AFI 2019 Screenwriting

3 to 4 years depending on the scope and nature of your thesis film. My interview was with the incomparable Nancy Richardson who's edited so many amazing movies, Mark Ronson, and Rory Kelly (who I love.)
 

alanray

Member
This is correct, and I feel like most people would agree. HOWEVER, I think the issue that comes into play is the whole "respect and purpose" angle, because everyone who ever tackles risque content believe they are doing it in a way that is with "respect and purpose." We know it was respectful. How could it not be? We are the ones who wrote it! So, eventually, the argument becomes one side saying "you wrote something that was offensive and poorly handled," and the writer, in turn, saying "Nuh-uh, it totally matters, I was completely being respectful, etc." But, at the end of the day, I err on the belief that anytime a creator gets flack for handling offensive material, they failed. Full stop. They may not believe they failed (or that the material in question is even that offensive!), but if it turned off a sizeable amount of viewers or readers of whatever, it is there (and "I" and "we" and "us") who takes fault. Not necessarily in the act itself, but in their approach to the subject. But digging your heels in and saying "PC CULTURE IS CENSORING me!" is not the right response. At all.

I'm not trying to pick on you at all with what I'm saying here, @alanray -- this is more a comment directed on the HUGE swath of writers, comedians, actors, what have you believing that "PC culture" is ruining art. Very rarely is that the case. When there is outcry on the offensiveness of your work, the culture at large is not solely the problem. It's like that old adage: if everyone you meet is an asshole than maybe, just maybe, you're the real asshole. If you're always finding yourself under fire for the things that you say or do...maybe try not to say or do those things? It's really not that hard to change. To get better. To realize what you are doing is in some way hurting others, and to not do that thing. Take the reactions of others to heart, don't just lump it into a barrel of being "persecuted" for your actions.

I'm rambling here, but this is something I've thought a lot about, especially with my focus on comedy. Yes, comedy is supposed to be risky and surprising and tackle things that other forms of entertainment don't. All that's true. But if the audience doesn't find something funny...maybe it just wasn't very funny? That is never taken into consideration for all the anti PC crusaders in the industry, and it speaks more to their own sense of hubris than anything else.
Definitely for sure! Lots I agree with here as well. No offense taken. Honestly I probably fumbled my word choice earlier lol, I shouldn't have used words like "liberal, PC". They get in the way. The main point I was just trying to get across is that I'm against censoring writing any stories for the sake of controversy 👍. But there are so many grey areas here its ridiculous. Being offended is completely subjective. Although if the majority of people get offended at your work, the writer is the wrong one here. Blaming "PC culture" is wrong. I totally agree. But there is always room for any amount of people to be potentially offended by anything, because everything at the end of the day is subjective. You'll never please everyone. And it is in these situations where there is a smaller group of people offended that a writer may need to reevaluate but also might not be in the wrong either. Because like you said, "respect and purpose" is always situational to the writer, and not everyone will agree. You will not achieve great writing starting from the standpoint, "How do I make sure I offend the least amount of people with this", how you will achieve meaningful art is through approaching everything you want to say about the world with utmost honesty and complexity to the best of your ability and providing everything you say with the care and humanity it deserves. I just think people need to understand where the writer is coming from in the message they're trying to get across first, and then evaluate whether said message was delivered effectively or not. And I always respect a person's right to say something even when I disagree with it. I've been to multiple stand up shows where I was partially offended by a joke but I respect their right to make it. I don't know, its just about perspectives for me. But all in all, much love! I love having open discussions like this as well.
 

alanray

Member

Septopus7

Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
LOL just got the Financial Aid e-mail sent to my email...again. Now they are just playing with me, I know it.
 
Yea I just got the email and my heart dropped.
 

alanray

Member
I didn't get that financial aid email in the first wave of people getting it but I just got it now thank god. I was so stressed about that lol
 

WriterK90

Active Member
Supporting Member
I got the email and I never even interviewed... They are just rubbing it in now. 😂
 

Cody Young

Tattoo/Film Enthusiast
Supporting Member
I just got the email myself. Funnily enough I remember how anxious I was during the first time around when I didn't get the email, seems inconsequential now though.
 

Cdemon

Active Member
It might just be how the system processed the emails. And I guess they realized there was an issue and that’s why it’s going through again. :)
 

alanray

Member
Anyone know what time emails go out on Friday? Or is it throughout the day?
 

Cody Young

Tattoo/Film Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Anyone know what time emails go out on Friday? Or is it throughout the day?
That's a good question. I'm also curious as to whether the decision would show up on the empower account first or later in the day. I want to figure out the first place that I'm able to see my decision status.
 

alanray

Member
I looked at last year's thread but couldn't see any times. But apparently they didn't hear back last year till April 2 (damn). I also found out its apparently possible to be waitlisted. I hope I'm not, that would probably make me even more anxious then being flat out rejected. But that's probably just me being stupid
 

BuddernScotch

Active Member
First I want to jump into the discussion comparing NYU with AFI. Over the past 2 years, although not attending NYU, I had some quite substantial experience with this institution by working with its students on various projects and took two of its summer writing courses (for the two summer writing courses, I was the only non-NYU student, one is an undergrad class and the other one is mainly all grads, with an entire class of MFA/MBA students).
What I also have to say before I detail all my experience with NYU is that I have gotten rejected twice (last year and presumably this year), both without an interview, from the MFA film program. So please know that, despite my effort to be fair, there is almost an unavoidable sour grape factor in what I am about to say.
I moved to NYC after my college graduation solely for the purpose of attending its MFA program. I enrolled the fore-mentioned two writing courses, Intro to Dramatic Writing by Paul Thompson and Short Scripts by Ken Friedman. I had an amazing experience in both of those courses. Paul Thompson is a celebrity teacher in NYU with deep acting background. Friedman is the head of the NYU grad script writing. So it is fair to say that they are a good representation of NYU's teaching body. Excuse me for not being very modest but I believed both teachers liked my scripts a lot and I got an A from both classes. Fried seemed very happy after knowing that I was about to apply to his program that summer and offered to write me a recommendation letter without my asking, which I gladly accepted.
What was unexpected from both classes, however, was how poorly most other NYU students wrote. For Thompson's writing class it was understandable because it was an entry level undergrad class and a lot of the students were not even from film major (they were either wavering or just came here for fun). But for the grad duo-majors, it was obvious that writing was not their strong suit. That class being mandatory, all the duo-majors (of one year, I forgot which) took it together in the summer, which might have been an easy way to get it over with.
Another thing that felt strange to me at the time was how often LGBTQ and minority themes were flaring up in those two classes. I'm an Asian living in the U.S. so I think it grants me some right to comment on this issue. LGBTQ and minority issues have my fullest respect but it felt to me that these themes were flooding the NYU students' body of work. For the Short Script class, I think over half of the scripts the students end up writing were on such topics. Again there is nothing wrong with such topics themselves, but the apparently easy acceptance of works bearing such topics as quality writing almost unavoidably encouraged more writers to write on such topics than the actual number of people who cared.
Overall, what I have mentioned above does not constitute an ounce of real evidence but they did start to make me suspect that NYU's admission was curating a certain taste or attitude in its prospective attendees. And I found out about the portfolios of other admitted students only strengthened my suspicion, that two out of two incoming grad students I knew made film about left wing issues. My conclusion is this: NYU's writing teachers are every capable and helpful, but the students that the admission likely to favor are more often opinionated than not.
EDIT: OHBOI AM I L8 TO ZE PARTY. no websites load properly right now while travelling D:

Main pt: filmschool applicants are imperfect and hopefully we all get better, but that's all types of applicants imo regardless of their writing's subject matter.

I didn't apply to any NY schools because I knew I wanted to live in LA. And I dont have the resources to relocate to NY just to eventually move to LA... but I have always been very interested in NYU's writing program because of the sheer number of oscar winners from NYU recently...

What you say is something I'm really wary of - Green Book winning this year pops to mind. But my perspective is that those in charge of these "left-wing" oriented films is often not those that are directly or extremely affected by the issues that actual working and educated lefties, influencers in their field that have studied these issues and are working to change them, usually are not involved in those stories. That's what upsets me. And even more is the recent counter-left movement based on a revulsion caused by uneducated bandwagoners on current issues. My writing always hints at these issues but rarely deals with them head on because story always comes first and social issues can add nuance. But I ain't writing a political manifesto.

Based of the portfolios I saw from past filmschool screenwriters that were accepted that mention nothing of current issues, that were also incredibly underwhelming, I think perhaps that in general amazing writers are hard to find and hard to judge. Tons of writers, Nolan, could never make it into film school. If all incoming students were already stellar writers then today's film market wouldn't be saturated with so much blandness.

Just a possibility.
 
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Cody Young

Tattoo/Film Enthusiast
Supporting Member
I looked at last year's thread but couldn't see any times. But apparently they didn't hear back last year till April 2 (damn). I also found out its apparently possible to be waitlisted. I hope I'm not, that would probably make me even more anxious then being flat out rejected. But that's probably just me being stupid
I looked back through last year’s posts as well, happy we are finding out in t-minus 4 days, but a little curious about what time in the day they heard back. I would imagine starting as soon as 9:00 AM PST as that is the initial starting point for when most communications I have had with the school are time stamped (or rather 9:30 onward or so). Then again, it could also be an automated thing where the empower account automatically updates and whatnot, sending an email to your account. However, I figure that with a school as small (campus wise and technologically speaking) as AFI, they send out notifications on a more manual basis. That’s my operating theory currently and I think my anxiety on the subject is fairly transparent lol
 

alanray

Member
I looked back through last year’s posts as well, happy we are finding out in t-minus 4 days, but a little curious about what time in the day they heard back. I would imagine starting as soon as 9:00 AM PST as that is the initial starting point for when most communications I have had with the school are time stamped (or rather 9:30 onward or so). Then again, it could also be an automated thing where the empower account automatically updates and whatnot, sending an email to your account. However, I figure that with a school as small (campus wise and technologically speaking) as AFI, they send out notifications on a more manual basis. That’s my operating theory currently and I think my anxiety on the subject is fairly transparent lol
It does seem that the past applicants all found out around the same time as far as I could tell. Accepted and rejected found out the same time. Not all accepted first then rejected.
 

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