FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Why is the Academy so awesome?
A: We could go on for DAYS about this! I mean, have you ever heard Chris when he gets in front of an audience? Settle in and get comfortable! But seriously, if you love movies, want to make movies or just want to get in front of the camera and act, this is the place to be! We've been doing this for 10 years and it just keeps getting better. Every year we watch as aspiring filmmakers and actors come together with other aspiring filmmakers and actors and make movies! No more dragging your unwilling friends in front of the camera when they'd rather go to the mall. No, sir! It makes such a huge difference to be around like minded people who actually WANT to make a movie, too! Lots of other reasons, too, but you'll have to come see for yourself!
Q: How do the Teen Filmmakers Workshop and Young Filmmakers Movie Camp actually work?
A: Great question! Basically you'll do it all from script to screen! Each program starts with 15-18 participants and we divide them into three groups of 5 or 6. Over the next two weeks, each group will make a movie. Together, you'll develop the story idea, write the script, cast your movie, shoot your movie (taking turns with all the crew jobs), edit the movie, create the music and do everything else needed to get your movie ready for its World Premiere! If you're in the Young Filmmakers, you'll even do an animation project. Teen Filmmakers will focus on a 1-2 minute, independent project that they'll do over the last couple of days. Any way you slice it and dice it, you're gonna get your movie on!
Q: I want to sign up for the Young Filmmakers Movie Camp but I'm deathly afraid of being in front of the camera, what should I do?
A: Sign up! No, seriously! While it is true that the groups of five in the Young Filmmakers Movie Camp need to also act in the their movie, no one is ever forced to be in front of the camera. When organizing the groups we do take into account whether someone can't wait for their close-up or if they curl up into a ball at the thought of being on camera. We got you covered. That being said, we do find that just about everybody ends up making at least a cameo appearance and over the first 10 years no one has stopped breathing from doing so. Feel better? Good! Now sign up, there's only so many spots!
Q: What's with these actors anyway?
A: Right?! Actors are amazing people. Even the greatest writers, directors and producers would be reduced to nothing if there weren't brilliant, talented actors helping to bring a script to life. Same goes for the actors at the Academy, our movies simply would not be good without good actors. If you're coming to the Young Filmmakers Movie Camp and DEFINITELY want to act and be a star, chances are you'll get that chance, along with learning all the other filmmaking stuff. Our Teen Actors have their own dedicated instructor, the super talented, Joe Kidawski. Hear what he has to say about what you could be doing this summer:
The acting program at NEFA is a fantastic summer supplement for Actor Training. We focus primarily on how to tailor the tools of the actor for the screen. We discuss important technical elements such as, hitting a mark, how film blocking is executed, how to move through positions, different kinds of shots and what that means to be in front of the camera and much more. We spend several days on script analysis and character development, rooted in the Stanislavsky method, and then immediately apply them in a film setting. All the projects are written, directed, and performed by students at NEFA. This creates an environment of peers where actors can feel comfortable to experiment and explore the creative process. At the same time all aspects of the project, including performances, are being coached by seasoned industry professionals and thus pushed to excel. This workshop is a perfect compliment to any classical, theatrical training a young actor may have and will only serve to help them as they move forward with their careers.
Phew! You said it, Joe! Also, full disclosure, the Teen Actors have way more fun than the filmmakers. While scripts are being rewritten and movies are being edited, the actors are playing acting games, doing improv, working on monologues, all while the filmmakers toil endlessly just down the hall. Oh, the humanities! It all works out though. Making movies is fun, too!
Q: I have friends who like to act and want to learn how to make movies, too, can I tell them about the Academy?
A: No. Are you kidding?! Of course you can! Not only that, but we offer a referral bonus. That's right! Everyone who signs up and you are responsible for them doing so, we'll put $50 towards your account, all the way up to $400! That wasn't a misprint. $400! What are you waiting for? Tweet it out!
Q: Can I really tell people...
A: YES!!! Next question, please.
Q: Your programs are kind of expensive, what gives?
A: We do understand that our programs are on the pricey end of the spectrum but rest assured, operating as a non-profit actually allows us to not focus on the bottom line and try to work with families to make it as accessible as possible to as many aspiring filmmakers and actors as possible. We do have to balance that with being able to offer our programs, so we can't necessarily give all the opportunities that we would like to but we do our best. In the old days, foundations were throwing grant money at us (not really) but those days are gone and we feel like there are more deserving, more integral organizations out there that are making an impact with real issues that face our communities. Don't get us wrong! What we do is unique and an important outlet for a lot of kids, like any arts-based organization. We firmly believe that even if a kid comes from just one summer and never picks up a camera again, they will learn important life lessons that will translate to many aspects of their lives and they'll have the DVD to prove it. Collaboration, team work, experiencing the creative process and so much more! So, yes, it is expensive but we truly believe it's worth every penny.
Q: I finally convinced my parents to let me sign up, do we have to pay for the whole thing when we register?
A: Yes. No. Maybe! Let me explain. If you are registering outside of sixty (60) days of the start of the program, only a $250 deposit will be needed. If you are registering WITHIN sixty (60) days, the balance is technically due to secure the spot. Being the nice people that we are, we are flexible with these time frames and amounts. We can work with you and set up a payment plan that works for everyone but the deposit and the balance being paid thirty (30) days prior to the start of camp, are NOT really negotiable. If it's stopping you from signing up, drop us a line. Let's talk about it! Here's some details about our refund policy:
The deposit is non-refundable in the event of withdrawing from your selected program within 90 days of its scheduled start. Further, within 60 days of the start of any program, all payments, prior and otherwise, made to the New England Film Academy are final. If the registrant is unable to attend the selected program than you may be able to apply a portion of your payment(s) towards a future program or transfer that amount to another individual. In the event of a cancellation, or postponement, of the selected program, you will be given the opportunity to receive a refund.
Q: My son/daughter has a behavioral issue, learning disability or other issue that may need special attention if they attend, is that okay?
A: This is really hard. During the registration process you will be asked to disclose any known behavioral issues/learning disabilities for your filmmaker/actor. While we do not want to exclude any aspiring filmmakers and actors from participating in our programs, we are simply not equipped to offer the one-on-one attention that sometimes is required for such circumstances. Most importantly, we have to take into account the camp experience for the entire group when deciding if our programs are a suitable match for a prospective camper, so we thank you ahead of time for your candor and honesty. Again, if you feel like it's something you would like to discuss, please do drop us a line.
Q: What's the best part for the instructors?
A: Hands down, Premiere Night. Making a movie is hard work, harder than any kid thinks it is on the first day. Even if it's their third or fourth summer, it's still hard. As challenging as it is, it's equally, if not more, rewarding. So seeing the kids faces after their movie just screened at our Premiere Night, up on stage, doing a Q&A with the audience, seeing them get the applause and recognition they deserve and at the "after party", running around introducing friends and family to each other, already talking about next summer, that's the good stuff. That's why we do what we do. We hope to see you soon. Hollywood's waiting and so are we...