2 years ago
Admissions Advice

How should I prepare for film school?

I’m a 9th grader who wants to go to the USC film school.

How can I increase chances to get a scholarship for it?

What classes and extracurriculars should I do to prepare for it?

I’m already a good academic currently taking Algebra 2, should I keep with academic classes or go for artsy stuff?

🎉 First post
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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

I'm going to answer this differently. I truly believe that if you want to attend USC, UCLA, NYU or other coveted film schools, you have to make an impressive short film.

Your creativity, passion and raw talent evidenced in a film you submit in your portfolio will make or break your admissions regardless of your grades, test scores and course rigor.

Sure you should continue to be a very good student striving for the best grades and doing all the things that other HS student do like leadership, community service, clubs, sports etc. But if you are going to college that teaches a "spike" profession then you have to hone that "spike" so it aligns with what they are looking for.

Here's an analogy. If you want to get admitted into Julliard for music, singing or dance, your grades and test scores are less important that your raw talent and potential. Therefore successful admits have danced, sang or played an instrument for 10 years. Then they audition for Julliard. The audition is more important than the application.

If you haven't taken photography, digital film making or experimented with your own home movies, you have less than 3 years to curate an impressive portfolio. One thing that is clearly different than applying to these school 10, 20 or 30 years ago is the cost of equipment has come way down. HS students used to submit Super 8 films or videos filmed on Sony Handicams. These days even the current iPhones have good 4K filming capability.


And if work part-time jobs, perhaps you can save enough to get a BlackMagic 4K pocket cinema camera.

Good luck.

2 years ago

I agree with the previous answers that making your portfolio as high quality as possible is the best way to prepare for film school. An outstanding portfolio will increase the chance that you will be awarded a merit scholarship to attend USC or any other college.

In terms of your academics, you should strive to be well rounded with a ''spike,'' or specific interest that shines through your class choices. Take a wide variety of rigorous core classes, with a good mix of STEM, humanities, and elective classes. Then try to take at least one film or art-related class every semester to show a consistent interest in film. Classes in graphic design, theater, video production, and animation will show the spike that film schools are looking for particularly well.

The best extracurricular you could do would be working as an independent filmmaker, ideally with a team and funding. An alternative could be working for an independent filmmaker as an employee or intern. Joining or starting a club related to producing films or watching them would also look good. Hope this helps!

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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