2016 Winter Freshman Retreat

On Feb. 6, UGFTV Department Chair Joe Pichirallo hosted the Winter Freshman Retreat in Kimmel's Grand Hall, where students heard from two panels.  Current UGFTV students Adrian Anaya, Connor Evelich, Paulina Orozco, Laura Hilliard, and Meline Rosales participated in the student panel.  UGFTV Alums Eamon Downey, Mihir Chitale, Erica Hart, Christen Smith, Maggie Gilbride, and Patricia Gillespie participated in the alumni panel.

Student Panelist Bios:

Adrian Anaya is a senior in UGFTV. With 95 sets already under his belt, he is ahead of schedule on his goal to crew on 100 sets before he graduates. He enjoys assistant directing the most because it requires a combination of fast decision-making prowess, leadership expertise, and sharp social skills. Adrian loves the German language, going to the opera, and combining the two whenever possible. He will be directing his senior thesis this semester, adapting Richard Wagner's "Das Rheingold" into a 15-minute german-spoken epic.

Connor Evelich is a recent graduate of the film program, with a focus in screenwriting. He also has extensive experience with grip and electric work on set, and is the student coordinator of the new UGFTV Scripts program.

Paulina Orozco is a senior in UGFTV double minoring in BEMT and CAMS. Fluent in both Spanish and ProTools, she has developed an eclectic portfolio of projects with her roles ranging from translator to sound designer to executive producer. Her work with Yummico and the Int'l Children Film Festival has enriched her interest in TV production and children's entertainment. This semester, Paulina continues work at Nick Jr. as a production intern on Blaze and the Monster Machines.

Laura Hilliard is a Junior in UGFTV concentrating in Cinematography, with minors in Art History and Social and Cultural Analysis. She is a member of the Delta Kappa Alpha Professional Cinema Fraternity and a teaching assistant at the Teaching Sound Stage at NYU. Laura has worked thousands of hours as a cinematographer, camera assistant, gaffer, grip and electrician on student and professional film shoots including independent feature films, award winning short films, music videos, and commercials.

Meline Rosales is a sophomore in UGFTV concentrating in Producing and pursuing minors in Business of Entertainment Media & Technology and Child & Adolescent Mental Health Studies. She is a general member of STEBA, NRHH and Campus Navs as well as an Admissions Ambassador and assistant video editor at NYU Abu Dhabi Institute. Prior to UGFTV, Meline was in Spring Arts Programs through Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music (Future Music Moguls class of '12) and Kanbar Institute of Film & TV (Future Filmmakers Workshop class of '13) and interned for FFW in '14. Other internships: Mayo Performing Arts Center, Front of House Services, Jerry Gibson Youth Memorial Theater and PBS/Monkey Monkey Music.

Alumni Panelist Bios:

Eamon Downey is a producer at and co-founder of Other|Side Pictures, a New York City based production company. His most recent documentary A NEW HIGH is currently making rounds in the festival circuit, while he is in post production on the feature documentary film SIGNS OF HUMANITY. Eamon has additionally has produced and written several award winning short films, music videos and commercials. He has a BFA in Film and Television Production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a focus in producing where Eamon interned with The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Emmy Award winning Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and with multiple Emmy and Academy award winning HBO Documentary Films.

Mihir Chitale is a UGFTV alumni, class of 15'. Currently, he works as a freelance sound designer and production sound mixer on a variety of shorts, independent features, docs, webisodes, and commercials. As a professional who isn't completely sure where in the audio field he would like to work, he enjoys working on a variety of projects from audio installations to studio recording sessions. He is originally from suburban Philadelphia, and will represent forever. Currently listening to a lot of early to mid 70s Herbie Hancock.

Erica A. Hart is the Casting Coordinator at ABC Primetime Casting in New York City. She holds a BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied film and television at the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. Along with her creative partner Joseph Gerbino, she has received grants from the Kevin Spacey Foundation, Puffin Foundation, The Digital Bolex Grant, in addition to developing new series for BET. She began casting films her sophomore year at NYU and cast feature films, shorts, music videos, web series, and commercials featured at SXSW, Cannes, and other film festivals around the globe. With Karlee Fomalont, she co-cast features and shorts, and worked on pilots for The Goldbergs, American Crime, and How to Get Away with Murder, as well as series such as Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, and Secrets and Lies. Besides ABC, Erica has also worked on television projects for NBC Universal, MTV and Bravo. She was part of the casting department for the Emmy Award winning show, 30 Rock, and the hit Comedy Central show, Broad City. Erica is not only a filmmaker, writer and casting director, but also a dancer and choreographer.

Christen Smith is an alumna of the UGFTV Animation Department at Tisch and has been freelancing as an animator and editor in New York City for over a decade. She worked on preschool shows for Nickelodeon and 'MAD' on Cartoon Network. Lately she is applying her skill sets to New York's advertising world, supporting national and international marketing campaigns at Hornet Inc and other production houses. When she is not producing and directing her own animated shorts, Christen teams up with NYC non-profits, helping them produce and create digital content, and teaching media literacy workshops among the city's disenfranchised students, including a 2 day workshop with young women on Rikers Island. She is thrilled to be teaching Intro to Animation at Tisch and giving back to the department that has given her so much.

Marguerite “Maggie” Gilbride is a native of Buffalo, New York and is a 2012 UGFTV graduate with minors in Business Entertainment Media Technologies and Producing.  Currently she is the Senior Executive Assistant to the Chairman and CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler. In her position, Maggie works with Mr. Plepler and senior HBO executives on programming, event logistics, and strategic planning. Prior to joining HBO in 2013, Maggie served two years as a senior researcher for The Katie Couric Show. While at NYU, Maggie held internships at The Colbert Report, Disney/ABC Programming, and ABC Comedy Development. In addition to her internships, Maggie co-chaired the Producers Guild (PGA) student member program as well as served as the President of the Tisch Student Producers Association.

Patricia E. Gillespie is an award-winning producer/director, based in New York City. She has worked with a diverse array of internationally recognized clients including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She began her career working with award-winning documentary filmmakers like Judith Helfand, Jim Brown, and George Stoney. Her most recent film, ABLE, a short piece on autism legislation in New Jersey, received the First Place Wasserman Prize in 2012, while her first film DIRT premiered at the Rubin Museum of Art. Patricia has also worked on award-winning narrative films including 2014's hit thriller BLUE RUIN, which took the Fipresci Prize at Cannes and Filmscience's IN OUR NATURE starring John Slattery and Jena Malone. In addition to her producing work, Patricia is also an award-winning documentary cinematographer, and a member of the faculty at the New York Film Academy.