LMU vs Chapman Film School MFA


New Member
Has anyone heard a rumor that LMU is having trouble filling seats for Production in the Fall 2018? I've heard the same about Chapman. That they're calling applicants who decided on another school to offer the money to attend. If anyone has any insight into this, please share.


Well-Known Member
Truuuuee. I’m gonna do some more research on them. I know Justin Simien based Dear White People off his experience in Chapman so I’ll try to see if I can find anything else on them.

There are actually a lot of notable alums: The Duffer Brothers, Justin Simien, John Swetnam (sells multiple specs a year), Ben York Jones & Michael Mohan (creators of Everything Sucks on Netflix), Carlos Lopez Estrada (directed Blindspotting), Kelly Galuska (writer on Bojack Horseman), Scott Speer (director Step Up franchise), etc. There are lots of working pros in the business too. I've produced 15 features and almost 100 hours of primetime TV since I graduated with my MFA in 2012. Guys and girls I graduated with are working in different facets of production, including scripted and unscripted editing and in executive level positions at major production companies and studios.

Anyway, I'm biased because I went there, but I couldn't imagine going anywhere else at this point. I received a $4k per semester fellowship and the producing program is only 2 years, so the loans I had to take out were significantly less than those on the production track. Living costs were not that expensive for me when living in Orange, but the commute was deadly when traveling to LA for work / internships. Chapman's faculty is unbeatable in my opinion.

And don't forget Chapman's budget allowances toward the shorts you're required to make during the program. $5k is allotted toward both cycle films and $10,000 is allotted toward your thesis. If you tack this onto the cost of your LMU totals, it seems pretty close. You'll be able to raise some money via Kickstarter / Indiegogo, but when I went through the program these crowdsourcing options were new and I feel like people aren't donating as much now because everyone and their mother are asking for money. If you're thinking you'll be able to squeak through without putting thousands of dollars into these films, that will be difficult. Even if you're able to get some free gear through LMU (cameras, lights, etc), there are additional costs that will have to come out of pocket (grip truck, location fees, craft service, catering, gas for actors, hard drives, etc). Just things to keep in mind.
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