Tag Archives: filmschool

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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We’re changing, are you?

Students working as a film crew, directing, operating the camera and recording sound at Central Park in New York.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”

– Rita Mae Brown (not Einstein, I checked)


Everything around us is constantly changing, and that’s never been more true. I’ll throw another quote at you:

“For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled”

– Bob Dylan


The best way to succeed is to be on the forefront of change. And that’s what we’re doing. Digital Film Academy is always on the lookout for how we can change to better serve our students. We’ve pivoted to a hybrid learning environment that allows our busy students to do most of their classes remotely. We bring our seasoned professors to you, wherever you are. 

We’ve designed an entirely new Associates Program that gives you equipment to own (yours forever, no joke), included in the tuition. That means that as you’re building your portfolio, working on school projects, or working with clients, you’ve got everything you need. You become your own production company. When you’re learning the equipment you have it there, in your hands. We did this because it’s the best way for you to learn and that’s our top priority. 

We’ve adapted our hands-on classes so that we can still deliver the essentials, while keeping our students safe. We just finished our intensive 3 week summer classes that had students performing in real life scenarios. From shooting walk-and-talks in Central Park to dramatic dollys in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. 

Our mission is and always has been to prepare you to make money and we’re always looking for new ways to do that better. 

Maybe it’s time you think about making a change? 

Come to one of our Open Houses and see if we can’t help you take a step in a new direction.

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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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Coronavirus and The Evolution of a Film School

While the world hunkered down in the Spring of 2020 against Coronavirus,

U.S. universities and colleges faced a challenge: how to continue to educate

and train their students?

One film school in New York City was undergoing a forward-looking evolution.

Patrick Direnna. President and Founder of Digital Film Academy explains: “In

that moment we switched to become an online film school. Students went

live online. They were together with each other and with their instructors. We

evolved. And after students graduate from here, they will continue to have

free lifetime access to equipment. Our graduates have a plan of action in

place and are ready to produce media and monetize it as restrictions lift!”

The school has 2 brick and mortar locations: one film school in NYC and one

film school in Atlanta Georgia. With the New York film academy location at

Times Square and the Georgia film academy located in downtown Atlanta,

the convenience is obvious.

During the COVID-19 pandemic both cities were locked down. Yet the

message to prospective students was clear: “Stay safe! But consider how to

use this time effectively. Develop these digital film production skills now.

Once this is all over, the time will be ripe for the right media. Those who are

ready to deliver it when the bell rings will do well. Use your time wisely.”

Digital Film Academy offers a 16 month Associate Degree in filmmaking

alongside a 12 month Certificate program in media production. Its policy of

free lifetime access to equipment has enabled alumni (including veterans and

international students) to build careers in independent film production and to

achieve positions at HBO and Vimeo. Graduates have won student Academy

awards and major prizes at the Venice Film Festival. Chadwick Boseman of

Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ fame is even an alum!

International students on F-1 student visas may use CPT, OPT and STEM OPT

for 3 additional years of work authorization in the USA.

With potential start dates in January, May or September, founder Patrick

DiRenna recommends: “This is a time to move forward. Don’t just do

nothing. That’s the worst you could possibly do right now. Hone your skills!

As we enter this new post-COVID-19 world, you can position yourself to

produce powerful, meaningful and monetizable media.”

Digital Film Academy, New York & Atlanta

Tom Griffin, Director of Marketing

Tel. 212-333-4013