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Spring 2016 USC School of Cinematic Arts

Cavity

New Member
Was waitlisted for SCA graduate Film and TV Production program. Currently readying CalArts, LMU and ArtCenter applications. I live in the San Francisco so I'm considering SF State too.
 
In the first year of USC you make 3 short films. The first semester you make 2 short 5 min movies that you basically have to do on your own. Which is super weird... but whatever... They don't have specific classes in sound or editing and they kind of gloss over Cinematography. This also seems strange to me especially if you don't have a lot of experience with editing or sound, but they do have other classes in the 2nd semester that focuses on these skills more.

The 2nd semester.. you make another 5 minute movie but you get put with a group of 3. Each person directs, produces and DP a movie and you rotate roles so everyone makes a film. Its by far the roughest part of being at USC because you don't get to pick who you work with. Reputations are formed during this time and by the end of the year you have a solid idea of what you want to do to help guide you through the 2nd year.

In the 2nd year... people get placed in either 3 doc films or 3 fiction films. There is a pitching process for the scripts, directors and producers. Faculty pick 3 scripts / doc pitches and from there the trio picks the remaining crew members to make up the class. I am telling you all this because the curriculum for USC always seemed so mysterious to me until I was actively involved.

My biggest suggestion to people entering into the program is make sure you have story ideas ready. There isn't really a ton of time to flush ideas out. You can reach out to faculty and get feedback about story, but time is soooo tight in the first year that it's better to really come with some ideas for stories already so you can focus on production. It's a ton of work and takes up all of your time, but at the end of the day if you feel like you excited for the next semester then you are in the right place.

I hope this helps.
 
In the first year of USC you make 3 short films. The first semester you make 2 short 5 min movies that you basically have to do on your own. Which is super weird... but whatever... They don't have specific classes in sound or editing and they kind of gloss over Cinematography. This also seems strange to me especially if you don't have a lot of experience with editing or sound, but they do have other classes in the 2nd semester that focuses on these skills more.

The 2nd semester.. you make another 5 minute movie but you get put with a group of 3. Each person directs, produces and DP a movie and you rotate roles so everyone makes a film. Its by far the roughest part of being at USC because you don't get to pick who you work with. Reputations are formed during this time and by the end of the year you have a solid idea of what you want to do to help guide you through the 2nd year.

In the 2nd year... people get placed in either 3 doc films or 3 fiction films. There is a pitching process for the scripts, directors and producers. Faculty pick 3 scripts / doc pitches and from there the trio picks the remaining crew members to make up the class. I am telling you all this because the curriculum for USC always seemed so mysterious to me until I was actively involved.

My biggest suggestion to people entering into the program is make sure you have story ideas ready. There isn't really a ton of time to flush ideas out. You can reach out to faculty and get feedback about story, but time is soooo tight in the first year that it's better to really come with some ideas for stories already so you can focus on production. It's a ton of work and takes up all of your time, but at the end of the day if you feel like you excited for the next semester then you are in the right place.

I hope this helps.
So... the program is not as integral as they shown? e.g they exclude a bit cinematography, sound edition and so on?
 
So... the program is not as integral as they shown? e.g they exclude a bit cinematography, sound edition and so on?

Hmm not the first year. You do get cinematography, sound and editing instructors and class time dedicated to it but its not like at NYU where they have 5 separate classes in each discipline the first semester. Its more a taste of those things the first year and then if you have interest in either of those things you can take more classes in it the 2nd semester.

Also if you do decide to do sound or editing USC is perfect because every other person wants to be be writer / director. There is small pool for sound and editors which makes you more sought out and in high demand. Also the faculty are more focused on you in the later years which mean MORE job opportunities.

The faculty are.... AMAZING...
 

Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
Renamed thread to make it more obvious to visitors and el Googol that this thread is about USC (SCA alone was too cryptic)
 
Hmm not the first year. You do get cinematography, sound and editing instructors and class time dedicated to it but its not like at NYU where they have 5 separate classes in each discipline the first semester. Its more a taste of those things the first year and then if you have interest in either of those things you can take more classes in it the 2nd semester.

Also if you do decide to do sound or editing USC is perfect because every other person wants to be be writer / director. There is small pool for sound and editors which makes you more sought out and in high demand. Also the faculty are more focused on you in the later years which mean MORE job opportunities.

The faculty are.... AMAZING...
Thats great! Well, nowadays job demand on the sky, as for me i will struggle my way out to be a DOP... Thanks mate, and yeah, the program of SCA seems to be a mystery for all except those who are now alumns.
 
Has anyone that was waitlisted heard anything? Last I heard was that they would be letting people know something by Jan 6. If you do not get in, will you do the quick reapply for fall?
 

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