Has anyone been to the NSI (National Screen Institute)? Thoughts / reactions / critiques?
(Extended discussion in the comments below.)
I've had the pleasure of speaking with a few people who've been through the Totally Television program, as well as a few who've been through Features First.
By all accounts they're both great, great programs. I don't think I've ever heard any complaints.
Did NSI Totally Television. Exceeded expectations. Staff & director Kit Redmond are professionals - experienced, enthusiastic mentors. It's taken seriously by networks and producers who show up for panels. Really good learning experience and a terrific opportunity. A number of shows that went through the program are in development now, or are on the air, including one of my favorites - Less Than Kind on CityTV.
Did Feature's First and it was absolutely a brilliant experience. Made a lot of great contacts, had some strong story editing for a feature script, both of which helped to get the project into development and hopefully made in the next couple of years. The people at the NSI are first-rate, plugged in and the program (at least the Feature's First program that I experienced) is well known in the industry with a solid track record of projects that end up getting made.
Good friend of mine participated in the program and he had nothing but great things to say. In fact it helped forge some strong relationships and gave great insight and support.
Okay, I'm unclear on one thing. You have to have a producer attached to the project, right? But doesn't that mean you're developing a script for a producer, but not getting paid for it? Isn't that exactly what's banned by the WGC?
Alex, I don't know if you can presume all those involved are working for free. Filmmaking teams I know who have gone through the programmes there tend to treat their NSI experience as part of their larger development plans. In many cases there could already be development money attached and writers could be under Guild contracts. Of course, if there are no WGC agreements...
The programs offered through the National Screen Institute are development and training programs. Programs such as NSI Features First are a part of the overall development process of any given project. The participants involved in NSI training are working as teams that typically have previous working relationships. Once a script has been developed through NSI Features First, the entire team continues towards production. In essence, the writer, director, and producer are all working towards the same goal. That of not only developing their project, but also being trained to create a finished film as a team.
For further clarification, please feel free to contact me through the NSI. Brendon Sawatzky, NSI Features First Program Mgr.
Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.