• THANKSGIVING WEEK LIFETIME SUPPORTING MEMBERSHIP SALE: If you are finding FilmSchool.org helpful, consider becoming or upgrading to a Lifetime Supporting Membership for ONLY $16! (20% off) by entering the coupon code THANKS. Coupon expires Sunday 11/29 at midnight PST.

I'm 17 and wondering if my undergrad creative submission is good enough for USC and NYU film school. Do I have a chance?


New Member
I produced this film in association with USC in a summer program I did with them. I know it's not very good, but I'm basically wondering if I at least have a chance.
Thanks so much!

Frankie Bones

Staff member
Hi! I’m just weighing in here with my 2 cents. I’m currently a first year in the graduate MFA program at USC.

1) Have confidence and don’t sell yourself short! The question is not “do I have a chance?” (because everyone has a chance - at least in theory even the top film schools take people with no filmmaking experience and if you’re applying to the undergrad program I would say that’s doubly so) - but rather “what can I tell, or even better, show, the admissions committee that demonstrates something unique about me”?

2) In keeping with the above, make sure you knock your written personal statement out of the park.

3) Don’t try to “impress” anyone with your visual sample. Unless you’re already a filmmaking prodigy, there’s almost definitely some other applicant(s) submitting stuff that will look much more “stunning” than what you submit. Instead, pick a story or narrative that has a clear beginning, middle and end, and that somehow speaks to you personally. In this sense, you should see it as a complement to the personal statement.

4) Just as what you write should not be long winded, also in your visual sample, get to the point quickly. (that’s one critique I have of the video in the post. You may want to edit it down.). There’s a reason there’s a five minute limit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the committee stops watching after 30 seconds if what you put out there isn’t that interesting or compelling, so use your time wisely and “hook” your audience quickly.

5) Lastly, try to convey the sense that you would be someone who would be fun and enjoyable to be in class with and to collaborate with on films. Don’t get me wrong. USC definitely does take broody artists, but even then there’s some spark to their broodiness, if that makes sense.

That’s about it. And definitely take my advice with a grain of salt. I’m someone who got in on my third try, and only off the waitlist, so maybe I do not know what I’m talking about. “Buyer Beware” lol 😂 but those are my two cents.

Latest Classifieds

Latest Applications

Latest reviews

  • Film And Television Institute of India
    4.00 star(s)
    Graduate Certificate, TV Direction
    I was enrolled in the 1-year Direction certificate course in the TV wing in the session 2018-19. Following are the pros and cons that I...
    • ValArya
  • University of Texas at Austin - Department of Radio-Television-Film
    4.00 star(s)
    Great film school outside of LA/NYC
    I would say overall UT's film school is a great choice! It is rated #11 on THR's Top Film School List in the U.S. Sure it's nowhere near LA or NY...
    • Anonymous
  • Columbia College Chicago - Cinema Directing (M.F.A.)
    5.00 star(s)
    a great decision
    Columbia College Chicago is not only one of America's best film schools it is also one of the most affordable. The program is advertised as 2...
    • Jcromwell
  • Fitchburg State University
    4.00 star(s)
    Okay School, especially for the price
    Came in as both a transfer and commuter, so my experience was really lessened by that fact. Your time and success here is really up to you...
    • Anonymous
  • SUNY Purchase - Playwriting & Screenwriting BA
    5.00 star(s)
    Excellent Quality Program
    I want to start off by mentioning that I came to Purchase as a transfer student from another liberal arts college and screenwriting program. This...
    • catmom