Tag Archives: film

What To Look For In Film Training

Digital Film Academy students shooting a short film with the school's equipment. The best film training in NYC and Atlanta.

So, you are looking for a training in Film and don’t know where to start? Many programs offer different training and considerations when it comes to film school. It’s important to do your research and consider your options before making a decision. 

Digital Film Academy has three tips to get you started…

Research Alumni 

Initially, you can learn a lot about a program based on the success of their alumni. From graduates who starred in blockbuster Marvel films, such as Chadwick Boseman, to several graduates who worked on films commissioned by Netflix, Digital Film Academy has numerous success stories.
You can read more about our alumni here: https://www.digitalfilmacademy.edu/students-alumni/

Curriculum

As you research, make sure you are familiar with the specific courses that a program offers. Digital Film Academy offers courses in Screenwriting, Directing, Cinematography, Video Editing, Career and Portfolio Development, Producing, and more.

In these courses, what software will you be using? Digital Film Academy introduces you to Avid Media Composer, Pro Tools, Davinci Resolve, Maya 3D Animation and more.

Our goal is to give you a well-rounded film education so that you can become an expert in your field while some other programs only allow you to take classes that relate to one of these specialties.

Affordability

So, you’ve spent the money for your schooling, now what? One of the unique advantages of going to Digital Film Academy is that you get a head start on your career after graduation, with less tuition fees and free lifetime access of our state-of-the-art video equipment and facilities. Our Associates Degree also offers a personal equipment kit that is yours to keep, valued at around $10,000. Our Associate of Science in Digital Media costs $29,950 (and includes equipment ownership) and our 12 month long Advanced Certificate Program costs $17,560 (and includes equipment access).

Compare our prices with other film school fees here: http://www.digitalfilmacademy.edu/about-dfa/why-dfa/

If you would like to know more about Digital Film Academy please join us on Tuesday June 21st at 1pm EST for our virtual Open House. You can add your name to the guest list and see other Open House Dates here: https://www.digitalfilmacademy.edu/open-house/

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Leadership is hard

A camera operator and two other people from the camera crew are adjusting the camera for the next shot.

I’m not going to speak directly about the tragedy that happened during the filming of Rust because it’s too soon for us to know the exact truth of what happened. But I will say that regardless of the details, Halyna Hutchin’s death was entirely preventable, and it was a failure of leadership. 

And I’m not blaming Alec Baldwin, because again, it’s too soon to say, and I’m not even looking for one person to blame. Because the truth is, the failure in leadership happened among many people. The leader is the person in charge, but everyone can embody the concept of leadership, all the way down to the bottom of the food chain. A good PA has leadership skills. A good actor can be a good leader. The camera crew who walked from the set that morning had leadership in them.

Leadership is the ability to stand up for what is right when the people around you aren’t. It can mean being “the bad guy” and making the people under you follow safety requirements they don’t want to. And it can mean standing up to the people above you who want you to do something unsafe. Leadership works in all directions, not just top down. 

And it’s not going to make you a popular person. Very few people are going to appreciate you, though many will benefit from you. 

There are a lot of pressures in the film world, and people are going to ask you to do things quickly and cheaply, but please, if it’s unsafe, say no. Value your life and the lives of others above ANY project. Enough people have died.

So how do you know what’s the right thing to do? 

If you choose to come to DFA you will have production management classes. Besides learning how to make schedules and budgets for your films, you’ll learn the appropriate person that should be present for stunts, weapons, crowd control, car setups, etc. So even if you don’t go into the production-side of things, you’ll be able to recognize when things are being handled appropriately and when corners are being cut. Safety on set is always a priority and DFA values that above all things.

If you’re interested in learning more about our school, join us for our next Online Open House.

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Work Smarter

There’s lots of hard workers out there. But they’re not all successful. You have to learn how to work smarter, not just harder.

What are the missing elements? 

1) Improve your methods. 

Working hard is wasted if you’re not working smart. What does that mean? That means being efficient. Taking the time to question your methods and find the best way to accomplish a given task. 

2) You have to value your hard work.

If you don’t value your own time and efforts, most people won’t volunteer to. You’ve got to know what you’re worth and expect others to act accordingly. 

3) Find the people who value and support your hard work. 
Some people will take advantage of your hard work. Others will resent your hard work. But if you keep looking, eventually you’ll find people who will give their best along with you and together, the sky’s the limit. #findyourcrew

What does that have to do with us? 

1) We put cutting edge equipment in your hands. 

When you have great equipment, you’re able to work efficiently. If you join our Associate’s program, it includes ownership of a Zoom F6, whose 32 floating bit technology simplifies audio recording, making you more efficient.

2) With us you will learn how to self promote. 

Our Career Portfolio class teaches you how to show the world what you’ve got and what you’re worth. It teaches you how to create your own website and significant online presence, the best self promotion tools available nowadays.

3) Your success is our success. 


We’ve built ourselves around the idea that film students deserve more. They deserve ongoing support, including after graduation. All DFA students and graduates have lifetime access to our equipment, facilities, and exclusive Jobs Board.

If you’d like to hear more, join us for an Open House. If you’re in the Atlanta area, we’re excited to invite you to our first in person Open House at our new Atlanta Campus, located in the heart of downtown! You can also attend online through zoom.

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Don’t Trade Your Future for those Film Schools

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled “Financially Hobbled for Life” in which they talk about film school graduates who leave their programs $100K – $300k in debt. Now these were master’s degrees, but this problem impacts graduates at all levels. 

It’s. Not. Worth. It.

No one in the film and media industry cares about a fancy degree. They want people who know how to function on set. You can get that experience without going into massive debt. So don’t trade your future for those Film Schools.

DFA programs are designed to give you exactly what you need to be able to make money. We teach you the essential skills, we give you lifetime access to our equipment and facilities, and we do this for a fraction of the cost of other schools. 

Film and Media affordable programs

We succeed when you succeed. It’s been our driving force for the 20 years we’ve been educating students.

Whether you’re interested in Directing, Cinematography, Screenwriting, Editing, Sound Recording, Producing or VFX. We teach you how to work in every area of the film/television industry, while allowing you to specialize in your preferred path.

If you would like to know more about our school and programs, come check us out in one of our Open Houses

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The Darling Buds of May

Summer is almost here!

And even if it’s true that ‘rough winds do shake the darling buds of May’, after a whole year of COVID 19 and pandemic we’ll take it.

Life was on pause before. Now is the time to unpause and launch your plan for world domination in media production and film! And what better way to evolve into this next chapter of your life than with an Associate of Science Degree in Digital Media?

film crew, may programs

Our new Associate Degree in Digital Media gives each student a fantastic equipment kit (valued at $10,000+), yours to keep for life. The list includes a Blackmagic 6K camera, Canon M50 camera, Sound Recording Equipment, Lighting Kit, etc. Take a look at the full equipment list here.

May Programs

Our May programs have literally just begun and today, May 13th 2021, our new group of media students are all boldly moving on to their third day of classes!
All have chosen to embark on this new year of rigorous training in media production and filmmaking techniques.

Students who choose to study at Digital Film Academy can opt for our New York City or Atlanta (Georgia) locations. The Associate of Science Degree Classes can be taken from either campus location. Currently our classes are starting online with the hope and expectation that we will be back to full in-person classes in September (to be confirmed).

Get the proper training in Cinematography, Sound Recording, Directing, Video Editing, Screenwriting and all aspects of professional media training you always wanted.

Interested to jump on board and join our May classes? There is still time to join! Digital Film Academy has a 14-day late start period. For any classes you have missed we’ll give you access to video recordings. No one begins at a disadvantage.

Later today – Thursday May 13th at 1 p.m. EST – we’ll be holding our next Online Open House / Free Demo Class. Jump on our Zoom call and join the group: watch, listen, ask questions. Add your name to the guest list here: https://www.digitalfilmacademy.edu/open-house/.

5 lessons from Francis Ford Coppola

For Coppola’s 82nd birthday, after almost 60 years of filmmaking, we’ve tried to extract some wisdom.

1) Don’t Give Up


Coppola almost got fired three times while filming The Godfather. But he didn’t quit, delivering a film most consider one of the greatest of all time.

2) Don’t Be Afraid of Change

 “I have seen movies change from devastating to wonderful in my life. And those changes could be made in a day”

In a recent interview to Vulture, Coppola said that when The Godfather Part II was previewed in San Francisco the audience was indifferent. 
That night, he made 121 changes, which is unheard of, because the sound edit was already completed and altering an already mixed movie, with music, is incredibly difficult. 
But three days later they previewed it again in San Diego and the audience reacted completely differently, and this ended up being the edit that we’ve come to love today.

3) Seize Every Opportunity, Even If It Scares You.

After making The Godfather II, Coppola pivoted to a completely different genre with Apocalypse Now and encountered an entirely new set of obstacles. 

“I didn’t know how to shoot helicopter sequences or such large-scale pyrotechnics. Then I had a lot of natural issues to deal with — the weather, the typhoons, and Marty’s heart attack (Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack while on the set of Apocalypse Now. Pushed to physical and emotional limits by Coppola while filming, he also experienced a full mental breakdown.)

4) The Emotion Is What Counts

“I mean any real Italian knows that Vito Corleone would never be called Don Corleone. You would call him Don Vito. I’m Don Francesco, I am not Don Coppola. What came out in Mario (the author of the Godfather book) was a natural understanding he had of the family.”

5) Cast Based On What Your Gut Tells You

Francis Ford Coppola has an eye for talent. He has cast either people who were at the beginning of their careers or total unknowns who went on to become huge stars — James Caan, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Patrick Swayze, Diane Lane, Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, Jim Carrey…

His advice is to cast whoever got stuck in your head. 

“Say you go to a party, and you meet several dozen people. There’s always someone the next day that you’re still thinking about, who stuck with you. Obviously, when you’re young, it might be a woman. Or it just might be some old guy who said something. But something sticks, and you don’t know why. That’s how I cast.” 

If you’re passionate about making meaningful content (while supporting yourself financially), Digital Film Academy might be the right place for you. Our goal is to help our students become successful storytellers and we don’t take that goal lightly.  

DFA offers lifetime equipment access to all students and graduates that qualify. We give you all the training, and the tools for you to put your best ideas out there. You will learn the ways to successfully navigate the business side of the industry so you don’t get lost in the sea of idealistic artists. 

If you want to learn more about our programs, classes and schedules, sign up for one of our Online Open Houses, we would love to have you there.

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DFA Blog

DFA Alumni Jamaal Green on his Award Winning web-series “Chronicles Of,” and his experience at Digital Film Academy



Jamaal Green, a former DFA student – completed both the first year and advance program in filmmaking. We spoke to him about what he’s working on, and how his experience at the school helped to shape his career in film. 

“We had access to equipment from day one which was huge and we also had some really good instructors. I wouldn’t have advanced, technically and skill set wise if I didn’t go to DFA and also because the people that I met there.”

How has DFA prepared you for life after grad?

“DFA helped me organize as a filmmaker. It helped me to be a self starter and to keep pushing, that was huge. Going there helped me realized that it’s not just going to happen for you and that you have to really push it. DFA really gave us a lot of tools, and how well you did there was  up to you. They gave you everything you needed. We had access to equipment from day one which was huge and we also had some really good instructors. I wouldn’t have advanced, technically and skill set wise if I didn’t go to DFA and also because the people that I met there. The networking was huge. I still keep in contact with a lot of the students that graduated around the time I was there. I’m still do productions with one of my classmates. We have a small production company called MG Cinecraft.“

What are you currently working on?

“My main focus right now is a web series, The concept started when I was still at DFA and web series was kind of a new thing. One of our assignments was to create a web series and so I created something, which back then was called “Chronicles Of A Profiler.” As of now its been revamped and it’s just called “Chronicles Of.” It’s basically an ensemble crime thriller about a bunch of different characters in different locations spread across the region between New York and Philadelphia, and how their lives intersect when total corruption takes over. Everything kicks off when a string of murders that starts happening throughout the tri-state sets of a chain reaction that starts to expose all the things that’s been going on politically and socially in the underbelly for a while.”



What has the response been like to “Chronicles Of?”

We just recently participated in the Winter International Film Awards in New York. We won best web series. It’s been long time, we actually started full production, maybe two years ago, and we’ve been in post production for the last year or so. Finally we took the first episode and entered it into the film festivals. We’ve been pleasantly surprised with how well we’ve done. We’ve also been in the New Jersey Web Fest, which we did well in, and as a result of how we performed there we got a direct selection into the Apulia Web Fest in Italy in May. We will be showing at the Garden State Film Festival on March 28th and also in the Miami Web Film Festival on May 14th. We’re still waiting to hear back from some others, and we’re just now starting to enter the other episodes as well. We’re very happy with how it came out. 

We have eight episodes that are about 15 minutes each and a finale that’s about 45 minutes. So when it’s all together is a two and a half hour long feature. I’ve written enough to do four seasons, depending on how it’s received. The ultimate goal is to flip it into television. 

Stayed tuned with Jamaal, MG CineCraft and Chronicles Of here – 

MG CineCraft:

https://www.mgcinecraft.com/

Instagram:

@_chronicles_of_

https://www.instagram.com/_chronicles_of_/

Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/Chroniclesofaprofiler/

Observe a class at Digital Film Academy!

NSFW: Production of the Series ‘Future Sex’

One of our former students was a producer on all four episodes of the anthology ‘Future Sex’. Stephan Zlotescu was featured as a producer on the hit series Future Sex by French digital-media startup Blackpills.

Featuring stand-alone dramas — incisive, exciting, futuristic stories that explore techno-sexual interactions in the future — “Future Sex” is a forward-looking anthology with stories that tap into the collective unknown about sex in the future. Each story features its own cast of unique characters exploring what’s to become of mankind’s most favorite ritual.

Training for a Career in the Film Industry

Some people are more interested in what goes on behind the scenes than others. In the film industry there are many careers and positions one might strive to achieve. Digital Film Academy based in Manhattan, New York knows what it takes to become a successful expert in multiple aspects of filmmaking including Editing, Cinematography, Lighting, Animation, Sound Production, Visual Effects and more. Digital Film Academy was established in 2001 by film producer and director Patrick DiRenna in the historic Film Center Building in Manhattan. Since that time, the school has turned countless graduates into independent filmmakers or actors with new prestigious careers.

From graduates who starred in blockbuster Marvel films, such as Chadwick Boseman, to several graduates who worked on films commissioned by Netflix, Digital Film Academy has numerous success stories. People interested in film or television can easily work on their production skills through courses at our school. Our institution is known as one of the leading art & design colleges in New York City with a focus on film. People searching for filmmaking classes online can experience and observe our courses in action and make sure it’s the right fit for them before making a commitment. Digital Film Academy has achieved global recognition and was also named ‘Best Film School in NYC’ by Village Voice.

One of the unique advantages of going to Digital Film Academy, is that you get a head start on your career after graduation, which includes free lifetime usage of their state-of-the-art video equipment and facilities.

The programs at Digital Film Academy do not put a strain on students in terms of tuition and the school provides many resources to boost the new careers of graduates. Courses include Film History, Screenwriting, Directing, Cinematography, Video Editing, Career and Portfolio Development, Producing, and more.

Our instructors and students use industry-leading software to train with such as Avid Media Composer, Pro Tools, Adobe Premiere Pro, Davinci Resolve, Maya 3D Animation, and Movie Magic. Anyone with an interest in photography or filmmaking can advance their skills easily using Digital Film Academy’s refined curriculum.

Students are taken through hands-on training with the critical theory and foundation that transforms beginner level film students into professional filmmakers. The One-Year Digital Filmmaking Conservatory is a popular course offered by the university. Digital Film Academy continues to be the innovative force behind new filmmaking professionals breaking out in the industry.

FOX Sports and Digital Film Academy – Video Editing a NASCAR Documentary + The Berlin Sci-Fi Film Festival

It’s great to see another success story from one of our international students! Our former film student and now graduate Kayode ’Kaykay’ Olowu was hired by Orange County Speedway in upstate New York as a Video Editor. 

Orange County Fair Speedway is a 1 km oval dirt speedway in Middletown, New York. The facility holds weekly stock car races and demolition derbies during the summer months.

Our international film student worked as editor of a 10 episode documentary series about the history of car racing at the famous location. All 10 episodes premiered on FOX Sports website and as you can see here, as part of the NASCAR on Fox series.

Ready to start your engines? Vroom vrooom! 

Check this out. You will NOT be disappointed.

Way back in 2016, Kaykay was kind enough to do a short video interview, describing his experiences at Digital Film Academy when he studied in our Advanced Year Program as an international student:

Great to now see how his career is progressing. Onwards and upwards, Kaykay!

TANNIA + BERLIN SCI-FI FILM FESTIVAL

Shout out to Digital Film Academy student Tannia Kustka for her acting prowess in “REWIND”.

The short film concerns a mother suppressing her fear of losing her daughter through combat through the help of futuristic technology. The film won best drama in this year’s Berlin Sci-fi Film Festival and Tannia was nominated for best actress. Proud of you, Tannia!

Digital Film Academy invites you for a free personalized experience in Cinematography at our NYC film school. Contact Us to Sign Up Now



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