Oscar
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  • Oscar-Winning Cinematographer and Veteran Actor Visit NYFA Students

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    Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler speaks to students

    Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler speaks to students

    Haskell Wexler recently visited students at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus. The 91-year-old cinematographer was named as one of the ten most influential cinematographers by the International Cinematographers Guild. In the course of his career, he lensed such seminal films as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, In the Heat of the Night, American Graffiti, and The Thomas Crown Affair. He has been nominated for a total of 5 Oscars, and has won two.

    Wexler watched clips of cinematography students’ films, and gave them valuable feedback. “It was an amazing experience to have him share his thoughts and experience with us,” said Diego Gilly, an MFA Cinematography student. “I feel deeply honored to have had the opportunity to share some of our work with him, and hear what he had to say.”

    Robert Forster sized select

    Actor Robert Forster leads a master class for actors

    Oscar-nominated actor Robert Forster, who starred in 1969’s Medium Cool, written and directed by Haskell Wexler, also recently paid a visit to New York Film Academy. In addition to his numerous television roles, Forster is known for his roles in Mulholland Drive, Me, Myself, & Irene, The Descendants, and his Oscar-nominated role in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown.

    Forster led a master class for acting students, telling stories from his life and career, answering questions, and giving advice. “The camera looks real deep into you,” he said. “It knows whether you’re lying or not. If you want your audience to admire you, you have to be someone they can admire. You have to have the qualities that make a person worth admiring. Then it’s easy to deliver that on screen.”

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    February 25, 2013 • Academic Programs, Acting, Cinematography, Guest Speakers • Views: 6934

  • Oscar Winner Wally Pfister Talks Chris Nolan

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    Over 400 students signed up to attend Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister’s Q&A in after the screening of Inception for New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. The atmosphere in the room could only be described as a rock concert. And though Pfister was recovering from a bout of food poisoning, he wasn’t going to let down the auditorium full of excited students, who greeted him with cheers of “Wally! Wally!” He spoke about his long-time collaboration with Chris Nolan, saying, “Chris is an incredible storyteller and incredible screenwriter.”

    Following an interview with producer Tova Laiter and Cinematography Chair Michael Pessah, Pfister took questions directly from the students who lined up in what can only be described as a conga line to ask the master about his work. “You have to take risks,” he said. “That’s what will make your career last longer. You have to fight to get your vision on the screen (but not fight with your director).”

    Besides winning the Oscar for Inception in 2011, Wally also garnered Oscar nominations for The Dark KnightThe Prestige, and Batman Begins, and is well known for his work on Insomnia, The Italian Job, Moneyball, Memento, and The Dark Knight Rises.

    MFA Screenwriting student Jordan Farrester said, “It was great to be there with someone who has worked on some of the biggest films of the past ten years. He was really thoughtful and insightful, and had a lot to say about the industry and his vision.”

    Pfister’s latest project is his feature film directorial debut, Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp, and written by NYFA instructor Jack Paglen. The film is slated for release in 2014.

     

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    January 31, 2013 • Academic Programs, Cinematography, Guest Speakers • Views: 7998

  • Landing a Role on Life of Pi

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    After a nationwide talent search of India, by Casting Director Avy Kaufman, Vibish Sivakumar scored an opportunity of a lifetime meeting Oscar winning director Ang Lee for a role in the film, Life of Pi. Prior to landing the role, Vibish was studying Telecommunication Engineering, but his curiosity led him to acting. “I had to audition for about 5 or 6 months before I got to meet with Ang Lee. It was a long journey to land a role in Pi, but absolutely worth it at the end.”

    While filming Life of Pi, Vibish took up the 8 Week Acting for Film Workshop at the New York Film Academy for proper training. “I have a friend who lives in New York and he really recommended attending NYFA over the other acting schools in New York. My experience at NYFA was delightful. I got to interact with fellow actors from different parts of the world, and they brought a lot to the table in their own ways and methods. But what I would really take away from my experience there was my interaction with the faculty. I had an incredible batch of teachers: Peter Stone, Anna Cianciulli, Tina Benko, Miguel Parga, Katie and John. I truly learned a lot from them. My stint at NYFA reaffirmed my choice of becoming an actor.”

    Vibish plays the role of 18 year old Ravi Patel in what looks to be another Oscar contender for Ang Lee. “Working with Ang Lee is something you cannot describe in a paragraph. There’s a reason why he is one of the best directors in the world and it’s evident right from when you first meet him. He is an incredible human being and a wonderful filmmaker. The biggest thing I learned from him was humility and staying true to your craft and story.”

    Vibish added that right now is the hardest part of his career thus far, finding the right agent.

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    November 29, 2012 • Diversity, International Diversity, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 9852

  • Interview with Director Robert Zemeckis

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    The New York Film Academy had a chance to speak with A-list director, Robert Zemeckis! Robert Zemeckis owned the 80’s and 90’s with his classic Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump, and Cast Away. Zemekis earned respect from critics and colleagues, while grossing quite a hefty penny at the box-office. His direction of Forrest Gump won him an Oscar for Best Director. It’s pretty safe to say that the filmmaker has established himself as one of the elite directors in Hollywood.

    The New York Film Academy offers many workshops and programs for those wishing to learn film direction.

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    October 31, 2012 • Guest Speakers • Views: 7227

  • Martin Scorsese Drops by the New York Film Academy

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    NYFA Provost Michael Young (left), Martin Scorsese (center), and NYFA Senior Director David Klein (right)

    This Summer we had the privilege of teaching Oscar Winning Director, Martin Scorsese’s daughter. The Goodfellas director must’ve passed on his love for filmmaking, as his young daughter decided to attend New York Film Academy‘s Summer Camp to hone her inherited filmmaking skills. We were thrilled when her biggest supporter and fan, Martin Scorsese, showed up to the graduation screening at the New York Film Academy. Marty was very impressed with all of the young talent on hand, especially given the fact that each student had only one week to shoot and edit the film. Scorsese mentioned he will be filming his upcoming movie, The Wolf of Wall Street in New York City very soon. You can bet we’ll be attending a screening of his next film, once it’s in the theaters.

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    July 20, 2012 • Acting • Views: 7684