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Need help deciding between USC Peter Stark and USC SCA MFA

I tried searching for threads and here and coudn't find any other than one that went super in depth.

I am interested in Showrunning or Directing. I love producing as well but not as much as the other two. I do editing and other work on the side but I'm not all that interested in learning the technicalities of AVID or lighting. But I don't want an entirely business minded program either. I've spoken with several students who went there as well, one in Stark and one in Screenwriting.

For those of you who are in the programs. Why did you pick one program over the other?
 

Avec Love

Member
So the degree in the Peter Stark program is an MFA and Peter Stark is a department of the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) - so I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "USC SCA MFA". However, based on contact I'm going to guess you're referring to the MFA in Film & Television production.

Currently I'm in the MFA in Film & Television and while I can't speak TOO much to the Peter Stark program, I know a few people in it and have a cursory understanding of their curriculum.

From what I can tell, the expectation of a lot of people in the Peter Stark program is that they go on to become Development Executives, Talent Agents, CEO's of distribution company's and yes sometimes they go on to be show runners and writers and creative producers.

The students in the Film & Television program get a lot of multi-disciplinary training especially in the first year but after the first year they're free to more or less specialize in one or two areas. You're inevitably going to encounter technical AVID classes, lighting and camera operation classes, etc. In addition to all of this there are several intensive directing courses and a few pitch class/development class type deals.

With that said, there's plenty of overlap between Peter Stark and the Production students. Peter Stark students have the opportunity to make a few films of their own, Production students can take a bunch of classes in producing (Production students even have their own Producing "track").

Furthermore, a lot of the value in either of these programs is building a network of talented and driven filmmakers. This can be accomplished in either program well enough.
 

Mdub_2013

Active Member
I tried searching for threads and here and coudn't find any other than one that went super in depth.

I am interested in Showrunning or Directing. I love producing as well but not as much as the other two. I do editing and other work on the side but I'm not all that interested in learning the technicalities of AVID or lighting. But I don't want an entirely business minded program either. I've spoken with several students who went there as well, one in Stark and one in Screenwriting.

For those of you who are in the programs. Why did you pick one program over the other?
Hey! I’m in the stark program currently. Are you applying or selecting between the two for current admissions? Either way, a lot of starkies are professional writers and go in to the program with the hopes of being a show runner. There’s quite a few notable writer alumni - John August - who come out of Stark. Feel free to DM me for any specific questions.
 

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