NFTS or LFS?

Ali J.

New Member
Hi,
I wanted to know which one of these film schools are better: NFTS (National Film & TV School) or LFS (London Film School)? Can somebody please help. I know it is much harder getting into NFTS but not sure if it's necessarily better than LFS?
Thanks,
AJ
 

Daniel G

Member
From what I understand NFTS is more reputable, with better facilities and more contacts in the British TV and Film industry. BBC does a lot of their recruiting straight out of there. However it is not exactly in London, it's a bit out and commuting from the city can be expensive.

That said, LFS is right in the heart of London - Covent Gardens - and living in the city may require the harvesting of spare organs. LFS is more open to foreigners than NFTS which gives it a more multicultural setting (then, it is London). LFS is also associated with the British Film Institute and LFS has something do to with the BAFTAs every year. They gear themselves as more as a film school whilst NFTS is more TV/technical college.

They're both 2 year MA (not MFA) Degrees, though that's just the way they put it in the UK.

For film production and screenwriting LFS has three entries per year whilst NFTS only has 1 for film and I think maybe two for screenwriting.

Best of luck.
 

Ali J.

New Member
Thanks for the info Daniel. I also thought NFTS to be more specialized and technical than LFS. And they have a much more rigid admission criteria.
 

Filmlover25

New Member
I've researched both schools extensively and have elected to go to LFS. NFTS is more selective, but that doesn't mean it's any better.

NFTS is in the suburbs of London and is quite far away from central. If you're studying there, you're pretty much going to spend the majority of your time on campus and away from central London. It's more of a technical school than a film school. It's not nearly as international as LFS. It's certainly cheaper than LFS for UK residents though, so that's a big plus.

LFS is right in the heart of London and therefore puts you in much greater proximity to events/connections/etc...It has a solid list of successful alumni and a very good reputation. It's structured as a film school that teaches you all aspects of filmmaking. The prices at LFS are all inclusive, which I found to be great because most film schools don't factor in the thousands of extra dollars you'll pay for film stock.

But in the end, I firmly believe that film school is what you make of it. Coppola or Scorsese would still be legends even if they went to unknown state schools (although I'm sure UCLA and NYU helped)

So I guess it boils down to personal preference and comfort. Do you want to live in the city or in the suburbs? Do you want highly specialized training or a general practical education in making films? How much are you willing to spend?

I hope this helps...and good luck!
 
Filmlover25 and Daniel G

Thank you so much for your great advice. I'm from the US, but am working odd-jobs in London at the moment and preparing to apply to film schools in the fall.

Up to this point, I've been dead-set on going to NYU or Columbia because I wanted my film education to be done in the US, especially NYC. But, living here is really opening me up to new possibilities for my future. I've heard the names NFTS and LFS before, but have never really looked into them.

I'm just curious about one thing. Would attending a film school in the UK over one in the US cut me off from potential connections in the US film industry? Do the students generally seek work in the British film and tv industry after graduating from one of these schools? Or, is it possible to use your education in the US? I would love to spend more time in London, but I do not want to cut myself off from a possibly great opportunity in the US.

Filmlover25, do plan on working in the UK after finishing at LFS? Or do you hope to move back to LA?

Thanks again
 

Daniel G

Member
Race,

At the end of the day, it's where you make your connections. London is a great opportunity as the biggest film hub in Europe. Sure, not being in the US restricts you somewhat, but it's a pretty fast paced and globalized world these days and NY is a 5 1/2 hour flight away.

Besides, there are a lot of film/ad companies with offices in London, NY and LA. eg. I did an internship at ICON in Sydney, which also happens to have offices in LA and London as well.

Also, Being in London opens you up to the massive advertising industry focused in London, Paris and Berlin, and thank god for the European Union for the ease of travel and the mobility of labour.

There was a good chance I was going to go to London, but at the end of the day, got talked into LA. However, after I'm done at USC, I still intend to do some proper time in the above mentioned cities.

To answer one of your questions, people from NFTS tend to get streamlined into the BBC and into TV. There is a trend in British cinema though - with many exceptions - for its personnel to come from TV. Stephen Frears and Frank Oz in fact, still directs TV all the time.

Go check out LFS in Covent Gardens and take the tube over to Beaconsfield for NFTS. I'm sure you can schedule a tour. Best of luck!
 

Filmlover25

New Member
Hey Race,

It's funny because I had the exact same concerns as you do. After a lot of thought and research I came to the conclusion that going to film school in London can in fact be an asset, even if you intend on working in the US film industry.

Firstly, the British film industry is going through quite an interesting revival. Tons of new films are being made there and the opportunities for work are growing exponentially. You'll have plenty of chances to make some great connections and have plenty of experience.

Second- just take a look at the films, directors and actors being nominated for oscars in the past few years and you'll see that a TON of them have been produced, directed, and acted by british talent who were trained in the UK. Look at how many American movies PREMIER in London before New York or LA (ie: Sex and the City!) Hollywood is closely connected to the british film industry and a success in London will be recognized in LA.

Third- Again I believe an education in film is what you make of it. A great film made anywhere is still a great film and will get recognition.

Fourth- Take a look at the alumni list of LFS and NFTS. There are tons of successful DOP's, editors, Directors who worked in Hollywood films, the most famous being Michael Mann. I'm sure the schools in London know that the film mecca is Los Angeles and will therefore prepare students to deal with this fact.

Fifth- LFS is in the heart of London. NFTS is in the 'burbs. I for one can't imagine studying and making films in the suburbs. So for me it was quite an easy choice between the two.

I actually plan on staying and working in London because I'm in love with the city and I feel that the industry there is going through a fantastic transformation that's much more exciting than the status quo, well established studios of LA. I'm all for independent cinema.I went to USC for undergrad, and trust me, 'SC is very, very Hollywood- which could be a good or bad thing, depending on what you want :)
 
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BillyD

Member
Great topic.

Last year I was right where you guys are now - an American living in London and set on going to film school there, either at NFTS or LFS.

Before committing, I tried a short course at the Met Film School in Ealing to give me a taste of attending film school abroad. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.

I'd recommend the same if you have the time and money.
 
Thank you so much guys. Amazing insight.

Great topic is right. And great advice. I'm definitely going to check out LFS and possibly NFTS.

I had no idea that the British film industry was going through such a transformation. I guess it makes sense if you look at the recent successes of some of the British actors and filmmakers. I guess I just never saw it as anything different from what they have been doing. I always assumed the British had a strong presence in Hollywood. But is it true? I hope so.

What do you foresee for the future of the British film industry?

Are more films going to be produced annually to give the UK a bigger slice of the global market? Or will the British continue to get Hollywood recognition? Do you see it as a time when British film could really start something new, where they don't necessarily increase in numbers (bank), but just grab the attention of the film world because of the quality? Is this the next New Wave? lol, well, I don't know about that, but this is just too cool to not talk about.

Is London the next epicenter of the art film?
 

Daniel G

Member
I don't really see the British Film Industry going through a New Wave, however it is going through an infrastructure boom. The BBC and BFI are putting more money into big budget films and TV shows. The global success of Harry Potter has virtually made London one of the number one destinations for CGI. It's becoming more and more recognized to shoot large budget films. Soho for instance is full of post-production houses. And the more the European Union opens up, the more profitable UK made products will be over US.
 

Zumbi

Active Member
Cool.

Really good topic indeed.
I had the same doubt between NTFS and LFS before.
But, ultimately, I'm thinkinf seriously to go to LA, try UCLA or USC (putting more doubts in my mind).

I'm happy to hear that LFS is really good.
I went there to take a look... Looks nice.
My actual problem is that the SCHOLLARSHIP for UE citizens at LFS now have the condition that you need to live 3 years on UE to be granted.
But, hopefully there should be more options for grants and schollarships... Does anybody knows more about this?
 

tantalus

Member
I am actually concerned about LFS. I have been asking around and it seems most of my film professors haven't heard of it, while they have heard of NFTS--and very good things at that. I was wondering about LFS's national and international reputation. While I think I do want to end up in London doing film, I want to make sure that LFS is an actual respectable and good school. It's approximately the same cost as NYU and USC. I am wondering if I would get as much out of it as I would at either of these other schools. Some reviews I have read online recently seemed quite negative. My particular interest is in directing feature films. I know you get out of film school what you put into it, but I guess I am wondering whether there is more to get out of another school. Has anyone here been to LFS as a student? Can anyone assuage my concerns? I have to make a decision about the school rather soon.
 

Arwas

New Member
Dear people,

As I am very new to this forum, I have read everything you guys wrote. I live right by NFTS and I am currently 17 years old. I have wanted to be in the film industry since I can remember and now as I get close to making choices I was wondering whether I could get advice from all you people. Do you reckon I should do NFTS? or go to a college or something? I am very new to this and therefor know nothing :/ I read on the website that a lot of the people who apply there are above 20 and it makes me think, maybe I should go to a proper college first? Or should I do this school and it will open me up in my early life?

Thank you very much,
Hope to hear soon,
Roy.
 
At your age I would suggest taking some of their non-degree courses before applying for the MA programmes.

This will make it so that you can gain more knowledge and also get to know the faculty for when you do decide to apply for MA courses. Remember if you are not going to university - to go directly into the MA programme you need a very strong portfolio . That's why I suggest taking the non-degree courses.

Best of luck! I will be applying for the MA programmes this year. So maybe I will see you around!
 

Arwas

New Member
I actually already have a couple of art works, movies, and websites I have made. I also just finished writing a new movie I want to film. And i have experience with many of the softwares for movie editing, After effects, final cut pro, flash, photoshop, dreamweaver. I don't only make movies tho :) And I'm going to NYFA this summer for a three week course and will probably get myself another movie into my portfolio, do you reckon thats enough?

Thank you very much!
 
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fanfilm

New Member
Hey
actually I dont think its that easy to get in. you should take your time. maybe 2 years working strong on your portfolio. the acceptance rate is very low and as its a MA program most people do have an BA in something before they get in.
good luck!
 

Arwas

New Member
Ahhh thats cool, I was thinking that was an issue. Since I have to take 2 years in some college, Which college do you reckon I should apply to in order to do film production, I heard The arts university of bournemouth in UK is good? And in the USA? I mean, i'm an average student and my english isn't PERFECT! So itll be hard for me to get into the BEST college. Any suggestions?

Thank you :)
 
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ross

New Member
Hi All can someone advice me I am 41yrs old workied in computer industries for couple of yrs and since kid wanted to do film making course, everone is advising me its too late to start new carrer...i want to do MA in film making might from LFS, any advice much appreciated
Ross
 

Mike_V

Moderator
Staff member
I'm in the MFA program at chapman for film production with an emphasis in editing and i've seen producers and directors who are in their 40s in the program, so no, i do not think you're too late to start a new career. the point is if you fell out of love with what you're doing and feel that you have a new passion you can go after and succeed in, then maybe it's a good idea.
 

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