rainwhole

Well-Known Member
Hi guys,

I am starting this thread for those of us who are currently putting our applications together for Chapman Dodge College graduate programs. I haven't seen one for current applicants anywhere on the site, so let me know if I am creating an already existent thread.

This is a great opportunity for all of us to share with each other during the application process this year. Specially to support each other during the awful waiting period before we know the admissions decisions.

So let me start off by quickly giving you guys some info on my background. I have a Bachelor's of science in Entertainment Business and a Master's degree in Digital Media Communications. Film and Television have always been my passion, but sadly I have yet to work on the field outside of an educational institution. In school I've worked as a Casting Call supervisor, and Unit Production Manager for a couple of student films. Most of my experience comes from working as a Producer and Creative director in multiple video games and interactive stories. I have also worked in Animation (specifically Stop-Motion), since I was very young. Currently, I work as a translator and I am writing the first issue of a comic book series to pitch to Dynamite Comics next December.

I am attempting to enter Chapman for an MFA in Film & TV Producing. I hear the school is great, but is also really hard to get into. Anyone out there have any tips?

-RR
 
Hi,

I'm starting my application to Chapman as well. I'm applying for the MFA for production with Directing emphasis. I am also applying to other schools, but the thing I found about Chapman is that they require more supplementary materials than any other school. Which I am not sure is exciting or daunting. Either way, I would really love to get in.

I don't have any tips as of yet, but as the process goes, I will be sure to check back and see how things are and to give any insight I get.

-SM
 

DJ

Well-Known Member
I graduated from Chapman with an MFA in Film and TV Producing in 2012. Feel free to ask me any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.
 

rainwhole

Well-Known Member
I graduated from Chapman with an MFA in Film and TV Producing in 2012. Feel free to ask me any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.


Hey DJ,

I talked to you once already, and I am sorry but I am without a cellphone (till yesterday) so I was not able to call you at all. But maybe you could share with us a little bit of your experience with Chapman?

I can't speak for everyone, but I am a little worry that Chapman might not be the best place to develop industry connections. Is the program really hands-on or not? Does the school help their recent graduates and alumni find work opportunities?

Any info you could share with us would be highly welcomed.

-R
 

DJ

Well-Known Member
Hey DJ,

I talked to you once already, and I am sorry but I am without a cellphone (till yesterday) so I was not able to call you at all. But maybe you could share with us a little bit of your experience with Chapman?

I can't speak for everyone, but I am a little worry that Chapman might not be the best place to develop industry connections. Is the program really hands-on or not? Does the school help their recent graduates and alumni find work opportunities?

Any info you could share with us would be highly welcomed.

-R


I'll start off by saying I had a great experience and I wouldn't trade my experience for any other school. To just be blunt and honest, no one is going to help you do anything in this business no matter what school you go to. An alumni industry connection might help you get an internship, but rarely will they give you a big break or opportunity. Making it in this business comes from a combination of paying your dues and putting in the necessary time and work, while also taking advantage of any opportunities sent your way.

In my honest opinion, you don't need a Master's to develop industry connections. I've developed all my industry connections on my own, just by sending cold emails and making cold calls. As someone trying to break into the industry, no one is going to seek you out and pay you for anything in this business. You have to beat down doors on your own, develop projects, prove you know what you're doing, and be ready to take advantage of any opportunity you might be given because they are few and far between.

That being said, Chapman does hold Current Student & Alumni Mixers a few times a year in LA. Those are great opportunities to mix and mingle with professionals, but again, no one is going to simply hire you after meeting them there. People hand out business cards and offer for you to email them, but that's generally as far as it goes. As a graduate producer or screenwriter at Chapman, you will be given the opportunity (or requirement, really) to pitch a project at Pitch Fest, an event put on by Chapman every year at Sony Studios that brings approximately 20 agents, managers, production company execs, and others into a room and you will have a couple minutes each to pitch your project.

Just to give you an overview of how it worked out for me: I pitched 13 different executives at Pitch Fest, and 7 showed interest during the pitch and took a copy of my script with them (It was a pilot for a scripted series.) I received no calls, emails, or further interest. Since then, I have been developing my project with a producer who has a first-look deal at Fox TV and just put together a huge deal that partnered Eyeworks and Fox on a plethora of Scandinavian scripted television project adaptations. I think that's proof enough that my project was top quality, yet I received no further interest, so in my personal opinion, these executives either didn't really review the projects with any expectations of moving forward or they didn't really read the scripts at all. I could be completely wrong and they all may have read it and passed for whatever reason, but generally I would have received a follow-up email explaining that they passed just as a courtesy. I can't say for sure one way or another, and it's just my personal assumption, though no one I've ever known has had any further developments of projects stemming from Pitch Fest. It is a great experience nevertheless.

So, I guess my short answer is yes, USC and NYU might currently have a larger, more successful alumni base, but that doesn't necessarily mean said alumni are going to come looking for you just because you graduated from their alma mater, and in fact -- they won't (that is, unless you have strong ties to the business via friends and family).

The MFA program is very hands-on, other than the screenwriting track. In two years at Chapman, I produced five short films: two cycle films ($1,500-$3,000 budget), two thesis films ($15,000-$20,000 budget), and one independent study ($3,500 budget). Three of them went on to screen at great festivals around the world and two even won some awards. On top of that, I also line produced several thesis and cycle films as well. There is as much hands-on experience as you can want at Chapman, but again, you have to go out and look for it.

The biggest thing I would honestly tell any prospective producer is that if you can't see yourself honestly committing 20 hours/day, 7 days a week (if need be) to work, then it might not be for you. You have to have a serious drive and passion to be successful in this industry for sheer love of the business, not because you want to be rich and famous. Anyone who honestly has the passion, can succeed. It might take years of struggling, working other jobs to supplement your income, serving your boss coffee, picking up a colleague's dry cleaning, and then some, and then after work, going home for six hours to develop your own projects and make calls and send emails. As a producer, if you can do this, then I'll say the sky is definitely the limit.

I hope this helps. I hope no one finds me as discouraging or negative, but I'm just giving my personal experiences and opinions as they pertain to my career through film school and in the entertainment industry thus far. Any other questions are welcome!
 
I'll start off by saying I had a great experience and I wouldn't trade my experience for any other school. To just be blunt and honest, no one is going to help you do anything in this business no matter what school you go to. An alumni industry connection might help you get an internship, but rarely will they give you a big break or opportunity. Making it in this business comes from a combination of paying your dues and putting in the necessary time and work, while also taking advantage of any opportunities sent your way.

In my honest opinion, you don't need a Master's to develop industry connections. I've developed all my industry connections on my own, just by sending cold emails and making cold calls. As someone trying to break into the industry, no one is going to seek you out and pay you for anything in this business. You have to beat down doors on your own, develop projects, prove you know what you're doing, and be ready to take advantage of any opportunity you might be given because they are few and far between.

That being said, Chapman does hold Current Student & Alumni Mixers a few times a year in LA. Those are great opportunities to mix and mingle with professionals, but again, no one is going to simply hire you after meeting them there. People hand out business cards and offer for you to email them, but that's generally as far as it goes. As a graduate producer or screenwriter at Chapman, you will be given the opportunity (or requirement, really) to pitch a project at Pitch Fest, an event put on by Chapman every year at Sony Studios that brings approximately 20 agents, managers, production company execs, and others into a room and you will have a couple minutes each to pitch your project.

Just to give you an overview of how it worked out for me: I pitched 13 different executives at Pitch Fest, and 7 showed interest during the pitch and took a copy of my script with them (It was a pilot for a scripted series.) I received no calls, emails, or further interest. Since then, I have been developing my project with a producer who has a first-look deal at Fox TV and just put together a huge deal that partnered Eyeworks and Fox on a plethora of Scandinavian scripted television project adaptations. I think that's proof enough that my project was top quality, yet I received no further interest, so in my personal opinion, these executives either didn't really review the projects with any expectations of moving forward or they didn't really read the scripts at all. I could be completely wrong and they all may have read it and passed for whatever reason, but generally I would have received a follow-up email explaining that they passed just as a courtesy. I can't say for sure one way or another, and it's just my personal assumption, though no one I've ever known has had any further developments of projects stemming from Pitch Fest. It is a great experience nevertheless.

So, I guess my short answer is yes, USC and NYU might currently have a larger, more successful alumni base, but that doesn't necessarily mean said alumni are going to come looking for you just because you graduated from their alma mater, and in fact -- they won't (that is, unless you have strong ties to the business via friends and family).

The MFA program is very hands-on, other than the screenwriting track. In two years at Chapman, I produced five short films: two cycle films ($1,500-$3,000 budget), two thesis films ($15,000-$20,000 budget), and one independent study ($3,500 budget). Three of them went on to screen at great festivals around the world and two even won some awards. On top of that, I also line produced several thesis and cycle films as well. There is as much hands-on experience as you can want at Chapman, but again, you have to go out and look for it.

The biggest thing I would honestly tell any prospective producer is that if you can't see yourself honestly committing 20 hours/day, 7 days a week (if need be) to work, then it might not be for you. You have to have a serious drive and passion to be successful in this industry for sheer love of the business, not because you want to be rich and famous. Anyone who honestly has the passion, can succeed. It might take years of struggling, working other jobs to supplement your income, serving your boss coffee, picking up a colleague's dry cleaning, and then some, and then after work, going home for six hours to develop your own projects and make calls and send emails. As a producer, if you can do this, then I'll say the sky is definitely the limit.

I hope this helps. I hope no one finds me as discouraging or negative, but I'm just giving my personal experiences and opinions as they pertain to my career through film school and in the entertainment industry thus far. Any other questions are welcome!

Wow, thanks for the useful information. Do you find that the people who got their MFA in production had a similar experience when it came to pitching their films? And how accessible are internships at Chapman, I know that interning at a big studio would be a great thing to do for connections. Thanks.
 

rainwhole

Well-Known Member
I'll start off by saying I had a great experience and I wouldn't trade my experience for any other school. To just be blunt and honest, no one is going to help you do anything in this business no matter what school you go to. An alumni industry connection might help you get an internship, but rarely will they give you a big break or opportunity. Making it in this business comes from a combination of paying your dues and putting in the necessary time and work, while also taking advantage of any opportunities sent your way.

In my honest opinion, you don't need a Master's to develop industry connections. I've developed all my industry connections on my own, just by sending cold emails and making cold calls. As someone trying to break into the industry, no one is going to seek you out and pay you for anything in this business. You have to beat down doors on your own, develop projects, prove you know what you're doing, and be ready to take advantage of any opportunity you might be given because they are few and far between.

That being said, Chapman does hold Current Student & Alumni Mixers a few times a year in LA. Those are great opportunities to mix and mingle with professionals, but again, no one is going to simply hire you after meeting them there. People hand out business cards and offer for you to email them, but that's generally as far as it goes. As a graduate producer or screenwriter at Chapman, you will be given the opportunity (or requirement, really) to pitch a project at Pitch Fest, an event put on by Chapman every year at Sony Studios that brings approximately 20 agents, managers, production company execs, and others into a room and you will have a couple minutes each to pitch your project.

Just to give you an overview of how it worked out for me: I pitched 13 different executives at Pitch Fest, and 7 showed interest during the pitch and took a copy of my script with them (It was a pilot for a scripted series.) I received no calls, emails, or further interest. Since then, I have been developing my project with a producer who has a first-look deal at Fox TV and just put together a huge deal that partnered Eyeworks and Fox on a plethora of Scandinavian scripted television project adaptations. I think that's proof enough that my project was top quality, yet I received no further interest, so in my personal opinion, these executives either didn't really review the projects with any expectations of moving forward or they didn't really read the scripts at all. I could be completely wrong and they all may have read it and passed for whatever reason, but generally I would have received a follow-up email explaining that they passed just as a courtesy. I can't say for sure one way or another, and it's just my personal assumption, though no one I've ever known has had any further developments of projects stemming from Pitch Fest. It is a great experience nevertheless.

So, I guess my short answer is yes, USC and NYU might currently have a larger, more successful alumni base, but that doesn't necessarily mean said alumni are going to come looking for you just because you graduated from their alma mater, and in fact -- they won't (that is, unless you have strong ties to the business via friends and family).

The MFA program is very hands-on, other than the screenwriting track. In two years at Chapman, I produced five short films: two cycle films ($1,500-$3,000 budget), two thesis films ($15,000-$20,000 budget), and one independent study ($3,500 budget). Three of them went on to screen at great festivals around the world and two even won some awards. On top of that, I also line produced several thesis and cycle films as well. There is as much hands-on experience as you can want at Chapman, but again, you have to go out and look for it.

The biggest thing I would honestly tell any prospective producer is that if you can't see yourself honestly committing 20 hours/day, 7 days a week (if need be) to work, then it might not be for you. You have to have a serious drive and passion to be successful in this industry for sheer love of the business, not because you want to be rich and famous. Anyone who honestly has the passion, can succeed. It might take years of struggling, working other jobs to supplement your income, serving your boss coffee, picking up a colleague's dry cleaning, and then some, and then after work, going home for six hours to develop your own projects and make calls and send emails. As a producer, if you can do this, then I'll say the sky is definitely the limit.

I hope this helps. I hope no one finds me as discouraging or negative, but I'm just giving my personal experiences and opinions as they pertain to my career through film school and in the entertainment industry thus far. Any other questions are welcome!


Thanks for the response DJ. In a weird way, the things you have to say have provided a lot of comfort to me. To be honest, I already have master's degree so I know the huddles of graduate school, and most importantly I know that schools are experts at promising connections and helping you land jobs but they never truly deliver...which is ok. I want to go to film school because I legitimately want to learn the art form inside out. So if Chapman University offers an opportunity to work with ambitious students, good professors, and hands-on on projects then I think is the right school for me. I have zero expectations beyond that.

If you don't mind DJ, could you tell us a little about your background before Chapman? We all know is hard tog et into the school, so what particular things do you think made you be an outstanding candidate?

Cheers,
R

PS: I wish more prospective students could read your blunt wisdom, since many think a top ranking school = an immediate career in Hollywood.
 

DJ

Well-Known Member
Wow, thanks for the useful information. Do you find that the people who got their MFA in production had a similar experience when it came to pitching their films? And how accessible are internships at Chapman, I know that interning at a big studio would be a great thing to do for connections. Thanks.


Production students don't pitch at Pitch Fest, as it's only for Producers and Screenwriters. Again, I don't know of anyone who had any further development of projects stemming from Pitch Fest from my year or any other year someone I know pitched there. I did have a few producer friends who had some good experiences pitching, had their project taken home by an executive, and then heard nothing more -- honestly, as expected.

The success I've had with my project has been generated after the fact. Moreover, and not to toot my own horn, but my project was much, much further developed than any other projects pitched there. I had a well-known actor attached in the lead role and also had a deal with a production company to finance 70% of the pilot. 99% of the other students' projects were just scripts.

Internships at Chapman are very accessible. Chapman sends out a weekly newsletter with screening information, internships, upcoming festivals, and other interesting things. Also, finding an internship in Hollywood is fairly simple, especially as a Grad student. All production companies, studios, producers, managers, and agencies love free work from intelligent people, so it's a win-win. Again, you have to seek them out. Find a production company who makes films you enjoy and check out their website, send them a cold email, give them a call, etc. That's the best way to find an internship. Be persistent and show initiative -- it goes a long way.
 

DJ

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the response DJ. In a weird way, the things you have to say have provided a lot of comfort to me. To be honest, I already have master's degree so I know the huddles of graduate school, and most importantly I know that schools are experts at promising connections and helping you land jobs but they never truly deliver...which is ok. I want to go to film school because I legitimately want to learn the art form inside out. So if Chapman University offers an opportunity to work with ambitious students, good professors, and hands-on on projects then I think is the right school for me. I have zero expectations beyond that.

If you don't mind DJ, could you tell us a little about your background before Chapman? We all know is hard tog et into the school, so what particular things do you think made you be an outstanding candidate?

Cheers,
R

PS: I wish more prospective students could read your blunt wisdom, since many think a top ranking school = an immediate career in Hollywood.


No problem. I would honestly rather speak as much truth about my experiences as possible and seem semi-discouraging than make it seem like a piece of cake.

Well, for starters, I graduate in 2010 from Drexel University with a BS in Business Administration and minors in both Law and Film. I started out as a Freshman Film major and switched to Business at the end of my Freshman year. I studied Law to give myself as much of a well-rounded experience as possible. Drexel is a co-op school, and I did my six-month co-op at BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, working in data integrity and pricing analysis, which also contributed to my well-roundedness.

As a film minor, I was lucky enough to be chosen as a producer of Off Campus, Drexel's student produced sitcom. I produced one episode, and ended up winning a Mid-Atlantic Emmy, which helped.

I still believe, however, that the biggest contributing factor were my letters of recommendation and my writing skills. Having written tons of analytical film papers during my film studies at Chapman, partnered with my critical thinking ability developed through my law classes, I became a very good writer, which Chapman takes very seriously, as seen through all the writing samples they demand in their application.

As far as my credentials go, I did graduate from Drexel with a 3.7 GPA and also graduated with distinction from Drexel's Honors College, which consists of completing another set of requirements as well (there's usually only about 30-50 students per year that graduate with distinction). I was also in a social fraternity where I held multiple leadership positions, was a paid writing tutor through Drexel's Writing Intensive Tutoring program, was a teaching assistant in the business program, and played baseball for 4 years. I was also a member of the law society, played a number of inter-fraternal sports, and was also a member of Order of Omega, a national honor fraternity, and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

I believe being as well-rounded as possible will increase your chances of getting into film school. Film schools no longer want just the artsy individuals who have only studies film. They want broader minds from a wide array of social and educational backgrounds. Anyone can tell stories, so their job is to find those who are the best at it (in their opinion).

My three letters of recommendation were from one industry veteran, the writer of the book Film School Confidential and one of my mentors at Drexel, and a business professor. My LOR definitely helped my cause, no doubt.

While writing your different samples, be sure to have others read them, write multiple drafts, and make sure you write your script sample in the proper format. As I said, they definitely take the writing samples seriously. On one of the first days of classes, one of my professors asked all of us which film we wrote our analysis on, and some of them she remembered reading and praised the writing.

Feel free to continue with questions if there are any!

If you want to check out my IMDb, that will give you a little more info about me as well: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4367815/?ref_=fn_nm_nm_22
 
This might seem silly, but I'm thoroughly confused. For Chapman they're requesting an official copy of degree granting undergraduate transcript. How is this different than just sending transcripts? Help? Thank you! :)
 

rainwhole

Well-Known Member
If I have official sealed copies of my transcripts is that suffice?

Thanks!


Hey Chessirose,

Most of the time that's not quite enough. Getting a sealed envelope with the transcripts is just half of it, the other half is actually getting your previous institution to mail the envelope directly. This is the case for almost all the graduate programs you could apply to, but sometimes that varies with school. I am playing it safe and I already asked both my undergrad and grad institution to mail directly the transcripts to Chapman....is usually free.

Cheers,
R
 

rainwhole

Well-Known Member
No problem. I would honestly rather speak as much truth about my experiences as possible and seem semi-discouraging than make it seem like a piece of cake.

Well, for starters, I graduate in 2010 from Drexel University with a BS in Business Administration and minors in both Law and Film. I started out as a Freshman Film major and switched to Business at the end of my Freshman year. I studied Law to give myself as much of a well-rounded experience as possible. Drexel is a co-op school, and I did my six-month co-op at BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, working in data integrity and pricing analysis, which also contributed to my well-roundedness.

As a film minor, I was lucky enough to be chosen as a producer of Off Campus, Drexel's student produced sitcom. I produced one episode, and ended up winning a Mid-Atlantic Emmy, which helped.

I still believe, however, that the biggest contributing factor were my letters of recommendation and my writing skills. Having written tons of analytical film papers during my film studies at Chapman, partnered with my critical thinking ability developed through my law classes, I became a very good writer, which Chapman takes very seriously, as seen through all the writing samples they demand in their application.

As far as my credentials go, I did graduate from Drexel with a 3.7 GPA and also graduated with distinction from Drexel's Honors College, which consists of completing another set of requirements as well (there's usually only about 30-50 students per year that graduate with distinction). I was also in a social fraternity where I held multiple leadership positions, was a paid writing tutor through Drexel's Writing Intensive Tutoring program, was a teaching assistant in the business program, and played baseball for 4 years. I was also a member of the law society, played a number of inter-fraternal sports, and was also a member of Order of Omega, a national honor fraternity, and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

I believe being as well-rounded as possible will increase your chances of getting into film school. Film schools no longer want just the artsy individuals who have only studies film. They want broader minds from a wide array of social and educational backgrounds. Anyone can tell stories, so their job is to find those who are the best at it (in their opinion).

My three letters of recommendation were from one industry veteran, the writer of the book Film School Confidential and one of my mentors at Drexel, and a business professor. My LOR definitely helped my cause, no doubt.

While writing your different samples, be sure to have others read them, write multiple drafts, and make sure you write your script sample in the proper format. As I said, they definitely take the writing samples seriously. On one of the first days of classes, one of my professors asked all of us which film we wrote our analysis on, and some of them she remembered reading and praised the writing.

Feel free to continue with questions if there are any!

If you want to check out my IMDb, that will give you a little more info about me as well: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4367815/?ref_=fn_nm_nm_22


That's a VERY impressive background DJ, thank you for sharing.

Would you say that all the people who got into the program with you were as accomplished as you previously?

Was Chapman your only choice for graduate school? It seems with that background you could easily get into one of the "holy trinity" of film schools.

Cheers,
R
 
Hey Chessirose,

Most of the time that's not quite enough. Getting a sealed envelope with the transcripts is just half of it, the other half is actually getting your previous institution to mail the envelope directly. This is the case for almost all the graduate programs you could apply to, but sometimes that varies with school. I am playing it safe and I already asked both my undergrad and grad institution to mail directly the transcripts to Chapman....is usually free.

Cheers,
R


Thank you for the information! :)
 

DJ

Well-Known Member
That's a VERY impressive background DJ, thank you for sharing.

Would you say that all the people who got into the program with you were as accomplished as you previously?

Was Chapman your only choice for graduate school? It seems with that background you could easily get into one of the "holy trinity" of film schools.

Cheers,
R


Thanks, R. And again, I'm really not trying to brag about my credentials and accomplishments, so I hope no one takes it that way.

No, I honestly don't think anyone in the program was probably as accomplished as me. There may have been a few people I don't know a lot about that had similar accomplishments, but I can say for sure that those in my producing track were not as accomplished. There were some Ivy League grads, some people who tried to break into the industry previously but failed, some people with absolutely no film background whatsoever, some who honestly just couldn't hack it and really didn't know what they were getting themselves into -- I could go on and on. Honestly, that really doesn't mean a lot though.

What matters is that when you get there, you take advantage of all the opportunities given and work hard. Try to understand the business to the best of your ability and find the track that fits you best. As a producer, you'll have to decide if you want to pursue a career in management, talent representation, literary representation, as an independent producer, working for a studio or production company, etc. Once you figure that out, you should be able to find a good internship and start finding material and building connections.

Yes, Chapman was my only choice and the only school I applied to. I know I would have gotten into any school I applied (or at least I'm very confident I would have had multiple top options), but I loved Chapman's location. I loved the staff. I loved their facilities (literally, the best film school facilities in the world hands down). Their world film school ranking increases every year and it won't be long until they're top 3. They went from #26 in 2011 to #13 in 2012 to #7 in 2013 (Ranked by The Hollywood Reporter). They have nowhere to go but up. If you haven't looked up Chapman Filmed Entertainment yet, definitely do so. The price was a big factor, as well as financial aid.

I went out to visit the campus after applying and was given a personal tour by the head of the television department. I was then invited to the head of the graduate program's house for my interview because the school was actually shut down for Winter Break. If that's not accommodating, I don't know what is. I was sold as soon as I stepped foot on the campus and even more so after the interview and tour.

A degree from AFI, NYU, or USC might be the best you can get right now, but I'd be willing to bet a Chapman degree is going to be worth a lot more in the next 5-10 years, whereas the stock in degrees from those other schools may fall. They might not, but my money is on Chapman.
 

rainwhole

Well-Known Member
Thanks, R. And again, I'm really not trying to brag about my credentials and accomplishments, so I hope no one takes it that way.

No, I honestly don't think anyone in the program was probably as accomplished as me. There may have been a few people I don't know a lot about that had similar accomplishments, but I can say for sure that those in my producing track were not as accomplished. There were some Ivy League grads, some people who tried to break into the industry previously but failed, some people with absolutely no film background whatsoever, some who honestly just couldn't hack it and really didn't know what they were getting themselves into -- I could go on and on. Honestly, that really doesn't mean a lot though.

What matters is that when you get there, you take advantage of all the opportunities given and work hard. Try to understand the business to the best of your ability and find the track that fits you best. As a producer, you'll have to decide if you want to pursue a career in management, talent representation, literary representation, as an independent producer, working for a studio or production company, etc. Once you figure that out, you should be able to find a good internship and start finding material and building connections.

Yes, Chapman was my only choice and the only school I applied to. I know I would have gotten into any school I applied (or at least I'm very confident I would have had multiple top options), but I loved Chapman's location. I loved the staff. I loved their facilities (literally, the best film school facilities in the world hands down). Their world film school ranking increases every year and it won't be long until they're top 3. They went from #26 in 2011 to #13 in 2012 to #7 in 2013 (Ranked by The Hollywood Reporter). They have nowhere to go but up. If you haven't looked up Chapman Filmed Entertainment yet, definitely do so. The price was a big factor, as well as financial aid.

I went out to visit the campus after applying and was given a personal tour by the head of the television department. I was then invited to the head of the graduate program's house for my interview because the school was actually shut down for Winter Break. If that's not accommodating, I don't know what is. I was sold as soon as I stepped foot on the campus and even more so after the interview and tour.

A degree from AFI, NYU, or USC might be the best you can get right now, but I'd be willing to bet a Chapman degree is going to be worth a lot more in the next 5-10 years, whereas the stock in degrees from those other schools may fall. They might not, but my money is on Chapman.


Hey DJ,

Thanks again for the great response. I was actually applying to the Stark Program at USC, but I found the interview + the tour so underwhelming. Ok, let me rephrase that, the school was great and the guy I interviewed with was very pleasant (we talked for over an hour). Yet at almost 70k for a two year program, it feels very underwhelming in all aspects...in my opinion at least.

So now I am only applying to UCLA and Chapman, and honestly Chapman looks very promising. I saw the Hollywood Reporter ranking for it this year, and it was impressing.

Sorry to keep asking so many questions, but my curiosity is boundless. You mentioned that as a producer I needed to decide if I want to pursue a career in management, talent representation, etc... Chapman prepares you for any of those? Is the degree more creative or business drive? Or both? I am a business major, and I honestly love the practice. I know they offer the MBA/MFA, but I am wondering about the regular MFA. Finally, how many from your graduating class are currently working in the industry? (if you know).

Thanks again for talking the time to answer all this stuff for me, your info is invaluable.

Cheers,
R
 
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For up to date Film School Acceptance Rates, including Minimum GPAs, Minimum Test Scores, After Interview and Off-Waitlist Acceptance Rates, Film Experience and Undergraduate degrees of accepted applicants, Age data, and other acceptance statistics for your film program of choice simply navigate to the Acceptance Rates tab on each film school's page in our Film School Database.

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  • University of Chicago - Department of Cinema and Media Studies
    4.00 star(s)
    Excellent Program: Bad Politics
    I want to start this off by saying I got an amazing education from the University of Chicago. It's one of the top schools in the country for a...
    • tomkristensen311
  • American University - School of Communication (B.A.)
    4.00 star(s)
    A Positive Perspective
    AU is a bit of a diamond in the rough in terms of Film BAs. Well, maybe not diamond - but one of the lesser gems. I had a great experience at AU...
    • Anonymous
  • California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) - Program in Film and Video (B.F.A.)
    4.00 star(s)
    CalArts Film/Video Undergrad Experience
    CalArts' Film program is known to be more experimental; however, I wouldn't say it focuses solely on art-house cinema or experimental cinema, but...
    • Anonymous
  • Cleveland State University - School of Film & Media Arts
    2.00 star(s)
    An affordable option if you're willing to dedicate the time to teach yourself.
    I graduated from CSU's film program right before they revamped it to include a BFA option. I was mostly interested in screenwriting and that...
    • JPG
  • University of North Texas
    3.00 star(s)
    You Get What You Put In
    Started the program off with an intro film professor who had no desire to help me learn. A lot of classes you need to get through before you can...
    • Anonymous

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