What is Adobe After Effects?

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a motion graphic designer, you’ll quickly find Adobe After Effects to be essential software. After Effects artists are split between motion graphic designers and visual effects artists.

Adobe After Effects is a digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing application and is used in the post-production process of both filmmaking and television production, in live action and animation alike, with a wide variety of different uses.

Artists who create title sequence designs that begin almost every movie or television show you’ve ever seen, as well as animators will need to know After Effects. Similarly, artists who create informational graphics that explain complex circumstances visually can utilize the program. In the commercial world, motion graphic designers are tasked with animating logos for companies or creating stylistic lower thirds to introduce speakers in interviews.

Adobe After Effects

In contrast, visual effects artists use After Effects to mix computer generated elements with live action footage. This is known as compositing. Artists use After Effects to track, rotoscope, and key footage to create otherworldly environments that one might see in fantasy and science fiction films such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Captain Marvel. After Effects can also be used to create stunning visual effects seen in films such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as well as Avengers: Infinity War

After Effects has dramatically affected the digital editing industry by increasing the quality and frequency of visual effects in entertainment. What used to require expensive and dangerous practical effects such as puppetry and pyrotechnics is now typically done by visual effects artists. 

Digital visual effects can be done cheaper and safer and can be integrated into any scale of project. There’s nothing that can’t be visualized on screen now–the only limitation is one’s imagination and knowledge of software such as After Effects. 

Examples of television shows and movies that have utilized skills that will be taught in the After Effects workshop at New York Film Academy (NYFA) include the title sequences for Stranger Things, The Leftovers, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and American Horror Story. Similarly, we will explore and mimic the compositing seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the visual effects seen in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as well as the visual effects seen in Captain Marvel.

New York Film Academy’s Digital Editing school offers workshops that provide students with hands-on instruction in editing theory, techniques, and the fundamentals of digital editing, as well as hands-on experience by editing various projects with footage provided to them in class. Apply today to upcoming workshops in 2020 to learn and strengthen your digital editing skills!

Written by Nate Garcia
Digital Editing, NYFA After Effects Instructor

2019 Academy Awards: The Best Editing Nominees

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced the nominees for the 91st annual Academy Awards, to be given out during ABC’s televised ceremony on Sunday, February 24. The Oscars will cap off a months-long awards season featuring industry veterans, newcomers, and as always, endless debates about who deserves to go home with the golden statue.

New York Film Academy (NYFA) takes a closer look at this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Film Editing:

BlacKkKlansman, Barry Alexander Brown

This is the second Academy Award nomination for Barry Alexander Brown, with his first dating back nearly forty years ago for the 1979 documentary feature The War at Home. Since then, Brown has edited several of Spike Lee’s films, including Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, He Got Game, 25th Hour, and Inside Man. He’s also edited The Giver, and directed the rock documentary, The Who’s Tommy, the Amazing Journey.

Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman

John Ottman has edited several major motion pictures, but has also been the film composer for dozens more. He has edited several of Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer’s films, including The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, Superman Returns, Valkyrie and three X-Men films. Some of the films Ottman has scored include The Cable Guy, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Astro Boy, Orphan, and Fantastic Four. This is his first Oscar nomination.

The Favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis

Yorgos Mavropsaridis has edited nearly eighty films, including those of Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos — Dogtooth, The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and The Favourite, which has earned him his first Oscar nomination. He will also work in post-production on Suicide Tourist, currently filming, starring Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Green Book, Patrick J. Don Vito

Green Book editor Patrick J. Don Vito has edited over a dozen films, including Another House on Mercy Street and My Life in Ruins, and has worked in the editing department of several more, including Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Welcome to Mooseport, and Semi-Pro. Don Vito also edited the visual effects on the first Austin Powers sequel. This is his first Oscar nomination.

Vice, Hank Corwin

Hank Corwin was first Oscar-nominated for his work on Adam McKay’s previous film, The Big Short. Corwin has also edited for other prestige directors such as Terence Malick, Robert Redford, Barry Levinson, and Oliver Stone. Some of his credits include Natural Born Killers, Nixon, The Horse Whisperer, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The New World, and The Tree of Life.


Check out the New York Film Academy Blog after this year’s ceremony for a full list of the 2019 Oscar winners and losers!

Becoming a Producer – Tried and Tested Career Paths

In previous posts, we’ve discussed the nature of what a movie production—specifically, how to become a movie producer, which continues to be a difficult role to surmise in just a few lines.

Having explored the job in greater depth, today we’re going to move onto a natural follow-on question:

What’s The Best Career Path to Become a Film Producer?

As with many jobs in film, there’s a degree of interchangeability within the industry—training in one field can often be carried over into different roles, and freelancers who have built up a network of contacts can sometimes find themselves filling in for other members of a production team.

That said, there are some very definite career paths that are well-trodden for those who are looking to become producers (despite the job itself being a mish-mash of responsibilities.) Here’s a break down of some of the best starting points:

Have Money

Okay, this is admittedly a little flippant, but there is a real message here: producing movies is all about cold, hard cash. If you’ve got a lot of it yourself, you can instantly become a film producer the second you commit some of it to your first project.

But this leads onto the main point about producing; assuming you’re not a multi-millionaire with some spare cash lying around, you’ll instead need to convince others that they should give you money and that it’ll be safe in your hands.

For that, you’ll want the most direct career path into film producing, which would be:

Producing School

Formal training at a top producing school is the most efficient way of letting potential investors know that you’re not a rookie, and not as much of a big gamble when it comes to laying down money.

When you come out of producing school, you’ll be able to hit the ground running with intimate knowledge of the business side of filmmaking (as well as key skills such as how to construct and manage a budget, putting together a crew, and negotiating contacts.) It’ll also give you a broader understanding of the industry as a whole—meaning you’re equally as adept at doing work on a TV documentary series as a big feature film—being able to prove you’ve got the chops for it is usually the deciding factor when it comes to landing your first producing job and snowballing your career.

Business School

There’s a reason why movie producers are often referred to as “suits.”

Since film production is remarkably similar to running a business, a slightly less direct career path—but one that is no less effective—is to get a degree in business management or similar before networking your way into the film industry from the outside. A minor in marketing or PR can also help in this regard, both in terms of being able to market your own skills and also to successfully promote any movie you’re in charge of.

Junior Production Positions

Between formal education and on-the-job training, one of the most tried and tested methods of making it in film production is to start off in a junior role and work up.

Seek out work as either an associate or segment producer to get yourself started; the former involves handling day-to-day duties during principal photography, while the latter has a great degree of autonomy over a single part of the script. Both are fairly junior roles and the job market is reasonably open to beginners who have qualifications under their belt, so it’s a good place to start climbing the career ladder and working your way up to more senior positions within a production team.

Jumping From Sideline Post-Production Jobs

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, a lot of skills you’ll learn in the film industry are interchangeable; as such, there are plenty of opportunities to jump across professions.

One career path that can lead you quickly to the lower rungs of the production ladder can be found in post-production. For instance, associate and executive producers are always on the lookout for those who have strong video editing skills or the ability to coordinate a team of sound mixers, so it always pays to network well, develop numerous skills, and think outside the box as to how you can apply them in a production role.

While there are always multiple ways to skin a cat when it comes to advancing in Hollywood, the above should give you some idea of how fluid career progression—particularly in film production—can be. However you achieve your success, we here at the NYFA producing school wish you the very best of luck in what is a tremendously rewarding (in all senses of the word) job in the film industry.