I appreciate having met wonderful friends and teachers … If I couldn’t see them, I couldn’t reach here.”
The old model of “natural disaster reporting” revolved around sending a reporter (or reporters) into a devastated area, and hoping that they could put together a quick overview of “the situation.” But people on the ground, especially trained journalists, often have the best idea of what is going on. (Often knowing more than the government agencies tasked with helping impacted communities.) Now, through social media, that information is getting out faster than ever. But, a word of caution: “The first report is always wrong.” Yes, I’ve said that before, but it deserves repeating. This is why journalists need to be part of the editorial process, as opposed to well-meaning but often imprecise “citizen journalists.” It takes more than a camera to be a journalist…Continuing the theme of new technology, The New York Times has been posting 360-degree videos daily for a year. And based on that experience, Digiday reports the Times has learned some important lessons. Chief among them is that location is often the key to digital engagement: Taking people someplace they want to see, in 360-degrees, generates views.Among the places the Times cameras visited were the street outside Wrigley Field the moment the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years (for our international readers, the Cubs play that strange American game called “baseball”), inside a NASA installation designed to mimic a Mars colony, and in the ghost towns that surround the Fukushima power plant that melted down six years ago. Personal profiles, on the other hand, were less successful. My favorite 360 video was the demolition of a old, especially hated highway bridge, dreaded by generations of New York City drivers and now in the process of being replaced by two modern spans.I have to admit the next story strikes me as somewhat strange … I understand the attraction of podcasts (I started my career in radio, I get it), but some people are now listening to podcasts two-times or three-times the normal speed. According to BuzzFeed, this allows so-called “podfasters” to binge-listen to an entire series in just a matter of days. Maybe this is a generational thing, but I have to ask, “why?” Apparently the answer is: “to have more time to listen to more podcasts.”Finally, last Friday saw the graduation of our latest group of 8-week Broadcast Journalism workshop students. That’s them in the picture below, with the rather “mature” Department Chair (me) in the center, and our always youthful Camera Instructor (Daniel Hernandez) on the left.One of the new graduates was Ryo Matsuo — or, if we were in Japan, Matsuo Ryo. He wrote a heartfelt Facebook post about his NYFA experience. Here is an excerpt:“When I started attending the class, I considered giving up and dropping out because I wasn’t confident about my skills and English. However, finally, I got it. I was able to graduate from class.
I appreciate having met wonderful friends and teachers … If I couldn’t see them, I couldn’t reach here.”Thank you, Ryo-san. We’re going to miss you, and your classmates. Keep in touch!
As a graduate of the 3D Animation program at the New York Film Academy, Eliska Podzimkova has utilized her skills and creativity through the emerging social media platform, Instagram. Since creating her account animateNY, Eliska has grown over 56k followers, who all check their newsfeed for Eliska’s unique take on both New York City and, currently, the world.
A photo posted by Eliska Podzimkova (@animateny) on
The Prague native has loved New York City ever since she was a child and her pursuit of the arts at the New York Film Academy only furthered her love. To continue her stay in New York, Eliska was welcomed to NYFA’s social media team to liven its artistic brand and engage with likeminded artists. Her work was well received by students, alumni, and followers of the Academy.
A video posted by Eliska Podzimkova (@animateny) on
After nearly a year of working with NYFA, Eliska’s sense of exploration and desire to travel the world led her back to Europe where she continues to work, travel, and animate. Eliska has worked alongside British celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, and has been featured in numerous publications including Metro NY, Evening Standard, boredpanda, and others. Her short film Babl won Best Animated Short at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival in Brooklyn.
This summer, the New York Film Academy is reuniting with the animation alumna through its annual #NYFASummer Photo Contest. For the past few summers NYFA has held a photography contest on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) for our summer camp students to show off their locations, sets, and overall campus life at each of their specific locations.
For more information on the #NYFASummer Contest, please CLICK HERE.
Daniel Smith, a U.S. veteran, is a producing student at the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) who recently started interning with the organization We Are the Mighty’s social media team. Internet and social media marketing and production are the alternatives for getting content and stories out to audiences. More people watch creative content on the Internet than in theaters and conventional television.
“The Veteran’s Team at NYFA has been instrumental not only in my enrolling at NYFA but assisting in providing information on additional education opportunities such as the Writers Guild of America Veteran’s Writing Program, organizing master classes, and information about a variety of internships such as We Are The Mighty,” said Dan.
Dan recently received an MFA in Screenwriting at NYFA and has extensive work experience in various parts of the world, serving in Special Forces and the Intelligence communities. He began his military career as a Private and left as Lieutenant Colonel. Dan is familiar with global security issues and his experience is fodder for his script material. He completed an internship with Abbott Entertainment, writing coverage for twenty-five screenplays. He also completed two screenplays, two spec scripts and a comic. Dan is currently working on a television pilot and feature film script.
After graduating from film school, New York Film Academy Directing Instructor Craig Ross, Jr. moved to Los Angeles, where he formed his own production company Asiatic Associates (ASA). From there he went on to direct a number independent films, his first being the film Cappuccino (1998). His other film credits include Blue Hill Avenue (2001), Ride or Die (2004), Motives (2004) and The Mannsfield 12 (2007), the first film that was released through MySpace.com.
Since 2004, he has also had a career in television, directing episodes of Strong Medicine, Cold Case, Standoff, Crossing Jordan, The 4400, Lincoln Heights, K-Ville, Prison Break, Bones, Numb3rs and NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Coming from such an extensive background in directing for both film and television, Ross’ on-set knowledge enables him to provide answers and solutions to a number of problems or difficulties that may arise on student film sets. “My work history makes it virtually impossible for me not to be able to answer, from a place of first hand knowledge, any question the students may have,” says Ross. “I’ve done just about everything they’ve thought of doing. So I can definitely help guide them down certain paths from a place of confidence.”
As experienced as Ross is in the world of directing, he admits that teaching at the New York Film Academy and working with students has been eye opening in terms of his own learning experience. “It may sound like a cliché, but I get as much education from my students as they get from me. So the experience has expanded me as a filmmaker and as a human being.”
In addition to his work in the classroom and on students’ sets, Ross runs NYFA’s Industry Lab, which provides students with real world experience while still in school. The production entity utilizes instructors and students to produce projects outside of the school for clients that are in need of a production services. The lab is the brainchild of the Chair of Diversity, Cheryl Bedford, who first introduced Ross to the Academy.
To date, the Industry Lab has worked with Warner Bros. to film a concert series. We were hired as the production company to shoot the summer concert sessions for the record label’s new artists. We’ve also filmed a music video for top selling Uk artist DJ Rusko. Just recently, we shot an interview with Denzel Washington at the Pan African Film Festival, and are currently working on several other commercial projects for outside clients.
Ross’ strongest piece of advice for his students and others looking to break into television is more clear today than ever before — social media!
In the digital age, everything is about branding, and today branding can be done for very little money. Simply put, my advice for anyone wanting to be in TV, is to build an audience (crowd funding is a great way to do that) and create a web series. Create partnerships with the project — if it has a social issue attached to it, partner with a corresponding organization.
Market through social media using your partners social media marketing as amplifiers to get your product seen. The more hits you get, the more visible you are to Hollywood. Web series are a direct path to tv series — all you need is the branding.
For starters, you can share your projects with us by tweeting @NYFA or using #NYFA. We’re always catching some fantastic projects from students and alumni, and are never shy in sharing your incredible work!
Documentary Filmmaker Nancy Hanzhang Shen is in charge of New York Film Academy’s Chinese Social Media and works as a liaison with Chinese colleges. Her latest documentary film Why Am I Still Alive was a finalist for the US Student Academy Awards®2012 and Winner of Best shorts Documentary Festival 2012. The film has screened at the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International in New York City, White Sands International Film Festival 2012, and the China International Education Fair on Cultural & Creative Industries Exhibition. The film is currently screening at New York City Independent Film Festival 2012.
Here are just a few words of appraisal from respected industry professionals:
The NYC Independent Film Festival will screen the film at the Producers Club on Sunday, Oct 21st, 2012.The Producer’s Club is located at 358 West 44th Street New York, NY 10036 (Between 8 ave and 9 ave.)For tickets and more information, click here.
- “What a beautiful, heartbreaking film. Exquisitely done, and my heart aches for the film’s subject.”— Ilene Starger, member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
- “The film is a wonderful piece of work. It deserves to be really widely seen.” —Tom Hurwitz, ASC Four Academy Awards for Best Full-length Documentary
- “You didn’t give up! That is what it takes to be a filmmaker. You are only one person and you can and will make a difference.” — Maryann Deleo, ACADEMY AWARD winning filmmaker (Chernobyl Heart)
October 17, 2012 • Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 3080