New York Film Academy
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New York Film Academy Filmmaking

Filmmaking Courses

Film school students shoot a scene with a Red One camera NYFA film school students shoot with a Red One camera Students work together to film a scene Two film school students shoot a water fountain Two NYFA film school students operate a camera Film school students prepare to film a scene

What Sets Our Filmmaking Courses Apart

Filmmaking is not something that is simply learned. Being confined to a classroom where one is taught the basic criteria for bringing a story to life will ultimately limit one’s development as a filmmaker. At the New York Film Academy, our philosophy is learning by doing, something students will experience from the second they step into one of our many facilities around the world. Whether potential students are interested in creating feature length films, shorts, music videos, or documentaries, the Academy’s diverse filmmaking courses will fit each student’s specific needs as an aspiring filmmaker.

Film Education for Everyone

The Academy offers a rich multitude of degree programs and short courses for students of all ages and experience, from intensive one-week workshops to two-year Associate of Fine Arts three-year Bachelor of Arts and one- and two-year Masters of Fine Arts programs. In creating the curriculum that makes up our film school, we worked directly with filmmakers, producers, screenwriters, and many more to foster an environment that promotes success at every level. By adapting the techniques and ideas from the leading university film schools to a set of courses that focus on in-depth practical training, our students receive not just an education, but a set of experiences that give them the hands-on experience necessary to actually realize their goals as filmmakers.

Three NYFA film school students film a scene

What to Expect from Our Courses in Filmmaking

So how do we train a diverse body of students with varied levels of experience and differing needs and interests to place them on the path of realizing their goals as filmmakers? Each course is comprised of a wide ranging set of subjects that cover all of the fundamental bases of the medium including directing, cinematography, screenwriting, producing, and editing. These topics are all taught by filmmaking professionals and accredited faculty whose varying specialties ensure that students receive the best possible education in each aspect of the filmmaking process. Through a concentrated schedule of classroom learning, teacher-supervised workshops, and outside projects, our courses in film making aim to give students the confidence to have a working understanding of production.

Collaborative Filmmaking Courses

No education in film is complete without directly experiencing the highly collaborative environment that filmmaking requires and students work with each other and faculty to develop their own particular interests while getting hands-on training in all of the elements at work on a film set. From the start, students are placed behind the camera to learn the many visual, dramatic, and technical challenges a director faces. This includes assisting their crews in the roles of director of photography, assistant cameraperson, and gaffer/grip, so that each student receives extensive set experience.

A NYFA film school student shoots with a camera

Immersive Film Education

Our courses are based on the premise of total immersion, with the lessons learned in the classroom applied directly to original film production that students will create, forming the foundation of their education. At the core of our filmmaking are courses in the Director’s Craft, Writing, Editing, Hands-On Camera/Lighting, Production, Sound Design, and Cinematography. Regardless of the course a student decides is right for him or her, one can expect a thorough education that not only stresses the fundamentals of these different disciplines, but will have students applying what they learn in the classroom to a variety of different film projects that will help them develop the technical and creative skills needed for visual and dramatic storytelling. Students’ education at the Film Academy will culminate in the pre-production, production, and post-production of an original short or feature-length film, depending on the course they enrolled in. At the end of each New York Film Academy course, students’ hard work and commitment are celebrated with a school screening of their films open to cast, crew, friends, and family.

Film Making Fundamentals

While the number and range of course work will vary depending on which program or workshop a student enrolls in, those taking part in NYFA’s filmmaking courses can expect to receive the following fundamental education.

  • Director’s Craft: An introduction to the language and craft of directing film, students will receive the necessary preparation and instruction in the fundamentals of visual storytelling. Instructors will challenge students to discover the most effective and expressive means by which to shoot their films by educating them on the history of how the most renowned directors have approached film. In addition, each students will write, direct, and edit his or her own films and work directly with other students by assisting them on the creation of their films as well.
  • Cinematography: This course will train students in the essentials of shooting film with the use of video cameras and their accessories. With the aid of workshops and film tests, students will also learn the essential lighting techniques and how these inform the mood of a story while also experimenting with expressive lighting styles.
  • Screenwriting: Every film starts with an idea for a story, but how does one develop that into an actual script? The Academy’s screenwriting courses teach students how to bring their stories to life by concentrating on the basics of visual storytelling and constructive analysis in taking an idea and building it into a treatment, an outline, rough draft, and ultimately, a shooting script. Each student will write his or her own screenplay that they will bring to life in their films.
  • Producing: In the Academy’s production courses, students are taught to break down a film to its essential elements for budgeting and scheduling. Students will learn all of the essential forms to use in their own film projects.
  • Digital Editing: Learning how to edit a film together is the essential element to bringing any story to life. Students learn a variety of aesthetic approaches to editing film and video and how to achieve temporal and spatial continuity in their projects.
  • Film History: In creating an original story, students must learn the varied history of the motion picture and the critical filmmaking terminology that they will put to use in their other course work. Students are educated in the essential canon of cinematic history in order to become better filmmakers.

Equipment Used in Our Filmmaking Courses

When enrolling in a course at the New York Film Academy, students will have access to the best possible equipment in order to prepare them for the real world of filmmaking. Students in a degree course learn to shoot on a wide spectrum of film, which includes 16mm, 35mm, Hi-Def, Super 16mm, Red Dragon, Red Epic and Red Scarlet cameras.

Across all of our filmmaking courses, students will edit digitally with digital editing software using Macintosh computers.

Additionally, students at our Los Angeles campus will have access to Universal Studio’s extensive prop and costume collection at a reduced rate.

Filmmaking around the World

Students enrolling in one of the many Film Academy courses have the unique experience to study at a number of different locations around the world, depending on the course that is the right fit for you.

The New York Film Academy offers filmmaking courses in the following locations -
  • New York City
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Gold Coast, Australia
  • Florence, Italy
  • Paris, France
  • Harvard University, Massachusetts
  • South Beach, Florida
  • Beijing, China
  • Shanghai, China

Real World Preparation

Regardless of where students choose to attend the Academy, they will learn under an exceptional faculty with professional experience and who have worked on professional productions and film sets.

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