New Member
Hey folks! I'm glad to have found this website, it's been a great resource since I've decided to go to grad school. Currently, I am preparing my application for the directing program with UT Austin.

I know they don't do interviews, and that the application is very important. I feel very confident in my portfolio and my grades, so all that leaves is the personal statement. So far I've written like 6 different drafts that focus on different things. 2 pages to give context to your work, describe your style, and sell yourself to the school is really tough.

So my question is: what is the most important thing to get across in your personal statement? Is it about your style as an artist? Why you'll be benefited by the school? How you will benefit the school itself? Your filmmaker origin story? Your biggest aspirations and dreams? Using your unique voice? Being able to format the essay to show storytelling skills?

I'm sure that these are all valuable aspects, but I've found it so difficult to try and make them all work together. Doing all that, while avoiding clichés AND sounding genuine has got me a bit stressed.

So what do you all think? UT Austin students or otherwise, I'd really like to hear the different approaches to this thing. Thanks!


New Member
I'm in the same boat as you, maybe even struggling a bit more because I'm applying to a a few places and they all seem to want something different.

I think that all of the questions you've mentioned could be valid approaches (with the exception of the 'origin story', which imo runs the risk of being a little cliché unless executed really interestingly). In fact, I think that we're set up to make this choice - what we end up omitting also communicates something about our personality and potential as filmmakers to the admissions committee.

Personally I've resolved to focus on giving context to my ambition / drive while defining my style and creative principles. Basically I've dumped everything I've written over the past month into one document and I'm slowly chiseling away at it / rephrasing / making ideas cohere. The statement is focused on demonstrating self-awareness, a clear understanding of the stories I want to tell, and how my background figures into these.

As long as you don't overreach in terms of the number of questions you try to answer and keep the ideas clear, I think you should be fine.

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