The Academy is pleased to be the film school of choice among many Hollywood filmmakers and their families, including Steven Spielberg's son; the current James Bond, Pierce Brosnan's son; Academy Award winning actor F. Murray Abraham's son; daughter of Diana Ross; director Luc Besson's sister (The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita); Ted Danson's son; daughter of fashion designer Donatella Versace; The Police guitarist Andy Summers' daughter; Screen writer Polly Platt's daughter; daughter of Richard Leacock, founder of the MIT film program; Grand son of one of the fathers of modern cinema, Sergei Eisenstein; Son of Linda Fiorentino; David Faustino, star of Married with Children; Alfonso Ribiero star of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air; Christian Castro, famous Mexican singer; cinematographer Phillippe Rousselot's (Planet of the Apes, A River Runs Through It) daughter; son of director David Carson (Star Trek, Beverly Hills 90210); Asian cinema star Takeshi Kaneshiro (Chungking Express); and daughter of Laura Esquivel, author and screenwriter Like Water for Chocolate. And yet, some of the best films to come out of the New York Film Academy are from students with no connections to the film industry. The Academy’s one-year program gives students the all-around filmmaking experience necessary to make their own films. The ‘year’ is based on our academic calendar of nine months with a one week vacation. Students in the program receive over 1,000 hours of hands-on instruction and actual production experience. They all write, shoot, direct, and edit seven of their own short films (including a mini-thesis sync-sound film, and a digital documentary). They are introduced to 35mm cinematography, digital filmmaking and non-linear editing, and they complete an intensive film studies program, and a film acting workshop. To create this curriculum, we have distilled the key ingredients of the most respected graduate and undergraduate film programs from around the world to provide an intensive year of learning and production. Our program is for people who have the passion to plunge into full-time filmmaking, but do not want to spend three or four years in a traditional film school. The program requires students to commit themselves to a focused and demanding curriculum for a full academic year. No previous filmmaking experience is required, however, participants must work with self-discipline, energy and mutual respect. As in all New York Film Academy programs the one-year course emphasizes hands-on learning. Film directing classes are not theoretical explorations; they are practical workshops designed to put students in the director’s chair as quickly as possible. The New York Film Academy encourages students to take creative risks and find their own voices as visual artists. Students complete the year in filmmaking with skills in all the filmmaking crafts, an enormous amount of production experience, seven films of their own and a show-reel, a one-year diploma, and an expanded awareness of themselves and others. Students may complete a New York Film Academy intensive filmmaking workshop in any of our overseas or U.S. locations and then join the one-year program in London, New York, or Universal Studios after the first two months of the first semester.
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· Write, Direct, Digitally Edit Four Short non-synchronous 16mm Films.
· Be Cinematographer, Gaffer, and Assistant Camera on your crew’s films.
· Write short film script with dialogue (for 2nd semester production)
· Write, Direct, and Edit a digital documentary.
· Learn art and technique of visual storytelling including directing, cinematography, editing, and post-production sound design.
· Learn fundamentals of digital video production and digital editing.
· Survey of cinema studies with focus on craft, genre, and elements of storytelling.
· Fundamental training in acting craft for director.
· Immersion in screenwriting craft.
· Direct and edit a sync-sound narrative film of up to 15 minutes. (16mm or digital)
· Direct and edit a Music Video or Commercial. (16mm or digital)
· Participate as crew member on fellow students’ films and group projects.
· Shoot and edit scenes on 35mm film using Panavision cameras.
· Create director’s reel to showcase all your work from the entire program.
· Advanced filmmaking craft including directing (especially directing actors), producing, sync-sound production, color cinematography, editing and sound design.
· Learn fundamentals of 35mm.
· Develop strategy for pursuing filmmaking after the end of the program.
Students in the one-year program are invited to attend an orientation before the course begins. This helps students acclimate to life in the city, and gives them an opportunity to get to know each other. It gives them the chance to settle into their accommodations and to organize their lives before the intensive year of filmmaking begins. DIGITAL FILMMAKING
Students continue in their craft classes as they begin to direct, shoot, and edit a digital documentary up to twelve minutes. They will learn how to get the best possible image, working with the Sony PD150 cameras, shooting on DVCAM tape, and editing on digital non-linear Apple G-4 Final Cut Pro stations. Camera and Lighting classes help students master the digital medium including white balance, shutter speed, focus, video latitude, gels, and filters. Students learn to get professional quality sound with Sennheiser microphones. Director's craft class will prepare students for their documentary project. Students become confident working with digital dialogue and sound editing as they edit their documentaries. ACTING FOR DIRECTORS
Too often, filmmakers who have mastered the visual aspect of filmmaking are clueless when it comes to understanding the needs of the actor. Having never been on the other side of the camera, they have little idea of how to help actors give the natural and specific performances that are necessary to tell the story and engage the audience. We believe this training is critical for film directors. Our one-year program includes an intensive course in the first semester that explores the craft of film acting. Students learn how to build a character and a performance based on the information given in a film script. This will be of incalculable value to them as they write and direct their films in the one-year program and beyond. CINEMA STUDIES
The first semester of the New York Film Academy one-year course includes an intensive film studies program taught from a filmmaker’s perspective. This course runs for one month concurrently with the Film Acting Workshop. Through daily lectures, discussions, and screenings of exemplary films, our students identify techniques that they may use on their own films. They learn how filmmakers have approached the great challenge of telling stories with moving images from silent films to the digital age. SCREENWRITING
As students take part in the Cinema Studies and Acting classes, they begin an intensive writing period. In Screenwriting class, each student develops three premises for a second-semester project and then takes one all the way to a final shooting script of up to fifteen pages. This will be achieved through a combination of one-on-one consultations with a faculty mentor, in-class readings and supportive discussions, and at least three rewrites. Methods of writing effective and realistic dialogue will be practiced. Nevertheless, students are encouraged to tell their stories visually, and not to rely solely on dialogue to tell the story. The scripts they write will be the basis of all class work and the thesis film project in the second semester. FACULTY MENTOR PROGRAM
Each student has a faculty mentor who will review each film project with the student before and after production. This teacher will continue with the student throughout the year as mentor. ADVANCED FILM PRODUCTION
The second semester challenges students to develop their film craft artistically and technically, and to progress beyond their earlier experiments with the medium. It is designed to enable students to make a fully conceived and executed film with dialogue shot on 16mm film using the Arriflex SR. They have the option of shooting on digital video. Students are also introduced to 35mm filmmaking using Panavision cameras. Towards the end of the semester they attend classes in “Life after the New York Film Academy,” where they meet guest speakers from the film industry and discuss strategies for pursuing filmmaking after the end of the program. Film instruction and exercises in the second semester are geared towards helping students complete their own projects. The scripts students wrote during the end of the first semester will be used in many of the classes for learning purposes and to improve the scripts. Directing
Starting where the first semester directing class left off, students learn how to cover a dialogue scene with a series of shots, as well as more sophisticated approaches to coverage including the use of dollies. The class encourages students to develop their own directorial voices and styles through their use of film language. In addition, the directing instructor screens and critiques the exercise films students make in Advanced Production Workshop each week. Directing Actors
This class builds on the tools students gained in the Acting for Directors class. Students learn how to break down a script by identifying the dramatic beats of their scenes and translating this understanding into effective feedback for actors. Students learn to identify and adjust character objectives through rehearsal. This results in specific and believable performances. Advice and assistance with casting is also provided in this class. Producing
To ensure an organized shoot, students must guide their film through a comprehensive pre-production period. Producing class takes them through the entire process of pre-production, including scouting and securing of locations and securing permits and cast. Using their script breakdowns, students learn how to plan and keep to a schedule and how to budget their productions. Students use their own finished scripts in class as they learn how to take advantage of budgeting and scheduling forms and methods. Advanced Camera
Students learn to load and operate the Arriflex 16mm SR crystal sync camera. Students learn to build the camera on the Elemack Spyder Dolly and operate complex tracking shots on the dolly. There is also a review of the use of light meters, lenses, and f-stops. Sync-Sound Recording
This class teaches students how to record sync-sound for their projects. Location recording, sound mixing, and boom operation are practiced on scenes from the students’ scripts. Sound will be recorded using the Time Code DAT, Smart Slate and Sennheiser microphones. Cinematography This class immerses students in the technical and creative demands of cinematography. Color film stocks are tested to help students make the best choice for their films. The use of color correcting filters and gels is practiced through shooting tests. Lighting and contrast ratios are reviewed. In addition, students learn the most economical ways to light a scene quickly. By shooting set-ups from students’ own storyboards, “Guerrilla Lighting” classes provide students with a practical approach to getting the most out of their resources. Advanced Production Workshop This class guides students through practical sync-sound exercises in preparation for working on final projects in the second month. Under the supervision of the instructor, students polish their skills by shooting a series of sync-sound group exercises. These projects are treated as actual productions with full pre-production and casting. Students get the opportunity to direct, shoot, light, and record sound. Students work with a grip equipment package (flags, nets, gels, stands, and clamps) and Elemack Dollies while practicing how to control light. Afterwards, they edit and screen the work they produced. Editing AND SOUND DESIGN This class teaches students to sync-up and edit their developed and transferred film footage with digitized sound on Final Cut Pro. The instructor guides them in organizing their footage, cutting dialogue sequences, building sound tracks to mix on the computer. Students planning to print their projects back to film may choose to edit on Avid Xpress DV. 35MM workshop This class will use Panavision 35mm cameras and accessories. The 35mm class is an opportunity for students to see how the wider frame and higher resolution of 35mm affects their shot design, framing, composition, staging, camera movement, lens choice, and lighting. Students will digitally edit the scenes shot in class and may include them on their show-reels. • PRE-PRODUCTION Students start the second semester with a finished script of up to fifteen pages. They will continue to improve these scripts in one-on-one consultation with their mentors and as they work with the scenes in their other classes. During the instruction period they will begin to find locations, cast, and design their shoots. Starting in the sixth week of the semester they will work exclusively on pre-production. They will continue to meet with instructors in one-on-one advisement sessions to get feedback on their shooting script, casting, storyboards, floor plans, schedules and budgets.• PRODUCTION Each student receives five shooting days, according to the schedule designed in Producing class. Students works on their classmates films in the principle crew roles. In addition, a New York Film Academy staff liaison accompanies the students on their productions and serves as a technical assistant. Schedules are designed to allow for days off between productions for last minute preparations for the subsequent shoot. The production period is approximately six weeks and is as intense and demanding as a professional feature film shoot. • POST-PRODUCTION After the production period there is a syncing review session and students begin editing their films. In the second week of editing, students screen rough-cuts of their films for their mentors and receive feedback. Throughout the post production period, the editing instructor is available for consultation. Students will have up to 200 hours of individual editing time. They finish their films with multiple mixed tracks of sound. Students who are printing their projects back to film and other interested students have the option of editing on Avid Xpress DV. • SHOW-REEL PIECE At the end of the workshop students direct a short commercial or music video. They may shoot these on 16mm or digital video and edit them digitally. They will then create a reel which showcases all the work they have directed in the one-year program. During this final phase of the program, students will take part in a special seminar addressing strategies for creating a framework for a life in filmmaking. PRESENTATION
At the end of the second semester, a final screening will include a diploma granting ceremony and will be open to friends, family and invited guests. Students will take their finished films with them which they may submit to the many film festivals in the U.S. and abroad. LOCATION
The year-in-filmmaking program is offered in New York City, at our school at Universal Studios in California, and overseas in London. New York, Los Angeles, and London provide students with the most varied possible locations, the largest pool of actors and most extensive array of film production services in the world. Students may take the two semesters at different locations. FINANCIAL AID The New York Film Academy does not participate in Federal Financial Aid programs. However, you may qualify for a Career Training loan. ("/FAQ-slm.html") ENROLLMENT Rolling admissions. An in-person or phone interview assures that the student understands the the level of commitment required to attend. Students who have already completed the NYFA 4, 6, or 8-week workshop should contact us about an adjustment to the one-year program tuition. It is often said that the three elements that make a good screenplay are story, story, and story. A good screenwriter needs three qualities as well: discipline, some talent, and passion. After many years of being taken for granted, screenwriters are now recognized as being just as important as directors in making films. The cliché still holds true that you can make a bad movie with a good screenplay, but you can't make a good movie without a good screenplay. In the New York Film Academy's One-Year Writing Program, students are fully immersed in the craft of screenwriting in an intensive and focused course of study, where the student actually completes several drafts of a feature-length screenplay, one television spec script and two to three treatments by the end of the course. During the academic year of study, the student not only gains an understanding of story structure, character, conflict and dialogue, they also have several finished products which they can then pitch, produce, and try to sell. With strict adherence to the daily rituals of writing and learning, students will be able to complete numerous drafts of a feature length screenplay, in addition to the television script and treatments. The course is designed for individuals with little or no screenwriting experience who are ready, willing, and able to work hard and learn within a fast-paced and focused environment. Screenwriting, first and foremost, is a craft. Talent alone is not enough. A writer must train by doing--by writing every day possible, which is exactly the requirement at the New York Film Academy. The advantage of this type of intensive one-year course lies in the fact that students are given a solid structure for writing and meeting deadlines in addition to learning the craft of writing. Students must write intensively during the course, completing several projects in close coordination with the instructors and with their peers. We consider it an ideal learning-by-writing environment. What is a story? How does the screenwriter come up with a story? How does the screenwriter structure and outline the screenplay? What is the writing process? How does the screenwriter know when the story is working? How do they know when they've done enough drafts of the script and itís ready for others to read? There are many topics covered in the One-Year Course. The daily structure of the course is rigid, yet above all it is supportive. Each writer needs encouragement at the outset of their creative endeavor so that their voice is fully expressed. The first several weeks of class are dedicated to lecture, writing exercises, story brainstorming and development of story plots. At each step of the way, the student is nurtured in a workshop environment and supervised by an award-winning screenwriter with a Master's Degree in Film from one of the country's finest film schools. A typical day includes several hours in the morning of lecture, story exercises and workshop. The second half of the day after the lunch break is dedicated to writing. Students may write individually, in groups or in a writing lab, where they develop, practice and execute their newly-learned skills. The following day, each student presents his or her writing to the other students in the workshop, and students read several dialogue pieces out loud, thereby gaining constructive comments and development ideas from peers and from the instructor. Students do not need any screenwriting experience to sign up for this course. However, students should try, if possible, to come to the first day of class with an idea for their screenplay. This idea will serve as a starting point for subsequent work in the program. If students do not have a story idea, they are then assisted by the instructor to develop an idea. By the end of the workshop, students will have developed this idea into a full-length screenplay. Hard work, great passion, unwavering determination and commitment are as essential to successful screenwriting as they are to any other creative endeavor. The One-Year Film Program at the New York Film Academy is recommended for individuals who have the passion and drive to commit themselves to a total immersion in screenwriting. The Academy stresses fundamental writing concepts and techniques. Topics covered during the course will include:
• Classic screenplay structure (both open and closed plot analysis)
• Character arcs
• Voice over
• Style and tone
• WGA format
During the course, a special section of the curriculum is dedicated to the study of DIALOGUE. When screenwriters first begin, usually what suffers must is a lack of solid structure and then too much dialogue. Dialogue should accomplish several objectives in the absolute shortest way possible: including clarifying or furthering the conflict within the scene, conveying subtext and revealing something new about the character. In class, students show their own work in dialogue, which is critiqued by the instructor and fellow students. Examples of good dialogue are also studied during the course.