Accepted to USC - Peter Stark AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Julie Lew

Moderator
Staff member
I'll be attending the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC this fall. Happy to answer any questions about the application process, so AMA!

Best,
-Julie
 

Jwhite62

New Member
I'll be attending the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC this fall. Happy to answer any questions about the application process, so AMA!

Best,
-Julie

Hey Julie, Congratulations - this is such an achievement I'm looking to apply to attend Fall 2020, and I have a few questions around who I should get for a recommendation? Also, some confusion around cost I'm trying to put together a semester by semester breakdown. Any help would be appreciated.
 

Julie Lew

Moderator
Staff member
Hey Julie, Congratulations - this is such an achievement I'm looking to apply to attend Fall 2020, and I have a few questions around who I should get for a recommendation? Also, some confusion around cost I'm trying to put together a semester by semester breakdown. Any help would be appreciated.
Hi @Jwhite62! I set up a meeting with Michael Lane at the Stark office and asked him this question last summer. He stressed that you should choose people you know for sure would praise you and recommend you highly, regardless of whether they're a big name in the industry or not. I ended up choosing my favorite undergrad professor who I've known for years and could attest to my drive and work ethic; a producer I worked for both on set and in development (who also happens to be a 2x Emmy winner); and a director I did an internship for years ago on a small indie film (who is a USC alumni herself). I also did an internship for a production company whose creative executive was a Stark alumna, so I was very vocal to her about my desire to apply for the program and she helped me with my application. The long and the short of it, in my opinion, is to be very strategic and be very clear early on with people you'll ask for recommendations for. And be sure to ask people who can really speak about your character.

As for the cost, they say it rises yearly usually, and I've certainly had issues tracking down cold hard data before I got my bill. So I'll just be straightforward and tell you my tuition before aid was just about $25,000 (inclusive of cinema lab fees and student fees). Year 2 has only 10 units per semester so I don't think it's the same amount each semester.
 

Jwhite62

New Member
@Julie Lew That is very helpful and I appreciate the insight! I have one more question, do you think the program is better for suited for applicants/students who are further along in their career? For example, is there preference given to experience, just asking because I graduated from undergrad a little over a year ago and though I'm working on creating some short docs and have an internship "in the industry" under my belt I don't know there is an emphasis on applicants that are more senior, suggesting I should get more experience before applying. Any insight that you may have would be great? Thanks so much in advance, I've been researching this program for a couple of years.
 

Julie Lew

Moderator
Staff member
@Jwhite62 I think they look for self-driven people who they see potential in, regardless of previous experience. I think in general the SCA grad programs are a good mix of people who have been working for a few years and people who just finished undergrad. I graduated with my BA last spring and have been interning and working in the industry since then, and I fall in the average age range of incoming grads, I believe.
 

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