Royal Pains
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  • Actor Paulo Costanzo Visits NYFA Battery Place

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    Having grown up with the desire to direct films, especially after first seeing Trainspotting, Paulo Costanzo first broke into the business through acting. His biggest break came about after an open audition in Canada got the attention of Todd Phillips and Ivan Reitman for the comedy, Road Trip. Beating the odds with hard work, talent and a little bit of luck, Costanzo landed the role of Rubin Carver in Road Trip and never looked back. “Had I not prepared and been that confident, I wouldn’t have nailed the audition,” said Costanzo.

    paulo costanzo

    After Road Trip, Costanzo landed several acting roles in both film and television, including the TV series Joey and, most recently, Royal Pains. Having the opportunity to work on set for twenty years as an actor allowed Costanzo to watch and learn from directors on set. It was through that learning process and his long desire to direct that Costanzo would get the job to direct a few episodes of the USA hit show Royal Pains, in which he also plays Evan Lawson.

    Last week, while speaking to acting and filmmaking students at the New York Film Academy, Costanzo dissected several scenes of Royal Pains that he directed and explained the thought process that went behind each. Moderated by NYFA Short-term Filmmaking Chair Jonathan Whittaker and Acting Chair Glynis Rigsby, Costanzo spoke in depth about the mentality of being confident and prepared, whether it be for an audition or directing a film or TV show.

    royal pains nyfa

    NYFA Short-term Chair Jonathan Whittaker, Acting Chair Glynis Rigsby and Paulo Costanzo

    Costanzo says he can relate to our students in that he is currently in the process of transitioning to a career as a feature director, and so he feels like a beginner in the business. He’s in the middle of writing a dramatic comedy feature that he hopes to direct in the near future.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. Costanzo for bringing us his refreshing sense of humor along with invaluable advice. We wish him the best of luck on developing his first feature film!

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    December 15, 2015 • Acting, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 7078

  • A Conversation with ‘Royal Pains’ Producer Michael Rauch

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    Executive Producer Michael Rauch

    A packed room welcomed successful Television Showrunner Michael Rauch to New York Film Academy’s Producing Department’s latest Industry Speaker Series session. Mr. Rauch participated in a “Conversation with…” and Question and Answer session with Producing Department Co-Chair and Screenwriting instructor Nick Yellen.

    Rauch has been an executive producer on a number of television series, including Love Monkey, Beautiful People, Life is Wild, and most recently, Royal Pains.

    Royal Pains has been one of the USA cable networks most successful shows the past six seasons as well as one of its most expensive — $3 million per episode.

    NYFA students from various departments heard Rauch discuss his early career. He advised students how to break into TV as both a writer and producer. He broke down the responsibilities of various TV producers on set, and took us through the day of a Hollywood Showrunner.

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    Mr. Rauch also shared how students breaking in can expand their industry networking. Michael explained in great depth how a scripted TV show’s writer’s room works, and the fast paced schedule and steps to creating each episode. He guided students with what to do with their original pilot ideas and how to get them into the right hands and what a Showrunner looks for in a writer. He spoke of how important product integration has become to television and the challenges that presents to a TV producer.

    Rauch’s Royal Pains has been renewed for a 7th and 8th season and can be currently seen on the USA Network as well as 50 other countries worldwide.

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    May 4, 2015 • Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 7068

  • New York Film Academy’s Alumni Spotlight: Jason Liles

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    “Before I moved to NYC I was told by many that I was too tall to be an actor,” says New York Film Academy Acting for Film graduate Jason Liles. “However, it seems my height was been the very thing that’s been getting me in the door to this point.”

    The 6’10” actor has booked a number of high-profile jobs since his graduation in May 2010. Jason explains, “The very week after graduating… [I did an] episode of stand-in work for [pro wrestler] The Big Show as he guest starred on an episode of USA’s Royal Pains. That was my first experience on a big film or TV set ever.”

    “About a month later, [I was called] in to audition for a principal role as a tall alien in Men In Black III 3D!” says Jason. “I ended up working as three aliens over several weeks with [7-time Academy Award-winning] special makeup effects artist Rick Baker and his crew. I worked on the film… with nearly the entire main cast. I got all my SAG waivers and made some great connections. It was an incredible experience. I’m very much looking forward to it’s release on May 25.”

    Jason got another lucky break when he got a second callback for a role on a commercial. He recounts, “I was ecstatic… when I found out searching on the internet that it was a PRINCIPAL role in a NATIONAL Allstate commercial… This was my first time ever auditioning in front of the director, and all for a big project like this. MIB’s audition was for a camera. It was so cool to be getting direction from the director himself at the audition and I gave it my all in that room.”

    Jason waited anxiously until he got the news that he booked the role. He explains, “Because of the waivers I got doing Men In Black III, I had to join SAG to do it so I also got my SAG card!!! Meetings with agents were being set up!!! I couldn’t believe it. I was in denial even. I started to think, ‘Okay, it’s a commercial, but it won’t be that big. It can’t be.’ It just seemed too easy and too good to be true.”

    “The shoot went amazing,” he says. “Around 300 extras were cast for the crowd, and about 15 principals including us basketball players. I got to work directly with Dean ‘Mayhem’ Winters and his 11-year stunt double, David Shumbris, all day. It was such a pleasure to work with both of them and I can’t say enough nice things about them. Also getting to work directly with acclaimed commercial director David Gray was really exciting for me. He was nominated for the prestigious DGA Commercial Director of the Year award in 2004 and I believe this was his first Allstate Mayhem commercial.”

    “I had never experienced anything like a 2,000 frames-per-second high-speed camera getting my close-up for a national commercial before,” says Jason. “When we were setting up that shot, I can’t explain the anticipation and excitement for what was about to happen. I was so amped and felt so grateful to be standing on that court surrounded by such talent. After we got my close-up I went over to the monitor and watched it with David. It looked incredible! So epic! I remember standing behind David as he’s pointing at my face on the monitor saying to the assistant director, Peter Jackson, ‘That’s great! That’s perfect right there. Great, let’s move on.’ It was such a compliment for me to come from such a great director like him.“

    The commercial is currently airing on CBS, TBS, TNT, TruTV, Comedy Central, History, Fox, ESPN, and AMC. Jason says, “Another graduate of NYFA, Nick Purdy, said my ‘shocked face is plastered all over Canadian television.’ So evidently it’s showing internationally as well.”

    “I love this business,” Jason says. “Less than a week before shooting the commercial, I knew nothing about it. Persistence is key in anything, and… especially in this industry. I feel so very blessed and so lucky to get this opportunity only a couple years into my career. I can’t thank God enough for the opportunities that have been given to me and can’t wait to see what’s next…. There’s one thing that I’ve come to learn in this business: you never know what’s right around the corner.”

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    April 18, 2012 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5735