Syracuse MFA Fall 2019

Hi all,

My name is Seok and I'm currently in my third year doing MFA in Film at Syracuse University (Transmedia VPA). It's a pretty neat program with amazing faculty and people. We are generally more geared to independent films and the MFA program admits between 5-8 people per year. I know film school application can be very taxing and nerve wrecking. I'll be happy to answer any questions for those who are interested in applying.

All the best!

Seok
 

Hi Seok! I'm considering this MFA program you're in at Syracuse. I'm from California and have worked as a cinematographer/grip/gaffer/creative director in the Bay Area, San Diego, LA, and Chicago. Would love your input on the program. I'm interested in specializing more in cinematography/lighting. Is that an option at Syracuse? Thanks!
 
Hi Christopher,

Sorry for the delay in replying to you. I haven't been checking this for a while. The program is generally flexible so yes you can specialize in cinematography/lighting, but it will still be a MFA in Film instead of cinematography. We are generally a small program, with average of 5-8 students intake each year. It is very interdisciplinary and students generally take classes that suit their interests and needs (except for the mandatory film seminar critique class where all grad students meet once a week to look at each other's works). We have great gears in the cage in terms of lighting and other gears. Camera wise most grads and seniors use Canon C500. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Hi Seok! I'm considering this MFA program you're in at Syracuse. I'm from California and have worked as a cinematographer/grip/gaffer/creative director in the Bay Area, San Diego, LA, and Chicago. Would love your input on the program. I'm interested in specializing more in cinematography/lighting. Is that an option at Syracuse? Thanks!
 
Hi Seok,

I'm also interested in the MFA program at Syracuse!
A bit about me, I'm particular interested in studying documentary filmmaking. I'd love an academic program and getting into some serious research for my projects. So I'm super excited about the interdisciplinary program at Syracuse. I'm quite comfortable with my knowledge of actual production/technical skills already, so most important to me is being able to explore the topics I'm interested in covering in my work and flexing my creative muscles.

1) What do you like about the program?
2) Do you feel like there are enough opportunities in Syracuse? I'm pretty confident in my professional network already, so I'm not really worried about making connections. But in a larger city I would plan on freelancing to, you know, feed and house myself. Are there any opportunities like that in Syracuse? Do you think you have enough exposure to other filmmakers and a professional environment?
3) How do you like living Syracuse?
4) What do you think about your classmates? Is it a good group?

Looking forward to hearing from you and thank you so much!
 
Hi Seok,

I'm also interested in the MFA program at Syracuse!
A bit about me, I'm particular interested in studying documentary filmmaking. I'd love an academic program and getting into some serious research for my projects. So I'm super excited about the interdisciplinary program at Syracuse. I'm quite comfortable with my knowledge of actual production/technical skills already, so most important to me is being able to explore the topics I'm interested in covering in my work and flexing my creative muscles.

1) What do you like about the program?
2) Do you feel like there are enough opportunities in Syracuse? I'm pretty confident in my professional network already, so I'm not really worried about making connections. But in a larger city I would plan on freelancing to, you know, feed and house myself. Are there any opportunities like that in Syracuse? Do you think you have enough exposure to other filmmakers and a professional environment?
3) How do you like living Syracuse?
4) What do you think about your classmates? Is it a good group?

Looking forward to hearing from you and thank you so much!
Hi Shannon! It sounds like you will like the program based on your background and experience! I myself benefited a lot from the academic opportunities (been taking classes in women&gender studies and disability studies) and the grad critique classes also has been helpful.

Here's my answers to your questions:
1. Amazing professors. They are all invested and truly care about our projects and growth as artist. Been exposed to many incredible films that I wouldn't have known otherwise. More geared towards independent cinema. Most of them are active film practitioners and the form are very diverse. For example, Kara Herold specializes in auto-biographical and experimental animation/narrative. Kelly Gallagher specializes in essay film and animation. Jeffrey Palmer specializes in documentaries and Native American narratives.
2. In terms of the city, I think the film industry is somewhat booming. More and more studio produced feature films are being made here in the last two years. There's always opportunities to work with grassroots organizations and the school itself for freelance work, but also there's opportunity for teaching assistantship since it's a small program (especially in second and third year).
3. I like living in Syracuse. I live off campus in a neighborhood called Wescott where most grad students live. It's about 20mins walk to campus and I pretty much walk everywhere. There's enough events happening in the school and downtown (although not as glorious as NYC) but at the same time I appreciate being able to focus in my work and studies. People are generally kind and nice from what I've encountered in the last two years.
4. We are very diverse group, so sometimes we can give great feedback for each other and other times we don't. But we are generally respectful and try our best to help each other. It's a good group for sure, although it changes from year to year so it really depends. Even if one's style is completely different than others, I have seen successful alumni that worked on their own too with animation and documentary films.

Hope that helps!

Seok
 
@seok Thank you so much for your thoughtful response! And so sorry for the delay getting back, I've been deep in application land(it's that time). Glad to hear that there are productions and other work opportunities in the city, that was one of my main concerns. Definitely liking everything I've heard about the program so far, sounds like just what I've been looking for, really excited to apply and hopefully get out to visit the school soon!
 
@seok Thank you so much for your thoughtful response! And so sorry for the delay getting back, I've been deep in application land(it's that time). Glad to hear that there are productions and other work opportunities in the city, that was one of my main concerns. Definitely liking everything I've heard about the program so far, sounds like just what I've been looking for, really excited to apply and hopefully get out to visit the school soon!
No worries. All the best!!!
 

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