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  • NYFA Welcomes New Musical Theatre Chair

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    Mark in Times Square

    The New York Film Academy is proud to announce the new Chair of Musical Theatre and Film Conservatory Program, Mark Olsen! Mark currently teaches at the Juilliard School and Columbia University; and is the former Head of Graduate Acting at Penn State University. He is a professional actor, author, and director – currently working as a movement consultant on two Broadway shows. His students are working on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in major films, television shows, and in regional theatres, both here and abroad.

    Mark brings his own brand of dedication and expertise to the Musical Theatre program and is focused on building upon the energy and programming, established by VP Boyle, to help evolve the conservatory to the next “octave” of training. To those students who are currently enrolled, he looks forward to meeting you and hearing from you in the coming weeks. To those hopefuls who have fallen in love with the musical theatre but have yet to apply to the program, he would like to extend a welcome hand.

    NYFA’s Musical Theatre Program is poised to become a major force in the field. If you’re interested in embarking on this new and exciting journey, click here to learn more!

     

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    March 22, 2013 • Musical Theatre • Views: 5237

  • Photo Chosen to Represent NYFA Photography

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    Walking around the streets of New York, you may have noticed our new photography ad. Its intention was to capture one’s attention and indeed it has. In fact, it even caught New York Film Academy Acting graduate, Andreas Holm-Hansen completely off guard. Andreas, a Denmark native, resides in Los Angeles now, but his friends have been spotting his face all over the city. “People have been complementing me and sending pictures of themselves next to the ad, which is pretty cool.”

    The photo was chosen from at least 300 student photos by Senior Faculty at New York Film Academy. The winning photo was shot by NYFA Photography graduate, Guillermo Berna. “The Idea came from a dream I had a long time ago, before I even thought of studying at NYFA,” said Berna. “It was something I was trying to do, but wasn’t really achieving the effect I wanted. I love water, it’s the most refreshing element on Earth. It’s been used forever as a filter of life – as a basic energy supply. It produces an incredible lighting effect when reflected on. It’s been used to show a split second moment – a sensation of time paused by many other photographers. It just gives the feeling I was looking for. Nowadays, digital cameras are a photographer’s playground, so you never worry about negative expenses and time lost. You just need to shoot and have perfect control of the lighting.”

    Guillermo shot the photo using a Canon 7D with a 24mm, 120mm 3.5 Nikon zoom. All manual. “Focus had to be checked at every click.” There were a lot of post production trimming elements that went into creating the final product: exposure, colors, light and vignetting filters. Believe it or not, no Photoshop, just light room corrections. “I was never afraid to ask friends and teachers. I listened carefully to everyone’s tips.”

    Guillermo lives and works in Brazil. He’s thrilled to hear that his simple digital file can now be seen by thousands of people on a daily basis. However, like Andreas, Guillermo has not been able to see the ad with his own eyes. Since moving to L.A., Andreas has been in Pink’s music video Blow Me (One Last Kiss) and will be playing an American soldier in Iron Man 3. Much of Andreas’ time now revolves around auditioning and photo shoots.

    If you spot Guillermo’s photo of Andreas, Tweet us @NYFA and tell us where you are!

     

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    January 14, 2013 • International Diversity, Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5484

  • Evelyne Binsack: Defeating Mt. Everest and Reaching New Heights

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    Evelyne Binsack Rock ClimbingDocumentary student Evelyne Binsack was already a celebrity before attending New York Film Academy. In 2001, she became the first Swiss woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. She also spent four months crossing Antarctica to reach the South Pole. She is the author of Expedition Antarctica and Steps on the Edge, and has been featured in a number of documentaries about her adventures. She speaks 3 languages and is also a helicopter pilot. Until our interview, she didn’t know that she had been named as Switzerland’s fourth most famous person – not bad, considering the poll included musicians, politicians, and movie stars!

    Evelyne said she discovered her love of the outdoors in her native Switzerland. “A friend of mine took me to the mountains near home. I fell in love and thought that’s what I want to do: [be] outdoors having adventures.” At the time, Evelyne was a runner competing in the 800 and 1500-meter dash. “That was something very different — fighting against each other. In mountaineering, you’re fighting together. You can’t fight against each other. That’s something that impressed me, the contrast.”

    Evelyne found New York Film Academy’s 1-Year Documentary Filmmaking program years later. “I was Googling in Europe,” she said. “Everything was three years for film programs, or… [very short] crash courses. What can you learn in one week? I decided to come here. I really enjoy the program… but as a country girl, it’s [hard] being in the city. Here, people live for the weekends, and Monday they feel like [crap]. Friends in my country don’t have this attitude. Most of my friends do what they love. They risked things to do what they love and they’re more happy. To see that people are just working for money, it hurts somehow. Take more risks and be passionate for what you do!”

    Despite the urban setting, Evelyne says she has already learned a lot in her first few months of school. “[Documentary instructors] Wendy Apple and Reuben Aaronson are great. They’re all fabulous. They have [a lot of] experience and it’s great to listen to them!” she said. She has already been putting her new knowledge to work as well. She explains, “I’ve been giving [lectures] for 10 years, and that’s how I make my income, but I didn’t know why some stories [wouldn’t] work. For my speeches it’s very helpful to know about structure and character arc. It helps me to understand why one story is good and why another story doesn’t work.”

    Evelyne admits to missing her adventures, saying, “I don’t like the word addiction, but somehow I’m addicted to the mountains and to climbing. I’m part of nature. If I’m not part of nature, I feel empty. It hurts.”

    After finishing the Documentary Filmmaking program at the end of the year, Evelyne will return to Switzerland, where she will plan for her next big adventure. “I want to traverse from Alps, cross the Caucuses, and find out stories about the sacred mountains of the Himalayas.”

    Check out a recent feature on Evelyne Binsack that aired on Swiss television, and get a behind-the-scenes look at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus!

    Evelyne Binsack Alps

    Evelyne Binsack Summit

    Evelyne Binsack Swiss Alps

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  • New York Film Academy’s Student Spotlight: Aldo Filiberto

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    MFA Film student Aldo Filiberto recently finished work on his thesis film, The Fortune Theory. Originally from Palermo, Italy, Aldo first came to NYFA in 2006 for an 8-Week Filmmaking program. He liked it so much, he decided to return in September 2009 for the masters program.

    Aldo describes the film, The Fortune Theory, as a coming-of-age drama. He explains, “It’s the story of an emotionally disconnected millionaire, who drifts through a systematic routine of job interviews, searching for an understanding of life and his workaholic father.”
The character, Morris, is ultimately forced to take a job writing fortunes in a fortune cookie factory, where he will have to face his own inadequacy in order to ultimately accept himself, those around him, and defy his father.

    aldo

    “I worked on the script for 8 months,” says Aldo. “After several table readings, the script was ready and we jumped into production. It was ambitious for the budget we had, but our excitement overcame our fears.”

    Aldo cast John Terry in a supporting role in the film. The celebrated actor is best known for his roles on Lost, ER, 24, and in Full Metal Jacket. Says Aldo, “He has tons of experience and worked with Kubrick! On the set he was very nice, hard working, and loved his job. He was great.” The project will also feature a score by Goya-nominated composer Pablo Cervantes.

    The film’s crew included a number of New York Film Academy students and alumni. Says Aldo, “Making a movie is a collaborative experience. You need to relate to other people to help you shape your vision, and school is a good place to create a network of people you can trust.”

    He also credits NYFA staff for their help, saying, “Instructors like Adam Nimoy, Crickett Rumley, James Rowe, and Lydia Cedrone have always been helpful. The school has been supporting me. The greenlight procedure helps you set up a schedule and deadlines. They really make sure that you’re ready to do it so you don’t end up wasting your money, or even worse, someone else’s money.”

    The Fortune Theory is currently in post-production. Aldo is in discussions with sales agencies and plans to hit the festival circuit in the next year. He explains, “This is the exciting part. Shooting it is just the beginning.”

    Actor John Terry with Aldo Filiberto

    Actor John Terry with Aldo Filiberto

    Aldo Filiberto directing a scene

    Aldo Filiberto directing a scene

    Aldo Filiberto talking with an actor

    Aldo Filiberto talking with an actor

    Aldo Filiberto with his crew

    Aldo Filiberto with his crew

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    March 6, 2012 • Filmmaking, International Diversity, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6651