Producing at UCLA or AFI ?

Lucas C.

Member
Hey guys,

I'm starting this thread by knowing I won't get a lot of answers since it is highly personal... However I hope that some people are stuck in the same case as mine :)

I have been accepted to UCLA and AFI both in Producing and I don't know which one to choose. Regarding fees, they look pretty much the same. But regarding the program, there seems to be a BIG difference. One is very hands-on with a lot of films producing while the other one is more based on script development. They both look really interesting and I don't know which one to choose. Could someone help me ? :)

Lucas
 

Erin Leigh

Member
You should go visit before you have to or at least call someone from each place up and talk to them. Also it has to depend on your interest. Are you interested in being completely immersed (on-set, production managing) or are you more interested in the development/script aspect of producing (which is something that interests me). You have to take those things into consideration. Both are amazing programs from what I know. What is your ultimate goal? :)
 

Lucas C.

Member
Thank you very much for your answer Erin! I appreciate :)
I know that AFI is more a hands-on program than UCLA and both look really interesting. I am more attracted by UCLA maybe because it is more famous in Europe and because it looks that there are better alumni there (in producing). However, I really love being on a set and having the opportunity to produce three shorts in one year is incredible. But I think I also need to takje my age into consideration... I'm turning 21 in June so I think I might be a bit lost at AFI (where people tend to be older), does that make sense ?
 

Erin Leigh

Member
That does make sense. I am 23 and that is also young by MFA film standards where the average age is 25-27. Keep doing research and in the end, pick what suits you best. Can't go wrong! How long do you have to choose? Best of luck! (Also, I have a feeling I'll want to pick your brain about a few things. I applied for producer's programs this year but I felt very rushed and unprepared as I was studying abroad in London when I did my applications, which probably was the worst idea, since I was distracted while trying to do the applications. Haha!)
 

Lucas C.

Member
I have approximately one week to choose, so pretty short but I think I'm heading to UCLA more than AFI right now.
I totally understand what you're saying, I'm finishing my degree in Management at the University of warwick (UK) and 1st term I didn't go to classes, these applications took me so much time !
 

rainwhole

Member
Thank you very much for your answer Erin! I appreciate :)
I know that AFI is more a hands-on program than UCLA and both look really interesting. I am more attracted by UCLA maybe because it is more famous in Europe and because it looks that there are better alumni there (in producing). However, I really love being on a set and having the opportunity to produce three shorts in one year is incredible. But I think I also need to takje my age into consideration... I'm turning 21 in June so I think I might be a bit lost at AFI (where people tend to be older), does that make sense ?

Lucas,

Go with your instincts. Both schools are great, and if you want to base it on rankings alone... AFI has consistently ranked higher than UCLA (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/best-film-schools-hollywood-reporter-595712). I am in Europe also, and just keep in mind that at least in my experience here in Europe, schools like La Femis & NFTS are still the most talked about with often mentions of USC, AFI, NY, and UCLA. So I guess what I am trying to say is that it all depends who you are talking/working with. AFI is recognized anywhere in the world, just like any of the other top American film schools including UCLA.

Also, don't worry about your age. Clearly, there's something about you that qualifies you for acceptance in both these great schools. I did my first Master's degree when I was just 21, and everyone in my cohort was in their late 20's or early 30's (with a few in their 40's), and I still managed to graduate top of my class. Age doesn't really mean anything in an academic environment as long as you are truly passionate and dedicated. Don't ever be intimidated, you have as much right as anyone to be there!

At the end of the day, just meditate on which one of the two schools you have to gain more out of. You want to be pushed and challenged so you can become better in the field. Determine which of the two schools will allow you to grow the most. But keep in mind, if you put your passion into either of them, you are surely going accomplish great things in either place.

I wish you the best luck!
-R
 

Lucas C.

Member
Thank you very much rainwhole for this message ! I totally agree with you, I just can't figure out which one will allow me to grow the most, that's the problem.. And the program as so different ! I really enjoy being on a set but on another hand I feel that I need to improve my skills in script development so it's a HARD choice... Do you got an opinion rainwhole ? I know you don't have many details on me but maybe what I wrote at the beginning can help you figure out who I am :) If you were at my place, what would you do ?
 

rainwhole

Member
Thank you very much rainwhole for this message ! I totally agree with you, I just can't figure out which one will allow me to grow the most, that's the problem.. And the program as so different ! I really enjoy being on a set but on another hand I feel that I need to improve my skills in script development so it's a HARD choice... Do you got an opinion rainwhole ? I know you don't have many details on me but maybe what I wrote at the beginning can help you figure out who I am :) If you were at my place, what would you do ?

Hey Lucas,

Take a moment and think really hard about what you want in the future, what is your end goal? Believe it or not, "Producer" is a very wide term that can mean A LOT of different things (roles). You got roles like Supervising Producer, Coordinating Producer, Line Producer, Unit Production Manager, Producer, Associate Producer, and Executive Producers. All of them are focused in particular aspects of the production of a film/video. So what kind of Producer do you want to be?

For example, I applied for the Producer's program at UCLA, and the MBA/MFA at Chapman University. Creatively, I am very screenplay oriented and reading/writing them is something I truly love. Aside from that, my goal is to be more of a studio man than an on-set guy. So something like Associate Producer or Executive Producer is my end goal. I want to be involved in the pre-production (specially the script), and in the post-production and getting the movie marketed and distributed properly. I also want to work in the Portfolio management of a studio. I got little to none interest in actually working on a set. I mean, I can do it because I've done it before (as a Unit Production Manager), but my experience working on set was SO HORRIBLE (police officers had to show up, that's how bad). That I quickly learned that I am not the best to take a role in a set production. There's better people for that.

However, if I wanted to have roles on a set. If I enjoyed working directly with the director, DP, actor's and everyone else on set... Then I am sure AFI would have been on my list of applications.

So both the schools that I choose help me on my path...

Now, ask yourself what is your end goal? Mind you, if you go down one path it doesn't mean you can't switch to another in the future. You're the commander and chief of your destiny, it just helps a lot when you have a clearer view of the paths ahead of you :p.

I wish I had the knowledge and wisdom to tell you the better choice, but I don't. Only you can do that, but do try to think of the questions I presented previously. I think if you can answer them to yourself, then you will find what's best for you.

Also keep in mind, although both degrees on paper are different. It doesn't mean that on UCLA you will never have to work on a set, and that on AFI you will never get to improve you're screen-writing abilities. Part of ANY good master's degree is the ability to challenge their students to improve their weaknesses. Something that I am sure both UCLA & AFI offer.

I hope this helps,
R
 

Lucas C.

Member
Hey Lucas,

Take a moment and think really hard about what you want in the future, what is your end goal? Believe it or not, "Producer" is a very wide term that can mean A LOT of different things (roles). You got roles like Supervising Producer, Coordinating Producer, Line Producer, Unit Production Manager, Producer, Associate Producer, and Executive Producers. All of them are focused in particular aspects of the production of a film/video. So what kind of Producer do you want to be?

For example, I applied for the Producer's program at UCLA, and the MBA/MFA at Chapman University. Creatively, I am very screenplay oriented and reading/writing them is something I truly love. Aside from that, my goal is to be more of a studio man than an on-set guy. So something like Associate Producer or Executive Producer is my end goal. I want to be involved in the pre-production (specially the script), and in the post-production and getting the movie marketed and distributed properly. I also want to work in the Portfolio management of a studio. I got little to none interest in actually working on a set. I mean, I can do it because I've done it before (as a Unit Production Manager), but my experience working on set was SO HORRIBLE (police officers had to show up, that's how bad). That I quickly learned that I am not the best to take a role in a set production. There's better people for that.

However, if I wanted to have roles on a set. If I enjoyed working directly with the director, DP, actor's and everyone else on set... Then I am sure AFI would have been on my list of applications.

So both the schools that I choose help me on my path...

Now, ask yourself what is your end goal? Mind you, if you go down one path it doesn't mean you can't switch to another in the future. You're the commander and chief of your destiny, it just helps a lot when you have a clearer view of the paths ahead of you :p.

I wish I had the knowledge and wisdom to tell you the better choice, but I don't. Only you can do that, but do try to think of the questions I presented previously. I think if you can answer them to yourself, then you will find what's best for you.

Also keep in mind, although both degrees on paper are different. It doesn't mean that on UCLA you will never have to work on a set, and that on AFI you will never get to improve you're screen-writing abilities. Part of ANY good master's degree is the ability to challenge their students to improve their weaknesses. Something that I am sure both UCLA & AFI offer.

I hope this helps,
R

Thank you rainwhole for this very complete message. I weighted the pros and cons and I'm still doing it but I think I'm going to head to UCLA :)
 

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