Wednesday, March 19, 2014


One of the things I love about filmmaking is how it forces a wildly diverse cacophony of people to pool together their talents (from the creative to the technical to the administrative and the financial) and create an alchemy that will produce the final film.

At NYFA, the diversity is heightened, as students come from all over the world to follow the tradition of the American Dream. We're all like Leonardo DiCaprio in that cheesy moment from Titanic (I know, I should be more specific) where he goes all bananas after seeing the Statue of Liberty (which I can see from my classes). Let's hope we don't end up like Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street (which I can see from the other side of my class).

My class of 18 aspiring filmmakers hails from across the globe:
  • 2 X Dominican Republic
  • 2 X South Africa (I'm not the only 1!)
  • 1 X Brazil
  • 1 X China
  • 1 X India (like Slumdog Millionaire, but just the millionaire part) 
  • 1 X Italy
  • 1 X Japan
  • 1 X Kazakhstan (not at all like Borat!)
  • 1 X Korea
  • 1 X Mexico
  • 1 X Newfoundland, Canada (it's a tiny island that only belongs to Canada because they killed Europeans for it - I presume)
  • 1 X Russia
  • 1 X Sweden
  • 1 X Taiwan  
There are only 2 born & bred US locals in my class that I know of
  • 1 X Queens, New York
  • 1 X New Jersey (which is practically another country)
& 3 that we're born elsewhere but raised in the US:

1 X Dominican Republic --> Bronx
1 X Dominican Republic --> Brooklyn
1 X Mexico --> California 
This makes things very exciting, and also makes small talk very easy - "So, where are you from?" is an easy & logical introduction to any conversation, followed by questions about the weather there, the film industry there & then some good-natured complaining about how cold New Yorkers are, how expensive everything is here, how you can't really drink the tap water and how hard it is to find decent accommodation. That's how New York brings the world together - by making us all suffer as one.

There is also a wide array of film taste. When asked to name on our favourite films / directors, the answers ranged from Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese (me, proudly), Quentin Tarantino (2 girls & 1 guy), Christopher Nolan, Woody Allen & Guy Ritchie to Pearl Harbour, Fast and Furious (1 through 7), and the Harry Potter franchise.

For real, though, it's a great bunch of people, all as illogically addicted to film as I am, regardless of whether they came of age in Stockholm or Siciliy, Moscow or Mumbai. A global community of passionate individuals who will, as part of my film crews, either make my short films awesome or screw them up completely. Fun times. 

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