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Is there anyone planning to submit photo option for the SCA visual sample?

Blue Grape

Member
Supporter
I've been thinking to do the photo option instead of the video option for USC SCA's submission, but I'm worried if that's a good or bad idea since not many people choose that path. It's harder to tell a story within 8 photos, but isn't it a good way to set apart with the other applicants?

If anyone is doing photo option, we can exchange ideas or feedback.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Photo option would be
It's harder to tell a story within 8 photos, but isn't it a good way to set apart with the other applicants?
Yes it'll set you apart. See our interview with USC admissions.

Jumping back to the visual sample: can you go into further detail on what you’re looking for there?

So they have two options. Basically, option one is turn in a five-minute video. Option number two is you turn in a series of eight photographs that tell a story– you put them together in a sequence along with a one-page narrative description.

So, again, you don't need to make a movie to get in. And, in fact, here's a little pro tip for you:

Typically speaking, like this year, I don't think I got a single person who elected to do the photograph option. For [the applications that I read], everybody was doing the video. But, typically speaking, I think it’s more likely that we will respond positively to the photo one. Here's why, for those applicants out there that want to know:

First of all, it'll set you apart a little bit, because most people don't do that. And we'll remember it a little bit more; we'll be excited to see that. Number two: it's harder. You have to tell a story in eight frames, whereas if you're telling it in five minutes, that's several thousand frames, right? So if you can go out and take eight photos and tell that story and we get it, great! You've risen to the challenge. And by the way, like I said, you get the writing with it so you can describe it. The third reason is this: we spend all day long watching great short films and we're teaching our students how to make them and we've made them and we've seen them on applications-- chances are good that when we watch your film, it's not going to blow us away. We're not expecting to be blown away, we're not expecting to be super impressed . . . We're mostly looking for potential, like I’ve said before. But the things that you're probably really proud of are things that were probably like . . . oh, you know . . . used to. When you go into that other realm, that's something that we don't spend as much time in and are more likely to get surprised by. And . . . and we kind of step back in terms of being the film critic that we have learned to be and just enjoy your art. So that is why I suggest people try to do that photo one, especially if they don't have a short film that they're confident in.

How to get Into USC Film School: An Interview With an SCA Admissions Committee Member

How to get Into USC Film School: An Interview With an SCA Admissions Committee Member

Considered by many to be the best film school in the world, it’s no wonder why the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) is so sought after by prospective undergraduate and graduate students alike. However, the film school’s prestige can often make the application process particularly stressful and...

Although I did joke with them that after they said that the photo submissions will increase. Ha.

But that being said I think photo submissions will also increase due to COVID and it's filming limitations.
 

Blue Grape

Member
Supporter
Photo option would be

Yes it'll set you apart. See our interview with USC admissions.



How to get Into USC Film School: An Interview With an SCA Admissions Committee Member

How to get Into USC Film School: An Interview With an SCA Admissions Committee Member

Considered by many to be the best film school in the world, it’s no wonder why the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) is so sought after by prospective undergraduate and graduate students alike. However, the film school’s prestige can often make the application process particularly stressful and...

Although I did joke with them that after they said that the photo submissions will increase. Ha.

But that being said I think photo submissions will also increase due to COVID and it's filming limitations.
Haha, I gotta say the credit is yours, Chris! I seriously thought about the photo option after reading your interview with the committee member;)
 
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