Although I produced a lot of work and squeezed every last opportunity out of my year at the NFTS, my overall feeling (writing this a few months after graduation) is that of disappointment. There are major failings with this course, starting with the promises made during the interview process. The claims of intensive training and projects based around film title sequences amounted mainly to self-tutoring via YouTube and modules designed to use Motion Graphics students as a service to the TV department. Any regard for our own creative ambitions were second place to that of our TV ‘masters’.
It’s telling that for all the promises made of the film title sequences i’d create during the year, not one project involved film titles or even end credits.
The fundamental design tutoring was set at a much lower/basic level than I would have expected for a post-graduate course, with intense pressure put on us to deliver impressive work to extreme deadlines, but with little support to back it up. Tutor feedback ranged from casual to confusing and often came in the form of comments like “don’t sleep” or the bizarre “I’d like to see you be less capable”.
Importance is placed on the Sky sponsorship and our performance on the work placement, which surprised us all when we arrived at Sky HQ to be faced with department heads that actively ignored us and other staff members who had never heard of the NFTS. One month’s work placement with Sky amounted to 2 days acting as a runner fetching coffee and 3 more weeks desperately trying to find something to do. So much for an amazing creative opportunity.
I graduated with top marks for this diploma, but the reality of what i’ve been left with for my investment is a portfolio of work that doesn’t represent my creative ambitions and only a starter knowledge of After Effects and Cinema 4D.
I could go on to describe other areas in which this course didn’t meet my expectations, but i’ll summarise by simply saying that it wasn’t worth the £8000 asking price or investment in time. If you are in any way self-motivated my recommendation would be to look at an online course such as those available at The School of Motion and seek work placement with an agency you admire. This will better develop your skillset and get you a foot in the industry much faster and cheaper than this course can offer.