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  • NYFA Screenwriting Graduates Celebrate with Industry Pitch-Fest

    On September 17th, 2015, graduating MFA, BFA, and AFA New York Film Academy Screenwriting students attended their culminating Industry Pitch-Fest Event, held at the Andaz Hotel up on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.

    pitch fest

    A catered event and mingling opportunity for the students, executives, and faculty alike, this capstone event celebrated the New York Film Academy’s graduating MFA, BFA, and AFA Screenwriting students, offering them a professional outlet to jumpstart their careers by pitching their thesis projects to industry executives.

    These writing students, having spent their final semester in their Business of Screenwriting III class preparing and fine-tuning their pitches for their thesis film and TV projects, shined on this pinnacle evening, leaving with new professional contacts and a flurry of interest in the scripts they’d worked so hard on all year.

     

    screenwriting pitch

    Considered by the school to be their first night as professional screenwriters, this group of bright students brought their A-game, as they pitched agents, managers and production company representatives in a relaxed, round-table environment.

    Hosted by NYFA’s Business of Screenwriting curriculum head, David O’Leary, in conjunction with NYFA’s Screenwriting Chair Nunzio DeFilippis and Associate Chair Adam Finer, the event featured representatives from various Hollywood companies.

     

    screenwriting pitch fest

    Attendees included Hollywood literary agencies and management companies, including representatives from ICM, BenderSpink, Underground Management, and Next Level Entertainment, as well film and TV production companies, including Original Film, Marc Platt Productions, Taggart Productions, Closed on Monday / Oni Press, and Bright Whale Entertainment, amongst others.

    NYFA wishes to thank its participants, without whom this evening could not have been possible. Also, we’d like to extend a big congratulations to all of our May ’14 MFA, BFA and AFA graduates!

    Onwards and upwards!

    September 24, 2015 • Community Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 2983

  • Screenwriter John Glosser Joins NYFA’s Business of Screenwriting Class

    John GlosserOn July 29th, Black List screenwriter John Glosser joined New York Film Academy’s Business of Screenwriting class to discuss breaking into Hollywood, his life as a writer, and his unique perspective on the film industry.

    “If you’re not addicted to doing this, don’t do it,” Glosser advised, “Seriously, it has to be addiction because it’s just such a difficult career to break into. You have to want it as bad as an aspiring athlete wants to become a professional.”

    Glosser spoke about his early days working on-set as a Unit Production Manager on such horror films as Splinter and about first getting repped. “I went backwards; I got my agent and then my manager, but it all comes down to relationships. In the end, a friend of a friend is what got my script in front of the right people.”

    That script was The Broken, which not only placed on the 2012 Blacklist, but got Sam Worthington attached to produce and Nicolas Cage attached to star. The crime drama tells the story of a farmer in 1967, grieving for his murdered son, who discovers a suspicious cover-up on the part of a corrupt sheriff.

    Glosser went on to speak about his experiences developing projects with various A-list directors and producers since The Broken hit the town, but closed with his belief about the most fundamental thing in this business —

    “Voice”, Glosser affirmed, “is the most important attribute as a writer you can look to build. You all have one, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. You need to cultivate that voice… I don’t care if you write a story about an Elf living in Tokyo who drinks tea and falls in love with a flower. If you have a voice, people will notice.”

    August 6, 2014 • Guest Speakers, Screenwriting • Views: 5143

  • Gender Inequality in Film

    In light of the record-breaking opening of the female-led action film Hunger Games: Catching Fire this past weekend, the New York Film Academy decided to take a closer look at women in film and what, if any, advancements women are making. After reviewing the data, it is clear that Hollywood remains stuck in its gender bias. Of course, it’s not all disparaging news and there are a number of female filmmakers, characters, and emerging talent challenging the status quo. In addition, in the independent sphere, women made up roughly half of the directors at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, yet still struggle when it comes to films receiving a wide release. By shedding light on gender inequality in film, we hope to start a discussion about what can be done to increase women’s exposure and power in big-budget films.

    New York Film Academy's Gender Inequality in Film Infographic

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    November 25, 2013 • Infographics • Views: 330424

  • So How Do You Get a TV Series Off the Ground?

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    One of the most crucial steps into the film and television industry for any writer is finding and landing the right agent. It’s one of the first obstacles for any film student, especially after graduation. So, the New York Film Academy was excited to hold an informative Q&A with the Senior VP of Gersh Agency, Jack Dytman. His long list of clients include TV series show-runners, executive producers, story editors, staff writers and feature writers in all aspects of the business. His clients have worked on network and cable television series such as Breaking Bad, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, Walking Dead, Desperate Housewives, Castle, Criminal Minds, Hawaii 5-0, Smash, Lie To Me, Frasier, Without A Trace, Law and Order: SVU, X-Files, Alias, Hill Street Blues, Suddenly Susan, Murphy Brown, Boston Legal, Barney Miller, Law and Order, Chicago Hope, NYPD Blue, Married with Children, Carnivale, and more. Numerous clients have been nominated for Emmy Awards, ten clients have received Writers Guild Award nominations, and four have won. In the last five years his clients have received nine Producers Guild Award nominations.

    Given his background, Jack provided much insight into the world of the business. He spoke about the current popularity of television, noting, “I have a long line of feature writers trying to get into television, but TV is different…you need to be able to lay the pipeline for 100-150 episodes. It’s not just three acts and an ending!” He also stated that the people that you may need to pitch to are “smart and have heard everything, so the work needs to be unique.”

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    Tova Laiter with Jack Dytman

    One of our students asked Jack the popular question, “How do you get your foot in the door at a network show?” He suggested that, “If you want to get in the door, be a writer’s assistant. If you can’t do that, do something else – sweep if you have to!” Typically it can take up to ten years to develop a writing career for networks, but there are exceptions. One exception he mentioned was the creator of Burn Notice, who had never written for a show. So while it’s rare, it can happen. “You should find your niche and focus on that genre. Understand the networks and cable  – what are they branding? Understanding the difference between ABC, CBS and SHOWTIME is important.”

    While Jack admits it was difficult to predict what shows would become hits, he knew Magnum PI was going to be. However, other shows such as Pushing Daisies simply didn’t catch, even with the top people on board. Then there was Seinfeld, which took about three years to turn into a good show. Go figure.

    Jack also walked our audience through the Development process for TV shows, which was quite telling.

    1. Writer goes to agent with AN IDEA.
    2. If agent says “it’s great” they go to a studio or network.
    3. If it moves forward, they will create or develop a creative team together.
    4. The team will, among other things, BRAND the show. An incredibly important part of network television (each studio and network have branding branches.)
    5. If all goes well, the pilot is picked up once written.
    6. The pilot WILL receive notes, accept them and work with them!
    7. Hopefully pilot gets made, then shown, then repeated.
    8. This process repeats itself annually.

    If you don’t like receiving notes, you’re in the wrong business. Jack stressed the importance of being able to take notes and establishing a relationship with producers and executives. The old cliche about the industry being, “Half about ability and half about like-ability,” is true. “A lot of it is about relationships – you have to network constantly.” He closed with these words of advice, “Have someone refer you when trying to get your work out there.”

    August 1, 2013 • Guest Speakers • Views: 3514