Tracy Morgan

  • Philip Dorling Screens “Why Stop Now”


    This Monday evening, the New York Film Academy welcomed back former 1-Year filmmaking graduate, Philip Dorling. Philip’s last visit came back in 2011 when he screened his thesis film, “Predisposed.” Since then, Philip raised funds to shoot the feature with Melissa Leo, Jesse Eisenberg, and Tracy Morgan. The film was accepted at Sundance and picked up for distruction by IFC. Along the way, the title was changed to Why Stop Now, which Philip says was the producers’ idea. Though, Eisenberg eventually came up with the wording for the title. This being one of several compromises Philip had to make in order to successfully finish his feature film. As the evening’s host, NYFA Instructor Tassos Rigopoulus puts it, “Filmmaking is all about compromises.”

    Philip suggests young filmmakers take the independent route, as opposed to writing a script and trying to get it in front of a big agent or producer. “If you want to make independent films, you should try to relate to someone who can raise money,” says Philip. Ultimately, Philip was able to convince three major actors to believe in his vision and after three years of planning, the financing eventually came from BCDF Pictures. With NYFA’s intense training and busy schedule under his belt, Philip was able to pull off a twenty day shoot on a relatively small budget, especially for feature standards. And from the words of renowned film critic Roger Ebert, “Why Stop Now is a bright screwball comedy about one fraught day in the life of a piano prodigy, his crackhead mother and her drug dealers.” Not a bad critic to have on your side.

    The young director is currently in the middle of raising finances for his next project, Eat My Love, which he began writing two days after Why Stop Now was completed. Not only that, Philip extended an open invitation to NYFA filmmakers and actors to be a part of his next film. He hopes to have more details in the near future.



    February 12, 2013 • Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5700

  • New York Film Academy Graduate’s Feature Film Gets Into Sundance!


    Philip Dorling and Tassos Rigopoulos

    Graduate Philip Dorling (left) is interviewed by his former instructor Tassos Rigopoulos (right) at New York Film Academy

    New York Film Academy Graduate Philip Dorling is headed to Sundance for the second time! Philip, who graduated from New York Film Academy’s One Year Filmmaking Conservatory in New York, directed short film Predisposed as his thesis, which played at Sundance Film Festival 2009. Three years later, Philip has completed the feature film of Predisposed, which has just been announced as a late entry to Sundance 2012.

    Predisposed MovieJesse Eisenberg, Tracy Morgan, and Melissa Leo in Predisposed

    The film was one of only four late entries selected to screen at the festival. The list includes This Must Be The Place featuring New York Film Academy acting graduate Eve Hewson, daughter of Bono, opposite Sean Penn and Frances McDormand. In a statement from the festival, John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, noted, “Each of these four films is an accomplishment in its own right, and collectively, their addition to our program allows us to present a broader look at independent filmmaking. With these four films, we will present a total of 117 feature-length films at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival – a strong indication of the vitality of the independent film community.”

    Philip being interviewed by TassosPhilip and Tassos

    Predisposed was written and directed by Philip Dorling and Ron Nyswaner and stars Oscar Winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Oscar Nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), and Emmy Nominee Tracy Morgan (30 Rock). The film follows Eli (Eisenberg), a piano prodigy dealing with his troubled mother (Leo) on the day of his audition for a prestigious music program. When Eli enlists help from a hapless drug dealer (Morgan), events begin to spiral comically out of control.

    Philip visited New York Film Academy in November to screen the short and talk about the process of developing the piece into a feature, fundraising and finding investors, and working with A-list talent. During the Q&A, Philip commented that the key way the short developed was in adding more humor to the script. Philip had just sent the film to Sundance that week, and New York Film Academy is thrilled to celebrate Philip’s acceptance!


    December 20, 2011 • Acting • Views: 3958