Chapman MFA Film Production (Directing) vs LMU MFA Film & TV Production. Please Help! (1 Viewer)

Hi everyone,

I was accepted into both Chapman University’s MFA Film Production program for directing and LMU’s MFA Film and TV Production program (I would want to specialize in directing fiction). I’m extremely torn between the two programs and stressing out because the offer deadline for both schools is quickly approaching. After graduating, I would like to have a job in the film industry where I’m able to support myself living in Los Angeles. And also, I would like to have a larger network of collaborators that would allow me to make more ambitious projects.

Chapman
Pros:
  • This program is better suited for me because I know I want to go into directing. I like how the program is structured because you are partnered up with screenwriters and editors, so you don’t have to spend much time doing those things. I’m currently working as an editor and I’m tired of it haha.
  • The best facilities/equipment.
  • Your films are funded, however, I’ve heard from current students that the funding is often not enough, especially for the cycle films.
  • Lower rent in Orange.
  • Get to make more films.
Cons:
  • Higher tuition cost. I would have to take out loans that cover the entire cost of attendance which adds up to be a heinous amount of money.
  • The distance from LA, the commute for internships seems brutal but doable.
  • I’ve heard from current students that Chapman has fewer connections to big studios so most internships are with small to medium-sized companies. Although, there’s a new improved career office so that seems promising.
  • I’ve heard from current students that the faculty are hit or miss. I’ve also heard that communication from the administration is often poor.
LMU
Pros:
  • Lower cost of tuition. However, the total amount of loans I would have to take out is still heinous, just less heinous. I also received a $3k/year scholarship.
  • The campus is in Los Angeles, so the commute for internships is not as bad. I would also be able to more easily work with collaborators from UCLA which is where I went for undergrad and minored in film, who are all living in the city.
  • LMU has better connections to big studios and they advertise internships heavily, so it seems like they can provide better internship opportunities.
  • Have heard nothing but praise about the faculty from current students but I saw the Dean recently got sacked so that’s an L.
Cons:
  • I’m not very interested in receiving a general filmmaking education for the first year and a half. I believe I’ve already received that from minoring in film at UCLA and interning at a few production companies during undergrad. I also have a good amount of on-set experience. And I’ve been working at a small production company in nor-cal for the past year and a half as a director, cinematographer, and editor.
  • Higher cost of living in LA.
  • Limited facilities and equipment.
  • Have to fund your own films.
  • Get to make fewer films.
This is my thought process, any input would be very much appreciated. Pls help. Thanks.
 

rainydays

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
I didn't do much research on LMU, but I can share my pros/cons list I made for Chapman if that helps!

Chapman
Pros:
1. Everyone makes a thesis.
2. Films are funded
3. Own films
4. State-of-the-art equipment
5. Cheaper living costs

Cons.
1. Not in LA (longer commute for jobs)
2. Not as generalized of a program (though that sounds like it's what you want so this may be a pro for you!)
3. Newer program, so not as many alumni and less students
4. Not as established of a internship/job network (edit: this one probably isn't true)
 
Last edited:

Abbey Normal

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Chapman
Pros:
1. Everyone makes a thesis.
2. Films are funded
3. Own films
4. State-of-the-art equipment
5. Cheaper living costs

Cons.
1. Not in LA (longer commute for jobs)
2. Not as generalized of a program
3. Newer program, so not as many alumni and less students
4. Not as established of a internship/job network
5. Ranking
Chapman does a pretty solid job with their internship program. I know students who interned at Marvel, Lionsgate, CAA and Blumhouse. Chapman also has a great relationship with Netflix. So, I wouldn't say it's necessarily a con.

@cj831 it seems you know what you want, and that's directing. If that's the case, Chapman would probably be the better school. As someone who did the commute from OC to LA for interships, it sucked. But twice a week is doable. As song as you don't drive stick, it's all good haha. You'll get used to it.

Regarding LMU - someone posted a link about the dean being let go recently. So, I'd reach out to current LMU students for more info.

Good luck!!!
 

rainydays

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Chapman does a pretty solid job with their internship program. I know students who interned at Marvel, Lionsgate, CAA and Blumhouse. Chapman also has a great relationship with Netflix. So, I wouldn't say it's necessarily a con.

@cj831 it seems you know what you want, and that's directing. If that's the case, Chapman would probably be the better school. As someone who did the commute from OC to LA for interships, it sucked. But twice a week is doable. As song as you don't drive stick, it's all good haha. You'll get used to it.

Regarding LMU - someone posted a link about the dean being let go recently. So, I'd reach out to current LMU students for more info.

Good luck!!!
Ooh that's good to know about Chapman thanks! I'll adjust my list for people reading the thread later too.
 
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