Rising 2nd Year MFA at NYU Tisch Grad Film. AMA

Tsheff

Member
Hi! My name is Tara and I just finished my first year at NYU Grad Film in May. Chris the Admin asked me to host an AMA and I thought it would be a great idea! This is something that would have been so helpful to me last year, while I was lurking on this site trying to figure out which school to choose, and then once I accepted NYU what to expect there.

I'm happy to answer any of your questions -- and if you want to PM me, that's cool, too.

Thanks!
Tara
 

locsandcoffee

New Member
Hi! My name is Tara and I just finished my first year at NYU Grad Film in May. Chris the Admin asked me to host an AMA and I thought it would be a great idea! This is something that would have been so helpful to me last year, while I was lurking on this site trying to figure out which school to choose, and then once I accepted NYU what to expect there.

I'm happy to answer any of your questions -- and if you want to PM me, that's cool, too.

Thanks!
Tara
Thanks for being willing to share your experience, Tara! Congratulations on completing your first year! I'm brimming with questions :)
  • Are you focusing on writing & directing?
  • What surprised you the most about your first year (and specifically first semester)?
  • We just got our orientation schedule and list of fall courses, and boy, it looks like it's going to be an intense yet fun ride. What professors did you gravitate towards?
  • How did crewing work out for you?
  • What did you you value/appreciate about the classroom and production work?
  • What did you love, what did you struggle with and what didn't you like?
So many questions :)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Tsheff

Member
Thanks for being willing to share your experience, Tara! Congratulations on completing your first year! I'm brimming with questions :)
  • Are you focusing on writing & directing?
  • What surprised you the most about your first year (and specifically first semester)?
  • We just got our orientation schedule and list of fall courses, and boy, it looks like it's going to be an intense yet fun ride. What professors did you gravitate towards?
  • How did crewing work out for you?
  • What did you you value/appreciate about the classroom and production work?
  • What did you love, what did you struggle with and what didn't you like?
So many questions :)
Hi there!

Let me answer some of your questions:

  • Are you focusing on writing & directing?
    • Yes, I am! But there are also people in my class who are going to focusing on cinematography.
  • What surprised you the most about your first year (and specifically first semester)?
    • I think what surprised me the most about my first year is how much it costs to make your MOS and your Spring Narrative. Prepare and budget for those films. NYU gives you an allotment for 2nd Year, but not for MOS and Spring Narrative. Ideally, you could do these films for free, but at the end of the day, everyone wants to make the best films possible. So that includes shooting out of NYC or production designing or hiring actors etc. Also, it's your responsibility to feed your crew and transport them if you are going out of NYC. Food and crafty is $$$ because you'll be shooting MOS in the winter and you want to make sure people are happy. I'd also recommend trying to shoot you MOS earliest in your crew. As you get into November, the days get shorter and you have less time to shoot because the light runs out.
    • How intense directing exercises are. You are shooting every single weekend and editing every week. Take these seriously, because this is how you practice for your films.
    • I think I am also the most surprised by how amazing and collaborative my classmates are. I had heard rumors that NYU is competitive, but I just haven't found that to be the case in my first year. Everyone is so kind and generous with their time, ideas, and creative energy.
    • How much time you spend in class and editing at school.
  • We just got our orientation schedule and list of fall courses, and boy, it looks like it's going to be an intense yet fun ride. What professors did you gravitate towards?
    • You spend a lot of time at school. It's a full-time job. Most days I get to school for 9:30 classes and don't end up leaving until 11 or so. On a good day, I leave at 7. The professors are all amazing, seriously. You can't choose wrong. I'm happy to private message you if you have specific questions about specific people.
  • How did crewing work out for you?
    • NYU assigns crews the first year! It worked out amazingly. You get very close to your crews. It takes the stress out of it, honestly. Production period is an intense time, but also gives you a taste of what it's like to freelance out of school.
  • What did you you value/appreciate about the classroom and production work?
    • I mean, all of it. It really is geared to training you as a filmmaker who has to juggle a lot at once, while making movies.
  • What did you love, what did you struggle with and what didn't you like?
    • Love: for fear of sounding cheesy, I feel like I'm exactly where I need to be. I love the collaborative nature of the program. I love making movies, in all aspects. I'm actually on location right now in the South of France producing a thesis film for a rising 4th year who was my GA. I have a producing background, and she needed help and wanted to collaborate.
    • Struggle: taking care of myself. I had a really hard time balancing self-care and work. Going to try to be better at that this semester.
    • Didn't like: I mean, everything comes with a negative, but the positives outweigh the negatives for me.
 

Catherine Lao

Catherine
Hi! My name is Tara and I just finished my first year at NYU Grad Film in May. Chris the Admin asked me to host an AMA and I thought it would be a great idea! This is something that would have been so helpful to me last year, while I was lurking on this site trying to figure out which school to choose, and then once I accepted NYU what to expect there.

I'm happy to answer any of your questions -- and if you want to PM me, that's cool, too.

Thanks!
Tara
Hi, Tara! We are going to choose the courses and teachers. Do you mind introducing the different styles of those teachers? It will help a lot. Thank you~
 

zenflowers

Member
Who are the professors avail this semester for y’all? It changes every year. Thanks!
Hi Tsheff,

Thanks so much for all this information it has been so helpful to get your prospective! I have a question about instructors that I'd like to ask? I'm currently deciding between screenwriting professors and would be so interested on your take on them and their different styles? What made you choose the screenwriting instructor you had this year?

These are the instructors listed:

Mick Casale


Liliana Greenfield-Sanders


Ken Friedman
 

Tsheff

Member
Hey Everyone,

I don't feel super comfortable talking about professors on the wide-open internet. It's a VERY small department. If you have specific questions about specific people, please DM me or email me.

I think the biggest advice I have is come to school with a couple of ideas for your MOS. You jump into it so quickly, it's good to hit the ground running. Be open to change, be flexible, but it might be good to have a couple of loglines.

I think another bit of advice is read about each professor. Do your research. One person I'm SO GLAD I took is Brooke Berman, who I will talk about because I love her so goddamn much. She's a real mentor to me, and I knew we would vibe after reading all about her on the internet. I read some of her plays. Etc. Etc. Also Jenn Ruff, because we connect on another level and I found mentorship with her immediately.

That's another thing -- I worked in the film industry for about 5 years before I entered NYU and I knew I wanted to find creative collaborators and mentors in the faculty. Not everyone has that vibe, but that's my vibe.

Everyone is so different, and NYU caters to that. Seriously, the work everyone makes is amazing and there is no single genre. And because of that, there isn't one professor who does one thing. Pick professors who's vibe you like and who makes work you like (or don't like! that can also be really educational!).

I hope that helps.

Sorry I've been away! Here to answer any more questions :)

Best,
T
 
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