USC School of Cinematic Arts - Stark Producing Program 2020

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Deadline is November 15th

Who's applying this year?

From the site:

The Peter Stark Program is highly selective, accepting 24 students out of an average of about 250 applicants each year.

Personal statement:

Answer the following questions in the supplied text boxes (do not upload them separately). When answering the questions below be very specific.

Why do you want to attend the Stark Program? (3,000 characters maximum)

If you already have a prior degree in media or already work in media, why do you want to pursue this particular graduate degree? (1,000 characters maximum)

What is your plan for the next year if you are not accepted into the Peter Stark Producing Program? (1,000 characters maximum)

Do you have an ultimate career goal? If so, what is it? (1,000 characters maximum)

Do you perceive any weaknesses/shortcomings in yourself? Detail/amplify. (1,000 characters maximum)

Describe an emotionally significant experience in your life and how it affected you. (2,000 characters maximum)

Do you have a favorite existing film, TV show, web series, book, or play? Explain why it's a favorite. (1,000 characters maximum)

Additionally, do you have interest in other art forms (literature, opera, sculpture, theatre, painting, dance, etc.)? (1,000 characters maximum)

Good luck!

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Last year's Stark thread:



Active Member
Has anyone started to hear about interviews? From past forums, looks like they send out invitations for interviews around this time?

I haven't heard anything. Getting anxious! Lol

stark alum

New Member
I can remember getting the call from Art Murphy saying I was accepted. I was snoozing in my NYU dorm room at 11pm, which was prime calling time for Art. I wondered had I dreamt the call? The next day I called the Stark office and Claire-Art's assistant at the time--assured me I was in.

Its been 35 years since, and the program has gone through many changes (there were a few years when all the Starkies had to wear jackets and ties), but I wouldn't trade my time--or barbs--with Art Murphy for anything. One other thing: The summer between I was placed at Universal, and by shear luck/kismet, I met the executive turned producer who would be my professional mentor and to this day great friend.

Good luck with the admissions process. We didn't have interviews then. We did have letters of recommendation. And, I can remember a well-placed one to Fran Stark that certainly helped my case.


Active Member
Just got an email within the past hour to schedule my interview. I'm ecstatic to even make this far..."it's an honor to be nominated" and all that. Hope y'all get a similar email soon!


Well-Known Member
Hi everyone - I'm currently in the program. Good luck on your interviews and was in your spot last year. Just relax (easier said than done) the interviews for Stark are personal and they simply want to know more about you. What perspectives you bring, things that stand out in your background and the type of filmmaker you aspire to be... :)

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
While you wait for more info.... Weigh in on your picks for tonight in this thread:


And get that Oscars bingo card. 🤣
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