Latest reviews

Alumni
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Equipment
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
4.50 star(s)
Professors
4.75 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
4.50 star(s)
Pros
  • alumni network
  • location
  • low residency
  • female-centric
  • LGBTQ friendly
The Stephens MFA in Screenwriting is a incredible option for people who want a reputable MFA and still be able to hold a full-time job. I chose the MFA program because I wasn't in a position to leave work or move near a school I'd want to attend, but I still wanted to put in the work to get the degree. Through this program I was able to take only 10 days out of each semester to travel to LA for intensive classes, and then the rest of the year I could do my work on weekends and evenings.

The best part of Stephens (in any program) is the alumni network. Stephens alums are known for helping each other, and as a graduate of the undergrad film program I have been in many situations where alums I don't know have helped me out, from finding housing to getting job interviews. As the network continues to expand, this becomes more and more valuable. Not only will you be connected to alums, but your own class is an amazing resource. The people that are selected into the program are top notch, excellent people. You'll meet people you just enjoy being around, and that is so valuable for future working relationships. We all rise together.

The intensive takes place mostly at the Jim Henson studios in Hollywood. First of all, that alone is something to brag to your friends about. The lot contains so much history: from being built by Charlie Chaplin (you'll have lunch where Modern Times was filmed!) to Henson characters around every corner to the still-active Henson Recording Studios. It's the perfect place for classes, screenings, and meeting with mentors.

I only gave the program a few slightly-less-than-perfect scores, and I imagine they are flaws in any school: the professors and coursework can be a little inconsistent. As with any school, you get hard mentors and you get easy mentors. This can make it a little unfair when it comes to GPAs because they grade with different rigor. But, as someone who had one of the more difficult mentors, I can tell you that in the end you benefit from it and become a better writer. As for financial aid, it's pretty average. One great scholarship they do is for women over 55, which goes to show how much they care about their mission of getting under-heard voices into the industry.
Reviewer
Current Student
Alumni
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
4.00 star(s)
Equipment
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
4.00 star(s)
As a member of the inaugural cohort, I was blown away by how incredible and influential this program is. It was phenomenal to spend two years of my life among such brilliant, hardworking, dedicated people - from instructors to mentors to fellow classmates. These are lifelong connections and friendships, providing support and encouragement long after graduation. You'd be hard pressed to find a more devoted group of people, chief among them the program's creator, Ken LaZebnik, aka The Nicest Man In Hollywood.

I can honestly say that I am not only a better writer because of the Stephens MFA program, I'm a better person. If you want to be a professional screenwriter, do yourself a favor and apply, Apply, APPLY!

Note: In the Ratings section, Career Assistance is listed as a 4 because of two things:

1. As a relatively new program, they are still working out official opportunities for things like internships, which can be found in a lot of more established writing programs. HOWEVER, the personal support and attention you receive from Stephens is Unparalleled. You will not be lost in a sea of alumni and current students. You will know with all your heart that you and your work Matter, and that your professors and mentors are there to bolster and promote you in every way possible.

2. A lot of this work is up to you. You will have to hustle. And write. And rewrite. And hustle some more. And write until you think your hands will fall off, and then go out and hustle, again. Yes, access and opportunity are essential, but you cannot rely on anyone other than yourself to build a successful career. Fortune favors the prepared, and that preparedness is yours and yours alone.
Reviewer
Alumni
Alumni
3.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Equipment
4.50 star(s)
Coursework
4.50 star(s)
Professors
4.75 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
4.50 star(s)
Pros
  • Great location and environment
Cons
  • Some courses seem a little bit chaotic (not all collaborations are successful)
CCC is a great film school for many reasons: different levels of courses allows you to explore your preference for filmmaking step by step as well as teaching various aspects in film production process, so that you would gain lots of experience and become a professional in terms of thinking and executing. Professors there are great as they do respect students' ideas and who you are, and as a big school with students from all over the world they respect all the cultural differences. For cinema directing and many other courses, collaboration is the key as those courses allows you to get to know all the roles in film production. Other than production courses, film study courses such as World Cinema is also really fun to take.
It also has a great location near the center of the city, great traffic, and great view alongside Lake Michigan. Hope it helps.
Reviewer
Alumni
Alumni
3.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
3.00 star(s)
Equipment
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
5.00 star(s)
Pros:
  1. Affordable tuition compared to other schools. ~9k for Texas residents and ~18k for out of state, per annum
  2. Amazing TA opportunities guaranteed to almost every MFA student. Benefits: Resident tuition qualification, Free medical insurance, 6k stipend per semester, $1892 tuition reduction per semester (paying ~6k for 2nd year and ~3k for 3rd year)
  3. Great faculty, also great for exploring Documentary film making.
  4. Film funding - 1k for pre-thesis film, 7k for thesis film (Moody Innovation Labs).
  5. You get a shot at making 2 top tier festival worthy films.
  6. Austin - home to 3 major film festivals.
  7. Higher chance of your film getting into SXSW.
  8. Great program if you also want to settle down as a professor.
  9. Opportunities for outside fellowships up to 28k.
Cons:
  1. Not a lot of opportunities to work in Hollywood.
  2. Weaker alumni network when compared to the high ranked schools.
  3. International students should be prepared to go back if they do not get their movies into top tier film festivals (which makes you eligible for O1 visa : click here for more details). But you can go back without any financial obligations.
  4. It is not LA.
Bottom line: A great inexpensive program if you are fine with being in a small, close-knit filmmaking community. A great deal, overall.
Reviewer
Admitted Applicant
Alumni
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
4.00 star(s)
Equipment
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
3.00 star(s)
Pros:
  1. Really strong alumni network.
  2. Reputation and Prestige (World renowned).
  3. Opportunities to pitch to studio executives.
  4. Job opportunities/internships other than DP or directing in Hollywood.
  5. Surrounded by faculty who currently work in Hollywood.
  6. Student assistantships with hourly pay with sign on bonus of up to 5k.
  7. Scholarship opportunities for students who get their 1st or 2nd year films into good film festivals.
Cons:
  1. Tuition fee: ~40k/annum ( total cost for 3 years might extend up to 200k because of self-funded films).
  2. Self-funded films except for 546 course (top 10 students of 60). Thesis is also self-funded.
  3. Can make only one top tier film festival worth movie in 546 course as a director (Unless you self-fund the films you make in intermediate directing, directing techniques, advanced directing or making media for social change courses).
  4. International students should be prepared to go back if they do not get their movies into top tier film festivals (which makes you eligible for O1 visa : click here for more details).
  5. No high end equipment for directing courses other than thesis or a 546.
Bottom line: Tons of opportunities to work in Hollywood but may be not as a DP or a Director (Unless you're a Ryan Coogler :D).
Reviewer
Admitted Applicant
Alumni
2.75 star(s)
Campus
4.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
1.50 star(s)
Equipment
4.00 star(s)
Coursework
3.00 star(s)
Professors
3.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
3.00 star(s)
Pros
  • Film budgets provided by school.
  • Other students.
Cons
  • Its all about politics.
  • Poor quality of most workshops. Most of the year is wasted.
  • High tuition fee.
  • School doesn`t care about you after graduation.
  • Accomodation in Beaconsfield is quite expensive.
I agree with one of the comment I`ve read "In the past the only criterion to get there was talent/skills. Now the most important criterion are: gender, race, country, religion." In the last 5 years it started to be all about politics.

The only course worth apply is VFX. Tutors have connections in film industry, they do provide job opportunities after graduation, they do have useful workshops. Rest courses are expensive wasting of time. Everything looks so nice before you sign agreement with the school to pay tuition fees. After this you constantly thinking "What am I paying for?" Well... I don`t know.

People say that school is so great because of: masterclasses with big filmmakers, other students, atmosphere. But you have this in any other art school in UK. Big filmmakers have SOMETIMES masterclasses there only because the have free moment, they were asked for it, probably they got paid as well. The same big filmmakers you can meet doing masterclasses on film festivals, other film schools, film events. And every masterclass is just lecture which is exactly about the same you can find on YT or read in the interviews for free not 12 000 per year.

There are no job opportunities after school. This is illusion selling by people like Jon Wardle. (By the way, one of the most fake and bully person I`ve ever met. And this is also true what someone wrote: "How guy who has nothing to do with film industry, who has nothing to do with managing companies, no experience on higher independent position becomes director of NFTS?" It means something about the school.) About the job, before you apply to any course, try to contact alumni (those who graduated 1-5 years ago), ask them what they are doing, where they are working, how often, how do they find jobs, did they find job after course or they just came back to job they had before NFTS. And the most important are they PAID for the job. (PAID means not 20 pounds per day) Because working for free is not a job!!! Truth is that 20-30% of alumni (after year or two) work around TV, commercial not film and half of them are working not even around their craft. What about the rest? Better not mention (if they work).

Is being on a few meaningless film festivals worth this money? Where are young successful alumni? Why when we speak about NFTS alumni they always say about people like Roger Deakins? Man why started his career in different millennium. Think in those categories. Why only short animations get BAFTA? (it doesnt help much with career because no one really cares about shorts). Where are short fictions, documentaries?

Alumni are scared to talk about it because they think school is so powerful and will close industry door. Apart from alumni (and some people in companies like BBC, CH4), industry doesn`t know about NFTS. It`s just another film school in London.

There are lot more but don`t want this review to be so long.

Stop believe in nice website, good marketing speech, nice twitts or fb photos and school legend which already faded away.
Reviewer
Alumni
Alumni
4.50 star(s)
Campus
4.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
4.00 star(s)
Equipment
4.50 star(s)
Coursework
3.75 star(s)
Professors
4.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
4.50 star(s)
Pros
  • Access to pretty state of the art equipment.
  • A few outstanding professors.
  • Lots of collaboration between sound, vis effects, motion graphics.
  • Everyone is so motivated to do well, it makes you want to do better.
  • Opportunities to work on films and tv sets while going to school.
  • Connections!! Your professors are your life line so make good impressions.
  • Great school for DP's.
  • Casting department will help you cast your student films.
  • New film building has plenty of computers with AVID and protools, plus plenty of studios to film in.
Cons
  • People have their groups... it's cliquey.
  • Film students here are notorious for being pretentious and obnoxious.
  • Savannah can be unsafe, so it's important to be mindful when choosing an apartment off campus.
  • You get what you put in. The career dept. will help you only if you seek their help.
  • There aren't enough classes for producers.
  • You're screwed if the other students don't like you.
  • The cage is disorganized. You have to triple check your equipment when you rent.
  • SCAD owns everything you make using their equipment and automatically owns your senior film.
  • Tuition is on the expensive side.
I really enjoyed my time here and appreciate the foundations classes we were required to take because they trained us to become artists, technically and conceptually. It definitely played a role in our filmmaking, regardless of how much I hated Drawing 1 & 2.
Reviewer
Alumni
Alumni
5.00 star(s)
Campus
4.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Equipment
4.75 star(s)
Coursework
4.75 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
2.00 star(s)
Pros
  • small school
  • many production opportunities
  • school funds all films
  • uplifting community
  • practical experience
Cons
  • small school
  • no sport
  • no greek life
I cannot express in words how valuable your education will be at this school.

I've only been here for a single semester and I have already directed my own short on a sound stage and have been a part of 16 others in my film section.
I've also worked on two six day shoots for 4th year films and started pre production for four 3rd year films as well as two 2nd year films. My main point being is that your film classes are not the only source of the film education you get here. You're working on location just 4 weeks into your first year and the school funds the making of those films.

Other film schools just don't operate like this and you won't get what everyone is looking for: EXPERIENCE, if you don't go here. Gaining it is not just expected, its required. We must work at least 12 hours in production and 12 in the art department before the end of each semester.

The film school is composed of only 300 people and you interview with the upperclassmen before they hire you for jobs on the thesis films so networking is practiced everyday and you have copious opportunities to leave a lasting impression on them before they go out into the world. There are also many active job boards only for our alumni. Alumni also come back all the time to hire our students on commercials and projects they are working on.

We are also allowed to use the acting students on campus (if we follow specific rules) and they enhance the quality of our films tenfold.

The community is also fantastic. Its an arts conservatory so everyone here understands each others passions and their dedication to them. Its a highly competitive environment but we all do our best to lift each other up.

Overall this school is small and no one has really heard of it, but those who have know just how talented and skilled our students are.
Reviewer
Current Student
Alumni
4.00 star(s)
Campus
2.50 star(s)
Career Assistance
2.50 star(s)
Equipment
3.25 star(s)
Coursework
2.25 star(s)
Professors
2.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
2.25 star(s)
Pros
  • alumni support, location, partial scholarship, guaranteed internship, prestige and TA work
Cons
  • professors, LA Study Abroad Program and cost.
A postive for BU is that it's only a three-semester program. Of course, it's a program that will set you back about $75,000. So, be ready to cough up some dough. On the bright side, you are receiving an education from one of the most-respected universities in the entire world. In fact, when you mention BU to most anyone, they are impressed. So, you have that going for you.

Another plus for the graduate program is they typically offer you a scholarship. Although it varies for each person, you can expect between $5,000 and $10,000 per semester. Additionally, BU is really good about offering TA work. Most grad students earn a pretty good amount. For example, I'm paid about $250 weekly. I typically work about 1 hour a week for my job. Moreover, the grad office does all the loan applications for you, so you don't have to do anything regarding that. Another plus is the location. Boston is a great area with plenty of bars and fun things to do. However, it can be difficult to meet people, because it's a very transient city.

The program offers the option for you to spend your third semester in Los Angeles. This was a selling point for me. However, I learned a few things about the Study Abroad Program in LA as this past semester progressed. Initially, I was told the price for LA was included in my tuition. As it turns out, it is included, but BU raises your tuition the last semester. I was not happy about that. Secondly, if you go to LA, you are pretty much required to live in student housing. Let me be clear, you must live in the same room with another person. They tend to leave that bit out anytime you are talking with the grad office about LA. Although, you can opt out of the housing, but let's discuss the costs: $2,000 EXTRA for your own room or $5,000 EXTRA if you choose to get housing elsewhere. That's extra on top of the $1,500 monthly rent they charge to live at Park La Brea. Also, if you move elsewhere, it can't be more than 30 minutes away. But, a positive is that BU finds you an internship while in LA, so that is one positive point. Additionally, you can opt to stay in Boston.
Reviewer
Current Student

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