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Need Advice: Accepted as UCLA Film School MFA

Discussion in 'Introductions and Welcomes' started by Sabin, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Sabin

    Sabin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
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    Ratings:
    +15
    Hi there!

    Quick intro: my name is Josh. I grew up in Phoenix, Az and fell in love with film the minute my father took me to see 'Braveheart' at the Cine Capri theater (R.I.P.) on Camelback Road. It's bonkers to think that I owe my love of film to a movie I no longer like made by a guy I like even less...but there you go! I went to Columbia College in Chicago to get my BA in Film Studies. I had friends going there and wanted the community. I came out to LA in 2008 and I've been here ever since. I always wanted to be a writer/director but I've sort of tumbled more into the writer's realm. I've been a Nicholl Quarterfinalist, an Outfest Fellow, I have three co-writing credits on three okay-to-terrible movies. I don't have representation and I barely have a portfolio.

    Outfest (2012) was the turning point for me. It made me realize I had talent but I didn't have a discipline. Not like I don't have the ability to sit down and write, but rather I didn't have a discipline with which to use when tackling projects. After Outfest, I took the UCLA Professional Program and Extension courses for the past five years or so. And it's been useful but juggling work (and finding work) with writing has been such a stress and I don't really have much by way of cohort in my life. I have a small handful of very close writer friends who are newly repped but that's it. I've also done some digital comedy work. This is a sketch I made called 'OkJewpid':

    Last fall, I made the choice to apply for an MFA in Screenwriting for the first time. I had mixed feelings about it because I thought college was just behind me, but I had a friend who was older than me (disclaimer: I'm 37) go back to school at UC Santa Cruz for Cinematography, so I figured what the heck. I applied to UCLA and then ran out of time to apply to USC. So, the only school I applied for was UCLA. It was an under the gun sort of thing...

    ...and I just found out I got in.

    I haven't looked into loans. I'm not going to be able to get help from my family. I'm sure I'll be able to figure something out. But...I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing.

    So, folks whom I've never met before, I'd love some advice. Should I go?

    What's the best reason to go for an MFA at UCLA over other film schools? What's the biggest drawback to going to UCLA?
     
    #1 Sabin, Mar 5, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  2. Sabin

    Sabin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
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    Ratings:
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    Also, is there any way to change my username from my full name... or is that just a done deal?
     
  3. Kira

    Kira MFA Screenwriter @UCLA

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2016
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    I cannot tell you if you should attend UCLA or not, but I can tell you what I considered when I was accepted.

    I got into UCLA, USC, LMU, and BU. Financially, UCLA made the most sense. If you are worried about age, there are actually a good amount of people in my year who are around your age. There are people who have been finalist / winners, some are in the PGA, and others have worked in the industry for 10+ years. And those like me who came straight from undergrad.

    It is a great program - 2 years to just focus on writing good scripts and often. You are expected to write either a TV pilot or feature film every quarter and a quarter is 10 weeks. This quarter I am writing 2 pilots. The quarter system was a great draw for me, as it mimics what professionals do.

    If you want just a few years to really focus on improving your scripts, this is it. My peers are fantastic and inspiring and so are my teachers. We have a lot of amazing people in the industry teaching us. What you get out of UCLA (and any program) is what you put into it. Just graduating does not guarantee anything. If you are ready for a challenging and rewarding two years and you think your work will benefit...

    Message me if you have any questions! :)

    Also, IDK if you can change your username. Did you sign up via FB profile? I always just make an account the old fashioned way.
     
  4. DamienA

    DamienA Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
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    Ratings:
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    Putting finances aside, what are the other reasons you chose UCLA over USC? Do you specifically collaborate with Producers from the Producers program often?
     
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