Because I’m graduating soon, it’s about time that the nostalgia hit full force. Tonight is my last USC class, ever, and it’s all beginning to sink in.
I’ve been doing a few panels for admitted screenwriters and have been answering a lot of questions about the program, so I thought I’d write about what it’s been like going to school here for the Writing for Screen and Television program. The program itself is harder to get into than Harvard Law, and I’m part of a class of something like 25 other screenwriters. Not everyone can handle the pressure of the program, and not everyone will leave still wanting to be a writer.
Coming out of USC, I’ve written four original pilots, two TV spec episodes (one comedy, one drama), three features, 50 pages of a novel, and over two hours of original series that were also produced.
That’s roughly 860 script pages and 50 novel pages, and that’s not counting the dozens of short films, short stories, and writing exercises required for my classes.
I’ve won a few awards, am nominated for a College Television Emmy, and am slowly beginning to enter the professional marketplace with two of my low-budget features I hope to get made, so the program has been a success — but abandon sleep all ye who enter here! The program is intense, your professors will push you to your limits, your classmates will tell you that you can do better, and you get out of the USC WST program what you put into it.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the classes I took and what my experience has been like: [Read more…]