superheroes
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  • NYFA’s Ben Cohen Discusses Anti-Hero Movies with Fox 5

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    Comic book fans are becoming concerned with the notion that some of their favorite comic book heroes are becoming “evil.” Given the entertainment industry’s recent trend of creating “anti-heroes” in films like Batman versus Superman and a recent Captain America comic, Mac King from FOX 5 decided to pay the New York Film Academy a visit to get some expert feedback from instructor Ben Cohen.

    “The characters that we’re going to latch onto are the one’s that are going to be largely contradictory,” said Cohen. “That’s what makes Iron Man so fun. He can be a jerk, but, generally speaking, he wants to save the world”

    We want to marvel at our favorite heroes’ super-human abilities, but we also want to know that they have a secret weakness or “Kryptonite.”

    Given this has been the decade of Superhero movies, it’s any wonder if this trend will continue or is it rather just a fad to provide a fresh look at the popular genre?

    For a look at the Fox 5 interview at NYFA’s New York campus, watch the video below:

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    May 27, 2016 • Community Highlights, Entertainment News • Views: 4571

  • PlayStation’s Original Content Powers On

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    Another day, another trailer. This one, however, for the new original series Powers, is a little different, and a sign of big changes ahead for the television industry. Powers, an adaptation of the popular graphic novels by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, tells the story of a familiar, realistic world filled with superheroes and supervillains, much like the NBC series from last decade, Heroes. Unlike NBC’s Heroes, however, Powers intends to be much darker, grittier, and bloodier, if the trailer is any indication.

    The season’s main antagonist, played by comic and TV/movie vet Eddie Izzard, oozes danger in the brief looks we get at him. He’ll be facing off against the show’s leads, police officers played by Susan Heyward and Sharlto Copley, who first won sci-fi fans over with his starring role in District 9 and is currently starring as the title character in Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie.

    However, the most remarkable aspect of Powers may be where you can watch it—exclusively on your PlayStation. The show is the first attempt by the video game console to create and stream its own original content, hoping to take a piece of the pie Netflix and Amazon have been stealing away from the traditional TV networks. It is a bold but savvy move, considering many cord-cutters currently stream Netflix and their other television through the PlayStation already. It’s safe to say the industry, from television writers to television producers will be watching Powers’ ratings closely. Judging by the trailer, a lot of fanboys and fangirls will be watching too.

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    March 11, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 2642

  • Superheroes are Taking Over Hollywood (and I Feel Fine)

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     Eric Conner is the Chair of the Screenwriting Department for New York Film Academy’s Universal Studios – Los Angeles campus. With an MFA degree from USC School of Cinema and Television and a BA from UPenn, Eric is currently developing two TV pilots, a sci-fi feature, and trying to add to his collection of ironic snapshots with Stormtroopers. Feel free to email him at eric@nyfa.edu

    I often warn my students to avoid becoming “That Guy.” You know “That Guy.” He’s the one in the theater who complains about a director “crossing the 180 line” or using the wrong lens. He’s the one who LOUDLY critiques a movie in terms of “sequences” and “denouement.” Summer’s an especially difficult time for “That Guy” since the multiplexes are filled with Hollywood’s biggest, loudest, and franchise-iest products — though to be fair, there’s a Wes Anderson gem also playing in the theaters, but it’s on a screen smaller than your car. For my $14 (or $28 if you choose the couches and food service of iPic Theaters in Pasadena), I don’t watch a movie with a notebook or penlight. I go to the theaters simply to be transported.

    Sometimes it’s to the dark emotional wilderness of Into the Wild. Other times to see Kevin Bacon singlehandedly ignite the Cold War in X-Men: First Class. Please note: I’m pretty sure the Cuban Missile Crisis did not actually play out that way, especially since my own father was on one of the ships during those tense thirteen days in 1962. But that didn’t make me enjoy the scene any less. This likely goes back to why I work in the arts in the first place. Similar to many of my peers, I grew up on the films of Allen, Scorsese, Coppola, Ashby, Polanski, and Altman, and spent most of my college days working on one play or another. However, I also spent many hours in my native Delaware reading comics, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, and — please don’t hold it against me or my department — watching professional wrestling! Meaning that I’m equally transfixed by the damaged honesty of The Descendants as when the Hulk mops up the floor with Loki. In fact, my favorite line of dialogue this decade came out of Bruce Banner’s mouth just as he got his green on. (No spoilers here!)

    With The Avengers approaching Titanic-level grosses, we’re likely to see even more superhero films in the future. And I’m here to tell you that’s okay. Some of them will be stinkers (I’m looking at you Ghost Rider), but others will give us the same thrill that George Lucas unleashed in 1977 with one unforgettable opening shot. For every Daredevil, Elektra, or Green Lantern, there’s a Superman or Spiderman 2. I still think  Magneto’s unorthodox escape from his glass prison — featuring a poor guard with “too much iron in his blood” — is as cinematic as cinema can get. Hopefully, the screenwriters who are developing the next mega-budget superhero adaptations remember the wonder they felt as kids, flipping through the pages of The Flash. Or take a cue from Chris Nolan, who’s been treating Batman like part of the Godfather franchise.

    In fact, our writing department in Los Angeles has even begun to address this head-on by adding comic book writing and game design to our curriculum. Both of these mediums have provided some of the greatest modern writing around. As long as there’s money to be made and stories to be told, Hollywood will continue to look for new films from these existing properties. Some films will anger the aforementioned “That Guy.” But other films will sweep him up in their worlds and remind him why he came to film school in the first place. If you want to discuss this with me, I can be found at either the Ahmanson touring production of War Horse or the opening weekend of Dark Knight Rises

    Eric Connor in a tiff with Darth Vader.

    Learn more about NYFA’s screenwriting program. Click here for more info! 
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    June 14, 2012 • Academic Programs, Screenwriting • Views: 6380