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University with good film/creative writing program?

rick3920rick3920 2 replies2 threads New Member
I'm planning going to a college with the possibility of a film major or a creative writing major. Whats a university with a really good undergrad film program that doesnt require an insane portfolio and also has a solid creative writing program?
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Replies to: University with good film/creative writing program?

  • coffeeat3coffeeat3 101 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Kenyon, Vassar, Wesleyan all come to mind. Film is not a separate app (but confirm) like at USC and Chapman. More options if you are okay with film studies including University of Vermont, Brown, College of Wooster, Wellesley (if you are female!). Maybe Macalester - you will need to look at their course/major requirements on line.
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  • baeriabaeria 57 replies1 threads Junior Member
    USC has one of the best film schools in the country, but is highly competitive to get into. Oberlin and Kenyon both have strong creative writing programs and film as well.
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  • warblersrulewarblersrule 10235 replies176 threads Super Moderator
    edited May 26
    Emerson is an obvious suggestion. You'd need a good supplement, but it accepts about 1/3 of applicants.
    edited May 26
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  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving 719 replies7 threads Member
    add Loyola Marymount to your list.
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  • merc81merc81 11810 replies201 threads Senior Member
    With respect to creative writing, this article offers particularly interesting program descriptions: https://contently.net/2014/11/06/resources/10-best-colleges-creative-writers/amp/.
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3644 replies85 threads Senior Member
    If you're interested in creative writing, look at the faculty of a school. CW is an apprenticeship. So the name of school is less important than the people teaching there.

    I'm going to copy and paste below a reply about CW I wrote for another thread. The mother had asked about her child who was showing promise as a novelist at age 12 (I think)

    For you, OP, I would add that the understanding of structure that screenplay-writing classes provide is what will most strongly propel your abilities as a writer of plot. Not every writer loves plot, but if you do, this is a good step forward. The screenplay three-act form is basically Aristotle's three-act structure under the constraints of 90-120 minutes screen time. CW departments tend to not teach this structure. Their strengths generally are teaching the workshop method (which is how you will continue to learn and grow in the craft) and various ways to use language. All tools of the craft are helpful. None are better than the others. If you want tight, interesting plots, however, take at least one screenplay writing class. Look for a CW department that teaches screenplay structure. Even writing nonfiction, you will want to know a few things about how to write fiction.

    Here is the earlier post:

    So as someone in the writing life, first kudos for you, Mom, for supporting her creative writing and taking it seriously. Second, I agree with much of what's been said on this thread but with nuance.

    In no particular order:
    - No need to push her. She's self-motivated and she's "practicing her craft." That's pretty much all she needs to do to move herself forward at an appropriate pace. With enough of that, she will be successful.
    - She can study whatever she wants in the rest of her schooling. Having general knowledge will help her have something to write *about* plus she will gain perspective from all angles--vital in the world of writing as you need to write convincingly from the POV of all characters, whether you agree with them or not. CWers need all fields of study: history, science, politics, economics, military information, fashion, medicine, psychology, acting and theater--learning to learn is the best thing she can do as she will need to love research to write well.
    - Her apprenticeship period. Writing is a craft. It will take practice for her to do it well. Trying to speed up this process is understandable, and common, but difficult to pull off. It's like the novice who climbs the mountain to speak to the master. The novice says, "Master I want to be a great fighter like you." The Master says, "Go practice for five years." The Novice says, "Five years? I want to be a master now! I'm talented!" The Master says: "In your case? Ten!" That's a joke but the point is somewhat serious. Attempting to speed up the process can work against mastering the craft. Training the ego to serve the craft may be the first order of business. Even "early success" can work against becoming a master. Self-satisfied people cease to progress. Welcome your daughter's failures as well as her successes. The failures make her hone her craft.
    - How to live while apprenticing. So she will want to plan for her apprenticeship job. She either chooses her apprenticeship job or the apprenticeship job will choose her, if she ends up needing one. Apprenticeship jobs are wonderful for paying the rent, getting health insurance and are wonderful sources of material for writing. Virtually all creative writing is about the human condition changing because of events. I say, keep the apprenticeship job (some call it a "day job") as long as possible. Choose whatever job she feels she can do while doing her "real job" which is to write every day. Some writerly types think of law as the best day job because of words. Law is great for some but for many it's too demanding and wordy to allow them to then produce more words for their "real job." Other jobs might be better: administrative work, bartending, welding, whatever works for her.
    - What she should write. It doesn't matter what she writes. She must simply write every day. Setting a timer for an hour and writing ANYTHING for an hour straight will move her in the right direction. Poems, stories, diary entries, gibberish, whatever. This practice and freedom will lead her to find her unique voice. It will also give her the discipline she needs to organize her life so that she uses that hard-won voice. Mostly though she should do this on her own volition. If you, Mom, well intended and loving, force her to write for an hour a day, this is a great way IMHO to burn the roots of her ambition and talent. Best for you is to let her do what she wishes when she wishes. She may drop this for awhile and that's okay. Pausing can be restorative. In winter, tree roots grow stronger.
    - Writing courses: sure! Why not? This can point her towards craft that she hasn't yet considered. Most courses, such as Iowa, tend to work on the workshop method. Students go write. In a given week they share their writing. They sit and listen to others critique. Rinse and repeat. This method actually does work, but it's not a fast-and-dirty process. That plus lots of practice (see apprenticeship above) and she will become a novelist -- or some other writer depending on how her voice develops.
    - Writing communities: Join them. Writing communities and writing groups are real-world continuing education for writers. Classes: talk how to edit. Writing groups edit. Ideally she will find a critique group or groups that continue the workshop process. I know of no writers who write alone forever. At some point everything is workshopped somehow, and then goes through the editing process of an agent, and then goes through the editing process of the publishing house. It's all collaborative in the end. Writing communities also help her learn about GENRE. Genre is a fancy word for the marketing niche. Poetry is a genre. Literary is a genre. Romance is a genre. Horror and fantasy are genres. True crime is a genre. Each genre has its own requirements. She will need to master genre requirements to publish and earn a living.
    - Schools. I wish that I had gone to schools with strong English and CW programs in addition to planning for my apprenticeship job. Schools on my radar: Knox College because it acknowledges genres that are under appreciated such as sci-fi and fantasy, Bard Early College -- she could start at age 16 in college that has encouraged such voices as he Coen brothers; Iowa as an undergrad; Vassar or NYU or Princeton (look at the writing faculty there) or Vanderbilt (Lorrie Moore) or Berkeley (Vikram Chandra) or Bard (Neill Gaiman)--she is an apprentice so the name of school is less important than the master she will be working with. Look at the faculty and what they write to help you decide. Publishing a novel as a spike to get into "a good school" will not be necessary.
    - It takes a long time to do this. The best thing you can do, Mom, is encourage her and give her room to grow. These are great words to use: "You can do this" and "You're doing everything right."
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