UCLA Screenwriting - Housing, transport, visa etc.

Kira

MFA Screenwriter @UCLA
Sounds like you are definitely going to UCLA?

If I commit to UCLA, I'd be willing to send a script or two :p
Do you know if UCLA has an accepted students day for grad students?
 
I'm definitely committing! it was far and away my first choice but yes, id be happy to share
 
Hey @turburr what made UCLA your first choice? Obviously it's an exceptional program, but is there something specific that you're especially excited about? I'm still deciding :)
Basically, I visited UCLA and USC and had the privilege of sitting in on a class at UCLA. I was so impressed with how fun it was and how generally welcoming and enthusiastic the screenwriters were about their stories and helping their classmates. The class sizes are really small, there's a lot of individualized attention, and the professors I met were super personable and really knew what they were talking about. It's obviously one of the most reputable programs in the country, but when I was there I got the sense that it was different you know? Unlike most schools, you own the rights to everything you write, and instead of (like USC) perfecting two screenplays, you leave with a portfolio of 7 or 8. The guy who gave me the tour showed me all these big sound stages and was telling me how easy it is for students to get funding and essentially create any vision they have so long as they communicate with actors, set designers, filmmakers, etc. They're really well connected and generally fantastic at getting their screenwriters out in the world and emphasize collaboration over competition. It also helps that they're RIGHT in the middle of West Hollywood and that the campus is pretty damn beautiful.
 

Kira

MFA Screenwriter @UCLA
Basically, I visited UCLA and USC and had the privilege of sitting in on a class at UCLA. I was so impressed with how fun it was and how generally welcoming and enthusiastic the screenwriters were about their stories and helping their classmates. The class sizes are really small, there's a lot of individualized attention, and the professors I met were super personable and really knew what they were talking about. It's obviously one of the most reputable programs in the country, but when I was there I got the sense that it was different you know? Unlike most schools, you own the rights to everything you write, and instead of (like USC) perfecting two screenplays, you leave with a portfolio of 7 or 8. The guy who gave me the tour showed me all these big sound stages and was telling me how easy it is for students to get funding and essentially create any vision they have so long as they communicate with actors, set designers, filmmakers, etc. They're really well connected and generally fantastic at getting their screenwriters out in the world and emphasize collaboration over competition. It also helps that they're RIGHT in the middle of West Hollywood and that the campus is pretty damn beautiful.
This is so, so helpful!
How small is small? Like 3-4?
&do you know what is part of the portfolio?
 
@Comedynerd, I noticed you've interviewed with AFI too. Admissions said we get the decision on the 4th of April.

I'm leaning towards AFI because of the production oriented approach. What about you?
 
Basically, I visited UCLA and USC and had the privilege of sitting in on a class at UCLA. I was so impressed with how fun it was and how generally welcoming and enthusiastic the screenwriters were about their stories and helping their classmates. The class sizes are really small, there's a lot of individualized attention, and the professors I met were super personable and really knew what they were talking about. It's obviously one of the most reputable programs in the country, but when I was there I got the sense that it was different you know? Unlike most schools, you own the rights to everything you write, and instead of (like USC) perfecting two screenplays, you leave with a portfolio of 7 or 8. The guy who gave me the tour showed me all these big sound stages and was telling me how easy it is for students to get funding and essentially create any vision they have so long as they communicate with actors, set designers, filmmakers, etc. They're really well connected and generally fantastic at getting their screenwriters out in the world and emphasize collaboration over competition. It also helps that they're RIGHT in the middle of West Hollywood and that the campus is pretty damn beautiful.
Thanks for the info, @turburr! It's incredibly helpful. Did you get the sense that the program was geared more towards feature writing rather than television? Or do you think it was a split? In my interview Linda told me it was pretty even but I can't tell from looking at their curriculum online if that's true. I LOVE the writing demands of UCLA, just wondering if it can be transferred to pilot/spec writing.
 
@Comedynerd, I noticed you've interviewed with AFI too. Admissions said we get the decision on the 4th of April.

I'm leaning towards AFI because of the production oriented approach. What about you?
It's a tough choice but right now I'm leaning towards USC or UCLA. AFI definitely has the best production integration but I'm more interested in focusing on writing. I also didn't love that the cycle films belonged to the school and couldn't be submitted to festivals in the first year.

I will say that the professors I spoke to at AFI were by far the most welcoming and seemed to share my sense of humor which is actually a pretty huge deal for me. All around, it's a tough decision!
 
It's a tough choice but right now I'm leaning towards USC or UCLA. AFI definitely has the best production integration but I'm more interested in focusing on writing. I also didn't love that the cycle films belonged to the school and couldn't be submitted to festivals in the first year.

I will say that the professors I spoke to at AFI were by far the most welcoming and seemed to share my sense of humor which is actually a pretty huge deal for me. All around, it's a tough decision!
Cool. You want to write for TV comedies?

Also, if you don't mind my asking, did you apply straight outta undergrad? Or are you a working writer already?
 
Cool. You want to write for TV comedies?

Also, if you don't mind my asking, did you apply straight outta undergrad? Or are you a working writer already?
Hey @Heisenberg91 I don't mind sharing at all! I do want to write TV comedies and I've been out of college for four years. I write musicals, plays and short films in Chicago that have been produced with various theaters and smaller production companies. I also have a strong background in improvisational comedy (Second City, iO Theater, etc.). Despite my amount of work, I still wait tables to stay afloat financially which means my life is pretty hectic. I'm looking forward to having two years to focus on what I love. :)
 
Hey @Heisenberg91 I don't mind sharing at all! I do want to write TV comedies and I've been out of college for four years. I write musicals, plays and short films in Chicago that have been produced with various theaters and smaller production companies. I also have a strong background in improvisational comedy (Second City, iO Theater, etc.). Despite my amount of work, I still wait tables to stay afloat financially which means my life is pretty hectic. I'm looking forward to having two years to focus on what I love. :)
That sounds really cool!
 
This is so, so helpful!
How small is small? Like 3-4?
&do you know what is part of the portfolio?

The class I sat in on had 6 people in it, though there are a few "screenwriting 101" classes with more, like 15 or so, and some with less.

Thanks for the info, @turburr! It's incredibly helpful. Did you get the sense that the program was geared more towards feature writing rather than television?
I know a lot of people focus on features, but from what I could tell they're really, really trying to get more UCLA television writers out in the world so I think Linda was right in that it's pretty much a split. I got the sense that if you wanted to hand in a television pilot, you absolutely could.
 

Kira

MFA Screenwriter @UCLA
Anyone receive a separate notification from the graduate division yet?
Yes! Received it earlier this morning. It was pretty standard ("Welcome to UCLA!" etc) but also said:
If you applied or are being considered for a fellowship, teaching assistantship or research assistantship, your graduate program will inform you of the status of any award or appointment. If you applied for need-based financial assistance, you will hear from the Financial Aid Office.
It didn't mention when we'd hear back, but I guess eventually :p
 
Yes! Received it earlier this morning. It was pretty standard ("Welcome to UCLA!" etc) but also said:
If you applied or are being considered for a fellowship, teaching assistantship or research assistantship, your graduate program will inform you of the status of any award or appointment. If you applied for need-based financial assistance, you will hear from the Financial Aid Office.
It didn't mention when we'd hear back, but I guess eventually :p
Was it an email or letter?
 

Latest reviews

Latest Applications

Top