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New York Film Academy
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New York Film Academy Master of Fine Arts

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Filmmaking

MFA film students shoot with a camera outdoors MFA film students operate a film camera on set MFA filmmaking student folding a clap board MFA Filmmaking students work with a film camera on set

Overview of our MFA in Filmmaking

The Academy makes the accelerated two-year schedule possible by creating an extended academic year, allowing students to complete three full-length semesters in each calendar year. New York Film Academy MFA degree programs are offered at our Los Angeles and South Beach Campuses.

Qualified students have the option of completing course work at the New York Film Academy in New York City in a one-year non-degree program and then applying their course work to be accepted for advanced standing in the MFA Filmmaking degree program.

Each student writes, shoots, directs, and edits eight films and works on 28 more in the first year.

TWO-YEAR ACCELERATED MFA FILMMAKING DEGREE

The Academy's Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking Program is a two year accelerated course of study that gives students the all-around filmmaking experience necessary to make their own films.

MFA film student shoots with digital camera on set The filmmaking MFA program offers students over 2,000 hours of hands-on instruction and production experience, whether they choose to complete 76 or 79 credits.

Throughout their time pursuing their filmmaking master’s degree at the New York Film Academy, students will shoot projects on 16mm film, 35mm film, High-Def, Super 16mm, and the RED Dragon camera system. All projects are edited digitally.

The curriculum integrates intensive study in all the major filmmaking disciplines, including directing, cinematography, screenwriting, producing, and editing. Our program is for people who have the passion to plunge into full-time filmmaking, and to commit themselves to a focused and demanding curriculum.

No previous experience is required for NYFA’s filmmaking school; however, participants must work with self-discipline, energy, and mutual respect.

As in all New York Film Academy programs, hands-on learning is emphasized.

MFA film student looks through lens while filming with digital camera The New York Film Academy’s filmmaking MFA program sets itself apart from other film programs through its emphasis on hands-on learning. Film directing classes are not theoretical explorations; they are practical classes designed to put students in the director's chair as quickly as possible. Students are encouraged to take creative risks and find their own voices as visual artists.

By the end of the MFA program, students will build a holistic skillset that includes all major aspects of the filmmaking craft, gain an enormous amount of production experience, and create 10 films of their own.

Students' films are celebrated in school screenings open to cast, crew, friends, family, and invited guests.

FILMMAKING MFA OVERVIEW

Beginning on day one, students of our filmmaking school participate in an intensive sequence of classes in Film Directing, Screenwriting, Cinematography, Digital Editing, Directing Actors and Production. While the theory they learn in the classroom is important, the heart of the filmmaking MFA program is the production of original, short 16mm films. Students will team up to make these films, working in crews of three of four where each student will gain experience in writing, producing, directing and editing.

While working on each other’s films, students will fill essential roles such as director of photography, assistant camera operator, and gaffer (lighting technician). This rigorous and holistic approach to filmmaking means that students leave the Masters of Fine Arts in Filmmaking program with an understanding of every single part of the filmmaking process. This complete understanding ultimately makes them more flexible on set, as well as more capable as a director and artist. Once MFA students master traditional film, they will move to using digital video technology in order to become familiar with industry standard tools and techniques.

MFA filmmaking student operates camera while another uses walkie talkie Throughout their time in the filmmaking MFA program each individual directs two digital projects. These projects and in-class production workshops challenge students to explore the dramatic mechanics of motion picture storytelling, and the critical collaboration between actors and directors. Supporting classes include Screenwriting, Directing Actors, Directing, and Digital Production. These classes and projects prepare students for their second and third semester, and production of their intermediate films.

In the second and third semester, filmmaking MFA students move into more advanced topics of directing, cinematography, screenwriting and producing. Students learn how to use advanced equipment including 16mm sync cameras, dollies, and 35mm cameras. Each student completes the semester by filming their own intermediate film, a 15 minute short that incorporates all the skills they’ve learned in the program.

Filmmaking Master’s of Fine Arts Production Goals
  • At New York Film Academy’s MFA Filmmaking program, students will write, direct, and edit 10 films of increasing complexity and length, including a master's thesis film. These 10 films will include projects focused on:
    • 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 visual 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 film. Students each shoot one roll of black and white reversal film, then edit and screen their films for critique and discussion.
      • Allotted shooting time: three hours.
      • Editing time: one four-hour slot.
      • Screening time: 30 seconds to two minutes.
    • 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. 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 jumps in time or action). In their continuity films, students must produce a clear, visual scene while maintaining the authenticity 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 plan and complete the following pre-production elements:
      • Script.
      • Location scout.
      • Script breakdown
      • Floor plan.
      • Storyboard.
      • Schedule of shots.
      Students shoot two rolls of film then edit and screen their films for critique and discussion.
      • Allotted shooting time: four hours.
      • Editing time: two four-hour slots.
      • Screening time: one to three minutes.
    • Music & Montage Film The third project in the MFA filmmaking program 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. 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. This assists them in their choice of locations, angles, and lighting.
      • Allotted shooting time: five hours.
      • Editing time: three four-hour slots.
      • Screening time: two to four minutes.
    • Quarter Film From the first week of the program, students begin developing their scripts in writing class for their fourth film.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.
      This fourth required film that filmmaking MFA students create 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. There is a pre-production period during which students meet with faculty for consultation. There are two weeks of post-production. Students may use sound effects, music, voice-over and ambient sound to help tell their stories. The final project may be from three to10 minutes in length, keeping in mind that "less is more."

      Films may be of any genre and can be narrative, documentary, or experimental. The fourth film project may be shot on 16mm film or digital video.
      • Allotted shooting time: two days.
      • Editing time: 40-60 hours.
      • Screening time: three to 10 minutes.
    • 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 changing point of view profoundly affects the way the audience interprets any scene. Students will analyze different ways to create a point of view through visual means: POV shot construction, camera placement and the 180 degree rule, shot size, shot constructions (such as over the shoulder construction), in depth and linear staging and blocking, lens choice, and sound design, etc.

      The POV project is designed for students to explore the various techniques directors use to create a character's point of view in a scene. Students create a short two minute scene containing minimal dialogue and no more than two characters with conflicting objectives. The director will create two versions of the script and edit two distinct versions of the scene. Each should visually present the viewer with a clear and distinct point-of-view.
      • Allotted Shooting Time: five hours.
      • Editing Time: one four-hour slot.
      • Screening Time: up to two minutes.
    • Semester One Film The first semester of the filmmaking MFA program concludes with a narrative digital project. This film should build upon the lessons and techniques students have learned in their Acting for Directors classes, production workshops, and the POV film. It should be a performance-driven film with no more than three characters and one or two locations. The "story time" of the film should be limited to minutes or hours, not days, weeks, or years. Students also have the option of producing a documentary film as a digital dialogue film.
      • Allotted shooting time: two days.
      • Editing time: 40-80 hours.
      • Screening time: up to 10 minutes.
    • Year One Film This project is the culmination of the year's 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 have more time allotted for pre-production, production and post-production than in previous projects. All second semester classes assist students to prepare for this project — 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: high definition digital video, 16mm film or 35mm film.
      • Allotted shooting time: five days.
      • Editing time: up to four weeks.
      • Screening time: up to 15 minutes.
    • Advanced Directing Project Each student writes and directs a self-contained short scene from their upcoming thesis film on digital video. Throughout the course of the semester, each student presents their scene in class, using professional actors from the community. Advanced scene work and performance techniques are refined in each class session with the directing instructor. This project allows the students to refine their integration of script analysis and directing actors skills before embarking on their more ambitious thesis projects.
      • Allotted shooting time: one day.
      • Editing time: up to one week.
      • Screening time: up to four minutes./li>
    • Advanced Cinematography Project As part of the class Cinematography III, each student will conceive of a complex shot to be executed on a sound stage using the advanced equipment package that includes the Red Camera, HMI lights, and industry standard dollies from Chapman or Fisher. This project challenges the student to incorporate this equipment into their creative tool kit as they bring their command of lighting, composition, camera movement, and blocking to a higher level. These advanced cinematography projects are conducted on a Universal Studios Sound Stage using complete sets and production design.
      • Allotted shooting time: half a day.
      • Editing time: up to one week.
      • Screening time: up to two minutes.
    • MFA Short Film Thesis Students who choose this option will complete their degree in 76 credits. Students will direct and edit a short film up to 30 minutes in length, and fill essential crew positions on short films directed by their peers.

      The MFA short film thesis is the final capstone project of the MFA program, combining all of the skills learned thus far into a single project of up to 30 minutes in length. These thesis films function as the calling card project for MFA Filmmakers, enabling them to demonstrate their creative vision and professional skills to the world of film festivals and the larger community of the entertainment industry. Filmed using the entire advanced equipment package including Red cameras, HMI lighting and industry standard advanced dollies, these projects have the necessary equipment and longer production period to allow filmmakers to work on both more detailed and nuanced levels, and with a larger scope.
      • Allotted shooting time: 10 days.
      • Editing time: up to eight weeks.
      • Screening time: up to 30 minutes.
    • Optional MFA Feature Thesis Due to the extremely demanding nature of this thesis option, students must pass a rigorous review by faculty before being granted entrance into this additional track in semester three, which will complete their degree in 79 credits. This option requires that students enroll for a fifth semester with an additional tuition payment.

      Students of the filmmaking school’s MFA program admitted to this track will direct and edit a feature length film in a fifth semester of study at the end of the second year, also filling essential crew positions on short form films directed by fellow students.

      Before feature thesis production can begin in the fifth semester,students must achieve specific milestones in semester four in order to maintain active status in the feature film program. If these milestones are not met, students will revert back to the short film thesis track and complete their short thesis in semester five.

      Required milestones students must complete by semester four will include: a clear template of delivery dates for script deadlines, casting calls, production meetings, budget breakdowns, location lockdowns, and a demonstration of financial responsibility to obtain approval to shoot. Students must receive a "green light" before beginning production on their feature thesis films.

      To complete their feature film thesis project, students must perform key crew positions on their classmates' films, including: cinematographer, gaffer, sound recordist, assistant director, and assistant camera.

  • Write a feature length script of 90-120 pages
FILMMAKING MFA: LEARNING GOALS
  • Learn the art and technique of visual storytelling, including directing, cinematography, editing, and postproduction sound design.
  • Learn the fundamentals of digital video production and digital editing.
  • Fundamental training in acting craft and directing actors.
  • Immersion in screenwriting craft.
  • Fundamental training in acting craft and directing actors.
  • Immersion in screenwriting craft.


Course Description

Semester One
Film Aesthetics I
Cinematography I
Editing I
Production Workshop
Screenwriting I
Acting for Directors
Cinema Studies
Semester Two
Film Aesthetics II
Cinematography II
Collaboration Workshop
Editing II
Screenwriting II
Producing I
Semester Three
Intermediate Film Production
Intermediate Film Post-Production
Elements of Feature Screenwriting
Sound Design
Master’s Thesis Development
Semester Four: Thesis Option A
Advanced Directing
Advanced Cinematography
Producing II
Feature Screenwriting I
Screenwriting Short Thesis I
Psychology of Film
Semester Five: Thesis Option A
Directing the Thesis Film
Producing the Thesis Film
Feature Screenwriting II
Screenwriting Short Thesis II
Designing the Thesis Film
Master’s Thesis Production I
Semester Six: Thesis Option A
Master’s Thesis Production II
Thesis Film Post-Production
Feature Screenwriting III
Master’s Professional Development:
Navigating the Industry

Semester Four: Thesis Option B
Advanced Directing
Feature Producing I
Writing the Feature Screenplay I
Feature Scheduling & Budgeting
Pitching, Business Plans &
Television Show Bibles

Business Affairs
Semester Five: Thesis Option B
Advanced Cinematography
Master’s Production Design
Feature Producing II
Writing the Feature Screenplay II
Financial Reporting
Marketing & Distribution Models
Semester Six: Thesis Option B
Directing the Feature
Feature Thesis Development
Feature Logistics & Workflow
Feature Thesis Prep
Semester Seven: Thesis Option B
Feature Thesis Production
Feature Thesis Post
Feature Delivery

SEMESTER ONE

Film Aesthetics I

In this course, students begin to learn the language and craft of film aesthetics from a director's perspective. They learn to integrate several concepts from the arts, the behavioral sciences, and the humanities to achieve maximum psychological impact by studying the director's decisions in camera placement, blocking, staging, and visual image design. This course requires that students challenge themselves not only to become competent directors but also compelling storytellers by utilizing the advanced expressive visual tools to tell their stories. Instructed by directors practiced in the art of visual storytelling, students are exposed to the unique ways that directors stage scenes and choose particular camera angles in creating a sophisticated mise-en-scène.
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Cinematography I

Through intensive in-class exercises, students shoot 16mm film and learn the complexities of film exposure, the psychological effect of focal lengths, and the use of advanced lighting techniques to evoke a story’s mood and tone. As students incorporate dialogue, they also learn the technical nuances of shooting and lighting high definition video on Canon 5D cameras.
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Editing I

Students are taught multiple aesthetic approaches to editing film and video. They learn how to apply concepts such as temporal continuity and spatial continuity, as well as less traditional discontinuous editing techniques to their work. Students study both the nuanced effects of editing on storytelling, and then apply them to their own films. The results allow students to apply the psychological and emotional effects of editing to their overall stories.
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Production Workshop

Production workshop is designed to demystify the craft of filmmaking. Working alongside directing and acting instructors, students apply the complex techniques from class as they articulate the objectives of a given scene. This applies to the use of lenses, lighting, and editing. Students are also taught the critical significance of performance through acting classes, adhering to the philosophy that in order to direct actors, one must understand and experience acting as art and methodology. Students learn how to speak the language of acting, identifying a scene’s emotional "beats" and "character objectives" in order to improve performances.
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Screenwriting I

This course introduces students to the nuanced tools and language used in writing a film project. Students take a story from initial idea, treatment and outline to a rough draft, and finally, a shooting script. The intersection of story structure, theme, character, tension, and conflict is examined through detailed scene analysis. Students intensively workshop their ideas with classmates and instructors, providing constructive criticism while accepting critiques of their own work. Encouraged in the advanced methods of story design through visuals and action, the scripts they write become the basis for all projects in the first semester.
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Acting for Directors

This course adheres to the philosophy that, in order to direct actors, one must understand and experience acting as art and methodology. Directing students will become actors. Students learn how to identify a screenplay’s emotional “beats” and “character objectives” in order to improve their actors’ performances. Students are prepared to not only communicate and collaborate with their actors, but to actualize the best emotional outcome of a scene.
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Cinema Studies

Cinema Studies introduces students to the evolution of the motion picture art form as a visual storytelling medium and the motion picture industry from their inceptions. Students will be given a thorough creative, technological and industrial view of the filmmaking art. Students will be prepared for more advanced academic and production related studies and practice of filmmaking. The approach is historically developmental. Students will understand why a film creatively works or doesn’t work and why. The course considers primarily American film development though the impact of international filmmakers is given due analysis.
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SEMESTER TWO

Film Aesthetics II

This class further explores the aesthetic elements of mise-en-scène: shot choice, composition, setting, point-of-view, action of the picture plane, and movement of the camera. Students practice different approaches to coverage by breaking down scenes from their own scripts, and applying sophisticated visual approaches. This class also takes a comprehensive look at casting from the actors and directors point of view. Students are asked to identify character goals and dramatic beats, and translate this into effective casting and directing choices. Students learn to adjust character objectives through rehearsal of their own scripts. A strong emphasis is put on establishing believable performances. Under the tutelage of their instructors, students submit detailed proposals for their Year One Intermediate films.
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Cinematography II

This class immerses students in the more advanced technical and creative demands of cinematography. Students work with more advanced 16mm cameras before transitioning to the Red Scarlet to continue studying HD cinematography. In addition, students complete the full range of camera formats in the 35mm filmmaking component. This intensive segment of the class is an opportunity for students to see how the wider frame and higher resolution of 35mm affects their shot design, framing, composition, staging, camera movement, lens choice, and lighting.
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Collaboration Workshop

A course designed to further expand upon the etiquette of the film set, students explore the importance of the actor/director relationship required for a successful and professional film shoot. Filmmaking and Acting students come together for a series of audition technique, rehearsal, and screening classes, in addition to a series of full-fledged production exercises.

Students film these production exercise scenes on 16mm film and HD with the guidance and critique of their instructors. These practice scenes are fully pre-produced (storyboarded, cast, scouted, rehearsed and pre-lighted) and planned during elaborate crew meetings prior to the start of each production. Filling all of the necessary crew roles, students spend a full day shooting scenes with a more advanced grip and electric equipment package.
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Editing II

Continuing where Editing 1 left off, students sync and edit with dialogue, and learn more advanced techniques in sound mixing and color correction. Students make creative discoveries as well when they compare the very different versions that are edited from the same material. This necessary training in cutting and re-cutting properly prepares them to undertake the challenge of picture and sound editing their Intermediate Year One Film.
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Screenwriting II

This class is an intensive workshop aimed at developing, writing, and polishing scripts for the students’ Year One Intermediate Films. Students critique each other’s screenplays through table-reads and engage in lively roundtable discussions of each work. In the process, students learn that even the masters rewrite their work many times over while developing sophisticated visual stories on the page.
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Producing I

Producing I leads students through the entire process of pre-production, including scouting and securing of locations, permits, and casting. Students also learn how to make creative choices from the producer’s points of view, identifying target audiences, exploring audience expectations, and crafting realistic budgets for their films. Using script breakdowns, students learn how to plan and keep to a schedule and budget for their Year One Intermediate Film productions.
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SEMESTER THREE

Intermediate Film Production

Students start the third semester with a finished script of up to 15 pages, having fully developed their ideas and prepared the scripts for production. Working with instructors to develop a production schedule, students make final preparations on their film shoots, resulting in a production period that is as intense and demanding as a professional feature film shoot. They continue to meet with instructors in one-on-one advisement sessions to get feedback on their shooting script, casting, storyboards, floor plans, schedules & budgets. Each week during the production period, students come together with their Directing and Producing instructors to debrief on the most recently completed production and greenlight the next production. The greenlight process requires students to present a production notebook to their instructors, who will determine that the student is fully prepared creatively and logistically.
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Intermediate Film Post-Production

After the production period, students build their films in the editing room. They screen rough-cuts of their films for their directing and editing instructors and receive feedback from their peers before presenting their finished films to an invited audience at the end of the semester.
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Elements of Feature Screenwriting

Utilizing lectures, in-class exercises, outside readings, classroom discussions, and film viewings, this course introduces students to the craft of feature screenwriting. Topics will expand upon the short film techniques discussed in Screenwriting I and II, including Classic Screenplay Structure, Developing the Feature Film Character, Character Arcs, Dialogue, Theme, Conflict, Text and Subtext, Tone and Genre, Visualization, Exposition, Resolutions, and Scene Beats. By the conclusion of this course, students will develop a feature film script idea that will be fully realized in the second year of the MFA program.
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Sound Design

As students edit their own films, they learn that good sound improves the overall production value of their films. Receiving instruction in sophisticated sound design topics, students build Sound Effects, integrate Music and Orchestration, add Atmosphere, adding a polished sound mix to their Year One project.
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Master’s Thesis Development

Through roundtable discussions with classmates, under the guidance of writing and directing instructors, students will begin to consider their second year Master’s Thesis projects. As they discuss the various Thesis Options available to MFA students, students will workshop their ideas. By the end of the semester, students will declare to a Thesis Committee which option they plan to pursue in second year: A) Directing a Short Film, B) Directing a Feature Film.
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SEMESTER FOUR: THESIS OPTION A

Advanced Directing

This class is an exploration of art of film style and the process of directing performance. Students study the stylistic choices of great film masters, and then apply the same styles to an assigned scene. In the second half of the class, students are provided with a selection of pre-published texts, including plays, television scripts, and scenes from produced feature length screenplays. They workshop the scenes (both inside and outside of class) with actors from the MFA Acting for Film program and/or local industry professionals, and film them for a final class project.
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Advanced Cinematography

This intensive course expands students' knowledge of cinematography and introduces them to the full capabilities of the Red Epic Camera and complex grip and lighting packages. Students learn sophisticated and mastery of contrast, composition and camera movement, using professional equipment and shooting on a studio soundstage. In class, students will revisit the mise-en-scène project from their first semester, examining their maturity as filmmakers as they once again produce a one-minute scene in one shot, this time using the more advanced knowledge, techniques, and equipment available to them.
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Producing II

Students work on more advanced concepts of scheduling and budgeting, and learn about the nuances of legal contracts, deal memos, and working with guilds and unions. Instructors use case studies to help students hone group problem-solving skills, a film industry must-have. Most notably, as they develop their thesis ideas, they will learn the craft of pitching their project ideas. Students will also meet with a thesis committee twice throughout the semester in the context of this course.
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Feature Screenwriting I

The goal of this workshop is to fully immerse each student in an intensive and focused course of study, providing a solid structure for writing a feature film treatment and first act. Students will learn the craft of writing by gaining an understanding of story, structure, character, conflict, and dialogue. With strict adherence to professional standards and self-discipline, students will draft a feature-length script that will be further developed throughout the second year of the program.
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Screenwriting Short Thesis I

The focus of this class is for the master’s students to begin writing their short thesis scripts. Emphasis is placed on a more advanced understanding of character development and dramatic arcs as students prepare a story with greater depth and nuance.
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Psychology of Film

This course examines various facets of film narrative and filmmaking from a psychological perspective. Through case studies, students learn about the psychology of the filmmaker, and study their own approaches and recurring themes. The psychology of the audience is also explored, in relation to different genres, audience expectations, and viewer responses. Finally, by studying the psychology of the film character, students can enhance the depth of their own developing thesis films by adding layers of meaning to their characters’ behavior.
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SEMESTER FIVE: THESIS OPTION A

Directing the Thesis Film

An intensive examination of the visual style of film, this class helps students assess their directorial approach to their thesis films. Students workshop scenes from their thesis scripts, and prepare a thorough and detailed presentation of their thesis films. Students use these presentations at a thesis committee meeting where their projects will be given a final review by a panel of faculty.
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Producing the Thesis Film

As their thesis scripts are polished and completed, students will apply their knowledge of production management to their projects in an intensive environment. Under the guidance of their producing instructors, students will thoroughly prepare their scripts for production, and perform all of the necessary logistical measures: obtaining permits, securing location releases, hiring crew, and creating budgets and schedules.
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Feature Screenwriting II

The ideas from Feature Screenplay I will be further developed into a full feature draft. Students work with instructors both in class and in consultation to complete the script, continuing to workshop ideas in class with their peers.
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Screenwriting Short Thesis II

Under the guidance of screenwriting instructors, students continue to workshop and polish their scripts through table reads, using rehearsals and scene exercises from other classes to lock their scripts in the weeks leading up to production.
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Designing the Thesis Film

Production design plays an important role in the success of any production, as it provides the audience with the visual clues that establish and enhance the production content. Through lectures and exercises, students use set design and construction, costume design, prop choices, advanced aesthetics of color and shape to create the visual language of their thesis films.
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Master’s Thesis Production I

The final capstone project of the MFA program, the Thesis film combines all of the skills learned thus far into a single project of up to thirty minutes in length. These thesis films function as the calling card project for MFA Filmmakers, enabling them to demonstrate their creative vision and professional skills to the world of film festivals and the larger community of the entertainment industry. These projects have the necessary equipment and longer production period (13 shooting days) to allow filmmakers to work on both a more detailed and nuanced level and with a larger scope. Each project is greenlit by the students’ directing and producing instructors, who evaluate the students creative and business choices as they are presented in each student’s production notebook.

Prior to entering into thesis production, all candidates, regardless of thesis option, must pass a final evaluation by the Thesis Committee and faculty chair, ensuring that all academic requirements and standards for the previous semesters have been achieved.
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SEMESTER SIX: THESIS OPTION A

Master’s Thesis Production II

Every two weeks during the production period, students reconvene with their directing and producing instructors to discuss each production, and prepare for the upcoming projects. Students are required to participate as crew on three thesis projects: one in the semester in which they shoot their own thesis, and two in the other semester.
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Thesis Film Post-Production

It is often said that the edit is the final rewrite of the script and this class helps guide the student through that process. Extensive notes are received from classmates and the directing and editing instructors that must be analyzed and either incorporated, interpreted, or set aside. This process helps students to gain a more objective perspective on their material and edit that "final rewrite" more effectively.
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Feature Screenwriting III

Using the drafts of their feature scripts, students lead table reads with actors and workshop scenes, further refining the idea as it develops into a more fully realized future project. The goal is for students to graduate with a feature script that will accompany their thesis films. Students also learn how to create marketing packages in order to create better fundraising opportunities for their feature.
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Master’s Professional Development: Navigating the Industry

A broad cross-section of the film community is represented in this lecture series, exposing students to multiple avenues for pathways to break into the film industry. Mentors work individually with students to discuss the next step in their careers, and students are presented with a realistic yet hopeful vision of a future in the industry.
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SEMESTER FOUR: THESIS OPTION B

Advanced Directing

This class is an exploration of art of film style and the process of directing performance. Students study the stylistic choices of great film masters, and then apply the same styles to an assigned scene. In the second half of the class, students are provided with a selection of pre-published texts, including plays, television scripts, and scenes from produced feature length screenplays. They workshop the scenes (both inside and outside of class) with actors from the MFA Acting for Film program and/or local industry professionals, and film them for a final class project.
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Feature Producing

Students begin the process of organizing their feature film productions. Students will develop a timeline for putting together their teams, including producers, key crew and casting principal talent. Students will assess crew needs by department, minimum budget levels needed per department to executive the filmmaker’s vision, and will determine the impact of the SAG Agreement on their intended budget range. Students will meet with the Thesis Committee twice during this semester.
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Writing the Feature Screenplay I

In a workshop setting, each student will develop and write the first draft of his or her feature screenplay. Students will learn the craft of screenplay writing by gaining understanding of and putting into practice the elements of structure, story, style, character development, conflict, and dialogue.

Through in-class examples, students are introduced to effective pitching styles and instructed on how pitching skill. Students will develop a brief and effective pitch of the material they choose to pitch at the Producers Pitch Fest. Each student will practice and gain critical and fundamental pitching skills. Through lectures and analysis of case studies, students will learn the critical skills to develop effective feature film business plans and television show bibles. The feature business plan or television-show bible developed in this course will be presented at the Producers Pitch Fest.
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Feature Scheduling & Budgeting

Feature film scheduling and budgeting practices will be introduced and explored in this course. In a hand-on setting, students will be trained on the industry-standard software used by producers and filmmakers, Movie Magic Scheduling and Movie Magic Budgeting. Students will learn to assess scheduling and budgeting factors when reading and analyzing feature scripts.
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Pitching, Business Plans & Television Show Bibles

Through in-class examples, students are introduced to effective pitching styles and instructed on the skill of how to pitch. Students will develop a brief and effective pitch of the material they choose to pitch at the Producers Pitch Fest. Each student will practice and gain critical and fundamental pitching skills. Through lectures and analysis of case studies, students will learn the critical skills to develop effective feature film business plans and television show bibles. The feature business plan or television shows bible developed in this course will be presented at the Producers Pitch Fest.
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Business Affairs

Students analyze and discuss legal topics such as contract negotiations, marketing projects to financiers and distributors, and audience and research testing.
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SEMESTER FIVE: THESIS OPTION B

Advanced Cinematography

This intensive course expands students’ knowledge of cinematography and introduces them to the full capabilities of the RED Epic Dragon Camera and complex grip and lighting packages. Students gain sophisticated mastery of contrast, composition, and camera movement, using professional equipment and shooting on a studio soundstage.
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Master’s Production Design

Production design plays an important role in the success of any production, as it provides the audience with the visual clues that establish and enhance the production content. Through lectures and exercises, students use set design and construction, costume design, prop choices, advanced aesthetics of color and shape to create the visual language of their thesis films.
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Feature Producing II

Students continue to organize their feature film productions and revise as necessary and execute the timeline for hiring their teams, including producers, key crew and cast. They research and explore payroll service options, the most suitable legal entity to form for their productions and insurance policies needed and their costs. Students continue to meet with the Thesis Committee twice during this semester and the remaining semesters.
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Writing the Feature Screenplay II

Students undertake a substantial revision of their first draft screenplays and complete their second drafts. Throughout this course, students will delve deeper into their stories, critically assess their characters’ development and motivations, and identify and find solutions for characters and scenes that are not effective.
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Financial Reporting

This course provides an overview of production budgeting and financial, cost and managerial accounting functions specific to the film industry, with application to other areas of media production, including television. Students analyze techniques and control procedures for accurate preparation and presentation of budgets and financial statements. Topics include budgeting, cost reporting and film accounting terminology.
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Marketing & Distribution Models

In this course, students analyze successful financial, marketing, and distribution models for independent films, focusing on micro-budget models. Marketing strategies, including viral campaigns and other low to no cost methods to development awareness of films will be discussed. Other topics include current and emerging distribution models, film festival strategies, and deliverables to prepare.
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SEMESTER SIX: THESIS OPTION B

Directing the Feature

Through in-class exercises and scene study of numerous classic, popular and obscure yet relevant films, students analyze a wide range of effective directing styles and techniques. Students will each workshop the construction and shot breakdown of one scene from his or her feature film.
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Feature Thesis Development

In this course, students further advance their development and fundraising efforts. Topics include monitoring fundraising milestones and back-up contingency planning.
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Feature Logistics & Workflow

Students finalize production workflow between departments, including handling all pertinent paperwork required or generated during production and cash flow spending, authorization, and reconciliation. On-set and production office protocol will be addressed. Students will schedule and hold a full cast and crew production meeting, including a timed table read, cast and crew introductions, completing final deal memos and general discussion of on-set protocol.
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Feature Thesis Prep

In this course, students finalize their pre-production and green light preparation. Topics include contingency scenarios for last-minute location changes and handling crew or cast scheduling or personality conflicts.
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SEMESTER SEVEN: THESIS OPTION B

Feature Thesis Production

With supervised set visits and daily review of production documents such as call sheets and production reports, students begin and complete principal photography of their feature films. Through weekly check ins during the production period, students debrief and troubleshoot the prior week’s shooting days and work through the upcoming week’s production demands.
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Feature Thesis Post

With supervised editing and post lab visits and regularly scheduled reviews, students begin and complete the postproduction phase of their feature films. Picture editorial, ADR and sound editorial and music scoring sessions will be discussed and analyzed. Through weekly check ins during the post production period, students de-brief and troubleshoot the prior week’s editorial progress and work through the upcoming week’s demands and deadlines. Final picture lock, sound mix, color correction and main and end titles will be reviewed. Two rough cut screenings will be held for the purpose of critical and audience feedback.
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Feature Delivery

Students will prepare the non-visual elements that are required of the producer/filmmaker in a distribution deal. Each student will learn the process of organizing a complete and detailed archive of his or her production for the purpose of delivery along with film to a distributor upon execution of a distribution deal. Topics include errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, final and prior cost reports, a detail of all expenditures including itemized petty cash tallies and receipts, pertinent production documents including all agreements, and the standard methods used to inventory these documents.
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Film Projects

Mise-en-scène
Continuity
The Pursuit/Group Pacing Exercise
Montage
POV
MFA Production Workshops
Semester One Film
Collaboration Production Workshop
Year One Intermediate Film
Thesis Project Option A: Short Film
Thesis Project Option B: Feature Film

Mise-en-scène

Each student will make a short film of fifty seconds to one minute. This project emphasizes how the relationship of the subject to the camera creates drama. Students should tell a story that has a beginning, middle, and end.

Students should pay close attention to their choice of lenses, distances, and angles. Since students will tell their story in only one shot, they should be sure the shots they compose express as much as possible about the characters and their actions. It is also important for students to thoroughly rehearse their films for blocking in order to get the most out of their footage.
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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. It is essential that the audience believe in the reality of the scene. Students write, direct, shoot, edit, and screen a film of up to three minutes.

Students should not shoot without thoroughly pre-planning the following elements: script, storyboard, script breakdown, production schedule, location scouting, and floor plans.
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The Pursuit/Group Pacing Exercise

As a group, students shoot a “pursuit” story told in “real time.” Students use multiple shots to establish a constant flow of action and time out their shots during filming in order to achieve a dynamic sequence. Students should be sure to utilize the basic principles of screen direction, rhythm, time, and space.

This project will be created, designed, and produced as a group as a way to explore pacing through editing.
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Montage

Students choose one short selection of music then plan and shoot this film of up to four minutes with the music in mind. Students use montage-style editing to move the story or idea forward. Students may not use multiple songs on this project or edit the selection of music that they choose.

Montage can be used to great effect in the compression of time and to create visual collisions or unexpected continuations between shots. In the editing room students should cut the images to work in concert with or in counterpoint to the music. Students should experiment with rhythm and pacing.

In addition to storyboards, students may use a still camera for pre-planning their coverage. It can help them in the choice of locations, distances and angles, lighting, and compositions.
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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 create a short scene with minimal dialogue and no more than three characters that have conflicting objectives, while presenting the viewer visually with a clear and distinct point of view.

Through experimenting with eyelines, framing, graphic control (composition and staging), and narrative control (often editing choices), the audience should have a clear understanding of which character’s story the filmmaker is telling. Each student will write, direct, and edit a short POV film of up to five minutes.
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MFA Production Workshops

These instructor-supervised productions occur regularly throughout the program. They are designed to complement and reinforce lessons learned in class. Production workshops may be filmed in the classroom, on location, on a studio backlot, or sound-stage depending on when they occur in the program. In earlier semesters, these exercises help the students learn the basic techniques of visual storytelling that will allow them to effectively express their ideas. Aligned with the curriculum, Production Workshop provides students the opportunity to practice with the tools and techniques they will use on their own film projects.

As their program progresses into later semesters, these hands-on courses challenge students to interpret and apply the cinema theory and practice that they have learned in class to a series of sync-sound production exercises. Students shoot complex dramatic scene 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 projects are expected to be fully pre-produced (storyboarded, cast, scouted, rehearsed, and pre-lit) and executed at a professional level.
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Semester One Film

The Digital Dialogue Film will test a student’s abilities as a director to tell a clear and concise story in three acts, complete with an inciting incident, crisis and climax, and finally a resolution. Students write a script of up to ten pages in length and have up to 10 minutes of screen time to present their stories.
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Collaboration Production Workshop

All students must choose one of the six SSPW Scenes, present a director’s proposal (to the class, as well as a written 1-2 page document), and pitch their approach of the scene to their Directing and Camera instructors. During the pitch, students create excitement for the project by clearly defining their purpose/message, look/style, and logistics (where, when, how). After the pitching is completed, the instructors will green light the best proposals, as well as come up with a production schedule, assign crew positions, and assign cast. All students will be required to either direct, DP, or AD.
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Year One Intermediate Film

This project is the culmination of the filmmaker’s work from the prior three semesters. 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 third and fourth semesters, which are specifically designed to guide students through the preproduction of this project. Detailed production books are prepared and presented, then the students receive a “green light” from the faculty in order to check out for their productions. Each student can choose to shoot this film in one of three formats—high definition digital video, 16mm film, or 35mm film.
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Thesis Project Option A: Short Film

Students direct and edit a short film of up to 30 minutes in length, and fill essential crew positions on short form films directed by fellow students.

The final capstone of the MFA program, this film combines all of the skills learned thus far into a single Thesis Project. These final films function as a calling card for the MFA Filmmakers, enabling them to demonstrate their creative vision and professional skills to the world of film festivals and the larger community of the entertainment industry. Filmed using the entire advanced equipment package that includes RED Epic Dragon cameras, HMI lighting, and industry standard dollies, these projects have the necessary equipment and longer production period to allow filmmakers to work on both a more detailed and nuanced level, and with a larger scope.
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Thesis Project Option B: Feature Film

Students direct and edit a feature-length film in a seventh semester of study at the end of Year Two, and fill essential crew positions on short form films directed by fellow students.

Due to the extremely demanding nature of this thesis option, students must pass a rigorous review by faculty before being granted entrance into this track in semester three. This option requires that students enroll for a seventh semester with an additional tuition payment.

In semester six, students must achieve specific milestones in order to maintain active status in the feature film program. If these milestones are not met, students will revert back to Option A and make a short thesis film in semester six.

These milestones will include a clear template of delivery dates for script deadlines, casting calls, production meetings, budget breakdowns, location lockdowns, and a demonstration of financial responsibility to obtain approval to shoot. Students must receive a “green light” before beginning production on their feature film.
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Dates & Tuition

Fees Per Semester

Tuition: $13,097 (USD) +
Equipment Fee: $1,379 (USD)


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 Los Angeles:
January 2017 - January 2019
May 2017 - May 2019
September 2017 - September 2019
January 2018 - January 2020
May 2018 - May 2020
September 2018 - September 2020

For South Beach Florida:
January 2017 - January 2019
September 2017 - September 2019
January 2018 - January 2020
September 2018 - September 2020



Please note: Dates and Tuition are subject to change

Faculty

Arthur Helterbran Jr. Arthur Helterbran Jr.
Chair of Filmmaking

MFA in Film Directing, California Institute of the Arts; BA in Radio/TV/Film, University of WI-Oshkosh. While teaching Film Directing, Film History, and Acting for Camera at NYFA, Art also is a freelance writer, producer, and director. He has produced commercials that have aired throughout Southern California, and his short films have screened around the country in such Oscar-Qualifying festivals as The Rhode Island International Film Festival, The Nashville Film Festival, and Palm Springs International Short Fest.

Rick​ Curnutt​ Rick​ Curnutt​
Associate Chair of Filmmaking

MFA in Film Directing, Chapman University; BA in Cultural Anthropology, Boston University. Joined Trench Film Group (Beijing) in 1998, and continued on as a cinematographer, editor, and director of various award-winning independent documentaries, films, and music videos over the next seven years in China. His film, Run China won the honor of "Top 10 Documentaries of the Year" at the Chinese National Documentary Society Film Festival in Guangzhou, 2005; and has aired on over 20 Chinese television networks. Directed short films Potty Talk, Alarm, and Free Lunch, which all went on to screen and garner awards at select film festivals around the globe. Free Lunch was also picked up by Franco-German TV Network "Arte" after screening in competition at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France.

Ed Timpe Ed Timpe
Associate Chair of Filmmaking

MFA in Production with a concentration in Cinematography, Chapman University; BS in Kinesiology, Indiana University. Timpe has had his graduate thesis film screened in festivals around the world.

David Newman David Newman
Associate Chair of Filmmaking

BS, Broadcasting/Film, Boston University. Entertainment professional with over a decade of experience writing, producing, and directing television series. Over fifteen years of experience as assistant director. Feature film writer.

Ashley Bank Ashley Bank
Producing

Ashley Bank has been working in the entertainment industry for virtually her entire life. She's worked as an actress, stand-up comedian, producer, and writer. As an actress Ashley has appeared in over 40 commercials, and has guest stared on TV shows like Family Ties, My Two Dads, Frasier, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She's also appeared in numerous TV Movies, working with greats like Henry Winkler, Dolly Parton, and Raquel Welch, as well as the feature film The Monster Squad. She also worked as a producer for CBS News/48 Hours, and later for CBS News' documentary department, working on documentaries for The History Channel, The Food Network, A&E, Discovery, and ESPN. She is a graduate of New York University, with a BA in Film, Journalism, & Political Science. She is also a graduate of The Second City Conservatory.

Carl Bartels Carl Bartels
Camera

A working cinematographer since 1996, Carl is credited with dozens of feature films and several award-winning documentaries. Originally from Massachusetts, Carl is now based in Los Angeles. He has shot numerous shows for Discovery and A&E, and directed several episodes. His most recent credits include Greedy, Lying Bastards, a documentary produced by Daryl Hannah, and Taken 3 starring Liam Neeson and Forrest Whittaker, on which he shot “A” Camera (he is credited on the entire Taken series of films).

Sanora Bartels Sanora Bartels
Screenwriting

Producer for several feature documentaries including Michael & Me and Taking the Hill: A Warrior’s Journey, a documentary about PTSD. Most recently, she was the Field Producer for the documentary Greedy, Lying Bastards, executive produced by Daryl Hannah. She has worked as an Assistant Director on shows for Discovery and NatGeo Channel.

Leslie Bates Leslie Bates
Producing

Leslie Bates has an undergraduate degree in Marketing and English Literature from San Diego State University, and a JD from Lincoln Law School. After a stint in Turkey as a contracts attorney, Leslie returned to America to complete an MFA in Screenwriting at the American Film Institute. She has written and produced the dramatic feature, Broken Angel and the documentary, Cesar Chavez, as well as producing countless short films, commercials and live theater. Her other credits include producer of the Istanbul National Ballet production, Agir Roman (East Side Story), at the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood.

Edward Beckford Edward Beckford
Producing

Started career as child actor in such shows as PBS's television show, Vegetable Soup - “A Boy and His Boa Nigel.” Other TV shows include, West Wing, Homicide: Life on the Street, The Hack, The District, and The Corner. Films include Enemy of the State, The Replacements, Dick, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and Tom Clancy’s NetForce. In addition: 20 plus years of technical and creative experience as a 1st Assistant Director and 2nd Unit Director. Worked with Producer - Roger Corman, Cinematographer - Tak Fujimoto and Director - Bill Duke to name a few.

Joseph Bonier Joseph Bonier
Sound

An active Sound Mixer and Sound Designer, Joseph graduated with a BA from the University of Maryland. Joseph also has a degree for Recording Engineering from the Recording Connection. He has worked as Boom Operator and Sound Mixer for numerous features, TV shows and shorts. He also worked as an Engineer at Avalon studios in Washington DC and Matrax productions in Philadelphia, PA.

John Briscoe John Briscoe
Editing

Editor of multiple commercials broadcast both in Western Pennsylvania as well as Los Angeles. Worked as a freelance contractor on various independent films, webisodes and commercials. Editor of an 8-episode “war time” style documentary independently and aired locally in Los Angeles. Director, Producer and Editor of various segments airing on Pennsylvania television including a commercial for Hyundai, as well as various local food establishments and businesses.

Leslie Bumgarner Leslie Bumgarner

MFA in Cinematography, The American Film Institute Conservatory; BS in Radio/TV/FILM, The University of Texas at Austin. Leslie began working as a cinematographer in Houston for CBS shooting featured documentaries, commercials, and other television programming. Her short film "Surprise" screened at Outfest 2014 and competed at the Iris Prize in Cardiff, Wales. The film has screened in over 8 countries at the largest LGBT festivals in the world. Her domestic network credits include: CBS, MTV, DISC, HIS, and PBS.

Joe Burke Joe Burke
Directing

Joe Burke’s debut feature film, Four Dogs, world premiered to great reviews at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2013. He’s directed such shows as Newsreaders on Adult Swim and FOX Digital’s half-hour comedy, Bad Samaritans, along with having written/directed several award-winning short films. Joe has spent plenty of time on the other side of the camera as well, acting on screen in movies, commercials, and television, including the critically acclaimed Showtime show, Ray Donovan. Joe earned his MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute, and his BA in Film/Minor in Theater from Columbia College Chicago. He is a member of both the DGA and SAG-AFTRA.

Denise Carlson Denise Carlson
Producing

Denise Carlson is a producer and development executive with twenty years of experience in the entertainment industry. She was at Disney Channel for 9 years as the Director of Original Movies, responsible for overseeing the development and production of 47 television movies, including the megahit High School Musical, as well as other highly successful films such as Wendy Wu and The Cheetah Girls movies. She is on the board of the LA Femme film festival, which is dedicated to presenting films that are made by and about women. She has a BFA from Rollins College and a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology from Ryokan College.

Neil Casey Neil Casey
Cinematography

Los Angeles based cinematographer whose body of work includes feature films, short films, and documentaries.

Lydia Cedrone Lydia Cedrone
Producing

MBA, New York University Stern School of Business; BA in Economics, Boston College. Oversaw company operations for Michael Mann, and production operations for Ali. At The Walt Disney Co., Trimark Pictures, and Savoy Pictures, managed production spending on over two-dozen studio films. Developed and produced two feature films, including the 2009 MGM film The Betrayed.

Susana Casares LA Filmmaking Faculty Susana Cesares
Directing

MFA in Film Directing and Production, University of California Los Angeles; BA in Fine Arts, University of Barcelona. Winner of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' prestigious College Television Award in Drama, her narrative and documentary work has been shown in festivals such as Berlinale and the New York Film Festival at the Lincoln Center. Susana has received the support of the Tribeca Film Institute, Film Independent, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. She was showcased in Variety's 2013 Cannes edition as one of the 10 Spanish talents to watch.

Nathan Chitayat Nathan Chitayat
Screenwriting

Wrote and directed short films earning two Motion Picture Association of America Awards, the Edie and Lew Wasserman Filmmaker’s Fellowship, and the Joseph W. Drown Award for Motion Picture Production. Short film, "Old Grace", was selected by more than 20 festivals, nationwide, as well as winning various awards. "Subbing 4 Julia", won Best Script at UCLA’s annual festival and was selected for a special program by a Blue Ribbon Panel including such names as Alexander Payne (Sideways), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), and producer Mark London (The Visitor). Writes, edits, and directs webisodes. Writes and teaches all facets of film at the undergraduate and graduate level at UCLA, New York Film Academy, and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

Jay Cipriani Jay Cipriani
Writing

MFA in Film Production, USC School of Cinematic Arts; BA in English, Creative Writing, West Virginia University; NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Film Production. Jay started his career in story development for Barry Levinson, Paula Weinstein, and Len Amato, then with writer/director Ted Griffin. He sold a story to Lions Gate, wrote A Golden Christmas and its subsequent sequels for ION TV and worked on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, as well as a number of other features.

James Coburn James Coburn
Sound

James H. Coburn IV, C.A.S., has been working professionally in Production Sound for over twenty years, mixing such independent features as Free Enterprise (1998) with Eric McCormack and William Shatner, All’s Faire in Love (2009) with Christina Ricci and Ann Margret, and most recently The Bronx Bull (2013) with William Forsythe and Joe Mantegna. His television work includes the series Black Scorpion produced by Roger Corman, and the reality show Guru2Go or Discovery Networks channel Health TV. He served on the Board of the Cinema Audio Society for seven years, and was instrumental in creating the CAS Technical Achievement Awards honoring innovation in the equipment and software used by production and post-production sound mixers. Before moving to NYFA, from 2008-2015 James shared his enthusiasm for sound with students at LAFS. He teaches the fundamentals of production audio—utility sound, booming, recording & mixing—emphasizing capturing performance, and the importance of production sound in enhancing and supporting the Director’s artistic vision. James lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

Glenn Cote Glenn Cote

BA and MFA in Film & Video Production, USC School of Cinematic Arts. Cote began his career in the feature post-production department at Warner Bros. He has been active in recent years as an editor, producer, and VFX supervisor/producer on numerous major studio and indie feature films—including Orphan (2009), The Losers (2010), Green Lantern (2011), and Bullet to the Head (2012). He is a member of the Motion Picture Editor's Guild (MPEG), Visual Effects Society (VES), and the Producer's Guild of America (PGA).

Rick Dahl Rick Dahl
Writing

BA in English, Rutgers College. First feature screenplay Red Rock West was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Has written for both TV and feature film for John Woo, Andy Tennant and George Tillman.

Beth DeAraujo Beth DeAraujo
Writing

Beth DeAraujo has an MFA from The American Film Institute in Screenwriting and a BFA from UC Berkeley in Sociology. She has been published in Gawker Magazine and uses asthma as her excuse for not exercising.

Kim Delgado Kim Delgado

Equity theater apprentice and at age 16 went on tour with Trinity Sq. Repertory's award-winning play Brother to Dragons. Acted in PBS special, "Great Performances: Brother to Dragons" (1975), directed by Adrian Hall. Starred with Lee Strasberg in the feature film Boardwalk (1979). Honed his craft working in off-Broadway productions in New York City at the Round About Theater, Circle in the Square, and Joseph Papp's theater in Central Park. Worked on hit show, Hunting Cockroaches, starring with Malcolm McDowell and Swoosie Kurtz. Other feature work includes, Life As A House, Kindergarten Cop, Patriot Games, Eddie, Good Burger, Arizona Seaside, Hard Four, 2:13, Die Hard: With A Vengeance and The Rune Stone. 200 Guest and Co-star roles in episodic, mini-series and MOW’S. Landed a series regular role, playing a good-natured overbearing father, in the iconic FOX television series Big Bad Beetleborgs. Other work includes: Soul Man, Anger Management, Southland, The Millers, The Fosters, Eli Stone, Friends, CSI, Brothers and Sisters, Rules Of Engagement, iCarly, 90210, Desperate House Wives, Grays Anatomy, Dexter, NYPD Blue, and Boston Legal. Also worked as a casting team member for commercials, writer and producer for Radio and Television commercials as well as screen and television scripts. Sold screen project Taken in Broad Day Light to Lifetime which became an international hit becoming “the third highest rated movie in Lifetime Network History and was sold to over 100 hundred countries internationally”. Writer, producer and director of the reality pilot Battling Garages/RAW, and the horror short “Purgatory.” Currently has two pilots and five features, either optioned, in production or in development with production starting in 2016 on Ramp Rats, based on the 1989 true story of the close of Eastern Airlines and arrest of 63 airline employees. Recently hired to write the pilot reboot for the new Streets of San Francisco. Studied with Sandra Seacat, Ernie Martin, John Lithgow, and Lee Strasberg.

Michael DeMeritt Michael DeMeritt

Michael DeMeritt has produced, written and served as Assistant Director (DGA) on every form of production. His AD Credits include long runs in episodic television (Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, Close to Home, Make It or Break It), New Media (Sin City Saints) and Commercials. His Producing Writer efforts include many award winning regional and National Commercials (Life is Beautiful Campaign, Copperfit Campaign), reality series (Gen’s Guiltless Gourmet, The Real Trophy Wives), feature and short films (“The Moneymaker”) and New Media series (Biffle & Shooster).

William Dickerson William Dickerson
Director's Craft

MFA in Directing, American Film Institute; BA in English, College of the Holy Cross. William is an award-winning filmmaker and author. His debut feature film Detour, which he wrote and directed, was released Theatrically and On Demand through Gravitas Ventures and Warner Brothers Digital Distribution. His metafictional satire, The Mirror, opened YoFi Fest's inaugural film festival in 2013, and he recently completed his third feature film, Don't Look Back, for MarVista Entertainment. His award-winning films have been recognized by film festivals across the country. His AFI Thesis Film, "Shadowbox," won Best Short at the Shockfest Film Festival in Hollywood. He just completed his 2nd book, an insider's guide to directing microbudget films called, "DETOUR: Hollywood - How To Direct a Microbudget Film (or any film, for that matter)."

Kevin DiNovis Kevin DiNovis
Writing

Kevin DiNovis studied dramatic craft with Pulitzer Prize winning absurdist playwright Edward Albee. His first feature film, Surrender Dorothy (1998), won multiple awards, including the Grand Jury prize for Best Feature at the Slamdance, Chicago Underground, and New York Underground Film Festivals. Hand-picked by critic Roger Ebert as one of only ten films to inaugurate his Overlooked Film Festival, Surrender Dorothy is currently distributed by TLA Releasing; the DVD version was praised as one of the "Best Releases of 2000" by the Internet Movie Data Base.

Tyrone Dixon Tyrone Dixon
Producing

Tyrone Dixon (filmmaker, media psychologist, educator) is presently a PhD candidate in Media Psychology and continues to develop and produce documentary and feature films. After completing undergraduate work at Texas Southern University, Tyrone was accepted at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles California. In his spare time he also managed to garner work on Hollywood studio projects like How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Players Club, and Boogie Nights working in production, art direction and financial management. Tyrone’s debut films, the documentary 8 Wheels and Some Soul Brotha Music, were the inspiration for the Fox feature film ROLL BOUNCE, starring Bow-Wow and Nick Cannon. 8 Wheels went on to win multiple film festival awards prior to its release in 2005.

Jeannie Donohoe Jeannie Donohoe
Directing

Writer, Director, Editor of short films, "Lambing Season", "Bienvenue", "Public" (Winner of Palm Springs International Shortfest; L.A. Outfest); Producer at Strategic Productions and of various award winning shorts.

Bill Duke Bill Duke

Bill Duke's acting and directing credits are extensive. His feature credits include Deep Cover, Predator, Menace II Society, Hoodlum, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Get Rich or Die Trying, ​and Not Easily Broken​, to name a few. His television work includes such ground-breaking series as Falcon Crest, Fame, Hill Street Blues, Knots Landing, Dallas, and New York Undercover​. He has recently completed production on Blexicans​, a new television pilot that takes a comedic look at a mixed race family. His documentaries, Dark Girls and Light Girls, both NAACP Image Award nominees​, aired on OWN and were two of the most successful documentaries on the network.

Bill Duke's invaluable contributions to the industry have been recognized by both his peers and the entertainment community. Bill was appointed by former President Bill Clinton to the National Endowment for the Humanities​, and to the Board of the California State Film Commission ​by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He has been honored by the Directors Guild of America ​with a Lifetime Achievement Tribute​.

Duke Media Entertainment​ is dedicated to bringing quality edutainment to audiences around the globe. Duke Media has successfully produced critically acclaimed film and television content for more than 30 years​. Additionally, Duke Media is in process of expanding the brand to involve itself in the development of new media technologies​, i.e. cellphone apps, games, and virtual world experiences.

Bill's humanitarian efforts are equally important. He devotes his time to charity and not-for-profit organizations that enhance our human experience. He is on the Board of Directors of Educating Young Minds ​and recently established the Duke Media Foundation​, which has joined forces with the New York Film Academy, to teach media arts and financial literacy to underserved youth.

Gareth Dunnet Gareth Dunnet
Directing

Gareth was born in Queretaro, Mexico. He holds an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute. He has directed commercials and short films, and his work has been shown at the Tribeca Film Festival as well as other festivals around the world.

Joshua Eiserike Joshua Eiserike

Josh is a writer/cartoonist who has written for the HUB animated series G.I. Joe: Renegades and MAD Magazine. Coming from the indie comics world, Josh’s first comic book Class of ‘99 won an Ignatz award (the Independent Spirit Award of comics) and his subsequent graphic novel Anyone But Virginia is currently distributed by Alterna Comics. Josh holds an MA in journalism from the University of Missouri and an MFA in film production from USC.

Sean Fau-Burnitz Sean Fau-Burnitz
Camera & Sound

Sean Fau-Burrnitz has been working with film and video for over 20 years, shooting, editing, writing, and directing, narrative, documentary, reality, and live events. Former CEO of video production company, specializing in live multi-cam sporting events recording and DVD distribution. Sean is currently a Hollywood-based freelance Cinematographer and Sound Mixer, and teaches both cinematography and on set sound recording in multiple departments at New York Film Academy.

Adam Finer Adam Finer
Marketing and Entrepneurship, New Media, Emerging Formats

BS, University of Phoenix. Served as Director of Market Research at Universal Pictures. Co-founder of Arpil Entertainment, a literary management and production company. Consults individuals in career planning, as well as working with content creators, writers, directors, producers, and studio executives to design marketing plans, and business and branding strategies.

Lance Fisher Lance Fisher
Cinematography

Lance Fisher started in the camera departments of the major studios as a 2nd Camera Assistant, and has worked on countless feature and TV productions ever since. The tremendous paradigm shift into digital cameras has been swift and sometimes unpredictable, and Lance has surfed the wave. He was operating camera on the TV series The Dead Zone when they made the transition from 35mm film to 2/3" Digital Capture, state-of-the-art at the time; one of the first episodic productions to commit to this new technology. While teaching at NYFA, Lance embraces these new methods, while delivering what he terms 'a film-ethic' that is vital to a student's professional growth. A fun highlight of Lance's broad career is that Lance had the privilege of operating what might be the very last complete project filmed in the original Cinema 3-Panel Process, In the Picture, 2012. Lance is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild in the US and Canada and also The Society of Camera Operators. He operates on many shows and is also a DP. When he is not at NYFA, look up in the sky, because Lance is also a commercial helicopter pilot.

Nina Franoszek Nina Franoszek
Acting for Directors

Nina Franoszek is an award-winning actor and accomplished film and theater director. She performed in over 100 feature films and television shows, including Roman Polanski's "The Pianist" and the Emmy Award winning show "Mad Men". She co-starred with Tilda Swinton in "The Party: Nature Morte" and Donald Sutherland and Geraldine Chaplin in "Buster's Bedroom". Currently she can be seen on HBO's show "The Brink" opposite Tim Robbins and Jack Black. Her awards include a Grimme Prize for best leading actress in a TV series and a German Screen Actors Award for best Ensemble in 2014.

Franoszek is also a motion capture performer and voice talent and plays the antagonist Frau Engel in the Inglourious Basterds-esque Game of "Wolfenstein: The New Order". She is a member of SAG-AFTRA, Germany's Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Germany's Directors Guild (2007-2013) and served as a juror for the international Emmy Awards (2007 -2015). She received an MFA in Performing Arts from the University of Theater Music and Media Hannover, Germany, and continued training for more than 15 years at the Actors Studio West (under the artistic direction of Mark Rydell and Martin Landau).

Richard Friedman Richard Friedman

Richard Friedman is a director, writer, and producer of motion pictures, television movies, episodic TV, network specials, and music videos. He has over 25 years experience in directing and producing film and TV, including Independent Feature Films, Television movies, Episodic Television Series, Reality TV, and Music Videos.

As a television Director, Richard has helmed numerous movies for TV and is a veteran of over 35 episodes of network and syndicated TV series, having directed Warner Bros.’ Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Baywatch Nights, Silk Stalkings, and Friday the 13th. As an Instructor, Richard has taught for the last 14 years at the Directing Certificate Program at UCLA Extension and was the recipient of the UCLA Extension Department of the Arts Instructor of the Year Award.

Kelly Gardner Kelly Gardner

Kelly Gardner is a filmmaker with a background in theater, television, and film. After obtaining a B.A. in Dramatic Art from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1999, Kelly moved to Washington D.C. where he enjoyed a successful career as a stage actor while simultaneously directing educational outreach programs for the The Arena Stage, The United States Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institute, and countless schools and non-profit organizations. In 2006 he decided to pursue an MFA degree in film directing from the California Institute of Art. In 2009 his cinematography on the film "The Seawall" was honored with acceptance into the acclaimed Cannes film festival. He is currently serving as the Director of Community Outreach for the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.

Lee Gordon Lee Gordon
Screenwriting

Award-winning screenwriter and development consultant. Numerous credits including field producer on the Oscar winning documentary, "Undefeated".

Rick Greenwood Rick Greenwood
Camera

Richard Greenwood Jr. is a cinematographer and producer, known for Hunger Games: Tribute Johanna (2013), Hinnon Valley (2010) and 4 Dead Girls: The Soul Taker (2012).

Yoojung Han Yoojung Han

Yoojung Han is a Korean-born Production Designer in Hollywood and President of Bontte, Inc. She has worked on over 50 movies, TV shows and commercials in Hollywood as a Production Designer and Art Director. In 2010, she debuted as an author with her book Run Before Dreams, Confidence Before Challenges. In 2012, Yoojung’s designed the facilities and orchestrated content for the new Hallyu Center in Los Angeles in the heart of Hollywood. Her next book was released in Spring 2014 and draws upon her life’s experiences and that of other Hollywood veterans with the goal of helping young Koreans to communicate with a deep understanding of the entertainment industry.

Sharri Hefner Sharri Hefner
BFA Screenwriting Short Thesis, Thesis Writing Workshop

Award-winning Southern California-based writer, producer, and story consultant.  Received her MFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Long Beach.

Abe Heisler Abraham Heisler
Directing

Abraham Heisler is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has developed an international following. He has directed several short film projects with progressive thought leaders such as Marianne Williamson, Alice Walker, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Noam Chomsky, and Paul Hawken.

Travis John Hoffman Travis John Hoffman
Cinematography, Photography

Travis attended the MFA program in Photographic Theory at the Brooks Institute of Photography. Since then Travis has had the opportunity to lens such artist as Jennifer Lopez, Neyo, Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, David Guetta, Bret Michaels, Ice Cube, Diana Krull, Katrina Bowden, and Malcolm Goodwin. His client list includes NBC, NIKE, A&E, History Channel, EMI Music, and Universal Music Group.

David Jackson David Jackson
Directing

Masters Program, Film Production, USC School of Cinematic Arts; President’s Fellow, Film Production, Rhode Island School of Design; BA, General Studies, University of Kentucky. Director of over 100 prime time episodic television shows including CSI:NY, Supernatural, and Vampire Diaries. In addition, David has directed 20+ TV movies and independent features. He is a member of the DGA and WGA, having won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for best TV drama (The Equalizer), and a DGA nomination for best Children’s Program (Buffalo Dreams) for Disney Channel.

Kenneth Johnson Kenneth Johnson
Special Lectures

Writer, Director, Producer. Creator of V, The Incredible Hulk, Alien Nation, The Bionic Woman, and other Emmy Award-winning shows. Director of numerous TV movies and feature films, including Short Circuit 2 and Steel. Winner of the prestigious Viewers for Quality Television Award, multiple Saturn Awards, and The Sci-Fi Universe Life Achievement Award.

Matt Kohnen Matt Kohnen
Digital Camera & Lighting, Directing for Cinematographers, 16mm Cinematography

MFA in Film Production, USC; BA in Theatre/Playwriting, University of California, Irvine. Director and writer of feature film Wasting Away, winner of awards at 6 festivals worldwide. Director of multiple short films with Academy Award-winning producer Rob Fried.

Igor Kovacevich Igor Kovacevich
MFA Producing 1 & 2

MFA in Film Directing/Producing, Ohio University School of Film. Produced Downloading Nancy, starring Maria Bello and Jason Patric, which premiered at Sundance. Bello was nominated for Best Female Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards in March 2010. Worked at Focus Features/Universal in feature acquisitions and development.

Jeff Kushner Jeff Kushner

Jeff Kushner was the overseeing supervisor of Post-Production for the independent New York film company The Shooting Gallery, where he supervised and facilitated the Post-Production needs for all their films from 1994 through 1998. He supervised sound and/or edited picture on several of their features, most notably Billy Bob Thornton’s Oscar winning Sling Blade, Amos Poe’s Frogs For Snakes, and Dee Snider’s Strangeland. His career continued after his move to Hollywood with credits that include Drowning Mona, Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, Unfaithful, Mystery Men, High Crimes, Behind Enemy Lines, Cats and Dogs, Agent Cody Banks, and extended television work including House MD, and various Law & Order series.

Paz Leon New York Film Academy LA Filmmaking Faculty Paz Leon
Acting, Directing

MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute. BFA in Film Studies and Modern Literature from Université Louis Loumiere, Lyon, France.

Mark Lester Mark Lester
Directing

Director, writer, and producer Mark L. Lester has created high-action films throughout his career, including some of the world's biggest box office draws. His directorial expertise has garnered praise for such films as Arnold Schwarzenegger's box-office mega-hit Commando (1985), Stephen King's supernatural thriller Firestarter (1984) with Drew Barrymore and Martin Sheen, Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991) starring Dolph Lundgren and the late Brandon Lee in his first major role, and two frighteningly prophetic films about the state of society: Class of 1984 (1982) with Michael J. Fox in his first film role and the sequel, Class of 1999 (1989). In addition to receiving international critical acclaim, Lester's films are box-office hits. Commando was an international success story, grossing over $120 million, and Class of 1984 was a #1 U.S. box-office draw and became the top-grossing film in many major markets around the world. For more than 20 years, Mark L. Lester has overseen the development and distribution of over 100 films at American World Pictures. He founded Titan Global Entertainment in 2012 to continue producing and directing quality features for many years to come.

Rebecca Louisell Rebecca Louisell
Producing

Rebecca Louisell graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in Studio Art (photography, mixed media) and an M.F.A. in Production from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts (USC). While at USC, she was awarded several scholarships and a College Television Award for her producing and directing work. Moving between indie narrative, documentary and new media projects, Louisell has served as Associate Producer on Limited Partnership: a documentary about love, marriage and deportation which was awarded the IDA Humanitarias Documentary Award 2014 and showed on PBS' Independent Lens, and You See Me, which screened at Dances With Films and Docutah Film Festivals. She is Producer-Director on an upcoming web series, LA Picker.

Alison Marek Alison Marek
Directing

2013 Gold Aurora for "An Ordinary Day" PSA for Santa Monica OEM; Director for "An Ordinary Day" and "I Want to Be."

Heather Mathews Heather Mathews
Editing

Worked with such Hollywood notables as David Fincher, Tony Scott, Wong Kar-wai, Alejandro Gonzales Iñárritu and John Frankenheimer in various aspects of the Hollywood machine. Edited and produced the award winning short "Miss This At Your Peril" and edited the Sundance premiere "Spoonful." Edited countless narrative and documentary short films and a number of music videos and commercials. Currently in the final stages of editing the feature length documentary Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America, already on the festival circuit.

Greg Marcks Greg Marcks
Screenwriting

Film Director of the acclaimed indie film 11:14 released by New Line Cinema and Roxie Releasing, starring Hilary Swank & Patrick Swayze. President of Ideology Pictures, writer for Summit Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television, also writer for DreamWorks Pictures and Lions Gate Films. Most recently directed Echelon Conspiracy, with a budget of $12 million and released by Paramount.

Shane McCarthy Shane McCarthy
Directing

MFA in Film Directing, Chapman University; BA in Finance, Sacred Heart University. Award-winning writer/director with work in short films, feature films and commercials.

Gil McDonald Gil McDonald
Feature Screenwriting

MFA in Screenwriting, American Film Institute; BA in Radio/TV/Film Production, Minor in Psychology, Howard University. Award-winning writer, producer, and director on "Motel Paradise," a short film selected and screened at the prestigious AFI Theatre.

Suki Mendecevic Suki Medencevic
Camera

MFA in Cinematography, National Film School, Prague: BA, National Film School for Dramatic Arts, Belgrade. He has shot 15 feature length films and television projects, and numerous commercials and documentaries. In 2010, Suki became a member of American Cinematographers Society.

Thomas Mignone Thomas Mignone
Directing

BSEE Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Directed and wrote narrative feature film On The Doll selected to screen at Cinequest Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Avignon Film Festival, Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival and Oldenburg International Film Festival; Director credits include winning first ever MTV M2 Video Music Award for Sony Entertainment Recording Artist Mudvayne's "Dig"; Kerrang's Video Of The Year Award for Sepultura’s "Roots"; Grammy Nomination for Slipknot's "Wait & Bleed"; Museum Of Technology and Innovation Award Advertising and Branding Campaign Award recipient. Spotlight Award recipient for The American Red Cross marketing campaign.

Michel Moon Michel Moon
Camera

BFA in Theatre Studies from York University; graduated best producer of his year at the Toronto Film School. Over ten years production experience in almost every department. Directed, acted in, produced, and photographed award-winning films in a half dozen countries.

Robert Moreland Robert Moreland
Screenwriting

Producer, development exec, and screenwriter. Part of the small team that optioned Bill Steig's kids' book Shrek, developed it, and sold the project to DreamWorks. Sold his original comedy Pink Slip to DreamWorks and adapted Tony DiTerlizzi's book Ted for Nickelodeon/Paramount. Co-created the pilot Thunderpig for Nick as well. Wrote several animated features including Space Chimps (Fox) and Happily Never After (Lions Gate). Also a writer on the upcoming animated series "Muertoons" for WV Entertainment; two animated features in production, one from the producer of "Shrek", and the other being directed by Academy Award nominee Mike Johnson. Wrote the ABC TV movie "Ground Control" starring Keifer Sutherland, and he won a Gold Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival for his work as an Associate Producer on the nationally-aired American Playhouse TV special "Imagining America". Teamed with best-selling kids book author Keith Graves to form their own animation studio, which successfully kick started its first series, "The Beef Sumo Show", featuring a dream team of animation talent. Worked with "Shrek" producer John H. Williams as a development exec, producer, and screenwriter for over 20 years.

Steven Morrison Steven Morrison
Writing

MFA in Screenwriting, Chapman University; BA in Geography, Minor in Ethnomusicology, UC Santa Barbara. Dodge College Fellow. Multiple produced shorts and award winning screenwriter. Currently co-writing/producing the feature, Nothing Like the Sun. California state teaching credential; taught primary and secondary grades.

Steve Morris Steve Morris
Directing, Editing

In addition to writing the independent feature Stonebrook, Steve worked on the set, learning his way around each department from cameras and sound. In 2000, Steve began production on one of the world’s first online web series, Siren. Siren was viewed by hundred’s of thousands of fans and inspired an interactive sequel, Operation: Siren, which premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. His partnership with Mike Hoover, resulted in the 2006 CBS documentary Shark: Mind of a Demon starring Fabien Cousteau as well as the ambitious, 2011 documentary Great White Shark: Beyond the Cage of Fear for the National Geographic Chanel which Steve Wrote, Directed, Edited and Narrated. In 2008, Steve began producing, writing, directing and editing The Assistants, a Hollywood caper movie starring Joe Mantegna, Jane Seymour, and Stacy Keach. The Assistants won the Audience Award for best feature at the Vail Film Festival and was released theatrically in 2010. Steve has a BA from UC Berkley with degrees in both Political Science and Theater as well as an MFA from USC’s school of Cinema and Television.

Adam Nimoy Adam Nimoy
Thesis Film Post Production, Advanced Approaches to Directing

JD, Loyola Law School; BS, UC Berkeley. Director of one-hour single camera television, including The Practice, Ally McBeal, NYPD Blue, and Gilmore Girls.

Matteo Nurizo Matteo Nurizo
Editing

Master of Science in Industrial Design and Fashion Management at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Director and Editor of Style In Frames. Client: Comune di Milano. Founder of King Milano, a Graphic-Video-Audio company. Worked at Lillisimone as a graphic and video artist. Clients: Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Tissot, Panerai, Opel. As freelance videographer and editor, clients: BM Factory, Banque PSA Finance, Castiglioni. Editor for various short indie films. Avid Certified Instructor since 2013.

Jules Nurrish Jules Nurrish

British-born filmmaker Jules Nurrish is a screenwriter and film director based in Los Angeles. A graduate of the Masters program in Directing at the UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television, she has directed several short films and music videos, including her short film “Bend It”, an official selection of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.. A twice recipient of the BAFTA Los Angeles Peter Henton Memorial Award, Jules earned the Jack Nicholson Distinguished Director Award, the George Burns & Gracie Allen Fellowship in Comedy, the BAFTA Los Angeles Fellowship and the Lynn Weston Fellowship in Film during her tenure at UCLA. In 2011, she was selected as a Fellow for the Outfest Screenwriters Lab with her comedy feature script, Headliners, and is currently in development on several feature films.

Kim Ogletree Kim Ogletree
Producing

Kimberly joined the BET family as Supervising Producer for Development and Special Projects where she produced several syndicated television shows and specials, BET’s 15th Anniversary and “The Walk of Fame” featuring Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Babyface among others. Her other producing credits include the BET Arabesque films, Rendevous, A Private Affair, Midnight Blue, and Rhapsody starring LisaRaye; Hair Show starring Oscar Recipient, Monique; Playas Ball starring Allen Payne of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne; CuJn’ Da Mustard starring Brandon T. Jackson which won the 2007 Pan African Film Festival. Choice Award; the MTV Original Movie, Love Song, directed by Julie Dash; Ashes which won the 2010 Best Horror Film at Shriekfest; and Hellraiser: Revelations for Dimension Films. Most recently, Kimberly produced the faith-based film A Beautiful Soul.

Nick Ozeki Nick Ozeki
Camera

MFA in Filmmaking, Chapman University; BA in English, Amherst College. Wrote and directed an award-winning feature film out of graduate school that was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. He is also a part of the prestigious Fox Writer's Initiative, aimed at developing and writing original content for their networks.

Jim Pasternak Jim Pasternak
Directing

Jim Pasternak is a directing instructor with over 40 years of teaching experience. He has designed programs and taught at some of the best film schools in the U.S. He travels the world empowering people to produce and direct movies. Two of his directors have won Oscars. Jim’s directing, producing, and writing credits include features, shorts, theater, and television. A directing fellow at the Sundance Institute, Jim began his career as assistant to Otto Preminger and as a producer on the Emmy-Award winning ABC documentary series, The Saga Of Western Man. He holds a Masters Degree in Film from UCLA.

Huch Platt Huch Platt
Sound

Avid Pro Tools HD Certified Instructor, Owner Majestic Sound Studios, Foley Mixer, Dialog Editor Flags for Our Fathers, Dialog Editor Black Dawn and Stranger by Me. Huch has dedicated his life to teaching the art and craft of Film Sound and helping new filmmakers achieve amazing Sound Design.

David Radcliff David Radcliff
Writing

MFA in Screenwriting, UCLA; BA in English, USC. Winner of the Austin Film Festival, ScriptapaloozaTV, the George Burns Comedy Writing Fellowship, and the Jack Nicholson Screenwriting Prize; Finalist for the Disney Writing Program; Member of the Committee for Writers with Disabilities at the Writers Guild of America, West. Clients have included Amazon Studios, Nickelodeon, The Walt Disney Company, Netflix, Radley Studios, and IMDB.

Kevin Richey Kevin Richey
Cinematography, Sync Sound Workshop

MFA in Radio/TV/Film, Northwestern University; BA in Critical Studies of Film and Television, University of Alabama. Taught at Northwestern University and Chicago's DePaul University before moving to Los Angeles. He currently works as a commercial cinematographer in the U.S. and abroad for clients such as Ford, Bank of America, and McDonald's.

Charlie Rose Charlie Rose
Cinematography

AIC, cinematographer who has received numerous international awards (Cannes, Venice, New York, Tokyo Film Festivals) for his work in feature films, commercials, documentaries, and music videos.

Andres Rosende Andres Rosende
Directing

MFA in screenwriting and directing from Columbia University. His films have played at festivals around the globe including Cannes, Sitges, Cleveland and South by Southwest. His short “Mr. Bear,” a dark comedy of mistaken identity, has played at more than 150 festivals and has received over 40 international awards.

Craig Ross, Jr. Craig Ross, Jr.
Directing

Craig has gone on to direct a number of high profile television shows, helming such prime time hits as Number, Bones, Prison Break, and NCIS for CBS. Capitalizing on the lost art of Noir filmmaking, all of ASI’s endeavors mark the continuing flow of Craig Ross, Jr.’s ascent as one of the premiere filmmakers in Hollywood.

David Ross David Ross
Writing

Writer and director of the feature film The Babysitters, starring John Leguizamo, Katherine Waterston, and Cynthia Nixon. The film premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival and was subsequently purchased and released by Peace Arch Entertainment. He is also the writer of the independent supernatural thriller The Rift (post-production) and The Woods, produced by MGM/United Artists. David has been commissioned to adapt novels and rewrite existing screenplays. He is currently preparing his second directorial effort. He has an MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Detroit, Mercy, where he studied acting.

James Rowe James Rowe
Advanced Approaches to Directing, Feature Script Development

BA in Communications, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Writing and directing credits in television, feature and short films. Festival selections at LA Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival. Writer/Director of feature film Blue Ridge Fall, starring Amy Irving, Chris Isaak, and Peter Facinelli.

Crickett Rumley Crickett Rumley
Writing

MFA in Film, Columbia University; BA in Latin American Studies, Rhodes College. Developed and/or pitched projects with Anonymous Content, Disney, Fox Searchlight, Imagine Entertainment, Universal Studios, and many more. Author of Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt. Former Director of Development with Scriptstar Pictures.

Leander Sales Leander Sales
Digital Editing

Member of the Motion Pictures Editors Guild. Has worked with Spike Lee on nine of his feature films in the editing department. Associate editor on Clockers and Girl 6, then as editor on Get on the Bus. As a director, Leander won first place at the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Film Festival of Oakland, California for his debut feature film Don’t Let Your Meat Loaf. The Life I Meant to Live is Leander's second feature film.

Michael Sandoval Michael Sandoval
Directing, Writing

MFA, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts; MFA, University of Michigan, Writing Program; BA, Brown University.

Films have appeared in Berlin Film Festival, Palm Springs, Slamdance, Toronto Short Film Festival, Margaret Meade Doc Festival, and more. Director of The Good Son (competition screening, Berlin); Ariana (Audience Award, San Luis Obispo Film Festival). Cinematographer/producing consultant for numerous film/TV productions, including feature documentary, Horizontes sin Dueño and “The Encounter” (Best Short, Las Palmas). Awarded Ang Lee Fellowship. Published fiction/non-fiction. Residency Grants include Ucross Foundation, the Santa Fe Art Institute.

Mark Sawicki Mark Sawicki
Production Design & Special Visual Effects

Mark is a veteran visual effects cameraman with a large body of work, including The Terminator, X-Men and The Dark Knight Rises. In addition to having taught for many years, Mark is the author of Animating with Stop Motion Pro and Filming the Fantastic first and second edition, both published by Focal Press.

Ryan Schwartz Ryan Schwartz
Director's Craft, Sync Sound Workshop

MFA in Film Production, USC; BA in International Relations, UC Berkeley. Production credits for Scott Free, MJZ, Bedford Falls, Tool, Propaganda. Co-founder of The Incite Group. Producer on The Jenkins Orphanage Project and Making Love.

Tony Schwartz Tony Schwartz
Producing, Thesis Film Prep, Intermediate Film Prep

Over 20 years of experience as an assistant director for television and feature films of varying budgets. His credits include Land of the Lost, Firefly, Freaks and Geeks, Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, and CSI: New York.

Rae Shaw Rae Shaw

A poet who also became a filmmaker. Rae is an award-winning director-producer. She is the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, Francis E. Williams Artist Fellowship, and Marvin Miller and Guy Hanks Screenwriting Fellowship among others.

Rae began her journey to filmmaking writing poetry at the University of Chicago. Inspired by the work of noted Chicago film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, she pursued connections between poetry and film. After receiving her MFA from University of Miami, Rae began working her way up in the industry at The Firm, One Race Films, and Lions Gate, forging contacts within management, production and business affairs. Working for industry veterans in television and feature film production, Rae broadened her skills to grow into a resourceful and business minded producer. Simultaneously Rae studied directing under noted author and instructor Judith Weston. Directing productions in both theater and film expanded her experience working with actors and recognizing talent. Currently Rae is packaging the feature thriller-drama The Repass, shooting a Shakespearean sonnet, and is attached to direct a short documentary on rainbow children.

Rae is a member of IFP, University of Chicago Alumni Club of Los Angeles, ACLU, Mellon Mays Fellows Professional Network Mentoring Program, Organization of Black Screenwriters, LACMA, the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, and Reel Ladies.

Gilbert Shilton New York Film Academy LA Filmmaking Faculty Gilbert Shilton

Gilbert Shilton has worked in the film and television industry for over 35 years. Early in his career, he gained professional experience as he moved through the many different departments on set, working as everything from assistant director, to actor, to camera operator. He began his freelance directing career in 1979, going on to direct numerous high-profile feature films, network television shows, pilots, and mini-series. In addition to his work as a director, Gil has written and sold successful scripts for features, pilots, and episodic television, while working as a producer on several television series. His work has garnered numerous award nominations, while his directing credits feature a diverse array of major prime-time shows including "Law & Order", "MacGyver", "Beverly Hills 90210", "Quantum Leap", "The A-Team", "La Femme Nikita", "The Twilight Zone", "Magnum P.I.", and "Knight Rider".

John Sisti John Sisti
Sound

Recording engineer at A&M records working with such artist as Captain and Tennille ("Love Will Keep Us Together" Grammy award-winning Record of the Year), Carol King, George Harrison, Barbara Streisand, Hoyt Axton, and others. Designed several rooms for Merv Adelson, then CEO of Lorimar. Began teaching music production and engineering at Berklee School of Music, where he became involved, through Merv Adelson, with Doug Grindstaff, researching the integration of digital technology for post-production leading to the development of the CyborFrame/WaveFrame editorial platform. Worked with Grindstaff on the implementation of the systems at Pacific Sound Services. Joined Sony Pictures' digital sound department as a sound editor and soon became a sound supervisor for shows such as Mad About You (which won two Emmys for best sound), Laurie Hill, Ellen, Under Suspicion, and others. Was assigned by Sony to work with AVID on the AudioVision, their first efforts for a sound editorial platform. Features include: Cable Guy, Bottle Rockets, and Frances Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, which won an Oscar for best sound. Worked with Sound Dogs and his own company “Granite Sound.” Member of the SCAD sound design department.

Nick Sivakumaran Nick Sivakumaran
Directing

MFA in Film Production, USC School of Cinema/TV; BA in Biology and Psychology, University of Rochester. Writer/Director of award-winning short film, "Diwali." Screened at over 30 international film festivals, a recipient of a Director's Guild of America Student Film Award and invited to the 2002 Cannes Film Festival as part of the Kodak Emerging Filmmaker Showcase. Also won commercial contests for clients, Chevrolet and Lifestyles Condoms and recently wrote a stage musical that had a six-week run in Hollywood.

Jack Daniel Stanley Jack Daniel Stanley
Acting for Directors

MFA in Directing, University of Washington; BFA in Acting, UT Austin. Extensive theater background directing world premieres and classics in New York, regionally, and abroad. Award-winning genre shorts screened at Tribeca, SXSW, Slamdance, Toronto After Dark, and on PBS's On Story, Delta Airlines, and Sundance Channel online. Has written and produced content for the Syfy Channel and Chiller TV.

Zack Stoff Zack Stoff
Digital Editing

BFA in Film and Television, University of Westminster, London. Directed and edited numerous music documentaries and videos for award-winning artists. Assistant Editor on Gus, Che Part One, and Che Part Two. Lead editor on Benicio Del Toro's Seven Days in Havana.

Shawn Sullivan Shawn Sullivan
Editing

Shawn received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Screenwriting from California State University Northridge knowing he wanted to work in Post-Production. The emphasis was getting strong storytelling skills to bring to film editing. He has worked as an Editor on short film, commercials, marketing videos, and feature films. His clients include Redken, Keller Williams, Exit Realty, Caldwell Banker and Disney. Shawn has been the Post Production Supervisor for the New York Film Academy's New York and Los Angeles campus. He is the Director of the NYFA summer workshop at Walt Disney World. In 2014 Disney presented Shawn with a Mousecar (Disney's version of an Oscar) for 10 years of working with Disney Youth Program and New York film Academy. Shawn previously worked for Apple teaching the Final Cut Pro film editing software. He is Final Cut Pro Certified by Apple. He is also an Avid Certified Instructor with the Media Composer film editing software.

Yukiko Suura Yukiko Suura
Cinematography

Worked on numerous types of projects, both across the country and internationally, ranging from shorts, web-series, features, music videos, and reality TV shows.

Graham Tallman Graham Tallman
Screenwriting, Directing

Graham received his BA in Film at the University of British Columbia and his Masters in Film Directing at the American Film Institute. His two short films “Lollipops” and “Codename: Simon” have enjoyed success at such prestigious festivals as the Toronto International Film Festival, garnered numerous international awards, and played regularly on the IFC, CBC, and WTN TV networks. In 2004 Graham adapted the comic book Courtney Crumin and the Night Things for Fox 2000 and New Regency.

Nils Taylor Nils Taylor
Screenwriting, Directing

Nils graduated with an MFA in film production with an emphasis in directing from Chapman University. Nils has traveled the film festival circuit where his previous short films attracted national and international acclaim, including the short-film “The Fighting Kind,” which won the Hatchfest Groundbreaker Award in 2010.

Igor Torgeson Igor Torgeson
Digital Editing, Advanced Final Cut Pro, Advanced Post-Production

MFA Film, Boston University; BA Journalism, George Washington University. Freelance editor and actor in Los Angeles. Has edited for clients including the Gameshow Network, National Lampoon, McGraw-Hill Publications, Southern California Gas Company, and Cessna Aircraft. Commercial credits include campaigns for Citibank and Brighthouse Networks.

Todd Walker Todd Walker
Director's Craft, Sync Sound Production

MFA in Film, Columbia University. Director/writer of prize-winning short film, "Passengers." Screened at over 30 film festivals, including Sundance, Telluride, and AFI. His documentary short, "Oldertimes,” won the Special Jury Prize at the San Francisco Int'l Film Festival and aired on PBS. Recently adapted Kevin Canty's first novel, Into the Great Wide Open, for Tiny Dancer Films, and Joey Pantoliano's best-selling memoir Who's Sorry Now for Holedigger Films.

Marc Wiltshire Marc Wiltshire
Editing

Marc Wiltshire is a Film & TV Editor and Assistant Editor based in Los Angeles. He received his MFA in Film at New York University's Tisch Asia, in Singapore. Passionate about visual storytelling, Marc has written, directed, and edited over a dozen short films that have been featured at international festivals around the world. He has worked in Editorial on Feature Films and Television series for Discovery Channel, History Channel, and Spike TV. His latest short film “Bullshit” will hit the festival circuit in 2016.

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