Current NYU Tisch Graduate Film Student - AMA!

amar41

Member
Hey Buusey! Any idea how many students in your year were taken off the waitlist? Trying to make the decision whether or not to stay on the waitlist but everything is still up in the air with other programs.
 

fitz

Member
Hey Buusey :) Been admitted to the program but with everything going on in the world, I'm not sure whether I'll be able to commit this year because so much is up in the air. Do you think that is something they would be understanding of? Who would be the best person to speak to about this?
 

cestdong

Member
Hey Buusey,

Wondering what some examples of courses are in the first year? All the information I can find mentions the 2 minute film project, the 7 minute digital film, and so forth, but can't find how courses are specifically structured (course titles, professors, # of people, etc)

Thank you for doing this!
 

Buusey

Well-Known Member
Sorry just now getting to these! It's been crazy in NYC!

Hey Buusey! Any idea how many students in your year were taken off the waitlist? Trying to make the decision whether or not to stay on the waitlist but everything is still up in the air with other programs.

Hey! I'm sure it varies a good amount year to year but I know of at least ONE person in my class who got off the waitlist. I'd say once you have everything in front of you, including financial aid, to make the decision then, especially if you're really keen on joining us at Tisch. Good luck with the decision!

Hey Buusey :) Been admitted to the program but with everything going on in the world, I'm not sure whether I'll be able to commit this year because so much is up in the air. Do you think that is something they would be understanding of? Who would be the best person to speak to about this?

Hey, this is something I probably can't answer since so much is up in the air, including how long NYC will be essentially shut down. I'd really wait to see how things play out in the next few weeks to make your decision but otherwise, I don't think they encourage people taking a year off at the start but it's not entirely unheard of.

Hey Buusey,

Wondering what some examples of courses are in the first year? All the information I can find mentions the 2 minute film project, the 7 minute digital film, and so forth, but can't find how courses are specifically structured (course titles, professors, # of people, etc)

Thank you for doing this!

Hey, you can see specific courses here: Albert Login under Public Course Search. You can find the Graduate Film curriculum there! For the first year, we take ~9 classes per semester, each class meeting once per week and range from 2 - 4 hours. But all your fundamentals are included, from producing to directing to aesthetics to acting. Some classes have about a third of the class while others (more lecture oriented classes) are the entire class.

Feel free to ask anything else!
 

cestdong

Member
Thanks a lot for your answer to my questions and other questions.

It is getting ridiculous out here in NYC - hope the Fall semester can resume normally but as of now everything is uncertain I suppose. Stay safe out there!



Sorry just now getting to these! It's been crazy in NYC!



Hey! I'm sure it varies a good amount year to year but I know of at least ONE person in my class who got off the waitlist. I'd say once you have everything in front of you, including financial aid, to make the decision then, especially if you're really keen on joining us at Tisch. Good luck with the decision!



Hey, this is something I probably can't answer since so much is up in the air, including how long NYC will be essentially shut down. I'd really wait to see how things play out in the next few weeks to make your decision but otherwise, I don't think they encourage people taking a year off at the start but it's not entirely unheard of.



Hey, you can see specific courses here: Albert Login under Public Course Search. You can find the Graduate Film curriculum there! For the first year, we take ~9 classes per semester, each class meeting once per week and range from 2 - 4 hours. But all your fundamentals are included, from producing to directing to aesthetics to acting. Some classes have about a third of the class while others (more lecture oriented classes) are the entire class.

Feel free to ask anything else!
 

truffleshuffle

Well-Known Member
Hey @Buusey, hope you're hanging in there man. I left NYC myself and went back home to Oregon to finish out my undergrad remotely from here. I can't imagine the disappointment for MFA students though. Film production from afar just doesn't sound quite the same...

My question is this:

Understanding that anything you know about USC is only from what you've heard, thus far in your experience at NYU what do you feel NYU Grad Film offers a student that USC might not? And vice versa, what did you ever feel was lacking at NYU that you suspected USC might do better?​

Thanks in advance.
 

Buusey

Well-Known Member
Hey @Buusey, hope you're hanging in there man. I left NYC myself and went back home to Oregon to finish out my undergrad remotely from here. I can't imagine the disappointment for MFA students though. Film production from afar just doesn't sound quite the same...

My question is this:

Understanding that anything you know about USC is only from what you've heard, thus far in your experience at NYU what do you feel NYU Grad Film offers a student that USC might not? And vice versa, what did you ever feel was lacking at NYU that you suspected USC might do better?​

Thanks in advance.

Hey, so I've talked to several classmates who chose NYU over USC about this and this is the consensus of what they had to say:

- NYU Grad Film has 36 MFA candidates + 3-5 MFA/MBA candidates. USC has over 100 from what I've heard. All the benefits of having a smaller class size are apparent, including more individualized attention from faculty (you're required to send each of your professors your scripts and have 1-on-1 meetings with them to discuss acting issues, production issues, directing issues, etc).

- Going off the class size, I hear not everyone gets to direct a film past their first year at USC? Or at least a thesis? I could be wrong about this but I hear USC does pitching sessions for those that want to continue directing and only a handful are greenlit. NYU puts a strong emphasis on the writer-director and everyone has an opportunity to make one Second Year Film (the centerpiece of the Grad Film program, many of which go on to festivals; one of which was Oscar-nominated in 2017) and can make a thesis film if they wish (or graduate with a DP reel, an editing reel, a Producer's portfolio, etc)

- Classmates who've taken the USC admitted student's tour have said that the program felt too "corporate". I'm not sure exactly what that means and I don't think there should be any judgement attached to that since filmmaking IS a business, yadda yadda. But I think a big part of choosing between the two is if you're interested in working in Hollywood vs. independent film/internationally. NYU has a really strong international pedigree IMO and it's been incredibly rewarding seeing work from my classmates who've lived a life that's completely different from my own. But also, like, two fairly recent NYU Grad Film alum just did a big Marvel and a big DC film.

- Following this forum last year, I saw not a lot of people got scholarships from USC and asking classmates, not a lot of them received financial aid as well. NYU's average financial aid package for Graduates is ~$20,000, which brings it more closely in line with USC's starting tuition. A good handful of students receive more.

- I think a big thing that shouldn't be overlooked that's also one of the most subjective is simply: would you rather live in LA or NYC? I personally love NYC more, have more friends here, see the films I want to make as having a certain "grittiness" that can rub off on you by living here. Again, this is entirely subjective but IMPORTANT!

- USC is said to have the best gear, the best facilities, etc. If NYU is a notch below, the facilities/equipment are still pretty good lol. Many of us do have issues with the dollys that were provided us this first year but seeing what they have in stock going forward, we're mostly optimistic. Plus, if USC doesn't let every student make their own film, the choice of equipment might not be as big of a deal?

All in all, you really can't go wrong with either school. I think it boils down to NYC vs. LA, studio films vs. independent/international films, lots of collaborators which may or may not work out/you probably won't have time to work with EVERYONE vs. finding a few extremely close collaborators, and finally, what financial aid you get from each institution.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have anymore Q's...

Edit: One more thing, the first project (MOS) requires you to shoot on 16mm film. This is an incredible opportunity with film dying and all, and I think the design of the curriculum requiring this helps you so much with developing a vision/being more disciplined as a director. As someone who comes from a not-as-strong filmmaking background, getting the footage back of what I shot was like opening a present on my birthday. There definitely is a magic to shooting on film and I'm glad the program makes this the very first big project.

also it's just cool to see spike lee wandering the hallways every week lol
 
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Buusey

Well-Known Member
Wait one more thing which I'm pretty sure most people won't mention...there's a surprising amount of free food here, between Chair's Workshops, officially sanctioned Grad and Undergrad and school-wide events, unofficial surprise announcements that "there's food in the lounge" you get in your email. I'd say at least once a week you can find free pizza or dumplings or something, somewhere in the Tisch building haha
 

Buusey

Well-Known Member
Hey @Buusey! Just curious how you guys are finishing the semester with everything going on? Have student productions been postponed for now?

Hey, I'm pretty sure every other school is in the same boat-- all productions have been postponed. We were literally a week away from shooting too :(

They'll be made up at a time TBD. Online classes for the time being.
 

xrisdelrio

Well-Known Member
Hey, I'm pretty sure every other school is in the same boat-- all productions have been postponed. We were literally a week away from shooting too :(

They'll be made up at a time TBD. Online classes for the time being.
Hopefully it won't be terribly long before you guys can get back into production. Have your classes themselves changed a lot now that they are virtual? I was under the impression that a lot of the classes involve filmmaking exercises and I wonder if the classes are structured differently now.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Hi folks, good luck to everyone applying this year. Just wrapped up my first semester. AMA.

All in all, amazing experience. I know these next ~2 months can be a waiting game and quite excruciating but take this time to just relax, maybe get a little writing done here and there, wrap up any loose ends, etc.
@Buusey I'm thinking of putting together an article on the site on something like "Film School in the time of COVID" to help current applicants and people who may be attending schools in the fall. I'd love to be able to interview you (or one of the site's writers will) about how the pandemic is currently affecting you at the school and what the school's plans are for the fall if any. Would this be something that you're interested in?

Thanks! I think it'd be a great help for the people on the site.
 

abhsc

New Member
Hi folks, good luck to everyone applying this year. Just wrapped up my first semester. AMA.

All in all, amazing experience. I know these next ~2 months can be a waiting game and quite excruciating but take this time to just relax, maybe get a little writing done here and there, wrap up any loose ends, etc.

@Buusey hope you are doing well. I am from India and planning to apply to the MFA Film. Could you let me in on some advice for my application? I would also like to know how common/rare are scholarships for international students. How about sponsors for films, do you often get sponsors?
 

Chyneazy

Member
Hi folks, good luck to everyone applying this year. Just wrapped up my first semester. AMA.

All in all, amazing experience. I know these next ~2 months can be a waiting game and quite excruciating but take this time to just relax, maybe get a little writing done here and there, wrap up any loose ends, etc.

Hey! I'm considering applying to NYU for Fall 2021 and I know that NYU's program costs a good $300,000 for the first three years. Both of my parents are retired in their 60s and I don't come from a wealthy background. Do you think the cost of the program is worth it? Is there any way to manage the absolutely insane amounts of student debt?
 

lucychoi97

Korean Forum Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Hi I have a question. I've never lived in the Eastern part of the U.S. before like NY and I was wondering what kind of route do you take on after graduating from MFA in NY. FYI I'm international student and am willing to attend MFA programs there. Do they apply for internships or production companies? I wonder what they do after graduation!
 
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