young storytellers
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  • NYFA Community Outreach Program’s NEXT Big Venture

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    MasonRichardsBlog005

    The New York Film Academy’s Community Outreach Program has been around since 2012, forging partnerships that have included The British Academy of Film and Television Arts – Los Angeles, HandsforHopeLA, AmeriCorps, Young Storytellers, and the Bill Duke Media Foundation. NYFA’s Community Outreach Program has managed to teach fundamentals of filmmaking to students in a Los Angels Unified school district, students who typically don’t have access and who are from underserved communities. What they have in store NEXT will elevate their already commendable level of service education.

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    It is the goal of Community Outreach to not just educate, but to encourage students to tell their story from their perspective. This goal is achieved in a variety of ways. Here’s what’s been happening lately in NYFA’s Community Outreach Program:

    AmeriCorps

    With the AmeriCorps, Program Head of Outreach Mason Richards took NYFA Instructor Bart Mastrodoni and three cameras to a local high school. The challenge presented to the student was to write, direct, and edit a short film in a single day.

    Bill Duke Media Foundation

    Most teens have asked the question, “Who am I?” With the Bill Duke Media Foundation partnership and NYFA, students were asked this very question and challenged to create an answer on film. The goal was to help them get comfortable with telling their own stories. They made a short film exploring that query on the Universal Backlot that screened for their families at their graduation.

    Young Storytellers

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    Students involved in the Young Storytellers Program were given the opportunity to film on the Universal Backlot. Learning from instructors and teacher’s assistants, the kids formed teams and filmed several projects on the Western lot.

    UPDATE: CBS This Morning reported on The Young Storytellers Foundation. You can see the full clip here.

    HandsForHopeLA

    HandsForHopeLA is an after-school program for children living in a single parent home. They teamed with NYFA to create a PSA on texting and driving. Students involved with this program created an anti texting and driving PSA. Families of the students were able to see the final product.

    Through NYFA’s Community Outreach Program and partnerships, some students discover a future hobby and some discover a potential career. It is these career-minded students, the ones who arrive early and stay late, the ones excited to work on other peoples projects, the students eager to come back to NYFA for whom The NEXT Young Filmmaker Program was created.

    NYFA’s NEXT Young Filmmaker Program

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    The NEXT Young Filmmaker Program is the “advanced outreach” program offering hosted by the NYFA Office of Community Outreach. Select students who have already participated in one of our Community Outreach Partner programs have an opportunity to go a step further in learning the filmmaking process with the NEXT Young Filmmakers Outreach Program, and learn supporting roles and crew positions in the film industry beyond directing and acting.

    Head of Community Outreach Mason Richards said of the program, “We’ve found that most young filmmakers are only taught key positions in film production such as ‘director’ or ‘actor.’ We strive to show them what else is out there as far as careers in filmmaking.”

    He continued, “We at NYFA feel that there are multiple ways to prepare young people for a career in cinema, and being a part of a team, working on skills of collaboration, team-building and communication are integral to the craft of filmmaking.”

    The hope of the NEXT Young Filmmakers Outreach Program is to offer an opportunity for select LA high school students to receive a scholarship to participate in our advanced filmmaking program. Those selected will participate in a one-week workshop at the end of the summer when there are fewer opportunities for students from underserved communities until school is back in session.

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    In our week-long filmmaking program, we teach these talented young filmmakers advanced classes in lighting, production design, production sound, and assistant directing training. The aim is to keep the students who are engaged and serious about a career in filmmaking on a track to prepare them for college.

    This is also a way for them to develop their personal voices as storytellers and filmmakers. In the NEXT Young Filmmakers program, 12 outstanding students will have the opportunity to work with NYFA faculty to further explore their paths in filmmaking.

    The first NEXT Young Filmmaker’s Program will begin in August. The New York Film Academy would like to wish the students a successful semester.

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    July 17, 2017 • Academic Programs, Community Highlights, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 2697

  • NYFA Inspires Young Storytellers

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    On Thursday, January 19th, New York Film Academy Los Angeles students teamed up with The Young Storytellers and a local elementary school. The Young Storytellers is an organization that helps students of all ages create, revise, edit, and showcase a screenplay.

    young storytellers

    For the past ten weeks, mentors for the New York Film Academy have met with ten future storytellers. The children, between the ages of eight and ten, wrote stories inspired by their best friends, little brothers, favorite films, and conquering their fears. Each story ends with a lesson they think other kids need to learn.

    In the morning the kids were introduced to a dozen NYFA actors. The actors auditioned by showing off their accents, animal impersonations, and acrobatic skills. The children handed out their scripts to their selections and gave detailed descriptions of how they originally envisioned characters.

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    Students entered the auditorium on a paparazzi (made up of their mentors) lined red carpet and thunderous applause from their classmates. One by one the students presented their work to the entire student body. Before the show began each mentor explained their mentees’ journey and spoke highly of the accomplishments achieved.

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    Lead mentor Menno said of the experience, “We really want to make the kids feel special. We don’t do this program to get students into the Golden Globes one day. We’re here to help them become more confident and better public speakers.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank The Young Storytellers for partnering with us to complete this project. To learn more about Young Storytellers, click here.

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    January 30, 2017 • Community Highlights • Views: 2743

  • You’re Never Too Young to Become a Screenwriter

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    eric conner and students

    Dean of Students Eric Conner with Valley View Elementary students

    Each year, Hollywood seems to get younger and younger. Just ask the ten writers from Valley View Elementary, who witnessed their original screenplays performed live in front of a packed audience.

    As part of the Young Storytellers Foundation, a group of New York Film Academy students and alumni have been mentoring these fifth grade writers, helping them to realize their unique visions and commit their words to the page.

    After eight weeks of zip zap zop, three-act breakdowns, NASA shakeoff, story games, lectures on theme, character, tone & conflict—not to mention a whole lot of writing—our talented young auteurs created ten original screenplays.

    young nyfa students

    Featuring power-absorbing banana bread, transforming robots, sibling rivalries, magic fairies and talking New Jersey lions, these scripts were worthy of a world-class show. And thanks to the tireless work of our NYFA & Young Storyteller actors, the scripts were brought to vivid life.

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    Congratulations to our budding writers from Valley View. Look for them all to get their first studio deals by age 13!

    If you’re a kid who is interested in learning screenwriting or another creative discipline, be sure to check out the New York Film Academy Summer Camps.

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    April 30, 2015 • Community Highlights, Screenwriting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5484

  • NYFA Covers Young Storytellers’ Final ‘Glee’ Big Show

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    glee cast

    As part of our on-going collaboration with the wonderful Young Storytellers Foundation, New York Film Academy students and alumni recently got the chance to film “THE FINAL GLEE BIG SHOW.”

    Glee cast members Mark Salling, Dot Marie Jones, Harry Shum Jr., Max Adler, and Alex Newell along with Chrissie Fit (Teen Beach Movie, Pitch Perfect 2) performed four different short screenplays written by a group of inventive middle schoolers.
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    The connection between Glee and Young Storytellers dates back to the organization’s very beginnings when Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk helped create what is now YSF. Since then, Mr Falchuk has regularly brought the cast of Glee to perform the student’s material as part of YSF’s “Big Show.” With Glee now coming to a close after six seasons, this performance truly marked the end of an era.

    NYFA was honored to be part of the experience, and congratulates the cast and crew of Glee as well as all the Young Storytellers Writers.

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  • New York Film Academy and The Young Storytellers

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    young storytellers

    “In 1997, a group of film students learned that Los Angeles public schools were cutting creative arts programs from the budget. Knowing the value arts-education held in their own lives, they created a volunteer-based creative arts program they could take directly into public schools.” (From http://www.youngstorytellers.com/)

    For close to twenty years, the Young Storytellers Foundation has continued to bring art into thousands of students’ lives. Along the way, New York Film Academy has teamed with YSF by teaching production to their high school students and helping them create their own projects on the Universal backlot.

    nyfa storytellers

    This year – with the invaluable help of YSF’s Bill Thompson & Pilar Alvarez and Valley View Elementary’s Susan Kim – New York Film Academy has become one of a select few colleges running its own Young Storyteller classroom.

    For the eight weeks, a dozen NYFA students and alumni will each mentor a fifth grader from Valley View Elementary school. Led by “head mentors” Dean of Students Eric Conner, the mentors will encourage their students to create and write their own five page screenplays which will be performed as a “live staged reading” by a group of NYFA Actors.

    young storytellers nyfa

    YSF’s Pilar Alvarez trained and prepared the NYFA mentors for the daunting task of keeping up with the ten-year-olds’ minds! Each weekly session will be split between a lecture on the fundamentals of screenwriting followed by and the fifth graders workshopping their own ideas. One lesson in and the budding writers from Valley View Elementary have already reviewed the basics of three-act structure and what makes us all love storytelling.

    The young writers devised an agreement detailing how the class will be run and what is expected from each of them (and their scripts). Next week’s class can’t come soon enough. Stay tuned!

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    March 12, 2015 • Acting • Views: 4364