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UCLA MFA Screenwriting 2018 (Fall 2018)

Discussion in 'Graduate Film School Discussions' started by Ele, Jan 17, 2018.

  1. girlalmighty

    girlalmighty New Member

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    Hi everyone! I’m also a student at UCLA with Kira. Just a head’s up - we may not post but we do keep an eye on what’s happening on these boards and we’re excited to see who we’ll be mentoring next year.

    I remember I was so nervous before starting here so I wanted to reassure anyone who feels the same way that everyone here is so nice and warm and friendly. We really care about one another and there is definitely no showboating so please don’t worry or be intimidated by that! This industry is so much about making friendly connections and so a big piece of advice I’d give you is to be nice and kind. Obviously we should all be nice and kind, but people talk in this industry and if you get a reputation for being difficult then trust me when I say EVERYONE will soon know. But I’d like to believe we’re all just lovely people anyway!

    Other than that, I wanted to let you know that a couple of things have changed here recently. Richard Walter has retired and no longer teaches at UCLA, and the direction of the program is changing and Phyllis Nagy has since taken over from Richard.

    I’m sure you were all great in your interviews so please don’t feel bad if you didn’t get in this year. Lots of my friends only got in after applying multiple times so it’s not unusual to reapply and be accepted. Phyllis interviewed the majority of students this year, so it’s likely that a lot of you will be able to discuss how different or similar your interviews were with her when you meet for the first time! And Phyllis didn’t interview last year so we’ll all be interested to hear what her interviews are like!

    If you have any questions feel free to ask Kira or myself :) UCLA is a great program and we're looking forward to meeting our incoming class!
     
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  2. Eddy

    Eddy New Member

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    Hi all,

    I love all the support and info on here! It helped me a ton for my interview this year (first-time applying).

    Did anyone call or email the school to say thank you after the interview? I want to express to them that it was an honor just to be interviewed, but I feel a call would come off as annoying. I'm used to sending a thank-you email, or calling after a job interview to show that I was really interested in the position. This is probably not that type of case, correct?

    Also, when can we expect the last of the acceptance emails to go out? Anybody have a ballpark guess?


    Warmly,

    Eddy Z.
     
  3. Ele

    Ele Member

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    Oh! Thanks! Will definitely do next year! Although I think you might be mistaking me for someone else! This is my first year applying--actually it was a rather last-minute decision (long story --was considering a position elsewhere in a different field but I didn't really want that. And life is so stupidly short) so I only got to apply to a few unis in the US and elsewhere.

    What I regret: I didn't get to apply to those unis that asked for specific writing material like LMU re: "write a short script abt this and that" due to lack of time. I could only send what I already had.

    Sadly, I didn't discover this website until January. Self-critique: My creative portfolio focused WAY too much on my writing and not enough on my (screen)writing.

    Which is something I should consider next year. Regarding UCLA I was hesitating between the MFA and the PP so I'm not too much disappointed since I can do the PP. Since I have experience in writing but no so much in screenwriting the PP will probably be great for me.

    I think it's actually for the best; I'm shortlisted for a Fulbright grant (fingers crossed) but it's specifically for the 2019-2021 academic period, so if I had gotten in this year I would have had to turn it down. Next year, what with the PP program and the grant, I think I'll stand a better chance.

    I will make sure to ask for advice from the pros who've already gotten in!

    PS: Sad to hear Richard is retiring. I met him a couple times and he's actually the reason I decided to apply to the Screenwriting Program at UCLA in the end. He's so passionate and full of life and overall a nice guy to have a conversation with.

    @DamienA If you ever consider switching to writing, Iowa has a GREAT program with a lot of connections (big five), although I personally recommend NYC if you want to work FOR the big five as an editor, etc. That's where all the internships and entry-level jobs are, as well as agenting opportunities. Lots of nice people over there!
     
    #123 Ele, Mar 7, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  4. Anon111

    Anon111 New Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I was wondering what the chances are, at this point, of actually receiving an acceptance due to the fact that a large number of people heard back Friday. I went through the tracking sheets for the last few years and noticed that candidates are always accepted on the same date (early March) or rejected on the same date (late March). Is there any chance that changes this year or should we just give up and be sad and go get chocolate now? Thanks!
     
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  5. DamienA

    DamienA Member

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    #125 DamienA, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  6. DamienA

    DamienA Member

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    #126 DamienA, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  7. DamienA

    DamienA Member

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    #127 DamienA, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  8. turburr

    turburr Member

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    Hi guys,

    I also go to UCLA with Kira and girlalmighty. In fact, I met Kira on the 2017 UCLA Grad student discussion! She's wonderful.

    I'm a feature track writer who started as a dramatic/science fiction writer but has since found a voice in comedy. For everybody still waiting, last year acceptances were scattered over the course of a few days. Unlike USC, we all don't hear back at once.

    UCLA is a fantastic school not only because of the quality of the students and professors, but because we foster an atmosphere of collaboration over competition. We're constantly lifting each other up and pushing each other to be better writers and better people. You become very close with your classmates because they're going to be the people who help you out in the industry one day. Kindness is extremely important.

    UCLA is the hardest thing most of us have ever done, but it's extremely rewarding. If you have any questions about what the workshops and classes are like, don't be afraid to ask.
     
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  9. Sabin

    Sabin Member

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    I’m really glad I stumbled upon this place.

    Cheers all! Looking forward to seeing some of you this fall!
     
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  10. LSmith55

    LSmith55 New Member

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    Hello,
    I am a fellow applicant and I was wondering what everyone’s background was (generally speaking). I have a double major in Film and English Writing and I have focused on screenwriting for about 3 years. I too am a Richard Walter fan and I hope that maybe in the future he will return to the University as a guest speaker.
     
  11. JLWilco

    JLWilco Member

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    Howdy LSmith55. I can't necessarily say that my background will make sense from a Screenwriting MFA perspective, but I'll share what was in my application.

    I graduated from Ohio State in 2008 with a BA in Linguistics, worked in Columbus as a dispatcher for a little while, then spent the last 7 1/2 years as an Airborne Cryptologic Language Analyst in the US Air Force. A couple of years ago I began taking writing and film classes at the local community college here in Tucson, Arizona. Never was able to take a screenwriting course as it was always during the daytime when I worked. I also began doing improv comedy at a local theater, where I learned sketch writing. I submitted my one published short story, another short story I wrote for class, plus a few comedy sketches. No pilots, specs, or features.

    If anything, perhaps this proves that you don't have to have a huge film background to attend one of these programs. It really is based on your ability to tell a story in writing, even if it isn't a film or TV script. I'd be happy to share my sample and/or my Statement of Purpose with anyone who's interested. Good luck!
     
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  12. Kira

    Kira MFA Screenwriter @UCLA

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    Sounds like you have a pretty solid background.
    In the program, many of the students studied English or Film Studies in undergrad, but there's definitely a variety. Some majored in classics, biology, journalism, etc. I majored in International Relations and Film and TV was my minor.
     
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  13. Cdemon

    Cdemon Member

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    Id
    be interested to see your writing sample and statement of purpose. You can always DM me if you don’t want to share it with everyone. Thanks! And your experience sounds very diverse. I think that probably helps a lot actually. Just reading it you can see how well that will play into writing many stories. Good luck in the program!
     
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  14. LSmith55

    LSmith55 New Member

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    Very cool! Did you do a lot of observing in the military?
     
  15. JLWilco

    JLWilco Member

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    Not so much observation, my job was a little more tactical. I was trained to sit in the back of a modified C-130, listen for enemy signals and target them for jamming. It was challenging but interesting, when I actually got to do it (that's a whole other subject though).

    Here's my sample and SOP, for those who'd like to see.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Sabin

    Sabin Member

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    EDITED
     
    #136 Sabin, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
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  17. Sabin

    Sabin Member

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    Just got my official acceptance into UCLA. I'm a Bruin!

    I checked the website to do a little research, and I noticed something on the TFT homepage...

    At UCLA TFT, we’re pioneering a completely new curriculum for the rapidly changing world we live in, a truly interdisciplinary experience where entertainment, performing arts and cutting-edge research can thrive. It’s an environment where the storytellers, scholars and industry leaders of tomorrow begin their journey. But while students are immersed in a variety of ideas, methods and mediums, there’s also ample opportunity to focus, and pursue what interests them most.

    Is this new or has this always been the page? Are they just now working on a new curriculum or are they always futzing with it? I know there are some major changes happening at UCLA right now.
     
    • Congratulations! Congratulations! x 3
  18. BlvckGods

    BlvckGods Super Saiyan Jedi Master

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    Bro..you talk way too much..chill out fam
     
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  19. mistah_P

    mistah_P Member

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    This is great.

    A thought - you know what might be awesome? I saw a few other folks had dropped their application docs in various threads and forums. But would be cool to gather them all in one nice sweet Google Drive folder, wouldn't it? ;
     
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  20. Cdemon

    Cdemon Member

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    Congrats!
    Idk for sure about the page, but as Richard Walter is retiring and Phyllis Nagy is taking over it seems highly possible there will be changes regardless of whether the page is new or not.
    :)
     

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