Get after it

By: Rockazar



Unless things have changed dramatically in a short time, the Cinema school requires it's own admissions package that includes a list of art projects made and relies heavily on two writing samples. On the personal essay "diversity" is a key factor. What is he bringing different than every other kid who has made films/videos since the age of 9, just like Speilberg? Work a race angle if possible or whatever these pinheads see as diverse. Really work on those writing samples and get them tight. Have a good writer edit them. 

If he is a student, he needs to bust ass and make straight As and know and meet his professors if he is applying as a current USC student. Participate enough to be recognized by the prof, even in the classes that fill Norris Cinema theatre (300 plus seats.) Be noticed enough and excellent marks to get a prof or profs to be willing to write recommendation letters. If possible, have a screenwriting prof proof them.

There is Production, Writing and critical studies at the undergrad level. Writers start as freshman, but there is plenty of opportunity to take enough writing classes to have a near equivalent curriculum. Many students make it into critical studies and not production and they sit around pissed for a couple years. If that's what he gets into there are gobs of opportunity to work on films, including volunteering on other projects and in important positions. If he wants production but gets crit studies, don't spend more than a day being ticked off and attack, attack, attack the opportunities to work on productions and find other classes to supplement the knowledge. All degrees say Cinematic Arts, so just get after it and find and make opportunities. I was injured for a extended period and crashed all kinds of classes without paying for them. It was invaluable. 

When he gets in whatever program, he doesn't have to wait until his beginning filmmaking class to get experience. Start from the beginning. Look for crews. Take screenwriting 1st or 2nd semester and going forward. IMHO Sit in on or take Advanced Screenplay Analysis (grad level requirement, easy to crash.) That is the nuts and bolts of storytelling; It's the toolbox. Do that as early as possible. It's a class they let you sit in on as much as you like after taking it. You sit in for multiple semesters and keep learning things. 

I hope a portion of this helps you.

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