Lights! camera! action! .. at USC Film school

More First Impressions

Two things surprised her most:

1. Diversity of the class. They come from everywhere - not just from the US, but from all over the globe, with equally diverse backgrounds, not just Film.  

2. How articulate her classmates are. She was impressed by their speaking skills when they stood up & told about their educational backgrounds & how they got to USC.

Only two others have kids. Doug has 2-month old baby, & Stacy has a 9-yr old daughter. Most, not all, have some kind of background in Film/Cinema/Art, even if only extracurricular/hobby. Roughly 50/50 male/female mix - maybe a few more men. A goodly amount are from the East Coast, particularly NYC.

Class will be broke into 3 groups, 17 or so in each group. Each group will be further divided into 3 groups/teams of 5 or 6 each.

USC will supply students with Sony TRV-900 (3-chip) DV camcorders. Wendy has her own camcorder - Canon GL1. The TRV900 was her next choice if the GL1 (new release) wasn't available. See here if you're interested in a comparison between these two cameras. 

We're still waiting on the (pre-ordered) real-time editing card (Matrox RT2000) .. delayed from way back in October .. now they're talking Feb. That'll make a big diff for her editing - make it go faster.

USC is using Macs, with Adobe Premiere (Wendy uses Premiere on PC-based system) .. and loan students 9-gig hard drives for their projects. 9-gig is standard SCSI drive size, so I'm guessing they're SCSI's. 9 gigs is enough drive space for about 40 mins of footage. Wendy's PC has 5 hard drives for a totals of ~75 gigs. 

Most surprising is that she'll have two semesters of Production classes that are 6 units each, but these are preparatory classes - in other words, they don't count toward the 40 units req'd to graduate! Dang. And these are the hardest classes, where they'll make 5 DV (digital video) projects (all by themselves) the first semester, & two 16mm film projects (with a partner) the second semester. They had her whole schedule already planned for her.

She wanted to trade to a new class by a prof (Dr. Casper) she had last year  (undergrad) who's gonna be teaching about Star Wars. Rumors flying that GL (gee-el, they didn't say his actual name) might drop in, as Dr. Casper is buddies with George Lucas - a graduate of USC himself. You know he'll be dropping in - just a matter of when.

But if she takes that class, she'd have to drive 4 days a week, and it's the driving that takes a toll on her.

One other class caught her fancy - taught by the head of USC's writing prgm, David Howard. She read his book Tools of Screenwriting and loved it. She's been talking about trying to get into his class since reading his book. But again, this would add an extra day of driving an extra day each week.

She has (only) 3 classes:
1. Production -> 6 units, the big/main one, which doesn't even count toward the 40 units req'd for graduation. This course includes making 5 DV shorts of 5-8 mins per, where she'll do the writing, directing, filming/taping/recording & editing, and also a class on Acting & Directing Actors, where she'll be directing her fellow classmates & they'll direct her - on scenes of the director's choosing. And another class on Audio, which she loves.
2. Screenwriting Fundamentals (2 units)
3. History of International Cinema: Silent Film Era (2 units). This course will take her from the beginnings of Film, to when sound/audio was introduced.

She said walking around campus yesterday was one of the greatest feeling in her life, & that she felt the support of all the peopel that helped make her dream a reality.

Right now she's off doing one of those 'healing' things, at the Doubletree hotel up in Costa Mesa .. with Silvana who organized the all-day event.

Hope she gets all the healing she needs, cuz come bright & early Monday morning, the race is on.

Next -> e-cinema

507 Semester Index Page, USC Film School Chronicles]
Master Index Page, USC Film School Chronicles, Graduate Production]

[Contact Wendy]

Radified Home]
Lagunacinema Home]