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New York Film Academy
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New York Film Academy Filmmaking

2-Year Filmmaking Program

NYFA student operating a Red One digital camera NYFA film school students filming with a Red One digital camera NYFA students learn how to use the Red One digital camera Student film crew operating a camera for a scene

Overview of our 2-Year Filmmaking Program

Each student writes, shoots, directs, and edits 8 films and works on 28 more

Two-Year Filmmaking Program is offered at our New York Campus only


Two-Year Conservatory students learn the fundamentals of visual and dramatic storytelling through the production of a series of short films in year one, as outlined in the One-Year Filmmaking Program. They then build on this foundation in the second year as they focus on feature filmmaking as well as music video and commercial production. Conservatory students receive over 2,000 hours of hands-on instruction and actual production experience. Students will complete the Two-Year program having made short films, music videos, commercials, and documentaries. Additionally, students choosing to do so can direct a feature film in a paid fifth semester.

This two-year conservatory program is offered at our New York City campus. Students interested in studying at our Los Angeles campus should consider our two year MFA in Filmmaking degree program, two-year AFA in Filmmaking degree program, or the three-year BFA in Filmmaking degree program.

NYFA film school students operate a camera together To create this curriculum, we have distilled the key ingredients of the most respected graduate and undergraduate film schools from around the world to provide two intensive years of learning and production. The Two-Year Conservatory program requires students to commit themselves to a focused and demanding curriculum.

Conservatory students work with 16mm and 35mm film as well as 24P and HD Digital Video in both year one and year two. They will work with an array of production equipment including tungsten & HMI lights, boom & wireless microphones, and various dollies and camera accessories. They have the option of shooting their final projects for the first year, as well as their second year thesis films, on the format of their choice.

The New York Film Academy encourages individuals to take creative risks and find their own voices as visual artists. Conservatory students receive a certificate upon successful completion as well as a full arsenal of filmmaking skills, an enormous amount of production experience, a body of their own work, and a feature film project. The network of working relationships they develop with their classmates will help carry them forward as they pursue their own careers in filmmaking.

Two-Year Conservatory Filmmaking students are invited to visit one of our campuses before the course begins.

Course Descriptions

Year One
Director’s Craft I
Cinematography I
Editing I
Production Workshop I
Screenwriting I
Cinema Studies I
Individual Editing I
Sound Recording I
Director’s Craft II
Producing
Cinematography II
Sound Recording II
Editing II
Screenwriting II
Production Workshop II
Individual Editing II
Cinema Studies II
Year Two
Advanced Directing
Music Video Production
Advanced Cinema Studies
Commercial Production
Advanced Screenwriting
Advanced Production Workshop
Advanced Cinematography
Production Design
Advanced Sound Design/Sound Mixing
Advanced Editing
Advanced Producing

Director’s Craft I

The core of the first semester, this course introduces students to all major aspects of filmmaking. Students will learn concepts to help achieve maximum psychological impact by studying the director’s decisions in camera placement, blocking, staging, and visual image design. Students will take part in several in-class workshops and will be challenged to think comprehensively about their film projects in terms of the economic realities of low budget student production. Using their own film projects as prototypes, students will learn to break down their film scripts in terms of story and emotional beats, shot selection and composition, and budgeting and scheduling. This course will be the forum for preparing, screening, and critiquing seven short films.
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Cinematography I

In this course, students undergo intensive training in the use of 16mm non-sync sound motion picture and HD digital video cameras and their accessories. Through hands-on workshops and film tests, they will also learn fundamental lighting techniques. As they progress through the workshop, they learn how to support the mood of the story with lighting choices and they experiment with expressive lighting styles.
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Editing I

This course presents students with multiple aesthetic approaches to editing. Students will learn how to apply concepts to their works, such as temporal and spatial continuity, as well as less traditional non-linear techniques. The course will also discuss the psychological and emotional effects of editing on the overall story. Additionally, students will learn to operate Avid Media Composer digital editing software, which they will use to edit their own films. Classes are supplemented with individual consultations at the computer.
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Production Workshop I

Students are split into shooting crews of 3-4 people to shoot mise-en-scène, continuity, and montage exercises in the field. The instructor will screen and review the footage from previous workshops and discuss any outstanding issues of the production that the students have. These workshops are designed to facilitate the students’ individual projects.
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Screenwriting I

This course introduces the established tools and language used in writing a film project. Students will take a story from initial idea, treatment, and outline to a rough draft and finally a shooting script. Instruction focuses on the fundamentals of visual storytelling. The intersection of story structure, theme, character, tension, and conflict is examined through detailed scene analysis. In-class discussion provides students with constructive analysis and support. Students are encouraged to tell their stories visually, rather than relying on dialogue.
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Cinema Studies I

This seminar teaches students to identify the techniques used by cinematic innovators throughout the history of filmmaking. Through screenings and discussions, students will grow to understand how filmmakers have approached the great challenge of telling stories with moving images from silent films to the digital age. The course explores ways that the crafts of directing (particularly shot construction), cinematography, acting, and editing have developed. Students are then challenged to place themselves within that development with regard to their on-going film projects.
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Individual Editing I

This course prepares students for the challenges inherent in cutting a more complex narrative film with dialogue and multiple sound tracks. Students are required to dedicate a large portion of time to editing their projects with the aid of trained editing lab teaching assistants.
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Sound Recording I

This is a comprehensive class that details the process of sound recording. It provides concepts, technical information, and hands-on demonstration. Students are introduced to various types of recording devices and taught when to use them. The class challenges the students to use sound as an additional tool for storytelling, and takes them through the complete recording process.
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Director’s Craft II

Building upon knowledge and skills acquired in Director’s Craft I, this course is a concentrated examination and analysis of the aesthetic elements of the director’s toolkit as it applies to shot choice, composition, setting, point of view, character, and camera movement. Students learn how to cover complex dialogue scenes with a series of shots and practice different approaches to coverage by breaking down scenes from their own scripts. Students are encouraged to develop their own directorial style drawing from the elements presented in this class.
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Producing

Producing leads students through the entire process of pre-production, including scouting and securing of locations, permits, and casting. The producing instructor and students design a production schedule for the entire class. The instructor encourages students to form realistic plans for successfully making their films. Using script breakdowns, students learn how to plan and keep to a schedule and budget for their productions. They use their own finished scripts in class as they learn how to take advantage of budgeting and scheduling forms and methods.
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Cinematography II

This class immerses students in the technical and creative demands of cinematography. They will learn to go beyond simply 'getting an image' and focus on the nuances of visual storytelling. Students undergo intensive training in the use of the Arriflex 16SR, the 35mm Panavision and the RED Digital Cinema cameras. In addition to being trained to operate advanced camera equipment, students study basic color theory and learn to control the color palette of their projects. Special attention is given to the emotional attributes that can be assigned to an image by changing the hue, saturation, and contrast of any given image. Students learn to incorporate these theories into their projects, and gain a greater understanding of aesthetic image control.
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Sound Recording II

This course introduces students to professional sync-sound dialogue recording techniques. In addition to being trained in the use of the Roland recording equipment and lavalier microphones, students study concepts in mixing multiple track on-set recordings. These techniques are practiced and perfected during production workshop exercises under the supervision of the sound instructor.
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Editing II

This course teaches students to edit their sync-sound projects. Students are encouraged to expand upon previously mastered techniques to establish a consistent editing design, dialogue rhythm, and sense of pacing and continuity that compliments the story as a whole. Post-production equipment and software learned by students include: After Effects, ProTools, and the DaVinci color mixer.
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Screenwriting II

In addition to providing an in-depth study and exploration of dialogue in film, Screenwriting II focuses on the writing, rewriting, and polishing of the One-Year Final Film scripts. Students will conduct live readings of their screenplays and engage in instructor-led discussions of the work. The goal of this seminar is to increase the writer’s mastery of those aspects of screenwriting as outlined in Screenwriting I.
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Production Workshop II

This hands-on course challenges students to interpret and apply all theory and practice of the first semester curriculum in a series of sync-sound production exercises. Students shoot complex dramatic scenes on 16mm film and high definition video from their own scripts with the guidance and critique of the instructor. Students must determine what adjustments to make to their scripts and shooting plans before entering into production. These practice scenes are expected to be fully pre-produced (storyboarded, cast, scouted, rehearsed, and pre-lit) and executed at a professional level.
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Individual Editing II

This course prepares students for the challenges inherent in cutting a more complex narrative film with dialogue and multiple sound tracks. Students are required to dedicate a large portion of time to editing their projects with the aid of trained editing lab teaching assistants.
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Cinema Studies II

Cinema Studies II is designed to help students become more fluent in film vocabulary, aimed to develop their analytical skills when it comes to historical and international range of film works. The students also discuss aesthetic and social aspects of film in this class. This course involves story analysis where the instructor goes through a film scene by scene, as well as genre studies.
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Advanced Directing

This course advances students’ knowledge of the director’s craft to a professional level. Topics include advanced approaches to shot size and dramatic purpose, camera angle, composition, camera movement, location, blocking, lenses and dramatic purpose, and communication with actors. Students are challenged to create unique and specific visual styles that support their stories, such as the use of space, line, shape, tone, color, rhythm and movement.
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Music Video Production

Music Video Production is an introduction to the business, art and craft of music video production. This course covers the history of music videos, popular music video directors, and styles, as well as music video workflow. Second year students explore the craft of prepping, shooting, and editing a professional quality music video. Students are challenged to contact an artist or band and negotiate the acquisition of a pre-recorded song or soundtrack.
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Advanced Cinema Studies

This course examines the contemporary landscape of narrative filmmaking. Style, structure, and the narrative form itself are discussed through close analysis of current filmmakers from the international arena as well as examples from the world of documentary and the burgeoning field of new media. This course challenges students to identify techniques and a conceptual framework to apply to their own body of work.
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Commercial Production

Commercial Production is an introduction to the business, art, and craft of commercial production. It explores the development of the modern commercial and commercial types. Students learn how to work with an agency or an art department, balancing art and intent. In this course, second year students explore the craft of prepping, shooting and editing a TV commercial—defined as a promotional film for a Product (‘the Brand’). These commercial spots are produced at lengths of 30, 45, or 60 seconds.
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Advanced Screenwriting

In this course, students will apply the basic conventions of screenplay— theme, premise, structure, character development—to the creation and completion of an original feature length screenplay. Students are introduced to the working method of professional screenwriters, from outline to treatment to first draft.
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Advanced Production Workshop

Students are split into shooting crews of 3-4 people to shoot film exercises with the RED Epic camera. The instructor will screen and review the footage from previous workshops and discuss any outstanding issues of the production that the students have. These workshops are for the application of theory into practice where students can exercise creative interpretation of story and effectively use the tools of film craft.
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Advanced Cinematography

This course is designed to help students master many elements of cinematography using professional HD cameras including the RED ONE camera system. Advanced Cinematography seeks to increase students’ knowledge as cinematographers by examining variations on the three-point set up, creative lighting and the use of alternative sources, and working with overhead grids amongst other topics.
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Production Design

This course examines film design through notable classic and contemporary films. Classes focus on the analysis of the production designer’s role, the work of popular contemporary designers and fundamentals of the film design process. Students also explore the business of production design, as well as the various theories of production design that apply in different mediums.
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Advanced Sound Design/Sound Mixing

Classes are designed to help students create quality sound designs for film. Topics include, but are not limited to production sound, location sound, room tone, natural sound, hyper-real sound, emotional realism, sound motif, foley sound and ADR.
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Advanced Editing

Advanced Editing is a course designed to enhance students’ editing techniques by introducing them to nontraditional and experimental editing. By the end of the course, students will be competent in incorporating Adobe After Effects and DVD Studio Pro.
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Advanced Producing

This course equips students to produce a feature film, covering topics such as types of producers, line producing, finding material, securing rights, and scheduling. Students learn how to budget for the feature, and examine the elements of film finance and distribution.
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Film Projects

Mise-en-scène
Continuity
Music & Montage Film
Quarter Film
The Chekhovian
POV
Semester One Film
Year One Thesis Film
Music Video
Commercial
Year Two Thesis Project

Mise-en-scène

In their first film, students are introduced to mise-en- scène, or directing a shot to visually tell a story. Once they create a dramatic moment, they concentrate on the dynamics of the shot that will best express it. This project teaches students how the relationship between the subject and the camera creates drama. Each student designs and shoots a scene that has a beginning, middle, and end. Students will learn to pay close attention to the choice of lenses, distances, and angles.

Since the story will be told within one long shot, it must be staged to express as much as possible about the characters and their actions. Students should rehearse the shot for blocking of actors and camera until the scene works without needing to stop; only then should they roll camera. Students shoot their film in high definition video, then edit and screen their projects for critique and discussion.
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Continuity

Continuity is one of the fundamental principles of modern filmmaking. By making a “continuity film,” students learn the way cuts can advance the story while sustaining the reality of the scene, and the difference between “film time” and “real time.” Students are challenged to make a film that maintains continuity in story, time, and space. The action in these films unfolds utilizing a variety of shots (10–15) in a continuous sequence (no jumps in time or action). In the Continuity Films, students must produce a clear, visual scene while maintaining the authenticity of the moment. Students write, direct, shoot, edit, and screen a film of up to three minutes. Students must thoroughly pre-plan and complete a series of essential pre-production elements including script, location scouting, shot list, floor plan, storyboarding, and schedule.
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Music & Montage Film

The third project introduces students to the relationship between sound and film, as well as to narrative tools like montage and jump cuts. In this project, students are encouraged to explore a more personal form of visual storytelling. For this film, students choose a piece of music, and in the editing room, they cut their images to work in concert with, or in counterpoint to, the music. Students should experiment with rhythm and pacing. Each student writes, directs, shoots, edits, and screens a film of up to four minutes. In addition to storyboards, students may use a still camera to plan their films to assist them in their choice of locations, angles, and lighting.
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Quarter Film

From the first week of the program, students begin developing their scripts in Writing Class for their fourth film.

This fourth film is more ambitious in scope than the previous exercises. It builds upon the foundation of skills and knowledge gained in the first part of the semester. Students may use sound effects, music, voiceover, and ambient sound to help tell their stories. The final project may be 3-10 minutes in length, keeping in mind, “less is more.”

Each student must complete a production book that includes the following:
  • Statement of Objective: Idea of the film and stylistic approach in a concise statement.
  • Scenario: Shooting script, storyboards, and floor plan.
  • Analysis: Intention, realization, mistakes, crew work.
Films may be of any genre, and can be narrative, documentary, or experimental.
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The Chekhovian

This project challenges students to explore the relationship between dialogue and dramatic action. It serves as the student’s first foray into directing a film with dialogue recorded on set. Students are provided with short dialogue-only scripts with no description of physical detail or action. The student director determines the “who, what, where, when, and why” of the story. Above all, each student director must identify the characters’ objectives and dramatic beats of the scene.

Students will learn how these elements determine the meaning of the dialogue and should deepen their understanding of text versus subtext. When the finished projects are screened in class for critique, students will discover how different directorial interpretations of the same scene reveal the characters and the impact and meaning of the story.
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POV

Each shot in a film expresses a point-of-view, and in narrative film, the point-of-view changes often, sometimes with each new shot. For the most part, point-of-view—which is often called narrative stance—is largely invisible to the audience; though the accumulated effect of the changes profoundly affects the way the audience interprets any scene. Students will analyze different ways to create a point-of-view through visual means: the POV shot, shot size, eye-line, camera height, movement, over-the-shoulder shots, lighting, color, and contrast.

The POV project teaches students to visually reinforce the dramatic point of view initiated in the screenplay. Students are given a short scene containing two characters with conflicting objectives. Each student will choose one of the characters to be the main character and then direct a short film using the visual tools explored in class to present the viewer with a clear and distinct point-of-view.
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Semester One Film

The Semester One Final Film is a narrative digital film project of up to ten minutes. This film should showcase all the lessons and techniques students learned in the first semester, emphasizing the Acting for Directors classes, production workshops, and individual exercises of the second quarter. Ideally, the Semester One Film should be a performance driven film with no more than three characters and one or two locations. However, students always have the option of shooting a documentary, music video, or experimental film for this project.
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Year One Thesis Film

This project is the culmination of the program’s first year of work. Each student’s goal is to produce a fully realized short film that demonstrates his or her own artistic vision and point-of-view. Students work with larger crews and with more time allotted for pre-production, production, and post-production than the previous projects. Students prepare for this project with the assistance of all classes in the second semester, including the producing class, which is specifically designed to guide students through the pre-production of this project. Students must prepare detailed production books and receive a “green light” from the faculty to check out equipment for their shoots. Each student can choose to shoot this film in one of three formats—HD digital video, 16mm film, or 35mm film.
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Music Video

Each student conceives, produces, directs, and edits a music video. This project is an opportunity for students in the second year to develop and demonstrate their visual style as filmmakers. It is intended to help students build their reels for possible professional work in the future. Students are encouraged to collaborate with a musical artist or band that incorporates performance and the use of playback.
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Commercial

Each student writes, directs, and edits a television commercial for an existing or invented product. This project challenges students to try their hands at this very influential form of filmmaking. This medium demands high production values and concise storytelling. It is another opportunity for students to showcase their talents for their reels.
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Year Two Thesis Project

Option A: Feature Film
Direct and edit a feature length film in a paid fifth semester of study at the end of Year Two, and fill essential crew positions on short form films directed by fellow students.

Option B: Trailer or Short Film
Direct and edit a trailer or short based on the feature project of up to 30 minutes in length, and fill essential crew positions on short form films directed by fellow students.

Option C: Cinematography
Collaborate as Director of Photography on three feature trailer films of fellow students or one feature length film.
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Dates & Tuition

Fees Per Year

Tuition: $39,292 (USD) +
Equipment Fee: $4,136(USD)

Number of Semesters: 4


Students will also incur additional expenses on their own productions. This varies depending on how much film they shoot and scale of the projects.


Location & Available Dates

For New York City:
January 2017 - September 2019
September 2017 - September 2019
January 2018 - September 2020
September 2018 - September 2020

For Gold Coast Australia:
January 2017 - January 2019
May 2017 - May 2019
September 2017 - September 2019

For Sydney Australia:
January 2017 - January 2019
May 2017 - May 2019
September 2017 - September 2019



Please note: Dates and Tuition are subject to change
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