Best Film School, August 2010

“I can’t watch a movie the same way anymore,” says Breeana Kovelman. “I think, ‘That’s a good shot.’ ‘Look at that angle!’ The 14-year-old got a new perspective on filmmaking—a hobby since seven—after attending New York Film Academy’s High School Summer Film Camp. “In the first hour of my first class, I operated a dolly,” she says. “And what better teachers? They all work in the Industry.” Her parents had chosen NYFA’s 12-weekend, $1,500 program after viewing film school Web sites. An open house at the Universal Studios back lot, where the classes take place, sealed the deal. “Trams pass by while you’re filming, and someone says, ‘There’s the next Steven Spielberg.’ ” HD cameras, access to locations such as Jaws Lake, and teachers for screenwriting, storyboarding, and lighting were all a step up from the projects she’d made at home (and in which she was the producer, director, and star) or at her elementary school film camp (think: Star Wars meets Harry Potter). Kovelman’s first NYFA film was a five-minute romantic comedy with seven speaking roles. The novice director enjoyed the experience so much, she signed up for a second year of the program. “I decided to work on my cinematography. The second film I made has just two lines of dialogue.”