Advice on shooting portfolio film in area in lockdown. Use existing film that doesn't fit prompt?

jessicatt

New Member
Supporter
I am applying undergrad to several school. I have been trying for months to get friends, family anyone to act in a film that would meet prompt to no avail. We have pretty strict covid restrictions where I live and everyone I know is even more cautious than our state guidelines. I have gone to great lengths to ensure we would follow social distancing or even tried doing it on zoom but I just can't find people willing to act. I have a film I was able to make this summer but it doesn't quite fit the prompt. So is it better to send in a film that doesn't fit the prompt ? I'm not sure what to do. I'm running out of time and I have had so many no shows.

Thanks
 
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Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Definitely fit the prompt. What's the prompt? There's always a way to do it.

You could even think outside the box and use inanimate objects as your characters. Or even have yourself play all the characters. Some schools even have you tell a story in stills.

Remember showing that you know how to tell a story is the most important.

See this article for some other tips on other parts of the application.

How to get Into USC Film School: An Interview With an SCA Admissions Committee Member

How to get Into USC Film School: An Interview With an SCA Admissions Committee Member

Considered by many to be the best film school in the world, it’s no wonder why the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) is so sought after by prospective undergraduate and graduate students alike. However, the film school’s prestige can often make the application process particularly stressful and...
 

llueve

New Member
Supporter
I agree with Chris. I think doing a new video that fits the prompt is the whole goal, and the more creative and resourceful you can be in a tough situation like this one, the better.
If you share the prompt here, we can help you brainstorm some ways to work within your constraints.
 

llueve

New Member
Supporter
That's great that you have someone who can help.
To me, it looks like the prompt was written specifically so that you can shoot it completely by yourself, being your own actor, director, and cinematographer. Which is great!

My advice would be, if you have a friend who can help and you want to film that friend, great. If you don't have a friend, you should be your own actor and that's also great. The emphasis here is on how you put images together, not on the acting ability or technical showiness of the work.

Does that make sense?
Best of luck!
 

jessicatt

New Member
Supporter
Thank you so much for your feedback. I really liked the article about USC and found it very helpful.
Here is one of the projects I made over the summer for NYU Summer Online Filmmakers workshop. My professor said she liked version 1 better so I will use that version when I apply to NYU. But I am thinking about using version 2 to apply to some other programs. And use the other film I am trying to make now for other programs like Chapman, LMU, USC and others. I have some PSAs and documentaries but wanted to make new projects to better fit the prompts from certain schools. I had to shoot far away from my actors and film them on separate days so I could keep them safe and comply with covid guidelines and their comfort level.


Any feedback?
Dream /Version 2
Dream/Version 1
 
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llueve

New Member
Supporter
I think it's good that you're making new work to fit the prompts.

For this film project, my extremely personal opinion is you should go with your gut! The applicant is *you*, so put forth what *you* feel is most aligned with your intent.

I see why your teacher liked V1 better. In V2, the black and white vs. color is, to me, the dominant element. When I watch V2, I am trying to understand "what does black and white mean? What does the color mean? What is the story being told by black and white versus color?" When I watch V1, I think, "What is the story being told by every action?"

So the decision is about what you meant for the story to be. Is it about the 'world view' of the characters, which is represented by color vs. black and white? Is it something else?

I think it's fine if you want to use V1 for NYU, V2 for other programs. Certainly there are no rules about it.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Without dialog show a character making a dramatic decision. 2 minute max. I
Nice. This is totally doable with no actors. You can act in it... Or you could even creatively use inanimate objects and tell the story with looks and your shot compositions.
 

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