• Q&A with Marvel Studios Science Advisor and Quantum Physicist Dr. Spiros Michalakis


    On January 17, Cal Tech quantum physicist Dr. Spiros Michalakis came to speak to New York Film Academy (NYFA) at our Los Angeles campus, and spoke with students about his role as science advisor on Hollywood film sets. 

    Dr. Spiros Michalakis

    The talk was organized originally for students of the brand new (and very popular) “Science and the Movies” class offered for the BFA degree program—a course focused around analyzing how science is portrayed in film—though it drew many students from outside the course and program as well. 

    Science advisors are being used more and more in film production, as audiences are demanding less fantastical and more realistic and grounded foundations for science fiction plots. 

    Dr. Spiros Michalakis

    Dr. Michalakis is known for his work on several Marvel Studios films, including Doctor Strange, the upcoming Captain Marvel, Ant Man and its more recent sequel Ant Man and the Wasp. He also worked on viral shorts that include celebrity scientists and actors alike, like Dr. Stephen Hawking, Paul Rudd, Keanu Reeves, and Zoe Saldana. 

    In short, he blew the minds of our students with his enthralling descriptions of the quantum realm—a key part of many recent science fiction films, including the aforementioned Ant Man movies—and how best to incorporate such challenging physics into a major Hollywood blockbuster. His take-home message to filmmakers: find a balance between entertainment and education, i.e., there is a brilliant but gentle way to incorporate science in your film that will entice curiosity while not ostracizing the spectator simply looking for entertainment. 

    Dr. Spiros Michalakis

    The New York Film Academy thanks Hollywood science advisor and quantum physicist Dr. Spiros Michalakis for taking the time to talk science and film with our students!


    February 6, 2019 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 3194

  • NYFA Animation and VFX Students Visit California Science Center

    FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailLast week, with stops in Santa Monica and downtown, a group of New York Film Academy Animation and VFX students got to go behind-the-scenes at SideFX Software and take in the sites at the California Science Center.

    california science center

    If you don’t know SideFX, well, it’s rapidly taking over the VFX and interactive world with its powerful procedural cg animation and VFX tool Houdini. Gabriel Fernandez and Ujala Saini are one year students in the Animation and VFX program and they made the most out of meeting the people that know Houdini best — the people that make it and use it everyday — and asked lots of great questions.

    Tiffany Victor, a student in NYFA’s Animation VFX BFA program, jumped at the chance to be the first to beta test a new UNITY game built with the powerful Houdini Engine in the Htc Vive Virtual Reality System. Big CG thanks to Ben Mears, Rob Stauffer, Genesis Lee and the rest of the team at SideFX for opening their doors to the NYFA Animation and VFX students here in Los Angeles.

    space shuttle

    After that, the trip headed downtown to the California Science Center with its Science of Pixar Exhibition, and the Space Shuttle Endeavour for the cherry on top. The Pixar show was full of over-sized interactive learning stations that brought the nuts and bolts of CG animation to life. The exhibition gave everyone a chance to see how the tools they use for homework today are the same tools they will use in their careers tomorrow.

    With only time for one last stop, the group took the opportunity to check out NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavor.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    January 13, 2017 • 3D Animation • Views: 4898

  • NYFA Goes Above and Beyond Your Average Film School

    FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailWhile the New York Film Academy prides itself on its programs in the arts and its creative student body, we are fully aware and supportive of the importance of the sciences. That’s why we’ve been branching out more than ever in a S.T.E.A.M. initiative that allows our degree students to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, in addition to the arts.

    Recently, students from the New York Film Academy teamed with physicists from California State University, Northridge, to investigate the effects of global warming on the health of Southern California’s natural vegetation. Two weather balloons were launched from Tehachapi, California, reaching altitudes of approximately 90,000 feet. The balloons traveled a linear distance of 35 miles, eventually landing in the Mojave Desert. Through the launch, we were able to capture vast images of vegetation and measure temperature, pressure, humidity, and wind direction.

    See for yourself how NYFA goes above and beyond in this fantastic piece put together by our NYFA Media Content Department.

    New York Film Academy Presents Climate Change Experiment from New York Film Academy on Vimeo.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    June 18, 2014 • Film School • Views: 6926