New York Film Academy
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New York Film Academy Filmmaking

Hands-on Intensive 6-Week Filmmaking Workshop

Two NYFA students in red NYFA t-shirts work together to set up an outdoor shot. Heavy gold light falls around a NYFA student actor and director as they film a scene in studio. A NYFA student photographer on a ladder captures a portrait of an aerial silk dancer. NYFA filmmaking student uses RED camera

6-Week Filmmaking Workshop


The Six-Week Filmmaking Workshops provide students with a strong foundation in filmmaking in which they each make three films. The workshop is held in a variety of locations during the summer. It is a full-time workshop and is divided into two periods.

Three diverse NYFA filmmaking students crowd around their Canon camera to prepare a shot during a project.

First Three Weeks

This period balances course-work and shooting. Classes and hands-on workshops are conducted daily. Filming with classmates as crew members occurs during the weekends. As in the other Film Academy workshops, students participate in classes covering directing, writing, cinematography, production, and editing.

Students complete two films during the first three weeks, using Hi-Def DSLR cameras, professional lighting packages, and digital editing software. After the first three weeks, there is a brief pre-production period for preparation and consultation. At this time, students will have special classes in digital video.

Last Three Weeks

This period is devoted to the writing, producing, directing, and editing of a longer film of seven to ten minutes in length.

At the end of the course, the final films are celebrated in a screening open to cast, crew, friends, and family. All students who successfully complete the workshop receive a New York Film Academy certificate and leave the program with a digital master copy of all their projects.

Course Descriptions

The following classes are designed to be of immediate and practical use in an integrated curriculum. Each week students are able to immediately apply the lessons learned in their classes to the films they are producing.

Director’s Craft
Hands-on Camera/Lighting
Production Workshop
Budgeting and Scheduling
Sound Recording

Director’s Craft

Director’s Craft introduces students to the language and craft of filmmaking. Topics covered include storyboarding, composition, camera movement, continuity, montage, pacing, and rhythm.
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This course is designed to help students develop their scripts for their final films. Students will be instructed in story structure, dramatic arc, creating characters, text and subtext, refining stories, and scriptwriting style.
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Editing is an art unto itself. Regardless of the editing system a filmmaker uses, it is the editor’s ability to work with the shots and tell a story that makes all the difference. Workshop students will learn how to use the digital editing system Avid Media Composer. Each student edits his or her own films and can supplement classes with individual consultations at the editing station. Students are taught the fundamental concepts of film editing, both practical and aesthetic.
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Hands-on Camera/Lighting

Through a series of hands-on classes and instructor-led workshops, students are introduced to the fundamentals of 16mm film using the 16mm Arri-S camera before moving onto HD image making. The craft of composing images with the Canon 5D HD camera will be taught "from the ground up" and presuppose no prior knowledge of filmmaking. The proper use of basic lighting instruments and their contribution to the image will be explored in class exercises and demonstrations. Through hands-on workshops and camera tests, students will also learn fundamental lighting techniques. As they progress through the workshop, students learn how to support the mood of the story with lighting choices and they experiment with expressive lighting styles.
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Production Workshop

In Production Workshop, students are introduced to the technical aspects of filmmaking as they are split into shooting crews of 3-4 people to shoot exercises in the field. These workshops are designed to show students the basic storytelling tools for filmmaking: staging, composition, lenses, lighting, camera angles, shot sizes, rules, and tools of continuity.
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Budgeting and Scheduling

This course introduces students to the craft of producing, preparing a budget and scheduling a film for shooting, including script breakdowns, call sheets, production schedules, permits, location insurance, and actor contracts. During the course, students will get an overview of all the essential elements of producing short films—ranging from pre-production through post-production.
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Sound Recording

This is a comprehensive class that details the process of sound design by providing concepts, technical information, and hands-on demonstration. Students are instructed how to build a soundtrack for their final films.
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Film Projects

Music & Image
Final Film


The first film that students work on during the 6-week filmmaking workshop centers around continuity, 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. They learn 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 perceptible jumps in time or action). Students must produce a clear, visual scene while maintaining the truthfulness of the moment. It is essential that the audience believes in the reality of the scene. Students write, direct, shoot, edit, and screen a film of up to three minutes.

Students must thoroughly organize and pre-produce their projects by completing the following elements: Script, Location Scout, Breakdown, Floor Plan, Storyboard, and Schedule of Shots.
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Music & Image

Second, students work on the relationship between sound and film, as well as to narrative tools like montage and jump cuts. In this second project of the 6-week filmmaking workshop, students are encouraged to explore a more personal form of visual storytelling.

Students choose a short continuous selection of music. 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, and shoots his or her project on film, edits digitally, and screens a completed Music Film.

In addition to storyboards, students may use a still camera to plan their films. This assists them in their choice of locations, distances, angles, and lighting.
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Final Film

In the final three weeks of the 6-week filmmaking workshop, students work on their final film, which is more ambitious in scope than the previous exercises. It builds upon the foundation of skills and knowledge gained in the first half of the workshop. There is a five-day pre-production period during which students meet with faculty for consultation.

The shooting period is two days for each film.

There are two weeks of post-production in which each student may edit from 50-100 hours. Students may use sound effects, music, voiceover, and ambient sound to help tell their stories. They apply the lessons learned through editing the first three projects as they utilize the many transition tools, special effects, and sound design options that digital editing allows.

Films may be of any genre, and can be narrative, documentary, or experimental. In past years, many of these films have been selected and won awards at film festivals, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Each film project is screened in class for discussion and critique. These screenings are an important part of the learning process and help students improve on their next projects. There is a group screening celebrating all final films open to cast, crew, friends, and family.

The final film is part of the six, eight-week, evening, and one-year programs.
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Dates & Tuition


Tuition: $4,800 (USD) +
Equipment Fee: $ent & Technology Fee: $872

Location & Available Dates

For Los Angeles:
Jun 12, 2023 - Jul 22, 2023
Jul 10, 2023 - Aug 19, 2023

For Florence Italy:
May 14, 2023 - Jun 24, 2023
Jun 25, 2023 - Aug 5, 2023

Please note: Dates and Tuition are subject to change
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