Established in 1961, National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad has been one of the most prestigious design schools in the country. It has been featured in the Business Week’s Top 50 Design Schools in the World. With only 100 seats for its M.Des programme in Ahmedabad, NID already makes you more exclusive than most designers in the country!
We got a chance to speak to a student at NID’s Master of Design in ‘Film and Video Communication’ course. Sivaranjini Nair, interestingly, is a Computer Science Graduate, who found her passion for making films. She sees films as one of the strongest mediums of expression. In her free time, she prefers to be in the world of music and procrastination. What did she have to say about this course and NID, a college that remains an enigma and a mystery for all? Let’s see!
What kind of score did you need to get into NID? What kind of prep did you do? How was the interview round?
Check the official website of NID for a notification of the admission process. Usually, this happens in the month of October every year. You have to read it thoroughly and send an application form. According to that, you will receive the admit card to give a Written Test which happens at selected centres across India usually in the month of January.
NID offers both Bachelor of Design (B.Des) and Master of Design (M.Des) courses. M.Des Students can directly apply for whichever specialization as they course they wish. The written test will have questions which cover General Knowledge, Aptitude, Design, drawing and about the discipline you have applied to. The pattern of questions changes every year. Especially for Film and Video Communication, there is no need of preparing specially for the test. If you are well aware of what is happening around the world and if you have a genuine creative instinct, clearing the test is not a tough task. The shortlisted students from the written test will be called for the studio test and interview.
The Studio Test and the Interview shall happen in consecutive days at NID Ahmedabad campus, mostly in the month of April/May. The Studio Tests usually tests your sensitivity for the visual medium. There will be interactive and audiovisual questions. The Interview session will have Faculty members, Psychologists and External Experts in the field that one has applied in. They can ask you anything and everything! Be confident and give genuine answers. If you have any previous work to show, you can show that too. In the case of Film and Video, any short film, music video, scripts or stories that you would have written can also be shown. 15 students are selected every year to the Film and Video Communication course.
Who should do the ‘Film and Video Communication’ course from NID?
Film and Video Communication (FVC) is basically a course in Scriptwriting and Direction. Although one also learns basics of other aspects of filmmaking here like cinematography, editing, sound design, music etc, but the prime importance is given to scriptwriting and direction. Whoever interested in both these aspects of filmmaking can apply for this course.
How is the student life in the first year at NID?
As NID is basically a design school, the first semester comprises of learning different aspects of design. There will be basic drawing, colour, composition, science and liberal art studies, aesthetics in the first module. This will be a common course for all the PG Graduates. Later, Film and Video students will have courses in Cinematography, Photography, Film Language and so on. Courses are structured in modules of 1-3 weeks. The Institute does not provide accommodation for M.Des students. One has to find accommodation outside campus which is not hard to find.
How is the course structure like? What is the examination system, especially because it is Autonomous?
A PG-FVC student will have to make four independent projects during her/his time of study at NID. From the second semester to the final one, they will make two advertisements, one short fiction film, one documentary and a final graduation film which can be of any genre of the above respectively. Along with this, there will be plenty of group projects like short films, music videos that you will be making.
One thing exclusive to NID is that there are no exams here. After every module, there will be an assessment by the faculty who is taking the course based on attendance and your performance. After each semester there will be a Semester Jury, in which one has to present everything they have worked in the semester. You get grades on the basis of this Jury. No typical examinations!
What would you say about the faculty and teaching in your course?
Professor Arun Gupta is the head of the department of Film and Video Communication. He holds a diploma in Direction from the FTII Pune. He takes courses such as Scriptwriting, Direction, Film Language, and Film Appreciation and we can say that he is one of the best teachers in India for the subject. Along with him, there are other faculty members who take other courses. Many eminent people from industry working in different fields of filmmaking also visits NID for taking different courses.
How are the extracurricular activities in the college?
Every year NID conducts a grand fest called Monsoon Fiesta which includes different sports, arts, and creative events. As it is in Ahmedabad, it organizes Navratri Garba, for which it is very popular. Everyone wants passes for Navratri! Apart from this, NID also celebrates festivals of different cultures from all across India like Onam, Lohri, Ganesh Chaturthi and so on. There is also an active film club; and a music room in NID for people who love films and music.
What is the biggest challenge in this course?
Unlike other film schools, this course enables you to become an all-rounder in filmmaking. By the end of this course, you learn to make a short film all by your own. From managing your budget expenses and people to writing, editing, directing your film; you learn to be the jack of all trades.
Does this course make you Employable? Is it worth the money spent?
NID Film and Video Communication (FVC) graduates usually get jobs at Advertising Agencies, Film Production Houses, and Television Channels. Some of them become independent filmmakers making feature films and documentaries. Some people are also working in feature film industry. The fee of the course is around 5.2 lakhs. There is a placement cell in NID but sadly it offers very fewer job opportunities for Film students. Nevertheless, options are always open for people who are talented, ready to work hard and have a knack of their own.
College life ends up being a life-changing experience for a lot of people. What are some of the best things about NID, that can change you as a person?
NID opens up your mind. Hence, the possibilities are infinite! It gives you returns for what you invest in. It can be anything that you want it to be. You evolve so much as an artist and as a person because NID gives you a platform to live with a diverse bunch of people from across the country and the world; there is a lot of cultural interaction and exchange.
No college is perfect. What are the things that you think could be improved, things that were disappointing, or things that you have to bear with?
To be honest, the Film and Video Communication (FVC) department has lesser technical resources compared to the ones they have at other film institutes like FTII (Film and Television Institute of India) and SRFTI (Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute). Therefore, I’d say that if you are more into the technical part of filmmaking, this may not be the right place.
Is there a better or a second best option apart from NID Ahmedabad to study Film and Video Communication?
Yes. FTII Pune and SRFTI Kolkata are other options in the country for people who want to pursue filmmaking in India. Both these places only offer PG Diploma.
(Sivaranjini now preparing to walk off the NID gates, with her convocation in January, has already made some beautiful short films to her credit. She has given out a fair picture for you to judge. CollegeBol aims to bring out such genuine voices, that help you decide on your own. Visit our NID Ahmedabad page on CollegeBol for More. You can also look at other Film Making Colleges on CollegeBol. Write to us or Shout out, we’d love to here!)