October 28, 2010

LA transportation sucks | Transporte em LA é uma África

Buses are not part of the LA landscape. It's rare to actually see them on the streets.

Hi dear,

I've read your blog, congratulations, very complete, and answered lots of my questions! I'm going to LA in January, to the 8-week course of Filmmaking at NYFA, and trying to figure out how I'm going to move on the city. How's the transportation?

Ana Paula

Hi, Ana:

I've never seen a public transportation system as bad as here.

Ok, buses are reasonably on schedule. You can check it in brochures or online. But there are few lines, considering the size of the city. And the frequency with which they run is ridiculous. The government believes that everyone has a car, I think.

I live 10 minutes drive from the school. By bus, it's 45 minutes. Walking, 1:15. Yesterday, I waited for the bus about 1:30. I left school at 3:30 pm and got home at 6 pm. PS: my line runs only until 9 pm. And sometimes we have activities at school until midnight.

You'll stay 40 minutes walking from school. I'd better walk than wait ages for a bus that will take 20 minutes to get to school. A taxi will cost you about $ 10.

Your best bet is to rent a car. It's cheaper than in Brazil (check this post), but it will be salty anyway. An alternative is to rent on weekends when you shoot (about $ 220 for 3 or 4 days). This site rents for 10 days at almost the same value.

Moreover, I advise you get here at least 10 days before the course starts and make an intense tour through the city to scout locations. You will need it to make your movies, unless youu want to shoot 5 short films on your apartment. That's it.

Good luck! Looking forward to meet you here!


Oi querida,

Vi seu blog, de antemão, parabéns, completíssimo, tirou muitas dúvidas minhas! Estou indo para L.A. em janeiro, fazer o curso de 8 semanas de Filmmaking, na Nyfa, mas estou com um pouco de dificuldade em relação a como vou me locomover por aí. Como é o transporte?

Ana Paula

Oi, Ana:

Sinceramente, nunca vi um sistema público de transporte tão ruim como o daqui.

Ok, os ônibus passam razoavelmente no horário. Vc pode checar o schedule em brochuras ou na internet. Mas, são poucas linhas, considerando o tamanho da cidade. E a frequência com que rodam é ridícula. O governo considera que todo mundo tem carro, eu acho.

Moro a 10 minutos de carro da escola. De ônibus, dá 45 minutos. A pé, 1h15. Pra você ter uma idéia, ontem, esperei pelo ônibus cerca de 1h30. Saí da escola às 15h30 e cheguei em casa às 18h. Detalhe: a linha que uso só roda até as 21h. E às vezes temos atividades na escola até meia-noite.

Você vai ficar hospedada a 40 minutos a pé da escola. Eu acho melhor andar do que ficar esperando séculos por um ônibus que vai demorar 20 minutos pra chegar ao destino. De táxi, vai dar uns US$ 10.

O melhor a fazer é alugar um carro. É mais barato do que no Brasil (veja este post), mas vai ser salgado de qualquer forma. Uma alternativa é alugar nos finais de semana em que você terá filmagens (cerca de US$ 220 por 3 ou 4 dias). Aliás, nesse site o aluguel por 10 dias sai quase pelo mesmo valor.

Além disso, aconselho a chegar aqui pelo menos 10 dias antes do curso começar e fazer um tour intenso pela cidade para conhecer os locais. Você vai precisar pra fazer os seus filmes, a não ser que queira fazer 5 curtas ambientados no seu apartamento. É isso.

Bjs e boa sorte!

October 24, 2010

Filmmaking is driving me insane!

You know you lost your mind when you wake up at 4 am to polish the sound of your film and then run to the school at 9:30. Since you can't find the classroom, you text your classmates to ask... just to find that... it's SUNDAY! Class is only tomorrow, crazy girl! That's how intense this whole filmmaking thing has been to me. LOL


Você sabe que pirou de vez quando você acorda às 4 da matina p/ polir o som do seu filme e depois corre pra escola às 9:30. Como você não consegue encontrar a sala de aula, manda torpedo pros colegas perguntando... só pra descobrir que ... é DOMINGO! A aula é só amanhã, maluquinha! Isso dá uma idéia de quão intensa essa coisa toda de virar cineasta tem sido pra mim. rsrsrsrs

October 22, 2010

Nyfa labeled as Top Gun of film schools!!!

The LA Examiner labeled New York Film Academy as the “TOP GUN OF MODERN FILM SCHOOLS” in its article praising the academy and founder Jerry Sherlock for his no-frills, hands-on approach to teaching filmmaking.
Photo by current NYFA student Chris Chunk. Article written by Rob Irwin, Burbank Entertainment Industry Examiner, LA Examiner
It would be no misrepresentation to say clearly that the New York Film Academy is the future for modern film making. Sure there are those venerable institutions such as NYU, USC and UCLA. All fine schools, of course, and in between classes in required academic areas like, oh I don’t know, The Love Life of the North American Fruit Fly perhaps one can get a decent education in film making over time. It is true that these fine schools have in the past and still do turn out some very successful writers, actors and directors. But in 1992 Producer Jerry Sherlock (Hunt for Red October) became frustrated with what he saw as a serious lack of good “hands on” real world film making information and education. Never the kind of man to sit still with an idea Jerry Sherlock created a workshop for film makers. It was the beginning of what has grown today into the New York Film Academy.

It all started at Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Center. It was an intensive four week workshop that taught each student how to engage in visual story telling or film making. The word spread and soon the demand exceeded the available resources and growth was inevitable. And while the subject of Fruit Flies never got involved there really is much more to professional acting, writing and directing than could be reasonably presented in a four week work shop. The program rapidly grew into an intense immersion into the world of film making that led to the granting of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in just three years. That alone is brilliant in my opinion for giving every degree seeking student one extra year of real life.

As this growth was taking place Solomon Brother’s currency trader extraordinaire Jean Sherlock was wrapping up a three year stint in the very exciting city of Hong Kong. He went back to his hometown of New York City and his father, Jerry Sherlock, brought him aboard the now degree granting and still rapidly growing New York Film Academy. Soon that brought Jean to Los Angeles and the back lot of Universal Studios where the west coast branch of the New York Film Academy lives today. New York Film Academy now has three full time campuses in; New York City, Los Angeles (Universal City) and Abu Dhabi UAE. But it was on the Universal City campus where I meet the very gracious Jean Sherlock.

I honestly had no preconceptions about New York Film Academy, nothing good or bad. It really was a blank slate when I first sat down with Jean Sherlock to discover exactly where his school, the New York Film Academy fit in amongst the well known giants. The picture that unfolded was rich and exciting.

The New York Film Academy offers its students a true immersion in real world hands on experience. For example at the New York Film Academy each student writes, shoots, directs and edits 8 projects and works on crew of 28 more in the first year. That is intense. But it is possible in part because NY Film Academy keeps class size down to about 16 students per section, even less for the acting classes. This allows a strong interplay between teacher and student. Oh and those teachers all come from strong academic and industry backgrounds. From day one the students work with real proven industry professionals and that quality is enhanced with regular guest speakers such as actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote), Producer/Director Doug Liman (Bourne Identity) and actress Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction). So impressive are their programs that many of the Hollywood elite have sent their children to NYFA. Psst! A Spielberg child has been seen on campus. Yes, that level.

Film schools need equipment and that they have in abundance as well and it is all high level genuinely professional gear made for making movies. It is even possible for students to get access to top of the line Panavision gear and that just doesn’t happen in Gallop, NM. Which brings up the matter of location.

With our official interview in the can Jean Sherlock turned me over to his trusted assistant Tom Slivinski for a tour of the rest of the campus. For that we used a vehicle because the campus is the Universal Studios back lot. All of it. Yes, THAT back lot, the one millions of tourists pay big money to ride around in a tram. This is all included in the NYFA package and it is clearly inspiring. There is just no better location for a top end film making school. Students at NYFA start at the pinnacle.

Today the New York Film Academy has grown into a giant provider of high quality education in all major aspects of film making. They offer both Bachelors and Masters in Fine Arts degrees, both accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. They also offer a wide variety of summer programs directed at tweens, teens and adults. You should at least visit their website at www.nyfa.com and explore their many exciting offerings. The only thing NYFA doesn’t offer is a football team, but I am sure if you want they can make a movie about football. In the mean time if you or your child or a friend is passionate about a career in film making he or she would be well advised to read the information on the website and then arrange for a visit to the campus. The excitement and energy is palpable and real and it moves you. From its humble beginnings the New York Film Academy has truly emerged as the TOPGUN of modern film schools.

October 06, 2010

Does the film industry hires Nyfa's former students? How's the market for screenwriters? | A indústria cinematográfica contrata ex-alunos da NYFA? Como é o mercado para roteiristas?

Parabéns. Você tem uma carreira e tanto. Desejo que repita os mesmos sucessos aí nos EUA. Estou interessado em avaliar a possibilidade de estudar roteiros (um ano) na NYFA em LA. Na verdade, minhas dúvidas são 3:
a) A escola e os cursos realmente valem a pena enquanto escola e cursos?
b) O mercado de L.A. contrata alunos cursando ou recém saídos da NYFA ?
c) Como é o mercado para roteiristas? É fechado? Existe espaço para apresentação de idéias? Ou é super pasteurizado?




Oi, Alexandre:

Quanto à sua primeira pergunta, por favor, veja este post aqui.

Vamos à segunda... Não tenho conhecimento de estatísticas a respeito de contratação de ex-alunos da Nyfa. Sei que existem outras escolas concorrentes e as universidades tradicionais, tipo UCLA, costumam ser mais conceituadas. Mas acho que depende essencialmente do que você pretende fazer em cinema. Existem inúmeras funções dentro da área. E acho que a Nyfa prepara bem os alunos pra essas funções técnicas. Conheço gente que estudou na Nyfa há dois anos e hoje trabalha como assistente de direção, produtor ou assistente de câmera. Diretores, não. Mas eu também não conheço tanta gente assim pra te afirmar qualquer coisa.

Acima de tudo, é preciso entender como funciona a cultura americana. O sucesso aqui é baseado em talento e contatos. Se você dá o seu sangue pelo trabalho, tem conhecimento da sua profissão e talento, provavelmente vai encontrar alguém que vai reconhecer isso e recompensar o seu esforço. É uma das coisas que eu mais admiro nesta terra.

Quanto à terceira pergunta, posso te falar do que alguns dos meus professores comentam e alguns profissionais que conheci. O mercado tem um modus operandi. Existem agentes e gerentes. Conseguir as coisas sozinho é mais difícil. Há espaço para a apresentação de idéias, mas essas idéias têm que seguir um certo modelo estruturado de sucesso comercial. Antes de ser uma arte, cinema é negócio. Portanto, é preciso inovar sem ignorar determinadas regras.



Congratulations. You have a career and so. I wish you repeat the same success from here in the U.S.. I am interested in evaluating the possibility of studying screenplays (one year) at NYFA in LA. Actually, my questions are three:
a) The school and the courses are actually worth it as a school and courses?
b) Film industry hires students recently graduated from NYFA?
c) How is the market for writers? It is closed? Is there space for presentation of ideas? Or is super-pasteurized?




Hi, Alexandre:

Regarding your first question, please check this post here.

Let's go to the second one... I have no knowledge of statistics regarding employment of former Nyfa students. I know there are other competing schools and traditional universities, like UCLA, tend to be more reputable. But I think it depends essentially on what you intend to do in cinema. There are many positions within the area. And I think NYFA prepares students very well for these technical functions. I know people who studied at NYFA two years ago and now work as assistant director, producer or camera assistant. Directors, no. But I do not know so many people to tell you anything about that.

Above all, we must understand how's the American culture. Success here is based on talent and network. If you give your blood for the work, if you're aware of what you're supposed to do and you have talent, you'll probably find someone who will recognize this and reward your effort. It is one of the things that I admire most on this country.

About the third question, I can tell you what some of my teachers and professionals comment. The market has a modus operandi. There are agents and managers. Getting things by yourself is more difficult. There is room for presentation of ideas but these ideas have to follow a certain model of structured commercial success. Before being an art, cinema is business! Therefore, you must innovate without ignoring certain rules.