Sony
Posts

  • Film and Video Game Writer Patrick Hegarty Speaks to Business of Screenwriting Class

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    patrick hegartyRecently, film and video game writer Patrick Hegarty dropped by New York Film Academy’s Business of Screenwriting class to share his remarkable journey of how this one-time professional NFL football player went on to become a professional screenwriter and video game scribe.

    Hailing from Orange County, CA, Hegarty attended the University of Texas at El Paso, where in addition to playing football on a scholarship, he earned himself a Bachelor of Arts in English. However, in 1989, he was recruited by the Denver Broncos and ended up becoming the back-up quarterback to John Elway and Gary Kubiak.

    After 2 years in the NFL, Hegarty attended the University of Colorado Denver and attained his masters in English. The initial plan was to become a novelist, get his PhD, and teach. And for a while that’s what he did, teaching high school English and writing books.

    However, a unique opportunity came for Hegarty when a friend working in the video game sphere needed a writer to generate announcer commentary material for a new football game they were producing called NFL GAMEDAY, and recruited Hegarty to write the play-by-play dialogue.

    Before long, Hegarty immersed himself in video games, writing the scripts for over a dozen titles for Playstation 1 and 2, including, MLB 2002, The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning and Eragon, becoming a Senior Writer for Sony Computer Entertainment. Currently, he is on assignment for Sony and 2K Games on a variety of different titles.

    However, Hegarty also has pursued an active movie writing career, working on projects with a variety of companies. In the feature space, his script “S.T.E.A.L.” made the Hit List and is in development with Total Entertainment based out Brazil. He’s also working on a feature assignment for the production company Constantin Film (“Pompeii,” “The Resident Evil” franchise, etc.).

    Hegarty shared insights into his process, tips and tactics for navigating reps and executives, and staying true to your work. NYFA thanks Mr. Hegarty for being so gracious with his time and advice.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    December 9, 2016 • Game Design, Screenwriting • Views: 2785

  • Sony Chair Michael Lynton Says Now is the Best Time to Make Movies

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    With Sony’s new Ghostbusters film coming out this Friday, the timing couldn’t have been any better to welcome Chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Michael Lynton, to the New York Film Academy’s Guest Speaker Series.

    michael lynton

    Lynton leads SPE’s global operations, including motion pictures, television and digital content production and distribution, as well as home entertainment acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities, and the development of new entertainment products, services and technologies.

    Under the leadership of Lynton, The Sony Motion Pictures Group has garnered Best Picture nominations for American Hustle, Captain Phillips, The Social Network, Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty in addition to blockbuster franchises such as The Amazing Spider-Man and James Bond.

    Lynton also oversees Sony Pictures Television (SPT), which produces and distributes award-winning programs such as Breaking Bad, Justified, and The Blacklist.

    At the Q&A event, moderated by producer Tova Laiter, Lynton provided invaluable insight into the business, especially from a studio standpoint. His overall look on the current state of Hollywood and the business was very positive, especially for our theatre full of filmmakers and actors.

    michael lynton

    “I think the studio model at moment is in pretty good shape,” said Lynton. “We are hungrier than ever for talent and new projects. This is a better time than ever to get a movie made and seen.”

    Lynton says that more than anything, it is a persons hustle, wits, and ability to make things happen that gets them in the door and climbing the ladder faster than others. As for how to get started, he says, “Get a job any place you can on the outset. You want to get noticed very quickly.”

    As for our acting students in the audience, Lynton said, “Go out on auditions as often as you can and have a thick skin. And don’t be particular about your first few jobs.”

    After an hour conversation, students left the theatre motivated and felt very encouraged about the outlook on their future careers. We’d like to thank Mr. Lynton for taking the time out of his incredibly busy schedule to let our students and recent graduates pick his brain on the many subjects of the entertainment business.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 13, 2016 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 5978

  • MFA Producing Grad’s “Fortune Cookie” Airs on Fuse

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    MFA Producing graduate Robert Pallatina’s directorial feature debut, Fortune Cookie, co-produced by Sony and The Asylum, aired on the Fuse network this past weekend.

    His film is a horror/thriller set in present day Los Angeles about eight friends who fall victim to an ancient curse after receiving mysterious black fortunes at an Old Chinese restaurant. The movie stars James Hong (Big Trouble In Little China), Dina Meyer (Starship Troopers) and Ryan Merriman (Final Destination 3).

    James Hong

    James Hong in “Fortune Cookie”

    Pallatina initially developed the script after being offered an already greenlit feature project from The Asylum, a production company that he frequently works with.

    “My intensive studies [at NYFA] from conceptual scriptwriting to technical on-set production really helped prepare me for what I was getting myself into,” said Pallatina. “I researched Chinese folklore to intertwine real mythology into a modern day supernatural thriller and wanted to create a common threat for the characters, which was unpredictable and unstoppable.”

    Thus far, 2016 has been very busy for Pallatina as he’s currently editing a number of features, developing scripts, as well as pitching himself to direct another film.

    Fortune Cookie will continue to air on Fuse this upcoming Wednesday, May 18th and Thursday, May 19th.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    May 17, 2016 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 3654

  • NYFA Explores LA Neighborhoods in New Doc-Series

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    The New York Film Academy has gathered an award-winning team of industry professionals to produce a mini-documentary series about the neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Three very different people tell us their story and the story of their community. Each episode, told with cinematic flair and shot with the new Sony FS7 camera, will guide the audience on a journey to discover the authenticity and soul of each neighborhood.

    Today we shot footage of the Korean musician, SeonJoo Lee. She arrived from South Korea several years ago to attend a language school in Westwood; but three years ago began to feel homesick and moved to Koreatown, a home away from home.

    photo (34)

    We shot at Chapman Plaza and the City Center, both on 6th Street. We had two cameras filming in order to get the coverage we needed.

    “I’m a big fan of the new Sony FS7; it was so portable and user-friendly.” The handgrip and arm design provided DP Travis Hoffman with much support to keep the handheld camerawork steady. And he easily switched frame rates from 24fps to 48fps to 60fps.

    “The FS7 worked great on so many levels and I couldn’t be more pleased with this perfect hybrid between a great run and gun build and studio-designed camera that Sony has produced. What was great with the FS7 is we didn’t have to sacrifice image quality for speed. For this I credit the camera’s non-modular design and extendable handle with built-in record speed button, adjustable zoom, and other user-customizable functions. I was also a big fan of the EVF/flip up monitor. It had some great customizable controls and easy quick buttons to see peaking, contrast adjustment, and other user functions. The built-in ND’s up to 6 stops were very user friendly and helped me control my image quickly and efficiently. It was perfect for the times we were handheld run and gun, grabbing the life of the city but also when it came time for interviews and controlled b-roll with lighting and dolly. I was also extremely impressed with Sony’s 4k Super 35mm Single-Chip Exmor CMOS sensor. First off, the new “Slog 3” gamma space was beautiful. I usually rated the camera from 1000-2000 (depending on situation), and was amazed with the 13-14 stops I was pulling out of the image. Not only was the highlight gradation superb but the shadows felt rich and natural and I had no problem capturing noise-free night exteriors with all natural light.” – Cinematographer, Travis Hoffman

    Nick Sony

    The camera was also a perfect choice for Nick Sivakumaran, the project’s director.

    “I was able to view the footage whenever I wanted and the thumbnail menu was extremely easy to use. We also shot in some darker alleys of K-town and I was very pleased with the low light performance of this camera. And the 28-135mm zoom lens gave us so many options when framing our shots and truly helped us make our day.” – Director, Nick Sivakumaran

    Sony NYFA

    The speed, portability, and image quality were also a boon to the project’s producer, Ana Menendez.

    “We are extremely excited to be working with the new Sony FS7 camera. It is very production friendly. The footage looks incredible and it is perfect for the concept and vision of this project.” – Producer, Ana Menendez

    sony 5

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 8, 2015 • Community Highlights, Documentary Filmmaking, Filmmaking • Views: 4103

  • Spider-Man Joins The Marvel Cinematic Universe

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    spidermanmovie

    Spidey-senses are tingling everywhere: In some of the biggest news in comic-book movie history, Marvel announced this week that their signature character, Spider-Man, will appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe currently inhabited by the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Pratt and Paul Rudd. The film rights to Spider-Man are owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, famously disallowing a crossover between the web-slinger and the Avengers, whose film rights are still owned by Disney and Marvel.

    Sony will allow Spider-Man to appear in Marvel (i.e. Disney’s) films for a cut of the profits, though the rest of the deal is still up in speculation. Most assume Peter Parker will first appear in the second Captain America sequel, Civil War, out next summer, where he will join Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and new-to-screens superhero Black Panther.

    In league with Sony’s Amy Pascal and Marvel producer Kevin Feige, Sony will also produce a new Spider-Man stand-alone film, probably as soon as 2017, pushing back most Marvel films set to release after that six months each. What this means for Sony’s current Amazing Spider-Man series is unclear, though there is a good chance Andrew Garfield will not continue the role in the new series, and that the character will be facing its second reboot in five years.

    While there are rumors 20th Century Fox properties the X-Men and Fantastic Four will cross-over, there hasn’t been any talk about bringing those under the MCU umbrella as of yet. And, of course, there’s still no word on a new Hulk film.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    February 10, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4580

  • Sony Chair Amy Pascal Resigns After Sony Hack

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    amy pascal sony

    When Sony was hacked late last year, thousands of emails between studio execs and movie stars were leaked, among other confidential files. One name that started to get a lot of press, despite being virtually unknown to people outside of the entertainment industry up to that point, was Amy Pascal. The co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment had worked relatively quietly in Hollywood for years, developing and overseeing the production of movies like Groundhog Day, Little Women, A League of Their Own, the Spider-Man films, the Daniel Craig Bond films, The Smurfs, The Da Vinci Code and its sequel, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Zero Dark Thirty, Moneyball and The Social Network.

    Pascal’s emails became a prominent fixture in the Sony hack scandal. Some included disparaging remarks about Angelina Jolie, and a conversation about Barack Obama that has been called racist. Presumably to distance itself from the scandal and the surrounding bad press, it’s assumed by many that Sony forced Pascal to resign from her performance. However, she will remain with Sony in a different capacity, heading up a new “major production venture” for the company. Angelina Jolie will probably not be involved.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    February 9, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3349

  • NYFA LA Screens “The Skeleton Twins” with SVP of Acquisitions at Sony

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
    Joe Matukewicz

    Joe Matukewicz at NYFA LA

    This week New York Film Academy students in Los Angeles were treated to a special sneak preview screening of the hit Sundance award-winning comedy The Skeleton Twins followed by a Q&A, moderated by Tova Laiter, with the SVP of Acquisitions at Sony, Joe Matukewicz. The film, which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award this past Sundance Film Festival and currently has a 100 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, delighted students with its offbeat comedy and surprisingly profound performances by NYFA alum Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig. The discussion that followed with Joe Matukewicz shed light on the less known world of film acquisitions.

    Joe Matukewicz is the current Senior Vice President of Worldwide Acquisition for Sony Pictures. His past positions include SVP and Head of Worldwide Acquisitions at Relativity Media, VP Acquisitions and Co-Productions at Paramount Vantage, and Director of Acquisitions and Co-Productions at Paramount Classics. Among the many films with which he was involved with were Act of Valor, House at the End of the Street, Hustle and Flow (2005 Oscar Winner for Best Original Song), The Machinist, and An Inconvenient Truth (2006 double-Oscar winner for Best Documentary and Best Original Song).

    Skelton Twins

    Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader in ‘The Skeleton Twins’

    At Sony, Joe acquires forty movies a year of all genres, some of which are distributed by Sony and others with indie labels. Some movies can be bought at script stage, if there is a package attached, while others can be very execution depended — distributors may wait to see the movie, even though it can be more competitive.

    When Joe first began in the acquisitions world as an assistant, he didn’t even know what “acquisitions” was. He soon discovered that the purchasing of film properties was an art form and one for which he had a knack. Deciding what to buy and when to buy it is a game for which there is no definitive strategy. Joe Matukewicz considers many factors including cast, execution, genre, social/political climate at the time and, of course, story. The one thing he doesn’t care about is the film’s budget. The producers are never obligated to reveal the true budget of the film. However, Joe will ask as many people involved with the film as he can what the budget is, but mainly to see how many different answers he can get. This will reveal the filmmakers’ expectation of how much they can sell it for, which is a more important factor in how much the film will end up costing him than the budget itself.

    Mr. Matukewicz acquired The Skeleton Twins at this past Sundance Film Festival. His yearly schedule is jam-packed with film festival appearances. Although his job is exhausting, traveling around the world, watching films and making big picture deals is an exciting gig that Joe is very grateful to have. We wish Joe Matukewicz continued success in the world of acquisitions and hope that his next purchase makes a huge splash in a theater near you.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    June 11, 2014 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 5028

  • Top Films for Football Fans

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Sony Pictures has recently announced that they will be producing a film regarding the controversial issue of concussions in professional football. The film, which will star Will Smith, is based on a GQ article entitled, Game Brain. With the evolution of fantasy football and additional games being broadcast outside of “Football Sunday,” the NFL has become the premier sport in terms of entertainment. But, this is nothing new. Over the years, Hollywood has turned to the popular sport to give its own perspective on the prevalent game we all know and love. The New York Film Academy decided to take a look back at some of these films which tackle football.

    Any Given Sunday

    Any Given SundayDirected by Oliver Stone, a man who never shies away from controversial subjects, Any Given Sunday gives its audience a unique inside look at the gladiatorial-like atmosphere that is professional football. The film is comprised of an All-Star cast, including Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, James Woods, Jamie Foxx, and many more. The story revolves around a fictional team called the Miami Sharks and focuses on the potentially season ending injury of their aging star quarterback, Jack “Cap” Rooney. (A common occurrence for those of us who follow football.) We meet coach Tony D’Amato (Al Pacino) who is forced to replace his quarterback with erratic rookie Willie Beaman (Jamie Foxx). While the film has its ups and downs, capturing the on and off field drama associated with the organization, it does most certainly have its share of hard-hitting action. In fact, keep your eyes peeled for a jarring hit that causes one player to lose an eye.

     Brian’s Song

    Brian's Song

    A ‘sports movie’ classic. If your father or uncle hasn’t sat you down to watch this or if you haven’t sat down to show your own son or daughter, do yourself a favor and get on it! Brian’s Song is based on the real-life relationship between Chicago Bears’ players Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers as they both deal with the heart-breaking news that Piccolo is dying from embryonal cell carcinoma. Perhaps one of the most sappy and heartfelt sports movies of all-time, this is the one film in which men are allowed to cry.

    Continue Reading

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    June 4, 2014 • Community Highlights, Filmmaking, Sports • Views: 4336

  • Appear in a Promotional Campaign for Spider-Man 2

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    spider man 2Attention Spider-Man fans! ACTION CASTING is looking for knowledgeable and enthusiastic Spider-Man super fans from the New York Film Academy to audition for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Visit one of their regional fan search events and you may get an opportunity to swing like Spidey, meet a cast member, or go behind-the-scenes of the new movie The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

    Five people will be selected to be featured in a promotional campaign which will air across the networks of NBCUniversal.

    TO BE CONSIDERED, YOU MUST…

    • Be an avid Spider-Man fan and knowledgeable about all things Spider-Man.
    • Attend one of the regional selection events, happening in various cities across the US at the date & location outlined below. COME IN COSTUME!! POINTS FOR EFFORT AND STYLE!!
    • Be available to fly to Los Angeles, CA or New York, NY March 31st-April 7th 2014 (exact dates tbd) to participate in a special Spider-Man experience and agree to be documented on film during this experience.
    • Agree to appear in a national promotional campaign across the properties of NBCUniversal related to Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 film release.

    IF SELECTED, AS PART OF YOUR PARTICIPATION YOU WILL DO THE FOLLOWING…
    You’ll travel to either Los Angeles, CA or New York, NY for two days with all expenses paid in the first week of April to film a national promotional campaign for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

    If you are under 18 years of age you are required to have a parent/guardian accompany you at the audition.

    DATE: Wednesday, 03/12/14
    TIME: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
    LOCATION: MIDTOWN COMICS
    64 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038
    (Corner of Gold St.)

    For questions and all other inquiries please contact us at beamazingspiderfan@gmail.com.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    March 11, 2014 • Community Highlights • Views: 3139

  • MFA Cinematography Students Get Hands-On Lecture at Sony Studios

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Thanks to New York Film Academy Instructor Suki Medencevic, the January 2013 MFA Cinematography students had a rare and amazing opportunity to travel to Sony Studios where they had a seminar on Sony cameras. While at Sony, they went to the Digital Motion Picture Center (D.M.P.C.). The seminar educated students on Sony’s top of the line 4K digital cameras: the F55 and F65.

    sony-lectureAt the DMPC, the two main instructors for the seminar were Curtis Clark, an A.S.C. director of photography, and Kazuo Endo, the F65 engineer who created the camera. The first part of the seminar began with a lecture from Kazuo Endo going over the capabilities and specifications of the cameras. Following Kazuo’s lecture was Curtis Clark, who introduced the students to a universal color space reference tool called the Academy Color Encoding Specification or A.C.E.S. A decade in the making, A.C.E.S. will be the new industry standard for motion pictures and television. A.C.E.S. was created by the combined efforts of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the A.S.C.

    After Curtis taught the students about A.C.E.S., they had the opportunity to shoot two different night and day shots using the F55 and F65 on set in the sound stage of Sony. Before the test shoot, Curtis introduced everyone to an application engineer/D.I.T. by the name of Steve MacMillan, who then presented the digital workflow of the F55 and F65 using A.C.E.S. as a color reference.

    The cinematography students jumped right in to shoot their two shots showing skill, resourcefulness, leadership, and creativity that they learned from their schooling at New York Film Academy, which impressed both Curtis and Kazuo. When they were finished shooting, the footage was handed off to a colorist by the name of David Burnstein. David projected the RAW footage in 4k in the DMPC Theater where they had a color grading session with David.

    When the color grading session was over, Curtis and Kazuo gave closing remarks and thanked everyone for coming to Sony. Curtis and Kazuo also gave the students a parting gift and wished them all luck with their future projects. “The students showed considerable skill and resourcefulness in the way they approached the two scenes they shot on the DMPC set,” said Curtis. “I’m sure it reflects the high quality of instruction and training they receive from NYFA. Kazuo and I very much enjoyed having them take part in our seminar and look forward to continuing working with NYFA cinematography students in 2014.”

    Needless to say, all of the students were thrilled about their wonderful learning experience at Sony.

    If you’re interested in NYFA’s MFA Cinematography program, CLICK HERE for more information.

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    December 19, 2013 • Cinematography • Views: 3760