timtamslam

New Member
Hello all!
I'm looking for examples of effective personal statements. I've read virtually every piece of advice about being yourself, staying honest to your voice, not trying to win anyone over, etc. but I would really love to see some essay examples that have successfully worked in the past!

I'm worried I'm taking a totally misguided creative swing and wondering if I should dial down the boldness? Or if I should focus on just telling a great story in the ways I know how.

I would really appreciate any examples, thank you!
 
There are definitely a bunch of examples on the site from over the years. I'll try to post below the ones I remember.

One should be able to use a filter to show the applications with portfolios. Although some click the option to say that they attached it without actually attaching or have since removed without unclicking option. That being said here's a pretty infamous one to look at:

Admitted but Not Attending (w/o Interview)  USC - Writing for the Screen and Television 2019

FINAL UPDATE: Well, this turned into some wacky ass shit, huh? After three years of applying and putting like all my future into USC, I finally got in...and now I'm going to be left turning them down, as AFI (the only other school I applied for) offered me essentially full tuition to attend...

They also wrote this article:

After Three Years of Rejection, I Got Into The Two Best Film Schools in The World. Here Are The Five Things I Learned...

After Three Years of Rejection, I Got Into The Two Best Film Schools in The World. Here Are The Five Things I Learned...

So...you’re applying for film school, huh? I mean, that’s just my assumption. Not sure why you would bother reading this otherwise, especially with where we are currently in The Cycle of Applications. These next couple weeks are pretty much when all the major film school programs have their...

Our interview with USC also has wonderful personal statement advice:

How to get Into USC SCA: Advice from an Admissions Committee Member

How to get Into USC SCA: Advice from an 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...

There also used to be some old threads with materials....





Good luck!

Being yourself is definitely the best advice.
 
Hello all!
I'm looking for examples of effective personal statements. I've read virtually every piece of advice about being yourself, staying honest to your voice, not trying to win anyone over, etc. but I would really love to see some essay examples that have successfully worked in the past!

I'm worried I'm taking a totally misguided creative swing and wondering if I should dial down the boldness? Or if I should focus on just telling a great story in the ways I know how.

I would really appreciate any examples, thank you!
Yes, I believe you would like some specific guidance in addition to macro advice( such as being yourself). But I still don’t recommend looking at other people’s PS because other people’s styles and specific examples will definitely limit your thinking. But I can provide you with my writing structure (if you really don’t know how to start). This may be an inspiration, but it is just one of many successful cases. I hope you can have some sense of security because of this. And on this basis, you can develop your own style.


Here are some tips from me, a USC-accepted student (only for USC SCA, not sure about other schools).

You can start your personal statement with a hook, which is the central theme of your whole personal statement. I recommend starting with a quoted phrase from a book that really influences you (to show that you not only like watching movies but also reading; I believe most professors love students who read a lot).

Then, pick one thing that happened in your life that influenced you the most, formed who you are, or shifted your personality, your thinking, etc. This thing must be related to the hook or the quoted phrase you put at the beginning of the personal statement; this can be a small thing that happened in your life; don't think that it has to be as big as going to the war place or being caught in an avalanche during skiing( I believe most people don't have these kinds of experience). Film schools are looking for students with the ability to think deeply, that is to say, whether you have the ability to understand some deep feelings or truths from the small things that happen in your life. Also, please just pick one thing to talk about; don't list what you've done in your whole life. USC SCA has changed their personal statement maximum word request from 2,000 to 1,000 means they want the applicants to go straight to the point.

Write about what happens in your life in a novel way or script way, which means visualizing the character’s inner feelings and thoughts. Or to say, use the character's behavior to reflect their feelings and thoughts.

In the next paragraph, you can talk about the relationship between groups that may have similar experiences to you and societies, and then turn from this paragraph to discuss the type and theme of movies you want to make. Be specific, you can be specific even to what the character in your future film (it does not mean you are only making this kind of type or character in the future, but at least you can describe your potential first feature-length film to USC )

In the end, re-mention the hook or quote, complete the connection between the beginning and the end, re-highlight your theme, and briefly discuss what you hope your movie can bring to people. (be humble, be humanitarian)

That's it. I only wrote around 750 words, I didn't even write about what kinds of films or directors I like, why I want to make films, or why I chose film. In the MFA application, they knew you like film, and you've chosen film. They just want you to be more specific and show that you are mature enough to be a MFA student, you have a goal, already know what you want, and how you're gonna achieve it.
 
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