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  • New York Film Academy Moscow Workshops with Paul Brown and Lydia Cedrone

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    The long awaited event has happened. New York Film Academy returned to Russia with two special workshops. With excitement in the air, eager students were fully immersed in producing and screenwriting workshops throughout the weekend. With a strong emphasis on hands-on learning and practical exercises, the workshops allowed students to immediately apply the knowledge they gained throughout the weekend.

    Moscow Screenwriting Workshop, an Inside Look:

    NYFA screenwriting instructor, Paul Brown, an award-winning writer, director and producer, conducted the screenwriting workshop. Brown has worked in film and television for over twenty-five years. He has produced over one hundred television dramas, pilots, and movies, working on such series as “The X-Files,” “Quantum Leap,” “The New Twilight Zone,” “Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise.” He won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best TV Drama, and has been nominated for three Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes.

    During the Workshop Orientation, students delved into the secrets of great stories and paired up to work on monologues.

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    Day One: Brown explained how to hook audiences with exciting movie concepts by showing scenes from popular films. He stressed the importance to wake up certain emotions in the audience. Students learned to develop characters with use of curiosity, compassion, charm and complexity. They examined the structure of the inner story and the inner story’s need, movie climaxes and examples of key scenes.

    Day Two: Brown explained how to combine internal and external relationships of the characters, thematic storylines, dialogue and the importance of subtext.

    The workshop culminated in the final presentation of the projects. Professional actors were invited to participate in the students’ short screenplays. Throughout the presentations of scenes, with no scenes longer than three minutes, the audience laughed, cried and cheered.

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    Student Feedback: “We had a chance to try ourselves not only as writers, but as directors and were able to work with professional actors. It was a very interesting experience. The classes were so valuable, not only in terms of receiving new information and practical skills, but also from a psychological point of view. Paul Brown made us thoroughly delve into ourselves and face our ‘skeletons in the closet’. It helped to release our fears and reconsider many things. I thank him for it!” said Wagina Yevgeniya.

    Producing Workshop Highlights:

    Lydia Cedrone, NYFA Head of MFA Feature Productions and former longtime Chair of Producing, taught the Producing Workshop. Cedrone is a film producer with credits including the MGM release, “The Betrayed,” and was an executive at The Walt Disney Company, Trimark Pictures and Savoy Pictures. She managed finances on more than two-dozen studio films, and oversaw company operations for filmmaker Michael Mann’s production company and finances for the film “Ali,” starring Will Smith, Jon Voight and Jamie Foxx. She urged producers to maintain a balance between finance and creativity. From her lecture, students learned that the producer is the driving force behind the project who manages all stages of the project’s lifespan, from developing the script to determining the necessary budget and securing investors, and from hiring the film’s cast and crew to guiding the project through distribution.

    russia workshop

    Many of the students in the Producing Workshop were working producers or had a background in the local film and television industries. These students participated to deepen their knowledge and to apply that knowledge to the U.S. standards and practices outlined in the workshop.

    At the Workshop Orientation, students began to develop the concepts for their own projects.

    Day One: On the first day, students learned about the roles of producers in film and television, producer hierarchy and project workflow. Private investors and funding independent films were discussed at length. Cedrone stressed a balance between financial transparency and the producer retaining full control of the project. She also covered, in detail, the main points of a independent film business plan for fundraising, as well as how to create a television series show bible, along with many other topics.

    Day Two: Students learned the U.S. standard rules and practices of scheduling and budgeting. Cedrone led several interactive class exercises, along with a lively Q&A session. On the final evening, students presented their project loglines, along with a short project pitch, during this Mini Pitch Fest. Students clapped and cheered their classmates during the Pitch Fest, and the workshop ended with many friendships forged, along with the promise of many future collaborations.

    russian workshop

    “I am an actress, and NYFA gave me the opportunity to expand my vision of the film industry. I know how the industry works through the eyes of the artist, and these workshops showed me the production process from a different angle. I learned a lot of useful and interesting information in a short time! I am happy that I met Lydia Cedrone, she’s wonderful!” said Valeria Koltsova, one of the Producing Workshop students.

    Another participant, Vasilyeva Margarita, added, “Despite the fact that I currently study producing at the University, the NYFA workshops were very useful for my professional growth! We talked about the producer’s responsibilities, finding funding, and about the world in which producers live. We discussed, in detail, the steps of implementation for different television and film projects, both independent and studio. Lydia Cedrone is a brilliant person and teacher, who knoews her subject and how to present it. It was amazing to spend the whole weekend in the classroom. We had a very warm, family atmosphere. I believe this course can be suitable to all, regardless of the previous level of training. Everyone will feel at ease.”

    We thank the student participants in Moscow who made these recent Producing and Screenwriting Workshops such a great success!

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    November 10, 2016 • Community Highlights, Road Show • Views: 3703

  • Paul Brown Holds Masterclass in London’s Soho Theatre

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    New York Film Academy instructor Paul Brown’s recently held a “Secret of Great Stories” Masterclass at London’s famed Soho Theatre that was both insightful and uplifting. Brown has a great way of cutting through all of the noise and focusing on what makes a great story and an effective storyteller.

    paul brown london

    Brown is an award-winning writer, director and producer, having worked in film and television for over twenty-five years. He has produced over one-hundred television dramas, pilots, and movies, working on such series at The X-Files, Quantum Leap, The New Twilight ZoneStar Trek Voyager and Enterprise. He has received nominations for three “Emmy Awards” and three “Golden Globes” as well as winning the “Edgar Award” from the Mystery Writers of America for Best TV Drama. He has also received the “Genesis Animal Rights Award.”

    He co-created Disney’s world-wide smash hit Camp Rock. Most recently, he directed and co-wrote the dramatic feature film Heaven’s Rain in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.

    As a teacher for the New York Film Academy, he also gives lectures on writing, acting, and filmmaking throughout the year in Latin America, Europe, and Russia.

    “His emphasis on emotion and honesty as the cornerstones of great stories resonated with the audience, which was made up of very enthusiastic film lovers — many of whom are looking to expand on their film education at the New York Film Academy,” said NYFA’s Recruitment Manager Roger Del Pozo.

    The attendees in London had very articulate questions and feedback and even shared some of their own film projects with us after the Masterclass.

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    September 20, 2016 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 3515

  • NYFA Awards “The King of Judo” at Moscow Pitch Fest

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    The Youth Center of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation held its eighth Pitch Fest for Debutants as part of the 38th Moscow International Film Festival on June 21-22. Over the years, more than 2,000 young filmmakers, from leading art universities and film schools, have attended the Pitch Fest and about 20 of their films have been produced.

    moscow pitch fest

    This year 686 projects were submitted for consideration (289 – short films, 236 – features, 124 – TV series, and 37 – documentaries) and 10 from each category were chosen for the final Pitch Fest. Young filmmakers had an opportunity to present their ideas to an expert jury consisting of professionals in the field of film and television.

    And we are happy to announce that a special prize from the New York Film Academy—a One Week Workshop Certificate in any subject—was awarded to professional journalist and aspiring screenwriter Alexey Khodorych for his television project, The King of Judo.

    The King of Judo is a family mini-series adaptation of the eponymous story by Albert Ivanov. This is a story of growing up, which explores the theme of the manifestation of evil in man rising.

    Coincidently, Alexey Khodorych had a previous encounter with the New York Film Academy. In 2008 he interviewed NYFA Instructor an award-winning writer, director and producer, Paul Brown, for a major Russian newspaper, Kommersant. At the time, Paul Brown who worked on such series as The X-Files, Quantum Leap, The New Twilight Zone, Star Trek Voyager and Enterprise, was visiting Moscow with NYFA for a hands-on workshop. Now Aleksey can come to Los Angeles to continue their old conversation while learning new crafts and gaining new skills.

    We hope to see Alexey Khodorych among our students soon! And we also would like to wish the best of luck to all the Debutant Pitch Fest participants in their careers! Believe, dare, do!

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    July 6, 2016 • Community Highlights • Views: 4420

  • ‘X-Files’ Alumnus Paul Brown to Teach Workshop at NYFA South Beach

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    Paul BrownAfter a thirteen year hiatus, Fox has officially let fans know that the popular 90s TV show, The X-Files, will be returning for a brand new season. Series creator Chris Carter says the series will pick up right where it left off with stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny all on board to reprise their roles.

    The six-episode season is set to begin production this summer.

    In the meantime, X-Files alumnus Paul Brown will be teaching a workshop at the New York Film Academy’s South Beach campus.

    The Secret of Great Stories
    Workshop Featuring award-winning writer, director and producer, Paul Brown
    SATURDAY, APRIL 11th, 2015 at 12pm

    If you’re interested in attending the workshop, email southbeach@nyfa.edu

    Instructor Paul Brown is an award-winning writer, director and producer, having worked in film and television for over twenty-five years. He has produced over one-hundred television dramas, pilots, and movies, working on such series at The X-Files, Quantum Leap, The New Twilight Zone, Star Trek Voyager and Enterprise.  He has received nominations for three “Emmy Awards” and three “Golden Globes” as well as winning the “Edgar Award” from the Mystery Writers of America for Best TV Drama. He has also received the “Genesis Animal Rights Award.”

    He co-created Disney’s world-wide smash hit Camp Rock.  Most recently, he directed and co-wrote the dramatic feature film Heaven’s Rain in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.

    As a teacher for the New York Film Academy, he also gives lectures on writing, acting, and filmmaking throughout the year in Latin America, Europe, and Russia.

     

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    March 25, 2015 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5861

  • It’s All About the Pitch

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    pitch fest

    Writer/producer David Rosenberg hears pitch from MFA student Gabriel Amora de Farias at our year-one Pitch Fest.

    As those of us in the industry are aware, talent and networking can take you far. However, your projects will have little chance if you don’t know how to “pitch” them. There is a certain charisma, confidence and mastery of storytelling that must be honed in order to sell your ideas. That’s precisely why the New York Film Academy has its students go through a constructive pitching process with actual industry professionals.

    On May 21st, the New York Film Academy Los Angeles Producing Department hosted our September, 2013 Year-One Pitch Fest at our new Riverside building in Los Angeles. It was a lively and enjoyable night for all who attended. The students pitched in a round-robin format to industry professionals as well as several of our instructors. All of our students received valuable feedback on their projects. And our “Pitchees” were very impressed with what they heard from our “Producers.”

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    Writer/producer Paul Brown gives feedback to MFA student Yuki Naito at our year-one Pitch Fest.

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    June 24, 2014 • Community Highlights, Producing • Views: 4872