Visual and Performing Arts Camps in Los Angeles
Gain film, acting, screenwriting, and photography experience on the backlot of Universal Studios
All Camp Programs are solely owned and operated by the New York Film Academy and are not affiliated with Universal Studios.
In June 2017, the New York Film Academy brings its Teen Summer Camps to California for our nineteenth summer. Offering camps in Filmmaking, Acting for Film, Photography, Screenwriting, Documentary Filmmaking, 3D Animation, and Game Design, teens eager to get an introduction or continue their studies in their chosen craft do so against the rich surroundings of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles has perfect weather, a vibrant and culturally diverse population, and inseparable ties to the film industry. From Hollywood, Malibu, and Westwood to Chinatown and the Sunset Strip, Los Angeles lives up to its billing. In past summers, group excursions have included trips to Six Flags, Santa Monica Beach, Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and Universal Studios, among others.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS BACKLOT
The New York Film Academy opens the studio’s doors to the filmmakers-to-be of the world. Rather than being on the outside of the gates, peering in like tourists, students live and breathe filmmaking within the very heart of the action.
Universal Studios sprawls over 415 acres of offices, alleys, interior sound stages, and outside movie sets. Arrangements have been made with Universal Studios to shoot our film, acting, photography, and screenwriting camps’ in-class production exercises on their prestigious and widely used backlot, a landscape literally made up of the neighborhoods of the world. Driving around the lot, one alternately happens across a dusty Mexican villa, an imposing Roman square, a New York alley straight from the 1930s, and a street whose saloons and wooden sidewalks harken back to the Wild West. Nearby one passes multiple lakes, an old New England street, and a Renaissance courtyard, making for a truly one-of-a-kind summer camp experience.
Students reside at the Toluca Hills Apartment complex. Toluca Hills offers two pools, tennis courts, basketball, and volleyball among its amenities. The entire property is gated and there is a 24-hour guard at the entrance to the property. To see pictures and read information about the property, please click here.
While our students are supervised, please note that Toluca Hills is a very large property and a certain amount of maturity is required of resident campers. Students and the counselors who supervise them are spread out across the property. This is not a dormitory arrangement where everyone resides on the same hall or floor.
NYFA staff members perform nightly curfew checks in person and maintain a 24-hour counselor hotline number. Toluca Hills housing has 24-hour security on foot and golf cart, so someone is always reachable and just a minute or two away. Students are required to commit to and follow the rules and regulations sent out in advance and reviewed at Orientation. Violation of these rules can result in expulsion from housing and the program.
Students live in fully-furnished apartments. There are two options for housing: A two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with two students sharing a bedroom and a bathroom together, and all four sharing the living room, dining room ,and kitchen. Or a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment with two students sharing the entire unit.
Students are matched with their roommates based on age, program, and from the results of a questionnaire sent to families prior to arrival. Students attending with a friend or family member may indicate their rooming preference on the questionnaire.
Counselors live at Toluca Hills, supervise the students, plan activities and do nightly curfew checks at 10:00 p.m. Counselors are 21 years of age and older and often have previous camp experience and/or residential education experience from college. Many of the counselors also have filmmaking and/or acting experience and enjoy sharing their training with students.
We do extensive background checks on all counselors, including driving and criminal searches using the nation’s largest employee screening service.
Students walk together 10-15 minutes down the hill from the Toluca Hills complex to the NYFA office and classroom facilities for class and/or shooting. Students shoot their films in a variety of locations—primarily on the Universal backlot in locales such as New York Street, Europe, the Old West, Jurassic Lab, and others. All interior shooting takes place at Toluca Hills. Small crews of 3-4 are always supervised by Teaching Assistants.
Weekend activities are mandatory for housed students and include daylong trips. Some of these include Universal Studios, Six Flags, Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood, and sometimes Disneyland. Counselors attend and supervise these outings. Activities take place nearly every weeknight as well, and these are optional. In previous years these have included: going to the movies, museums, theatre, shopping, bowling, laser tag, among others. An average of 14 counselors live at Toluca Hills who plan and supervise these outings.
In case of medical emergency, students are taken either to an Urgent Care facility in the Burbank area or St. Joseph’s Hospital, depending on the severity of their condition. We require that all students submit their medical insurance information prior to the start of the workshop.
Although the camp’s daily schedule is demanding, non-commuting students have time to take advantage of the swimming, tennis, and gym facilities. Students take part in organized evening and weekend activities including screenings, visits to amusement parks, and of course, the beach.
The Academy has made arrangements with Toluca Hills Apartments located across the street from the lot. Students living in the complex can enjoy the use of two pools, six tennis courts, and a gym. Students are not required to reside on campus in order to attend the workshop. Families of commuting students must make daily transportation arrangements and/or provide a letter granting permission for the student to travel to and from campus unaccompanied by an adult.
By request, NYFA staff will meet students at the Los Angeles International Airport. Students are also free to make their way to the campus by car.
A catering service provides lunches and dinners. For breakfast, counselors stock each apartment with breakfast foods, like cereal, milk, OJ, bread, bagels, fruit, breakfast bars, and frozen waffles.
If you have dietary restrictions or food allergies, simply alert our caterer on the first night at Orientation and accommodations will be made.
Commuting students can bring their own lunch, go off campus with parental permission or they can purchase a lunch and/or dinner plan using our caterer. This can be done the night of Orientation.
Please note students who drive on and off campus, are not permitted to transport other students in their vehicles.
Want to learn more about living in Los Angeles or apply online? Click here to apply or request information.
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