April 17, 2015
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Summer Series: Finding the Right Course for You

Summer in New York City is hot, and we don’t mean the scorching temperatures.

The possibility of taking Tisch summer classes is a hot topic all throughout the year. Through emails and phone calls, prospective students from across the country to around the world contact Tisch Special Programs asking about their eligibility for not only for taking a Tisch summer course, but which course is right for them. We talk to domestic and international prospective students in all stages of life: high school students, college students, working professionals, and career-changers. Everyone has a different background and needs some guidance selecting a course to help them achieve their goals.

For the next week we’ll take you through the different crafts of study at Tisch and share some course highlights for summer 2015. The questions gathered represent just some of what we have heard from prospective students and the courses suggested by our departmental liaisons. Maybe you’ll find the right course for you, too!

First up: Cinema Studies

“I enjoy watching films of all different genres but I would like to develop a vocabulary to participate in more critical discussions. What course should I take?”
Close Analysis of Film, Kubrick, and Music Videos

“Which courses would introduce me to different directors?”
NYC on Film: Summer in the City, Music Videos, and Close Analysis

“I’m taking a film production class. Which course would pair well to inspire me aesthetically?”
Pedro Almodovar, Kubrick, Espionage of Film: Understand 007, and Close Analysis

Cinema Studies Course Highlights

007CineStudies_Page_1Espionage Film: Understanding 007
May 26 – June 13  MTWR  6 – 10 pm  for undergraduates only – taught by Jaap Verhuel – 4 credits

The release of /Skyfall /in 2012 coincided with the fiftieth anniversary of the James Bond franchise. Ever since the release of /Dr. No /in 1962, this illustrious icon of western popular culture has captivated audiences across the globe, transgressing boundaries of ideology, nation, empire, gender, race, ethnicity, age, and generation in spite of its blatantly white, heterosexual, and Eurocentric worldview. Why is “the misogynist dinosaur from the Cold War” still so popular with female audiences today? How do we explain the success of the offensively orientalist /You Only Live Twice /in Japan? Why do queer audiences often favor Roger Moore’s raised eyebrow over Daniel Craig’s blue speedo? Chronicling the evolution of 007 over half a century of political, social, and cultural permutations, this summer course will examine the historical and theoretical dimensions and discrepancies of the James Bond phenomenon to understand its seemingly perpetual allure.

007CineStudies_Page_3Close Analysis of Film
June 15 – July 2  MTWR 10am – 2pm  graduate & undergraduate students – taught by Antonia Lant – 4 credits

This class examines a small number of films in great detail with the intention of enhancing student comprehension of the multiple levels at which films are made and received.  Among the films we will analyze are _Touch of Evil_ (1958), _Do the Right Thing_ (1989), _In the Mood For Love_ (2000), _Pan’s Labyrinth_ (2006), _Run, Lola, Run_ (1998), and _Gilda_ (1946). The course encourages the intensive, and comparative study of film, and concentrates on the formal analysis of the sound and image track, the segmentation of the scenario/narrative, techniques of stylistic analysis, and a consideration of a film’s surrounding documents, such as studio papers, posters, and critical reviews.   Students will acquire vocabulary and tools through which to describe the textual patterns and forces by which a film produces its meanings and effects.  As a key part of the course, each student will closely analyze an individual film they have chosen, for a final presentation.

007CineStudies_Page_2NYC on Film: Summer in the City
July 6 – August 15  MW 12:30 – 4:30 pm  for undergraduates only taught by Michael Bowen 4 credits

This course examines New York City’s role as America’s second “movie capital” from the time of the invention of motion pictures right up through the mid-1980s.  Topics covered include: New York’s centrality to the creation of the American film industry in the early silent period; the City’s role as an icon of modernity in Hollywood movies of the 1930s and ‘40s; and Manhattan’s emergence in the Postwar period as a center for alternate filmmaking practices, especially independent and exploitation features, “underground” experimental films, and early televisual forms such as “direct cinema” and live “anthology” dramas.  In sum, the course analyzes a set of generic and formal practices intimately associated with Greater New York as well as offering an introduction to the City’s rich cultural history.  Screenings include Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Escape from New York (1981), King Kong (1933), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Twelve Angry Men (1954).

SummerCinStudClasses_Page_2Music Videos
July 6 – August 15  TR  12:30 – 4:30 pm  for undergraduates only – taught by Sylvie Vitaglione – 4 credits

Situated between art and advertisement, between television and experimental filmmaking, the music video sells much more than music. What used to be played on a loop on TV now gets millions of views online, making the music video a must-have for any singer or band. These 3 to 5 minutes of content can shape an artist’s career, launch a new dance or fashion trend, and even go viral like /Gangnam Style/, the /Harlem Shake/ and /Happy/. This course will examine the history and aesthetics of music videos from MTV to YouTube and consider their impact on popular culture. As we view videos from Michael Jackson, Madonna, Nirvana, Radiohead, Daft Punk, Bjork, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and many others, we will question the politics of representation at work. We will study auteur directors such as Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry and Chris Cunningham to question the relationship between music videos and cinema.

The Department of Cinema Studies offers undergraduate and graduate summer courses. Please visit the Tisch Special Programs website for more information on summer Cinema Studies courses.

April 16, 2015
by Jack Serio
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If I Could, I Would…

It’s no secret that Tisch Special Programs offers an incredible array of fabulous study abroad programs, but with so many to choose from, some often find it overwhelming to choose one that’s right for them. So this week we tried something different…We asked around the office here at TSP to see, if they could, where the staff would choose to go. If they were in your shoes, back in college, where would they study abroad? See what they had to say below!


Amber Janke – Assistant Director of Admissions

“I was a transfer student during my undergraduate experience, so I didn’t believe I would be able to study abroad because of the amount of credits that I needed to complete in order to graduate. It’s my biggest regret from my undergraduate college years — not following up on the possibility of studying abroad. Of the programs we currently offer in Tisch Special Programs, I find the programs in Havana most intriguing. I studied film during my years as an undergraduate, and the idea of studying documentary filmmaking in Havana is fascinating — that the culture is so different than the US, and that they have such a unique landscape. If I was still a student, I would definitely consider the Documentary Production in Havana a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Sabeen Edwin – Associate Director of Operations

“If I could go back in terms of being in college right now, I would want to go on the Cuba program for documentary film. It’s always been an interesting place to study but being able to observe on the ground how two countries re-engage a diplomatic relationship is a pretty unique position to be in and would be a cool thing to look back on.”

Justine Drayton – Administrative Aide for Recruitment & Student Services

“If I could go back to college right now, I would want to study abroad in London, through our Producing in London program specifically. I was never able to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad during my time in college so I’ve always felt as though it was an integral part of the college experience that I missed. Plus, I’ve always wanted to go to London and explore the UK, so there is that!”


Some other really exciting programs include 35mm Directing in PragueCommedia dell’Arte in Florence, and Producing and Screenwriting in Sydney, just to name a few.

As a reminder, the study abroad programs are open to matriculated undergraduate NYU and visiting students in their sophomore, junior, or senior year. You must have a minimum cumulative 3.0 grade point average (GPA). Also, some programs have prerequisite coursework or equivalent experience as grounds for admission or require permission of the instructor. You should talk to your departmental advisers and determine how the study abroad programs fulfill your degree requirements! You never know when courses can double count!

April 10, 2015
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Brane Zivkovic Conducts a Live Score for Harry Houdini’s Film

Brane Zivkovic was recently in Los Angeles for the TCM Classic Film Festival. He conducted a live performance of his score for Harry Houdini’s silent film The Grim Game (1919) at the closing of the festival.

The Grim Game onscreen at the Egyptian Theatre on Sunday 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival In Hollywood, California. Photo by Edward M. Pio Roda.

The Grim Game onscreen at the Egyptian Theatre on Sunday 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival In Hollywood, California. Photo by Edward M. Pio Roda.







BraneScore_TheGrimmGame“I had great time conducting live performance of my latest score in the front of a cheering audience in the sold-out Egyptian Theatre at the heart of Hollywood. Working on this project with support of Charles Tabesh, Senior Vice President of Programing at Turner Classic Movies, and his team was a thrilling experience!”, said Brane.

The screening at the TCM Classic Film Festival was the film’s world premiere screening debut. It moves onto the Wisconsin Film Festival on April 16.

Earlier this year the film was restored after a one-of-a-kind full print and negative were discovered by film preservationist Rick Schmidlin and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The New York University Libraries’ Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department’s media preservation team was called upon to assist with the restoration of the lost feature. Read more.

Brane Zivkovic teaches Film Music Workshop and Music for Film Television in the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television and Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch in Tisch Open Arts.

April 8, 2015
by Jack Serio
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Open Arts: Take at Home, Experience Abroad


This week we are going to take a look at an exciting study abroad opportunity through Tisch Open Arts! If you’re like me, you’d really like to study abroad during your time at Tisch, but you can’t bring yourself to miss a whole semester of classes or studio, or you’re greedy with your summer time and you want to spend it with old friends relaxing. The Topics courses offered through Tisch Open Arts are the perfect happy medium between missing out on these incredible international destinations and missing studio time, or even more importantly, summer time.

So here’s how it works! The upcoming Topics course is for the fall of 2015 and it is being offered in Cuban Culture. You will spend 90% of your semester here in NYC taking classes and buffing up on your Cuban culture. Topics in Cuban Culture provides a multifaceted exploration of Cuban history, culture and society from the period of Spanish colonialism, through the wars of independence and the Revolution, and into the “special period” of the 1990s, all the way to the present day. Then, at the end of the semester you will travel to Cuba for one week during winter break to put into action everything you have learned over the course of the semester, and experience Cuba in real life instead of out of a book. Additionally, this course is being offered in collaboration with the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, the Cuban National Institute of Film and Television (ICAIC), and the University of Havana.

If you’re at all like me, this is the perfect study abroad opportunity, where you will gain a rich, multilayered knowledge of a new country and then experience it first hand! And the best part of all is, because the trip lasts no longer than one week, you won’t have to miss too much class time!

I was recently able to catch up with Taylor Morano who took part in some of the Topics courses and was on the most recent Cuba trip! Our interview is below.

Who is the Topics program for? Who is the perfect student?

The great thing about Topics courses is that any student can enroll. The perfect student is anyone looking to really dig into the culture of another country. For me, Topics courses have offered a unique opportunity to learn and travel abroad without sacrificing the time and cost usually associated with study abroad programs. It’s a perfect hybrid for students who are looking for a shorter- more intense global experience.

What would you tell a student who is on the fence about taking a Topics course?

Without question, do it! In the fall, I took Cuba Topics, and I’m now taking China Topics. Learning about Cuba was great, but it took travelling there to really understand the social implications of our studies. This is a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity to travel with peers and really immerse yourself in a foreign experience. You’ll learn more from a Topics course than any other art or history course offered at NYU.

Do you find that the limited time actually spent abroad inhibits the students’ experience?

Absolutely not. In fact, I feel quite the opposite. I think a shorter, more intense travel schedule is the best way to experience any foreign country. Why? Because you’re constantly on the move, constantly meeting new people and learning new things. There’s no time to fall into a routine or feel homesick- it’s continuous stimulation and exploration. The week I spent in Cuba was one of the best weeks of my life, and I can’t wait to see what China has to offer.

What have been some of your favorite experiences on Topics trips?

In Cuba this past January, my friend Ben and I were eating dinner at a beautiful paladar (restaurant) in Havana. Behind our table, a musician was playing a few Beatles songs on the xylophone. Ben, who was also a musician, went up to him and asked if they could play together. Seconds later, they were playing a duet of Yesterday. It was an incredible moment of reflection and cultural connection. Here were two men, from two different worlds, who spoke two different languages, and yet the music brought them together in a moment of shared human experience. I will always remember this moment, and so many more moments like it, thanks to the Tisch Topics Program.

Finally, hear Tisch Drama alumnae Megan Griffith speak about her five-time experience with Tisch’s Topics program here!

Just a heads up, Topics is only open to NYU sophomores, juniors and seniors with a 3.0 GPA. So keep those grades up, it’s worth it!

April 2, 2015
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Summer in NYC: Registration + Resources for Visiting Students

SummerNYC2015_BlogRegistration for Tisch summer classes is going on now! Summer classes are open to all high school graduates. Select from credit and noncredit courses, certificates, and intensives.

Session I: Tuesday, May 26-Thursday, July 2, 2015
Session II: Monday, July 6-Saturday, August 15, 2015

What else is there beyond the classroom this summer?
Students enrolled in Tisch summer classes have access to many facilities which are usually only open to matriculated, full-time students.

For example, visiting students taking Film and Television courses in the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television have access to the Digital Media Library. The Digital Media Library has six viewing stations for faculty and students to view its in-house collection of student & commercial work. In addition, there’s the Production and Post-Production Centers. The George Amberg Memorial Film Study Center in the Department of Cinema Studies is open to all students taking Cinema Studies courses. The Photography and Imaging Labs, which include two black and white gang darkrooms, two digital labs, and two shooting studios, are open to anyone taking classes in the Department of Photography and Imaging.

InHouse09_3Facilities3There’s access to much more. Check out the resources available in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, the Department of Design for Stage and Film, and the Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Visiting students taking summer courses at NYU also have access to all the academic, health and wellness, student life, and technical resources the University has to offer. Here’s just a short list of what’s available:


The Elmer Holmes Bobst Library and Study Center
Wasserman Center for Career Development
The Writing Center

Health and Wellness
Jerome S. Coles Sports and Recreation Center?
The Moses Center for Students with Disabilities
Wellness Exchange

Student Life
NYU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Student Center
Student Resource Center
Ticket Central

Technical Resources
Computer Labs and Instructional Facilities
NYU Computer Store
Connecting to NYU-NET?

Please visit the NYU Summer in NYC website for a full list of facilities and resources. Contact the Office of Special Programs at Tisch with questions about Tisch summer courses.

Interested is summer housing? Contact the Office of Residential Life & Housing Services at 212-998-4600 or email summer.housing@nyu.edu.

March 16, 2015
by Jack Serio
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The “Real” Spring Break

What is everyone really up to during spring break?

This week marks a much needed week off for NYU students, and while many students (myself included) are looking forward to visiting home or exotic destinations, many students choose to stay in the city. This week we are exploring what they are up to and why they choose to stay here!

I sat down with a handful of Tisch students to find out what they’d be working on over their spring break.

Indigo Rancourt

I have a lot of rehearsals and meetings scheduled so that’ll take up some time. I’m going to the Met at some point, maybe MoMA. And I’m gonna see how long it takes me to walk from the bottom of Manhattan to the top!

Sabra Satz-Kojis

I’m starting work for an internship at a theatre company in midtown, which I’m really excited for! Besides that, I’ll just be seeing some theatre, catching up on TV I haven’t had time for, and hanging out with my mom when she comes in to the city

Nazareth Hagood

As far as homework goes, I’ve got a lot. I have to put the finishing touches on my WTE essay. I have to start attacking all the design work for my directing final. But I’m planning on going to Rhode Island from NY to see “The Glass Menagerie” at Trinity Rep. I have a few concerts in mind as well. I also wanna catch up on my tourist-y things. I’m asst. set designer for a show that goes up the week after spring break, too, so I’ll be working on that.

Whether you are staying in NYC to relax or catch up on your work, you are part of a community of many students who are hanging out in the city. One of the upsides to staying over break is enjoying how quiet campus is, maybe taking some time outside to read and relax.

Need some inspiration? Here are some things to do over spring break that are free!:

  • Check out all the free museums on iheartnymuseums.com.
  • Visit the Christopher St. piers (before dark).
  • Play with the Puppies on Stonewall Ave.
  • All of New York City’s 1700+ parks. Traverse to an obscure one.
  • Climb Moses Mountain on Staten Island.
  • Summer intern search.
  • Update your neglected blog.
  • Window shop.
  • Go outside and read a book for pleasure.
  • Sample food at Eataly or Chelsea Market.
  • Go to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife refuge.
  • Tan your face sitting in one of those swanky Highline chairs.
  • Watch epic handball matches in Coney Island.
  • Take New Jersey Transit to the Jersey Shore and make yourself a day trip “situation”.

March 13, 2015
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Tisch Open Arts Acting and Screenwriting Students Collaborate

Acting and screenwriting students.

Acting and screenwriting students.

Tisch Open Arts had its very first collaboration between acting and screenwriting students earlier this week. Students from Angela Pietropinto’s Open Arts acting studio, Acting for the Stage and Screen, read monologue scenes written by students in Shinho Lee’s course, Screenwriting Lab: Scene Study. Each reading was followed by a discussion about the character and story.

DSC07207Please visit the Tisch Special Programs website for more information about Tisch Open Arts. Check back with us soon for more about the collaboration from the students’ perspective!

March 12, 2015
by Justine Drayton
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Playwriting & Screenwriting in London Information Session Recap

A sweater is called a jumper in London

Need to check out at the store in London? Then you don’t go to the cash register. You go to the till.

Last night we hosted an information session for our Playwriting in London and Screenwriting in London programs. Our guest panel included Mary Jane Walsh, Tisch London program director, and recent alumni from the program, Maddie Hill (playwriting) and William Landman (screenwriting).

William Landman (far left) & Maddie Hill (center) speaking on their experiences

From left to right: William Landman, Maddie Hill, and Mary Jane Walsh.

A view of our audience

Prospective students from different majors attended the event, including drama, dramatic writing, and film and television. Our alumni enthusiastically shared their personal experiences from their time abroad, expressing the satisfaction they felt being absorbed in their script and play, from beginning to end. As former London student William stated, “This program was the best creative experience I have ever had during my time at NYU.” William and Maddie gave their peers helpful advice, from pitching their writing to how to save money while spending a semester in London.

William Landman & Mary Jane Walsh happily being reunited

William Landman & Mary Jane Walsh.

Couldn’t make our event? Don’t worry! We will be hosting another one in October 2015! If you’re thinking about applying to the Tisch Playwriting in London and Screenwriting in London programs, look out for the spring 2016 application which will be available this summer.

March 12, 2015
by Jack Serio
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Study Abroad: Berlin – What’s It All About – Part 2

This year Tisch Special Programs is launching a new study abroad program in Berlin where students will have the opportunity to work on exciting new multimedia art. With a young, creative population and an energetic, cosmopolitan art scene, Berlin has been enjoying a unique artistic revival that celebrates multimedia projects and unconventional spaces. Students will explore the city and develop multimedia projects. The program features two complementary courses: Creative Computing and Live Video Performance Art.

From fine art to computer programming, from live performance to animation, this workshop has applications across disciplines. There are no prerequisites, and the program welcomes students from all areas: e.g., film, music, computer science, dance, theater, fine art, multimedia, graphic design, performance art, photography etc.

Here is Part 2 of our interview series with Shawn Van Every who teaches Creative Computing in Berlin, to learn a little bit more about the program and what multimedia art is. Catch the first part of the interview with Max Nova here.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do at NYU?

I am a full time faculty member in Tisch’s Interactive Telecommunications Program which is a 2 year Masters program in the creative and interactive use of technology. I teach a variety of courses in the realm of emerging media and technology. My courses typically focus on harnessing new technology for use in artistic or creative endeavors. For instance, one course that I teach involves students creating web based applications that utilize live audio and video conferencing technologies.

In short, why Berlin and what goes on at the study abroad program?

Berlin is a hotbed for the creative uses of new technology. Locating the course there allows for a great variety of guest lecturers and visits to events and performances around the city.

Who is this program for?

Anyone interested in how computation could be used to enhance their creative practice. In this case, the course will be skewed toward filmmakers and performers but in reality it could be people from any walk of life who are interested in creative uses of technology.

Talk to me a little about Multimedia Art, which is a relatively new field of study. What will students be learning in Berlin?

Students will learn how to effectively instruct a computer to do what they want it to. Along the way, we’ll explore the creative possibilities. In the end students could build anything such as a poetry writing twitter bot or a custom video filter or an application which triggers light changes when someone walks into a room.

What else will students have a chance to do in Berlin while they’re there?

In addition to being a European capital and having world class cultural offerings, Berlin has a lot going on in the realm of art and technology. I have a feeling that students will likely find that there is too much too do!

The application deadline for this program has been extended to March 15! To learn more about the program and the application click here.

March 11, 2015
by Justine Drayton
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Shakespeare in Performance at RADA Information Session Recap

Yesterday we had the pleasure of hosting an information session for our program Shakespeare in Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Our guest panel included Geoff Bullen, course supervisor and RADA’s associate director, Mary Jane Walsh, Tisch London program director, and recent alumni from the program, Max Meyers, Bryce Lourie, and Aubrey Elenz.

Geoff Bullen (far left), Aubrey (second left), Bryce (center), & Mary Jane Walsh (far right)

Geoff Bullen (far left), Aubrey Elenz (second left), Bryce Lourie (center), & Mary Jane Walsh (far right)

Prospective students were engaged in the conversation about the training at RADA and opportunities that no city other than London could provide. Our alumni eagerly shared their personal experiences from their time abroad and the individualized attention they received in each of their classes. As Geoff said, “education is gained when there is a need to learn”.

Max (student alum, second left) engaging the students who were in attendance

Max (alumnus, second left) engaging the students who were in attendance

If you’re worried that you missed out on this session, have no fear, we will be hosting another one in October 2015! Thinking about applying to the Tisch RADA program? The application for Spring 2016 will be available this summer.

A glimpse of our audience members intently listening to the alum accounts of their time in the program

A glimpse of our audience members intently listening to the alumni accounts of their time in the program