UCLA Screenwriting 2019

Cd23

Active Member
I am also freaking out especially since Feb. 7th is so close now. Best we can do is be enthusiastic and prepared! And once it's over forget about it immediately lol
 

Eddy

Member
I got an interview last year, but this year it looks like I won't be invited again. Does anybody know for sure that you must be interviewed to get accepted? My crazy idea is that they will send me an email saying I got accepted without having to interview again. Crazy, right? Anybody got any thoughts on this?
 

Cd23

Active Member
I got an interview last year, but this year it looks like I won't be invited again. Does anybody know for sure that you must be interviewed to get accepted? My crazy idea is that they will send me an email saying I got accepted without having to interview again. Crazy, right? Anybody got any thoughts on this?
Since this is my first time applying I don't really know, but that could be a possibility! Especially since they've interviewed you before.
 

BuddernScotch

Active Member
I got an interview last year, but this year it looks like I won't be invited again. Does anybody know for sure that you must be interviewed to get accepted? My crazy idea is that they will send me an email saying I got accepted without having to interview again. Crazy, right? Anybody got any thoughts on this?
How I'm getting through my days right now is the assurance that - you are talented and have potential. What's more, it has been recognized by a top institution, which is incredibly lucky in itself. And if this is the path you are willing to pursue forever despite knowing you might not ever succeed, then you can continue to do so with the knowledge that you have what it takes. The rest is often not in our control.

(I say this but there is still that little voice in the back of my head that is making me nervous beyond measure telling me this is my one shot.. hahahahaha laugh it off)
 

divmoh247

Member
Just had my interview with Neil Landau. He was really nice. The interview went well. He asked me why UCLA, asked what shows I like watching (since I'm a TV track) and what kinda of features I'd want to write since we're expected to write them. Then asked me if I had any questions for him. A lot of people asked him about job opportunities (just be mindful of that when you're asking questions). Not formal, more a casual conversation. Hope it goes well for you as he told me that whoever is being interviewed are basically finalists at this point as they've already evaluated us based on our work.
 

BuddernScotch

Active Member
So I just had my interview and BOY did everything from my nightmares occur. My phone was dying and skyp was being very weird, connected but not connected.

My interview was with George. He reached out for a video call. I could not accept. None of the buttons were working except for the reject call button. We tried several more times, called a few more times with mobile to think of a different way to interview, and finally settled on doing a zoom call, which took us a few more minutes tp set up. All of this took maybe 40 minutes. I'm not kidding.

Once the interview finally started, George was so friendly and conversational that it helped me calm down a bit. He asked me some open-ended questions like: so you play video games? (Based off my portfolio) and I launch into a rambling. But I usually wrap up such ramblings in a concise manner-except throughout the interview, every time I tried to wrap up my ramblings, I cut out! So it must have made very little sense... then he asked how the feature excerpt ended and I think I said: the characters are 10 years older and do the exact same thing as the middle of the film... which is what happens but I got cut off when I was trying to explain why it was significant. This was the only interview in which I was actually asked about my portfolio, and this worries me so much even though divmoh says all interviewees have quite a good shot (paraphrasing).

Gotta say... this forum is basically my therapy as I am once again rambling and being slightly nonsensical. Because at this point im near delirium thinking that 0/3 of my interviews will net an acceptance and I will be stuck doing an MA in english for 2 yrs then finish with more debt and little hope of ever trying to go to filmschool again based off the changes to debt repayment starting this year in Canada.

But writing this out is helping me feel better and also making me realize that perhaps I am just really really hungry as I couldnt eat before the interview because of nerves and also for my lmu interview i had a small piece of spinach stuck in my teeth despite my i guess horrible teeth brushing skills...............................

:D well i am off to go get a family combo and eat it by myself
 

Cd23

Active Member
I had my interview with Phyllis, who was super friendly. She explained that apparently they are going to be finally changing the curriculum from the past 40 years, as well as people like Hal Ackerman are no longer there. For people who have stalked the website, he's the man in all the videos. SO this was interesting to hear but also made me fairly trepidatious if now there's a whole repositioning and not very many permanent staff. She asked me why UCLA, asked if I had questions, etc, and my favorite movies and tv shows. I'm curious to know if anyone knows the amount of people overall interviewed as well as the total applications? Good luck to everybody
 

biacelani

Member
I had my interview with Phyllis, who was super friendly. She explained that apparently they are going to be finally changing the curriculum from the past 40 years, as well as people like Hal Ackerman are no longer there. For people who have stalked the website, he's the man in all the videos. SO this was interesting to hear but also made me fairly trepidatious if now there's a whole repositioning and not very many permanent staff. She asked me why UCLA, asked if I had questions, etc, and my favorite movies and tv shows. I'm curious to know if anyone knows the amount of people overall interviewed as well as the total applications? Good luck to everybody
I heard there were about 4000 applicants each year and (from what I counted in the interview slots on the acceptd website) 130 people being interviewed. But these aren't official numbers or anything, just making assumptions haha

Thanks for giving us a heads up about the interview. Mine's tomorrow and I couldn't be more nervous! Good luck to everyone :)
 

BuddernScotch

Active Member
So here's the information that I was actually trying to share - UCLA seems to have hired some new people (George) but these are qualified people - George has been working decades in the industry and got his MA from USC. He prefers the UCLA environment to USC. This wasn't a sell at all, he was being very genuine. He was actually not sure about filmschool as a whole until after teaching at UCLA.

Another thing, is that UCLA's courses are now about 50/50 feature vs tv. They did change their courses recently to offer more tv writing BASED ON THE DEMAND OF THEIR STUDENTS, grad and undergrad. So yes their program changed but this is at the behest of their students. I was slightly worried that they want their students to focus on tv, but that is not the case. 1st year is quite general, then 2nd year you can choose your specialty.

This information was gained through my interview today, which I wasn't able to share earlier as I was having a lil bit of an overreaction to the technical difficulties of my interview :)

So Cd23 I wouldn't really worry about UCLA not being a top tier school or anything. I'm sure they have had faculty and definitely program changes before.
 
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Shade

Member
Also! Remember! If you don't get in, you can do the Professional Program! It's cheaper and it's the same faculty. Some of the people you mentioned here (interviewers) are my teachers, actually. So if you don't get in after the interview, there are options.
 

Lucabreu96

New Member
Hello! Short time reader, first-time poster here. I've been hesitant to post because it's scary feeling like you're putting yourself out there with knowing you may fail, but I'm giving it a go.

Just finished my interview! I interviewed with Phyllis Nagy and I think it went well! She asked me "Why UCLA?" "Why an MFA?" and "Why apply now?" After those three, she asked if I had any questions for her about the program. Then she asked about my favorite TV shows, films, and books. That was pretty much it. Due to the applicants interviewing in-person in late February, she said I should expect to hear back by March 5-15.

I tried to gauge her reaction to get an answer. Is it good she told me when I'd hear back from UCLA? She mentioned maybe seeing me again down the line. Obviously, these are just words spoken and insecurities scattering inside my head but the tough part is over. I've done all I could. I don't wanna ramble too long, but I feel good, which feels like the worst feeling.

Best of luck to all of you!
 

Dan

Member
I got accepted to the professional program but havent applied to the MFA program yet...do you think the PP is a good starting point?
 

Dan

Member
Hello! Short time reader, first-time poster here. I've been hesitant to post because it's scary feeling like you're putting yourself out there with knowing you may fail, but I'm giving it a go.

Just finished my interview! I interviewed with Phyllis Nagy and I think it went well! She asked me "Why UCLA?" "Why an MFA?" and "Why apply now?" After those three, she asked if I had any questions for her about the program. Then she asked about my favorite TV shows, films, and books. That was pretty much it. Due to the applicants interviewing in-person in late February, she said I should expect to hear back by March 5-15.

I tried to gauge her reaction to get an answer. Is it good she told me when I'd hear back from UCLA? She mentioned maybe seeing me again down the line. Obviously, these are just words spoken and insecurities scattering inside my head but the tough part is over. I've done all I could. I don't wanna ramble too long, but I feel good, which feels like the worst feeling.

Best of luck to all of you!
Cant imagine trying to list my favorite films and tv shows on the spot like that! 😩
 

divmoh247

Member
details about my interview: i was asked why ucla, why im pursuing this degree and why now. I was asked about my favourite shows, what kind of stuff i want to make (especially in features as i'm a tv track. TV needs to do at least two features) we chatted a bit about the good place, we both liked true crime so we gabbed about adaptations and that the class for adaptations usually goes to features tracks but they can make exceptions. all in all a good interview. i asked him a few questions and then it was done. Hope everyone who got an interview feels good about themselves, trust that even if you don't get it, you belong here. I can't reiterate this enough. It's a competitive program and we're talented enough to make it this far. Even if you haven't gotten an interview- i don't know about you, but writing the samples was all the motivation i needed to know that i can, in fact, do this and that i want to do this for the rest of my life.
 

JEC

Member
Is it possible to get in without an interview request? I graduated from UCLA's undergrad English department and took film and screenwriting classes there so I was wondering if there's a slim chance of them going "Alright, we know him."

I dunno, just trying to keep my hopes up, plus I got a Columbia interview request so I figure my application had SOMETHING going for it...
 

Mike Cho

New Member
Is it possible to get in without an interview request? I graduated from UCLA's undergrad English department and took film and screenwriting classes there so I was wondering if there's a slim chance of them going "Alright, we know him."

I dunno, just trying to keep my hopes up, plus I got a Columbia interview request so I figure my application had SOMETHING going for it...
I'm on the same boat as you, same undergrad and also took screenwriting classes there. I'm not entirely sure how the acceptances work, but if I had to guess it looks like for whatever reason we got passed up. Best of luck with Columbia!
 

tlmini

New Member
Hello! Short time reader, first-time poster here. I've been hesitant to post because it's scary feeling like you're putting yourself out there with knowing you may fail, but I'm giving it a go.

Just finished my interview! I interviewed with Phyllis Nagy and I think it went well! She asked me "Why UCLA?" "Why an MFA?" and "Why apply now?" After those three, she asked if I had any questions for her about the program. Then she asked about my favorite TV shows, films, and books. That was pretty much it. Due to the applicants interviewing in-person in late February, she said I should expect to hear back by March 5-15.

I tried to gauge her reaction to get an answer. Is it good she told me when I'd hear back from UCLA? She mentioned maybe seeing me again down the line. Obviously, these are just words spoken and insecurities scattering inside my head but the tough part is over. I've done all I could. I don't wanna ramble too long, but I feel good, which feels like the worst feeling.

Best of luck to all of you!
I also had an interview with Phyllis and it went exactly the same. It felt very short and perhaps not enough time to gauge a person. I don't know...
 

JEC

Member
I'm on the same boat as you, same undergrad and also took screenwriting classes there. I'm not entirely sure how the acceptances work, but if I had to guess it looks like for whatever reason we got passed up. Best of luck with Columbia!
Thanks, man. Honestly, I think I may have gotten passed up because a few years ago, Nagy compared Bernie Sanders to the murderous cult leader Jim Jones on Twitter and when I called her out on it, she blocked me (this was obviously before she was the head of UCLA's screenwriting department and I knew I was applying). I didn't say anything vulgar or insulting to her personally but if she ran a quick background check, she'd see that she blocked me and probably assumed I was an ***hole.

Then again, she may have had nothing to do with my application and whoever did just thought my submission was lousy. Either way, at least now I won't feel any pressure to send UCLA money...
 
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I feel like I'm in the same boat. I've read Nagy's Twitter, and I'm afraid that she probably took offence, after giving my screenplay a shallow read.

The screenplay I submitted followed a pick up artist and the people that bought into his bullshit.

I was trying to explore Foucault's idea that all individuals are representatives of larger systems of thought, so no one is really a free agent operating purley on their own volition.

However, if you gave it a shallow read you might think it was sexist at times.

It would be unfair to call Shakespeare anti-semitic. The characters in Merchant of Venice are anti-semitic, but Shakespeare himself was trying to teach us a lesson about prejudice.
 
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