USC MFA Writing for Screen & Television (Screenwriting) 2021

fehab77

Active Member
I haven't heard anything from USC yet (no waitlist or rejection). Is anyone else on the same boat? Think I'll reach out next week to figure out what's up.
 

mcrawfordguy

New Member
It's such a hard one and this is a very strange year too. I never actually thought I would get in so it's not much of a surprise but still disappointing.

I'm wondering if any of the accepted applicants would be willing to share their materials? I found the autobiographical character sketch really hard and wasn't happy with it even when I submitted so would love to read some successful samples before I try again next cycle.
Drop your email and I'd be happy to share!
 

mcrawfordguy

New Member
1. Personal statement: I haven't seen very many people get in (correction- I haven't seen ANY people) who chose to write an essay as opposed to a short story as their format for the character sketch.
2. Most challenging moment: Is the poem about the deadline the challenging story? I don't think the poem was a good format choice when applying to a screenwriting program. I read it, and I don't understand what the challenging moment was. Is it about submitting your application to grad school?

That's what I read, and those are some of my thoughts!
I wrote an essay for the ACS and was admitted - happy to share! message me!
 

JasperJohns

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
It's such a hard one and this is a very strange year too. I never actually thought I would get in so it's not much of a surprise but still disappointing.

I'm wondering if any of the accepted applicants would be willing to share their materials? I found the autobiographical character sketch really hard and wasn't happy with it even when I submitted so would love to read some successful samples before I try again next cycle.
Hey there, Katie, I would be happy to share my materials with you. Shoot me your email
 

JasperJohns

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
I didn’t get accepted but I’m curious about other people’s submissions too. I’d be down to trade. Is anyone else open to share their scenes and their autobiographical character sketch?
If so...how does one direct message on here? Hmmm
Shoot me your email and I would be happy to share
 

JasperJohns

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Hey there, all --

As I said previously, I was admitted and would be happy to share my materials/swap for yours. Just drop me a private message.

Writing is a collaborative art form, so nothing happens in a vacuum. While I do not claim to have special insight to what USC was/is looking for or what the process for acceptance actually is. I am a bit older than most applicants and have been around the proverbial block more than a few times. Thus, I do have a hunch...

In many of the personal statements I have been sent thus far, most people are not diving into the very core of who they are and how they became this way. At the center of each of us is a messy molten center that we try to protect people from seeing. I believe these programs want you to show it to them in the personal essay AND in the most challenging moment. Show that you have a sense of humor about it all and that you don't take yourself too seriously, too -- unless you do take yourself too seriously. And then just own that. Serious people do work in film and TV, after all.

A FEW QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF FOR THE NEXT TIME AROUND:
1. What is the thing you are proudest of achieving? How did it change you?
2. What is your greatest loss? How did it change you?
3. What is your greatest fear? How does living with it affect you?
4. What makes you so angry you could run to the window and yell, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore?" What keeps you from living this moment from NETWORK? What do you want to scream at the top of your lungs about? How does staying silent affect you? How will you change if you just speak?

I hope this helps. If it doesn't, no worries. There is a randomness to what happens, which things work out for us, which do not. We have only so much control under the very best of circumstances. Just stay connected to your desire to tell stories. Stay true to yourself. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Two books that might help get to this molten center:

1. THE ARTIST'S WAY, by Julia Cameron
(It is very touchy feely... but it works. It is a 12-week artistic recovery program. Any twelve step program will give you TONS about yourself to write about... The book deals a lot with a god concept. I am an atheist but it still works for me.)

2. Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg
(This is a book of writing exercises from a really stellar writing teacher/writer. She brings greater presence to your imagination and connects it to your lived experiences and the present moment).
 
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ngs091

Active Member
Hey there, all --

As I said previously, I was admitted and would be happy to share my materials/swap for yours. Just drop me a private message.

Writing is a collaborative art form, so nothing happens in a vacuum. While I do not claim to have special insight to what USC was/is looking for or what the process for acceptance actually is. I am a bit older than most applicants and have been around the proverbial block more than a few times. Thus, I do have a hunch...

In many of the personal statements I have been sent thus far, most people are not diving into the very core of who they are and how they became this way. At the center of each of us is a messy molten center that we try to protect people from seeing. I believe these programs want you to show it to them in the personal essay AND in the most challenging moment. Show that you have a sense of humor about it all and that you don't take yourself too seriously, too -- unless you do take yourself too seriously. And then just own that. Serious people do work in film and TV, after all.

A FEW QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF FOR THE NEXT TIME AROUND:
1. What is the thing you are proudest of achieving? How did it change you?
2. What is your greatest loss? How did it change you?
3. What is your greatest fear? How does living with it affect you?
4. What makes you so angry you could run to the window and yell, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore?" What keeps you from living this moment from NETWORK? What do you want to scream at the top of your lungs about? How does staying silent affect you? How will you change if you just speak?

I hope this helps. If it doesn't, no worries. There is a randomness to what happens, which things work out for us, which do not. We have only so much control under the very best of circumstances. Just stay connected to your desire to tell stories. Stay true to yourself. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Two books that might help get to this molten center:

1. THE ARTIST'S WAY, by Julia Cameron
(It is very touchy feely... but it works. It is a 12-week artistic recovery program. Any twelve step program will give you TONS about yourself to write about... The book deals a lot with a god concept. I am an atheist but it still works for me.)

2. Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg
(This is a book of writing exercises from a really stellar writing teacher/writer. She brings greater presence to your imagination and connects it to your lived experiences and the present moment).
Thanks. I sent you mine.

Do you mind sending me the stories you used, too?

I am trying to also see if people who were accepted wrote full stories or scenes.

It will make me better attune my application in the future.

PS. I am still kind of at a loss, I admit, that USC states that you can give only mere scenes for their samples.


I could get into why, but I will spare you the spiel, haha.....

But...

Someone on the board said they saw people who wrote full stories get accepted.

To be honest, everything I have read by others that got accepted (including the USC thread back in 2018 where some of us also shared our samples, that I posted on too) was in fact not fully formed stories. Some had a few more scenes, but not full narratives.

They also didn't have what short scripts ALWAYS have...... A Twist.

But if I don't get into those other schools, I will redo my samples for next year's round.



 
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katiebonnie

Well-Known Member
Supporter
I was so conflicted about the 10-page sample because I was going to submit the first 10 pages of my pilot but then a usc grad vetted my application and picked out their favourite 10 pages from the 30 pages and said to submit those. I dunno I was worried the flow would be all off... ah well.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Hey there, all --

As I said previously, I was admitted and would be happy to share my materials/swap for yours. Just drop me a private message.

Writing is a collaborative art form, so nothing happens in a vacuum. While I do not claim to have special insight to what USC was/is looking for or what the process for acceptance actually is. I am a bit older than most applicants and have been around the proverbial block more than a few times. Thus, I do have a hunch...

In many of the personal statements I have been sent thus far, most people are not diving into the very core of who they are and how they became this way. At the center of each of us is a messy molten center that we try to protect people from seeing. I believe these programs want you to show it to them in the personal essay AND in the most challenging moment. Show that you have a sense of humor about it all and that you don't take yourself too seriously, too -- unless you do take yourself too seriously. And then just own that. Serious people do work in film and TV, after all.

A FEW QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF FOR THE NEXT TIME AROUND:
1. What is the thing you are proudest of achieving? How did it change you?
2. What is your greatest loss? How did it change you?
3. What is your greatest fear? How does living with it affect you?
4. What makes you so angry you could run to the window and yell, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore?" What keeps you from living this moment from NETWORK? What do you want to scream at the top of your lungs about? How does staying silent affect you? How will you change if you just speak?

I hope this helps. If it doesn't, no worries. There is a randomness to what happens, which things work out for us, which do not. We have only so much control under the very best of circumstances. Just stay connected to your desire to tell stories. Stay true to yourself. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Two books that might help get to this molten center:

1. THE ARTIST'S WAY, by Julia Cameron
(It is very touchy feely... but it works. It is a 12-week artistic recovery program. Any twelve step program will give you TONS about yourself to write about... The book deals a lot with a god concept. I am an atheist but it still works for me.)

2. Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg
(This is a book of writing exercises from a really stellar writing teacher/writer. She brings greater presence to your imagination and connects it to your lived experiences and the present moment).
That's an awesome post. You should seriously consider doing it as it's own separate post in the portfolio forum so it doesn't get lost in a big thread.

 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
New Acceptance Data tab now on our site's USC page with current and immediately calculated statistics from our Application Database.


I'll add the other programs later but it's late and I'm going to bed. :)
 

JasperJohns

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
That's an awesome post. You should seriously consider doing it as it's own separate post in the portfolio forum so it doesn't get lost in a big thread.

Will do so later tonight, man... Thanks for the advice!
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Be sure to update your applications on the with as much information as you have as it helps the site calculate a lot of important data for each school. See how the site uses this amazing data in the article below:

Your Chances of Getting into Film School: Acceptance Rates, GPA Requirements, Waitlist Data, and More...

Your Chances of Getting into Film School: Acceptance Rates, GPA Requirements, Waitlist Data, and More...

You've been wondering how hard it is to get into film school and what your are chances getting into top film programs such as USC. Maybe you’ve heard that their acceptance rate is 2% — but what is it, really? You've been wondering what is the lowest GPA a film program will accept and what is the...

If you could update your application with all the important notification dates, your final status (accepted, rejected, off waitlist, attending... etc), how much scholarship money was awarded (if any), your undergraduate degree, GPA, test scores etc that would be AWESOME and very helpful to the site's members. If you could update your application with examples of your submitted material that would be even more awesome.

The Acceptance Rates & Data page for each school uses all this data to help future applicants. To see the data for a particular film school, find your school in our film school database and select the Acceptance Rates & Data tab. If there are enough applications in our database, you enjoy access to valuable tips and information.
 
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