Hey all, I'm in the process of choosing between NYU Grad Film and UCLA Production/Directing. I've decided to list a few pros/cons off the top of my head. Probably a few things I'm missing but overall, it's one of those situations where my head says UCLA but my heart says NYU. Or maybe not, I don't know. This may come down to a coin flip.
Pros of NYU:
Pros of NYU:
- Has been my dream school for quite some time
- Didn't think they'd give any money, but they gave me about half tuition (which I've heard is about average for most first-year grad students) / guaranteed money is more than guaranteed money from UCLA
- Reputation/alumni and its historical support for different types of filmmakers/independent film
- Better facilities/equipment
- Heavy focus on discipline/craft (can be a con too)
- Closer to home (Baltimore); I'll have to leave my dog back home with my sister
- On the semester system, so I could have more time visiting home between semesters
- I like NYC more than LA (I like seasons/more friends/as a single, cis male who will be turning 30 during grad school, I'm hoping to settle down one day and the dating scene is less frustrating I've heard?/I feel like the face-paced anxiety matches my personality more)
- I felt a closer sense of kinship with the students that give me a tour there
- Cheaper, have a chance for a full ride fellowship (need to reapply year after year though and not guaranteed); in-state tuition after first year
- Diverse landscapes (two films I'm thinking of doing take place in the desert/snowy landscapes-- though I think the snow part can be accomplished near NYC)
- Comprehensive approach to the program (theory/history courses)
- More opportunities for internships/closer to the heart of the American film industry (though I think I'd be okay working in another field and solely working on my own stuff on the side if what I do during graduate school doesn't lead to anything)
- More freedom in the types of films you're making in the first two years
- The weather IS really nice...but almost too nice, if that makes sense
- The housing search seems better than in NYC and you get more space
- Have lived on the East Coast USA for most of my life so a move might be inspiring/motivating?
- I understand the disciplinarian approach to filmmaking but to be honest, I'm a bit intimidated by the restrictions (silent film, documentary subject, time limits) and also, I feel like I have several film ideas I'd like to do that could better serve what I want to do with my thesis at UCLA than NYU
- Less living space, in case I do want to bring my dog with me when I have more freedom in my schedule
- Several students I've talked to mentioned that the NYU Grad Film feels "cliquey" like high school...I'm too old for that
- The first year films are essentially exercises so it's not worth spending too much on them, especially if you're saving for your second/third year films. I think you're actually confined to NYC for the first film too.
- Grocery shopping in NYC looks inconvenient/I like the LA food scene more now
- Fellowship not guaranteed, not sure chances. Only $5,000 guaranteed
- I think there's less thesis funding? Not positive
- Spite (they bungled my first shot at them and it was only after my third shot that I got in...can't help it!)
- Can be a pro or con but the smaller class sizes (18-20 vs 36 at NYU) means more focus on the individual, but less options for collaborating with different folks who may be an exact fit for what you're looking for in a collaborator
- The move would be a lot more expensive and I think having a car would make living generally more expensive in LA?
- Not sure how I feel about the quarter system
- More dated facilities, but I think there's an ethos attached to going to a public school