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New York Film Academy Producing

1-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.



NYFA PRODUCING CLASSES

Producers bridge the gap between art and business, necessitating one of the most diverse skill sets in the industry. From setting budgets to framing shots and coordinating with actors, the producers job can take them to any part of the set. The New York Film Academy recognizes that one of the greatest assets a producer can have is flexibility and variety in their expertise, and that’s why our producing courses arm our students with experience for almost every part of film production. Learn what makes the New York Film Academy’s hands-on learning approach so unique by reading about a few of our specialized film production courses.

Producer’s Craft I
Line Producing Essentials
Entertainment Law I/II
Pitching
Producer’s Roundtable
Film Analysis for Producers
Editing
Editing Lab
Cinematography for Producers
Directing for Producers
Introduction to Screenwriting
TV Producing and Developing the TV Pilot Treatment
Finance
Special Topics
Developing the Feature Film Treatment
Acting for Producers
Producing Commercials
Producing Web Series
Producing Reality Television
Producing Short Films
Screenwriting Fundamentals
Industry Speaker Series
Film and TV Industry Employment Preparation

Producer’s Craft I

Producer’s Craft I 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 producing 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.

In the second term, this core course continues the study listed above of the essential roles and obstacles faced by film and television producers. Students are required to read trade papers and consumer press industry articles on a regular basis. The exploration of the producing process continues through the financing, production, marketing, and distribution phases. Students are given a midterm and a final exam on content.

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Line Producing Essentials

In a hands-on lab setting, students are instructed in the use of Entertainment Partners (EP) Movie Magic Scheduling and EP Movie Magic Budgeting software programs, including established scheduling and budgeting techniques.

EP Movie Magic Budgeting/Scheduling is the industry standard in budgeting and scheduling software. The budgeting format allows students and producers to create and edit comprehensive budgets of all sizes for all types of productions, while automating the scheduling strip board process, while EP Movie Magic Scheduling has improved the production scheduling process. Producers, production managers and assistant directors use this script breakdown and scheduling software.

The line producer is responsible for the physical production of a film, from pre-production till the end of production. In this class we will talk about the line producer’s responsibilities, covering aspects of budgeting, hiring crew, scheduling, scouting, prepping shoot & post, as well as managing relationships with the director, crew, and studio/financiers.

Special attention will be paid to the duties and relationships within the production team (line producer, UPM/unit production manager, assistant directors, and accountant) and to the balance that the line producer has to strike between accountability to the studio/investors and to the director’s vision.

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Entertainment Law I/II

This course is an overview of the contract law and how it impacts the entertainment industry. Students will study of legal issues regarding television, films, recordings, live performances and other aspects of the entertainment industry. Topics include contracts, copyright law, compensation, celebrity status (including privacy and publicity rights), First Amendment, intellectual property, and talent representation. This course addresses legal issues to preserve, protect and actualize the intellectual, entertainment, and technological property of people working in entertainment industry.

Students survey legal issues pertaining to contract negotiation and conflict resolution in the entertainment industry. Students develop contract negotiation and contract drafting skills through mock negotiations and contract drafting exercises. Finally, students will be afforded an historical analysis of entertainment industry culture, including the rise of modern mass mediated culture and cyberculture. Students explore the link between entertainment culture and our usual categories of aesthetics, politics, culture, identity, ethics, and value. The course explores various perspectives on ethical decision-making and ethical business practices specific to the entertainment industry.

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Pitching

Through in-class examples, students are exposed to effective pitching styles and instructed on how to develop basic pitching skills. Students are instructed in the process and honing of pitching skills for narrative features, sitcoms, dramatic television content, reality TV, and/or feature length documentaries. Each student in this producing course practices and gains critical and fundamental pitching skills; students develop a brief and effective pitch, which they pitch in a final presentation the faculty.
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Producer’s Roundtable

Producer’s Roundtable 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 full length feature film script or documentary treatment, 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 principal actors, as well as all related business documentation for investors.

In the second term, this course continues the creation of the thesis project package described above. Students develop a schedule and budget, financial plan, marketing plan, distribution plan, and a look book.

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Film Analysis for Producers

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 12 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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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 non-linear editing, post-production audio, basic visual effects and professional post-production workflow.

Films are shot digitally and edited digitally with Avid *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 postproduction, 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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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. On Avid* systems they will edit a short narrative film, a reality TV sizzle reel, web series, and a commercial.

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Cinematography for Producers

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.

Directing for Producers

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 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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Introduction to Screenwriting

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 versus 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, thematic story mapping, loglines and story DNA. It also covers working with writers in screenplay revision and development, shorts versus features, and screenwriting tools including but not limited to: ticking clocks, reversals, plot points, plants and payoffs, the objective correlative, showing versus telling, voice-over, red herrings and more.

Students complete conceptual exercises, keep an ongoing film journal, participate in ongoing and demanding class discussions, take periodic quizzes and an extensive final exam with subsequent review and discussion.

Successful completion of this course will enable the student to draw upon a wide array of storytelling and structural techniques to develop effective pitches and screenplays.

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TV Producing and Developing the TV Pilot Treatment

This course will detail the evolution of an original television series from the idea stage, through development, pitching and broadcast (from the pitch to the up fronts to the mid-season replacements). The course will cover how the television industry operates and how television programs are pitched, financed, developed, marketed, licensed and syndicated. Students will gain an understanding of collection of television talent and production staff, the network schedule, network demographic concerns, sponsor demographic concerns and the distinctions between broadcast network, basic cable and premium cable television. The course will delineate the differences between creative (writing) producers and non-writing producers, and address the evolution of the medium from its inception through the present day. Students will learn how to devise a series bible as well as write a pilot treatment for an original series. Students will learn three camera television studio production including control room protocols.

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Finance

The goal of this course is to gain a basic understanding of film financing and to learn how the producer fits into the financing process. Using produced films as case studies, this course focuses on studying successful strategies employed in the creation of finance plans. Various sources of film finance are explored, including equity investment, the pre-selling of distribution rights, and various forms of "soft money" (production incentives, grants, subsidies, integrated marketing, and facilities deals). The course also explores the recoupment of financing through the generation of revenue through sales, as well as working with foreign sales companies.

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Special Topics

This series of courses is designed to teach material not covered in the core curriculum including such topics as: producing documentary films, introduction to animation, virtual reality, storyboarding, traditional and digital film marketing, traditional and digital film distribution, sound recording, sound editing, special and visual effects, producing unscripted television, crowd funding, labor union relations, film and television industry accounting practices, casting, costume design, color correction, and production design.

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Developing the Feature Film Treatment

Through in-class instruction and critique, students will develop storytelling skills within the industry-standard format of the film treatment. In a workshop setting, each student will develop and write a detailed feature film treatment. Students will learn what a treatment is and how it is used in the industry. The course will cover one-sheets, loglines, beat sheets, formatting guidelines, and eight sequence story structure. Three ideas will be workshopped and a beat sheet developed before the final treatment.

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Acting for Producers

The students will learn how to hold casting sessions, select talent for roles and work with talent to get the needed performances. In a workshop setting, students will develop a critical understanding of the acting process and what each actor brings to the collaborative process of filmmaking.

A scene will be rehearsed both in and out of class over three classes. You will be working with a classmate and your final performance will be taped and the scene edited. Please note that your acting ability is not being graded, only your commitment to doing the work. The final scene will be critiqued in a screen session.

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Producing Commercials

This course is designed to teach producers the craft of conceiving, pre-visualizing, developing, shooting and editing a TV commercial — which is defined as a promotional film for a commercial brand. TV commercial spots are produced at 30, 45, or 60 second 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.

In order to simulate the process of making a TV commercial, students must pitch their concepts to “the Client” (the instructor) who picks the best concept. Thereafter the students present the TV commercial step by step in class, mirroring the process by which TV commercials are developed in pre-production meetings in the advertising world.

As part of the course students learn the basics of the advertising and explore the process by which TV commercials are conceived by ad agencies and bid out to production companies. The instructor delineates the roles of agency, producer and director in this complex process. Attention is also given to differences in professional, creative and cultural approach in different international and markets.

Great attention is given to producing creative and memorable work on a low budget. Each class includes screening of relevant TV commercials from all over the world (including previous NYFA spots).

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Producing Web Series

This course is designed to teach producers the craft of prepping, shooting and editing a web series — which is defined as an episodic story designed for the internet.

Producers team up in groups of 2-4 to produce each web series episode. They are given the option of writing, directing or to work as a crew member.

As part of the course students learn the basics of the tech field, and explore the process by which webseries are commissioned, created, and shown. We also look at the changing landscape of the internet and common distribution platforms in the age of Youtube and iTunes.

Intense focus is given to producing creative and memorable work on a low budget. Each class includes screening of relevant web series.

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Producing Reality Television

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 Short Films

Producing students develop, prep and shoot their own individual short films. Working in teams, students function as crew members on each other's productions. Producers will learn the basics of all producer related roles on set and in the production office. They will plan the production strategy, budgets, schedules, script breakdowns, etc. for the short films they will produce.

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Screenwriting Fundamentals

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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Industry Speaker Series

These informative sessions feature discussions with producers of American independent, foreign, and Hollywood films, network and cable television, as well as directors, actors, agents, managers, lawyers, foreign sales representatives and many others. Each session includes a Q&A, providing each student access to firsthand impressions of real-world circumstances faced by working industry professionals. These sessions may be coupled with screenings of new films or television shows brought by these guests.

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Film and TV Industry Employment Preparation

Students are given instruction and advice on seeking employment as professionals in the film and television industry. Sessions include learning how to market yourself successfully, the creation of resumes, job search techniques, cover letter writing, and interview tips. A comprehensive overview of the various areas of the industry, offering entry level opportunities, are explored in a hands-on approach tailored to individual students’ specific areas of interest.

Dates & Tuition

Fees Per Year

Tuition: $39,292 (USD) +
Equipment Fee: $2,068(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 2017 - May 2018
January 2018 - September 2018
September 2018 - May 2019

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

For Gold Coast Australia:
September 2017 - May 2018

For Sydney Australia:
September 2017 - May 2018

For South Beach Florida:
January 2018 - September 2018
September 2018 - May 2019



Please note: Dates and Tuition are subject to change
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