Future film students/parents, have questions?

Applying to film programs is really difficult. Not only do most schools require supplemental essays but also many want a creative portfolio and each school wants different materials for that portfolio. A year ago we had no idea where to start with all this. I searched the Internet to answers to so many questions from where to apply? What was each program at each school like (more theory or more creativity? Does everyone do their own projects or group projects? Do you not even work with a camera til junior year? What to do in junior year to try to stand out as an applicant? How to get scholarships to help pay for expensive film programs?

Happy to report acceptance to all schools but one so far (awaiting USC). SCAD, Emerson, Pratt, Syracuse, UCSB, UCSC, UCD, UCB, LMU, Chapman, USC, and CalArts

So if there is anyone out there who is wanting to go the film school route and has ?s, lmk may be able to offer some ideas

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Would love some insight. I have a rising 9th grader who has been deadest on film school since he was about 6. He’s goi g to 2 week SOCAPA camp this summer to get a taste of it. Any advice for someone early in their high school years?

*dead set.

Did SOCAPA too, which location? Doing programs like this each summer really helps show your passion, not to mention you learn a lot by doing. And another really special thing about a on campus program like this is you make connections with your filmmaking peers from all over the country. I think for someone who’s just starting high school just keep creating and have fun experimenting. Don’t stress about college for another 2 years!

Thank you! He’s doing the Vermont location for 2 weeks this summer. He’s very excited about it. If you have any other recommendations for summer programs I’d love them.

that’s great Miguel Silveria is the instructor and an absolute mentor to the kids ongoing. Many do year after year and continue to help each other on projects from afar. Were from CA and went all the way because of pandemic it was the only in person program we could find in the country! Other programs to check out for future years are the college programs through UNSCA, Chapman, LMU, USC, UCLA etc and then CSSSA.

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Hi all ! I’m in the same boat: daughter in 11th gr applying in fall in several film schools. I will repeat what someone in CC said about attending a film school:
Write about films, practice creative writing: poems, scripts, fiction, drama…;
Watch a lot of movies and write a critic, perhaps in your school paper;
listen to the director’s comments on DVD’s;
be part of the drama club and direct a play or a part of it, so you’ll have an idea of what it is to direct actors;
take film classes ( summer camp?);
do anithing you can related to film (example, extended essay on two movies for my daughter in IB program);
join (or start) the film club in your school;
make films and submit them to competitions and festivals…

I’ll interested on what you tell your students to not discourage them but to keep them realistic ? For example, I’m not sure I will encourage my D to apply to USC. We already erased NYU from her list.

I think it’s important to be upfront about family finances prior to them getting heart set on any school. Most film programs are at private institutions. Most do give merit so that can be a real help if the grades are there too. Just the act of applying to film schools is very difficult - we were surprised by how hard they make it vs some other challenging major like say CS because there’s typically the supplemental essays and then on top of that a creative portfolio with extra essays, video essays, and often creative work to do too. I’d say if you really want film and you want to work hard on these applications go for it – but finances will definitely play a role in the decision making. And parents, do your homework on tuition/possible scholarships/merit aid and need based aid so you can talk realistically about affording each school.

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Hi grace27! Where did you finally decide to go after all the acceptances?


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Thanks for answering. What do you think about it so far? Is it as you were expecting? My D is applying EA to the creative producing progam.