USC Cinematic Arts - Film and Television Production (MFA)

4.75 star(s) 4.75 Stars (4 Member Reviews)
Degrees Offered
3 Year M.F.A.
Concentrations
Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Film & Television Production, Producing, Sound Design
Yearly Tuition
$30k to $40k
Tuition Detail
$35,214
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Hey guys. I have a specific question regarding the Directing/Film Production MFA program.

My ultimate goal is very specific and obvious - I want to shoot a feature movies. But not a huge-blockbuster-Hollywood type of movies, but rather a movie that would someone classify as indie. Existential horror or maybe some provocative cinema or both - with visual and narrative experiments etc. In the perfect scenario of my future I'm working with A24 entertainment company on my own feature film - something like Hereditary, Lighthouse or even Lars von Trier-type of cinema.

And in a few articles I found a disturbing information about the USC that it's not actually a place for "future indie filmmakers" and I'm wondering why would someone say that. I heard that AFI is a better place for my goals but I did not apply to it because they require two films and I had only one. But it's not a case - I know that USC is one of the best (if not the best) film schools in the world, so why how it can actually be a bad choice for someone who maybe wants to make "indie" films? I hope that it's not true and, if anyone knows, someone can help me understand what is the actual difference between the programs and why USC sometimes referred to as a place that I would not fit in with my specific goals.
One member found this helpful.
Avec Love
Avec Love
This is a pretty common myth about USC. It doesn't really matter what type of movie you want to make. The program at USC is not about what kind of art you should make or what space you should work in - it's about how to actually get that project made.

The student population has a bad wrap for only being interested in "Big Hollywood Blockbusters", some people are interested in that - but overall I find people's interests are pretty eclectic. A majority of the professors work on independants and a majority of student directors go on to do either Television or Indie work.

Furthermore, I'd consider A24 a commercially successful distribution company - being that USC's focus is "industry", that is WELL within USC's wheelhouse. After all, "Industry" and "indie" are not mutually exclusive.

Beyond that, plenty of students here are fans of A24's output and I'd say their mindset is not so far off from your own.
1 members found this helpful.
OzymandiasVII
OzymandiasVII
Thanks so much for such a detailed response!
Are there any statistics about getting a full-tuition scholarship for international students at USC?
One member found this helpful.
sharkb8
sharkb8
Virtually impossible afaik. Every single international student here who I know comes from a wealthy family. Their parents are paying a lot of money to let them be here. There are some scholarships USC offers, but they tend to be partial scholarships for merit, and the only full rides I've seen were given due to health issues or need based requests.
1 members found this helpful.
How many students get admitted to Directing MFA program each year? And does everyone in the major have the chance to make their thesis film?
One member found this helpful.
Chris W
Chris W
USC unfortunately doesn't officially share this info but I'd check the tracking sheets from previous years to see the stats that our users have tracked. In 2018 out of 12 out of 36 (33%) site members were accepted to Film/Television Production for example.
T
truffleshuffle
If by Directing MFA you mean the Film & TV Production MFA, then the USC admissions info session presenter, Victoria, told us that 60 are accepted in the Fall and 60 in the Spring.
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