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  • NYFA Australia Acting Chair and Alumnus Appear in ‘San Andreas’

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    san andreas premiere

    One-Year Acting Grad, Nick Allen-Ducat and NYFA Australia, Gold Coast Chair of Acting, Brad McMurray                                                              picture by David Clark; Gold Coast Bulletin

    It’s no coincidence that the New York Film Academy Australia’s Gold Coast campus is situated on the backlot of Village Roadshow Studios adjacent to Warner Bros Movie World in Queensland, Australia.

    Similar to our Los Angeles campus, NYFA Gold Coast students have access to the movie studios, giving them a truly hands-on, real-world experience.

    Given the unparalleled access to the filmmaking community in Queensland, it came as no surprise to find two of our very own in front of the camera for the upcoming blockbuster film San Andreas, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Paul Giamatti. NYFA Australia, Gold Coast Chair of Acting, Brad McMurray and One-Year Acting Grad, Nick Allen-Ducat had roles in the film, and walked the red carpet at the Queensland premiere, which took place at the Roxy Theatre.

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    pic by David Clark; Gold Coast Bulletin

    “Being on the backlot leaves it wide open to massive possibilities as many of our current and former students had on set experience as extras on San Andreas and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken,” said McMurray. “Having international blockbusters shooting on NYFA’s doorstep creates an industry pulse that is felt by all of the students at NYFA. This creates a hunger that will drive them into this vibrant exciting industry. In securing a role on something as big as San Andreas, it enables me to get in the room face to face with the students and share this valuable experience with them. The class experience then becomes a session of artistic osmosis where the students beliefs and expectations are ramped up ready for the industry.”

    In addition to Brad and Nick’s roles in the film, NYFA Australia filmmaking students were able to intern on the production of the film.

    Having filmed on the Coast, The Rock, who was in attendance at the premiere, had this to say about his experience: “I had the best time — amazing time — shooting the film on the Gold Coast.”

    Look for Brad, Nick, and The Rock in San Andreas, which opens in theaters today!

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  • NYFA Students Attend Red Carpet Premiere of Russell Crowe Directorial Debut at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood

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    nyfa student Last week New York Film Academy students received a special invitation to the Los Angeles premiere of Russell Crowe’s directorial debut film The Water Diviner at the historic Chinese Theater. Students from all departments and programs attended and got a rare, first-hand Hollywood red carpet event experience.

    NYFA producing student Emilio Madaio and acting student Tania Martínez where there and recounted the night’s events for us in an interview:

    What were your initial impressions of the event?

    Emilio: It was my first time at the Chinese Theater so I was really excited about it. With its (decorative) entrance it’s definitely a classy place. I saw some of the red carpet events before Russell Crowe arrived. It was fun to see it executed in real life—the interviewers behind the ropes courting the stars and trying to get there attention, the celebrities getting interviewed and posing for pictures with their best angle—that was interesting. I actually ended up sitting near the very front of the theater. Some of the movie’s cast like Yilmaz Erdogan and Ryan Corr sat close to me.

    Did you go with other NYFA students?

    Tania: I was with my whole class, except one person. There were 12 of us. And there were lots of people from other programs and classes too. Even one of my teachers was there. The whole theater was full and they had free popcorn and drinks for everyone.

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    Did you get to see Russell Crowe?

    Tania: I was seated little further back. But it didn’t matter because before the screening someone started talking (over a loudspeaker) saying, “Everyone please be seated…” and I didn’t realize who was talking but then I looked to my left and it was Russell Crowe. He was talking to the audience and making jokes. He didn’t even go onto the stage he just stayed upstairs (on a balcony) in the middle of the theater. Nobody realized it was him talking at first, then people started pointing and taking pictures.

    Emilio: Yes, he spoke from the back of the room and explained that usually at a premiere like this you will see the director talking at the front of the theater discussing why he wanted to make this movie, what happened on set, and what his influences were, but that he wasn’t going to do this. He just wanted to cut to the chase and let movie speak for itself. And he did it in a very funny way. He joked with the audience that after the screening they could trade in their ticket stubs with the Australian government to receive a free kola in the mail. After hearing Russell Crowe speak I decided he was a class act. He seemed like someone who had reached the top and wanted to give back. He supported the other actors in the movie, announcing who was in the audience and giving them a nice push, so to speak. He didn’t want to be the star that night; he wanted the movie to take the lead.

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    What did you think of the movie?

    Tania: Russell Crowe’s acting was great, as well as all the other actors. It’s the kind of movie that keeps you “in the movie” and engaged, and impacts you emotionally. And I’m a really family-oriented person and this movie has a great sense of family. I definitely recommend the movie.

    Emilio: I was very interested to see the directorial debut of an actor. The movie really delivered and exceeded my expectations. (As a producer) I was paying attention to the producing aspects of the movie and it’s much more than you would expect from a first time director. Would I recommend the movie to my friends? Yes!

    What happened after the screening?

    Tania: Afterwards many of the actors were talking to the crowd. People were congratulating them and taking pictures with them. I got to take pictures with a few of the cast members. It was interesting and nice. Walking through Hollywood you always see premieres and stuff going on, and normally you’re on the other side. And it was nice to be inside and to see it from another perspective. I really enjoyed it and want to go to another one!

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    April 24, 2015 • Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5333

  • Banky W Premieres ‘Music Film Experience’ in Lagos

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    banky wOne of our recent 8-week Filmmaking graduates, Nigerian R&B star Banky W, showcased his most recent music video work, which he filmed in collaboration with the New York Film Academy, at one of the largest theaters in Lagos, Nigeria. The “Music Film Experience” premiere event at the Palms Mall was attended by some of the Nigeria’s top celebrities and A-listers, and was sponsored by Samsung, Diamond Bank, Ciroc vodka, Oando Plc, and Fuse.

    The night began with the screening of Mercy, which was Banky’s final film at NYFA. From there, he screened his music video, Lowkey, and ended with a viewing of Unborn Child. Following the screenings, Banky W spoke with the audience about his videos and experience working on the project. As for his overall game-plan with the videos, he plans to release his clips one at a time to give his fans a sneak peek.

    Hailing from Lagos, Nigeria, Banky enrolled in NYFA’s Union Square campus to study an 8-week Filmmaking course where he was able to develop his skills to co-produce and co-direct his largest music video to date alongside Jonathan Whittaker, Chair of Short-Term Filmmaking Program at The New York Film Academy. “Being on set with Jonathan, Til Neumann [NYFA Instructor] and the NYFA team provided me a priceless learning experience,” said Banky W. “I was fortunate enough to have Jonathan as a teacher in my cinematography class, and then again as a collaborator when we co-directed my Unborn Child video. I feel blessed to have learned so much from him, in and outside of the classroom.”

    Banky W film

    Banky W on set at NYFA

    With a NYFA crew comprised of former students, assistants and faculty, Unborn Child was shot on the Red Epic at Gary’s Loft in Midtown and just off Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx in only two days. The video stars Banky, Lynxxx, and 8-week Acting for Film student Aminat Ayinde. “Til was absolutely phenomenal as well, and I can’t say enough about the alumni like Matthia Palombi and Philipp Pchelin, who I also worked with on the other films I shot, as well as the rest of the NYFA team. The videos I got to make wouldn’t be what they are without their invaluable help and expertise.”

    Banky W took full advantage of NYFA’s hands-on experience, diving head first into several projects. “I consider my training at NYFA to be an important foundation for the rest of the filmmaking work I intend to do. I hope to build on this by putting into practice what I learnt, but I also hope to continue to learn. I have more classes to take, more work to do, and many more films/videos/clips to write and direct.”

    banky and dorcas

    Banky W and Dorcas

    “Having already spent many successful years on the music scene in Africa, I consider this the start of something very exciting and limitless; something I will do for a very long time, and something I hope to excel in,” said Banky W. I can’t thank NYFA enough for helping me begin to make this dream a reality.”

    We’d also like to thank Banky W for his kind words and wish his much success in the world of filmmaking! Be on the lookout for Unborn Child, which is officially scheduled to be released around the beginning of January.

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    December 19, 2014 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6517