2015 Interviews - Acceptances - Rejections

De4our

Member
Hey all,

Wanted to start a thread for all the twitchy, anxious film nerds like myself who are still waiting on notices from the graduate programs. I applied exclusively for a directing and producition MFA at UT Austin, UCLA, NYU, FSU, and LMU.

So far I have been accepted by UT Austin, and have no other notices received yet.

Good luck to all of you, I'd love to hear some of your positive news!

-Joshua
 

JakeHannaford

Active Member
Hey all,

Wanted to start a thread for all the twitchy, anxious film nerds like myself who are still waiting on notices from the graduate programs. I applied exclusively for a directing and producition MFA at UT Austin, UCLA, NYU, FSU, and LMU.

So far I have been accepted by UT Austin, and have no other notices received yet.

Good luck to all of you, I'd love to hear some of your positive news!

-Joshua
Hey Joshua. Congratulations on UT! How were you notified by them already? Their email said notices would be going out at the end of February.
 

De4our

Member
Hey Jake!

I received an email directly from "the Admissions Committee of the Department of Radio-Television-Film" about two days ago, and I was very surprised by the timing. Honestly, I was a little worried it was some kind of mean prank by one of my buddies. But like clockwork, a day later I received an email from UT Austin's online graduate system confirming I'd been accepted. Checked the status page, and they even had two PDF's of the UT Austin Graduate School acceptance letters. Also, the letters were indeed dated January 23rd, so they are definitely making these decisions much earlier than anticipated.
 

JakeHannaford

Active Member
Thanks for the reply, Joshua! My application still says "in review" but I'll definitely be on alert now that I know they're already making decisions. I just had the 4th hit on my "creative sample" link for UT on Thursday so it'd be unreasonable to expect any kind of decision for me so quickly. Thanks again for the info, and good luck on hearing form the rest! I also applied to UCLA and NYU, along with Columbia and AFI, so we both still have a crazy month ahead of us. Where does UT rank on your preferences, if you don't mind me asking?
 
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Andrew88

New Member
Thanks for starting the thread. I applied to directing programs at Columbia, NYU, and AFI. Have yet to hear anything. Waiting anxiously.
 
Thanks for starting the thread as well. Congrats Joshua on getting into UT Austin! I applied to USC, UCLA, Chapman and AFI and am nervously awaiting news... It sounds like we'll start hearing about interviews in the second or third week of February?
 
Hey guys! I applied to 2015 Screenwriting MFA programs at USC, UCLA, NYU, AFI, and UT. I just got a call (on Tues 1/27) from AFI to schedule an in-person interview in NYC in early February. I'm very excited! That's all I've heard from any of my schools so far. Best of luck to everyone!
 

JakeHannaford

Active Member
Hey guys! I applied to 2015 Screenwriting MFA programs at USC, UCLA, NYU, AFI, and UT. I just got a call (on Tues 1/27) from AFI to schedule an in-person interview in NYC in early February. I'm very excited! That's all I've heard from any of my schools so far. Best of luck to everyone!
Exciting! I applied to AFI for Directing, I'm definitely on alert now knowing some calls (albeit in a different focus) are going out. Thanks for the heads up.
 

Buusey

Member
Hey everyone. Waiting too and as far as UCLA goes, they sent me an interview notice last February, around the 2nd or 3rd week. But they also pushed the deadline up this year by about a month. So I don't know if we won't be hearing until the middle of March but I'm trying not to sweat it too much. If anyone has any questions about the application process or the interview or anything for UCLA at least (which I'm sure at least slightly alters year to year), let me know! And if any grad students admitted fairly recently within the last few years has any random tips or advice about things that you normally wouldn't think of, please share! Good luck to everyone!
 

De4our

Member
Thanks for the reply, Joshua! My application still says "in review" but I'll definitely be on alert now that I know they're already making decisions. I just had the 4th hit on my "creative sample" link for UT on Thursday so it'd be unreasonable to expect any kind of decision for me so quickly. Thanks again for the info, and good luck on hearing form the rest! I also applied to UCLA and NYU, along with Columbia and AFI, so we both still have a crazy month ahead of us. Where does UT rank on your preferences, if you don't mind me asking?
Sorry for the late reply!

That's exactly how I knew they'd reviewed my products, I checked the Vimeo stats and saw the four hits...then a week later I got the email.

As far as rank and preference, UT is #2 for me. Their satellite LA program offers a semester away from Austin, which is a huge benefit, and they're a public school so the tuition is much easier to manage. (Plus, and this is embarrassing to admit, I dropped out of my journalism program in my undergrad to pursue filmmaking after reading Robert Rodriguez's memoir "Rebel Without A Crew"...and though he had dropped out of UT in the book, he eventually went back for his degree in 2011. Following his path feels kind of kismet.)

UT also sent a helluva bargaining package, so really I'd only pick UCLA as my #1 because of the location, connections, and their unique interdisciplinary program that combines all of the departments under one roof. But the deadline to accept UT's offer is mid-April, so if I get put on any waiting lists I would immediately just pick UT.

TL;DR
#1 UCLA, #2 UT
 

De4our

Member
Hey everyone. Waiting too and as far as UCLA goes, they sent me an interview notice last February, around the 2nd or 3rd week. But they also pushed the deadline up this year by about a month. So I don't know if we won't be hearing until the middle of March but I'm trying not to sweat it too much. If anyone has any questions about the application process or the interview or anything for UCLA at least (which I'm sure at least slightly alters year to year), let me know! And if any grad students admitted fairly recently within the last few years has any random tips or advice about things that you normally wouldn't think of, please share! Good luck to everyone!
Do you even have to ask?! Of course I would love to hear how your UCLA interview went!! Seriously, I'm sweating that (even though I haven't even gotten an email yet haha.)

Thanks Dennis!
 

Buusey

Member
Do you even have to ask?! Of course I would love to hear how your UCLA interview went!! Seriously, I'm sweating that (even though I haven't even gotten an email yet haha.)

Thanks Dennis!
I think the format's been generally the same from year to year. You'll be hearing about more of the specifics once someone gets in contact with you. Generally, you have about a few weeks to a month from when they notify you to the actual interview I believe. You'll meet with 3 faculty members who want to know you as a person and the kinds of stories you want to tell. They're not interested at all about why you want to be a filmmaker, which makes total sense, but more on the kinds of stories you'll be able to bring to the table. Also important is they want to gauge, as a director, how you work with other people since filmmaking is after all a collaborative effort. It's a lot more casual than a job interview but there are still certain questions they hit that you can expect and some you may not. Most importantly is letting your personality shine through and to show that you're a normal enough person that can interact with people yet come from a diverse enough background to have something different to say. That's the regular interview portion of this two-parter.

The second part is what got me though. You're expected to pitch a movie with no description other than what the audience sees/hears. This is to gauge your abilities to tell a VISUAL story since film is a visual medium. One, I was super nervous in general which doesn't really help my case given my issues with social anxiety and all that. Total bummer since I'm super self aware anytime I get nervous so I could tell I wasn't able to completely be myself and couldn't think straight. Two, and I in no way really hold this against anyone but myself, but I was unfortunately one of the only people that wasn't told this was part of the process so I had to try to come up with something on the spot (which I couldn't because of my nerves). But I was told this by a mentor later on, as a filmmaker, you should at least be expected to have stories you want to tell in your back pocket by this point. And also, I was allowed the chance to pitch later via Skype, but I think that still hurt my chances. The biggest thing I can say about the pitch though is that your application/statement/treatment you sent in has already painted a picture for others of who you want to be as a filmmaker. My pitch was for a movie that seemingly didn't fit that mold and I thought that was the smarter choice since I thought at the time that I should show that I have some diversity in my storytelling. But I think for the purposes of showing with why you said you wanted to be a filmmaker in the original place, pitch a film that fits that mold because that's what interested the faculty in choosing you to interview in the first place. Hopefully if I have the chance again, I can be way less nervous and knock it out of the park.
 

JakeHannaford

Active Member
Sorry for the late reply!

That's exactly how I knew they'd reviewed my products, I checked the Vimeo stats and saw the four hits...then a week later I got the email.

As far as rank and preference, UT is #2 for me. Their satellite LA program offers a semester away from Austin, which is a huge benefit, and they're a public school so the tuition is much easier to manage. (Plus, and this is embarrassing to admit, I dropped out of my journalism program in my undergrad to pursue filmmaking after reading Robert Rodriguez's memoir "Rebel Without A Crew"...and though he had dropped out of UT in the book, he eventually went back for his degree in 2011. Following his path feels kind of kismet.)

UT also sent a helluva bargaining package, so really I'd only pick UCLA as my #1 because of the location, connections, and their unique interdisciplinary program that combines all of the departments under one roof. But the deadline to accept UT's offer is mid-April, so if I get put on any waiting lists I would immediately just pick UT.

TL;DR
#1 UCLA, #2 UT
That's pretty funny... I dropped out of my initial undergraduate program (which was political science) to pursue filmmaking. I wouldn't say "Rebel Without a Crew" was the reason, but it was certainly an inspiration. Austin caught my eye primarily because of Richard Linklater and Terrence Malick and the success the UT program has had over the past few years (student winner at Cannes last year, etc). Had no problem with the GRE, I ended up doing well enough that I started to hope they would weigh that portion of the application heavily, even though I assume they don't.

Hard to say no to UCLA though, for sure.
 

StellaZ086

Member
Hi everyone! MFA Screenwriting fella here. Got a call and an interview notice from AFI today. Early February in New York. Can't make it though and have to do it via Skype...
 
Hi Stella-- congrats on the interview!

Did you apply to any other schools or just AFI?
 

jufebato

Member
Hi everyone,

I just received a call from AFI. I have an interview in New York! MFA in screenwriting.

I also applied to UCLA but haven't heard from them.
 

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