New York Film Academy Reviews
Teace Snyder, ONE-YEAR FILMMAKING - New York CityThis is Teace, a one year filmmaking student, writing in regards to my past year at NYFA.
I am very happy with the results of my films, made possible by not only the continued support of the accommodating equipment room, the professional editing lab staff, a select few exceptional teachers (Brad Sample, Arsenio, Damian Panitz) and the people i've met here who have stepped up to the level i expect from my co-workers and collaborators. I've made a number of friends with the TA's, administrative staff, and i felt it suiting to provide you with some positive feedback regarding the facility prior to my departure. So thanks for the opportunity. It hasn't always been a pleasure, but much like the real world, NYFA is what you make of it--and i'm happy to say that i made it.
Andrea Arizaga, ONE-YEAR ACTING - New York CityWell, first of all I would like to thank you for this experience, the first semester has offered me great teachers, classmates, person and professional growth. I'm very happy with the program.
Kena Tangi Dorsey,
I have many fond memories at NYFA, but one of the things that I found so wonderful in my experience at the New York Film Academy’s MFA Directing program was the diversity of backgrounds that the students brought with them.
MFA IN FILMMAKING - Los Angeles, CA
You had some that entered the program with experience in filmmaking but you also had some that didn’t. Among some of the people in my class were still photographers, a graphic designer, an architect, and even an agronomist!
There are great instructors to help you learn artistry and technique but it’s up to you to incorporate your own personal touch to develop a unique style of storytelling.
Coming from an acting background, I was able to help some of my classmates understand what it is that an actor needs from his/her director to achieve the ultimate performance. I, on the other hand, learned that the visual aspect of storytelling is just as significant.
It was an extraordinary learning experience and a beautiful collaboration amongst young filmmakers. One that I will strive to obtain again and again in my professional career!
Rob Tate, FILMMAKING - New YorkIt's been about 7 years since I took the advanced course in filmmaking at NYFA. Since that time, my primary job has been a film editor, and I now have over 10 features and numerous shorts that I have edited. Many have played some of the world's premier festivals such as Sundance, Rotterdam, SXSW, Montreal, Berlin, and others. Currently, I have a film in national distribution that I both line-produced and edited, entitled American-Desi. It is playing in Manhattan at the Cinema Village and has made almost one million dollars since it was released one month ago.
A feature film that I wrote and directed called Neptune's Rocking Horse has played all over the world and received glowing reviews in Variety, ABC TV (San Francisco), and from Carrie Rickie of the Philadelphia Inquirer (among others). A short film I directed called Ketosis won the audience award for best comedy at the Edinburgh Short Film Festival.
I owe a great deal to NYFA. I was lucky to have a terrific (and small) group of students in my class. The fact that we each played several roles on each other's films is one key reason I became enthralled with all aspects of filmmaking, from sound to camera to editing. You may be interested to know that I am still very close to my fellow classmate, Renato Falcao. He was DP -- Director of Photography -- on many of the projects I have worked on -- including Neptune and Ketosis mentioned above!
NYFA taught me that editing is an important and powerful aspect of filmmaking. Far from being a mere button-pusher, I believe the editing process is one of reinvention. I enjoy working with the pace of a film, experimenting with rhythm, problem solving, scene juggling, tightening moments, expanding moments, and basically getting to the true essence of the film. I thoroughly enjoy working with directors who have the same open mind.
Award-Winning Alumnus Milovan Radovic:
In a recent interview for a Peruvian film website (filmsperu.com), award-winning television advertising director, Milovan Radovic, talked about the impact the New York Film Academy has had on his career.
Reflections on NYFA
"When I was younger, learning filmmaking was a problem and no one could tell me what I needed to do in order to become a film director. It was as if you needed to be chosen by God to be behind the camera.One night, 10 years ago, as I was walking in my university campus trying desperately to solve this major issue, I came across a flyer that literally said: 'Learn Filmmaking at the New York Film Academy.' I do not believe in miracles, but in order to cast any doubt, I packed my bags and went to New York.
I do not know who had the brilliant idea of creating such a school, but I am more than thankful. My experience at the New York Film Academy changed my life in ways that--up to this day, I am still discovering."
I just wanted to once again thank the New York Film Academy for helping me launch my career. Three months after graduating the one year program at Los Angeles, I became a Producer for Adelphia and Time Warner Cable. For the past two years I have contracted my fellow NYFA classmates for various paying crew positions. I have over 100+ commercials under my belt and I have my choice at any production job I want.
ONE YEAR FILMMAKING - Los Angeles, CA
NYFA gave me the confidence I needed to pursue a career in television. Just last week I was offered a Producer position for KRCG13 (CBS affiliate) in Columbia, Missouri. The job offer was simply irresistable and I couldnt refuse the money. Hell, they even had me fly down to Missouri for the interview. My first official start date is April 2nd, 2007.
I highly recommend the one year film making program at Los Angeles. I graduated a year early from high school to attend the program.
By the way, did I mention that I was only 20 years old?
Jonathan Jakubowicz, FILMMAKING - New YorkDear Friends of the Academy. The workshop I did with you was an open door for a career beginning in filmmaking that couldn't have been better. I shot a 35MM documentary on the arrival in Venezuela of two ships filled with Jewish refugees just before WWII. The film has been broadcast on HBO for all of Latin America. It has premiered in thirteen countries. It has received the following awards:
- Winner: Best Documentary, Premios a la Calidad de CENAC (Venezuelan Oscars)
- Best Direction of Photography, Documentary - San Juan Cinemafest
- Semi-Finalist, Director's Guild of Americas, Angelus Awards - LA
Kfir Yefet, FILMMAKINGAfter submitting the films I had made at NYFA to Channel Four (UK), I was invited to direct an 11-minute film as part of the network's season. The knowledge and confidence I had gained at the NYFA undoubtedly fed into the film and helped make it the success it has become. The films, "It's Not Unusual," has won the British Academy Award (BAFTA) for Best Short Film.
Sujit Chawla, FILMMAKING - New YorkMy initial experience with my film "Emulsion," was less than satisfactory...I kept with my faith, pushed harder and was accepted into the New York International Film Festival where my film was screened twice throughout the week to packed theaters. There were roughly 150 films being screened at this event. Then, I was hit with bigger news...that my film was selected into the Cannes Film Festival. This is exactly the type of market I need to be looking at my film. I'm pretty excited..... Who knows, maybe something will happen.... None of this would be possible without your incredible school.
Leslie Carvalho, FILMMAKINGI'm really thrilled to keep in touch with all of you who inspired me to make my first feature film. I am happy to say "The Outhouse," was the official Indian entry to Cannes. I am also the recipient of two Best New Director Awards at the national and international levels. All this happened due to the NYFA.
Jesper Kristiansen, FILMMAKING - New YorkIt's been a beautiful summer here in Denmark.... Right now, I'm working as a freelancer for the United International Pictures Denmark, in their publicity department. So far, I've been a part of movies such as "Gladiator," "Shrek," "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," "MI:2," "The Fast and the Furious," "Traffic," "The Mummy Returns," "Cast Away," and others; but that's not all. I've had the pleasure of being a part of the crew for the new Thomas Vintererg film, "It's All About Love," starring Joaquin Phoenix and Claire Danes.
Lisa Banzali, FILMMAKING - New YorkAfter graduating from NYFA, I immediately got a job as a Second Assistant Director on an independent film with David Klein (cinematographer of "Chasing Amy," "Mallrats, and "Clerks"). I was also Production Coordinator for another film, two specs for Coca-Cola, and a music video.
Lang Franz-Rudolf, FILMMAKINGI am sending you to let you know what I've been up to since I went back home to Paris, France. I went back to school to study executive production and script writing. I started to work on different short films as an executive producer and director's assistant.
I am now working for a film production company for television and theater as, what you would call in the US, a script doctor and art director. I'm now also working in production for two short films, including one that I will direct. I would like to thank all of my instructors, and of course, Jerry, for all the support they gave me while I was in school.
Neil Stephens, FILMMAKING - New YorkAbout two weeks after my time at NYFA, I was immediately employed as an editor at The Image Bank, the largest stock footage company in the world and a wholly owned subsidiery of the Eastman Kodak Company. They represent over 350 cinematographers, have 75 offices in 31 countries around the world, and license footage to features, commercials, music videos, etc.
After three years of editing, winning the Gold Medal at the New York Festivals, and becoming manager of The Image Bank's film department, I decided to make the change to cinematography. I signed a five year contract and began to produce, direct, and shoot 35mm productions for The Image Bank. Since then, my footage has appeared on MTV, NFL Films, A&E, Fox Sports, as well as varoius commericials and promotional material.
Within the last three years, I have had the great experience of becoming a DP on several features such as "Chez Risque," and "Nebbish," as well as various shorts, commercials, and documentaries. I have recently been chosen to DP James Ronald Whitney's next project. This director won the Vancouver Film Festival for Best Documentary, an Independent Spirit Award. His last films appeared on HBO in May of this year.
I'd like to applaud The New York Film Academy for their continuing efforts to involve their alumni in the changes, growth, an success of the school. My time there was filled with learning, hard workd, and excitement...all while being surrounded by those whose love of film rivaled my own.
Wyndham Price, FILMMAKINGThe course at the NYFA kick-started me into understanding some of the vernacular necessary to embark on a journey as a filmmaker. Filmmaking is the most humbling feeling anyone could experience. Partly because one quickly discovers one's fallibility, but more importantly because making a film is a group activity which benefits from input from all members of the group.
When I returned to the UK, I wrote a short based on my film at the Academy and won a competition at the BBC.
Tony Liano, FILMMAKING - New YorkNine weeks ago I didn't know an f-stop from a backstop, and five days ago I finished an 8-minute short which I intend to submit to festivals.
I'm writing to say that NYFA is a tight ship and I loved every minute of my course work. The instructors served as an ensemble of knowledge while preserving their individuality and freely expressing their opinion. In many cases, opinion coupled with the rationale behind it was more valuable than the structured lesson.
In particular, I'd like to mention (in no particular order) that Brian Norton, Till Neumann, Heng-Tatt Lim, and Pamela Harris were extra special.
Dan Berenholz, FILMMAKING - New YorkI attended the high school program back in 1999. Since then, a friend and I wrote a feture length screenplay which we recently submitted to the Project Greenlight competition. I have made several short films and won a few awards, including a 2000 Bronze Telly Award. I also interned on a small, independent film that was being made in my area.
Claude Khoury, FILMMAKINGI'm now working in the Lebanese American University as a teaching assistant. I teach students TV production courses and editing. That's not all. I'm now working on a TV pilot for a sitcom. I wrote the episode, and got approval to go ahead with the pilot.
Malini Shankar, DIGITAL FILMMAKING - New YorkI had 13 years of experience as a freelance environmental journalist in India. I thought that experience could be honed with new skills and a short term course, and in such a prestigious institute, it was precisely what I needed. I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I met some great people and believe me, every single task in this vocation is a learning experience. To that extent, the prospect of living in exciting NY was a reward in and itself.
Despite awesome challenges I finished it and I relish every ounce of the experience to this day. What I learned with writing screenplays is holding me in good stead today.
Simon Park, FILMMAKINGSoon after the program, I went over to Korea and worked on a Korean feature as a Set Editor. The title of the movie is "Friends." The movie was a huge hit and broke all the box office records; and now I'm getting a lot of calls and offers from Korean productions.
Gloria Fan - VP Development, Mosaic Pictures
"You've put together an incredible program that allows writers to have the opportunity to learn how it is in the marketplace. I was impressed with the quality of the pitches and how well the students communicated their ideas. It was obvious they had been well-taught."
On the One-Year Screenwriting Pitch Event at Los Angeles, CA:
"I have been participating in NYFA events for a couple of years now, and I am always impressed by the caliber of the students and the quality of the teachers. I would recommend NYFA to anyone who is serious about breaking into the industry!"
Writer of "The Grudge", "The Grudge II", "Pulse"
Danielle Childress, ONE-YEAR SCREENWRITING - Los Angeles, CAMy screenwriting instructors have provided me with priceless information regarding screenwriting and the industry around it. The One Year Program leaves you well-rounded and confident about your skills as a writer. I could not have asked for better instructors. Not only were they extremely knowledgeable about the subject, they also devoted so much time and genuine effort to help one produce the best possible result.
Glenn De Guzman,
Helpful criticism, realistic demands and real concern about our stories gave me confidence, pushed me to keep writing and taught me all the tools I need to build my story.
ONE-YEAR SCREENWRITING - Los Angeles, CA
Crickett Rumley knows the rules of the game. Bennett Graebner knows how to keep you writing. What a team! The thing that I treasure from the class was the realization that I can write. They helped me find the writer in me.
There are few special events in life that surpass expectation. The One Year Screenwriting Program at Los Angeles has been one of them for me. It’s been a banner year!
ONE-YEAR SCREENWRITING - Los Angeles, CA
Stuart Kaufman, 8-WEEK FILMMAKING - New YorkSince attending your two month beginner workshop a few years ago, I've gone on to a career in film lighting. Following is a list of most of the projects I've worked on:
- Agnostic Front - Music Video - MBS Prod. - MTV Top 100
- Miles From Nowhere - Feature - Miles Prod.
- Mortal Coil - Short - Nico Films
- Vacancy - Short - Headroom Prod.
- The Vegetarian - Short - Headroom Prod.
- Yankee Stadium - Commercial - Adidas
- Double AA - Short - Sapphire Films
- Morgan Stanley All-Stars - Commercial - Morgan Stanley, Dean Whitter
- The Jimmy Show - Feature
- LIE - Feature - Alter Ego Prod.
- Kissing Jessica Stein - Feature - Foot Pajama Prod.
- Dead Prez - Music Video - Broken Records, Inc.
- Tape - Feature - Indigent
- Jersey Guy - Feature - Jersey Guy Films, LLC.
- Girlfight (Pre-Rigging) - Feature - Girlfight, Inc.
- Recipe for Disaster (Sub) - Feature - Disaster Films
- Everlasiting Sweet Desire - Short - Sapphire Films
- Mudvane - Music Video - The Shooting Gallery
- Sex and the City - Television - HBO
- Get Well Soon - Feature
- Beanie Man - Music Video - Mars Media
- Nickelodeon - Commercial - Viacom
- Thalia - Music Video - Sony Music
- The Brat - Music Video - La Bouche Films
- Upright Citizens Brigade - TV
- Christina Aguilera / Genie Atrapado - Music Video
- Ropewalk - Featuer - Ikhan Prod.
- Mary J. Blige - Music Video - La Bouche Films
- The Day the Ponies Come Home - Feature - Ponies Prod.
- Jump - Feature - Jump Pictures
- MTV Jams - Promo - Viacom
- Personals - Feature - Personals Prod.
- Buddha Monk - Music Video
- American Gospel - Documentary - Big Mouth Prod.
Adriano Wajskol, 8-WEEK FILMMAKINGI just wanted to keep you informed as to what I did after leaving NYFA.
When I finished the 8-Week course, I came home with my twelve minute, 16mm film in my hands and sent it directly to the Venice Film Festival where it had been accepted. The film then received one Jury Prize and one Audience Choice Award at the Capalbio Film Festival in Tuscany, after which it was invited to several festivals in Canada, Turkey, France, Germany, and Switzerland. It was then bought by television stations in Italy and in Switzerland.
People are still very surprised that I edited the short film myself, just with what I learned at NYFA. In fact, what was aggressively taught at NYFA helped me to be an editor for a documentary shot in Italy for the French-German TV channel Arte.
Subsequently, I have written a script that received funding from the Italian government. I can say that I still have clearly in mind the basics that I learned at NYFA to write, produce, direct, and edit. In no other way could I have learned this in Italy so well, and in so little time.
I am proud to be an alumnus of the New York Film Academy Advanced Filmmaking Workshop. Since I've come back to Sao Paulo, Brazil, I've worked at HBO for two years and I now work at Columbia TriStar International Television (a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company) as a Production Supervisor in the Channels department of the group. I coordinate all the productions here in Brazil for Sony Entertainment Television, one of the most important pay-TV channels in Brazil.
Sao Paulo-Brazil - 8-WEEK FILMMAKING
I also work on productions abroad in Venezuela, Argentina, Cannes, Geneva, Miami, and other cities. It's really great! I do everything from pre-production to post-production, and I learned it all at NYFA in the best way (meetings, briefings and editing)!
All the Instructors I met at NYFA were important for me, and they have real experience to tell us about. They really know the business! Two of them were especially memorable: Tom Schiller and Richard Shore. I am glad to be part of NYFA's history, and now I advertise my great experience at NYFA wherever I go.
Spencer Millman, 8-WEEK FILMMAKING - New YorkI attended NYFA and I have to say that it was the best experience I have ever had. Not only did it give me a chance to live in New York and meet many people, who I still keep in contact with, but it also opened many doors for my career.
After I finished my two-month course, I immediately went on to work on two feature films in NY! A film called Fever, directed by Alex Winter and starring Henry Thomas, and a film called Other Voices, directed by Dan McCormack and starring Mary McCormack and the brilliant Campbell Scott. If it hadn't been for NYFA, I would not have plucked up the courage to try and work on such big projects.
I came back to England about eight months after leaving NYFA and I have to say that the career I had in television before I went to NYFA has become stronger. I was an Assistant Producer for a major independent production company and one day when our director fell ill, my producer remembered that I had directed at NYFA. He asked me to direct a three-minute comedy sketch in the director's place, and using the knowledge I received from NYFA, I managed the task at hand. As a result of this "lucky break" I have been directing comedy shows for television ever since.
I am also producing and writing shows. At the moment I am working on a comedy documentary series, which I am directing and helping to write. In the New Year, I will be producing and directing a new comedy program. I am also currently working on a feature film; so all in all, life is pretty damn good for me at the moment.
I would like to thank all the staff at NYFA for their great support and knowledge. Especially Adam Stoner, a man who is definitely a giant among giants and without whom I would have nearly packed it all in. Also a big thanks to Geoffrey, in the edit room, for keeping me sane.
It was a year ago now that I began a five week digital filmmaking program at NYFA. I could not have fathomed how much I would gain from attending NYFA. I never thought that anyone beyond my classmates and family would see my final project, a thirteen minute documentary called "The Triumvirate" (made in four days during my final week). But at the encouragement of Matt Arnold and Gordie Haakstad, I submitted it to a couple of film festivals. It received the runner up audience award for Best Documentary at the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films (selected out of 2300 entries, also being named to the top 20 Best of Fest), and went on to win Best Documentary at the Smogdance Film Festival.
5-WEEK DIGITAL FILMMAKING - Los Angeles, CA
After attending the screening of the film in Palm Springs, Andrew Crane from American Cinematheque approached me about including the film in his organization's annual celebration of women directors of short films (it screened with six other films at the Egyptian in December). Then the Cinema Society of San Diego approached me to have the film included in their annual 'Award Winning Shorts' program (a one time screening to 800 members). The films in both of those programs were half international, half American - and each had a film that went on to win an Oscar last week (WASP, which won for Best Short Narrative, and RYAN which won for best short animated film). That my little NYFA film would be included in such company is a credit to the instruction and encouragement that I received from your staff.
The film is currently being used by organizations in New Jersey and Minnesota to help pass legislation to open records for adult adopters. In addition, a couple from San Diego are trying to help me get funds to be able to make a 35mm film transfer of the film (so it can be submitted for an Oscar next year). "The Triumvirate's" journey continues. I'll keep you posted..
None of this could have happened without NYFA. Saying thanks just doesn't cover it!
Marilyn Sadler, 4-WEEK FILMMAKING - New YorkI took the 16mm filmmaking workshop. I have since sold a pre-school show to the Disney Channel called, "Handy Manny." Although it's an animated show, I learned so much about just general storytelling at the NYFA. Thank you!
Kristen Ellingson, FILMMAKINGI'm still working as a screenwriter. My first teleplay was just optioned by Goldie Hawn's company.
Don Boner, 4-WEEK FILMMAKING - New YorkIt is hard to believe that it was three years ago when I took your wonderful 4-week film production workshop. So much, so very much has happened since then.
Many people have asked for my impression of your program and I always--and without hesitation--recommend your programs. The four weeks I spent there was one of the most meaningful experiences I have ever had. All of your instructors and staff had one goal, and that was to see to it that I was given the tools to succeed.
All of the instructors were great but I specially liked Heng-Tatt Lim and Bryan Norton each with their own style and talents who challenged me to excel.
I tell people that my education did not end when I left NYFA, it only began. I try to read and study, and hone my skills.
Since I've returned home, I have written/directed three shorts and two features.
In August, I shot "Ripple," a 15 minute digital short, and a movie that received a three star review from a local film reviewer. Next I shot the short comedy, "The Bumbling Detective," in digital. The latest short movie that I've made was "Welcome to Kentuckiana," a 15 minute satire that was accepted to the IUPUI film program, and screened.
I've also shot "Losers Lounge" that was screened to a standing room crowd in October and was awarded Best Narrative Film Noir at the Bare Bones International Film Festival in 2004. It was also screened at two other film festivals and receive very good reviews in both print and web-based independent film sites. "Losers Lounge" was shot in Black & White digital.
My second feature on 16 mm color film and digital was called, "Somewhere In Indiana." The movie was screened to almost 600 people at its premiere. I have just signed a distribution deal with Echelon Entertainment in LA who have USA and Canadian rights to "Somewhere In Indiana."
I am currently writing another screenplay and am helping some friends who are shooting a movie. I am active in the Indianapolis film scene.
Please feel free to have anyone contact me at any time and I would be more than happy to share my experiences. Keep up the good work.
Jimmy Duffie, FILMMAKING - Harvard UniversityLast fall, I was Second Unit Director and the Assistant to the Producers on the motion picture, "Pendulum." I also have been a D.P. / Director for the busy industrial and commerical world. Since then, I have started my own production company here in Dallas and partnered with a gentlemean who has been a working screenplay writer for 25 years. We have one of his projects, plus two others, in development.
Ed La Grant, 8-WEEK FILMMAKING - New YorkI'd like to take a moment, here at the end of my eight-week course, to compliment you on the excellent "boot camp" filmmaking workshop you've put together at the NYFA.
I feel my time at your school has been enormously helpful in getting me ready--with additional preparation on my part--to launch into the shooting of a full-length independent feature film, for which, I've already written the script. In fact, my final film from school is a 12-min trial-run portion of this feature.
Your focus on having your students actually write and direct four films in the eight-week program is, in my opinion, a stroke of genius.
So to everyone, I'd like to say, "THANK YOU." I wish you all continuing success.
S. Catherine Aigner, ACTING - Princeton UniversityI am back home and trying to unite all my thoughts about the weeks I spent in Princeton, doing the acting program. All the hours away from Salzburg made me rich in my mind and still occupy my soul. My heart and my mind seem to still be away. I miss the people, I miss the classes and I miss the work. The work, that forced me to give all my best; the work, that forced me to share my deepest feelings.
I decided to become an actress, because I want to share my emotions and feelings with audiences that never talk about their fears and emotions. I like the audience to lose their invisible turtle shells. I want them to laugh or cry, when they feel like it. We had so many great teachers who taught me how to do that. Please, thank them for everything they've done in all their classes. I thank you for all the experiences and amazing teachers.
Lana Osicka, 4-WEEK ACTING - Princeton UniversityI was enrolled in your workshop from July to August of 2003. I learned about movement, film and television, monologues, comedy and improvisation, and scene study. I even starred in several student films. I learned so much that I never knew about the art of acting.
I would just like to give you my full gratitude and appreciation for creating this wonderful program. This workshop inspired me to continue my dreams and pursue a career in acting. This program changed my life in so many positive ways. I will be forever grateful.
…with regards to my screenplay, I owe an awful lot to you. After two more re-writes and some lengthy editing, it all fell into place. I have three agents in London interested in representing me and am still waiting to here from a few others, so that is brilliant!
8-WEEK SCREENWRITING- Los Angeles, CA
Adi Espaldo, Philippines, 4-WEEK EDITINGI just want to let you know that NYFA helped me get this job since it gave me an edge over the other applicants.
Linda Courtemanche, 1-WEEK DIGITAL MOVIE CAMPIt was an absolute pleasure to meet you last week and I can't tell you how fantastic an experience I had in the one-week workshop!
The knowledge and level of craft of the teachers combined with the communal enthusiasm everyone on staff has for film-making delivered an experience far beyond my expectations.
So kudos to the team at NYFA - as well as to who ever is behind recruiting. Please be sure to pass my compliments to Bryan Norton, Liz Foley, Nick Rivera and Mario Pinzon as well as to Jerry Sherlock. I think it is wonderful thing that there is a place for inexperienced film-maker to learn about making films and to get a taste of it with such a hands-on approach. It's a really great organization and I will highly recommended it.
Aaron Steele, SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHYBefore attending the New York Film Academy for sports photography, I had novice experience with a camera. I knew some things, but not a lot. Any knowledge I did have came from the one semester of photography I studied while at Florida State University and researching photography articles online.
4 short months later and I honestly can say that I am a better photographer because of my decision to join NYFA. I say short because the program is very intensive and demanding. The time flew by. However, I know all of the knowledge I gained in that time will pay off. In fact, it has already begun to pay off, as I am currently a contributing photographer for one of the leading online track and field websites, Runner Space.
Being able to photograph a professional sports team such as the NY Jets provided an invaluable experience that I don’t believe I could have found anywhere else. The program introduced me to Jets staff photographer, Al Pereira, who has become a valuable contact to have.
It is my goal to photograph the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. I believe my time with the New York Film Academy’s photography program has put me well on my way to visiting the highest level athletic competition; camera in hand.
Ajani Fida, ONE-YEAR FILMMAKINGBelieve it or not I have been pretty busy since graduating. I did that feature in Pittsburgh for free and have been working non stop since and all paying gigs. One as a key grip and now on a tv mini series for the Hallmark channel as a 2nd A.C. I have also been hired to DP a sort film as soon as the project i am working on now is done. As soon as I got back from Pittsburgh I got a call from the DP on that picture his name is Jaques Haitkin the freakin DP from Nightmare on Elm St and he just called me to talk, it was crazy. Said if I ever need anything to give him a call. Since I was hired to DP the short film I got some students from NYFA on that project.
It's an amazing time for me right now. It's funny because when i was working on the project in Pittsburgh the camera operator told me, "now that you have a feature under your belt don't work for free anymore after this." I listened to his advice and I actually have the confidence where I believe I deserve to be paid on every gig unless i am doing a favor for a friend. I still continue my studies after school whether through reading or practicums.
I was thinking about it and all my jobs in some way have stemmed from NYFA because even the job I am on now I got from the steadicam operator who was on the project in Pittsburgh, which I wouldn't have gotten without Suzanne. Thank You!
My name is Matthew MacCarthy. I had been studying and practicing still photography for over ten years, and had been a grip on three features by the time I started at the NYFA. I wanted to let you know what I have been up to for the past ten years in case you ever wondered if anything you taught us actually stuck.
ONE-YEAR FILMMAKING - New York
Just this past Friday, I wrapped principle photography (as DP) for my tenth feature film, which was my third feature film for SONY PICTURES (as DP). When I left the Academy I purchased an Aaton Super 16mm Camera which had back then, in my opinion, the best Zoom lens available for Super 16mm. With that package, I began to shoot and build a reel. Basically, it was that simple. I shot and spent everything I had, turning what I had just shot into something I could get more work with.
I cannot tell you how many times I heard your voice in my head saying "but it's money well spent" whenever I would blow EVERYTHING I had on a new reel. But it worked! I eventually got to shoot a little $25K feature and after a couple of those I shot a $100K feature, then with the reel I cut from that, I landed two $250K features both on Anamorphic 35mm because they could afford it and there was no studio to convince. That way, I would be eligible for Anamorphic jobs down the road.
With the reel I built from all those features, a local production company that produces for Sony in Atlanta was able to convince Sony to let them use me, and I just wrapped my third feature for Sony, all while residing in Atlanta GA! Thank you for everything.
David Horowitz, FILMMAKINGAs a recent graduate of the New York Film Academy, I am one of the biggest advocates of the school. Where else can you gain a complete film education in a couple of months time and save thousands of dollars?
The Academy provided me with the basic tools and resources to make low-budget fims on a shoe-string budget and enhanced my skills as a filmmaker. On the first day of class, I handled a 16mm camera for the first time in my life. In regular graduate programs, that usually doesn't happen until the second semester or sometimes the second year. Last month, I finished directing and producing my first feature, a 35mm independent comedy called, "Niche."
So instead of pouring thousands of dollars and dedicating three years of time in school, I was able to learn everything that I would learn in three years of film school in only three months. Shortly after finishing the course, I wrote, directed, and produced a 35mm feature film, and wrote, directed, and starred in an award-winning Lifestyles Condom Commericial. The New York Film Academy definitely has my endorsement.
Leslie Casillas, ONE YEAR FILMMAKING - New YorkI am working in Mexico City. I have directed two music videos, and in the next coming months, I will be promoted in the company that I currently work for as Production & Post-Production Manager.
I will always thank all the good things I learned that year with you guys. You rock!!!
Jamil Toure, FILMMAKING - New YorkI just got into editing, first as an assistant, then as a full editor for the music video production company, PictureMakers International. I edited a slew of music videos there, primarily for hip-hop artists like Xzibit, Common, and The Wu Tang Clan. I also started up the in-house editingshop, UNCUT. I directed my first video there, a clip for the Latino hip-hoppers, Powerule, and then left to form my own edit/effects post-productioin boutique with my partner, Pierre Fabre.
My company was called GAMUT, and we were in operation for two years. There, I edited many more music videos, including a critically acclaimed clip (for post-production and art direction) for Mos Def, Q-Tip, and Tash on Rawkus Records. I was Co-Director (with Nick Quested) on this clip as well as editor and creative director. We also edited and created origianal digital effects for artists/musicians such as Dr. Dre, W.C., KRS-1, and the Lyricist Lounge. I also directed two more music videos in that period, "Old & Wise," from Brooklyn-based hip-hop/jazz artist, Yah Supreme on Son Doo Records, and "El Cepillo," from Top 10 Latin Group, Fulanito.
From there, I signed on with broadband video web site, Pseudo.com, becoming the Senior Editor/Promo-Director for the 88HIPHOP.com channel. Then, I got promoted to Director of On-Air Promos for Pseudo overall. Psudo folded in Sept '00 (it wasn't ny fault, I swear!). Since then, I have been freelancing as an editor and director. I just directed my fifth music video in January for Latino pop-artist, Nonno Lee. I just finished editing the music video, "This Is Me," for girl-pop group, Dream, on Bad Boy Records, directed by Marcus Raboy.
I'm now meeting with production companies looking for representation as a music video/commercial director. I'm also writing music video treatments for a number of artists and editing music videos and promos. My interest is still in directing feature films and I'm writing the screenplays to both a short film and a feature that I'd like to direct.
I've been gainfully employed in film production and post-production since my graduation from New York Film Academy, and I'd definitely value the experience that I picked up there. I've also worked with some of my classmates, hiring Octavio Fenech to DP two of my music videos. I have to drop a "Thank You" to Jerry Sherlock, for taking a chance.
Nidhi Sharma, ONE-YEAR FILMMAKINGNYFA's intensive Filmmaking program is like a constantly accelerating treadmill. Once you get on, the only way is to keep pace, and I think this experience has readied me for the craziness that lies ahead in the film business. This, coupled with a great Directing faculty, availability of the latest film equipment, and working with film students from across the world makes it a great place to study film.
Personally, the course has worked very well with my first job assignment in LA, which came very soon after I finished the program. I have also bagged very interesting assignments in India based on the films I have made at NYFA.
Ruben Baeten, ONE YEAR PROGRAM - New York CityWhen I came back to Holland a bunch of friends that I used to make short films with before had started pre-production on a 100-min. feature, and I was allowed to just drop right in.
We shot this film from over 3 months. I worked as assistant director, among a million other things because our crew varied from 4-10 people. We had a small budget of about 8000 euros but we managed to churn out a more expensive-looking feature with nearly 30 speaking parts and over 40 locations. The film is called, "The Niggaz of LaRouge," and is, in short, an absurdist Biblical tale. It has played at a few small festivals - we'll be trying with some of the bigger ones soon - and a few labels have shown interest to release it nationally on DVD.
Meanwhile, we plan to do a short this December, and I'm working on the script for another feature. We plan to shoot again soon. This will be an absurdist film once again, shot on HD, about hooligans at the chariot races in the Roman empire.
I've recommended NYFA to a bunch of people over here - I had a wonderful time and learned a great deal. I also fell in love with NYC - I plan to come back to live there as soon as I can.
Matthias Greuling, FILMMAKINGI worked as an Assistant Cameraman on several local projects in Vienna and shot another short film, "Beauty Locked," which earned the third prize at a German short film festival. The film was also broadcast on the European TV station, 3SAT. I also founded the new Austrian film magazine, "Celluloid." I'm the editor in chief and the publisher.
At the same time, I started working for Austria's second biggest daily newspaper, "Kurier," as a film journalist. Therefore, I visit all the main festivals like Cannes, Venice, and Berlin to report from there and meet industry people. Right now I am working as an assistant director for an Austrian short film production. After that, I'll shoot a short film on 16mm, or HD 24p in the fall. I'll also direct this one as well.
Bruce Lapointe, FILMMAKING - New YorkI am currently in the final week of principle photography on a 35mm feature film that I wrote, directed, and executive produced. I began writing the script immediately after I returned home from studying at NYFA.
At the same time, I used everything I learned at NYFA to obtain various jobs on independent film and video projects in and around the Montreal region (to supplement my screenwriting). I worked as production sound mixer, line producer, first AD, script supervisor, grip, etc., over two years. Once I completed the first draft of the script, I began searching for funding, and a crew. I found the $600,000 required to shoot my film through private financing.
From that point on, I have been extremely busy putting together all the other elements of the film. I have learned an incredible amount from this project since I am doing many things for the first time. Fortunately, I have been able to work with very high quality crew members, cast, casting agents, etc., while maintaining my budget.
Although the entire process of making this film has been extremely rigorous, I have loved every minute of it. I take great pride in the fact that upon seeing the rushes, everyone believes this is a multi-million dollar budget film.
Thanks for teaching me everything I used to make this film.
Tommaso Bernabei, FILMMAKING - New YorkThings are going good. I got a job as a Director in a production company in Florence and Milan (doing commercials, music videos, art documentaries, corporate films, etc.) and I do some Assistant Directing for features. Right now, I am doing a comedy by an Italian director. I woked a lot and am still working to make a future out of what I learned in NY.
Pedro Riutort, FILMMAKINGNow I'm editing my latest short film, "El Hambre." I'm so happy because I had the opportunity to work with one of the most popular actresses of Spain right now, Antonio San Juan. She was in the Almodovar film, "All About My Mother (the Agrado character)." She's an incredible actress. I sent her the script and her manager called and me and said that Antonio was really interested in my film. Now I am doing the editing, and at the same time, I'm writing my first feature film script, "Celeste."
Fabio Barbantis, FILMMAKINGI'm back in Brazil and after working on a few commercials, I'm finally working on a feature film, as an assistant director as well. It's a small production, and we don't have much money but it's a lot of fun. The film is a comedy and I think it's going to do well here in Brazil.
Leonard Peters, FILMMAKING - New YorkI have a screenplay circulating with some positive reactions, "Alive in Tribeca," a romantic comedy. I will be directing two plays next season, off-Broadway: "Dearest Cousin," by Enid Rudd. It is about Mary, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth! That should happen in early winter. In spring, I will direct Private Passion, by Gabrielle Strasun at 78th Street Playhouse. I just finished a book on acting which will be published next April.
Rodrigo Valdes, FILMMAKINGFirst of all, I want to thank you for the best academmic experience I've a had all my life. I learned more at the New York Film Academy than any other place or school I've been to.
Luckily, I have been working in film, as planned. I produced one short film in 16mm called, "El Umbral," with very well known actors here in Mexico. We are now in the "blow up" process, transferring the film to 35mm so we can make a real presentation. We will then send it to the proper festivals to see how it does. I have also been working as Assistant Director in several commercials. I am also opening a little post-production company, Original Creations, named after my final film at NYFA, where we offer offline editing, 3D animation, composites, etc.
Right now, I am in pre-production for my next short, called, "Inocencia," which will be shot in 35mm with anamorphic lenses.
Marta Martin, ONE-YEAR PRODUCING - New York / 4-WEEK FILMMAKING - ParisI am currently working as an entertainment lawyer in Madrid. I also work as a freelancer for some small budget productions. Thank you for your interest in your students' careers.
Chris Pry, ONE-YEAR SCREENWRITING
I have never gone through a program that was as much fun as it was intensive and valuable! The program directors have designed an excellent course to give you all the ins and outs of screenwriting as well as the film business in general. At the end of the program, the directors and staff organize an awesome Pitch Fest to give you a chance to pitch to industry producers and executives. I definitely recommend the One Year Screenwriting Program to anyone who is interested in screenwriting!
Los Angeles, CA
Elizabeth Charalambous, 8-WEEK FILMMAKINGI recently completed September's 8-Week Filmmaking Workshop at Los Angeles and I would just like you to know how much I enjoyed the course. I found he production workshops to be thoroughly enjoyable and the classes were extremely educational. I particularly liked the lighting classes with Tom Bilyer and the directing classes with Adam Stoner.
I am a recent graduate of Westminster University in London and I felt that I learned more from Adam in four weeks than I did at university in three years.
I am now strongly considering applying for the Advanced Filmmaking Program, having enjoyed the well-organized and worthwhile basic course so much.
Stephen Chasanoff, 8-WEEK FILMMAKING - New YorkI just wanted to thank your school and all your staff for the wonderful experience in hands-on Filmmaking. It felt great to learn something I had always wanted to learn and there's no better way in my opinion than to get right out there and do it.
Your staff was extremely helpful and supportive. Thanks again for the education.
Sinclair Black, Australia, 8-WEEK FILMMAKING - New YorkI was a student at the New York Film Academy, and loved it. Being from Australia, NYC was a real eye opener for me. I had a great time learning all the elements of filmmaking and have been able to use these skill on my latest production.
I came home and began working on corporate videos shooting and editing on digital video. I then started working on commercials assisting a water cinematographer who had been shooting for over 25 years. We were shooting on super 16mm. Then got a great gig on Endless Summer 3, filming in Chile on Easter Island and Tahiti. Then we started working on a film called "TO", a surfing documentary which features a Hawaiian surfer Laird Hamilton. The TV stations didn't want the program, but my partner and I knew there was a market so we toured the film, hiring independent cinemas around Australia during the summer. We created the Jack McCoy Surf Film Festival.
The festival was a huge success and we reached over 15,000 people (a lot, for Australia). The festival is now in its 3rd year and this year surf-wear giant, Billabong, has backed our film, "Blue Horizon." We have shot in many locations all over the world from Tahiti to Europe from South Africa to California. The film festival will this year tour the world arriving in USA next April!
DINESH MALKANI - SIX WEEKS FILMMAKINGI finished the 6 week film-making course a few weeks ago. I had a fantastic experience and hence wanted to personally thank you. The teachers and staff were amazing. They were always there for you, and went out of their way to help you.
Kindly forward this note to Shawn Sullivan (my editing teacher) as I don't have his email address. He and his staff (Paul, Matt and the others) were great. As they say, "Films are made in the Editing Room" and these guys know their stuff.
And so do the folks in the equipment department (Nick, Noah, Russ and the others). They always helped with the cameras and equipments, and no matter how busy they were, they always had a smile on their face. Thanks to Mike for organizing extra classes for us with Damon Shalit and Heng-Tatt. Thanks to Elli for sorting out the minor issue we had on our crew. And thanks to Ben, Albert, Charles, and all the other wonderful people I interacted with on a daily basis and who made our sailing very smooth.
Nathan Jones, 6-WEEK FILMMAKING - New YorkSince returning to England, I have combined my Bachelors in Accounting and Finance with my NYFA experience. I now work as an accountant for three film production companies, which includes working for one of Britain's most distinguished feature film directors. I have been involved with numerous TV commercials, music videos, and online virals.
I believe my time at NYFA, combined with my financial background, provided me with a unique resume, and gave me an edge over the competition when looking for production-related positions.
I thank everyone once again for their time and unrivalled enthusiasm during my time at NYFA.
Pierre Loubeau, 6-WEEK PROGRAM - Harvard UniversityMy final project, an 11-min short film, "Downer," was selected and screened at the Somewhat North of Boston Film Festival in New Hampshire. I am currently working on my next film project.
Sarah Schneider, 4-WEEK FILMMAKING - New YorkJust over a month ago, I finished the 4-Week Total Immersion Workshop. Since my arrival back home in Chicago, I have been reflecting on my profound New York film experience. I realize that the combitnation of living in Manhattan and learning at the NYFA resulted in an extrememly fulfilling and enlightening summer.
The relaxed, yet structured environment of the school provided us with a comfortable atmostphere for learning and creating. NYFA became a home for many of us, as we spent endless hours at the school. We were taught how to convey a story visually and were given many opportunities to experiment. I felt that the staff were knowledgeable, easy to converse with, well-trained, and readily available outside of class. Overall, they went beyond the written course curriculum, constantly flooding us with valuable information and allowing us to absorb as much as we were willing to. Of course, to get the most out of the program, it is completely up to the individual.
You provided us with the basic instruments; yet through our imagination, determination, and motivation, were able to conjure limitless creations. I walked into the New York Film Academy without knowing how to load a camera or splice film. After a month of learning how to write stronger stories, direct more effectively, frame shots with more meaning, and edit more constructively, I had no choice but to improve.
Now I feel confident that I can actually turn my stories into stronger films. I also discovered the power of constructive criticism as a rewarding learning experience. And I know that I have much, much, much more to learn.
While at the NYFA, I learned about will. To succeed in anything, especially in filmmaking, it is all about will. I know that the energy that this experiece supplied me with will carrry me throughout my future endeavors.
With most sincerity, I want to thank you for allowing me the change to carry out my dreams. I will never forget this past summer and cannot wait to continue making films, thanks in part to all of you. I recommend this program to anyone who wants to put in a hundred percent of their soul; and yes, the rewared is well worth it.
I took the 4-week adult digital class at MGM this past summer. Since my return to Philadelphia, I have worked on many big name projects. I just worked on the new Disney Film, "Invincible," staring Mark Wahlberg. I also worked on a commercial for Merck Pharmaceuticals that had the C.E.O. in it. I am currently working on directing a music video for a local band, and since I have my own DVX100A camera I am the Director of Photography on a SAG short film. I have also been working a little in front of the camera. I just worked as an extra on HBO's, "The Wire." This coming January, I will be working on "Rocky 6." Hope all is well, and thank you for making my summer a fun learning experience.
4-WEEK DIGITAL FILMMAKING - Disney-MGM
I have been working in a production company called Lovo Films--first, as a production assistant, and now as a line producer. I have been working here full-time for 18 months now, and in that period, I had the possibility to work on my personal projects as well, like my own short called, "Another Day." After requesting financial aid from the government, I managed to make this 16mm-short.
6-WEEK FILMMAKING- Los Angeles, CA
The story, conceived at NYFA-LA, but finalized in Belgium, was a product of a lot of hard work. Yet, with the help of a professional crew and actors, financial support from the government, and backing from Lovo itself, it was finally shot and premiered at the International Festival of Ghent, with many smore festivals to come.
I'm from Melbourne, Australia, and did the 4-week filmmaking program. Since I graduated, I did some work for a 30 minute program called P.S.I., on TV, for which I was a cameraman.
4-WEEK FILMMAKING - Los Angeles, CA
I learned a lot at NYFA and would recommend it for any filmmaker to go see what possibilites are out there.
Leah Wilson, 4-WEEK ACTING - Los Angeles, CAI cannot even express how wonderful my time at NYFA was!!! It was the best decision I have ever made. It renewed my passion for acting and has changed the course of my life. I have moved to Vancouver to further pursue my acting training and enter into the profession. I learned so much at NYFA and I made so many great, long-lasting friendships!
I would recommend the program to anyone. Thank you again for a great experience!!
Nadia Roden, ANIMATION WORKSHOPI took the Animation Workshop at the New York Film Academy. I was very happy with every aspect of the course. Karl Staven was a committed teacher and tailored his clased to suit each individual. We learned the traditional techniques of animation as well as more experimental approaches. The training I received here was insturmental in allowing me to get a job at MTV as an animator in a new cartoon series. The fact that it was hands-on, helped me learn efficiently and immediately.
HELEN GEBREGIORGIS, 1-WEEK FILMMAKINGTo the distinguished members of the New York Film Academy,
I want to thank you for one of the greatest experiences in my life. I have become more confident in my abilities and in myself because of the opportunity you granted me. I gained a lot of knowledge and developed skills through the NYFA workshop I was a part of this past January. The moment I found out that the workshop involved us making a film on a digital camera in a week, I was so excited. I love challenges and I am a big believer that anything is possible. Through this workshop I was able to prove it. It felt so wonderful when I completed the workshop and left with a film of my own in my hands.
When I returned to Chicago I felt as if I awoke from a dream but my film reminded me that it was definitely real. I not only share stories of my experience at NYFA but I am also able to share my film with others. I have a lot to learn still and this workshop was a step amongst many steps in my life that will help me in my path as a filmmaker. Thank you once again for everything. I will forever remember and appreciate you with all my heart.
Lora Bofill, 1-WEEK PROGRAM - Los Angeles, CAI only took the 1-week filmmaking workshop, but it was one of the most eye-opening classes I had ever taken. It made me realize how much I wanted to learn more about film from the other side of the camera. I had done, and continue to do, some acting in front of the camera. I have plans to move to LA where I will take more classes.
I wear my NYFA T-shirts with pride. I have even spread the word and shared NYFA brochures among fellow actors to introduce them to your courses.
Suniti Ghosal, 4-WEEK FILMMAKINGI own and run a film company in India called, A Yellow Submarine. I mainly make corporate films.
After 16 years of working, I wanted to have a career change. I was bored of doing what I was doing. I had begun my career with films, but had moved on to PR and Corporate Communications thereafter. And that line of work had also done well for me. But somewhere deep inside I wanted to study filmmaking again.
I began my search for a film school. I searched extensively in India for something that would suit me. But could not find anything that would be short and packed with material at the same time. And, I must comment that wherever you search, NYFA is always top of the list. Finally I decided to come to NYFA. And thank God for that.
The course at NYFA gave my career a great flip. I must humbly admit that I have been lucky with my career since then. I have made films for leading companies like GE, max New York Life Insurance, AIDS awareness film for BBC, etc., among many others. Thank you, NYFA. I mean it.
Dan Chen, EVENING FILMMAKING - New YorkI am currently serving as in-house counsel to WRNN-TV, a local broadcast television station. We have added a brand new studio and production facility in Rye Brook, NY and have potential internship and other opportunities for members of the New York Film Academy community who may be interested in working in the television industry.
I am also a member of the Screen Actors Guild and have continued to act in student film projects whenever I can.
Rakesh Anand Bakshi, 4-WEEK ACTING - New YorkThe acting course helped me immensely as a director, to understand the actor better; and the filmmaking course made me appreciate working with actors and crew. It taught me to be strict, but appreciative and respectful as well to get the best out of my actors and crew. Post NYFA, I am making my own film in India with an Indian star, Zayed Khan.
My expectations were exceeded during the 8-week Screenwriting program at NYFA. Having both theory and workshop classes with amazing, highly qualified teachers in a pleasant environment helped and stimulated my writing. I wish the course hadn’t finished; I learned and evolved more than I ever thought I would. And all that positive result surprised and impressed me in the best possible way.
8-WEEK SCREENWRITING - Los Angeles, CA
Jeffrey Allen Miller
I would like to take this opportunity to thank NYFA for helping me improve my skills and helping me mature my craft of screenwriting.
8-WEEK SCREENWRITING - New York
Seth Michael Donsky led my class of (12) students from the first of May through the end of June. His mastery of the craft, and his knowledge of the industry are most impressive. He certainly sets high standards on behalf of NYFA and my own expectations of these standards were met without a doubt.
More importantly, I feel Donsky possess a talent for teaching that lacked in my past screenwriting classes at the university level. As primarily a journalist and fiction writer, I know how difficult it is to put an idea into screenplay format when past writing skills are less specific. In my first (of three) screenwriting class(es), I was truly lost -- back in 1994 -- because I "had" to tell my story and was not prepared for writing with a much different format. I could easily spot which students in this class were at my earlier level of inexperience.
Donsky's ability to empower all students and help each of us rise to meet our goal, no matter how different our individual skills, is a commendable talent. I believe he truly cared and this was evident to me by how he directed the class.
It is through this positive experience at NYFA I commend, and will recommend, your institution.
Preeti Tiwari, 1-Week Acting for Film, Los Angeles, CAPlease accept a very sincere "Thanks" for organizing the most incredible workshop in LA. I must admit that I am so glad I enrolled for it! It was a great experience (specially the production workshop at the Universal lot). All the professors are simply the best, extremely helpful and the most knowledgeable. Kudos for the extremely professional approach everyone exhibits - be it instructors, receptionists, the admissions department or the post production department, for that matter. Much thanks to all.
I have thus safely concluded that NYFA is by far the most "elite" acting school. I am definitely coming back for more - probably the 2 year MFA program.
Thanks much once again to all - for everything. NYFA rocks!!!