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Portfolio advice for production MFA programs?

I did my BA at the University of Chicago a few years ago in Art History and Cinema & Media Studies, but unfortunately didn't get any production experience because I was focused on museum work at the time. My thesis (on Murnau's Nosferatu!) discussed the intersection between the two disciplines, but I'm not sure that's going to be of much help for MFA programs. This year I'm applying for MFA programs in film production (my primary interests are directing and editing), and I think I've crafted a fairly strong personal statement. However, I really don't have a portfolio aside from what I'm scrambling to put together based on application prompts. I know that this is going to be the main thing holding me back, but I'm curious what kind of experiences you all have had. For schools with video and photo options, would it be better to submit photos if I don't have a strong video? For video optional schools, would it be better not to submit anything at all if I'm not extremely confident in the visual materials I have? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Also, what are your thoughts on attending less well-known schools rather than waiting for the next application cycle? I'm feeling a lot like I want to get the ball rolling career-wise, and it seems like maybe it would be better to just start getting experience and training right away rather than waiting around another year (or longer). Help!

By the way, if anyone would like to swap essays, short stories, screenplays, etc., I would love to get some feedback!
Last edited by a moderator:

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Hi @Chris W is there a similar group for sharing portfolio contents for this year ? I can't access the old one. Thanks :)
That forum was removed as not many people were using it. There's the private forum for Supporting Members...

But what people have been doing this year if you want feedback you can do a post on this forum and see if anyone wants to give you feedback via conversation if you don't want to share publicly. Or just post it publicy.

Or you can put it on your application on the site and only supporting members will be able to see it.

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