New York Film Academy 2011 Producing School graduate and native New Yorker, Nik Taneris, was recently covered on The Huffington Postfor his movie The Turnpike Killer and his film festival, The New York Horror and Exploitation Film Fest. The Turnpike Killer, which was directed by Evan Makrogiannis in 2009 and released this year, is billed as a thriller where “all roads lead to death.”
Producer David T. Friendly visited New York Film Academy for a screening of the Oscar-winning indie hit, Little Miss Sunshine. The film also won at the AFI and Independent Spirit Awards. As Vice President of Motion Pictures at Imagine Entertainment, Friendly executive produced features including My Girl, For Love or Money, Greedy, and The Chamber.
David told the story of working on Little Miss Sunshine, saying it took six years before the script made it to the screen. The film was turned down by all of the major studios before the producing team decided to make the film outside of the studio system. “They can reject you over and over again, but you need to have the conviction of your taste,” said David.
Robin Williams was considered for the role of Richard before they ultimately decided on Greg Kinnear. David also said that an alternate ending was originally shot, in which the family is arrested after causing a scene at the pageant.
David raffled off copies of the script and soundtrack to excited students. He also left them with words of encouragement, saying, “The world is wide open to you right now. You can do anything. Don’t limit yourself.”
New York Film Academy’s Student Spotlight: Ana Paula Manzato
As we mentioned before, New York Film Academy is proud to be in lovely Rio de Janeiro. Throughout the week we’re showcasing our wonderful NYFA Brazilian students. Today we spoke with Ana Paula Manzato to catch up on her experience thus far at our Universal Studios, Los Angeles campus.
How did you find out about NYFA? I first found out about NYFA on the internet and looked further to learn more about it at the STB (Student Travel Bureau) in Brazil. Then, I e-mailed NYFA with my inquiries and got the information that I needed.
What attracted you to NYFA?
The school structure, the location, the talks that the school offers the students, and I found Gabby Egito’s blog on the internet with plenty of information about the school. Some pictures that drew my attention to the school even more.
What was your journey to NYFA from Brazil? What is your story?
I studied Advertising and Marketing in Brazil and participated in so me activities and projects at the university. I took part in the production of a video clip that won three awards, including best picture. Since then I have been interested in film, photography, and production.
What has been your NYFA experience?
My journey has been intense and excellent! We learn all about the production of a film, from inserting a roll of film into the camera, up to its final edition. We produce our own films, screenplays, and cast our actors. The teachers are great, attentive and always willing to help us.
To people in Brazil who want to come to NYFA, do you have any advice?
If you want to learn more about filmmaking, NYFA is the right place. With outstanding structure and excellent teachers, we can really learn all there is to know about filmmaking. You learn something new every day and you are in close contact with different cultures and people.
New York Film Academy Student On “Exploiting Your School Environment”
New York Film Academy student Ella Nuortila was featured on Finland blog, FINNYC this week. Ella (a Finland native) is in her first year of the one-year producing program at New York Film Academy’s New York campus, and has just wrapped filming her first two short films. Check out what Ella had to say in this great interview:
How do you think the study environment is different here compared to Finland?
E: Our class is very small, only seven people. That makes the studying more “mentor-type” and we get very hands-on education although there is a lot of room for own creativity. We are able to choose our own projects and the crew for the film, even from outside of the school environment. This enables us to build our contacts and exploit our school environment at the same time.
What are the greatest advantages of learning film producing in New York, as we know you are going to finish your studies in Helsinki Metropolia School of Applied Sciences in couple of years?
E: It’s definitely the amount of possibilities in terms of finding other independent film producers, shooting locations, and other professionals in the field. For example, there isn’t really a location specialist title in Finland but here you can request special features for the location and they will find it.
Your school program is only one year; how does your spring look like?
E: We are going to shoot a music video which I’m very excited about – I’ve been part of music videos before but not behind the camera and during the whole process from the beginning with discussing with the artist. In addition, we are doing an advertisement, and as the last project I’ll write my “thesis” that is basically writing the Package for my movie idea that I can later pitch to producers and investors.
And after school? Will you stay in New York?
My student visa enables me to work for 12 months after I finish my studies at the New York Film Academy. I hope to find a paid internship or a job so that I could stay here and take advantage of this time as best as I can. This is definitely an opportunity that everyone and anyone should experience. If you want it, you can do it.
New York Film Academy Graduate Wins International Movie Trailer Festival
New York Film Academy Producing Conservatory graduate Helena Hilario just took home the People’s Choice Award from the International Movie Trailer Festival for the trailer for Out at Home starring Broadway star Patrick Boll. Out at Home is a thriller set in the world of professional baseball, inspired by true events. When young player Ryan Miller reaches the top and panics over his performance, he begins taking steroids that cause him to blackout. He is suddenly implicated in a murder case, inciting a paranoid race against time as, betrayed by those around him, he must struggle to clear his name while desperately trying to discover whether he did commit murder. Says Hilario on the competition:
“The IMTFestival was a great opportunity for exposure of the trailer. After the trailer was accepted for the festival, I launched the website, facebook page, youtube and twitter. The fans of the project voted massively and the trailer won the People’s Choice Award category. It was a good opportunity to show the investors the potential of the movie…The video already has more than 6 thousand views on Youtube.”
Hilario began producing feature Out at Home as her thesis for New York Film Academy, bringing NYFA classmates on board including Mario Pece (Director and Editor), Dominick Sivilli (DP), Michael Etherington, Celines Cordero Sanchez and Douglas Brown (Producers), Reed Schiff (Screenwriter), and assorted production crew members Anthony Argento, Max Lorenz, Mikhael Shah, Freddy Castellano, and Alberto Devoto. The cast also stars NYFA-trained actor Alexander Farrell as Ryan Miller. The teaser trailer was shot on the Red One Camera in 3 shooting days using 4 locations, 12 sets, 4 main actors, 50 extras, and 23 people in the crew. Check out the trailer here.
The team is currently raising funds to begin principal photography in May 2012.
New York Film Academy Graduate Producing Feature Film Starring Broadway Star Patrick Boll
Helena Hilario just graduated from New York Film Academy’s One-Year Producing Conservatory last Friday and is already busy producing feature film Out at Home starring Broadway star Patrick Boll. Patrick is currently seen as leading man Bill Austin in Broadway’s Mamma Mia! His other credits include the Coen Brother’s Burn After Reading starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt and John Malkovich, in addition to roles on Royal Pains, Law & Order, and All My Children.
Steroids cause a baseball player to blackout, making him doubt his role in a murder.
Out at Home is a thriller set in the world of professional baseball, inspired by true events. When young player Ryan Miller reaches the top and panics over his performance, he begins taking steroids that cause him to blackout. He is suddenly implicated in a murder case, inciting a paranoid race against time as, betrayed by those around him, he must struggle to clear his name while desperately trying to discover whether he did commit murder.
The NYFA crew shoot a teaser trailer for Out at Home.
Helena began producing feature Out at Home eight months ago as her thesis for New York Film Academy. Her creative team includes fellow New York Film Academy trained artists Mario Pece (Director and Editor), Dominick Sivilli (DP), Michael Etherington, Celines Cordero Sanchez and Douglas Brown (Producers), Reed Schiff (Screenwriter), and assorted production crew members Anthony Argento, Max Lorenz, Mikhael Shah, Freddy Castellano, and Alberto Devoto. In addition, protagonist Ryan Miller is played by New York Film Academy trained actor Alexander Farrell and the cast includes NYFA actress Stevi Perry. Other creative team include Executive Producers Shad Azimi, Chris Reda and Anthony Argento with the support of Codebreaker Productions.
Patrick Boll in a scene from the teaser trailer.
The crew recently filmed a teaser trailer for the project that is scheduled to premiere at Soho House for friends and investors in the middle of June.
The team shoot using equipment from NYFA.
Helena expresses her thanks to the New York Film Academy who she says provided “support and guidance” in addition to some of the equipment necessary to make the project move forward.
Listening to the Pros: A Discussion with Mega-Producer Dan Halsted at New York Film Academy
It was standing room only for Producer Dan Halstead two weeks ago when the New York Film Academy Producing Department hosted Dan as part of NYFA’s Industry Speaker Series. Who is Dan Halsted you ask? He’s only one of Hollywood’s top power brokers.
NYFA students sat with reverence as Dan answered questions about the films he sold and packaged while at 20th century Fox and UTA, including There’s Something About Mary, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Robocop, and The Untouchables. He currently manages clients that write for Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Weeds, Hung, The United States of Tara, The Flight of the Conchords, The L Word, Rescue Me, Royal Pains, Lone Star, etc. The Disney fans in the audience were rapt with his stories of working with Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenburg during the time he was Executive Vice-President at Disney, and overseeing films Evita, Mr. Holland’s Opus, and The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, among others.
When NYFA students realized that Dan formed a partnership with Oscar winning filmmaker Oliver Stone and worked on Nixon, Beyond Borders (starring Angelina Jolie) and Any Given Sunday (with Al Pacino), questions about those films were rampant.
Dan also spoke about how he eventually tried his hand at indie cinema with Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides and later Garden State. His explanation of development process for Garden State was downright fascinating. He delivered very relevant golden rules for anyone attempting to finance an indie film at this moment (especially with indie dominance during Sundance 2011 with now 40+ films sold there!). Dan commented that nothing could compete with the camaraderie when making a small film like Garden State, later renting a house with your collaborators on Main Street in Park City after getting into Sundance, and sitting in the theatre as the lights dim for your premiere. And then of course selling your film for $5 million to Harvey Weinstein isn’t all that bad either. (By the way, Dan’s imitation of Harvey’s voice had everyone in hysterics.)
A blog by NYFA Producing Chair, Anita Tovich.
NYFA Industry Speaker Series: Three Months in Review
New York Film Academy’s Industry Speaker Series brings some of the best talent in the industry to speak to students on a weekly basis. Check out some of the great Producers, Directors, Writers, Actors and more that have visited NYFA in the past three months!
Kevin Spacey, Actor/Director (American Beauty)
Juliette Lewis, Actor (Natural Born Killers)
Sean Young, Actor (Blade Runner)
Joe Montegna, Actor (Criminal Minds)
Tobin Bell, Actor (Saw)
Louis Gossett Jr, Actor (An Officer and A Gentleman)
Sir Ben Kingsley, Actor (Ghandi)
Actress Juliette Lewis, Recent Guest Speaker at NYFA LA.
Ron Howard, Actor/Director (American Graffiti)
Henry Winkler, Actor/Director (Memories of Me)
Brett Ratner, Director/Producer (Rush Hour, X Men: The Last Stand)
Michael Phillips, Producer (Taxi Driver)
Al Ruddy, Producer (The Godfather)
Dan Halstead, Producer/Disney Executive (Garden State)
Bob Goodwin, Producer/Writer (X-Files)
Ron Howard, Recent Guest Speaker at NYFA
Alex Rose, Producer (Norma Rae)
Lawrence Levine, Director (Gabi on the Roof in July)
John Badham, Director (Saturday Night Fever)
Randal Kleiser, Director (Grease)
Jamie Stuart, Director (Idiot with a Tripod)
Jawal Nga, Director (Howl)
David Ward, Director (The Sting)
NYFA Guest Speaker and Benefactor Brett Ratner
Fred Roos, Producer (Apocalypse Now)
Tamara Assey, Writer (Norma Rae)
Perry Miller Adato, Documentarian (Paris: The Luminous Years)
Margarita Jiminez, Documentarian (Gogol Bordello Non-Stop)
Jonathan Ames and Dean Haspiel, Creators (HBO TV Series, Bored to Death)
Producers of Independent Spirit Award Nominated, Tiny Furniture
Director and Lead Actors of LA Festival Winner, Prince of Broadway
Mads Brugger, Director/Producer of Sundance Documentary Winner, Red Chapel
NYFA Producing Faculty on Top Ten List with Christopher Nolan and Sofia Coppola
New York Film Academy Producing Faculty Josh and Benny Safdie are billed above mega-celebrity directors Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento) and Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides) on a new top ten list of the 10 Best Young Filmmakers 2010. The inseparable brothers premiered their feature Daddy Longlegs at Cannes, later screening at the IFC Center in Manhattan. The film is now hot on the Hollywood buzz list. Josh and Benny recently taught an in depth series of four classes to the New York Film Academy Producing students, spending each class walking NYFA students through a specific element of putting the film together (preproduction, production, postproduction and marketing). Recent NYFA Industry Speaker Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture) also made the list. Congrats!!