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  • ‘Blair Witch’ Producer Michael Monello Discusses TV Marketing Through Storytelling

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    New York Film Academy Game Design Chair Phoebe Elefante invited Michael Monello, a pioneer in digital marketing and storytelling. As one of the creators of the cult classic The Blair Witch Project, Monello and his film forever changed how audiences engage with story, and how marketers approach the Internet.

    After Blair Witch began opening doors for Monello, he founded Campfire—where he currently leads the creative team—working with some of the world’s biggest and most prestigious brands including HBO, Cinemax, Harley Davidson, Infiniti, National Geographic, FX, Verizon and more. His work has been awarded top honors at the One Show, Clio, Mixx, ad:Tech, Effies and Cannes Lions Festival.

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    Still a staunch storyteller at heart, Mike was a charismatic and highly informative speaker, who understands the future of storytelling and the rapidly shifting media landscape. As a creative entrepreneur who has landed major work with shows like Game of Thrones and True Blood, Monello advised students interested in acquiring similar clients to have a tight pitch with a focus.

    “You must understand what the investor or the specific company wants,” said Monello. “You have to know who you are selling to. What’s the organization like? Where are they going? Is there a statement about the future of the company? Then, pitch through that lens.”

    As an example, Monello recalled his initial pitch to HBO in order to promote their first season of True Blood. Not only did Monello and his team have to discover who their audience is and what they want, but they also had to learn and truly understand the overall internal landscape of HBO—the creators, executives, marketing team, on-air promo team, etc. Once he and his team had a firm grasp on the duties and needs of each team, they were able to secure the job with a “capabilities pitch” that fit the needs for everyone.

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    Michael Monello and NYFA Game Design Chair Phoebe Elefante

    In terms of continuing to work and maintain relationships with networks like HBO, Monello says it’s all about delivering quality work and always knowing your audience. “Never get cynical about your audience,” says Monello. Just as gamers don’t want to be typecast as teenage boys who live in their parents’ basement, other audiences do not appreciate being pigeonholed in terms of the marketing approach to gain their interest.

    As a final piece of advice for NYFA game design students, Monello encouraged them to look for ideas outside of gaming. Do not draw inspiration solely from other games. Considering the surrounding landscape of our campuses and the diverse background of our students, we’re feeling pretty confident that our students will be able to develop truly original content.

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    April 21, 2016 • 3D Animation, Filmmaking, Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 3876

  • True Blood’s Stephen Moyer Charms NYFA Acting Students

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    Stephen Moyer with Glynis Rigsby

    Acting students and True Blood fans were treated to an exclusive event at the New York Film Academy in Union Square. Stephen Moyer, who plays Bill Compton on HBO’s True Blood, introduced and screened an episode he directed entitled, Somebody That I Used to Know. Stephen was so excited to speak to the students, he grabbed the microphone before the screening to introduce himself and the episode. Incorporated into his introduction were his charm and sense and humor.

    Stephen has recently been living in New York City as he prepares for his role of Captain Von Trapp on The Sound of Music, which will be a live 3-hour broadcast of the original 1959 Broadway production, executive produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. He will star alongside Carrie Underwood, Laura Benanti, Audra McDonald and Christian Borle, which airs on NBC on December 5th.

    Stephen Moyer

    During the Q&A with NYFA Acting Chair, Glynis Rigsby, Stephen recalled his hard work and dedication to his craft that led him to his current status in the business. He even broke down scenes for the audience to get a sense of his directing style in this specific episode on season 5. Through entertaining anecdotes and insightful industry knowledge, Stephen had the entire house engaged and entertained. It’s no wonder he’s an A-class talent on the screen.

    Even after the event, Stephen took the time out to speak personally with several students, including signing autographs and taking photos with hardcore fans.

     

     

     

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    November 22, 2013 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 7193

  • Acting Grad on a Roll: True Blood, Grey’s & Californication

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    Since landing the Lifetime film William & Kate, New York Film Academy Acting Conservatory graduate, Camilla Luddington, has been on a major roll. She starred in an entire season of Showtime’s Californication as Lizzie, joined the cast of Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Jo Wilson, and has been on six episodes of HBO’s True Blood. Not only that, Camilla has been tapped to play Lara Croft in the newest incarnation of the Tomb Raider video game franchise.

    “I was in the first ever one year acting class at the New York Film Academy in 2003 and I am so thankful for the experience,” said Camilla.

    Camilla initially lost out on a role in ABC’s pilot, Gilded Lilys. However, while she was promoting Tomb Raider at Comic Con San Diego, she heard ABC was looking for a new doctor on Grey’s. “I was asked to come read for it with six other girls, and then heard maybe two days later the role was mine. I think meeting Shonda Rhymes [at ABC] during that pilot season helped though. I think as an actor sometimes you focus on the immediate (aka not getting that role) but you never know what opportunities can come back around, or how one role can actually lead to the casting of another. As was the case for Grey’s Anatomy.”

    [UPDATE]

    Check out our most recent interview with Camilla Luddington where she talks about her role on Grey’s Anatomy, what it was like to play Lara Croft in Tomb Raider and her upcoming film The Pact II.

     

     

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