social media

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) MFA Producing Student Aliza Jafri Uses Volunteer Work to Earn Social Media Gig at 2020 PGA Awards


    There are countless avenues into the entertainment industry, and New York Film Academy (NYFA) students and alumni have shown the versatility and foresight to explore them all. One such alum, NYFA MFA Producing student Aliza Jafri, used volunteering to network and seek valuable opportunities for her career.

    Last year, Jafri, who is currently earning her MFA in Producing from NYFA Los Angeles, volunteered at the Produced By Conference, where she met writer/actress/producer Mandy May Cheetham. Cheetham was looking for some assistance with social media for the Produced By Conference and Aliza seized the chance, offering her help. 

    Over the course of two days, Jafri helped with social media posts including Instagram stories and Snapchat content for the conference. From there, throughout 2019, Jafri was recommended for different social media projects. When the Producers Guild of America’s needed someone to run their Instagram account for the PGA Awards earlier this year, there was no doubt: Aliza was the one to do it. 

    Aliza Jafri

    NYFA MFA Producing Student Aliza Jafri

    During the PGA Awards, she worked on three events including the pre-Awards events like the nominees’ breakfast on the morning of the awards, as well as the ceremony itself that evening.

    Among her tasks, she researched all the nominees and producers, created a fact sheet with data and pictures for each nominee and during the PGA Awards, she recorded stories, took photos, and walked the red carpet with E! Entertainment to get content and post it on Instagram.

    On her experience, Jafri says: “I think it’s a huge honor to be able to be a part of one of the biggest events for producers in the industry. As a Producing student, being in a room full of the greatest producers of all time is a huge learning opportunity in and of itself … Getting the opportunity to do social media also allows me to interact with many people that I would normally never get a chance to interact with. As a producer, these opportunities to interact and network with people from the industry are crucial.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates MFA Producing student Aliza Jafri on the cool PGA Awards gig, an encouragement to other students and alumni using volunteer work to network and make connections in their careers.


    February 19, 2020 • Producing, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2211

  • Forbes Interviews New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism Alum Alana Blaylock


    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Alana Blaylock has had a productive career since finishing the 8-week Broadcast Journalism workshop at NYFA’s New York City campus in the summer of 2011. It’s no surprise then that many in the indAlana Blaylockustry have taken notice of the Emmy Award winner, including Forbes Magazine, which recently published a profile on and interview with the up-and-coming producer.

    Blaylock has amassed an inspiring roster of credits since finishing her workshop at NYFA’s Broadcast Journalism school, which teaches aspiring reporters a well-rounded understanding of all aspects of the production process, including researching, writing, shooting, producing, and editing. This is important in the modern digital landscape as contemporary broadcast journalists are expected to be multimedia journalists, marrying their technical skills with their creative ones. 

    This is exactly what Blaylock has excelled at, and why she has already won an Emmy and why her career is taking off even as her path winds between both traditional roads and outside-the-box ones. Her credits include work on CNN, HBO, NBC News, National Geographic, and the ID Channel, including popular programs Deadline and United Shades of America. However, her work on newer streaming models like Amazon and YouTube is what has been generating a lot of buzz. 

    One of her latest projects is producing for Best Shot, a YouTube Originals docuseries executive produced by Lebron James and Maverick Carter for the NBA. The show follows the student basketball players of Newark Central High School as well as chronicling the life and career of their mentor, former NBA player and sports television personality Jay Williams.

    In addition to working in both traditional and digital media, Blaylock curates a strong online presence on social media, further highlighting her smart instincts in an ever-changing media landscape.

    “I love the visual storytelling that happens on Instagram,” Blaylock tells Forbes. “That’s the platform I probably use the most [in my personal life]. And I am inspired by movies, set design, museums, exhibits and artists.”

    She continues, “I try to take in as much new culture as possible and then decide what I want to do with it or how it fits into my process as a creative.”

    What lies ahead for Blaylock remains to be seen, but it’s clear whatever she does next will be insightful and successful due to the work she puts in and the philosophy that keeps her driven. When asked about keeping her own personal voice while working on other parties’ projects, Blaylock tells Forbes, “My brand evolves as I attain more world experience. I have to remain authentically Alana, and the projects that I take on are continuations of my career journey.

    “I can adapt to the demands of a project and still be the best version of myself. I remain steadfast in my goals while producing every show, documentary or collaboration. As a result of working on many projects, there’s always new information and experiences. It keeps me well-rounded.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Alana Blaylock on her career and looks forward to her future successes sure to come!

  • NYFA Broadcast Journalism Program Weekly Updates Nov. 20

    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!

    November 20, 2017 • Academic Programs, Broadcast Journalism, Community Highlights, Film School • Views: 2293

  • Starting a Career in Animation Through Social Media


    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.

    “The Story of New York”

    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.

    BABLS from Eliska Podzimkova on Vimeo.

    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.


    June 14, 2016 • #WomenOfNYFA, 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 8602

  • NYFA Veteran MFA Student Joins We Are the Mighty

    daniel smith

    2nd from the right: Lt. Colonel Daniel Smith, NYFA Producing Student, pictured with fellow students at the WGA Writers Workshop for Veterans

    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.


    March 7, 2016 • Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4191

  • Craig Ross, Jr. Advises Directors to Utilize Social Media

    Craig Ross, Jr.

    NYFA Directing Instructor Craig Ross, Jr.

    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

    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!


    February 24, 2015 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 7224

  • #MyBoyhood: How Would You Have Aged in ‘Boyhood’?

    Michael Keaton

    Michael Keaton

    As the groundbreaking Richard Linklater film Boyhood continues to pick up steam with its Golden Globe Award for Best Picture, Drama, we at the New York Film Academy thought it’d be fun to see what other nominees and actors would look like as a child, compared to today. Imagine having twelve years of your life documented into an award-winning film. Pretty cool, right?

    We’ve compiled several famous actors “boyhood” or “girlhood” photos and placed them beside a current photo to start off the trend.

    How do your boyhood comparisons pair up to these celebs? Post your child photo alongside of a current photo and share it with us on Twitter or Instagram with #MyBoyhood.

    Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck

    Benedict Cumberbatch

    Benedict Cumberbatch

    Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum

    Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal

    jennifer aniston

    Jennifer Aniston

    Michael Keaton

    Michael Keaton

    Reese Witherspoon

    Reese Witherspoon

    Rosamund Pike

    Rosamund Pike

    Steve Carell

    Steve Carell

    You’re next! Don’t forget to tag your picture comparison with #MyBoyhood. Look forward to seeing your posts on social media!


    January 12, 2015 • Acting, Community Highlights, Entertainment News • Views: 9442

  • NYFA Filmmaker Nominated for Student Academy Award


    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:

    • “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)
    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.




    October 17, 2012 • Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 4845