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New York Film Academy Producing

One Year Hands-on Conservatory Producing Program

NYFA's One-Year Producing Program approved for consideration in PGA East Student Forum

Overview of our 1-Year Producing Program

What makes our Producing Programs unique?

The New York Film Academy's Film and Television Producing Program is housed within our film school and is designed to illuminate one of the most important, yet misunderstood, jobs in film and television. Students eager to control their own destiny in the business world of film and television flourish in this intensive hands-on program. It is geared toward students with little or no experience in producing, but who recognize that an intensive and demanding program, much like the job of producing itself, will provide them with the knowledge they seek.

Students are treated as producers throughout the duration of the course, and are challenged each step of the way. Students are encouraged but not required to bring a piece of intellectual property — adaptation projects which might consist of: a book of fiction, magazine article, newspaper article, biography, autobiography, or original idea (if deemed appropriate) at the beginning of the course which serves as the foundation for their thesis project. Students take this project through the various stages of development: pitch, treatment, script, talent search, budget, schedule, and plans for marketing and distribution. Students learn the real-word strategies for successful producing and are encouraged to develop the professional network needed within the film and television industry.

Students must be prepared for full days of intensive work throughout the entire year. They must be committed to a fastpaced, intensive learning and production schedule, and willing to work collaboratively with our filmmaking, screenwriting, and acting students. The program is offered at our New York and Los Angeles campuses.

SEMESTER ONE OVERVIEW

Producers are confronted with a number of visual, dramatic, financial, legal, logistical, managerial, and technical challenges. Instructors encourage students to artfully work through these challenges while working to complete several film and television projects.

From the first day of class, students are immersed in a hands-on education. Students undergo a thorough regimen of class work and film production that lays the groundwork for a professional life in the film arts. They learn both the creative aspects of producing, as well as the more technical, line producing side. All students participate in an intensive sequence of classes and hand-on workshops.

SEMESTER ONE OBJECTIVES

LEARNING GOALS
  • Introduction to the roles, tasks and obstacles faced by film and television producers.
  • Gain understanding of the physical and post production processes.
  • Master storytelling concepts of elements, conventions, structure and style.
  • Understand basic principles of entertainment law.
  • Introduction to filmmaking from the perspective of the screenwriter, director, actor and cinematographer.
PERFORMANCE GOALS
  • In collaborative groups, students develop, prep, shoot and edit a short film and a reality television project.
  • Breakdown, budget and schedule a film from scratch.
  • Each student develops and produces his or her own short film.
  • Each student collaborates on multiple short films.
  • Each student develops a feature length narrative film, feature length documentary or television project.

SEMESTER TWO OVERVIEW

The second semester challenges students to develop their production abilities artistically and technically. Producing students are instructed in the craft of writing and championing dramatic treatments; in pitching story ideas to a variety of audiences; and presenting industry-standard written proposals in support of the feasibility of their projects. This semester culminates in each student pitching and presenting a film or television project at the Producers Pitch Fest.

SEMESTER TWO OBJECTIVES

LEARNING GOALS
  • Continue to analyze and master key elements of effective producer's craft.
  • Develop and write original film and television pilot treatments.
  • Introduction and practice of effective pitching skills.
  • Learn critical elements of effective feature film business plans and television show bibles.
PERFORMANCE GOALS
  • Produce a short film for a NYFA filmmaker.
  • Continue to develop the feature length narrative film, feature length documentary or television series and business plan.
  • Prepare and rehearse effective pitching presentations. Final pitches are presented to a professional panel.



Course Descriptions

Producer’s Craft
Case Studies
EP Budgeting and Scheduling
Pitching
Film Finance/Marketing/Distribution
Story & Script Analysis
Entertainment Law
Hands-on Sound
Hands-on Camera
Hands-on Lighting
Hands-on Editing
Film Festival Procedures
Film Exhibition
Directing for Producers
Production Workshop
Writing
Editing
Directing Actors
Project Development Practicum
Screenwriting for Producers
Film Analysis for Producers
Reality Television Development
Producing Music Videos & Commercials
Producing for Nonprofits
Cinema Studies
Special Lecture
Editing Lab
Pitching Lab
Collaborations Lab

Producer’s Craft

Producer’s Craft introduces students to the language and practice of producing and filmmaking. Through lecture, discussion of industry developments, handouts, and individual research assignments, this core course lays the groundwork for a profession as a Creative Producer. Students explore the initial phases of the producing process including development and packaging. This course covers but is not limited to these topics: Development ideas and securing rights; working with writers, script analysis, script analysis, coverage; development budgets, packaging, pitching, financing, marketing/distribution; feature film budgeting/scheduling, production and delivery. Students are given a midterm and a final exam on content.
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Case Studies

This course will use specific in-depth examples of already produced movies to introduce students to the specific issues, problems, and solutions of pre-production, production, post production, distribution, and exhibition of studio and independent films; including domestic and foreign films to provide a global perspective for the students. Topics of discussion will focus on talent relations, studio politics, development, and the A-Z of produced films to expose the students to real life cinematic situations.
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EP Budgeting and Scheduling

This course introduces students to the industry-standard software used to schedule and budget productions. In a hands-on lab setting, students are instructed in the use of Entertainment Partners (EP) Movie Magic Scheduling and Budgeting software programs, including established scheduling and budgeting techniques.
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Pitching

Through rigorous in-class exercises, students will develop brief and effective "pitches" of the material they choose to pursue. Each student will practice and gain critical and fundamental pitching skills culminating in a semester-end presentation for fellow students, staff, and the producing chair.
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Film Finance/Marketing/Distribution

Using produced films as case studies, this course focuses on successful strategies employed in the finance, marketing, and distribution of studio and independent films.
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Story & Script Analysis

Students will gain firsthand knowledge of fundamental screenwriting elements. They will study story analysis from a conflict, character, premise, plot, and thematic point of view. They will learn the role of the protagonist and the antagonist and they will understand what moves a story forward from beginning to end utilizing all screenwriting tools available.
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Entertainment Law

This course is an overview of contract law and how it impacts the entertainment industry. Producing students will study legal issues regarding television, films, recordings, live performances and other aspects of the entertainment industry. Topics include copyright law, intellectual property, and talent representation.
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Hands-on Sound

Students will learn the basic fundamentals of recording sound for film utilizing the latest in digital recording and mixing equipment. This course will provide the student with enough knowledge to deal with basic production sound issues.
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Hands-on Camera

Using a hands-on approach, students shoot and screen tests for focus, exposure, lens perspective, slow/fast motion, contrast, and lighting during their first week of classes.

Cinematography is one of the most critical tools areas of study that producers must rely on to tell a cinematic story. Students will learn the basics of live-action motion picture cinematography in a hands-on workshop environment. They will gain an overview of working with light and color, film and video cameras, image construction and composition, and working with collaborators in a professional setting.

Hands-on Lighting

Students will learn the fundamentals of lighting a basic scene utilizing small lighting equipment packages. This course will provide the student with enough knowledge to deal with simple production lighting issues.
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Hands-on Editing

Students will learn the fundamentals of editing using Avid Media Composer software. This course will provide the student with enough knowledge to deal with simple editorial production issues. Editing theory, Avid Media Composer interface and workflow, as well as its editing tools are covered in this course.
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Film Festival Procedures

With the proliferation of film festivals around the world, this course will offer the student an opportunity at a "low cost" option for submission of their films and a means to develop a film community of their own. Film Festivals are expanding as the technology explodes in the digital universe.
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Film Exhibition

In this class, students will learn how a film moves into the theatre both domestically and internationally. Students examine the pipeline by which a film moves from the post-production phase to the distribution phase in a film’s life cycle.
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Directing for Producers

This basic course in directing will expose the student to the language of directing for producers. It will cover the basic elements of the director’s craft: composition and blocking. In addition it will cover how a director interacts with a producer. Topics include: shots and shot choice, continuity, text and subtext, and budgetary restraints on the creative process.
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Production Workshop

Production Workshop trains students in camera and lighting for directing exercises and pilots and trailers for yearlong projects. The course is hands-on and each student will handle equipment with the supervision of an instructor. Students shoot and screen tests for focus, exposure, lens perspective, slow/fast motion, contrast, and lighting during their first week of classes. They will gain an overview of working with light and color, film and video cameras, image construction and composition, and working with collaborators in a professional setting.
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Writing

A continuation of Introduction to Screenwriting, this course will help students develop their analytic skills in the areas of structure, plot, story, momentum, tone and characterization, and master the tools of story genesis and development for film and television.

The course will also develop an understanding of genre, theme, imagery, working with writers, and other professional issues as they relate to creative producing. The focus will be the definitions and implementation of story, drama, conflict, and the difference between story and script. There will be discussions about the hiring of a screenwriter to work with producers on the development of an idea or concept for a reality television pilot, feature film, or other creative forms they wish to pursue as well the WGA and how it functions in relation to the producer and writer.
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Editing

Students are instructed in the basic techniques of digital editing. Students will learn the basics of motion picture editing and post production techniques in a hands-on workshop environment.

They will gain an overview of nonlinear editing, post-production audio, basic visual effects, and professional post-production workflow.

Films are shot digitally and edited digitally with Avid Media Composer on Apple computers. While students learn how to use the nonlinear editing software, the emphasis is on the craft of editing which challenges students to create cogent sequences that best serve the story.

This course also explores the entire post-production—deliverable workflow for both film and digital formats. In addition to the technical aspects of physical post-production, the artistic and managerial aspects will also be addressed. Post-production for all current exhibition venues, including DVD, theatrical, cable and satellite will be reviewed in this class.
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Directing Actors

Effective producers create a collaborative and artistic production environment that enhances each director's skills and provide the support needed to make the best possible film or television show. In this course, producing students learn to use basic production documents and to audition, cast, and work with actors.

Even if a producer never plans to direct anything, he or she needs to know how directors carry out their visions. Producers should create a nurturing and artistic production environment that enhances each director’s skills and provide the support needed to make the best possible film or television show. Here producing students learn about using the camera and working with actors—the two central tools of any director. Students will break down a short script into a shooting plan and then use their skills in this course to direct their film, the concept for which is developed in their Producing Short Films course.
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Project Development Practicum

This course guides the student through the creation of a Thesis Project in the form of a fully developed film package. Students will identify a project, work with writers to develop a screenplay, and learn about various package elements.

Requirements for the project include a development package, and final pitch. The package will be comprised of a logline, synopsis of the project, a ten page treatment, an executive summary, a studio, independent, or documentary film overview, a partial spec script (consisting of the first 10 pages), a business plan, including risk statements, and paperwork associated with the formation of an LLC, a financing plan, basic marketing plan, basic distribution plan, festival strategy, shoot schedule, two budgets, top sheet, and potential attachment of a director and principle actors, as well as all related business documentation for investors.
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Screenwriting for Producers

This course develops students’ analytic and development skills in the areas of structure, plot, story, pacing, tone and characterization. It builds conceptual skills in story genesis and development, genre, theme, imagery, character and other professional and emotional issues as they relate to screenplay development for producers. It builds verbal skills in the discussion, analysis and presentation of these ideas as they relate to student work and professional samples. Each student will complete assigned readings, attend screenings and lectures, participate in extensive class discussions, complete written quizzes and tests and participate in group review and discussion of quizzes and tests. Screenwriting for producers classes cover the following subjects: physical and emotional reality in films, plot versus theme, three act and sequence structure, acts/ sequences/ scenes/beats, Aristotle's Poetics and their relationship to film, Eisenstein and montage theory, Hegel's concept of the hero in drama, choices and conflicts, wants and needs, text vs. subtext, character arcs and development, the monomyth and the hero's journey, Jung on archetypes and character, ensembles and circular storytelling, active and passive protagonists and antagonists, and thematic story mapping.
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Film Analysis for Producers

The best producers are creative entrepreneurs who take projects from an idea to the distribution of a finished film. Taking the principals learned in screenwriting, they will study scripts and the films they become, to learn the most aspects of successful filmmaking – how to structure a script dramatically and how to tell a good story. Three very different films – a low-budget, independent feature, a medium budgeted studio project, and a Hollywood blockbuster – will be used as case studies.
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Reality Television Development

All genres of Reality Television are studied including elimination or game shows, talent competitions, dating based competitions, job search competitions, self-improvement, makeovers, hidden camera, hoaxes, and episodic documentaries. Working in small groups, students create their own reality show trailer or teaser. They cast, scout, shoot, and edit their shows for presentation and critique. Students learn brainstorming techniques, casting, how to research topics and characters, pre-interviews, formal interviews and on the fly interviews, how to create a reality “script”, schedules, budgets, special insurance and legal issues, and the deliverable process.
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Producing Music Videos & Commercials

This course is designed to teach producers the craft of conceiving, pre-visualizing, developing, shooting and editing a music video and a TV Commercial - which is defined as a promotional film for a commercial brand.

TV Commercial spots are produced at 30, 45, or 60” lengths. Producers team up in groups of 2-4 to produce each TV Commercial. They are given the option of directing or working with a director from the school. Students are responsible for choosing a brand and devising a memorable creative concept for a spec TV Commercial.

Producers team up in groups of 2-4 to produce each music video. They are given the option of directing or to work with a director from the school. Students themselves locate the artist or band to collaborate with. As part of the course students learn the basics of the music industry as regards music video production and explore the process by which music videos are commissioned by record companies.
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Producing for Nonprofits

National Geographic, UNTV, Public Television, Public Service Announcements and most documentaries fall into the category of non-profit. This course covers producing issues particular to these kinds of movies and television programs. This course will explore the role of a fiscal sponsor – how the relationship can impact a film creatively and financially. Producing for Non-Profits will highlight documentary genres from verite to direct cinema to musical documentaries to biographical documentaries and cross genres. Students will further look at budgets and schedules for documentaries, as well as understand what the elements of a grant are and what is necessary for different models of distribution from theatrical release, self-distribution and hybrid distribution as well as the PBS (ITVS) model.
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Cinema Studies

The best producers are the ones who are well-versed in cinema as a language and are aware of this history of film and the various genres and how the art has evolved and changed over time. Using twelve culturally or economically significant films as texts, this course looks at the films critically and uses them to explore film as a significant art.

The course also explores ways that the crafts of directing (particularly shot construction), cinematography, acting, and editing have developed. Through screenings and discussions, students will grow to understand how filmmakers have approached the great challenge of telling stories with moving images from silent films to the digital age.
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Special Lecture

This series of courses is designed to teach material not covered in the core curriculum including producing documentary films, live events, and dramatic theatre. Marketing yourself is also covered in this series, including how to pitch yourself, in person, via email, and on the pone plus resumes, cover letters, social media and personal brand management a well as search skills to build industry connections. Sound recording is also covered in two workshop classes.
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Editing Lab

This lab is the accompanying lab portion of the editing course. Students are instructed to log individual time in the editing lab to gain experience in digital editing. Using Avid Media Composer, they will edit a short narrative film, a reality TV sizzle reel, a music video, and a commercial.
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Pitching Lab

Under the supervision of the instructor, students learn appropriate industry pitching techniques for various types of pitch sessions and meetings. Students are required to apply these skills to their own projects. Each student will pitch his or her own stories, receive critique and feedback, and revise the pitch for subsequent presentations. Students are expected to critique classmates’ work and offer suggestions and ideas. In addition to pitch performance, topics will include key concept, protagonist, character growth, casting possibilities and cost.
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Collaborations Lab

Under the supervision of the instructor, each student is required to complete a short non-dialogue film of two to five minutes. Students develop a script for an original short film in collaboration with select screenwriting students; create scene breakdowns and shooting plans; and create budget and schedule. They are also required to audition and cast actors; scout locations; work on crew in key capacities of Director, Cinematographer, Assistant Camera Operation, and Gaffer on four films; and edit one film in supervised Editing Lab.
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Dates & Tuition

Fees Per Year

Tuition: $38,000 (USD) +
Equipment Fee: $2,000(USD)

Number of Semesters: 2


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


Location & Available Dates

For New York City:
September 2016 - May 2017
January 2017 - September 2017
September 2017 - May 2018

For Los Angeles:
September 2016 - May 2017
January 2017 - September 2017
September 2017 - May 2018

For Gold Coast Australia:
October 2016 - June 2017
January 2017 - September 2017
June 2017 - February 2018
September 2017 - May 2018

For Sydney Australia:
October 2016 - June 2017
January 2017 - September 2017
June 2017 - February 2018
September 2017 - May 2018

For South Beach Florida:
September 2016 - May 2017
January 2017 - September 2017

QUICK FACTS
START DATES FOR:
NUMBER OF SEMESTERS: 2
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