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

End of the First Week

End of week 1 finds our new grad students with a sense of relief, in that they at least have a feel for what to expect. But this relief is short-lived as they now know that the workload will be considerably heavier than what they had as undergrads & what they expected. Wendy overheard other students saying things like, "I don't know how they expect us to get it all done." This coming from graduates of schools like Harvard, MIT, NYU & Berkeley.  

Prior to beginning school, each & every piece of correspondence Wendy received from USC contained some form of a cautionary caveat, stating something to the effect that successful completion of the production class (507) is a prerequisite to continue with the program. At first, Wendy thought the redundant warnings annoying, but now she understands. It's going to be a lot of work.

Wendy said some of the profs have already warned them that a few students in the last class didn't manage their time well & were forced to drop. Profs warned students that they need to be prepared to get after it. We've already canceled a few planned outings - to conserve time - to give her more time for reading, planning, shooting etc. 

Wendy volunteered for the 'A' group in the Production class (507). There are two other groups - 'B' & 'C'. She opted for the 'A' group cuz this means she might get a chance to *direct* later in the semester - even though being in Group A means she'll have lots of work (making films) due early, which puts extra pressure on her now. And she's stressing already, cuz if she has any probs, there's little/no time to recover, & she wants her stuff to rock.  

She feels more is expected of her, cuz she's the only one in her class who graduated from USC's undergrad Film prgm (Critical Studies). There's only one other USC grad in her class (of 50-ish), & he's a PolySci major.

She's been spending most of her time reading a books on directing actors. Every once in a while she'll yell out something's she's read that she finds especially interesting. She feels that directing will be one of her strengths, cuz she feels she'll be able to make actors feel safer & more comfortable than other directors. She feels she has a natural inclination toward directing .. I can vouch for that; she's constantly telling me what to do. =D  

She finds the difference between undergrads & graduate students dramatic. Whereas the undergrads were "just kids", her classmates are serious. They mean business.  

A bunch of students got together after class on Thursday. Wendy said the other students, many from the East coast, said that USC's graduate Production program was the way to go - that it is far better than the undergrad program. Classmates from overseas, from countries like Singapore echoed the same.

As a Critical Studies undergrad, Wendy had some Production classes with (undergrad) Production students. She wasn't impressed by these (undergrad) Production students. Graduate students seem to be another story. 

The other book she's been tearing into is on Sound. They guy who teaches her Sound class developed THX - the sound system in THX-equipped theaters. I love the THX intro - the one that rumbles the seats at the end, when the bass kicks in. Obviously, this guy has lots of real-world experience. The guy (Tomlinson Holman) wrote the book they use as a text.

Tomorrow, she'll get together with Kellie for her first grad-school shoot. Kellie was in one of Wendy's undergrad films, BodyMind, which was shot on super-8. Can see a RealVideo movie of BodyMind here. You'll need a recent version of RealPlayer, which you can get here. Look for the small letters that say, RealPlayer Basic is our free player. They make you hunt for the freebie. You'll need at least version 6 to play the movie, & a broadband connection (fat pipe -> cable or DSL) to be able to stream (streaming is when the movie starts playing as soon as you click the link). If you still have only a dial-up connection (skinny pipe), you can still view the movie, but you'll have to download it first. A special download link is provide for those who don't have broadband connections. It'll take a while to download. I can suggest a download agent such as GetRight, which will restore lost connections, & keep you from having to start over from the beginning if you lose your connection. Can get GetRight here. Click the Most Popular link, or search for GetRight.

Wendy said it still hasn't sunk in - that she really got into USC's graduate Production program.  

She also sometimes feels inadequate - in comparison to the other students in her class, from the best schools in the country, & around the globe. One kid in her class is named Noriega - can't help but wonder about that.. ;-)

Next -> Film 1 Report Card

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