Icebreakers How old is everyone? Straight out of undergrad or a few years out?

kikis_delivery

Well-Known Member
i apologize if someone has asked this before and i missed it, but i'm curious how many of y'all are coming straight out of undergrad vs. how many of y'all have had a few years of experience in the industry/doing other things? during my interview, the guy who interviewed me made several comments about the fact that I'm coming straight out of undergrad, and was kind of heavily implying that i wasn't experienced enough lol......so i'm just curious about where people in this forum stand in terms of age, experience, etc! i'm 21 and a college senior!
 

jrchipper

Member
i apologize if someone has asked this before and i missed it, but i'm curious how many of y'all are coming straight out of undergrad vs. how many of y'all have had a few years of experience in the industry/doing other things? during my interview, the guy who interviewed me made several comments about the fact that I'm coming straight out of undergrad, and was kind of heavily implying that i wasn't experienced enough lol......so i'm just curious about where people in this forum stand in terms of age, experience, etc! i'm 21 and a college senior!
I'm in the same boat: Last semester of my senior year. I didn't interview with USC but in one of my other interviews, quite a few of the applicants in the room had completed their undergrad a few years ago. I think there's a fair share of applicants with industry experience or lack thereof.
 

cgold

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
i apologize if someone has asked this before and i missed it, but i'm curious how many of y'all are coming straight out of undergrad vs. how many of y'all have had a few years of experience in the industry/doing other things? during my interview, the guy who interviewed me made several comments about the fact that I'm coming straight out of undergrad, and was kind of heavily implying that i wasn't experienced enough lol......so i'm just curious about where people in this forum stand in terms of age, experience, etc! i'm 21 and a college senior!
I’m 23, graduated from undergrad in December 2019!
 

Cy98

Well-Known Member
My young age wasn’t a concern for the professor I talked with, she didn’t even mention it. For those who had an interview, did professors bring up age?
 

kikis_delivery

Well-Known Member
My young age wasn’t a concern for the professor I talked with, she didn’t even mention it. For those who had an interview, did professors bring up age?
the professor i spoke with didn't bring up my age per se (i think that might have been seen as like an ageism bias or something??? idk lol) but he made several pointed, skeptical comments regarding the fact that i was coming straight out of undergrad. the first thing he said was something along the lines of "what makes you think you're ready to complete an mfa program straight out of undergrad?" and asked me if i "had any film experience at all" (i do, i've worked on many sets, directed several short films, am a film minor, completed a summer film production program, etc) so i left my interview feeling demoralized, but trying to reassure myself that maybe he was just testing me to see how i would react to skepticism. the film industry isn't very warm and fuzzy, so maybe he was trying to see if i would crack under the questioning, because later on in the interview he was much warmer and made it clear that he had read my application in detail, so he must have actually known that i do have film experience
 

Cy98

Well-Known Member
He was probably testing you tbh, because it is normal for non-film majors to apply to usc film school. Ryan Coogler is one of usc's biggest alumni and he wasn't that experienced when he went to usc sca for grad school
 

tls

Well-Known Member
Supporter
i apologize if someone has asked this before and i missed it, but i'm curious how many of y'all are coming straight out of undergrad vs. how many of y'all have had a few years of experience in the industry/doing other things? during my interview, the guy who interviewed me made several comments about the fact that I'm coming straight out of undergrad, and was kind of heavily implying that i wasn't experienced enough lol......so i'm just curious about where people in this forum stand in terms of age, experience, etc! i'm 21 and a college senior!
I'm 27 and have been out of school for 5 years. I have a degree and work experience in global development, but I've also pursued acting and produced/written/directing my own indie shorts over the years as well.
 

cgold

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
My young age wasn’t a concern for the professor I talked with, she didn’t even mention it. For those who had an interview, did professors bring up age?
My professor didn’t bring up age. She just asked about sets that I’ve been on, but I am assuming she looked at my resume as well.
 

Cy98

Well-Known Member
My professor didn’t bring up age. She just asked about sets that I’ve been on, but I am assuming she looked at my resume as well.
That’s good! I get the sense the professors really look at our materials
 

catmom

Well-Known Member
I interviewed with FSU and Chapman and both kind of brought up my age, just in regard to my experience working in the industry for someone who recently graduated. Like I was working for two indie production companies in nyc before the pandemic hit :(

But I got the sense that they cared a lot more about the material than my work experience or age!
 

JasperJohns

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
As you can tell from the wrinkles on my face in my profile picture, I am a bit older. (Okay, spoiler, I am not that cute ass dog, which is actually a puppy, despite its wrinkles). But I am, indeed, older than the typical applicant to a film school. I have worked professionally in the Broadway theater for a number of years and sporadically in indie film.

I can't say that I worry about ageism working against me, though. To be clear, it most definitely could. However, I gave up worrying about what goes on inside someone else's head a long time ago. There is nada I can do about it, and it's, frankly, hard enough to keep track of the thoughts in my own head without worrying about what's going on inside someone else's.

But I try to adhere to the philosophy that whatever happens is perfect. (Yes, there are exceptions to that, for sure). But if we get in, AWESOME. If not, well, then, you get another year to deepen who you are, to conceive, write, and create stories -- and to figure out why stories matter...or, more specifically, in this age where it is arguable our society is over-entertained, where there are too many screens and each one is lessening our individual and collective humanity, why YOUR stories matter NOW more than ever.
 

viipyramids

Member
Supporter+
My undergrad is in fiction writing, and my professors consistently told us not to even bother applying for grad school until a few years after undergrad (even hinted they would toss out any applications from people in their early 20s). While that advice was specific for literary fiction master's programs, I imagine a similar sentiment applies to screenwriting programs. I can't speak for other film programs, though.

At the end of the day, great storytelling comes from life experience. Many people simply have no experiences outside of being in school. If you go from k-12, straight to college, straight to a master's program, you really don't know what life outside of education looks like. I think if you can demonstrate that you've had a lot of diverse life experiences outside of school, they might overlook their preference for older applicants. Of course, they'd probably consider someone at any age if that person had enough talent/ideas.
 

jonvaljon69

Member
Supporter+
Mid-30's over here! I'm also married with a 2 year old girl and a baby boy coming in 2 weeks. Gotta get these interviews out of the way before "baby brain" sets in (it's real). My bachelor's degree was in Creative Writing and I've been writing on the side my entire adult life, but going to grad school this fall will be a full-on career switch from my marketing profession to anchoring my life on my writing.

I've only had one interview (2nd is tomorrow with LMU) and I brought up my daughter, but my age hasn't come up yet. Pretty sure they can do the math on my resume, so I'm owning it.
 

katiebonnie

Well-Known Member
Supporter
I went straight into work after finishing school, then did a year at drama school but dropped out to do a BA in Creative Writing which I graduated from last year. I'm in my mid-twenties now and my past experience has been as a performer/actor so it's a similar industry but the first script I wrote was at uni a year ago. I think as long as they can see potential, age doesn't matter :)
 

lavia

New Member
Supporter+
Thirty-two, going on thirty-three this year. I started college late (I think was twenty-two) and putzed around taking random courses until I landed in the arts. After receiving my AA I transferred to SAIC where I got my BFA in studio art. Then right out of undergrad I applied to USF's MFA in studio art and was accepted. Halfway through my MFA program I realized the fine art world wasn't going to give me what I needed, so I dropped out. That was January of this year.

I have basically zero experience in film making (last summer I wrote one short script with a woman I met online) but I have over ten years of conceptual storytelling under my belt. Honestly, I didn't know what I wanted to do when I left my MFA program, but I knew I wanted to continue telling stories. Using my writing and conceptual skills to talk about difficult topics, focusing on a medium that's actually accessible to the public. Finally, I was urged by others to look into a degree in film. I anticipated needing an undergrad degree in film or writing to apply, but boy was I happy to find out that was wrong! So, now I'm working on my application to FSU's master's in screenwriting program.

Fingers crossed!
 
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