Rising 2nd Year MFA Film/TV Producing Student at Chapman University! - AMA

etotheliz

New Member
Hey guys. Feel me to AMA. I'll try and respond to the posts as I can!
Hey! Thank you so much for doing an AMA! I start the program in the Fall.
I would love to hear about your experience so far. What do you like/dislike?
 

jainismyname

New Member
Hey! Thank you so much for doing an AMA! I start the program in the Fall.
I would love to hear about your experience so far. What do you like/dislike?
Disclaimer: I'm typing this on my phone while I'm at a shoot so I'm going to give the most concise version of the answeet.

Pros:
Lots of hands-on experience on set and in the types of assignments (I.e. budget a feature film)

Classmates are pretty chill

Teachers clearly know what they are doing

Our major tends to put out the most employable students

Cons:
Whoever comes up with the schedule clearly is smoking something. For example, in the first semester we had the same teacher for almost 8 hours in a row. Even she was like "wtf dog"

Hot Goss. Film school, much like high school, is fueled by drama. Do yourself a favor and don't get involved in it. Unless you revel in it, then go nuts.

Intensity: The semester tends to be pretty chill until your cycle shoots. Be prepared to hit full throttle around then and expect not to be done until you've turned ib your final. You will probably burn out, but that's ok. Everyone goes through it. Just be sure to really take care of yourself and your fellow students.
 

jainismyname

New Member
@jainismyname how do you feel the skill level is? How do you feel the quality of content and stories being told are?
I think it depends on what you are looking for. Chapman is a very Hollywood-centric film school. They really hammer home the idea that story is everything. So if you are looking for that, I think the skill level is fairly good. That being said, I do think there is a large disconnect between the writers and the rest of the program. The writers are encouraged to write whatever the fuck they want. But it comes time to actually produce them, you read these insanely impossible scripts to make on a student film budget. So sometimes when you make those concessions, the quality of the film goes down.

TL;DR Skill level is ok. As a producer though, I feel 100% certain that our program is getting a full education that you really can't find around in LA (outside of maybe AFI)
 

Tugger

Member
Supporting Member
I think it depends on what you are looking for. Chapman is a very Hollywood-centric film school. They really hammer home the idea that story is everything. So if you are looking for that, I think the skill level is fairly good. That being said, I do think there is a large disconnect between the writers and the rest of the program. The writers are encouraged to write whatever the fuck they want. But it comes time to actually produce them, you read these insanely impossible scripts to make on a student film budget. So sometimes when you make those concessions, the quality of the film goes down.

TL;DR Skill level is ok. As a producer though, I feel 100% certain that our program is getting a full education that you really can't find around in LA (outside of maybe AFI)

How many people do you think make it on Hollywood sets after graduation?
 

jainismyname

New Member
How many people do you think make it on Hollywood sets after graduation?
Like a big budget set? No one. That's crazy, even for other film school. But a lot of us are consistently working on set. Like will you be able to pay rent, yes. Will it be the glamourous job? Helllllll no
 

alanray

Active Member
That being said, I do think there is a large disconnect between the writers and the rest of the program. The writers are encouraged to write whatever the fuck they want. But it comes time to actually produce them, you read these insanely impossible scripts to make on a student film budget. So sometimes when you make those concessions, the quality of the film goes down.
As an incoming writing student, I will take this into account! Thanks! Do writing students often have their scripts produced by the producers?
 

Tugger

Member
Supporting Member
Like a big budget set? No one. That's crazy, even for other film school. But a lot of us are consistently working on set. Like will you be able to pay rent, yes. Will it be the glamourous job? Helllllll no
Oh for sure! I more so meant anytime after college, not just right after. But that's still good information!
 

jainismyname

New Member
As an incoming writing student, I will take this into account! Thanks! Do writing students often have their scripts produced by the producers?
From what I understand, every semester there is an opportunity for the writers to submit a script into a pool. The directors then pick from a script and make them into what we call a "cycle" film. So if getting your script produced is a goal, there is a high possibility your writing can be made into a film. Keep in mind, the director may want to change it completely, and you can push back. But, keep in mind that often these arguments may stem from budgetary issues or just trying to fit it within their wheelhouse of style.
 

Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
From what I understand, every semester there is an opportunity for the writers to submit a script into a pool. The directors then pick from a script and make them into what we call a "cycle" film.
Yes I believe this is mentioned in the interview article I did with @IndecisiveElle here:

 

jainismyname

New Member
So here is how that works. As a producer in the program, you will make a minimum of three films. In your first semester, the producer will work with a second-year crew (the producing program is only two years as the other programs are three). In the second semester, they will work with a first-year crew after gaining some experience. For their thesis project, the producers pair with the second year (now third year) crew. They can be different or the same, it doesn't matter.

As for acquiring an editor, you don't get a lot of leeway. You always work with the crew in your year. If you are working on an independent project, go nuts. Pick any editor you wish.
 

Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
Do you know of any editing track grad students who wouldn’t mind answering some questions for a fellow editing track student?
@Mike_V did editing but he graduated a while back. I reached out to @IndecisiveElle to see if she too can get someone currently in the program to help answer your questions. :)
 
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Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
Do you know of any editing track grad students who wouldn’t mind answering some questions for a fellow editing track student?
@Mike_V has an Editing AMA here at this link now:

 
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