media and entertainment industries. The training also included a panel of industry professionals with a plethora of experience in major motion picture production, start-up production company management, entertainment law, pitching and network building.

    Veteran participants with Colonel Jack Jacobs at the NYFA NYC Hire Heroes USA training.

    “The men and women who make up the United States Armed Forces are some of the world’s most highly trained professionals. But when service members transition out of the military one of the most common questions they ask me is, ‘Which of my skills from service are transferable to a civilian career?’” stated NYFA Veterans Services Coordinator Chris Paparis, one of the workshop’s principle organizers. He continued, “In many cases, veterans discount how much their service in the military has already prepared them for careers in the entertainment industry.”

    NYFA’s Chair of Veteran Services Colonel Jack Jacobs (Ret.)  provided insight into his own career in television as the on-air military strategist at NBC/MSNBC, which he began after a successful venture in the finance industry. Colonel Jacobs is an advocate for all veterans seeking to break into the film and television industry. He readily advises students on their career paths, and even has NYFA veteran students visit the NBC Studios in NYC for a behind-the-scenes experience.

    Attendees worked through a busy lunch hour, which included the opportunity to have professional headshots taken by NYFA staff photographers to accompany the LinkedIn skill-building portion of the seminar.

    Gileon Clarke, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and graduate of NYFA 1-Year Acting Conservatory, noted that the class “focused on modern concepts … we learned how to use LinkedIn to build our personal brand, and [how] these new ideas can really help build one’s network and overall impact in the job market.”

    NYFA greatly appreciates the partnership with Hire Heroes USA, and especially wants to thank Elena Comperatore, Jamie Rimphanli, and Molly Giles, who provided the accompanying lectures to the event and provided the skills training.  

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    November 2, 2017 • Academic Programs, Community Highlights, Veterans • Views: 1768

  • NYFA Student Veteran Organization Welcomes New Veteran Students

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    Recently, the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) Student Veteran Organization (SVO) of the NYFA Los Angeles Campus organized a new student welcome event at the local Burbank VFW Ship. The morning began with a breakfast for a Burbank scout troop that was organized by a NYFA alumnus who is also a veteran.

    Veteran students from all branches of service and disciplines met to network and to develop the camaraderie that many service members felt while in the military. The NYFA Student Veteran Organization facilitates these events to build on the vet-to-vet interaction that helps many of our returning warriors as they transition out of the military.

    NYFA welcomes new Veteran students

    Those who attended were able to connect with fellow NYFA veterans and military dependents. “The Burbank VFW is a great resource for our student veterans as they have welcomed all of our veterans with open arms and serve as liaisons to the local community, said Vincent Cugno, NYFA BFA Acting student who also serves as the SVO President.”

    The SVO used this opportunity to host its first meeting of the fall 2017 semester and to introduce the new incoming class of NYFA veteran students and also to discuss ideas as to how to engage the veteran community and to organize events to support their fellow veterans. The SVO plans on creating a Veteran Production team within the College in conjunction with the VFW.

    The New York Film Academy student population is incredibly diverse just as is the US military. NYFA’s enrollment is more than 50% international students who come from many different countries, backgrounds, and all have unique life experiences. The SVO intends to bring NYFA veteran students together with their classmates from around the world to tell stories in collaboration.

    The SVO is collaborating with the NYFA Service Learning Department and the City of Burbank – Thank A Soldier event on 21 October.

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    October 17, 2017 • Acting, Veterans • Views: 1310

  • NYFA Veteran BFA Film and MFA Screenwriting Alumnus Joins We Are The Mighty

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    NYFA BFA Filmmaking and MFA Screenwriting Alumnus Tim Kirkpatrick

    NYFA Veteran alumnus Tim Kirkpatrick is on the road to success, joining the team at We Are The Mighty (WATM) after completing both is BFA in Filmmaking and MFA in Screenwriting at the New York Film Academy.

    While serving with U.S. Marine Corps, 3rd Battalion 5th Marines (Known as Dark Horse) as an FMF U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman, Tim Kirkpatrick wrote his first script during his deployment to Afghanistan in 2010-2011. Tim’s experiences in Afghanistan, and his passion for films, led him to pursue his passion of filmmaking at the New York Film Academy.

    After returning stateside and transitioning out of the U.S. Navy, Tim pursued his education at the New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) in Burbank CA. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Filmmaking and then completed his Master’s degree in Screenwriting, all at NYFA.

    It was while Tim was enrolled at NYFA that he attended an employment and internship event hosted by NYFA’s Veterans Office, which featured the veterans organization We Are The Mighty (WATM).

    Tim’s skill set matched the WATM mission, which is to engage and entertain America’s 114 million military, veterans and their families with original content, branded campaigns and experiential events across multi-channel platforms and distribution partners.

    He was offered an internship with WATM. Tim succeeded as an intern and was eventually hired full-time. He is currently serving as the editorial coordinator for WATM, working underneath David Gale, WATM’s CEO. Mr. Gale was previously an executive at MTV Networks.

    Tim is truly a Renaissance man. In addition to using his talents on behalf of We Are The Mighty, he also works as a military consultant, and has successfully written, produced, and directed several short films, music videos, and commercials.

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  • NYFA Veterans Division Screens “Between Iraq and a Hard Place” With Special Guest Q&A

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    This month, the New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) hosted a special screening of the military documentary, “Between Iraq and a Hard Place,” at its Los Angeles campus.

    Following the screening, NYFA Acting Instructor Michael Bershad moderated a Q&A with the film’s producer, Rex Pratt, and current MFA acting student, technical advisor and retired Navy/Marine Corps Chaplain Ron Ringo.

    (Left to Right) Moderator Michael Bershad discusses the process of making the film withProducer Rex Pratt and current MFA student and Technical Advisor Ron Ringo.

    The film takes a deep look at the impact that war has on members of our nation’s military when they return from home, and asks the question; Are we are really doing enough to help service members with this transition?

    Packed with raw and unfiltered footage from the war and personal interviews with the men that were there, the film helps the audience gain a valuable perspective on the issues that face our returning men and women who serve our country in the military.

    Marine Corps Veteran and BFA filmmaking student David Jimenez said:

    The film hit home. It captured the stress and fear of combat and how we still manage to have a sense of humor about things, and push through it all. The fact that they mention the difference between coming home on a ship and coming home on a plane is actually astonishing since no one normally thinks of that. I came home on a plane and I was literally on the I-5 freeway going home 25 hours after a mortar attack in the Middle East. The last scene in the film when they are being mortared was powerful. I remember being that scared when it happened to me. That is something that I don’t normally talk about with people.”

    For more information on “Between Iraq and a Hard Place,” please visit the film’s website

     

    by Michael Kunselman

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  • NYFA Welcomes Hire Heroes USA

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    On June 24, The New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) Veteran Services Department was fortunate to collaborate with Hire Heroes USA (HHUSA) to host a daylong exclusive employment workshop for NYFA’s veteran students. The NYFA military students also benefited from one-on-one time with the Transition Specialists from HHUSA.

    Hire Heroes and New York Film Academy

    Hire Heroes visits the New York Film Academy

     

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    Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit that provides free, expert career coaching and job sourcing to hundreds of transitioning U.S. military members.

     

    Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit that provides free, expert career coaching and job sourcing to hundreds of transitioning U.S. military members, assisting veterans and spouses with finding employment.

    The first half of the eight-hour workshop was a practicum related to resume theory, networking techniques, and how to affectively prepare for an interview. Representatives from Hire Heroes USA, Jamie Rimphanli and Walter Serrano, coached veteran students on how to properly format their resumes and discussed, in-depth, the importance of networking and how to prepare for a job interview.

    For the second half of the workshop, industry professionals from Disney Studios, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Legendary Entertainment, and Plan A Locations joined the workshop for a moderated Q&A panel discussion. Panelists discussed how they began their careers in the entertainment industry and how they’ve navigated their careers for success.

    Highlights from the day included an exercise that had all of the participants do a speed networking session. Also, HHUSA brought a photographer who took professional head shots for the veteran students’ LinkedIn pages.

    “We felt that this training and these types of vet student-centric activities are increasingly important because they help prepare our students to meet with HR/Talent Acquisition teams from the major studios,” explained NYFA Director of Veterans Services Department John Powers.  

    Retired Army veteran and MFA cinematography student Bryan Hudson stated, “The Hire Heroes USA workshop was a fantastic forum to introduce veterans with industry insiders and provide the opportunity to learn from them. The event was beneficial to everyone involved about learning the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of the interview process and how to break into the entertainment industry. One thing that I learned from the workshop is to establish relationships that will be beneficial to both parties. Thank you to the NYFA Veterans Department for putting on this marvelous event, and I hope that this will be the first of many events with Hire Heroes USA.”

    The NYFA Veteran Services Department is extremely grateful to Hire Heroes USA for partnering with us to bring this wonderful opportunity to NYFA veteran students.

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  • NYFA Welcomes Incoming Student Veterans

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    The New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) recently welcomed many new veteran students to the Los Angeles and New York campuses. As a commitment to support veterans’ education, the NYFA Veterans Services team offered a veteran-specific “orientation” to help them acclimate to the campus and foster camaraderie within the incoming class of 2016. Often times it is the “vet to vet” interaction that helps veterans readjust to civilian life after military service.

    NYFA Veteran Coordinators, Eric Brown, Michael Kunselman, and Chris Paparis—veterans themselves—organized the orientations in LA and NY. Each of them has utilized their GI Bill by pursuing their education to obtain their degrees, and so they know firsthand how difficult it can be to start this new journey in an academic setting.

    veterans

    Eric Brown, US Navy Veteran and NYFA Veterans Coordinator welcomes new veteran students to the campus.

    The orientations focused on all aspects of a veteran’s transition including an overview on the services that the NYFA Veterans Services team provides, such as: information on student life, explanations as to how GI bill benefits work, how to obtain VA healthcare benefits, institutional policies, and providing new students the opportunity to network and develop relationships with one another. The veterans in attendance had the opportunity to speak with VA healthcare representatives and sign up for VA healthcare benefits while scheduling medical visits at the local VA Hospital right on the spot.

    First year Photography student, Luis Amador, expressed that he “had been putting off seeking assistance with the VA Healthcare system for many reasons, but being able to enroll right from school was a huge benefit.”


    At the orientation event, veterans and active duty military had the opportunity to meet with local and national veteran service organizations and their representatives. The NYFA Veterans Services team invited key partners within the community to speak with the veterans to educate them on the services they provide. Representatives from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Vet Centers, and VA Medical Centers were all in attendance.

    At our New York campus, aspiring actors, filmmakers, producers and screenwriters listened to NYFA Senior Vice President, David Klein, talk about the importance of storytelling through the medium of visual and performing arts. He spoke about how important veteran students life experiences are to our campus community.

    The veteran students found the orientation highly beneficial and enjoyed networking with fellow veterans. Many of them stayed after to speak with the NYFA Veteran Coordinators and the representatives from veterans organizations who attended.

    nyfa veterans

    Representatives from the VA and Military partner organizations speak about resources and opportunities for NYFA veteran students.

    “The orientation was very informative. It was great learning about what services are available to veterans and learning just how dedicated the NYFA veteran team is in supporting veterans. The camaraderie among the veteran students made me feel more comfortable coming to school,” stated Army veteran and New BFA Acting student, Travis Frazee.

    The New York Film Academy would like to welcome all new active duty military servicemembers, veterans, and their families to our campus community!

    On behalf of the New York Film Academy administration, thank you for your service to our country.

    -Jim Miller, Chris Paparis & Michael Kunselman

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    February 12, 2016 • Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights, Veterans • Views: 3242

  • Veterans Make Films at New York Film Academy

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    Paul Meixner

    NYFA BFA student Paul Meixner was formerly stationed in Iraq

    New York Film Academy BFA Filmmaking student Paul Meixner is one of many students who served their country before joining NYFA. Meixner, who is orginally from Madison, Wisconsin, joined the army in 2002 and completed infantry and airborne training before volunteering for his first combat tour of Iraq in 2004, later becoming an infantry squad leader and combatives instructor. He then returned for a second tour of Iraq in 2009 as a Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) at an Iraqi training facility.

    Paul Meixner Iraq

    Meixner during his time serving in Iraq

    Meixner credits his family and military experience with giving him the discipline, drive, and determination he will need to succeed in school. Says Paul, “I know that sounds cheesy, but the military, especially ranger school, definitely helped to prepare me for the film industry. The parallels between the two are uncanny, especially when it comes to leadership.” Meixner says the Veterans Affairs Department at New York Film Academy has been more helpful than at other schools he has attended in the past. “They have more answers and information and they really hard work for you.”

    Paul Meixner NYFA

    Meixner on NYFA’s Universal Studios backlot

    In addition to his hectic school schedule, Paul is working on a web series with ThunderPunk Films, which launches at the end November. Created by Meixner, the project is a collaboration with other young filmmakers, in which they share their work, as well as reviews of books on filmmaking, writing, and acting. Meixner ultimately hopes to write, direct, produce, and act in dramas and character-driven action pieces. You can find Paul’s film projects on Facebook here and the ThunderPunk Films web series here. NYFA thanks Paul, and the hundreds of other veterans at our campuses, for their service and dedication.

    New York Film Academy’s Veterans Affairs Department can help veterans make the transition to civilian and campus life. Let them help simplify educational benefits and assist with post-deployment transition issues. New York Film Academy is proud to support the GI Bill, the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and the Yellow Ribbon Program. For questions about programs and workshops at the New York campus, contact Michael Caputo by email or call (212) 674-4300. For questions about the Universal Studios campus, contact Joey Zangardi or John Powers by email or call (818) 733-2600.

    Make sure to join the NYFA veterans community on our new Veteran Affairs Facebook page! Get veteran news, information on special events, and connect with other veterans!

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    November 8, 2011 • Acting, Veterans • Views: 3724