Buzz has been steadily growing for influencer and television personality Natalya Butkevich, an alum of the Acting for Film program at New York Film Academy Los Angeles (NYFA-LA.)
Butkevich originally hails from Russia and in August 2009 she attended the 4-Week Acting for Film workshop at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus.
NYFA alum Natalya Butkevich
Since graduating NYFA, Butkevich has steadily increased her star power as an actress, producer, and TV presenter, and had the foresight to use social influencing as a medium even in its earliest days.
In 2010, Butkevich owned a program on television, Kinoshanc, and has been featured in many top publications, as well as on the covers of magazines including Elle, Women’s Health, Tatler, and Cosmopolitan.
Also a writer,Butkevich has created a brand from her love of travel, writing blogs about her travel experiences. Her Instagram popularity is growing at a rapid pace as she provides insight into her day to day life from her fashion styles to her favorite destinations. To date, Butkevich has traveled to many destinations including Turkey, Miami, New York, Bahamas, and Dubai.
“It is really important to understand your body from within and surround yourself with positivity,” Butkevich recently shared with The Statesman. A YouTube channel is a perfect fit for Butkevich, so it’s no surprise she is currently working on launching her own.
New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA-LA Acting for Film alum Natalya Butkevich on her new YouTube channel and encourages everyone to subscribe!
New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum Noor Naem just finished studying the 4-Week Acting for Film Workshop at our Burbank campus and let the world know on her wildly popular YouTube channel, Noor Stars.
The video was published in the middle of Naem’s studies, on July 15, and has already racked up millions of views. In the video, Naem talks about her time so far at the Burbank-based campus and shows off some of her NYFA swag.
Her YouTube channel has 12 million followers and features Naem’s highly energetic, bright personality reviewing everything from Apple products to makeup and expounding on all the facets of daily life.
New York Film Academy congratulates YouTube star Noor Naem on graduating the 4-Week Acting for Film workshop and looks forward to seeing what she has in store for her followers next!
New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Alana Blaylock has had a productive career since finishing the 8-week Broadcast Journalism workshop at NYFA’s New York City campus in the summer of 2011. It’s no surprise then that many in the industry have taken notice of the Emmy Award winner, including Forbes Magazine, which recently published a profile on and interview with the up-and-coming producer.
Blaylock has amassed an inspiring roster of credits since finishing her workshop at NYFA’s Broadcast Journalism school, which teaches aspiring reporters a well-rounded understanding of all aspects of the production process, including researching, writing, shooting, producing, and editing. This is important in the modern digital landscape as contemporary broadcast journalists are expected to be multimedia journalists, marrying their technical skills with their creative ones.
This is exactly what Blaylock has excelled at, and why she has already won an Emmy and why her career is taking off even as her path winds between both traditional roads and outside-the-box ones. Her credits include work on CNN, HBO, NBC News, National Geographic, and the ID Channel, including popular programs Deadline and United Shades of America. However, her work on newer streaming models like Amazon and YouTube is what has been generating a lot of buzz.
One of her latest projects is producing for Best Shot, a YouTube Originals docuseries executive produced by Lebron James and Maverick Carter for the NBA. The show follows the student basketball players of Newark Central High School as well as chronicling the life and career of their mentor, former NBA player and sports television personality Jay Williams.
In addition to working in both traditional and digital media, Blaylock curates a strong online presence on social media, further highlighting her smart instincts in an ever-changing media landscape.
“I love the visual storytelling that happens on Instagram,” Blaylock tells Forbes. “That’s the platform I probably use the most [in my personal life]. And I am inspired by movies, set design, museums, exhibits and artists.”
She continues, “I try to take in as much new culture as possible and then decide what I want to do with it or how it fits into my process as a creative.”
What lies ahead for Blaylock remains to be seen, but it’s clear whatever she does next will be insightful and successful due to the work she puts in and the philosophy that keeps her driven. When asked about keeping her own personal voice while working on other parties’ projects, Blaylock tells Forbes, “My brand evolves as I attain more world experience. I have to remain authentically Alana, and the projects that I take on are continuations of my career journey.
“I can adapt to the demands of a project and still be the best version of myself. I remain steadfast in my goals while producing every show, documentary or collaboration. As a result of working on many projects, there’s always new information and experiences. It keeps me well-rounded.”
The New York Film Academy congratulates Alana Blaylock on her career and looks forward to her future successes sure to come!
On December 16, YouTube pioneer and NYFA alumnus Michael Gallagher screened his latest film, “The Thinning.” Following the screening, Eric Connor led a Q & A with Gallagher.
Connor was Gallagher’s TA when he attended the NYFA Filmmaking Summer Camp when he was just thirteen. He made a film where Connor was chased around the “Jurassic Park 3” set. Using forced perspective Gallagher used a toy dinosaur to chase Connor around the set. It was in this moment that Connor knew Gallagher was special.
Since then Gallagher has made hundreds of shorts, started the YouTube channel TotallySketch, directed the television mini-series “Interns,” “How to Survive High School” and “The Station,” and produced three films; “Smiley,” “The Thinning,” and “Internet Famous.”
“The Thinning” was inspired by the current political climate and Gallagher’s own fear of the SAT’s. In the film high school students are required to take an aptitude test. If the student fails they are killed. When two students discover the results are predetermined they’ll do anything to reveal the truth.
One student asked, “What were some of the things you did to advertise your earliest work?” When I first started I knew you only get so many favors. I knew the first thing that the first thing I asked, I knew it had to count. I went in with my first video. I planned it out and made this attack plan and I just carpet bombed everyone I knew asking, ‘If you ever do one thing for me promote this video.’”
Gallagher also targeted video sharing sites like Reddit and IAmBored.com. He posted his video on viral threads. Gallagher also found websites centered on themes or items featured in his video. He reached out to administrators and asked for his work to be featured. “You just have to be creative,” Gallagher said.
New York Film Academy would like to thank Michael Gallagher for taking the time to come speak with our students. You can support Gallagher’s work by visiting his YouTube page and hitting the thumbs up. “The Thinning” is now available on YouTube Red.
UPDATE (June 6, 2019):
Michael Gallagher’s latest film, “Funny Story,” is now available to rent or buy on iTunes, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, and more! The film features critically-acclaimed performances from Emily Bett Rickards, Matthew Glave, Jana Winternitz, Pete Gardner, and Reginald VelJohnson.
On Tuesday, October 25th, the New York Film Academy helped bring cultures together by working alongside the Korean Producers and Directors Educational Institute (KPDE) at the YouTube Space in Los Angeles. The producers traveled to America to learn about the American style of development, streaming, and television audiences.
The tour of YouTube Space included all the highlights. In the first studio, they visited there was a podium with a mock presidential seal at the far end of the room. This set was housed in one of the smaller studios, but the group had fun pretending to address the nation.
The next studio they visited was the largest in the building. Studio one is decked out with a hanging light rig, sound absorbing floors, and a three hundred and sixty-degree catwalk. Sets that have been housed in this space include half an airplane and a two-story hotel.
Other highlights of the trip include the gear room which holds a RED Dragon, a green screen room where Weezer shot a music video and the control room where live streams are produced.
The New York Film Academy would like to thank YouTube Space for hosting us and the Korean Producers and Director’s Educational Institute. If you’d like to learn more about YouTube Space LA and their various locations around the world click here.
One of the many exciting partnerships the New York Film Academy has developed is with Warner Bros. Records. From this exciting collaboration, the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles was tapped to film the music video for popular singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis’ new song She’s Not Me, which comes off her new album, The Voyager. Following production, the video was edited by NYFA student, Saud Al-Moghirah, and is now live to view on Jenny’s Youtube page!
Have a look at the video below, which is a time-lapse of a mural painted outside of the famous Amoeba Music in Hollywood. Jenny’s full album, The Voyager, will be released July 29th by Warner Bros. Records.
New York Film AcademyFilmmaking Instructor, Geoffray Barbier directed a short film for Oddka about the New York City band, The Virgins, which is being featured exclusively on Jay Z’s YouTube page. In the video, the band members discuss the relief of removing themselves from a major record label and focusing on their love of the music. Be sure to check it out!
New York Film Academy will be providing a workshop scholarship to the winner of the National Coalition Against Censorship YFEN film contest. Post your favorite video to your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, or other social media and tell your friends and family to vote!
The semifinalist video with the most “Likes” will be declared the People’s Choice winner and the creator will be awarded a Certificate of Free Expression Excellence from NCAC. The deadline for casting votes is February 15 at 5 p.m. EST.
While audiences choose their favorite, a stellar panel of judges, including New York Film Academy’s Co-Chair of Filmmaking, Michael Sandoval, will be hard at work selecting the Grand Prize, Second place, and Third place winners, to be announced sometime in February.
So, submit your video now. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
During a recent guest speaker event at New York Film Academy, Gallagher shared his recently-released horror film, Smiley, which was released in theaters nationwide. He described how his experience with internet shorts helped prepare him for his first feature length film. “Most of the sketches I shoot are like little scenes,” he said. “It was like 110 sketches in a row.” Working with a tight budget, the indie film was shot in just 15 days, and the filmmakers were shooting as many as 8 pages of the script per day. But as Gallagher puts it, “Horror movies fit the low budget. You can do a lot more with a little.”
Gallagher cast friends and actors with large YouTube followings to help build buzz around the film. To date, the trailer has racked up over 21 million views on YouTube. At just 23 years old, his first feature length film was about to be released in AMC theaters across the nation. Things were going well until users of the website 4Chan got wind of the film’s plot.
Gallagher said he was going for authenticity when he decided to make 4Chan users the villains of his film. In an interview with Huffington Post, he said, “I anticipated a minor backlash of people leaving harassing comments online.” But he didn’t anticipate the website’s users posting his home address, his personal information, and leaving dozens of death threats on his cell.
After interviews with the TODAY Show, Inside Edition, Variety, Paste (and the FBI), 4Chan users realized they were only giving him free publicity. Just as the movie was released in theaters nationwide, the threats disappeared.
Much to 4Chan’s chagrin, we’re happy to report the Smiley DVD is now available for pre-order.
Congratulations to New York Film Academy graduate Alexis Morante for his Latin Grammy nomination! Since his graduation in 2010, he has worked on a dozen music videos, racking up over 10 million views on Youtube. His most recent video, Licenciado Cantinas, is a 25-minute film with Spanish rock star Enrique Bunbury. It played in movie theaters and on television in 10 countries, and was nominated for Best Music Video – Long Format last week. “I’m very proud of the whole team, made up of several friends and fellows from NYFA,” says Alexis. “I hope this nomination, along with hard work and perseverance, will help me to develop a better career as filmmaker, especially in the American industry.”
Alexis is no stranger to success. His first-year thesis film, Voltereta, was an official selection at over 70 festivals worldwide, winning over 20 awards. Alexis’ second-year thesis film, Matador on the Road, has played over 50 festivals, winning over 10 awards.
But he wasn’t always so sure about a career in the film industry. Alexis was in law school in his native Spain when he decided to make his first short film. Soon after, he decided to pursue a degree in Communications. Then he travelled to Cuba and Sweden for short-term filmmaking courses. He chose New York Film Academy to earn his MFA in Filmmaking, doing his first year at the school’s New York campus, and the second year at the Universal Studios campus. “None of this would be possible without NYFA and the students here,” he says. “I’m still working with the students on a professional level.”
Though he is thrilled to have success working on music videos in Spain, Alexis hopes to expand to more work in the U.S. “I see myself concentrating on movies, doing advertising and music videos in between. I also love documentary and travel documentary.” He is currently developing a feature length script, and will be ready to take it to market soon.