2nd year MFA Screenwriter @UCLA - AMA!!

Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
Hey everyone.

I'm Kira - a second year screenwriter at UCLA (woah, just like the title says!). I was active on these forums when I applied back in 2017 and a bit throughout 2018. If you have any questions about UCLA, screenwriting, LA, etc... ask me here :)

Edit: Also! If you are in town / stopping by campus in the coming months, I've grabbed coffee with prospective students in the past. Message me and we can chat, answer questions, etc.
 

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Cd23

Active Member
Ok I'm copy and pasting the same questions haha--

I saw you were accepted to USC too, I'm wondering what led you to choosing UCLA?

2nd question lol, from my interview it sounded like the program has gone through some changes in faculty, has this affected your experience at all?

Thanks!
 

BuddernScotch

Active Member
I remember you Kira!!!!!! Love that youre checking back in here.

My question is whether the recent changes in faculty have affected anything major, whether you've heard or experienced anything - and would you choose UCLA 1st again today?
 
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Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
Ok I'm copy and pasting the same questions haha--

I saw you were accepted to USC too, I'm wondering what led you to choosing UCLA?

2nd question lol, from my interview it sounded like the program has gone through some changes in faculty, has this affected your experience at all?

Thanks!
It was a tough decision - both schools are great. If I didn't get into UCLA, I would've accepted USC in a heartbeat.

I liked UCLA's flexible curriculum and the option of taking multiple workshops at a time, as I do well with a heavier workload. I like that the term is only ten weeks long and mimics the real world - even if it does make me more stressed. I knew I would want to live close to campus and the area around UCLA is considerably safer.

As for the faculty change - I'll be honest. The road was a bit bumpy, as there tends to be dumb politics in any big university, but the program has come out stronger (even if they are still working out some kinks). These are details though, the quality of the workshops and classes themselves have stayed strong or improved - and that's what we're here for.
 

Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
I remember you kira!!!!!! Love that youre checking back in here.

My question is whether the recent changes in faculty have affected anything major, whwther you've heard or experienced anything - and would you choose UCLA 1st again %today?
Re: faculty changes, check my post just before this one.

As for picking UCLA again, yes, I would. While dealing with admin can be frustrating at times, I'm really pleased with the workshops and classes themselves. My goals were to write as much as possible and I've done that at UCLA. My writing has improved exponentially in a very short time and I've had some great professors as well.

Could this be done at USC? Absolutely - but I would 100% do it again at UCLA.
 

Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
Welcome back @Kira ! How's UCLA going?
UCLA is going well :) Super busy! I'm currently writing a feature and a pilot - both started / to be completed within ten weeks. I've already written 100 pages this quarter and have 80 to go... and we only have 3 weeks left! I'm also taking a Cinema Media Studies course and teaching screenwriting to undergrads - but this is also a lighter quarter for me ;) Keeping busy for sure!

Edit: for those reading, I'm an exception, not the rule. The majority of students do not do this much - but it's an option for overachievers.
 

Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
How many other FilmSchool.org folks are at UCLA too? Do you guys see eachother?
 

Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
Would you say you have time for an internship or no?
Yes, for sure! I've completed two internships while at UCLA and I'd say most of my peers had/have internships as well. Last quarter (Fall) I did everything I'm doing now, plus intern twice a week. Needless to say - I'm tired :p

How many other FilmSchool.org folks are at UCLA too? Do you guys see eachother?
Yes! There's probably a good amount? At least a dozen or so between the two years? It's funny - I forgot that I even knew some people at UCLA from this website until I logged on today.
 

BuddernScotch

Active Member
Yes, for sure! I've completed two internships while at UCLA and I'd say most of my peers had/have internships as well. Last quarter (Fall) I did everything I'm doing now, plus intern twice a week. Needless to say - I'm tired
Kira you're the powerhouse of the cell. That's absolutely insanely amazingly productive. And it sounds like my dream schedule.

Really looking forward to March :D D:
 

Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
Kira you're the powerhouse of the cell. That's absolutely insanely amazingly productive. And it sounds like my dream schedule.

Really looking forward to March :D D:
Haha I do what I can! I'm trying to make the most of my short two years at UCLA - I think I'm doing okay? Fingers crossed for you! :)
 

IndecisiveElle

Active Member
Contributor
Supporting Member
@Kira - it's so good to see you around the forums! I can't believe it's been so long since we were in the application stage ourselves :) Glad to hear you're doing great!
 

Zach0323

Member
@Kira I really have appreciated a lot of your info! Just curious about if you've been able to work on many projects in your time at UCLA? Whether it be write shorts that actually got made, or self-produced something of your own?
 

Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
@Kira - it's so good to see you around the forums! I can't believe it's been so long since we were in the application stage ourselves :) Glad to hear you're doing great!
Hey Elle! Happy that you are doing well and enjoying your time at Chapman. I hope it's everything you dreamed of and more!

@Kira I really have appreciated a lot of your info! Just curious about if you've been able to work on many projects in your time at UCLA? Whether it be write shorts that actually got made, or self-produced something of your own?
Thanks! I am glad that I can help :) The main focus of the screenwriting program is on features and tv pilots - not shorts. There are elective collaboration courses with directing students who will produce your work, maybe one class per quarter. Some of my friends have taken advantage of this. As for my own projects, throughout my time at UCLA, I will have completed 3 feature films, 5 tv drama pilots, and 1 tv comedy pilot.
 

Septopus7

Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
@Kira and @IndecisiveElle: just wanted to say it was nice to see you two around again. As someone who was in the trenches with each of you over the last few years, it's satisfying to see you each thriving and, from the sounds of it, mostly enjoying your respective programs! I can only speak for myself, but it gives us all hope.

Sincerely,

Your fellow poster, still hangin' in the trenches.
 

Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
Hey, Kira! I saw you got accepted into LMU as well? Would you say UCLA is significantly better than LMU?
Hi! Thanks for your question, @Shade. I was accepted to LMU - I don't know that much about the program so I can't really compare. Personally, if I was rejected from UCLA but thought I had a decent shot, I would apply to UCLA a second time and see what happened.

@Kira and @IndecisiveElle: just wanted to say it was nice to see you two around again. As someone who was in the trenches with each of you over the last few years, it's satisfying to see you each thriving and, from the sounds of it, mostly enjoying your respective programs! I can only speak for myself, but it gives us all hope.

Sincerely,

Your fellow poster, still hangin' in the trenches.
Hey @Septopus7! Hope you are doing well. It's all about that grind. Just keep writing and keep applying - to schools or fellowships or competitions. I've been told time and time again in my program - persistence is key. Just keep at it.
 

BuddernScotch

Active Member
So Kira, this question is really broad, but I'm wondering, from an insider's perspective, what the future looks like in terms of work opportunities? And whether UCLA matches other top tier schools like USC and LMU in connections and entry-level jobs? Or it is mostly what you make of it? In other words, in terms of chances at getting a job, does the school matter that much, or one's own persistence, skill, willpower, etc?

I have been researching this on my own for a while but always hear things second or third hand so even though the question must be hard to answer perhaps you could shed a bit more light on this matter :)

Thank you (again).
 

Apeach

Member
Hey Kira,

Thanks for sharing and taking the time to do this! Your schedule sounds insane and rewarding, and I was wondering if you could break down your schedule a bit more (particularly when you had internships) so we could get a better sense of what the day to day looks like?

I also saw a Quora post (Why would someone choose the UCLA Film School over the USC Film School? - Quora) which mentioned an additional $10,000 fee you had to pay, which isn't included in the tuition cost posted on the website. Were there any other significant fees you weren't expecting?

Thanks so much!
 

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