USC School of Cinematic Arts SCA MFA Film & TV Production Fall 2020

sa96

Active Member
I had my interview today! My interviewer was really kind and the interview was very informal. We started by talking about what I have been doing since graduating (I graduated in 2018). We then talked about my application materials (personal statement, writing sample, video option) and then talked about some of my world views that inspired the pieces I submitted. It was all very conversational and the only “interview” type questions she asked was how I would work with someone on a group project who wasn’t pulling their weight and why I want to go to film school. I didn’t get asked questions like why USC or how I’m going to pay. My advice to anyone interviewing is definitely to prep but just be yourself, you are about to have a conversation with someone who is very accomplished. My interviewer also let me know that she doesn’t decide who gets in so this conversation is really for the sake of the professor looking at your application. Good luck to all and feel free to message if you have questions!
 
Just had my interview! The professor who interviewed me was (like mentioned above) very kind and easy to talk to. Aside from the expected, "Why do you want to go to graduate school?" the professor spent a great deal of time asking questions about my personal interests and passions. This made the conversation flow pretty nicely, considering that I got to talk about something I already love to talk about! My advice on interview prep: bullet point a couple thoughts/ talking points that you feel comfortable discussing, but to the best of your ability, stay calm and allow yourself the freedom to speak candidly! Good luck everyone!
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Just had my interview! The professor who interviewed me was (like mentioned above) very kind and easy to talk to. Aside from the expected, "Why do you want to go to graduate school?" the professor spent a great deal of time asking questions about my personal interests and passions. This made the conversation flow pretty nicely, considering that I got to talk about something I already love to talk about! My advice on interview prep: bullet point a couple thoughts/ talking points that you feel comfortable discussing, but to the best of your ability, stay calm and allow yourself the freedom to speak candidly! Good luck everyone!
Awesome! Be sure to update your application with how the interview went as well in the notes section.
 
Wondering if this happened to anyone or anyone has experience with this! On Thursday I got a random phone call from a LA phone number. When I answered, it was a USC SCA professor!! He complemented me on my app and asked a few questions, he wanted to "put a voice to the application." Has this happened to anyone else?
 

addik

Active Member
Lifetime Supporter
I think you may have just had an interview but this is the first time I've heard of a professor jumping right in to an interview without making a prior schedule?
 

sa96

Active Member
I think you may have just had an interview but this is the first time I've heard of a professor jumping right in to an interview without making a prior schedule?
I believe this happened last year as well! I think it’s in last year’s thread
 

addik

Active Member
Lifetime Supporter
I just had my interview few days ago too. Did the professor mentioned when the result comes out?

Mine mentioned the latest we could get them in April, but she did tell me that they're trying to make expedite the process so we might know them on March and Feb as well.

Last year, those who got accepted got their letters mid-Feb.

I believe this happened last year as well! I think it’s in last year’s thread

Oh cool! I was just reading the thread yesterday (trying to see how many of those interviewed got in/waitlisted), and I totally missed it!
 
Hi everyone. Will have my interview today as well. Professor's name is Pablo and he wrote in the email that he wants to talk for a few minutes about my app. I wonder what exactly he may ask? It's important for me to prepare somehow because I'm not a native speaker and unexpected questions may take me while to process actually. Never done English-language interviews by phone ever before
 

truffleshuffle

Active Member
I'd say to just think about who you are, as in what drives you, what moves you, and what your 10-yr or 20-yr goals look like. What kinds of films and which filmmakers really affect you most... and also how you would handle some difficult situations in a collaboration. With the large amount of successful international students every year, I'm positive the "smoothness" of English or how quickly you deliver your responses will not be a factor at all.
 

addik

Active Member
Lifetime Supporter
Was about to reply when I saw truffleshuffle's response!

Yeah, the way the faculty member approached our interview/conversation was pretty informal, so just be yourself! As for the questions, I used this page as a reference and tried to prepare answers to some of the questions there. Film School Interview Questions

I think most of the questions asked are what truffleshuffle said: What are your goals? What kinds of films do you watch? What films do you want to watch? (Mine was phrased differently, what stories do I like? What stories do I want to make? So, I was able to talk about video games too). What is your background in film? Questions on collaboration, how to pay for your education, and why USC of all schools.

Also as an international applicant who isn't a native speaker, don't be afraid to pause and clarify the question. I'm sure the interviewer will understand that English is not your first language so it might take some time for you to process your answers.

Good luck, you got this!
 
I'd say to just think about who you are, as in what drives you, what moves you, and what your 10-yr or 20-yr goals look like. What kinds of films and which filmmakers really affect you most... and also how you would handle some difficult situations in a collaboration. With the large amount of successful international students every year, I'm positive the "smoothness" of English or how quickly you deliver your responses will not be a factor at all.
Happy to hear that. Thanks for the quick answers.

So, as I understood, not every applicant goes through this interviews. I wonder how exactly and why they choose some of us to speak on phone. I mean is this a good or rather a bad sign that you have this additional conversation?
 

truffleshuffle

Active Member
Happy to hear that. Thanks for the quick answers.

So, as I understood, not every applicant goes through this interviews. I wonder how exactly and why they choose some of us to speak on phone. I mean is this a good or rather a bad sign that you have this additional conversation?
It's hard to say. It seems many admitted applicants do get interviewed eventually (even as late as March), but not all. It really comes down to the preference of the faculty reviewer who happens to get your portfolio, if they want to interview their candidates or not. But I don't see how it's possible that an interview is ever a bad sign in this scenario.
 

addik

Active Member
Lifetime Supporter
To add to that, I don't think the faculty member interviewing you is actually the final deciding body. My interviewer explicitly said that they send their "notes" to a panel which would be the one to decide. So, it's really hard to say if it's a good sign or bad. That said, the interview is a chance for you to dazzle USC and to win them over.

I think most of the people who got interviewed, at the very least, had impressed the faculty member reviewing their dossier, which means an interview may be a good sign. But yes, it's hard to say exactly, because I think the reason why a professor chooses to interview an applicant is entirely dependent on the professor.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Ok, so the key is to stay calm. It's just a talk on topics I like and I'm interested in after all. Thank you, guys

Has anyone shared their video samples? I wonder where I can watch some of the works that were sent as part of the portfolio. Did not find even a single one on the forum.
A couple added them to their applications on this site.

Like this one:

 
Last edited:

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member

Latest Classifieds

Latest Applications

Latest reviews

  • SUNY Purchase - Playwriting & Screenwriting BA
    5.00 star(s)
    Excellent Quality Program
    I want to start off by mentioning that I came to Purchase as a transfer student from another liberal arts college and screenwriting program. This...
    • AlcB
  • Columbia College Chicago - Cinema Art + Science (B.A. & B.F.A.)
    3.00 star(s)
    Good undergrad craft school
    I'd like to preface this by saying I graduated a while ago. It's possible that the school has changed significantly since then so take what I say...
    • Anonymous
  • American University - School of Communication (B.A.)
    1.00 star(s)
    Very Unhappy with the Film Program
    I apologize for the very long post, but I have a lot of things to say about the Film and Media Arts department at AU. I am EXTREMELY unhappy...
    • Anonymous
  • LMU - Film & Television Production (M.F.A.)
    5.00 star(s)
    Excellent choice for a well-rounded film education experience
    LMU's Film and Television Production MFA program is a great choice for students who want a well-rounded film education. You are able to make both...
    • A248
  • USC Cinematic Arts - Film and Television Production (MFA)
    2.00 star(s)
    Great Marketing, Subpar Reality
    I'm writing this review because there wasn't a lot of clear info when I was applying so I hope that this can offer some clarification beyond the...
    • Anonymous
Top