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  • Women in Comics: New York Film Academy (NYFA) and Final Draft Host “Write On” Podcast

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    On August 20, 2018, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) partnered with Final Draft to host a live taping of Final Draft’s podcast, Write On, focused on women in comics. The panelists were Shannon Watters, Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith, and NYFA screenwriting school instructor Christina Weir. The event was moderated by Pete D’Alessandro."Write On: Women in Comics"

    Shannon Watters is the senior editor at BOOM! Studios and co-creator and co-writer of the award-winning comic book series, Lumberjanes. Kirsten Smith is a writer and producer (Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s the Man, Ella Enchanted, The House Bunny and The Ugly Truth) and Christina Weir is a writer (New X-Men, Skinwalker, Three Strikes, Maria’s Wedding, Bad Medicine, Play Ball, Dragon Age: Deception).

    The panelists were first asked what makes comics unique as an artistic medium. Smith said that, in her opinion, comics are special and intimate because they are “a work of art.” Weir added that, in the comic medium, it is essential to keep things moving; even if the scene is just a conversation, it’s important to keep it visually interesting to the reader. Watters shared that she likes using “the page turn” as a tool to surprise and entertain readers of comics in book form.

    The production of a comic is similar to the production of a play or TV show or film because, to be successful, the comic has to tell a story and, in order to tell a story well, there must be trust and communication between all parties involved. Watters described the relationship between a comic writer and artist as symbiotic and “like a marriage.”

    "Write On: Women in Comics"Weir added that comics are “great learning tools for screenwriting” because they “force [the writer] to get to what’s important… You only have so much space to get your point across.”

    The panelists were asked what they believe the future of the comic industry looks like. Watters said that she believes that in the next couple decades, there will be more and more women, people of color, and LGBTQ comic writers and artists. Weir added, “We are in an age now where kids are encouraged to read comics… Comics are cool!”

    Lastly, Watters’ advice for aspiring comic writers and artists is to “Get your stuff out there!” She encouraged students to share their work on the web and to meet other creative people to network, collaborate, and grow.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Shannon Watters, Kirsten Smith, and Christina Weir for sharing their experiences and advice for young writers.

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    August 28, 2018 • Guest Speakers, Screenwriting • Views: 1300

  • NYFA Los Angeles Wraps its Write Start Contest Workshop

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    NYFA Los Angeles Screenwriting

    NYFA Los Angeles Screenwriting Room

    Often a writer confines his or herself, staying true to his or her own thoughts. Typically, the writer is stubborn, holding strong to the original idea. However, truly perfecting the craft of screenwriting requires practice, guidance and workshopping with peers. Having an environment with knowledgable professionals and like-minded individuals is imperative to the overall goal of completing an industry standard screenplay that could actually be shopped around Hollywood. This notion is precisely what the New York Film Academy’s Screenwriting School is built upon.

    Two weeks ago, we wrapped up the Write Start Contest Workshop. Launched by The Writers’ Store and co-sponsored by New York Film Academy’s MFA Screenwriting Program, the Write Start Contest invited writers to submit a one-page pitch for a feature screenplay idea. Out of hundreds of applicants, eight winners were chosen. The grand prize was a special 8-week workshop at NYFA Los Angeles. Four of the eight winners elected to come to NYFA Los Angeles in person to participate in the workshop. The others participated in an online workshop. At the end of the program, each student completed a finished feature length screenplay, which we believe has the ability to be shown to industry professionals.

    If you have an idea for a screenplay and are looking to hone your craft in a structured environment, be sure to check out NYFA’s Screenwriting Programs!

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    March 27, 2014 • Screenwriting • Views: 4056

  • MFA Screenwriters Pitch Scripts to the Pro’s

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    Pitch Fest NYFA

    The graduating Sept 2012 MFA Screenwriters from New York Film Academy in Los Angeles had their Pitch Fest on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014, at the Andaz Hotel on the Sunset Strip. The Pitch Fest is run “ speed dating” style, where each student gets five minutes with every guest. Who were the guests? Over 18 companies were in attendance, including Paradigm, APA, Conaco, De Laurentiis Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and many other management agencies and production companies.

    The students pitched their thesis scripts, which they had been working on for 16 weeks until they were professionally polished and ready to sell.

    The response from the guests was amazing. “One of the best pitch events I’ve ever been to,” Scott Stoops, Paradigm.

    “Better than AFI’s Pitch Showcase,” Jarrod Murray, Epicenter.

    The event was so successful that every student received at least two requests for their script. Don’t be surprised to see some NYFA graduates’ credits on the big screen soon!

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    March 13, 2014 • Community Highlights, Screenwriting • Views: 4796

  • Gender Inequality in Film

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    To view the updated Gender Inequality in Film infographic released in 2018, click the banner above.

    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: 391263