Are you thinking about applying for NSI Features First? We recently talked to some of our program alumni to get their thoughts on how the program changed their careers and why they think you should apply.
Grad and All-in Madonna producer Arnold Lim (pictured) had lots of thoughts to share about how the course made a positive impact on his life and career.
What were your expectations for NSI Features First going into it? Did these change over the course of the program?
My expectations going into the NSI Features First program were already quite high, after researching and speaking to past participants and being familiar with NSI’s reputation. I believed Susie [Winters, All-in Madonna writer] and I would experience tangible forward momentum with our feature All-in Madonna.
‘Development’ can be a somewhat ambiguous term and difficult to quantify, but what I discovered during the course of the program was an even greater benefit than I initially expected.
Line-by-line script readings, in-depth meetings with industry professionals and opportunities to meet people I otherwise never would have met opened up our project to new directions we never anticipated. During our year we secured $32,500 to shoot a short film based on our feature, and followed up by being recommended by NSI for Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program.
We are going to camera on All-in Madonna in 2019 and NSI programs and staff have played an important role in helping our team realize a lifelong dream.
Do you have any tips or advice for folks thinking of applying to the course?
Applying for the course, for me, was a thorough investigation of where I was in my film career, my family, where I wanted to be, where our project All-in Madonna was at the time, and our team’s work/life balance at the time. Those answers are obviously different for everyone, but what I can say to those thinking of applying is you truly get what you put into it. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Any sacrifices I made in terms of a social life, free time and sleep during that year were paid back tenfold and I will absolutely be applying for a future NSI program (possibly as early as next year).
Why would you recommend NSI Features First?
I would wholeheartedly recommend NSI’s Features First program. As someone who works full-time, the program allowed me to continue to work and support my family while simultaneously improving All-in Madonna’s script, increasing the number of connections we had in the industry and helping us learn aspects of the film world we didn’t fully understand.
The result is that I’m a better filmmaker today than I was when I started and we have an opportunity to make our team’s first feature film – and for that I will always be grateful.
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NSI recently hosted a question and answer webinar with alumni from the program who shared their knowledge, tips and advice. Watch the webinar.
Find out more and apply for the course by September 14, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. CST.
NSI Features First is funded by Presenting Sponsor Telefilm Canada; Supporting Sponsors Super Channel, Corus Entertainment and Breakthrough Entertainment; Provincial Sponsor Creative BC through the Daryl Duke and William Vince Scholarship Fund; and Industry Supporters William F. White and Deluxe. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.
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