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UCLA MFA Fall 2017

Discussion in 'Graduate Film School Discussions' started by Kira, Dec 1, 2016.

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  1. Kira

    Kira Active Member

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    It was subtly suggested that someone should start a thread for UCLA 2017. I figured that it would be fun to stress together (misery loves company, right?), so here it is :)

    Are you guys working on any fun or secret projects until we hear back?

    I'm writing another spec script, but I'm not quite sure which show yet. I was thinking something period like The Knick or Peaky Blinders. I also like those superhero shows, so Jessica Jones / Daredevil / Luke Cage are also options.
     
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  2. Chris W

    Chris W FilmSchool.org Owner Staff Member

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    THE DEADLINE IS TODAY! GET THOSE APPLICATIONS IN PEOPLE! :)
     
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  3. Iuli Dia

    Iuli Dia Member

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    I've been meaning to watch the Knick! Might get started on that soon since my applications are all in.

    I haven't spec-ed a show yet. I would probably do The Real O'Neals or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to start with, and maybe try Silicon Valley or Broad City next???

    For fun, I plan to start working on a treatment for a comic book idea since I have a friend who wants to illustrate it. It's daunting! I have the pilot for the series in script format, and a few rough drafts of subsequent episodes. I hope to be able to translate them to a comic book or graphic novel format.
     
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  4. IndecisiveElle

    IndecisiveElle Active Member

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    I've really wanted to watch The Kick also! I've mostly been binge watching old shows lately, so I need to get back into some newer things.

    It's a lot easier to write a spec for a show that has more than 1 season and proven to be stable - that's the advice I got from my instructors at Columbia over the summer during a TV writing workshop. I did a Black List spec and really enjoyed the process! I'm definitely more a of a TV writer regardless of spec or pilot. But I won't be doing another TV script for a while because I have too many other projects currently - editing a feature, writing a feature script to pitch (a producer friend reached out to me! I'm so excited) and hopefully shooting a short over the winter.

    I'm so happy to be done with my main applications!

    How is everyone feeling post-deadline?
     
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  5. icygee

    icygee #JusticeForKatya #JusticeForBeyoncé

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    I missed the mailman by 3 minutes yesterday because the woman in front of me was taking foooooorreeeeevvvvveeerrrrrrr at Staples so now begins my slow descent into Hell racking my brain over the "Postmarked by" date.

    In the meantime I'm going to give it a go and try adapting something. I took an Adaptation course during undergrad but when my professor found out I was a Screenwriting concentration he told me to work on my Thesis Project instead of the adaptation project he assigned.
     
  6. Iuli Dia

    Iuli Dia Member

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    Ugh! That sucks, but they've made exceptions for other requirements in the past, so there is still hope. I think someone had a 2.8 GPA (under the 3.0 requirement) and they got in based on their writing sample. Hopefully they won't trip over a postmarked date.
     
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  7. icygee

    icygee #JusticeForKatya #JusticeForBeyoncé

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    I'm not too worried, I even had the guy write a little note on the envelope for me with the receipt to cover my ass but we'll see. I messed up on something with Columbia two years ago and still got an interview so hopefully my content is strong enough to cover the slight misstep. In the words of a wise woman "Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days."
     
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  8. Iuli Dia

    Iuli Dia Member

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    I'm very happy to be done too, and also extremely anxious. This thread is helping with the latter a lot, lol.

    Does anyone have a clear top school?

    For me, it's UCLA. Between them and USC, they are the better writing school it seems. UCLA requires 4 thesis scripts as opposed to 1 from USC. You write more and faster at UCLA and it seems that it pays off. I've met more UCLA people or at least heard of more UCLA people who went on to become writers, win Nicholl awards etc. With all that being said, they are both great schools and I would be honored to get into either one of them.
     
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  9. Kira

    Kira Active Member

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    That is so exciting! How are you preparing to go from script to comic book / graphic novel format?

    Too many projects, a good problem to have!

    They'll probably be forgiving! I mean, if there's a note hopefully it's okay. You're probably not the only one :)

    I'm glad that it's helping a bit! :) and yes! my top choice is USC. My two favorite showrunners (Shonda Rhimes and Bryan Fuller) went there... but it all really boils down to $ :p
     
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  10. Iuli Dia

    Iuli Dia Member

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    Oh man, I love Shonda! Brownie points for USC lol. I'm certainly still debating between the 2 schools still. As far as the comic, I don't even know. I will focus on the outline first. I will try to follow a bible series format and get together with my illustrator friend, who is an avid comic reader. I've read a few first issues of comics, but I need to do more research. I think I'll rely and trust my friend as far as the comic adaptation and conventions and try to do this one step at a time.
     
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  11. Kira

    Kira Active Member

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    If you haven't read Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, I highly recommend it! Even if it isn't center stage, she talks about her life in the TV biz a lot.... So helpful!

    Re: the comic, that's sounds like a lot of research! Fun though. Do you know if you'll be uploading it chapter by chapter, or an entire volume at a time? That'll change the pace of your outline.
     
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  12. Iuli Dia

    Iuli Dia Member

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    I'll put it on my to read list!

    We haven't talked about distribution or dissemination yet. I would prefer chapter by chapter.
     
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  13. IndecisiveElle

    IndecisiveElle Active Member

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    Yes and no. I love the UT programs I applied to, but I've attended UCLA before with the Professional Producing Program and I have a lot of friends, family and connections in LA but few in Austin so it's really depending on the day what program is my top choice. I will say in general, I prefer smaller, more intimate programs and that is a high priority for me in terms of selecting where I'd attend if I were fortunate enough to have options, so in that regard UT-A is top choice.

    I took a lot of time since applying last year to really do my due diligence and research programs this time around! The alumnus being notable is great, but it's more about what the program itself has to offer and if I can check off the right boxes on my 'want list' for how the program runs. -- especially being a TV writer, not all schools have that area well developed enough.
     
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  14. Kira

    Kira Active Member

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    That is so exciting. I think chapter by chapter would be good too.

    As a fellow TV writer, what sort of requirements are you looking for?
     
  15. Iuli Dia

    Iuli Dia Member

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    I noticed UCLA gives you the option to have a pilot (drama or comedy) as part of your thesis (as apposed to having another feature, in addition to the other 3) This is great but I hope they'll consider doing half and half. There are more opportunities and jobs in TV. TV pitches are being bought while feature pitches have to be written on spec more often than not. I've heard people mentioning writing original pilots as samples more often than spec features. Either way, I'm sure UCLA prepares writers, whether they prefer features or TV. I lean towards the TV side because there is so much great content there now.

    Question: Last year, people started getting interview requests around Feb 8th, but this year the deadline was pushed from Nov to Dec. Do you guys think this will delay the admission process?
     
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  16. IndecisiveElle

    IndecisiveElle Active Member

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    Hmm good question, I'm not sure if I've put it into any sort of actual list before.

    My other post already mentioned small programs - I think creating a writer's room environment is really essential to learning TV writing because we don't work in a vacuum like some feature writers do. I like seeing TV writers on the lists of notable alumni also. I did have to dig a bit more on the UCLA site to find more TV alumni. Access to other writing classes outside of film departments is cool, I'd really like to try playwriting because of the commonalities it has with TV writing. And access to production and directing classes, although I've had a lot of those in the past including the Professional Producing Program at UCLA (which is awesome). In general the more often I see TV in the description of the program the more I look into it. For example, Columbia has a great program, but they never talk about TV in their degree information and everyone notable from the program is in the feature world (with a few exceptions, but not many and they are trying to put further emphasis on TV for the future).

    Cost and location and general campus 'vibe' have been important deciding factors for me too. Program culture is really important to me with how much time I'll be putting into the work and collaboration with classmates. Each school has their own sort of personality and over the years working in film I've learned on that side of things which schools I feel like I'd fit in best at.



    I was wondering the same thing! I hope it doesn't. The anticipation nearly killed me last year and I'm even more invested in this second round of applications.
     
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  17. Kira

    Kira Active Member

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    Same. That's why I decided to apply to UCLA as well.

    I really hope not. I hope to hear back from UCLA early enough so I can decide on their Professional Program in TV writing... If it is the same as last year, I'd hear back about a week before their 100% return.

    I totally agree. I want a program that focuses at least 50/50 on both feature and television writing. If there are only 1-2 television writing courses, I am not interested :p

    I also like that UCLA has a Writing for Animation course. That is pretty cool.
     
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  18. icygee

    icygee #JusticeForKatya #JusticeForBeyoncé

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    Got a call from an LA area code today and even though I knew no way in Hell could it be UCLA (or USC), I have never picked up the phone faster in my life. Turned out to be a telemarketer. :mad:
     
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  19. Iuli Dia

    Iuli Dia Member

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    Does anyone want to talk about the Statement of Purpose? We've already submitted now, but since we're all anticipating and stressing lol. Maybe it will help someone next year. The prompt is general, I think to cover multiple schools, so it basically asks you what experiences and research and whatnot you've done to prepare for graduate studies. I initially wrote a very dry matter of fact statement of who I am, what I've done, what my strengths and goals are. I changed it a few weeks before the deadline, upon someone's advice, to make it more of a story about how I became the person I am today and what my purpose in life is. I tried to make it more personal and emotional basically. I didn't get to mention why I wanted to be at UCLA in particular. I didn't even talk about my future goals for my career, but oh well, I think I am happy with the statement, unless I don't get in hehe.
     
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  20. icygee

    icygee #JusticeForKatya #JusticeForBeyoncé

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    I definitely don't think my UCLA statement is as strong as my one that I sent to some other programs but I still stand by it. I steered clear of the "I want to be a writer because XYZ" because well no duh I want to be a writer I'm applying for a Screenwriting degree. Instead I started off talking about my Intro to Film class and how we watched different opening credits/scenes from different movies and seeing The Sopranos and Manhattan on the lecture hall screen made me homesick but also piqued my interest in filmmaking. Yada yada yada compared the values of Jesuit education (I went to Jesuit prep school and a Jesuit undergrad) to UCLA's curriculum and discussed how they're similar. Etc etc etc talked about being bi-racial and growing up with a single mother influencing the work of my past, present and future.
     
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