Attending (Admitted After Interview) USC SCA Film Production - Fall 2021

See FilmSchool.org's full admissions statistics to USC Cinematic Arts - Film and Television Production (MFA)
MS/MA/MFA Program
USC - Directing/Film Production
Submission Date
Nov 1, 2020
Interview Notification Date
Jan 22, 2021
Interview Date
Jan 25, 2021
Decision Notification Date
Mar 2, 2021
Admitted Off Waitlist Date
Jun 15, 2021
First time applying

How has the application process gone so far?

I was admitted for Fall 2021 after being taken...
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Comments

Congratulations! Are you going to start at USC in the spring or wait to find out about other applications? I mean USC is the place to be for film.
 
Congratulations! Are you going to start at USC in the spring or wait to find out about other applications? I mean USC is the place to be for film.
Thank you! I’m planning on USC :)
 
I got waitlisted this year. It was my first time applying and a crazy experience even down to me submitting.

I had a 2.9 GPA and a criminal record ( what I wrote about in my personal statement)
Thank you! I’m planning on USC :)
I got waitlisted as well ! I see you're active on the site a lot. Just wanted to introduce myself.
 
I got waitlisted this year. It was my first time applying and a crazy experience even down to me submitting.

I had a 2.9 GPA and a criminal record ( what I wrote about in my personal statement)

I got waitlisted as well ! I see you're active on the site a lot. Just wanted to introduce myself.
Wow!!! I’d love to read your personal statement. I’m sure you have tons of great stories to tell.
Would love to connect on Instagram if you’d want!! I’m @caileighgold 😊
 
Wow!!! I’d love to read your personal statement. I’m sure you have tons of great stories to tell.
Would love to connect on Instagram if you’d want!! I’m @caileighgold 😊
Of course I'll post it in here. I'm gonna send you a message on IG I saw your profile. Your aesthetics are everything !!!
 

THIS EDIT OF MY SHORT IS OVER FIVE-MINUTES. THE EDIT I SUBMITTED I TRIMMED THE CREDIT ROLL TO MAKE FIVE MINUTES (I WANTED TO MAKE SURE I FOLLOWED DIRECTIONS LMAOOO )


Final Draft SDJ 11.12.20-USC - School of Cinematic Arts Grad School Essay Sherean 11.10.20 .edited


PLEASE FORGIVE ME IF THE SPACING IS OFF I TRIED TO FIX IT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! T


I still remember the day I left Morgan State University honor’s luncheon early to turn myself in at the Philadelphia 3rd District Precinct for an outstanding arrest warrant. I realized duality doesn’t get more contradicting than that. It would take years to embrace the concept entirely. Contradictions are not appealing. It's the antithesis of stability, consistency, and harmony. We sometimes avoid contradictions to avoid sacrificing the idea of ourselves we believe makes us a morally sound person. But what if our choices and experiences jeopardize the goodness we think we possess? Does that define who we are? If not, can we ever redeem ourselves?

I prided myself on never getting into trouble, relishing in the idea that other's designated me as "the example," but I would soon discover I wasn't as righteous as I believed myself to be. "You want to go back inside, don't you?" I knew the answer from the intense grimace on my best friend's face that she was ready to settle a score. My intuition didn't need to tell me this exchange wasn't going to end well. However, I never imagined it would end in me feeling the same chair I'd just sat in being broken over my back by an unwanted opponent. I knew there was no changing her mind, and the optics of me pushing for the non-confrontational option would render me an unsupportive friend. I had to back her up. Despite the stereotypes one would conclude based on my appearance (big, black, and dark-skinned), I routinely avoided confrontation, probably because I’d always been presumed to be violent and aggressive before I even opened my mouth. Before I knew it, I was back in that restaurant I just patronized, tussling with a girl I had never met over a conflict I knew nothing about, all in the name of friendship and loyalty. I rejected my peace-making nature to be present for my best friend.
Everyone walked away from the fight alive, but I would face severe consequences for my contradictions. I was charged with aggravated assault. The judge reduced my charges and found me guilty of simple assault and reckless endangerment. Before I could take in a breath, he was sentencing me to 1-year telephone reporting probation and a conviction that would follow me until I turned 70. I believed I made a mistake that would define me for the rest of my life, and redemption was not an option.

Accepting my conviction did not come easy. I hid the entire court process from my family and friends, afraid that I'd be forced to wear it as my identity if my truth came out. I was sure I would forfeit whatever "good" I believed I possessed. I needed to be upstanding, and there was no way I could be upstanding and a delinquent.
Through hard work and dedication, I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in Public Relations & Marketing, but even as a graduate, someone who seemingly had good things going for themselves, I continued to vilify myself. I believed I failed my family, forfeiting their pride in being the first to avoid the criminal justice system and excelling through education and a professional career. The mental prison I sentenced myself to never yielded opportunities for me to seek redemption.
Film and television featuring black characters with convictions reinforced my insecurity that I could never be anything more than a criminal. When I tried to forgive myself for my record, I, by no fault of my own, was inundated with characters like Danielle Brooks' Taystee from Orange is The New Black who was never able to find their way back to being productive, upstanding members of society. Although my conviction never landed me in jail, I was familiar with how society treats convicts regardless of the crime. Society doesn't support convicts' efforts to prove they're capable of positive change. Not many people took a chance on me, only furthering my depressing emotional terrain of processing my mistakes, deciding if I had what it took to live up to the worst of me or grow to be someone better.

It was up to me to finally accept what I did and forgive myself. I made a choice that I regret but can’t revoke. I understand now that my conviction is a part of my story, but it's not my story. While I may be the only member of my family with a criminal conviction, I am also the first to graduate college.

Through my journey, I learned one thing: Redemption is a fallacy. Writer John Gorman says, "redemption is a fixed position in space-time and therefore not an attainable height." I take responsibility for a mistake that I won't make again. That decision is a part of who I am; it defies whatever part of myself I think is law-abiding, right, or good. It means I'm flawed, and I embrace it. These are the types of characters I want to show in my films.
I think the makings of a good character are their flaws, but I know the makings of a great character is in the journey to embracing them. The complexities in our nature help us evolve. As a black filmmaker, it's essential to center these stories around black women.
Often we're either imprisoned in perfection or regularly vilified for mistakes, leaving no room to understand the nuances of our voices and experiences. Black women are allowed to evolve through their shameful and ugliest moments. My storytelling, inspired by my own experiences, will a lot them the grace and acceptance society sometimes doesn't offer. Writer and cultural critic Kimberly N. Foster says, “ It's important for us to have a variety in our representation with regard to art because art helps us map the terrain for our social morays and our social possibility," and I believe this idea is essential to explore as a filmmaker.
 
Last edited:

THIS EDIT OF MY SHORT IS OVER FIVE-MINUTES. THE EDIT I SUBMITTED I TRIMMED THE CREDIT ROLL TO MAKE FIVE MINUTES (I WANTED TO MAKE SURE I FOLLOWED DIRECTIONS LMAOOO )


Final Draft SDJ 11.12.20-USC - School of Cinematic Arts Grad School Essay Sherean 11.10.20 .edited


PLEASE FORGIVE ME IF THE SPACING IS OFF I TRIED TO FIX IT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! T


I still remember the day I left Morgan State University honor’s luncheon early to turn myself in at the Philadelphia 3rd District Precinct for an outstanding arrest warrant. I realized duality doesn’t get more contradicting than that. It would take years to embrace the concept entirely. Contradictions are not appealing. It's the antithesis of stability, consistency, and harmony. We sometimes avoid contradictions to avoid sacrificing the idea of ourselves we believe makes us a morally sound person. But what if our choices and experiences jeopardize the goodness we think we possess? Does that define who we are? If not, can we ever redeem ourselves?

I prided myself on never getting into trouble, relishing in the idea that other's designated me as "the example," but I would soon discover I wasn't as righteous as I believed myself to be. "You want to go back inside, don't you?" I knew the answer from the intense grimace on my best friend's face that she was ready to settle a score. My intuition didn't need to tell me this exchange wasn't going to end well. However, I never imagined it would end in me feeling the same chair I'd just sat in being broken over my back by an unwanted opponent. I knew there was no changing her mind, and the optics of me pushing for the non-confrontational option would render me an unsupportive friend. I had to back her up. Despite the stereotypes one would conclude based on my appearance (big, black, and dark-skinned), I routinely avoided confrontation, probably because I’d always been presumed to be violent and aggressive before I even opened my mouth. Before I knew it, I was back in that restaurant I just patronized, tussling with a girl I had never met over a conflict I knew nothing about, all in the name of friendship and loyalty. I rejected my peace-making nature to be present for my best friend.
Everyone walked away from the fight alive, but I would face severe consequences for my contradictions. I was charged with aggravated assault. The judge reduced my charges and found me guilty of simple assault and reckless endangerment. Before I could take in a breath, he was sentencing me to 1-year telephone reporting probation and a conviction that would follow me until I turned 70. I believed I made a mistake that would define me for the rest of my life, and redemption was not an option.

Accepting my conviction did not come easy. I hid the entire court process from my family and friends, afraid that I'd be forced to wear it as my identity if my truth came out. I was sure I would forfeit whatever "good" I believed I possessed. I needed to be upstanding, and there was no way I could be upstanding and a delinquent.
Through hard work and dedication, I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in Public Relations & Marketing, but even as a graduate, someone who seemingly had good things going for themselves, I continued to vilify myself. I believed I failed my family, forfeiting their pride in being the first to avoid the criminal justice system and excelling through education and a professional career. The mental prison I sentenced myself to never yielded opportunities for me to seek redemption.
Film and television featuring black characters with convictions reinforced my insecurity that I could never be anything more than a criminal. When I tried to forgive myself for my record, I, by no fault of my own, was inundated with characters like Danielle Brooks' Taystee from Orange is The New Black who was never able to find their way back to being productive, upstanding members of society. Although my conviction never landed me in jail, I was familiar with how society treats convicts regardless of the crime. Society doesn't support convicts' efforts to prove they're capable of positive change. Not many people took a chance on me, only furthering my depressing emotional terrain of processing my mistakes, deciding if I had what it took to live up to the worst of me or grow to be someone better.

It was up to me to finally accept what I did and forgive myself. I made a choice that I regret but can’t revoke. I understand now that my conviction is a part of my story, but it's not my story. While I may be the only member of my family with a criminal conviction, I am also the first to graduate college.

Through my journey, I learned one thing: Redemption is a fallacy. Writer John Gorman says, "redemption is a fixed position in space-time and therefore not an attainable height." I take responsibility for a mistake that I won't make again. That decision is a part of who I am; it defies whatever part of myself I think is law-abiding, right, or good. It means I'm flawed, and I embrace it. These are the types of characters I want to show in my films.
I think the makings of a good character are their flaws, but I know the makings of a great character is in the journey to embracing them. The complexities in our nature help us evolve. As a black filmmaker, it's essential to center these stories around black women.
Often we're either imprisoned in perfection or regularly vilified for mistakes, leaving no room to understand the nuances of our voices and experiences. Black women are allowed to evolve through their shameful and ugliest moments. My storytelling, inspired by my own experiences, will a lot them the grace and acceptance society sometimes doesn't offer. Writer and cultural critic Kimberly N. Foster says, “ It's important for us to have a variety in our representation with regard to art because art helps us map the terrain for our social morays and our social possibility," and I believe this idea is essential to explore as a filmmaker.
Yes ma’am. There is no doubt why you were accepted. You have stories to tell and I’m sure you’ll use your experiences to bring truth to them. You should be proud queen!
 
Wow!!! I’d love to read your personal statement. I’m sure you have tons of great stories to tell.
Would love to connect on Instagram if you’d want!! I’m @caileighgold 😊
Yes ma’am. There is no doubt why you were accepted. You have stories to tell and I’m sure you’ll use your experiences to bring truth to them. You should be proud queen!
Thank you !!!!!!!! How can one be more timely with a film like yours and especially for it to be filmed Pre-covid?? Brillant !!!!! I loved you're film. You went to ODU in VA? I went to school in Baltimore, MD. Cool !!!!! Yes I'm defintely going to add you on IG !!
 
Congrats! And thanks for sharing your portfolio and statement! Hopefully it helps people.

Good luck at USC!!!
 

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