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Any Canadians? Have a question regarding York University


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#1 James Lucas

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 08:10 PM

York University Faculty of fine arts has 3 undergraduate programs, BFA in Production, BFA in Screenwriting and BA in Cinema and Media Studies. My problem is that I'm interested in going to BFA in Screenwriting the most but its a highly competitive program as I hear and I don't think my portfolio and marks are good enough to apply for it. My question is that if I get into the BA in Cinema and Media Studies will I be able to use the same credits to get into a BFA program after one year when I have completed my portfolio and am more confident? Because I see some of the courses are the same between all the 3 programs.

 


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#2 Chris Millar

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 08:28 PM

Obviously the people to ask would be the university themselves.

 

... so I'll just ask straight up >> is this post simply advertising for these courses ?


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#3 James Lucas

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 08:39 PM

lol. Does it sound like a advertisement for the courses? nah, I'm just really lost, I dont know what to do. The problem is that on their FAQ it says: "The BA program is not a "back door" to the BFA program; transferring between programs is no easier, statistically, than applying from the outside. It is important that if you apply to the BA program it is because this is a course of study you genuinely wish to pursue".

But it still looks like that it is a back door to the BFA program, doesnt it?


Edited by James Lucas, 28 December 2013 - 08:41 PM.

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#4 Richard Boddington

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 10:04 PM

Question is....what will you do with this illustrious degree in Canada once you get it?

 

R,


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#5 James Lucas

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 01:11 AM

Well, its not the degree that matters to me, its mostly about the environment, gaining experience, and learning from teachers and other students. I also want to compare myself with others and see where I stand.


Edited by James Lucas, 29 December 2013 - 01:12 AM.

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#6 Richard Boddington

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 01:06 PM

All well and good, just remember there are very very few above the line positions available in Canada.  Our industry is tiny here.   So film degrees are little good to Canadians.

 

Now if you want to train as a grip, gaffer, or AC, and work on American service deals that is a different story.

 

R,


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#7 James Lucas

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 02:16 PM

I have an important question that is always bothering me: Everybody says, and its obvious that having connections is the most important factor in becoming successful in Film industry, especially in Hollywood. Lets suppose somebody from Canada has a great screenplay written, which is entertaining, has great ideas, dialogues, right format, etc (i.e. a screenplay that would make a good Hollywood movie). Will they be able to find the right connections by sending their work to agents and different screenwriting competitions in states or is it too optimistic to think that way?


Edited by James Lucas, 29 December 2013 - 02:17 PM.

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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 03:03 PM

I have an important question that is always bothering me: Everybody says, and its obvious that having connections is the most important factor in becoming successful in Film industry, especially in Hollywood. Lets suppose somebody from Canada has a great screenplay written, which is entertaining, has great ideas, dialogues, right format, etc (i.e. a screenplay that would make a good Hollywood movie). Will they be able to find the right connections by sending their work to agents and different screenwriting competitions in states or is it too optimistic to think that way?

 

Impossible.  There are 50,000 scripts a year registered at the WGA, how many of them do you think get made?

 

You could will the script to your great, great, great, great, grandkids, they might see it get made.

 

BTW, every single script written is, "entertaining, has great ideas, dialogues, right format,"

 

R,


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#9 James Lucas

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 05:55 PM

If every single script written is, "entertaining, has great ideas, dialogues, right format," then what is the difference between a screenplay that gets made into a movie and the one that doesn't? Is it connections? And the only way to get those connections is by living in US and going to school there? And even then you will still have little chance?

 

But what if you send your screenplay to competitions such as BlueCat and you even win an award for it? Still you wont be able to get an agent in Hollywood? I mean there must be a way, right?


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#10 Richard Boddington

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 06:22 PM

I mean there must be a way, right?

 

To be honest, not really.  Established writers with produced scripts have a great deal of trouble getting scripts sold and made.  The process can take 10+ years.  Spielberg spent 10 years pushing Lincoln through the system and he's Steven Spielberg!!

 

No idea how you think you'll get a Hollywood agent?

 

Here's some bad news for you, and I am being honest with you, because what they tell you at York and the other Canadian film schools is often times not reality.  I have produced three feature films in Canada.  When I am crewing up these movies I receive a deluge of resumes.  Most of them look the same, name of the film school they graduated from at the top, and then it says, "Current Employer: Second Cup."

 

Second Cup must be the biggest employer of film school grads in Canada!!  Think about it....what is the Canadian film industry supposed to do with the flood of new grads that come out every year?

 

The vast majority that graduated five years prior are not making a living in film.

 

R,


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#11 Keith Walters

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 08:23 PM

Here's some bad news for you, and I am being honest with you, because what they tell you at York and the other Canadian film schools is often times not reality.  I have produced three feature films in Canada.  When I am crewing up these movies I receive a deluge of resumes.  Most of them look the same, name of the film school they graduated from at the top, and then it says, "Current Employer: Second Cup."

Pretty much the same sad story as a lot of things: When there's a desperate and widespread longing for something to be possible that is really not possible, a thriving "enabling" market will inevitably spring up.

I mean, do you really think that successful rock guitarists actually read magazines like "Guitar Player"? Do successful stock market players actually read "The Australian Financial Review", (apart perhaps from seeing what the clueless punters are up to this week)? Do successful Bookies studiously study "Best Bets" each week before hitting the racetrack?

Of course not. If the people who write those things really knew what they were talking about, they'd be cleaning up at the track or the Stock Exchange, not writing for a 2-bit magazine.

Similarly, Universities and their staff have a vested interest in pretending that they have "Just the course you want"

It's like these "How to become a Millionaire" seminars. You become a millionaire by charging people to listen to a cliche-ridden lecture basically telling you that if you want to live like a pauper for 30 years you'll have lots of money to leave to your layabout relatives :lol: 

 

Actually my niece has just completed a 3-year Arts degree, with a heavy emphasis on music, dance and "media production" (for want of a better term). I have never heard so much utter crap as was in her course notes. And you have tread a fine line between reality and what the instructors purport to be reality.


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#12 James Lucas

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 09:08 PM

What do you think about competitions such as PAGE International Screenwriting Awards and BlueCat? Can they help new writers show their talent and make connections?


Edited by James Lucas, 31 December 2013 - 09:09 PM.

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#13 Richard Boddington

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:21 PM

What do you think about competitions such as PAGE International Screenwriting Awards and BlueCat? Can they help new writers show their talent and make connections?

 

Anything is possible.  The Second Cup management is very impressed with film awards  :D

 

R,


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#14 Freya Black

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 06:11 AM

I have an important question that is always bothering me: Everybody says, and its obvious that having connections is the most important factor in becoming successful in Film industry, especially in Hollywood. Lets suppose somebody from Canada has a great screenplay written, which is entertaining, has great ideas, dialogues, right format, etc (i.e. a screenplay that would make a good Hollywood movie). Will they be able to find the right connections by sending their work to agents and different screenwriting competitions in states or is it too optimistic to think that way?

 

I'm sorry James but you aren't getting what people mean when they talk about connections.

What they mean is that you know personally, or even better are related to, people of influence.

They don't mean people you just contact in some way, because you can contact all kinds of people these days you can tweet many major film directors on twitter for instance. That doesn't mean you are friends however. You can be friends with people on facebook but that isn't the same as really being friends with someone. It's a very different relationship if you send someone a script. That's more like making a job application. Theres a big difference between sending your CV to a potential employer and having a chat with your uncle who is an employer. So basically if you have a great friend you know from the pony club whose father runs Viacom, that might work for you, if not then you have to start from scratch.

 

I think you are also getting confused about the talent thing. Talent is a handy thing to have and can definitely help you out if you don't have lots of other things going for you but it's not the most important thing by a long way. This is a mistake a lot of people make. Talent does not = success.

 

Having said that if you have talent in skills like sales and networking, these things can really help you.

 

If you are young then you need to get to meet people and make friends basically. You could do that at related events or at a bar etc. It's easier said than done however. Some people are better at this than other people and that is where talent at networking can really help you.

 

I think you need to ask yourself what your end goal is. If your end goal is to be a script writer then you need to work out how you are going to get there. You don't need any qualifications to be a script writer or to write novels. I had a universtiy lecturer tell me that "not just anyone can write a book" for example but it's clearly nonsense. J.K. Rowling wasn't anyone special she just wrote a book and got lucky. You might be better working out how you can live and survive. Perhaps you could do some other kind of writing that is more commercial and write scripts or books etc on the side. That's assuming that being a script writer is your end goal.

 

Freya


Edited by Freya Black, 01 January 2014 - 06:13 AM.

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#15 Freya Black

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 06:33 AM

I think it's interesting that we get so many of these postings that are like:

 

"I'm Jack and I don't know anybody but I think I could be really skilled one day if I work really hard, and I can send everyone my CV. That's gotta work right?"

 

and we never get postings that are like:

 

"I'm Maria Schwartzman and I would really like to work in the movies but I'm concerned about whether cinema really has a future these days with all the fast moving changes and I'm wondering if I should focus on working in the wine industry instead? BTW I really don't want to make superhero movies although I might consider making a movie about magical ponys. Thanks."

 

anyway...

 

Freya


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