Since embarking on a partnership in the spring of 2016, the collaboration between Endicott College and the New York Film Academy (NYFA) has continued to grow. As of now, two Endicott students have seized the opportunity to spend a semester in the media capital of the world.
Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at NYFA, Jim Miller, says, “In the past year, it has been our privilege to have already hosted two Endicott students at NYFA’s New York City campus. We would like to provide the opportunity for many more talented Endicott students to study at NYFA—not only in New York City, but also at our Los Angeles campus, right in the heart of Hollywood. I believe that students from Endicott—who are interested in filmmaking, broadcast journalism, acting and musical theater, and photography—will find NYFA’s curriculum exciting.”
Miller also shares that Endicott's internship and career preparation program creates a natural transition for students to the hands-on, professional experiences that characterize NYFA's curriculum. Looking to the future, the goal of both institutions is to expand upon the collaboration and include more opportunities for exchange.
James Donovan ’19, a communication major, with a concentration in digital filmmaking, was the first Endicott student to take advantage of the partnership with NYFA. After attending a presentation by NYFA at Endicott last year and hearing about not only the location, but the hands-on experience he would gain, Donovan was driven to apply and eventually enroll in an eight-week filmmaking internship during the summer of 2018.
We spoke with him about his experience and here’s what he had to say.
Can you tell me about your experience at NYFA?
My experience at NYFA was fantastic. I enrolled in the eight-week filmmaking course and I wish I was there for longer. The class size was made up of about 12 students, a lot of whom were international from places such as Korea, India, England, Israel, China, Indonesia, and Colombia. It was a pleasure to work with students from different filmmaking backgrounds as I learned about their styles of directing, filming, and editing.
The faculty were extremely bright individuals who all are deeply rooted in the industry and many had made and worked on short films, music videos, feature films, TV shows, and commercials. They provided immense knowledge of their expertise working in the film industry.
The classes that I took were a mix of small lectures and hands-on learning. Some of the classes I took included, directors craft, production workshop, hands-on lighting, sound, producing, screenwriting, editing, open casting, and directing actors.
During the weekends, my time was dedicated to working on out-of-class projects. These projects consisted of different ways of telling a story. The professor would provide the class with guidelines to follow; however, the story that is filmed and shown by each student has no restrictions. This made for some interesting, funny, and even somewhat scary projects created by my classmates. For these weekend projects our class would be broken into different groups each week. Usually there were four people in each group, and we would film two students’ projects a day. During filming, if it was your project, you would take the role of director and the students in your group would take different roles such as gaffer, cameraman, audio, and sometimes even actors. Although I’m not interested in being an actor, I was selected and even volunteered to act in many of my classmates’ films which was a fun experience.
Do you feel that your experience at NYFA has benefitted you as a student?
My NYFA experience definitely benefited me as a student. My professors were extremely knowledgeable and well-connected in the industry and the takeaways that I got from their classes, I would not have gotten anywhere else.
What do you think was the biggest benefit of studying at NYFA?
The biggest benefit of studying at NYFA was the hands-on experience I got using high-quality equipment, as well as the projects I directed and helped create with my classmates—which I now have to show future employers. This experience really helped me build my resume and gave me more content to present.
Do you recommend this experience to other students?
I highly recommend this experience to other students because of the location of the school, the hands-on experience, and the connections you will make for the future. Just from being there for eight weeks, I received many opportunities for future work, made close connections with students with the same passion and drive for success in the field, and developed amazing contacts from my professors. New York City is a hotspot for this industry and experiencing living there while at NYFA really helped comfort my mind for the future possibility of living there full-time. I loved my experience of attending NYFA and if I had to do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat.
What are your career goals?
This industry is all about connections and starting from the bottom and working your way up. Eventually, I hope to create my own TV show, work on future blockbuster movies, and walk down the red carpet to my own movie. I’ll have to dream big and work hard to get there and that’s what I hope to do. I believe the experience I received at NYFA will help jumpstart the process in getting my foot in the door of filmmaking.
NYFA offers programs that include filmmaking, screenwriting, broadcast journalism, acting for film, 3D animation and visual effects, photography, musical theater, graphic design, virtual reality, and more.
To learn more about Endicott’s partnership with NYFA, visit endicott.edu.