veteran students
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  • NYFA Welcomes Hire Heroes USA

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    On June 24, The New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) Veteran Services Department was fortunate to collaborate with Hire Heroes USA (HHUSA) to host a daylong exclusive employment workshop for NYFA’s veteran students. The NYFA military students also benefited from one-on-one time with the Transition Specialists from HHUSA.

    Hire Heroes and New York Film Academy

    Hire Heroes visits the New York Film Academy

     

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    Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit that provides free, expert career coaching and job sourcing to hundreds of transitioning U.S. military members.

     

    Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit that provides free, expert career coaching and job sourcing to hundreds of transitioning U.S. military members, assisting veterans and spouses with finding employment.

    The first half of the eight-hour workshop was a practicum related to resume theory, networking techniques, and how to affectively prepare for an interview. Representatives from Hire Heroes USA, Jamie Rimphanli and Walter Serrano, coached veteran students on how to properly format their resumes and discussed, in-depth, the importance of networking and how to prepare for a job interview.

    For the second half of the workshop, industry professionals from Disney Studios, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Legendary Entertainment, and Plan A Locations joined the workshop for a moderated Q&A panel discussion. Panelists discussed how they began their careers in the entertainment industry and how they’ve navigated their careers for success.

    Highlights from the day included an exercise that had all of the participants do a speed networking session. Also, HHUSA brought a photographer who took professional head shots for the veteran students’ LinkedIn pages.

    “We felt that this training and these types of vet student-centric activities are increasingly important because they help prepare our students to meet with HR/Talent Acquisition teams from the major studios,” explained NYFA Director of Veterans Services Department John Powers.  

    Retired Army veteran and MFA cinematography student Bryan Hudson stated, “The Hire Heroes USA workshop was a fantastic forum to introduce veterans with industry insiders and provide the opportunity to learn from them. The event was beneficial to everyone involved about learning the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of the interview process and how to break into the entertainment industry. One thing that I learned from the workshop is to establish relationships that will be beneficial to both parties. Thank you to the NYFA Veterans Department for putting on this marvelous event, and I hope that this will be the first of many events with Hire Heroes USA.”

    The NYFA Veteran Services Department is extremely grateful to Hire Heroes USA for partnering with us to bring this wonderful opportunity to NYFA veteran students.

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  • NYFA Veteran Student Hired as Military Consultant for Shia LaBeouf

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    nick jones shia labeouf

    Nick Jones, Jr., Gary Oldman and Shia LaBeouf

    You never know when or from whom your next opportunity will manifest. In such an arduous and competitive industry like filmmaking, it’s best to take advantage of every relationship and be aware of the potential of each encounter. One of our BFA Filmmaking students Nick Jones, Jr., a veteran who was able to fund his education through the G.I. Bill, has provided us with a prime example of this.

    While at the premiere of Mandela, Jones sparked a conversation with a woman sitting next to him in the theater, who happened to the wife of director Dito Montiel. While Dito and his wife were very friendly to Nick, he debated whether or not to bring the conversation to the next step — reaching out for professional guidance. “They disappeared in the crowd. I waited,” remembered Jones. “Then, something forced me to get up and chase him down in the lobby. He was super nice and we stayed in contact since. He helped me with my year one project. Giving me feedback on my writing and helping me find an editor through his post-production team.

    Nick Jones, Jr.

    Jones on the set of “Man Down”

    Fast forward a bit, Montiel gets tapped to direct Man Down, starring Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman and Kate Mara. Since LaBeouf was playing a former U.S. Marine, he immediately wanted to know who he could turn to for accurate technical and character advice to provide for an authentic film. Montiel remembered Jones and his work, and the fact that Jones had served in the Marines — a perfect match for the job.

    Now Jones is working as a military consultant on Man Down. While on the job, Jones noticed, “Whenever you have a script that is written by someone without military experience, there are a lot of assumptions and liberties taken on that front. But it’s normal because usually you have a consultant onboard to correct and fill in the blanks — kind of like the glue that brings it all together.”

    Being a rookie in such a valuable and respected position, Jones was understandably nervous. “Shia studied me like a book. It wasn’t just a question and answer relationship. We spent everyday with each other. He picked up on my verbiage, posture, life experiences, etc. Every night I would send him an email about the Marine Corps. Just random knowledge or current events. The most important thing was getting him in the mindset of a real Marine. How we think, how we feel about things, our reaction to current events, and the importance of brotherhood. You’re a product of your environment, and what I tried to do was create an environment that immersed him in the Corps. He trained with real Marines. He learned from real Marines. He became friends with real Marines. And I think that experience helped create a real persona for his character. The more real life experiences he could pull from, the better.”

    Jones suggested that veteran students looking to consult on films should maintain their relationships within the military. He also recalled some valuable advice from his Warrant Officer, “You don’t have to know the answer to everything, you just have to know where to find it.”

    While Nick had a bit of luck on his side in landing this coveted job, he is the one who made it happen with hard work and initiative.

    Jones with director Dito Montiel and Shia LaBeouf

    Jones with director Dito Montiel and Shia LaBeouf

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    January 20, 2015 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 9481