USC Undergraduate Personal Statement Help (1 Viewer)

jtduff

New Member
I posted this in the Applying to Film School forum but I thought it might be seen by more people in this one. If anybody who has been accepted to or currently attending USC can review my personal statement and give me advice, I would be grateful. Thanks.


Whenever I neglected any one of my responsibilities as a child, my Mother would say something along the lines of, “You can remember every line from any stupid movie, but you can't remember to take out the trash.” Growing up, I failed to realize the important role that film has played in my life. As I grew older I realized that she was correct. Watching movies has been my favorite thing to do since I can remember. Movies have helped me escape, cope, assess the world and people around me, as well as myself. I spend no time wondering how I came to love film as much as I do today. All credit for my enthusiasm for the art of cinema lies solely with my Grandfather.

Due to the fact that my brother pronounced the word “Grandpa” as “Peepa” when he was very young, my Grandfather came to be known as “Peep”. Peep's den was my safe haven as a kid. Lying on the floor of the den when I was 7 years old, I saw Shane for the first time. Since that day, the number of times that Peep and I have seen Shane with one another must be a number nearing 600. This was my first introduction to classic cinema. The den was also the place that I first became familiar with the work of Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock, two filmmakers that have influenced my taste greatly. Along with being grateful to my Grandfather for my relationship with movies; I am also grateful to movies for my relationship with my Grandfather.

If one were to examine Peep and me, the vast difference in our demeanor would be easily recognizable. I have always had an overactive mind which would probably lead to spontaneous combustion if I did not have an able body to release the interminable energy that I carry with me. Peep, on the other hand, enjoys his peace and quiet as is to be expected by any man in retirement. My vivaciousness and Peep's austerity did not mesh. I can remember many nights sitting restlessly at the dinner table, clanking my utensils together while we waited for the food to be served. The clanking never lasted long as it was interrupted by a scolding from Peep and a plea for me to stop making noise. Through the years, my impetuous running and playing throughout the house caused much friction in our relationship; however, when a movie was on the television, I could be found lying serenely on the floor of the den with my Grandfather on the couch across the room. The films that I watched with Peep were the catalyst in our relationship with one another.

Over the years, I spent many nights at the video store where I fed my appetite with a plethora of films of all genres. I bought, rented and borrowed films from any place or person that I could. When I was 14 or 15, I purchased The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou from a 9.99 movie rack at a gas station on my way home from work. From the first viewing of that film I knew that I wanted to be a filmmaker. Several years later when I saw Eastern Promises; I knew that I needed to be a filmmaker. I graduated high school that same year and dreamed of attending USC to study Film Production. To finance my education, I enlisted in the United States Air Force and served 6 years as an aircraft mechanic. During my enlistment, I have been deployed to the Middle East three times all while earning my Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication. Attending USC to study Film Production would make all of the sacrifices, nights with little sleep, and long workdays worthwhile.

Films have bestowed upon me some of the greatest gifts that any person could ever receive. The friendships and relationships that I cherish most have all been forged from a love of movies and the dialogue that they create. Most importantly, I recognize film as being solely responsible for the relationship that I have with my grandfather today. Without films, it is without hesitation that I say my Grandfather and I would hardly speak. I thank the many filmmakers, actors and writers that have cooperated to create these unifying works of art for allowing me to realize how much I love Peep. If I can create films that bring two people together in this same way, I will have served my purpose. Attending USC will provide me with the tools and inspiration to bring my ideas from my brain to the paper, to the screen. From the screen these ideas can work the same magic for another person, as they have worked for me.
 
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