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New York Film Academy Los Angeles Welcomes Rich Thorne to Producing Chair

Filmmaker Rich Thorne Becomes Chair of NYFA LA’s Producing Department

June 15, 2016 This month the New York Film Academy Los Angeles welcomed its new Producing Department Chair, Rich Thorne.

"We're thrilled to have Rich join our Los Angeles campus," stated NYFA's Dean of the College, Sonny Calderon, adding, "He brings an invaluable wealth of artistry, technical expertise, and executive experience to our program. Our students will benefit greatly from his instruction, and our faculty from his leadership."

Thorne joins a faculty composed of industry professionals such as Anthony Richmond, Bill Duke, Lynda Goodfriend, Mark Lester, Kenneth Johnson, Barbara Weintraub, Adam Nimoy, Isabella Hoffman, Craig Ross, Jr., Mark Sawicki, Paul Brown, Gil Shilton, and Tova Laiter, among others.

“I’m very pleased to have joined NYFA as the Producing Chair,” said Thorne. “I find that the college’s hands-on, practical, intensive training techniques along with its Internship and Industry Lab programs, make NYFA the best educational venue to educate, train and bridge the gap to real world experiences and future career placements for our students.”

As an established film director, visual effects production executive, visual effects supervisor and one of the original pioneers of the digital video effects industry in the 1980s and 1990s, Thorne is currently a member of both the Director's Guild of America and the Producer's Guild of America.

From 1996-2006, Thorne was Senior Vice President of Production at 20th Century Fox. A partial list of award-nominated or award-winning films during his tenure include Jingle All the Way, Alien: Resurrection, Great Expectations, Hope Floats, Slums of Beverly Hills, Dr. Doolittle, The Siege, Fight Club, Anna and the King, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Big Momma's House, X-Men, Men of Honor, Bedazzled, Dude, Where's My Car, Planet of the Apes, Shallow Hal, Behind Enemy Lines, Daredevil, Cheaper By The Dozen, X-Men 2, I, Robot, Alien VS. Predator, Elektra, Fantastic Four, and Idiocracy.

Thorne first directed episodes of the television series Walker, Texas Ranger, and subsequently directed 2nd Unit action sequences on a series of 20th Century Fox films, including A Midsummer Nights Dream; Dude, Where's My Car; X-Men; and Dr. Dolittle 2.

Thorne continued to direct 2nd Unit action units for 20th Century Fox on Black Knight and Behind Enemy Lines; he was Visual Effects Supervisor and action unit 2nd Unit Director on Fox's Blockbuster Daredevil starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. Thorne later served as one of the 2nd Unit Directors on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen starring Sean Connery. He then went on to direct Dr. Dolittle 3 for 20th Century Fox.

Thorne eventually left The Post Group to form Digital Magic, whose artists garnered five Emmy Awards and an International Monitor Award between 1992 and 1996 for Star Trek: Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

The Post Group and Digital Magic also employed the same techniques for hundreds of high-tech commercials and music videos for major recording artists such as Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Prince, Joni Mitchell and many others. Both houses provided special effects for numerous television shows, specials, and major motion pictures, including entire seasons of the following primetime and mini-series: Freddy's Nightmares, Lonesome Dove, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Northern Exposure.

From 1984 to 1995, Thorne taught a course called "Techniques of Visual Effects for Television" at UCLA and actively fostered a generation of film and television students and professionals by participating in industry related seminars.

“Throughout my career I have championed the teaching and mentoring of future generations of film professionals, while in production and through years of teaching at UCLA Extension,” added Thorne. “I’m a firm believer that educational institutions have the responsibility of minimizing the gaps between education and practical experience.”


As he makes his transition to his new role, Thorne will be working closely with Lydia Cedrone, who has been serving as Interim Chair of Producing. Cedrone will continue to teach and to serve as Head of MFA Feature Productions at NYFA LA.

Thorne will be a tremendous asset to NYFA Los Angeles’ Producing Department as it continues to develop into one of the most rewarding schools for aspiring film and TV producers.

These guests are not faculty and do not teach at NYFA, but they have appeared to share their stories and experience with our students. As guest speakers are scheduled based on their availability, NYFA cannot guarantee whether a guest speaker will visit during a student’s attendance or who that guest speaker may be. This guest speaker forum is not part of any NYFA curriculum and attendance at guest speaker events is purely voluntary. Students should be aware that guest speaker events do not represent a job opportunity nor are they intended to provide industry connections.

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