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Applying to the NFTS is the best choice I made in a long time.
Unrivalled UK industry presence and reputation
The school's partners include but are not limited to Universal Pictures, Netflix, Channel 4, SKY, BBC and YouTube
Fantastic guest lectures from top UK directors and producers
More affordable than LFS and MET
Incredible list of alumni
Good scholarship opportunities
Small amount of students per class, incredible student/teacher ratio
Helpful and approachable staff, from teachers to the director
Very competitive admissions (depending on the course), but this is also what makes the school so great
Beaconsfield is easily reachable by train (25 mins from Marylebone), but it can feel like quite a bubble
I'm currently in my first year of a 2 year MA at the NFTS. I saw these relatively negative reviews about the NFTS before I applied, but I can now confidently say that applying to the NFTS is the best choice I made in a long time.
I tried to think for a long time about the cons, but I really couldn't come up with anything else than these two.
The school's reputation is just completely unrivalled by any other UK film school. When going to industry events we are often the only students there, since other schools are just not really as interesting.
The main strength is the quality and variety of courses. Some courses are unique to the NFTS and not given anywhere else in Europe. The education is excellent and leaves nothing to wish for. I'm in a class of 6 people, this makes it possible to get a very personal form of mentoring. The NFTS seems to do everything it can to provide the tools, knowledge and mentoring to make alumni successful, which is mutually beneficial.
I'm sure I forgot a lot of names, but a few of the people we met the past 6 months include Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Louis Theroux, Alex Garland, Paul Greengrass, David Yates and Paweł Pawlikowski. Having the opportunity to ask questions to these people is not only helpful but also inspiring. Since we sign NDA forms at the beginning of the year these guests feel like they are able to talk about things they would normally never share to the public, and some of these insights truly change how you look at the industry.
In terms of employment: I got a really nice part-time job offer at a UK film company in the first 3 months of my study at a networking meeting the NFTS gave us access to. I took this, and am besides this currently doing a 6 month paid internship at a major studio. This makes me very comfortable in stating that I'm not worried about getting work after I graduate.
All in all, I think the school is as good as it gets. Go there, be inspired by all the Bafta awards displayed and the alumni on the walls, and do apply. You won't regret it.
Poor quality of most workshops. Most of the year is wasted.
High tuition fee.
School doesn`t care about you after graduation.
Accomodation in Beaconsfield is quite expensive.
I agree with one of the comment I`ve read "In the past the only criterion to get there was talent/skills. Now the most important criterion are: gender, race, country, religion." In the last 5 years it started to be all about politics.
The only course worth apply is VFX. Tutors have connections in film industry, they do provide job opportunities after graduation, they do have useful workshops. Rest courses are expensive wasting of time. Everything looks so nice before you sign agreement with the school to pay tuition fees. After this you constantly thinking "What am I paying for?" Well... I don`t know.
People say that school is so great because of: masterclasses with big filmmakers, other students, atmosphere. But you have this in any other art school in UK. Big filmmakers have SOMETIMES masterclasses there only because the have free moment, they were asked for it, probably they got paid as well. The same big filmmakers you can meet doing masterclasses on film festivals, other film schools, film events. And every masterclass is just lecture which is exactly about the same you can find on YT or read in the interviews for free not 12 000 per year.
There are no job opportunities after school. This is illusion selling by people like Jon Wardle. (By the way, one of the most fake and bully person I`ve ever met. And this is also true what someone wrote: "How guy who has nothing to do with film industry, who has nothing to do with managing companies, no experience on higher independent position becomes director of NFTS?" It means something about the school.) About the job, before you apply to any course, try to contact alumni (those who graduated 1-5 years ago), ask them what they are doing, where they are working, how often, how do they find jobs, did they find job after course or they just came back to job they had before NFTS. And the most important are they PAID for the job. (PAID means not 20 pounds per day) Because working for free is not a job!!! Truth is that 20-30% of alumni (after year or two) work around TV, commercial not film and half of them are working not even around their craft. What about the rest? Better not mention (if they work).
Is being on a few meaningless film festivals worth this money? Where are young successful alumni? Why when we speak about NFTS alumni they always say about people like Roger Deakins? Man why started his career in different millennium. Think in those categories. Why only short animations get BAFTA? (it doesnt help much with career because no one really cares about shorts). Where are short fictions, documentaries?
Alumni are scared to talk about it because they think school is so powerful and will close industry door. Apart from alumni (and some people in companies like BBC, CH4), industry doesn`t know about NFTS. It`s just another film school in London.
There are lot more but don`t want this review to be so long.
Stop believe in nice website, good marketing speech, nice twitts or fb photos and school legend which already faded away.
Other students, small class sizes, equipment, teachers
Hard to get in, very little time to do anything other than study at the school
This wasn't my experience at all!! I'm not sure we went to the same NFTS.
I can't speak more highly of time at the NFTS. I almost went to the LFS then realised it was twice as expensive as the NFTS and that there was no gaurantees I'd get to direct all the projects I worked on.
The tutors were really helpful, the equipment was very good and the other students were all really talented and committed. I didn't have much to do with Nik Powell or Jon Wardle (those two meetings you had were assessments!!), but when I did they were always really helpful.
Sorry you had a bad experience but I don't know anyone personally who went to the School who has anything other than good things to say about the place
Hi, please find below repost of a review I posted in response to a similar review written by "NFTS Graduate" on a thread called "Anyone know anything about NFTS?" (I'd suggest checking out that thread too).
The course is very expensive and you'll have to either move to Beaconsfield or do a hell of a commute. I hate to say it, but the school operates as a studio and you are labouring for free to promote the school.
NFTS is the most ruthless, cut throat environment I have ever been in. Nik Powell (head of the school) will only help certain people -his favourites. Often the people he helps are the ones that have proved themselves to be utterly ruthless - a girl comes to mind who stole another girls work who was a favourite of Nik's. Jon Wardle, the registrar, is a total bully, and you'll have to go through a couple of excruciatingly patronising and insulting interviews with him before you're allowed to graduate.
Yes--getting in is just the beginning! Once there, you can be expect to be pushed to your absolute limit by your teachers - very few of whom are actually nice people. It is common to see people having total emotional crying meltdowns during and after reviews from teachers. I encountered a couple of teachers who were downright sadistic and seemed to want to see me fail (which I didn't, and the both teachers both left whilst I was still there, thankfully).
The political tension within the school is unbelievable. Teachers having affairs with each others wives, wtf! During my tenure, a visiting tutor who had her eye on the position of head of documentary department (which was already filled by someone who had been doing it for years) tried to sabotage the entire department in her attempt to steal this guy's job from him. This had such a knock on effect that the filming of all 8 documentaries that year had to be postponed.
The most bitchy, fake atmosphere I've been in since my days at an elitist boarding school. Everyone is in so much fear about being criticised that they constantly bitch about everyone else and bring other people down to try to take the heat off themselves. NFTS will take the nicest, purest person into a selfish ****. I know, it happened to me.
Obviously, you're in a small town, you're under a lot of pressure and you're creatives - you're going to end up partying very hard at times and hook-ups will happen. Be prepared for everyone in the school to be salivating over the juicy details of what you did the next Monday! Yes, this is more high school than high school itself.
This place very much reflects the nature of the film industry. But you should be getting paid a hell of a lot for working so hard and under as much stress as you do at NFTS. Be very, VERY wary of the way they promote their successful graduates and imply that it will never be difficult for an NFTS grad to get work, which is not true. Once you graduate, NFTS does not have a use for you anymore, and it will be very difficult to get the school to hook you up with their connections unless they are convinced you are the next big thing.
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