NYU Dramatic Writing Program - Fall 2012


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I think the pamphlet, if I understand what others posted, was an email sent in early March that talked about tuition and the Singapore campus. My friend who interviewed yesterday received it too, but thought they were out of the running and that they received it accidentally.

When they wrote Virginia to ask to be taken off the email list, Virginia said their application was still under review, and asked, "Do you want to remove your name from the applicant pool?" Of course they were shocked and said absolutely, no :)
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Do TischAsia folks have any thoughts/knowledge on graduates from Singapore? My friend is in playwriting and when they asked the professors about how graduates have done, all the names the faculty mentioned were folks who stayed in Singapore...

As much as they'd love and appreciate the experience at Tisch Asia, that part of the talk concerned them, as they want to be able to work elsewhere, too. Wondering how successful Singapore folk are at doing their craft back in the states?
Just to add a few things to the discussion. Was accepted to Tisch Asia this morning, I've long since suspected that this is what the hold up was. If you haven't heard anything it's my money that it has to do with Tisch Asia.

The whole Tisch Asia hang up thing though doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me though. I interviewed with them February. When I spoke to the gentlemen at Tisch Asia I was told two things, the application process is completely seperate from NYU (they recieve forwarded materials and judge them on their own) and that the acceptance/rejection to Tisch Asia is completely independent to that of NYU. Now given the circumstance I can understand the first part, perhaps it just took them a while to receive everyones materials and they thought it best to reserve their acceptance until they had reviewed everyone, but the second part doesn't to me. If the review process was in fact independent wouldn't it have made sense for those rejected from NYU but accepted to Tisch Asia to have received their notifications when all rejections were sent out? I guess this is kind of what I'm trying to figure out, does ones acceptance to Tisch Asia necessarily mean that NYU has decided to pass. I've tried calling the office and haven't gotten through so if anyone else could shed some light.
Still in the process of sorting everything out, but what I am beginning to gather is that an offer from Tisch Asia is essentially also telling someone they were decline from New York. (Again I'm still working this out so details may be incorrect). This is bothersome as I was specifically told they were independent process's. However as far as I can tell there aren't any people who got into NYU and were also offered Asia or vice versa. I've found the whole Asia process kind of confusing. I appreciate the time they spent with me, and it really is an honor to be offered a spot but I had a applied to Asia mainly as a ("we'll see what happens" option) as I was told it would not affect my NYU application. (I figured another option is always nice). Instead though it kind of seemed like it gummed up the whole process, rather than get that straight answer I wanted to have from NYU I had to wait and was given one by Singapore and never saw a peep from New York. I've got to say when you've been sitting on the edge of your seat for months it's kind of a huge let down to not even get a "No", can't describe it but I feel like I would have in the least preferred a formal denial from NYU. Also the whole process doesn't really help the Singapore stereotype as being the second tier school, when I thought the process was independent I actually believed perhaps some intentionally chose Asia over New York. Now that I am led to believe that Asia more or less picks through NYU's left overs I'm less enthused.
Things will hopefully get interesting next week, as the accepted students must pay a deposit by April 15th (right?) in order to save their spot. If any of them fail to do so, a wait lister will get a call/e-mail very quickly, I would assume.


Originally posted by Fred Flintstone:
Things will hopefully get interesting next week, as the accepted students must pay a deposit by April 15th (right?) in order to save their spot. If any of them fail to do so, a wait lister will get a call/e-mail very quickly, I would assume.
This Monday, 4/16 is the deadline for accepted students. I wouldn't expect anything from the waitlist until the end of the month, though.

If you get in off the waitlist, will you go?
This may be a bit out of left field, and I know I myself as a writer might not feel comfortable doing it, but if anyone who was accepted to the dramatic writing program feels comfortable PMing any sort of information about their portfolio I'd appreciate it. I'm kind of just looking to get an eye on where the competition is skill/creative wise and where the committee is in terms of preferences, it could be anything from a sample of writing to a just a short synopsis. If you don't feel comfortable doing that it's cool. I'm just trying to get a head start on preparing my application for next year, the things I've noticed from re-appliers is how they said that you sort of have to cater each application to the specifics of the school.


@P.F. Murphy

I was accepted for TV. Last year, under the “50 pages of dramatic writing” portfolio requirement, I submitted a TV pilot, a short film script and some misc play scenes. Looking back at those materials, they could have been much better. I hadn't done much research on how to write a pilot and it wasn't tight. There were many superfluous scenes that shouldn't be in a pilot, where the goal is to setup the series and introduce characters, etc. When I reread the materials, I noticed typos and grammar issues and the story wasn't well structured. I was waitlisted.

During the year I watched a lot of TV, read several books on TV writing and kept up with TV writer's advice blogs. When I reapplied this year, with the new portfolio requirements, I overhauled the pilot I submitted the year before. The characters largely remained the same, but I restructured the story, omitted a lot of extraneous material and changed my act breaks. I also wrote a new TV spec which I spent a lot of time outlining beforehand. The outlining was tremendously helpful for mapping out my A and B storylines. Other preparation for this script involved reading 10-12 produced scripts and developing stories that came organically from the characters.

The best advice I can give is to spend the time on your portfolio materials. If I'm honest, I didn't spend enough time on my portfolio the year I was waitlisted. If anyone wants to PM me, I'm happy to discuss anything about my experience reapplying.
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That's sort of how I feel DMTR. The majority of my material was good not great. I did little research and sort of just dove in. After I submitted my portfolio I noticed several typos and I generally had a feeling that everything could have been a lot tighter. I wasn't satisfied, the material i submitted may have given a good indication of my personality and direction but if someone was to come to me with a camera tomorrow and say "lets shoot this" I would want to alter things (to me this is most telling).

I submitted one 30 min comedy and one spec. In my other applications I also included another comedy in lieu of the spec. My spec was potentially my strongest point, I wrote it for a show I know really well (It's Always Sunny) and I think I pretty much nailed the characters dead on an presented a really possible show storyline. I still feel like maybe that story was rushed, but overall I'm happy with that spec. I'm a big fan of the show so I've been subconsciously studying it since it started (noting character, tone, and stylistic, changes). I honestly was hoping someone familiar with the show would read the spec because I felt it was so on point.

My second piece was another comedy, it was described by the Tisch Asia interviewer as the "slacker piece" which was pretty on spot. It was about a post-college grad just trying to figure things out. I think this showed my potential but really failed to do anything inspired. I'm unsure of what I'm going to do with it at this moment. I mainly came up with it because I wanted to write a show that I wouldn't be embarrassed to show my parents (as you'll see why momentarily). The storyline may have been flimsy for the pilot but I think I did well giving the main character a likability. I wanted the audience to be aware that he's a coddled post grad slacker living with his parents, but I thought if done wrong the audience could end up loathing him for being such a lazy and incompetent person. I kind of wanted to give him that puppy who pooped on your carpet quality, you're like "Are you kidding me?" at the things he does and says but you know he means well and doesn't know better. Like I said the premise for the pilot episode needed work and a few of the secondary characters were kind of meh.

My last piece I didn't submit to NYU but I sent off to a lot of other schools. Looking back this script is really rough still... but it's almost that project that keeps me motivated. I'm simply in love with the characters I've come up with and premise of the show. The show is comedy that follows four college age friends back home in upper class suburbia. Every episode is a different house party or happening and it kind of follows these really different characters as the navigate through the parties. Pretty much this is all taken from real life, you have the standard "bro" character, the guy who is self-aware at how absurd this whole thing is, the strange older guy they keep company with (think a more sociable Zach Galfinakis in Hangover) etc. The show is raunchy but I don't think it's "stupid". Movies like American Pie go for obvious gross out gags to get to their humor, all of mine is pretty much dialogue driven. It's honest, you've got 18-24 year old drunk guys talking at a party, you're going to get raunchy, but throwing that self-awarenss in to some of the characters almost makes it a bit smart as well. Anyways this script took some risks in language that I'm not sure how it would play out. I debated for a while to include it in my portfolio for that reason. With some tweaking it could be my strongest piece.

So long winded rant aside I think I just want to sit down and attack my work, pretty much be a perfectionist. I think I also am going to try to diversify, it's obvious I have a leaning towards comedic television but I want to maybe show my attempts at drama or action. It sucks that for this field you literally need to wait an entire year for your shot again but that also means you need to make the most of it. I am going to make it my mission in this next year to do everything I can to be "un-rejectable".


It seems like you're going through a process similar to mine. One thing you mentioned was diversifying your portfolio. If NYU is your short-term goal, then I would say there's no reason to do that (unless you have a professional desire to write drama in the future). My advice would be to focus on what appears to be your passion, comedic TV writing. The NYU faculty told us that you can write whatever you want while you're in the program. They won't make you write drama if you want to write comedy. They'll just teach you to write the best comedy you can.

I want to learn to write one hour dramas, so I plan to take those courses once in the program. But it's not my strength and I wouldn't kid myself to think I could write a solid one-hour spec or pilot right now.

I would also recommend focusing on your story. This is where my work needed improvement (and still does). I would add something to the script because it was funny, even if it didn't really fit with the story. Outlining helped me with this. Also, NYU is very story-focused; they emphasize structure in all forms of dramatic writing. So, delivering well-structured stories in your portfolio is a good way to stand out.

There are also many stories on the boards of people being rejected or waitlisted by NYU and then accepted the next year. I think they like to see you're committed enough to revise your portfolio materials and make another run at it. It sounds like you are, so best of luck with your reapplication and I hope to see you Fall 2013.
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Thanks, Mike :D I'm beggining to suspect that ticking the Singapore box might not have been such a good idea...
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I went back and looked at the notification from NYU DW that said I had been put on the wait list. They asked that wait listers notify them by April 24... So, maybe they don't start contacting wait listers until April 25ish. If that is true, NYU DW is retarded. Why wait so long, and let your wait listers get crabby and make plans to attend other schools? (rhetorical question)

Someone should contact the DW department and ask if any spaces have opened up since the deposit deadline.


I get the feeling it takes awhile to figure out who's coming and who they're taking off the waitlist. Grad admissions is pretty understaffed and DW is just one of the departments they are responsible for. Also, the same NY staff is now concurrently running the same processes for Tisch Asia (which they haven't done in the past). It's a lot to keep straight.

Also, grad admissions is really just a middleman, since decisions are made entirely by the faculty. So, once they let the faculty know who's not coming, they have to get final approval for who to take off the waitlist (which, in theory, the faculty has already decided, but who knows?). Once they have the names of the accepted waitlisters they then need to draw up the various acceptance letters and other formal offer documents. The whole process takes time. Last year they accepted the first wave of DW waitlisters on April 27th. I wouldn't expect any movement from the waitlist before then.
Hey just found out today I was offered acceptance. I'm in a weird place with credits at UCF (stands for U Can't Finish) but barring any unfortunate class issues I should be there this fall for the TV Track. Psyched!

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