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

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