Are you considering paying a fee to attend an audition/interview for one of the National Youth Film Academy’s £1200 (+ costs) “Set Ready” courses?
If so it is worth bearing the following reviews in mind. Every single one of these is from individuals who have paid to go to auditions or been on the courses themselves:
“I only did the interview and then realised that it was way too much money for what it was offering”.
“Over the 2 weeks we had a great schedule that promised talks from a variety of people, including film producers, but unfortunately half of the people that they said would attend to talk never showed up”
“I did an online 9 hour course (spread over 3 weeks) and learned more in those 9 hours than I did in 2 weeks”
“I would not recommend the NYFA to anyone who is looking to improve their skill set in the film industry”
“I attended their Summer Course and found it to be extremely unprofessional – all the work and organisation for the course was loaded onto young apprentices who had no idea what they were doing!
“The main gripe really is that we paid a lot of money for very little return”
“I went to their ‘breakthrough courses’ and the staff were awful, rude and disrespectful to their students, the guest speakers were good but the nyfa demanded full ownership and copyright of our films, meaning they have never been entered into festivals or viewed again by an audience, they gave all students a member status on their website but it is worthless and has led to no new opportunities”
“For the money paid, it was atrocious”
“The course itself was very bare bones; Not only were the course tutors not that experienced (at 18 years old, I’m much more qualified than most of them), but I hardly learnt anything! The most interesting workshop for me was for screenwriting, but even then, I actually learnt very little”
“I felt it was a waste of my time”
“I was put into a group with 8 other actors, a director, an AD and a writer. My group were missing a producer, editor and cinematographer. Other groups had 5 actors and a ‘full’ team, again when I point out the unfairness of this, I was told they would sort this. They did not”
“The amount of money for this course is dramatically out proportion for the experience received”
“In my opinion, the NYFA was a waste of money. I have not benefited in any way from being on this Course and could not recommend it to others”
“Fairly badly organised and overpriced”
“I would not recommend the course if people have any other way to network, and that instead they could spend half the cost of the course and produce a well funded short with a similarly sized group. Talking with friends from this course, they feel similarly”
“I personally wouldn’t recommend it as it certainly isn’t worth the money and the only thing my daughter got out of the course was to make new friends with like minded young people”
Rob Earnshaw, CEO of the NYFA has this to say:
The course fee is £1200, payable over 12 months with 0% finance. If you change your mind and wish a refund for the interview you can get one as long as its 7 days before the interview. The selection criteria is available via the NYFA. The aim is for our participants to have a network and community of “like minded career driven” filmmakers and actors.
“You could be sitting next to a future BAFTA winner – if the National Youth Film Academy wasn’t around tomorrow, it is vital that you make connections and friend and continue to work together after this course”