Oliver Stone
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  • Robert Pucci: From Law School to Hollywood

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    Robert PucciNew York Film Academy Los Angeles Critical Film Art and Intro To Film Instructor Robert Pucci took a rather interesting turn in his career after passing the bar exams for both New York and New Jersey — a difficult feat in itself. What could be a more challenging career path than passing law school and two bar exams? Acting. Robert’s passion for the craft sent him on his way to Los Angeles to become an actor. However, while playing a recurring role on The Young and the Restless, he realized that, at heart, he is a writer.

    Robert has sold over twenty-five screenplays to major Hollywood studios and worked with, among others, Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone, Jan Debont, James Foley, Mark Wahlberg and Roland Joffe. Recently, Robert’s artistic endeavors are focused on books and not screenplays. In his first novel, In Harlem’s Way, Robert continues telling stories and creating characters that examine the complexities of the human heart. Touching on themes of innocence, guilt, forgiveness and ultimately love, the book tells the inspiring story of the unlikely relationship forged between a damaged white youth lost in Harlem, and the first African American man he’s ever met, a bond that heals and forever changes them both.

    With tremendous experience in the industry, in addition to his grasp on the law, Robert provides invaluable insight to his students on the world ahead of them. “I feel any instructor who has been in the trenches, (and I’ve been in them as an actor, and to a far greater extent, as a writer) offers something worthwhile to young artists,” says Mr. Pucci. “That said, my aim is to make this experience about them and not me, but when I can impart lessons learned by way of trial by fire, I share them.”

    Robert currently teaches two courses at the Film Academy that provide an overview of the history of cinema with a look at the many movements and techniques which shape film as they experience it today. In so doing, Robert aims to connect the past to the present and show the students that the filmmakers, actors and writers they currently admire are well-versed in the work of the artists who came before and incorporate what they’ve learned in their own work.

    “I find the enthusiasm of the students infectious. I also enjoy interacting with the international student body at NYFA as in each class I learn something new about cultures from around the world.”
    Robert’s advice to young screenwriters is the same advice he was given when starting out. “There is much in the entertainment industry that is out of your control, so work diligently and focus on the things which you can control, and the main one is your work output. Always be writing. When you finish one script, immediately start the next one.”
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    December 16, 2014 • Acting, Community Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 8384

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

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    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 Billboard.com 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

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    December 9, 2013 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5243

  • New York Film Academy Music Video Competition!

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    New York Film Academy is excited to announce a music video competition with Born Leaders Entertainment/Management artists Weston Coppola Cage, Christina Fulton, and Hassan Khaffaf. Students will compete for the chance to direct, shoot, and produce the singles for the artists’ upcoming singles.

    The competition is open to AFA, BFA, and MFA students in their second year, and alumni. Students will have the opportunity to meet the artists on Thursday, August 9 at 7 p.m. in the Welles room at the school’s Universal Studios campus. After the meet and greet, students will have a week to come up with their pitches for the music videos, and the winning concepts will be chosen by the artists.

    As the son of Nicolas Cage and Christina Fulton, actor and recording artist Weston Coppola Cage, carries on a rich artistic legacy. He released his first album with his band Eyes of Noctum, working with award-winning producer Jack Douglas, and top Swedish black metal producer Fredrik Nordstrom. He was asked to record a song for the major motion picture Drive Angry, and was asked back by the studio to record the monstrous evil voice in Ghost Rider. His much-anticipated solo album is due out at Christmas 2012, and will also star in the forthcoming film Sugar Rat in 2013.

    Shortly after coming to Hollywood, actress and recording artist Christina Fulton landed a part in Oliver Stone‘s critically acclaimed film, The Doors. Her portrayal of the enigmatic Nico launched an illustrious acting career that has included roles in Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s DraculaBrian DePalma’s Snake EyesAbel Ferrara’s Dangerous Games and the award-winning independent film, Lucinda’s Spell. Her debut single, Thank You, premiered on MTV’s Jersey Shore earlier this year. She previewed her second single, Freeing My Mind, while opening for Lupe Fiasco, Rock Mafia, and Cobra Starship at Kodak Theater this year.

    Hassan Khaffaf is a Middle Eastern producer and recording artists, soaring off his successful world debut with last year’s number one song in Asia, co-produced by Kanye West. Now he is on his own journey to captivate the world with his unique production and extraordinary artistry.

    Today, Christina Fulton released a statement saying, “New York Film Academy has long been a respected and renowned institution for students seeking training in the creative arts, acting, film, and photography. For many years I’ve wished to collaborate with them and I am very excited by the uniqueness and promise of the program we have designed that combines the excellent training NYFA has long been known for with premier exposure of the student’s work and most importantly, an opportunity for them to work with established artists that can greatly assist in their fretful transition from school to real world that every student must face. What I, and the wonderful NYFA executives who’ve embraced my idea, have done is to combine training with opportunity.”

     

     

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    August 7, 2012 • Academic Programs, Cinematography, Film School, Filmmaking, Producing • Views: 4354

  • Casting Advice From a Pro

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    Casting director Nancy Nayor recently visited students at New York Film Academy following a screening of The Grudge. She began her casting career off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club before moving to Los Angeles to become President of Feature Film Casting for Universal Studios, and working on films for Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, Spike Lee, Ron Howard, and John Hughes. “The first year was kind of a shock, to have that position at 24,” she laughed. She spent 14 years there before opening her own freelance casting company. Since then, she has cast movies including Road Trip, The Whole Nine Yards, Exorcism of Emily Rose, When a Stranger Calls, and Scream 4.

    Nayor spoke about the love of her job, saying, “It’s great because you’re around actors all the time, and you get to think like an actor, and you get to read with the actors, and you’re in the arena of filmmaking or theater, and it’s just fantastic.”

    Following a brief interview, Nayor answered questions from students, offering lots of helpful advice. “You need to have footage of yourself and you have to be able to email links,” she said. “It’s great to make your own reel. Tape your own scenes or monologues. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. I just want to see talent. If you’re constantly taping yourself, and the camera becomes your friend, then when you’re in the audition room you’re not automatically nervous. It helps you go into an audition room and be relaxed.”

    Do you have other helpful tips or advice for auditions? Share them with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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    June 1, 2012 • Guest Speakers • Views: 5592