NYFA Tween Camp Student

I wrote and talked to you last summer when Taos was coming from Singapore to participate in the New York Film Academy film course near Wall Street, with lodging included. I tried to find you a few times during the session, since I was staying in town with my daughter who was on the Tweens NYFA option, but understand you work at a different campus.
Just wanted to say the program was (is) SUPERB. Taos really enjoyed himself, and the counselors were GREAT. It’s an excellent, well-run, responsible program. Both children had a fantastic time, and we highly recommend it to our friends. You remember I wanted to make sure that Taos was sheltered during his on-campus lodging, given that we live in a conservative society back in Singapore. Taos ended up with another international student who’d gone to his same elementary school in Singapore, so he were very happy. He’s got the door name tag from NYFA on his bedroom door now. It was an excellent program, and really helped him get a leg-up in his filmmaking course at school this year. Big kudos to the counselors too.
Susan Chang

New York Film Academy Filmmaking Student

The New York Film Academy has always been my dream school to go to after High School. It was the only college I applied to because I couldn’t see myself anywhere else and my dream of getting accepted came true! I took Multimedia Technology for 3 years in high school so I knew the basics of film editing, cinematography, etc. I wanted to learn so much more about film and I knew that the only school that could teach me things I didn’t know was the New York Film Academy. The first DAY of the academy was hard! I thought I knew what we were going to learn, but I never touched a 16mm camera until my first day of college. The academy was NOT kidding about sometimes having 12-hour days!

Since attending the academy, we had a guest speaker and screening almost every week! I networked with a lot of people and by doing so, I even got to attend a private screening of Silver Linings Playbook featuring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper; and the movie, Fun Size! This weekend I went to the New York City Horror Film Festival where I saw three short films and a feature length film! Not only did I get to meet the director from the feature film, I got to meet and network with a past graduate from NYFA whose thesis film, “The Hierarchy”, was in the festival! It made me so excited to be a part of the academy and made me want to enter my films into festivals someday!

I love all my teachers at NYFA! I’m such a nerd that I googled them on the first day and I am very impressed with their past and current work. I even had my Director’s Craft instructor, Billy Tyler Smith, autograph his feature film for me! I know that I’m learning from the best because they have such good stories about their experiences in the industry. Learning from them inspires me to want to become a teacher and teach students about my soon-to-be experiences in the film industry! The majority of my instructors are male so the movie examples they show are not all in my interest. I will most likely show “Legally Blonde” when I become a teacher.

After this year of the New York Film Academy, I will be attending the campus in Los Angeles to earn my Master’s Degree in Filmmaking. This was another reason I chose the academy over other film schools. NYFA has campuses almost EVERYWHERE. I think it is so beautiful how it is located in different countries as well as other states. I believe that every inspiring movie will come from a NYFA student because we are from all over the world and have different stories to tell! It was one of the few schools that allowed me to travel! To earn my masters degree, it is required to have one year in NYC and another 3 years in LA. No argument there from me! They are my two favorite cities and I can’t wait to fall in love with both. They are different in the most beautiful ways I have heard.

Once I graduate NYFA, I plan on getting an internship with Warner Brothers studio or another huge production company. New York Film Academy encourages you to dream BIG and take risks! I’m getting choked up writing about it. The first day of NYFA I was told by instructor Michael Sandoval, “As of this moment, you are all filmmakers.” I am a filmmaker and I plan on keeping it that way.

-Casey Hempel

New York Film Academy Producing Student

I can honestly say that my time at the New York Film Academy enhanced my skills and improved my knowledge as a film producer. Before I had enrolled at the New York Film Academy, I had been working in the film industry in Europe and even though I had experienced real industry practice by having had the opportunity to work in various high profiled European productions, I hoped that the additional knowledge I would gain at the New York based Academy would help advance me in my ambition of becoming a leading film producer.

I enrolled in the 4 week producing intensive course. The lectures were well constructed and our professors guided and helped us understand every phase of the film producing process; and even more important, the role of the producer!

Unbeknownst to me, most of my classmates, who came from Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and of course America, already had some producing experience; whether in film, television, video or music. This was another great benefit because we all had the chance to share information about each other’s film industries and how markets work in those particular countries. This enhanced our learning process to a more international level.

Overall my experience was outstanding and the knowledge I gained at the New York Film Academy improved my present understanding of the film producing practice by making it a solid foundation to continue building my career as a film producer.
-Elena Stanisheva

New York Film Academy Acting Student

I am from Romania. I moved to LA basically to attend the New York Film Academy Universal Studios Acting program, because of the professionalism they offer and the decision of being an actor. ‘Hey, where is a better place to pursue this career than LA?’

I graduated from the one year acting program on October 20, and I have to say the time spent in school this year was one of the best I’ve ever had. I learned a lot in Acting for film, Meisner, Acting Technique  and Scene Study. I saw many opportunities in school and in LA; and I am looking forward to a second year in acting to receive my AFA degree. One advantage of being a NYFA student or alumni is that you get to attend a lot of screenings, Q&A’s, and showcases. You also get good discounts at Universal City Walk. Being an international school you make a lot of new friends from all over the world and learn a lot from their cultures.

You also get to learn and work exactly like you would on a professional set; so you get a good taste of what awaits you out there. If you study hard, audition, work hard, with a bit of luck you can make your dreams come true.

-Ovidiu Alexandru Cojocaru

New York Film Academy Acting and Screenwriting Student

I have been a student at New York Film Academy for 3 different programs. I first came here when I was 19 to do the 8 week acting for film course. All my life I had been doing some form of acting but considering where I grew up, there were no proper film opportunities so I wanted to go to NYFA for a shorter course to ensure that it was the path I wanted to take in life before dedicating everything I had to it. Needless to say, it did the job and I ended up coming to an 8 week screenwriting class before heading back here for the year long program.

This school is unlike any other in a number of ways. I’d have to say the one thing that really sets NYFA apart from other schools I’ve been to etc, is the trips to the backlot. You get to film on REAL sets with real camera crews that are also a part of various programs at NYFA. The school also offers a vast range of different courses that contribute to an all around acting experience. In all of the school’s courses and workshops I had done previous to coming back for the year long program, I had never taken a meisner class. I have to say that Anne Moore who was my meisner teacher is one of my favourite acting teachers to date. She spends equal amounts of time with each student and goes out of her way to make sure that we really understand. She was also always available at a moments notice to do a one on one session if we needed more help.

The acting for Film Class with Bruce Ducat was also fantastic because we learned a lot of tips and tricks that really came in handy when it came time to getting in front of the camera. Things like eye line and angles which really ended up coming in handy. Valorie Hubbard was our Scene Study teacher and she is one of the most knowledgeable people I have personally met on the subject. She really challenged us and taught us how to get in character and gave us different tips and tricks to get into those difficult ones that occasionally test us to the limit.

These are just a few of the great aspects that NYFA has to offer. They keep students interested in what they’re doing and offer a number of challenges that end up pushing us to the limit to ultimately become our best.

-Jesse Brandes

New York Film Academy Universal Studios Acting Student

I had the best three years of my life. I got to experience Film and acting on a basis I could not even dream about. To be able too actually go on sets of movies you grew up with, was just magical.

I had teachers who actually worked as actors in their private lives.
People such as John Henry Richardson and Anthony Montes, show you nothing but passion. They take their time to get you where you need to be. Their words inspire you to work harder, and give you joy in a business that can and sometimes will rip you apart.

Meisner was my favorite class – it took me deeper into the art of acting.
With Meisner classes, I have to mention Maria Gobetti and Tom Ormeny.
They will push you harder than you thought you could be, and make you feel comfortable at the same time.

The staff at New York Film Academy took me into their arms and let me really enjoy life.
Any issues or problems I had, I took up with Jean Sherlock. He immideatly sat me down and talked it through and he always came through.

NYFA is not only about teaching the industry of Hollywood – they care about you as an individual as well.

Anybody who is interested in studying here, and are willing to work hard, should not think twice about joining.

It’s an experience of a lifetime and its waiting for you.

-Kenneth Thomassen

New York Film Academy 1 Year Documentary Student

I moved to New York from Canada in 2010 to study Documentary Filmmaking at the New York Film Academy.  After graduating from university with a Biology degree, I had a difficult time deciding whether I should pursue teaching, public health or film – something that I’ve never thought would be possible. Since I was young, I worked towards becoming a health professional like my father, so I tried to find an outlet for my creativity in high school art classes or English projects. While I enjoyed the arts, I never saw myself as artsy enough to fully dive into it and felt the pressure to find a career that was more “stable.” It was only after my 4-month internship in Bangladesh in 2009 that I mustered the courage to make that transition from Biology to film. At the end of my internship , I put together a short 16-minute documentary about my research there and it was one of the most exciting things I had ever done.

Sarah’s documentary film “Newtown Creek”

The 1-year Documentary Program I took at NYFA was intense, but exhilarating.  As someone who enjoys both in-class and practical training, I think I took the most out of the program by being committed to my coursework, investing in my film projects, while taking the full advantage of studying in New York City by attending outside film screenings in my spare time. I learned a great deal from my instructors as they shared their wisdom from years of personal experience in the industry, as well as the guest lecturers who came in for our Master classes. The fact that we started filming our projects within the first month of the program and worked together in small crews of 4 helped me to learn the craft of filmmaking in its true collaborative nature. Through trial-and-errors, I learned firsthand how to produce, shoot, and edit better while, critique sessions with my classmates and instructors enabled me to take my films to the next level.

I would definitely recommend NYFA to those looking to pursue filmmaking – documentary or narrative. This school has equipped me to become the filmmaker that I am today and has set me on the path to grow as a documentarian when I did not know anything about filmmaking only two years ago. I have met many mentors and friends that I still collaborate with at this school and was able to produce two short documentaries that have been screened at film festivals. I am grateful for my experience at NYFA and stand as a proud alumnus of the school.

-Sarah Choi