Reapplying from Brazil - is it worth giving it another go?

Hi everyone!

I know there are a few posts here about reapplying, but I want an honest opinion of people who are attending and people who decided not to.

I applied to the producing program at AFI and NYU*. Got an interview with AFI, but I was veryyyyyyyyyy lost. It was a relief not getting in because I really hadn't thought everything through.

I'm from Brazil and, even though I saved money, it was really hard paying for these applications**. All of the expenses were over the minimum wage, so I'm trying to get organized as early as possible if I decide to try again.

What I wanna know is if it's worth giving it another go.

1) how do you financially support yourself when all of these programs are full-time? I know a lot of people get help from their families, but immigrants/ppl that don't have that, how do you do it?

2) a lot of programs ask for short movies. I did one last year for NYU, but really, it didn't turn out great. I wanna know, from people who didn't have experience, how they did it and the best tips you have for a first timer. I'm from a small town so there aren't really a lot of people who work in this area here.


I think these are the main thing I'm looking for.

Thank you!


*I applied to both of them bc they accept the Duolingo test.

**There are a few great grants from Brazil. If I got in, I'd apply to them. I do have a bit of family support, it'd just be hard for them to support me 100% because the dollar conversion is too high
 

its_me_mari

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Hey Ana!

I’m gonna answer this post in English, in case it can help other people, but I’ll dm you my WhatsApp and Instagram so we can talk more 😊

I got into UCLA this year, and it was my second time applying. Honestly, I think reapplying is worth it if you can do some things to increase your chances in the meantime!

My first time applying, I had no idea how things worked. It was 2020, the middle of the pandemic, and I applied to 5 different schools for Screenwriting: USC, AFI, Columbia, NYU, and Chapman. I had never applied for something like this before, and I rushed to do TOEFL and organize my Brazilian university documents (like getting them translated and everything).

I graduated in Advertising and did what we call in Brazil “pós graduação” (post-graduation) in Screenwriting. But I never had experiences outside of the classroom. Besides that, the Brazilian education in cinema is so poor right now, especially outside Rio-São Paulo.
I got an interview with AFI and Columbia, but honestly, I was not prepared at all. My interviewer even told me that she thought I needed more practice, and unfortunately, in my first year, I was rejected.

Around April-May, I decided to try again (not necessarily the subsequent year, but I just wanted to try it again). This time I took the time to prepare. I got my documents all over again months in advance. But most importantly, I decided that I would invest in my education towards Screenwriting. I did a lot of online courses at UCLA Extension and Sundance Collabs. They were very expensive, but as I said, I wasn’t expecting to try again precisely in 2021, but to prepare. And since the US has the best options to learn to write for the screen, that helped a lot.
I decided to apply in 2021 to try, really close to the deadline, but I had everything prepared, and writing was a lot easier this time. It was waaaaay different for me the second time around. I wasn't as nervous in the interview; I had prepared, and I had practiced writing a lot in the past weeks. And I’m a SUPER anxious person, so that was the key for me.

The dollar-real ratio sucks rights now, especially in Elections Year. So if you have the option to invest in some courses, I would do that. You don’t need to try again this year. Maybe if it’s best for you, you can prepare for a year and try the next one, idk! But I would try again!

If you want to try more schools and do the TOEFL, I have a lot of materials, and I can send them to you!

About your questions:

1) My parents are helping me! But I also hear and know people that are going with scholarships like the Fullbright. Not sure if they have it for production too.

2) the courses offered in Sundancr Collab and UCLA extension are great for this! And I think that the help of people around is also great! This forum helped me make many friends that helped me the second time I was applying, giving opinions, or just talking through the stress of the application process! So I would love to help around too! Watching and providing feedback it’s great!

I’ll be sending you my number in the DM’s and we can talk way more! Feel free to reach out anytime!
 

storyteller

Well-Known Member
Hello!

To answer your questions:

1) Eu queria conseguir te dar uma resposta legal, dizendo que a gente pode tentar a bolsa x e y e que tudo vai dar certo. Eu mesma precisava ouvir algo do tipo! Passei pra USC pro semestre de Spring 2020 e eu tinha dinheiro praquele semestre e só. Meus pais só conseguiriam me ajudar até um ponto, e se eu não conseguisse bolsa de estudos não daria. Eu fui acreditando na possibilidade de eventualmente conseguir—e não rolou. Eu tentei a do Líderes Estudar e a da Família Garcia. Apliquei pras bolsas internas da USC também. Nada deu certo. Eu acabei fazendo só aquele um semestre mesmo.

2) Eu sou publicitária, então não tinha experiência quase nenhuma com cinema mesmo. Fiz um curta só pro application da USC (era meu sonho) e passei de primeira! Quanto a ser iniciante eu diria que não tem o que se preocupar—só dê o melhor de si, isso vai ser suficiente. Pra maioria das faculdades pelo menos isso funciona. A AFI é um pouco diferente até onde sei, acho que é só quem tem experiência mesmo.
O que eu fiz foi escrever um roteiro e procurar a galera de cinema da minha cidade. Eles seguraram na minha mão messssmo, escolhendo equipamentos e me ajudando a compor o resto da equipe!

Qualquer coisa pode me mandar mensagem! Estou aqui pro que precisar!
 

isabixy

Member
Supporter
Oi Ana!

Respondendo suas perguntas:
  1. A parte da grana é a parte mais cruel. Só pra fazer a application, como você disse, já se vão rios de dinheiro. O bom de você ter gasto esse dinheiro esse ano com traduções e essas coisas, é que pelo menos na próxima vez você não vai precisar gastar de novo. Só te recomendo fazer o TOEFL, que apesar de caro e chatinho, é o que a maioria das universidades aceita. Agora, sobre pagar a faculdade mesmo, é realmente ou ter dinheiro guardado ou conseguir bolsa. Se inscreve pra todas que existem! Tem a bolsa da Fulbright pra mestrado em roteiro, tem a Fundação Estudar, tem a American Association of University Women, e tem as bolsas das próprias faculdades, que você geralmente indica que quer na hora de fazer a inscrição. Sei também que o mestrado de roteiro da Northwestern vai ser de graça a partir desse ano. Fora isso, juntar dinheiro mesmo, ou ter ajuda da família, infelizmente. O pessoal de lá faz empréstimo pra pagar os estudos, mas não acho que vale a pena pra gente, pelo menos não com o preço do dólar agora.
  1. Tira esse tempo até setembro/outubro, que geralmente é quando começam as applications, pra experimentar! Pensa se vale a pena tentar de novo logo agora ou se é melhor esperar mais um pouco. Mas tenta escrever, produzir, coisas toscas mesmo. Tenta procurar pessoas na sua cidade que também se interessam por produção, ou produtoras aí por perto, ou cursos, etc. Mas acho que se você indica na sua application que não tem experiência eles vão entender se você mandar um trabalho que não tá 100% polido. O mestrado é justamente pra isso, né, aprender e se aprimorar.
Não sei muito sobre os programas de produção, mas qualquer coisa que eu puder ajudar é só dizer!!! Beijossss
 

mandrewvi

Member
Supporter
Hey Ana!

I’m gonna answer this post in English, in case it can help other people, but I’ll dm you my WhatsApp and Instagram so we can talk more 😊

I got into UCLA this year, and it was my second time applying. Honestly, I think reapplying is worth it if you can do some things to increase your chances in the meantime!

My first time applying, I had no idea how things worked. It was 2020, the middle of the pandemic, and I applied to 5 different schools for Screenwriting: USC, AFI, Columbia, NYU, and Chapman. I had never applied for something like this before, and I rushed to do TOEFL and organize my Brazilian university documents (like getting them translated and everything).

I graduated in Advertising and did what we call in Brazil “pós graduação” (post-graduation) in Screenwriting. But I never had experiences outside of the classroom. Besides that, the Brazilian education in cinema is so poor right now, especially outside Rio-São Paulo.
I got an interview with AFI and Columbia, but honestly, I was not prepared at all. My interviewer even told me that she thought I needed more practice, and unfortunately, in my first year, I was rejected.

Around April-May, I decided to try again (not necessarily the subsequent year, but I just wanted to try it again). This time I took the time to prepare. I got my documents all over again months in advance. But most importantly, I decided that I would invest in my education towards Screenwriting. I did a lot of online courses at UCLA Extension and Sundance Collabs. They were very expensive, but as I said, I wasn’t expecting to try again precisely in 2021, but to prepare. And since the US has the best options to learn to write for the screen, that helped a lot.
I decided to apply in 2021 to try, really close to the deadline, but I had everything prepared, and writing was a lot easier this time. It was waaaaay different for me the second time around. I wasn't as nervous in the interview; I had prepared, and I had practiced writing a lot in the past weeks. And I’m a SUPER anxious person, so that was the key for me.

The dollar-real ratio sucks rights now, especially in Elections Year. So if you have the option to invest in some courses, I would do that. You don’t need to try again this year. Maybe if it’s best for you, you can prepare for a year and try the next one, idk! But I would try again!

If you want to try more schools and do the TOEFL, I have a lot of materials, and I can send them to you!

About your questions:

1) My parents are helping me! But I also hear and know people that are going with scholarships like the Fullbright. Not sure if they have it for production too.

2) the courses offered in Sundancr Collab and UCLA extension are great for this! And I think that the help of people around is also great! This forum helped me make many friends that helped me the second time I was applying, giving opinions, or just talking through the stress of the application process! So I would love to help around too! Watching and providing feedback it’s great!

I’ll be sending you my number in the DM’s and we can talk way more! Feel free to reach out anytime!
Hi Mari!

I'm currently in a similar situation as you were. I was rejected this past year and I would like to try again. I haven't decided if that means this year or next year. Right now, I feel that taking my time and preparing should be my top priority.

I would like to take some UCLA extension courses because my background is not in film--I come from an architecture career. Could you recommend or share the courses you took? Which courses helped you prepare the most?

Any advice would be much appreciated! Congrats on UCLA!

-Mark
 

teyyana

Active Member
Hi Mari!

I'm currently in a similar situation as you were. I was rejected this past year and I would like to try again. I haven't decided if that means this year or next year. Right now, I feel that taking my time and preparing should be my top priority.

I would like to take some UCLA extension courses because my background is not in film--I come from an architecture career. Could you recommend or share the courses you took? Which courses helped you prepare the most?

Any advice would be much appreciated! Congrats on UCLA!

-Mark
Hi Mark. I'm planning to apply to some production programs this year and am overwhelmed by the preparation, especially the creative submission elements since I don't have any background and experience in filmmaking, I'm an architect! I'm glad to see a fellow architect here. Would you like to connect? :)
 
Hello!

To answer your questions:

1) Eu queria conseguir te dar uma resposta legal, dizendo que a gente pode tentar a bolsa x e y e que tudo vai dar certo. Eu mesma precisava ouvir algo do tipo! Passei pra USC pro semestre de Spring 2020 e eu tinha dinheiro praquele semestre e só. Meus pais só conseguiriam me ajudar até um ponto, e se eu não conseguisse bolsa de estudos não daria. Eu fui acreditando na possibilidade de eventualmente conseguir—e não rolou. Eu tentei a do Líderes Estudar e a da Família Garcia. Apliquei pras bolsas internas da USC também. Nada deu certo. Eu acabei fazendo só aquele um semestre mesmo.

2) Eu sou publicitária, então não tinha experiência quase nenhuma com cinema mesmo. Fiz um curta só pro application da USC (era meu sonho) e passei de primeira! Quanto a ser iniciante eu diria que não tem o que se preocupar—só dê o melhor de si, isso vai ser suficiente. Pra maioria das faculdades pelo menos isso funciona. A AFI é um pouco diferente até onde sei, acho que é só quem tem experiência mesmo.
O que eu fiz foi escrever um roteiro e procurar a galera de cinema da minha cidade. Eles seguraram na minha mão messssmo, escolhendo equipamentos e me ajudando a compor o resto da equipe!

Qualquer coisa pode me mandar mensagem! Estou aqui pro que precisar!
Oii!

eu acho que não sei mandar mensagem aqui, mas queria tirar umas dúvidas kkk será que a gente consegue conversar pelo insta? Só se vc se sentir confortável!

Muito obrigada pela mensagem ♥
 
Oi Ana!

Respondendo suas perguntas:
  1. A parte da grana é a parte mais cruel. Só pra fazer a application, como você disse, já se vão rios de dinheiro. O bom de você ter gasto esse dinheiro esse ano com traduções e essas coisas, é que pelo menos na próxima vez você não vai precisar gastar de novo. Só te recomendo fazer o TOEFL, que apesar de caro e chatinho, é o que a maioria das universidades aceita. Agora, sobre pagar a faculdade mesmo, é realmente ou ter dinheiro guardado ou conseguir bolsa. Se inscreve pra todas que existem! Tem a bolsa da Fulbright pra mestrado em roteiro, tem a Fundação Estudar, tem a American Association of University Women, e tem as bolsas das próprias faculdades, que você geralmente indica que quer na hora de fazer a inscrição. Sei também que o mestrado de roteiro da Northwestern vai ser de graça a partir desse ano. Fora isso, juntar dinheiro mesmo, ou ter ajuda da família, infelizmente. O pessoal de lá faz empréstimo pra pagar os estudos, mas não acho que vale a pena pra gente, pelo menos não com o preço do dólar agora.
  2. Tira esse tempo até setembro/outubro, que geralmente é quando começam as applications, pra experimentar! Pensa se vale a pena tentar de novo logo agora ou se é melhor esperar mais um pouco. Mas tenta escrever, produzir, coisas toscas mesmo. Tenta procurar pessoas na sua cidade que também se interessam por produção, ou produtoras aí por perto, ou cursos, etc. Mas acho que se você indica na sua application que não tem experiência eles vão entender se você mandar um trabalho que não tá 100% polido. O mestrado é justamente pra isso, né, aprender e se aprimorar.
Não sei muito sobre os programas de produção, mas qualquer coisa que eu puder ajudar é só dizer!!! Beijossss
Oi Isa!

Muito obrigada pela mensagem!
Sobre as applications, vc passou por alguém pra ver se seu material tava bom ou foi com fé mesmo? kkk Ano passado eu peguei ajuda de um cara do UK pra dar uma polida no personal statement, mas senti falta um pouco nos materiais do portfolio.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Oii!

I don't think I know how to send a message here, but I wanted to ask some questions lol can we talk on insta? Only if you feel comfortable!

Thank you so much for the message ♥
Here's how to send a message:

 

isabixy

Member
Supporter
Oi Isa!

Muito obrigada pela mensagem!
Sobre as applications, vc passou por alguém pra ver se seu material tava bom ou foi com fé mesmo? kkk Ano passado eu peguei ajuda de um cara do UK pra dar uma polida no personal statement, mas senti falta um pouco nos materiais do portfolio.

Eu tive ajuda de uma orientadora do EducationUSA. Mas era uma orientação paga e cada encontro era bem caro rs mas me ajudou bastante! Lembrei agora tbm que o EducationUSA tem um programa chamado Oportunidades Acadêmicas, onde eles selecionam alguns alunos e ajudam com todo o processo da application de graça. Eles pagam TOEFL, traduzem, te orientam etc tudo 0800. É bem bom. Dá uma olhada no site deles e vê quando abrem as inscrições!
 

its_me_mari

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Hi Mari!

I'm currently in a similar situation as you were. I was rejected this past year and I would like to try again. I haven't decided if that means this year or next year. Right now, I feel that taking my time and preparing should be my top priority.

I would like to take some UCLA extension courses because my background is not in film--I come from an architecture career. Could you recommend or share the courses you took? Which courses helped you prepare the most?

Any advice would be much appreciated! Congrats on UCLA!

-Mark

Yes, of course!!! And thank you so much! :D

Preparing was the best choice for me as well since I was in the marketing/advertising and the only experience I had with film was inside the classroom in Brazil. Choosing to do (online) classes in the US was a great way to prepare.

The courses I did had 3 different types, but some of them you can choose which one you prefer.
- One was a live online class on zoom with meetings, workshops, and all.
- A pre-recorded class on video.
- A pre-written class where you just read the lesson.

I did the following courses:

UCLA Extension:
Introduction to Screenwriting (Live Zoom): Introduction to Screenwriting | UCLA Continuing Education Online
Feature Film I (Live Zoom): Feature Film I | UCLA Continuing Education Online
Feature Film II (Live Zoom): Feature Film II | UCLA Continuing Education Online
Crafting Powerful Dialogue (Written lesson): I couldn't find this one, maybe is not available this quarter.

The Feature Film is a series of 5, but I got super busy with visa stuff and moving to another country, so I couldn't do it this semester, but I would have definitely continued because I LOVED IT. Also, I gravitate towards Writing for Film, so that's why I got this one. They also have if for dramedy, half-hour pilots, 1-hour pilots!

Sundance Collab:
Screenwriting: Revising Your Feature (Live Zoom): Couldn't find this one either
Tv Writing Core Elements (Recorded videos): TV Writing: Core Elements (Self-paced)

I really hope it helps!
Also, feel free to reach out on my DM's!
 

mandrewvi

Member
Supporter
Hi Mark. I'm planning to apply to some production programs this year and am overwhelmed by the preparation, especially the creative submission elements since I don't have any background and experience in filmmaking, I'm an architect! I'm glad to see a fellow architect here. Would you like to connect? :)
Hello Teyyana! It's so great to meet a fellow architect on here! Feel free to DM me :)
 

mandrewvi

Member
Supporter
Yes, of course!!! And thank you so much! :D

Preparing was the best choice for me as well since I was in the marketing/advertising and the only experience I had with film was inside the classroom in Brazil. Choosing to do (online) classes in the US was a great way to prepare.

The courses I did had 3 different types, but some of them you can choose which one you prefer.
- One was a live online class on zoom with meetings, workshops, and all.
- A pre-recorded class on video.
- A pre-written class where you just read the lesson.

I did the following courses:

UCLA Extension:
Introduction to Screenwriting (Live Zoom): Introduction to Screenwriting | UCLA Continuing Education Online
Feature Film I (Live Zoom): Feature Film I | UCLA Continuing Education Online
Feature Film II (Live Zoom): Feature Film II | UCLA Continuing Education Online
Crafting Powerful Dialogue (Written lesson): I couldn't find this one, maybe is not available this quarter.

The Feature Film is a series of 5, but I got super busy with visa stuff and moving to another country, so I couldn't do it this semester, but I would have definitely continued because I LOVED IT. Also, I gravitate towards Writing for Film, so that's why I got this one. They also have if for dramedy, half-hour pilots, 1-hour pilots!

Sundance Collab:
Screenwriting: Revising Your Feature (Live Zoom): Couldn't find this one either
Tv Writing Core Elements (Recorded videos): TV Writing: Core Elements (Self-paced)

I really hope it helps!
Also, feel free to reach out on my DM's!
Thank you so much Mari! I really appreciate your guidance!
 
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