• NYFA Tunes in for the 74th Annual Golden Globes


    Once again the New York Film Academy was live on social media talking Golden Globes and, this year, rooting for former student Issa Rae on her nomination for Best Actress in a TV Comedy or Musical for her performance on HBO’s “Insecure,” a show she writes, produces, and acts in. While the award went to Tracee Ellis Ross for “Blackish,” we commend Issa on her tremendous success with her hit series, which began a few years back as a web-series.

    golden globes

    With the Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon hosting the evening, there were many familiar faces on hand not only from our favorite shows and films of the year, but from former guest speakers of NYFA, including Jonah Hill who was nominated for his part in “War Dogs.”

    The big winner of the evening was the musical “La La Land,” which won all seven of its nominated categories: best picture comedy/musical, lead actor honors for Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and awards for director, screenplay, song and score. The film received a wonderful review from our newest faculty member, film critic Peter Rainer, and is considered the heavy favorite for the Academy Awards as well.


    It was also a delight to watch comic actors Steve Carrell and Kristin Wiig present the award for Best Animated Feature to “Zootopia.” Last year,  NYFA hosted an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the award-winning animated film with Disney animator, Darrin Butters, who has been an animator for all of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ top hits including “Big Hero 6,” “Frozen” and “Tangled.”

    Perhaps one of the most talked about moments from last night was Meryl Steep’s moving speech after receiving the Cecil B. Demille award. She spoke of the talented actors and actresses she’s worked with who come from all over the world. “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners,” Streep said after describing the diverse backgrounds of some of her acting contemporaries.

    We’re very familiar with artists from all over the world, as more than 50% of NYFA’s enrollment is international. Tens of thousands of visual and performing artists from nearly 120 countries have studied at NYFA since its founding 25 years ago, including dozens of Fulbright Foreign Students. We hope to see more of our students and alumni at upcoming award ceremonies!

    Below is a list of winners and nominees from the 2017 Golden Globes.

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    January 9, 2017 • Community Highlights, Entertainment News • Views: 5097

  • Disney Animator Darrin Butters Shows off “Zootopia”


    In what looks like a sure hit for Disney, the masters of animation have created an environment consisting of a modern mammal metropolis in their 55th feature Zootopia. In the film, there are habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything.

    darrin butters

    “Zootopia” Animator, Darrin Butters

    Providing the New York Film Academy 3D Animation School with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at this world was Darrin Butters, who has been an animator for all of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ top hits including Big Hero 6, Frozen and Tangled.

    In front of a full house of animation students, Butters introduced the story, which focuses on rookie Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin), who discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery.

    Perfecting the motion of each animal was the main focus of Butters’ and his team’s research before beginning to animate the production. “We’re not shooting for realism, but it has to be believable,” said Butters before adding a joke. “The most important animation problem we had to figure out—how does a tiger dance?”

    Butters had the privilege of working on what could be the funniest moment of the film, where Judy and Nick enter a DMV run entirely by excruciatingly slow-moving sloths. As he was animating the slow laugh of one such sloth, Butters recalls going against everything he was ever taught in animation—he purposely dragged everything out to play into the humor of the situation. The risk paid off tenfold.


    NYFA Animation Instructor Robert Appleton and Darrin Butters

    His best piece of advice for young animators working on an animation team: “Show your work early and show often,” said Butters. “You want that collaboration.”

    Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Zootopia, a comedy-adventure directed by Byron Howard (Tangled, Bolt) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph, The Simpsons) and co-directed by Jared Bush (Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero), opens in theaters on March 4, 2016.


    March 2, 2016 • 3D Animation, Guest Speakers • Views: 8682