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Chris W
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International Film Institute of New York

5/5, 5 from 11 reviews
Degrees Offered:
Concentrations:
Tuition Range:
Under $5k
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Reviews Summary
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  1. boopthatnose
    Best Summer Intensive Program
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Apr 25, 2017
    Pros
    • + Focused curriculum to learn the craft of filmmaking.
    • + Knowledgeable instructors and supportive staff.
    • + Access to equipment and filming locations.
    I spent a lot of time researching for the right summer program for me. Save for those conducted by universities, most of the others are scams and their sales representatives are relentless in their pursuit for international students. So I think it is important to state at the outset that the International Film Institute of New York Summer Intensive is a legitimate program that I wish I could experience all over again.

    The defined and structured curriculum gave me a solid foundation in filmmaking basics from writing, directing to practical on-set production know-how. I signed up without any filmmaking background or experience and enjoyed all the classes with the engaging and brilliant instructors, in particular screenwriting with Keola. He kicked off the first lesson with a generative image writing exercise to get our creatives juices flowing and it helped to get our class acquainted with each other as well.

    The end goal of the program was to produce a short film. This was on top of the daily writing and directing assignments so it was rather intensive but I enjoyed every moment of it. Being objective, I do think that this program is better suited for highly motivated individuals with a collaborative spirit and are prepared to put in the work. The film shoots were the most fun I've ever had and I became confident that filmmaking was what I wanted to pursue in graduate school.

    Quite apart from the educational aspect, I love the people at this program. The instructors and staff have continued to provide me with their guidance long after the program ended (shoutout to Misael, Donella, Keola, Stephen and Jesus). They genuinely want the best for their students in terms of their personal filmmaking growth and are willing to help whenever they can. These guys are simply the best. Another plus point, my classmates / housemates on-campus (J and D) have become some of my closest friends and I am so happy that we met at this program.
    Reviewer:
    Alumni
  2. Romano Natale
    Best film program I have ever been to.
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jan 19, 2017
    Pros
    • + Great staff, Great location, Great experience.
    Cons
    • - You can't stay at the program forever.
    Well I couldn't figure out how to make this site give them more stars. I had an amazing experience at The International Film Institute of New York in the 5 week summer intensive . First the Sarah Lawrence Campus is beautiful and is a great location right near the City if you want to visit it in your free time. This Course is run like a Graduate level class crammed into 5 short weeks in which you will learn more about film than you can at any other program. I had Keola as my script supervisor who not only helped me through my 15 separate drafts, but also helped me outside of the class with my script and taught me things that I will carry with me throughout my career in film. For My directing advisor I had the honor of being taught by Jesus Alarcon who not only broke-down the elements of story telling in a multitude of short films, but helped teach us how to plan out our shooting so when we are on set we aren’t having the actors, who we casted in New York City, sit around waiting to be used.


    The fact that we were able to write shoot and edit our own films in this program was amazing. But it got better. When we were there there was a feature set that was shooting on the campus starring Richard Gere. Misial (the head of the program) helped get a few of us on set as PA's which made my year. It was a lot of fun to be at the program. Misial and his wife Donella are the best and most helpful people ever and supported all of us through our filmmaking process.


    This program is the experience of a lifetime. I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in film.
    Reviewer:
    Alumni
  3. Anonymous
    Five Week Summer Intensive
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 18, 2016
    Pros
    • + Strong curriculum. Dedicated staff. Access to facilities, equipment, and instruction.
    I attended the five week IFI summer film intensive during the summer of 2016. I was initially apprehensive about the program, as I wasn’t sure what I was going to get. I found the schedule to be promising, but I was worried because I didn’t have a whole lot of info on what I was going to get in terms of other people. I actually read a review on this site and decided to take my chance.

    The program turned out to be exactly what I had hoped it would be. The program was very well run and incredibly well structured. I was ready to shoot a film after three weeks. And I went in there with nothing—I didn’t have a script, I didn’t have any previous experience in production. I came out of the program feeling like I had a good foundation on everything from script writing to casting. I came out feeling like I was ready to be a filmmaker.

    What surprised me the most was the quality of the instruction and the dedication of the staff. They made themselves available. They made sure films got made. They cared. I really appreciated that.

    I would strongly recommend this program to a friend, especially if he or she has a strong interest in filmmaking. This program really teaches you everything in a very short time. I was very very happy with the program.
    Reviewer:
    Alumni
  4. Anonymous
    One Week Seminar
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jul 16, 2016
    The One Week Seminar was a fulfilling experience. If you have even the slightest interest in film but find yourself stumped as to where to begin then this is the place for you. The week flies by but you would be amazed at how much you can retain.The curriculum covers all the fundamental processes of filmmaking from development to distribution. There is a lot to take in. Especially when you get into camera or editing specifics. While some material may come off as too dry ( I didn't think so but not everyone may agree) it is important to understand all the mechanics of the filmmaking process.

    The instructors were emphatic and their unique idiosyncrasies make them and their lessons memorable. With only a few hours to impart as much as possible, they try their best to answer every question and develop the interests of all the students. Given the time constraints it is your responsibility to take what they give you and run with it. They recommend a ton of great reading material and online resources to complement what they have taught in the classroom.

    Be diligent with your note taking and it helps to come prepared with ideas for a film or screenplay. Don't worry if you miss something because they do provide informative handouts. Ask as many questions as possible! Before, during, and after class. Get everyone's contact information. Stay in touch.

    Your relationship with the instructors does not end with the seminar. IFI is passionate about building a film community and are making strides to improve with each successive seminar. A great group of individuals who love to hear what their students have to offer and promote a collaborative environment in and out of the classroom.
    Reviewer:
    Alumni
  5. Josh Whitener
    Spring Evening Seminar
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Apr 7, 2016
    Pros
    • + Caring and knowledgeable staff & very informative
    I recently attended IFI's evening seminar. I travelled from Georgia to NYC just for this class for my work. I had a pretty general understanding of the film process from start to finish, but by the end of this program, I felt a renewed confidence and passion for the art. The staff is friendly, caring, and they genuinely want you to succeed.

    Despite it being considered a beginner/introductory course, even as someone who has worked in film for a little while, I felt I walked away with more than my money's worth. My only regret is that they're not in Georgia.
    Reviewer:
    Alumni
  6. Astrid Van Nevel
    Amazing Evening Seminar
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Apr 5, 2016
    Even though it was just 1 week, it was intense and I've learned more than I did anywhere else. From screenwriting, directing all the way to hands-on lighting, I felt like I was learning useful information each and every class. Everyone was incredibly helpful and understanding. Overall this seminar leaves you motivated to get out there! I would recommend it to anyone who wants learn about film.
    Reviewer:
    Alumni
  7. Anonymous
    Excellent One Week Nightly Workshop
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Apr 4, 2016
    I am new to making films and recently took a one week nightly workshop with the IFINY. It was extremely informative and I left there with a true general understanding of how films are made. I would suggest this workshop to anyone who is at all interested in learning about film making and is completely new to the process. You will certainly not be disappointed.
    Reviewer:
    Alumni
  8. www
    life changing summer!
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jan 8, 2016
    Pros
    • + Thoroughly boutique experience with teachers who genuinely care that you are learning and succeeding
    Cons
    • - One month is too short!
    I attended the 2015 summer film making program and came out with a fantastic short film, way better than I ever imagined possible as a complete beginner and after just one month. I credit the wonderful teachers who were super efficient in condensing all the important basics into efficient classes and the founders who were always available and invested in our learning process.

    I went into the course only hoping to learn to write better, yet when I came out I found the confidence to pursue film as a career. The course is very intensive but well structured so as long as you work hard and plan well, it is possible to make a really good short film. Film professionals tell me they are really impressed with the quality of what I was able to make in such a short time.

    The advantage of this school over the other usually bigger schools is that you get very personal attention and tailored experience. I have been through big universities and felt totally lost. I feel much better guided and supported in this program.

    I would recommend students to think of a few short story ideas before the course begins to save time from thinking on the spot. You will need all the time for perfecting your script and planning your shoot.
    Reviewer:
    Alumni
  9. juny3847
    IFI Summer Film Intensive
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Nov 29, 2015
    Pros
    • + the faculty truly care and support; coursework in a broad range of film disciplines; access to film equipment and editing lab, and very hands-on; a good foundation in theory as well
    Cons
    • - the schedule is very intense and can feel overwhelming at times -but this is, from the little I know, fitting for the film world
    I did the 5 week film intensive offered by the International Film Institute of New York at Sarah Lawrence College in July 2015. It was my first time with, really, doing any formal sort of coursework in film. It was absolutely wonderful! The five weeks are extremely intense and demanding -the work probably averages 7 days a week for 10-11 hours a day. The faculty are incredibly caring and dedicated -they want to see you excel, really appreciate if you show dedication and passion, and are available for help all the time. The program is awesome in putting each student in a container that supports them in creating, from start to finish, a short with the help of the faculty and fellow students.

    I would suggest that anyone who has decided to do the program come in with a few ideas and if possible, a first draft of a script. But this may not be necessary. I have difficulty writing outside of a quiet, contemplative atmosphere, and the program is very fast-paced and demanding.

    But overall, a really wonderful experience. The courses were great, the access to equipment were great, the teachers were genuinely supportive, real human beings, who work in the industry and appreciate a newcomer's wish to become a filmmaker, and the fellow students were awesome. It was hard work, a lot of learning, and good, good fun!
    Reviewer:
    Alumni
  10. Erinn
    Top-Notch Summer Filmmaking Intensive Program
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Nov 17, 2015
    Every so often, you should be able to look back on your past and remember at least a handful of experiences that elicit the thought “that was life-changing.” For me, enrolling in IFI’s One-On-One College Mentorship Filmmaking Program was one of the best decisions I ever made because of everything I learned and accomplished in just a short five-weeks. The course was uniquely geared towards helping me develop a quality, portfolio piece that I could use for my college applications. The program started with a phone call from the program founder and leader, Misael Sanchez, who began by prepping me with the details of what colleges would be looking for in an overall application and especially my art’s portfolio. This alone was such a valuable conversation but the benefits of the course don’t end there!

    In addition to discussions about applying to schools, I would meet with my teacher-mentor, Andres Rosende, who was overseeing the success of my short film. He helped finalize my screenplay and provided guidance for how I should proceed with the pre-production and production of my project. Though I had the support of the mentors at IFI, the execution of the project was completely up to me. That aspect of the program is perhaps the most valuable as it taught me to produce my work, and make the transition from script to screen. Now as a sophomore in college, I realize that the ability to produce your own project is almost never developed in high school programs, and rarely at the undergraduate level. I’m so grateful for the rigor of IFI's course as it has more than prepared me for my undergraduate pursuits. They provided me with the opportunity to broaden my understanding of filmmaking and reaffirm my passion for the craft.

    Lastly, everyone involved at IFI has the absolutely best attitude about making films and that outlook is completely infectious. If anything, you’ll definitely learn how to be professional on film sets and how to have fun in the process. I recommend this program to anyone who is serious about pursuing a career in film because you’ll learn all the nuts and bolts of filmmaking, and so much more!
    Reviewer:
    Alumni
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