Questions that you'd like to ask Current Film Students

Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
I'm thinking of possibly doing a couple of articles that are interviews with current film students. Is there anything in particular you'd like to know about certain programs? Any good questions that you think that it'd be valuable for me to ask and discuss? Day in the life?

Please let me know some good questions that you'd like to have asked in your responses below. Thanks!
 

Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
Since no one has responded yet I'm going to get it started with some ideas to ask the grad students in the interviews:

  • What's your day in the life?
  • How much to you collaborate with your peers?
  • What do you wish you knew before you started?
  • What's your favorite thing about your program?
  • What's your least favorite thing about your program?
  • What has surprised you the most about your program?
  • What are you looking forward to the most during your program?
Any more ideas? @WriterK90 @Julie Lew @Cody Young @angeliquex95 @GoAndLoveSomeMore @Septopus7
 

WriterK90

Active Member
Supporting Member
I've been thinking about it and I may post more questions later, but my biggest question would be, how many ORIGINAL, completed scripts did you walk away with after graduation?

This question is imporant to me because in undergrad (media & production) I took several screenwriting classes, none of which allowed me to write my own original script aside from a short film writing class. Every other class had me write spec episodes of non exsistant shows, which is useless, or write the first few pages of different ideas instead of diving deep into finishing one of them. I wont mind if some projects aren't completed but I prefer to write more than just for the sake of writing at this point.
 

Cody Young

Tattoo/Film Enthusiast
Supporting Member
I think probably my two most important questions I would like to ask would be ...

1. Could you see the differences, for better or worse, in scripts you had worked on in the past and whether you believe that the MFA program you attended succeeded in honing your skills further. In my experience, I have found that in reviewing my earliest works in comparison to my more recent works, there has been a tangible difference in the quality presented. I’m just wondering if grad students in Film MFAs look back at their work and see a level of growth that could not be achieved without attending film school.

2. What was your opinion of the classroom dynamic? In my opinion, everyone who attends a Film MFA must have a certain level of quality inherent to their work, otherwise they would not be selected to participate. Furthermore, there is also a sense of dedication to film from most of the graduates in these programs, at least from what I’m able to gather. My question is, does that shine through in the classroom, e.g do you get the sense that your peers add to your learning experience and is it mutual?

Thanks
 

WriterK90

Active Member
Supporting Member
Second question. How easy/difficult is it to work a full time job while studying full time? Are the classes flexible enough to where you can take only night classes, day classes, only a couple times a week vs 5 days a week, etc.?

I'm being very optimistic but I may end up with a job in the industry the same time I start school or a few months after. It would suck to have to pick one. AFI, LMU, USC are specific schools I'm wondering about but i'd love to hear from any current student.
 

Buusey

Member
Hey, I’ve taken tours of AFI and USC (and had a friend who graduated from USC’s Screenwriting MFA) and I asked this question specifically. At least for the first year, it’s pretty much a 7-day-a-week program. They justify it as “if this is what you really want to do...” and I think they’re trying to incorporate soft skills like how much you actually need to be doing on a daily basis to make it in the industry. In the second/third years, they really encourage internships to give you a leg up for when you graduate and I’m not sure if these are paid but I’m sure some are. The expectation is that these schools are supposed to be pretty generous with aid but also everyone graduates with a decent amount of debt too. My other friends who have been in graduate schools say that even public loans give you a little to cover miscellaneous expenses and there’s a deadline to return any money you think you won’t use for the remainder of any given year.

Second question. How easy/difficult is it to work a full time job while studying full time? Are the classes flexible enough to where you can take only night classes, day classes, only a couple times a week vs 5 days a week, etc.?

I'm being very optimistic but I may end up with a job in the industry the same time I start school or a few months after. It would suck to have to pick one. AFI, LMU, USC are specific schools I'm wondering about but i'd love to hear from any current student.
 

WriterK90

Active Member
Supporting Member
Hey, I’ve taken tours of AFI and USC (and had a friend who graduated from USC’s Screenwriting MFA) and I asked this question specifically. At least for the first year, it’s pretty much a 7-day-a-week program. They justify it as “if this is what you really want to do...” and I think they’re trying to incorporate soft skills like how much you actually need to be doing on a daily basis to make it in the industry. In the second/third years, they really encourage internships to give you a leg up for when you graduate and I’m not sure if these are paid but I’m sure some are. The expectation is that these schools are supposed to be pretty generous with aid but also everyone graduates with a decent amount of debt too. My other friends who have been in graduate schools say that even public loans give you a little to cover miscellaneous expenses and there’s a deadline to return any money you think you won’t use for the remainder of any given year.
Thanks for the insight!

I actually will have an internship in LA this summer that could potentially turn into a job offer once the summer wraps up. Nothing gaurenteed but I need to plan for the possibility of choosing between an actual job in the industry or "simulating" it in graduate school. I would love to be able to manage both so that could be the deciding factor. I didn't plan to work at all during grad school until this possibility was presented to me. AFI is the best with being so close to universal and studio city but I also remember them mentioning 7 days a week... Yikes.
 

Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
I also remember them mentioning 7 days a week... Yikes.
I know for sure AFI views it this way. I think it'll be very hard to also have a full time job too unless you literally never sleep.
 

Julie Lew

Moderator
Staff member
My question would be how prepared do you feel to enter the industry as you approach graduation? Does your program help with internships and connections well to help the post graduation transition?
 

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