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How detrimental is it to not have a recent body of work?

Discussion in 'Graduate Film School Discussions' started by AtBRareform, Sep 7, 2018.

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  1. AtBRareform

    AtBRareform New Member

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    I graduated undergrad in 2016 with a Film BFA. I've applied to a few of the MFA programs talked about on here twice since then, but I haven't had any luck. I haven't really been involved in any film-related projects since undergrad, and I'm just wondering if I'm setting myself up for failure applying w/o recent work. How heavily is that weighed versus other application materials? I was also curious if some of the alternative options to submitting video work are viable at all, like USC's photo narrative option. I have a disability in my right side and can't shoot very well on my own. I'd really like to attend an MFA program because I think it'd be a good environment for me to improve and meet like-minded people over just trying to breach the industry with a physical impairment. Anyway, any insight would be great. Thanks!
     
  2. Operator

    Operator Active Member

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    Maybe try a screenwriting program instead. Obviously the school would have to accommodate your disability, however, an actual film studio or any other company outside of entertainment only has to give "reasonable accommodation" if you're working as a camera operator or any other behind the scene job that requires full use of your body. If you can't hold a camera that's required for a handheld shot, or a boom pole if you're in the sound dept, then they're not going to be able to use you. If you can't fulfill the job description with the reasonable accommodation then they don't have to legally hire you or let you keep working for them if you've already been hired.

    I'm a disabled vet and it's hard for me to shoot handheld and to use a boom, so I've been applying to screenwriting programs instead. I've lost jobs because they can't meet reasonable accommodations, so consider than when you're risking taking on a 6 figure debt for an education you might not even be able to use and make a living from.

    I've been down this road before. I ended up losing my job filming for the NHL because my back is all jacked up and I couldn't shoot a full game handheld without being in extreme pain.
     
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  3. AtBRareform

    AtBRareform New Member

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    Appreciate you taking the time to give some input, man! I had considered applying to screenwriting programs, but decided I couldn't really see myself writing daily as a career. Maybe it's something I have to reconsider though. Having a physical impairment can be hard to work around. Good luck with your applications!
     
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  4. Operator

    Operator Active Member

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    What about a directing or producing?
     
  5. AtBRareform

    AtBRareform New Member

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    Those are actually the programs that I'm looking into! Looking at UCLA's Production/Directing program, Chapman's Film Production w/ Directing Emphasis, USC's Film Production, NYU's Film Production, and Columbia's Film MFA in Screenwriting/Directing. Hopefully those are the types of programs you're talking about. I'm a little worried cause I don't have any professional creative work or recent creative work in general to put on my resume, but I'm hoping that my written material and attempt at a photo narrative will be competitive. Also, gonna take the GRE for the schools that accept it cause my grades aren't the greatest.
     
  6. Operator

    Operator Active Member

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    If you have a smart phone and friends, you have zero excuse to not have a portfolio. Even if you don't have sound gear, you can make a short silent film, convert it to black and white, and there you go. Your first film made outside of school. Half of my demo reel was iPhone footage and I've already been accepted to two schools.
    Check out American University MFA in Film and Electronic Media. They're located in Washington DC. They have a very well rounded education plan.
    They teach you film/tv studio production, writing, web design, documentary, directing, game design, photography, and journalism. Basically you could start your own media company with those skills and freelance wherever you want.
    MFA in Film and Electronic Media Degree Requirements
     
  7. AtBRareform

    AtBRareform New Member

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    Yeah, that's a fair point. I'll see what I can come up with before the application deadlines. Thanks for the American University suggestion. I'll check it out today! Sounds like a pretty interesting program,
     
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  8. Operator

    Operator Active Member

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    It is interesting. if you do end up there, look into Southern Towers Apartments in Alexandria Virginia. They're the cheapest in a decent part of the DC Metro area that has the least activity on the crime map. Also all utilities included.
     
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  9. AtBRareform

    AtBRareform New Member

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    Sounds good, I'll definitely do that. Thanks for all your help!
     
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