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USC:Getting in


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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 07:17 PM

Is there any way that me, a British person can get in to the film school at the USC ?

-Matthew Buick

P.S I know I'm too young, I mean in a few years.
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#2 Patrick McGowan

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 07:32 PM

I don't know anything about USC, but I sat through enough "college lectures" in high school to pass on some advice. What kind of standardized testing do you have? You will need SAT scores and really fu**ing good ones. You will also need very good grades. Any school, even film etc. will hold academics and high school achievements as the number one factor in the admission process.
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#3 Paul Maibaum ASC

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 08:05 PM

USC takes foreign students in every department and discipline. At the School of Cinema-TV, when I was there, many years ago, there were students from the U.K., Argentina, Venezuela, and Turkey.
Contact the school and find out what the requirements are. There is a general USC website, www.usc.edu, and from there you should be able to get all the contact info you need. Best of luck.
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#4 Steven Levy

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 09:24 PM

USC is pretty difficult to get into, however, due to the fact that you're foreign, you stand out. USC film school does look at grades and things of that nature, but most importantly they look at creativity and past films/scripts that you have done. I say you have a pretty good chance with good grades and some work to show them.
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#5 Richard R. Robbins

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 10:33 PM

Go Big Red!
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#6 Richard Boddington

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 10:52 PM

Don't worry about the $18,000.00 a year in tuition, higher for foreign nationals.

Soon one UK pound will buy $500.00 USD, then you're all set :D

R,
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#7 Matthew Buick

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 04:20 AM

Egad.
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#8 Ash Greyson

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 05:19 PM

I went to USC film school and it is VERY elitist. Lots of good people for sure but also many left out with real talent while others were in based on connections. It is great for networking but not sure I would do it again....



ash =o)
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#9 Richard Boddington

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 10:41 PM

I went to USC film school and it is VERY elitist. Lots of good people for sure but also many left out with real talent while others were in based on connections. It is great for networking but not sure I would do it again....
ash =o)


So tell us how it paid off for you in terms of helping your career, has the return on investment been good?

Also, would you mind elaborating on how you handled the high cost....if possible?

Thanks
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#10 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 11:23 AM

I graduated from the USC grad program in film in 2004. A few things:

1- USC accepts people from all over the world so being from the UK won't hurt you.

2- Apply to other schools. While I was at USC I worked closely with several administrators and faculty involved in the admissions process, so I got a glimpse of the process. Its the most competitive film school in the world to get into, which means that even well qualified and solid filmmakers don't get in.

3- Its your writting that matter more than anything. The film school application requires several essays, This is where you show that you are an individual, with unique life experience, unique observations about life and ability to express them on film.

4- I'm not sure how much grades and test scores matter. My undergrad average was about 3.6 or 3.7, which is O.K. but since a film program is not an academic program I don't think they care that much unless you give them something to worry about such as low grades and low test scores. My GRE score was in the basement.

Question: Why do you want to go to USC? Have you researched a number of programs and looked at what film schools are out there that are best taylored to your interests, or are you just chasing the name?

The Pay off:
In my first year out of USC my earnings were slightly less than the total amoount I had to borrow to attend USC. That's not a bad ratio, and one would assume that my income will increase.

offsetting the cost:
For US citizens there are many loans available, and any student can apply for a TA position and work study. I borrowed a lot, a was a TA and I did work study. You would have to check wih your government to see what kind of loans they offer for students going out of the country.

The most important thing is to apply to several schools that are good matches for you. Honestly USC, was my second or third choice, but life happens, my wife was pregnant and we decided we wanted to delay the start of grad school by a semester so we could have our baby first then start a grad program. My first choice school would not let me do that, but USC did.
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#11 Richard Boddington

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 12:24 PM

I'm interested to know about the benefits to USC grads because that was by far my first choice. Didn't get in, so I went to my second choice, BYU.

But hey now that BYU has got Jared Hess director of Napoleon Dynamite, and Nacho Libre, in the grad pool it's like BYU is a real film school now :D Also John Hedder, Aaron Eckart, and Neil LaBute. Small fry compared to USC but BYU is making progess!

I once heard some one say, "There are no bad film schools, only motivated or un-motivated students."

Please avoid that idiot Jimmy Pet.... some thing at Career Connection, those guys are snakes!

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#12 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 01:27 PM

I'm interested to know about the benefits to USC grads because that was by far my first choice. Didn't get in, so I went to my second choice, BYU.

But hey now that BYU has got Jared Hess director of Napoleon Dynamite, and Nacho Libre, in the grad pool it's like BYU is a real film school now :D Also John Hedder, Aaron Eckart, and Neil LaBute. Small fry compared to USC but BYU is making progess!

I once heard some one say, "There are no bad film schools, only motivated or un-motivated students."



Actually there is a little BYU possee out here these days. Aaron Rule (Kip from Napoleon) also went to BYU and he is doing very well for himself out here directing commercials and working on getting a feature off the ground. Also a guy named Chris Boman is in post on his first feature. Another guy from BYU who ended up at USC, his thesis played at First Look in the spring. It was a personal doc in the style of Ross McElwee, not a bad effort really. So you BYU folks are gett'n it done, despite coming from an institution with no academic freedom and a generally white bread attitude towards everything.

(being a Mormon, I give myself licence for that kind of jab.)

I like the quote about schools and students, I think there is some truth there.
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#13 Richard Boddington

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 08:06 PM

I realize a degree a self depricating comments are ok, since you say you are LDS. But, "no" academic freedom? I often refered to standards as the "gestapo" my self when on campus. But I never saw evidence of there being "no" academic freedom, it is less than public universities that is for sure, but I wouldn't say it is non-existant.

Are you aware that BYU has International Cinema on campus? These movies often feature nudity, sex, foul language, & extreme violence. The movies are shown right on campus in a BYU owned building, SWKT. One of the rules universities must follow when they exhibit these movies is that they can not edit them in any way, so BYU doesn't and lets the students make up their own minds. These are movies that you definately will NOT see at your local cineplex.

I'd call that a lot of academic freedom.

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#14 Matthew Buick

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 08:39 PM

What is BYU ? :blink:

Sounds like a Sexually Transmitted Disease. :D
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#15 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 08:45 PM

Sounds like I touched a nerve there! ;-0

What you say about the international movies is interesting because its my understanding that for years films shown on campus were edited for nudity etc. So if that has changed I'm glad to hear it. But that hardly counts as a lot of academic freedom; its merely showing work in its correct form. Something that is completely unremarkable at any other university in the country.

Let me know when they show Barbara Hammer's Nitrite Kisses on the BYU campus. That would be impressive.

As for academic freedom. Not sure how old you are but do you remember the very high profile cases in the 1990's when a number of profs. were fired for their academic work? Also just this summer a part time prof. in the philosophy department was not re-hired as a direct result of something he published in the Salt Lake Tribune. I'm sure there are others that I don't know about.

It seems to me that at BYU you have all the academic freedom you want if you are a TBM but anyone else may run into some trouble here and there. That's why when a friend suggested I apply for a teaching position there, I just laughed.

Edited by Douglas Hunter, 15 September 2006 - 08:47 PM.

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#16 Mike Rizos

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 08:56 PM

Bringham Young University in Provo, Utah, named after the leader of the Mormons, who headed west to escape prosecution in 1847-48.
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#17 Richard Boddington

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 09:42 PM

As for academic freedom. Not sure how old you are but do you remember the very high profile cases in the 1990's when a number of profs. were fired for their academic work? Also just this summer a part time prof. in the philosophy department was not re-hired as a direct result of something he published in the Salt Lake Tribune. I'm sure there are others that I don't know about.

It seems to me that at BYU you have all the academic freedom you want if you are a TBM but anyone else may run into some trouble here and there. That's why when a friend suggested I apply for a teaching position there, I just laughed.


I was there from 1990-95 when all the hub-ub was going on so I know exactly what the climate was like. Several female profs got turfed for attending pro-abortion rallies that is true.

Academic freedom is not an issue just at BYU, it is a world wide issue. Professors at various universities have published papers about race that many found offensive and there where the usual calls for them to be dissmissed from their jobs. I doubt there's a university on the planet that takes the, "say what you like there are no consequences" approach.

Imagine if a university professor publishes a paper extolling the virtues of the hollocaust, there would be a pretty big outcry at the university and all over.

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#18 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 10:37 PM

I was there from 1990-95 when all the hub-ub was going on so I know exactly what the climate was like. Several female profs got turfed for attending pro-abortion rallies that is true.

Academic freedom is not an issue just at BYU, it is a world wide issue. Professors at various universities have published papers about race that many found offensive and there where the usual calls for them to be dissmissed from their jobs.


Actually, I was thinking of the several professors who go fired for publishing papers about Mormon theology that drew from post-structural, historical, and feminist thematic scholarship. I read the papers, I did not think they were very good, but it would have been *impossible* to get fired for such work at another school. Their firing was taken as a very clear "shot across the bow" to scholars at BYU and in the church in general who were interested in drawing from contemporary scholarship, that might be understood as questioning the church's established dogma. The effects of those proffs. getting fired was tremendous and had a chilling effect at BYU and in the church that I think is still in place today. Specifically for church members on the left or who are interested in contemporary scholarship in the humanities. Don't underestimate it, it was and still is huge; but unless you are on the left or participate in a certain type of academic discourse its easy to miss.

The big difference between a school like BYU and other instutions is that when professors gets in trouble it is often the university that is the first to stand up for the professor's right to publish. At other schools its unheard of for professors to be fired for what they publish. Remember the Jefferies case at CUNY in the late 1980's? What continues to happen at BYU is unique in academia; Honestly some people think its necessary and justifiable because they see it as central to upholding the Church's standards, other's find it repugnant because they see it as obviously counter to the mission of a university. in either case it happens, its unique, and I don't see why one would want to deny it or claim that the same kind of firings that happen at BYU happen else where. They certainly do not. That's why it created a national outrage in the academic comunity when it happened!

Sorry for the thread jacking. I won't post anything else off topic in this thread.
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#19 Richard Boddington

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 11:27 PM

and I don't see why one would want to deny it or claim that the same kind of firings that happen at BYU happen else where. They certainly do not. That's why it created a national outrage in the academic comunity when it happened!


I'm sorry to point out that your statement here is an error in fact. Professors at universities other than BYU HAVE been fired for things they have said, please read the following:

http://www.refuseand...01al-arian.html

http://www.steveverd...ocy/001943.html

http://www.labournet...roosevelt1.html

This is just three I found on a quick and superficial Google search, how many more are there?

Please don't tell me it only happens at BYU, not true.

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#20 Richard Boddington

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 12:24 AM

Hmmmm, seems all is not perfect at USC on the academic freedom front:

http://www.patownhall.com/article/1355

"The trouble at USC began in January when George Weiss Vando performed his one-man show ManLady. After receiving some complaints about Vando's use of a profanity, a Student Affairs staff member shut down the performance, explaining that "we don't want to offend anyone." Administrators also asked some students who attempted to protest the censorship of Vando to lower their signs because they used "obscene" language. At least one such protestor was detained by campus security."

No word if they let the show continue or not, just a letter from USC to "review" the policies of the school. If BYU had shut down this play, oh my gosh what an uproar! But if USC does it, well no big deal.

(I also notice that NYU muzzled the display of the Dutch Mohammed cartoons, geez, academic freedom problems all over the place.)

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