Latest reviews

Reviewed by
Current Student
Pros
  • Great teachers
  • Great campus
  • Superb experience
  • Post production equipment is industry standard
Cons
  • On set equipment can be improved (but not necessary for young inexperienced students)
I have been engaged with filmmaking since the age of 9 and was searching for a course that could further my knoll which is not always easy to find. I feel IFI was a perfect match. The classes were great where you could always pick something new up no matter how much you feel you know. The timetables were devided up very well giving time for you to study a lot while also socializing with your mates. The theory and practical parts of the course were balanced. Equipment used to shoot with were not industry standard or very high end, but for students first introduced to filmmaking it works fine as it is easy to master.
The instructors were very helpful and a joy to work with!
Overall the IFI program is an amazing program for everyone and actually encourages you to study film at college, opening your eyes to the advantages of lessons everyday.
Highly recommend it!
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Reviewed by
Alumni
Pros
  • Extremely helpful instructors, who put in a lot of effort to make the program as interesting as possible.
The Sarah Lawrence Filmmaker's Collective was the top experience I've had at a summer film program. Start to finish, their top priority was that we were making films at a near-professional level. All scripts were written to the industry standard, filming schedules established, casting calls made, and professional equipment was utilized. It certainly didn't hurt that we had an extremely positive crew of instructors guiding us through each early process, but what made the program so helpful was that it left room for things to go wrong. When I had actors dropping for my shoot and planned locations being shut down, they left it mainly in my hands to fix. That is the single most important thing a film school can do for you—give you real field experiences, mistakes and all—cause you'll be better prepared for the real thing on the other end.
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Reviewed by
Alumni
Pros
  • Dedicated teachers
  • Excellent facilities and availability of recources
  • Real industry experience
  • Good campus
I went into this camp uncertain of what I wanted to do in college. When I finished the five week intensive program, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I felt like my instructors really cared about my project and were willing to spend time just to make it perfect. C.C Webster, the screenwriting teacher, was amazing. If you enjoy screenwriting, go to this camp. Beyond screenwriting, the program offers excellent classes in directing, working the camera, and even acting. This gives students the entire film experience. We even went to casting calls in the middle of New York City, which was an experience that you can't get very many other places. Overall, if you like film, this is the place to go.
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Reviewed by
Alumni
Pros
  • Amazing atmosphere
  • Great professors
Being a part of IFI’s summer film program has truly changed my life. When I first entered, I knew I was interested in writing but I had barely held a camera in my hand and had zero interest in anything other than writing. However, with the help of some wonderful professors, I found a new passion for being a Director of Photography. Not only did they help me develop the skills necessary to begin as a DP, but they have helped me in finding an internship and writing me a letter of recommendation, truly highlighting the supportive environment that follows you outside of the program.
No matter what level of experience you have or what you plan to do in the future, I highly recommend being a part of such a fantastic program.
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Reviewed by
Current Student
Pros
  • Friendly staff
  • Nice campus
  • Great amenities
  • On-site script library
  • TA opportunities
Cons
  • Lack of networking opportunities
  • Lack of job opportunities
  • Strictly pedagogic in academic approach (as opposed to practical)
  • Repetitive coursework & lessons
I was accepted to the CSUN MFA program in 2018 and took part in in for a full year; however, I recently decided not to go back and complete the program's second year... for a number of reasons.

1) LACK OF NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES. This was my main peeve with the program. Networking opportunities were non-existent, unfortunately. I asked a few of the professors and the head of the program about this aspect of the MFA many times - as it is crucial to a career in screenwriting - and I was never given a solid answer. I happen to know a few people/execs in the industry as well, who asked me to reach out to CSUN on their behalf because they had internship/job opportunities that they wanted to share with the school. When I gave them the dept. head's contact info, two of them told me they reached out to him and never received a response whatsoever. I followed up with the dept. head and he simply said, "Oh, yes, I do remember seeing that name... Please have them email me again." But by that time, the opportunities were long gone. This is key because not only are you required to find an internship and take an internship course during your last semester of the MFA, but it's also a very important part of the job and working in Hollywood. I know the UCLA and USC have amazing opportunities in this regard; but, alas, I applied to each of those schools and couldn't get in.

2) STRICTLY PEDAGOGIC. The program is much more tailored to those who want to teach screenwriting at the college level than it does for those who actually want to be screenwriters. I say this not only because of my previous reason - lack of networking - but also because I spoke to one of the profs who's been there since the inception of the program who told me as much outright. Additionally, there was a lot of repetition in many of the lessons we learned.

3) VERY STRUCTURE-BASED COURSEWORK. I'm all for studying structure and form, but I also think that people entering a screenwriting Master's program should have a fairly good handle on that before joining. One of the professors who taught two of our courses over the first year taught his very-specific, step-by-step breakdown of how to break a story using his unique concept. It was very specific and odd, and we spent a LOT of time focusing on only his method, when there are dozens out there, many of which have proven to be great! I actually really liked this prof on a personal level, but I do not like that 2 of the 7 course I paid for dealt entirely with his methods and didn't allow for exploration of the many other forms.

4) LOOSE SYLLABI. Unfortunately, about 2 of the 7 courses that were taught didn't have syllabi at all, or really seem to have much of a purpose. In our teaching for screenwriting course, there were 14 of us. Basically, two of us came in each class and gave a lesson each week, and the prof provided very minimal feedback at the end of each lesson. It was like we weren't being taught anything at all. The lessons were all lead by other students in my peer group, and while some of them were great, I didn't expect to have to pay for and take valuable time (driving and attending) out of my nights to listen to other students speculate on what the best way to do _____ might be.

TAKE AWAY: If you don't know anything about screenwriting at all at this point in your life, OR if you're set on teaching screenwriting someday, this might be a good program for you. But if you're looking for industry connections and opportunities, save your money and look elsewhere (unless they revamp the program sometime in the next few years). The best part of the first year of the program, in my opinion, happened to be the two courses we took with adjunct professors who had real-life experience working in writers rooms. They were able to provide excellent feedback and guidance while we were working on our one-hour spec and half-hour original comedy pilots, and I feel that I can take those samples away and actually put them to use.

When I joined this program, I'd already studied screenwriting as an undergrad a bit, and worked some in the industry. I'd written a few episodes for an Emmy-nominated show and sold three concepts to a streaming network as well. I got a tip from a working writer that CSUN's film dept. had just gotten some kind of $8m influx via donations or something, but that wasn't evident in any part of the program, which was fine. That said, I was really hoping that the CSUN program would provide the networking opportunities and the chances to collaborate with other talented student directors, actors, producers, etc.--and it did not.
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5.00 star(s)
One member found this helpful.
Reviewed by
Alumni
Pros
  • Cheaper than some other big name film school with a good scholarship
  • Good access to equipment
  • Town is cheap to live
Cons
  • Horrible, uneducated and inexperienced faculty
  • Poorly managed equipment
  • Way too many student not from a film background
  • Poorly designed course, duplicated from undergraduate
  • Very limited talent resource
  • Bad reputation
The school is a complete honeypot, department head Donald.W Moffett has limited film production experience and has not idea how to properly guide the department. Chaos course design. Mediocre student body, most graduate student don’t have any film background experience and knowledge.
Faculties are mainly leftover from the industry who hardly been on any professional productions. Stay away, don’t wast you money and dream.
Alumni Network
1.00 star(s)
Campus
2.00 star(s)
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3.00 star(s)
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2.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
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1.00 star(s)
Scholarships
3.00 star(s)
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Reviewed by
Alumni
Pros
  • Well respected in the industry (Film, Media, Journalism)
  • Nice renovations to campus
  • Great classes that challenges you to think critically
  • In the heart of Boston, so very urban campus if that's what you like
Cons
  • Very elitist student body
  • Not diverse in ethnicity or class
  • A bubble, everyone operates in an Emerson vacuum and is very arrogant (cliche arts school)
  • Lack of diverse professors, therefore if you're a student of color you will be less likely to have your work critiqued by someone who looks like you and has lived your experiences
  • Can't use film equipment unless in the film production. In tours they'll show you the equipment but unless you're directly enrolled you're not allowed to access it
  • Not a very strong alumni base (they're everywhere, but not willing to help as everyone sees each other as competition)
  • Everything is a competition. So all the clubs you need to try out, audition, submit a resume to join any group on campus which leads to popularity contest
Emerson opened a lot of doors for me, so I can't dismiss that fact. However, I don't think it was necessary for me to go to Emerson as opposed to another top university for communications (UVA, Boston U, NYU).
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4.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
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2.00 star(s)
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4.00 star(s)
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Reviewed by
Current Student
Pros
  • World class faculty and assignments
  • Awesome curriculum
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Very limited time to do everything they ask
Currently in my third year of my MFA at NYU Tisch Grad Film (writing/directing).

I cannot praise this program enough! It exceeded any expectation I had going in, and now I spend most my time trying to make the most of the time I have left until graduation.

NOTE: The tuition range mentioned in this thread is very off. The yearly tuition cost is around $60 K, and with the housing/living costs it's closer to $100 K per year. However, there are lots of scholarships available, both for merit and need.

Most of the faculty split their time between teaching and working in the industry, and some of them have become contacts for life. The curriculum is extremely well put together and I've learned more than I thought was possible within the two years I've been there.

That said -- it's an extremely tough program. People who have done either med school of the millitary say NYU Tisch is harder. Most people in my class agree that film school is some of the hardest things they've ever had to do.

Why? Because it's physically impossible to do all the work they ask with only 24 hours in the day, and every hour of the day forces you to neglect your primary needs -- such as rest, food and hygiene. In return, we get to do what we love ALL THE TIME! AND IT'S THE BEST THING!

The first year is especially hard because there are literally no weekends off; no spring break, no fall break and we have a project over the winter break. We make three films in the first year, on top of homework and 24 hours a week in class + the living in NYC is anything but convenient, so even small things take more time than in other cities.

However, it's the most fun place I can imagine being right now, and I wouldn't have traded it for the world. The class sizes are so small that you become a close-knit family right away.

The equipment and tech support is top notch.
The faculty offers daily revelations that will help you see filmmaking differently.
Every week is a week of growth.
The projects are surprisingly high level for filn school
Well-rounded classes on everything from the technical aspects to the emotional sides of filmmaking -- they cover it all.

I'd give the MFA program at Tisch 5/5 stars -- and more if I could.
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One member found this helpful.
nwyrkrj
nwyrkrj
What other schools did you consider and/or were accepted to?
Reviewed by
Current Student
Pros
  • Unrivalled UK industry presence and reputation
  • The school's partners include but are not limited to Universal Pictures, Netflix, Channel 4, SKY, BBC and YouTube
  • Fantastic guest lectures from top UK directors and producers
  • More affordable than LFS and MET
  • Incredible list of alumni
  • Good scholarship opportunities
  • Small amount of students per class, incredible student/teacher ratio
  • Helpful and approachable staff, from teachers to the director
Cons
  • Very competitive admissions (depending on the course), but this is also what makes the school so great
  • Beaconsfield is easily reachable by train (25 mins from Marylebone), but it can feel like quite a bubble
I'm currently in my first year of a 2 year MA at the NFTS. I saw these relatively negative reviews about the NFTS before I applied, but I can now confidently say that applying to the NFTS is the best choice I made in a long time.

I tried to think for a long time about the cons, but I really couldn't come up with anything else than these two.

The school's reputation is just completely unrivalled by any other UK film school. When going to industry events we are often the only students there, since other schools are just not really as interesting.

The main strength is the quality and variety of courses. Some courses are unique to the NFTS and not given anywhere else in Europe. The education is excellent and leaves nothing to wish for. I'm in a class of 6 people, this makes it possible to get a very personal form of mentoring. The NFTS seems to do everything it can to provide the tools, knowledge and mentoring to make alumni successful, which is mutually beneficial.

I'm sure I forgot a lot of names, but a few of the people we met the past 6 months include Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Louis Theroux, Alex Garland, Paul Greengrass, David Yates and Paweł Pawlikowski. Having the opportunity to ask questions to these people is not only helpful but also inspiring. Since we sign NDA forms at the beginning of the year these guests feel like they are able to talk about things they would normally never share to the public, and some of these insights truly change how you look at the industry.

In terms of employment: I got a really nice part-time job offer at a UK film company in the first 3 months of my study at a networking meeting the NFTS gave us access to. I took this, and am besides this currently doing a 6 month paid internship at a major studio. This makes me very comfortable in stating that I'm not worried about getting work after I graduate.

All in all, I think the school is as good as it gets. Go there, be inspired by all the Bafta awards displayed and the alumni on the walls, and do apply. You won't regret it.
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4.00 star(s)
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One member found this helpful.
V
ValDalMil
Hahahaha... I just check things.....

You did not even try to write it in your own word but COPY/PAST fragments from description of their courses. OMG!

This is so pathetic...
Chris W
Chris W
Which course at NFTS did you do?
Reviewed by
Current Student
Pros
  • The instructors are as awesome as the price
  • If you hold a full-time job, this MFA is totally do-able with core classes held in the late afternoon / evening. You can also attend part-time
  • All instructors and guest speakers are working pros, and tiny classes, you get copious f2f time.
  • Campus is a super easy commute in Manhattan (not Long Island) near Penn Station / Times Square
I just completed my first year and cannot recommend this program more highly-- my TV writing (and writing in general) has improved by leaps and bounds. I'm still grateful to be among the chosen to get in and be among classmates who are all highly talented, motivated and supportive of each other (even when our debates about the merits of shows get lively and geeky).

The spirit at SBU is energizing, rigorous and very-fast paced, just like the TV industry itself. Know that you will work very hard in this program, but that vigor produces results. Have an open mind to new approaches to writing and breaking stories. Even if you've written teleplays or screenplays before coming here (as I have), the knowledge and methods that are enforced here will elevate what you think you know about storytelling and story structure. Need proof? Though this program is brand new, classmates are already winning teleplay competitions-- we're talkin' grand prize, finalists and semi-finalists.

If you're unsure of what your "distinctive voice" is, you will discover it here with the number of scripts you write, read and critique. I'm already confident that I'll graduate with a strong portfolio of work.

There's a lot of care that goes into curating the required TV guest speaker series (and if you take any elective in the film program, sign up for the Master Class with Christine Vachon and Simone Perro!). Between their shows' shoots and productions, show-runners and working writers generously share their writers room experiences, best practices and advice.

This school is invested in your success. If you love to write and love TV stories, you will love this MFA program.
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5.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
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4.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
Scholarships
5.00 star(s)
2 members found this helpful.
Reviewed by
Current Student
Pros
  • Dedicated professors
  • High Standards
  • Great price point
  • Interesting electives
Currently a student wrapping up the 4th semester. My writing has come a LONG way. Every semester builds on itself and you aren't the writer you were a few months ago if you keep up which everyone does because it's very much catered to class dynamics while also making sure that rigorous standards are being met. It's a wonderful combination of both.

I've been blown away by the teachers - all of them work in the industry and brought their own magic sauces to classes. I have learned from each and everyone of them and forged personal connections organically. I went from wanting to begin writing a pilot to being on my third in a short two years. I owe this to the systemic structure of the program that supports your artistic visions and holds them to an industry standard.

A plus is that Directing/Filmmaking grad students are on the same floor as you and there are some crossover in the classes you can take with them. I've taken really interesting electives that have been adjacent to tv writing as it's film related but from a different vector of analysis which was refreshing. I met people outside of my tv writing classes and those different friendships have also elevated the entire MFA experience for me. Overall there is a vibe of inclusivity and supportive creativity. A+
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5.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
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4.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
Scholarships
3.00 star(s)
One member found this helpful.
M
mydearmoody
Hey! Thanks for the detailed review, it was very helpful. I wanted to confirm that this MFA in TV Writing is a 3 year course. Thanks in advance!
Reviewed by
Current Student
Pros
  • Outstanding Professors
  • Remarkable Education
Brilliant professors currently working in the industry on shows you watch/have watched teach the majority of the classes and because it’s a state school, as students we only pay state school tuition (Sub 15k/year!!!). I have friends that went to the Ivys that are jealous because not only is Stony Brook cheaper (and has some of the same professors), they also have an MFA completely dedicated to TV writing. If you want to be a TV writer there is no other choice. This is the best program and it happens to be the best price (by over 100k!!!). It’s also a new program so not many people know of it yet making it a great time to tap into it; within the industry it’s making noise.
The teachers love it because they don’t have to conform to the stale teaching methods and bureaucracy of the expensive schools; instead they get to teach students who are 100% dedicated to TV writing the most modern theories and techniques in practice today. Students love it because they learn how to write from people who are currently writing in the tv industry. It’s an incredibly exciting atmosphere for all, along with heartfelt support that all the writers have for each other, which can only come from a program this size and this focused.
Alumni Network
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Facilities
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Scholarships
5.00 star(s)
One member found this helpful.
Last edited:
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Reviewed by
Current Student
Pros
  • Amazing faculty. Very affordable.
  • Red cameras and state of the art equipment.
  • Industry connected.
Now in its second year, this program has a deep focus on TV Writing. You write one spec, three pilots, work in a room with a showrunner, develop a mini series, work with actors, write and direct a webisode. Small classes and lots of one-on-one advisement.
Alumni Network
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Facilities
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Scholarships
5.00 star(s)
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Reviewed by
Alumni
Pros
  • faculty faculty faculty
  • course flexibility
  • incredible TV alumni network
  • talented and motivated peers
  • industry internship accessibility
  • student diversity
Cons
  • not totally a con, but self care is important while in any intensive program
  • scholarship opportunities exist, but expect to have student loans
I completed USC's MFA screenwriting program in 2018. I'm beyond happy with the education and mentorship I received. Within two months of graduating, I landed my first industry job as a showrunner's assistant on a Netflix drama series. Most of my peers (a total of 32 in my year) are currently employed – a handful in development, a few with features or TV pilots optioned, multiple TV staff writers (yes: multiple, right out of the gate), and a good number of assistants in TV writers' rooms (for shows on Netflix, the CW, CBS, ABC, and more). This follows in the footsteps of the year above mine.

These friendships are what I value most from my time at USC – we're reading scripts and giving notes in writers' groups, we're meeting up frequently for drinks and events, and we're landing each other interviews, connections, and jobs. Working in LA is never easy, but goals feel so much more attainable when surrounded by talented people striving for the same thing. Having intelligent friends who are eager to vouch on your behalf is a further reassurance.

The classes themselves were challenging and rewarding. I pursued a TV thesis track, but I'd say my classmates were split nearly 50-50 between TV thesis and feature thesis. We were forced to write many pages very quickly, and doing so was a crash course on how to generate content and develop a routine. USC allows for some course flexibility – I took a few production classes and was accepted into a size-capped mock writers' room class. The class developed and wrote a four-episode web series, which was produced, filmed, and edited by a companion production department course. We were able to build a large set on one of USC's sound stages, too, so we obtained solid set experience.

Peers of mine took courses on gaming, podcasts, idea pitching, editing, film analysis, directing comedy, interactive media... choral music... so while many courses in the track are solidified for you (for good reason), there is ample room to still forge your own path through the program. The curriculum also includes a business class your second year (covers management, agencies, entertainment lawyers, contracts, IP, fellowship applications...). Frequent lectures by successful screenwriters and producers were also helpful, most of which were only available for MFA screenwriters to attend (i.e., plenty of face time to ask questions and pick brains). Professors also invited working writer-friends to visit classes throughout each semester (and, while at public events asking for contact info is a HUGE no-no, these individuals often wanted to pass along their email addresses to connect further).

While some drawbacks to the program can include cost (there are great scholarship opportunities, but many students ended up without significant aid... the up-side is that the program's only two years), I would choose this program again in a heartbeat. As with any program, your enjoyment of any given class is dependent on other students and on whether you vibe with a professor. Professor diversity is also important to me, so I was personally happy to have an LGBT-identifying professor my first semester. Strides have been taken in recent years to increase diversity among professors even further, I believe. My classmates were an incredibly diverse group, too, which was one of the program's highlights for me.

Final note: the amount of MFA alumni who are working in TV is actually insane. The TV program at USC is pretty innovative (spec courses, pilot courses, pilot re-write courses, structure courses), and everyone in my class who graduated in pursuit of a TV writing career felt very prepared. The program also gave us face-to-face access to successful alumni or other mentors through various end-of-program events (some of which aren't even publicized on USC's website).

I would say my fingers hurt after writing such a lengthy review, but THEY DON'T. Thanks, USC, for preparing me for this moment.
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5.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
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3 members found this helpful.
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F
faeya
I am elated for you (obv!) but i need help and advice panda-chan!! I'm thinking of applying for mfa screenwriting later on so can i hit you up in the dms for some light convo? or an email is fine too!!
theMorrigan
theMorrigan
I think your review just solidifies how much I want to attend USC for this MFA program. Thanks for the in-depth and thorough thoughts!
D
ddcasimir
Can you detail what a TV thesis consists of? Do you produce a thesis script? How much flexibility is there to do electives in production?
Reviewed by
Alumni
Pros
  • amazing lecturers
  • great network
  • great community
Cons
  • no assignments or film projects
  • no financial aid
I loved my time at the UCLA PP in Producing! Each night, a different lecturer from a different part of the industry comes in and gives a talk. If you have just moved to LA and want a thorough understanding of the industry, as well as some connections, this is a great program at a not too steep price (not cheap though!). This program offers some amazing guest lecturers. I got to meet and participate in Q&As with the VP of Current at NBC and an exec at Marvel, among countless others.

One of the lecturers of the program while I attended was a former exec at a network (and Academy Award winner), who became a great mentor to everyone in the class. He took the time to set up individual meetings with all of us so he could learn about who we are and what we wanted from the program. Even now, months after finishing the program, I still email him and ask him for advice.

You're told right away that the most valuable takeaway from the program is the community you build with your fellow students. We hung out regularly, touring movie studios and throwing parties together. We even participated as a team together at the LA 48 Hour Film Festival. I still am close with several people from the program. It's nice to not feel alone as you try to find you way into the industry.

Also, I am currently interning at the production company of one of the lecturers who came and spoke with us. I definitely wouldn't have gotten this opportunity if I hadn't been a student at the UCLA PP.

If you can afford the program (when I went it was $5500 for the ten week course), I highly recommend it!

(I rated the equipment as one star because there is no equipment for the program. It's all lecture based, with no film assignments.)
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4.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
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3.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
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1.00 star(s)
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5.00 star(s)
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Reviewed by
Current Student
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.
Alumni Network
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
4.50 star(s)
Facilities
5.00 star(s)
Professors
4.75 star(s)
Scholarships
4.50 star(s)
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Reviewed by
Alumni
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.
Alumni Network
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
4.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Facilities
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Scholarships
4.00 star(s)
Last edited:
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Reviewed by
Alumni
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.
Alumni Network
3.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
4.50 star(s)
Facilities
4.50 star(s)
Professors
4.75 star(s)
Scholarships
4.50 star(s)
Reviewed by
Admitted Applicant
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.
Alumni Network
3.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
3.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Facilities
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Scholarships
5.00 star(s)
5 members found this helpful.
Reviewed by
Admitted Applicant
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).
Alumni Network
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
4.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Facilities
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Scholarships
3.00 star(s)
3 members found this helpful.
BigAbe00
BigAbe00
International student here. Do you know if I would be eligible for an O1 Visa if my short film gets into a top tier film school? Or do they only consider feature films as Visa worthy?

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