Getting into USC School of Cinematic Arts: Advice and What Are My Chances? (1 Viewer)

Shmorca

Member
Hello!
My name is Maia. I am a sixteen year old sophomore in high school, and I aspire to attend USC School of Cinematic Arts in some capacity, either for their Film and Television Production Program or their Screenwriting Program. Unlike most, it hasn't always been my lifelong dream, but now that I've become set on my goal I am intent on reaching it. If anyone has any advice for me, or things that I can do to up my chances or improve myself for attractiveness for the program, I'd appreciate any help. Film and Television is a conglomerate of everything I love, and my passion for it is vast. I apologize for my lack of tact, but I would like some advice on what I can do to improve my chances of attending. Below is a list of things I've done so far, and if any of you know what else I can add to my resume to make me seem attractive to USC SCA, please let me know! I'm not too versed in the cinematic arts just yet, but below is my creative and professional resume.

- 4.1 GPA
- Merit Scholar
- Honor Society
- Drama Student of the Year
- Black Belt in Karate ( 9 year training)
- Junior Olympic Qualifier for Karate
- Assistant teacher for Karate
- 2-year President of Creative Writing Club
- Worked on webcomics and entered Webtoon Contest 2018
- Organized and ran an cumulative single-narrative anthology with 20+ students
- Featured artwork in official cookbook and zine publications
- Treasurer of Comic Illustration Club, Creative Writing, and Art and Animation Club
- Leadership Council (Co-President)
- Summer Camp Junior Volunteer Counselor/Staff

Awards: Gold Key Regional Scholastic Winner in the Arts, Drama Student of the Year (x1), Relationship Award (x2), Servant Leadership Award (x2), Academic Excellence Award (x1), Merit Scholar (x1), Le Grand Concours French Contest Silver Medalist, Washington State Shudokan Karate Tournament Gold Medal, Canada Karate Tournament Silver Medal (x2), Honor Society.

I know it isn't an ideal, given that many of you have been studying and preparing for USC your whole lives. However, if you have any advice for a newbie and hopeful attendee, I'd really appreciate it, so I can prepare to apply in the next 2 years.
Thank you!
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
However, if you have any advice for a newbie and hopeful attendee, I'd really appreciate it, so I can prepare to apply in the next 2 years.
Thank you!
Moving to the Undergraduate forums but I reached to a couple of members of the site who are attending USC now and hopefully they'll be able to help you. Welcome to the site!

If there's anyone else out there who has insight please chime in too.

Although personally I always say that the biggest thing that you can work on is your story sense and your story telling ability. Learn the craft of how stories are told. Practice telling stories with pictures... practice various forms of dramatic writing... keep creating and keep trying new things. Filmmakers are storytellers and the more you can hone that craft the better your application, essays, and portfolio will be.
 
Last edited:

Comedynerd

Active Member
Hello!
My name is Maia. I am a sixteen year old sophomore in high school, and I aspire to attend USC School of Cinematic Arts in some capacity, either for their Film and Television Production Program or their Screenwriting Program. Unlike most, it hasn't always been my lifelong dream, but now that I've become set on my goal I am intent on reaching it. If anyone has any advice for me, or things that I can do to up my chances or improve myself for attractiveness for the program, I'd appreciate any help. Film and Television is a conglomerate of everything I love, and my passion for it is vast. I apologize for my lack of tact, but I would like some advice on what I can do to improve my chances of attending. Below is a list of things I've done so far, and if any of you know what else I can add to my resume to make me seem attractive to USC SCA, please let me know! I'm not too versed in the cinematic arts just yet, but below is my creative and professional resume.

- 4.1 GPA
- Merit Scholar
- Honor Society
- Drama Student of the Year
- Black Belt in Karate ( 9 year training)
- Junior Olympic Qualifier for Karate
- Assistant teacher for Karate
- 2-year President of Creative Writing Club
- Worked on webcomics and entered Webtoon Contest 2018
- Organized and ran an cumulative single-narrative anthology with 20+ students
- Featured artwork in official cookbook and zine publications
- Treasurer of Comic Illustration Club, Creative Writing, and Art and Animation Club
- Leadership Council (Co-President)
- Summer Camp Junior Volunteer Counselor/Staff

Awards: Gold Key Regional Scholastic Winner in the Arts, Drama Student of the Year (x1), Relationship Award (x2), Servant Leadership Award (x2), Academic Excellence Award (x1), Merit Scholar (x1), Le Grand Concours French Contest Silver Medalist, Washington State Shudokan Karate Tournament Gold Medal, Canada Karate Tournament Silver Medal (x2), Honor Society.

I know it isn't an ideal, given that many of you have been studying and preparing for USC your whole lives. However, if you have any advice for a newbie and hopeful attendee, I'd really appreciate it, so I can prepare to apply in the next 2 years.
Thank you!

Hi Maia,

It's so so cool that you know what you want to do at such a young age. YOU ARE NOT BEHIND.

I'm a graduate student at USC pursuing my MFA in Screenwriting. I'm an Annenberg Fellow, the recipient of the Edward Small Award and I've worked with some pretty big industry names in the last year. I'm also 28. I figured out that I wanted to be a screenwriter when I was 25. Before that I did "avant garde" theater and I was a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory.

Your resume is already fantastic. In fact, it's mind-blowing. It's okay to relax and just live your teenage life for a bit. You know what's going to make you an exponentially better writer? Reading a bunch, writing a bunch and, most importantly, having life experiences. Good, bad, weird, fun, holy sh*t life experiences. That's what's going to help your college essays stand out. At least for the screenwriting program. I'm not sure about production.

If you have any other questions please let me know. I'm happy to help :)
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Your resume is already fantastic. In fact, it's mind-blowing. It's okay to relax and just live your teenage life for a bit. You know what's going to make you an exponentially better writer? Reading a bunch, writing a bunch and, most importantly, having life experiences. Good, bad, weird, fun, holy sh*t life experiences. That's what's going to help your college essays stand out. At least for the screenwriting program. I'm not sure about production.
This x10000 :)
 

Shmorca

Member
Hi Maia,

It's so so cool that you know what you want to do at such a young age. YOU ARE NOT BEHIND.

I'm a graduate student at USC pursuing my MFA in Screenwriting. I'm an Annenberg Fellow, the recipient of the Edward Small Award and I've worked with some pretty big industry names in the last year. I'm also 28. I figured out that I wanted to be a screenwriter when I was 25. Before that I did "avant garde" theater and I was a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory.

Your resume is already fantastic. In fact, it's mind-blowing. It's okay to relax and just live your teenage life for a bit. You know what's going to make you an exponentially better writer? Reading a bunch, writing a bunch and, most importantly, having life experiences. Good, bad, weird, fun, holy sh*t life experiences. That's what's going to help your college essays stand out. At least for the screenwriting program. I'm not sure about production.

If you have any other questions please let me know. I'm happy to help :)
Thank you so much for replying and giving me advice! I really, truly appreciate this so much, you have no idea. Thank you so much!
 

Shmorca

Member
Moving to the Undergraduate forums but I reached to a couple of members of the site who are attending USC now and hopefully they'll be able to help you. Welcome to the site!

If there's anyone else out there who has insight please chime in too.

Although personally I always say that the biggest thing that you can work on is your story sense and your story telling ability. Learn the craft of how stories are told. Practice telling stories with pictures... practice various forms of dramatic writing... keep creating and keep trying new things. Filmmakers are storytellers and the more you can hone that craft the better your application, essays, and portfolio will be.
Thank you so much for helping and doing this for me. I am really truly appreciative. Thank you so much!!
 
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