NWFC used to be a decent film school for the money. Now it is a COMPLETE FARCE. They do not deliver what they promise since they lost most of their quality personnel. My last two courses were an absolute joke. In the advanced DV Editing course, we ended up working for free on the instructor's poorly shot film, and I learned nothing. $1100 down the drain. Then I took Sound Recording & Post Production. We hardly touched a microphone, learned about mixers and mics from manuals, and the software we used for post-production (Apple's Soundtrack Pro 2) is an outdated buggy version, that didn't work with Final Cut Pro, for the students OR the instructor. In fact, not one student could produce a sync-sound portfolio quality piece using STP2. Another $1000+ wasted. I emailed the Education Director, Ellen Thomas, to request a refund because the course failed to deliver the three objectives NWFC stated in their course description: “Through hands-on exercises in small groups, students will learn to record dialogue, narration, sound effects, and ambience through single system (camera-only), double system (field recorders and camera), and wild sound (field recorders only) methods.” “This will be followed with extensive instruction in editing and mixing using Final Cut Studio and Sound Track Pro 2. Working individually with chosen picture source(s) and with audio material recorded both individually and by the groups, each student will use the Film Center's digital editing lab to sync sound to picture, layer and manipulate the edited audio tracks, and mix them into a final soundtrack.” “The intention is for participants to come away with portfolio-quality pieces which demonstrate both technical proficiency in sound recording and their understanding of sound's creative potential as a fundamental part of the moving image experience.” Here are two excerpts from Ellen Thomas' reply and denial of my refund: "Apple has certainly put us in a pinch by overstating the capabilities of its SoundTrack Pro2 software, and by failing to provide adequate written training materials for classroom use. I believe Wayne has done a good job of creating work-arounds by asking students to use online resources...We will certainly upgrade the digital editing lab when we can." "...a class description is not a promise or a contract, nor a set of deliverables, but rather a good faith statement of intent...I am denying your request for a refund." The only reason NWFC is still around is that they're the only game in town -- in my opinion (my attorneys told me to say that).
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