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SCAD for the MA in Animation program - SOP for Graduate Admission


PrakritiSK 1 / 6  
Jun 27, 2010   #1
Hi

I am applying to SCAD for the MA in Animation program. This is their SOP requirement - Approximately 500-750 words, describing your educational and career goals, your intended major at SCAD, and why you want to attend SCAD.

Can you please read my SOP and give me positive and negative feedback. Is the content appropriate. Also the word count comes to 767. Would this be a problem for the admission officers. Can you please help me with effective sentence construction to reduce the word count and grammatical errors. Thanks for the effort and I must say this is a great site helping individuals like me.

Regards,
Prakriti SK

My Statement of Purpose

In 2003 'Finding Nemo' was released. Like every other Pixar film, I looked forward to being entertained with a magical movie moment, knowing my high expectations will be met. I laughed till I snorted at the humorous scenes and funny dialogues. Then something unexpected happened. For the first time an animated film brought a tear in my eye. I couldn't believe that a cartoon about a talking fish could teach me values that I had otherwise taken for granted when my own parents repeatedly tried in vain to instill in me. I realized the effect a story could have on people's lives. And that's when I knew I wanted to master the Art of Storytelling.

There are many people who want to change the world for better and make a difference in big and small ways. The impact a powerful story can have on society, is a strong tool I can use to express my visions to change a system as big as a nation and take huge strides to save our planet. Out of all the beautiful art forms man has created over time to express himself- painting, dance, music, theater, film etc, my heart got drawn towards animation as the best medium to give voice to my thoughts.

Being selected to participate in the prestigious SIGGRAPH conference in 2009 was a big achievement for me as it isn't easy to be a part of such an event especially if you don't reside in the States. But shortly after the enthralling excitement, I went into a depression period and didn't even understand the reason why. Two months later, on my graduation day the answer came like an anvil falling on my head.

I had learnt all the basics of animation like most undergrad students. I learnt the principles and good posing in the character animation class and to draw Burne Hogarth's hands in the foundation art class. But I had not yet brought out my deeper visualizations thru my art. My many attempts to bring changes to my city thru organizing events and festivals were not as effective to my higher expectations. Thus resulted my quest to improve myself, get fresh, new perspectives from greater intellectuals and learn better techniques to get my message across to people.

The Indian animation industry is very amateur. Animation is a very new and recent concept in India and most of the companies and educational institutions are in their elementary stages of trial and error, lacking the quality and experience available in more advanced countries like USA. I have no doubt in the potential of my country. Give it another 5- 10 years, and India will emerge as the next LA or Vancouver of Animation. But right now I need an environment of excellence to grow personally in order to help my country's progress.

At this point I am tempted to quote some great personality like Walt Disney or Andrew Stanston to make my SOP sound interesting. I can't help but quote this ordinary and ironically truthful comment written by some stranger on a random blog discussion, "Art schools are expensive. But most passionate artists are poor." I thought I would have to compromise good education because of my limited budget. And then came SCAD- the only school I found promising quality education at an affordable price.

Craving to gain knowledge of modules such as Visualization and Concepts, Screenwriting, Storyboarding and Previsualization, Character and Environment Development are some of the powerful tools I need to acquire to get to my goals. Though I am interested to join the M.F.A program in Animation and get a more complete education with choices to take up more courses over a duration of 2 years as I believe true art needs time more than anything else, due to financial limitations I can only afford the M.A program in Animation.

My aims are high and my journey is long. I hope SCAD would be the place where I get support, belief and encouragement. If SCAD doesn't see the potential in me, I will still move on and get where I am going. Even thou it may get tougher and harder, I will make it sooner or later. But I would rather be in SCAD than anywhere else as SCAD is the only right place for me.

In 2008 Pixar did it to me again when a robot made of nuts and bolts showed me love of a different kind, using only two voices - Wall-E and Eva.

Regards,

Prakriti SK

Note: My technical achievements and skill sets are mentioned in my Resume.

ershad193 14 / 337 5  
Jun 27, 2010   #2
Hi Prakriti

The impact a powerful story can have on society, is a strong tool I can use to express my visions to change a system as big as a nation and take huge strides to save our planet.

This sentence seems confusing. Maybe you can change it to....A well told story can have a strong impact on the society, which is exactly what I intend to achieve

Moreover, you have not given any examples on how you intend to "save our planet". My personal opinion would be to scrap the whole sentence.

Animation is a very new and recent concept in India

I have no doubt in the potential of my country. Give it another 5- 10 years, and India will emerge as the next LA or Vancouver of Animation. But right now I need an environment of excellence to grow personally in order to help my country's progress. ....I'm not sure if these lines are relevant.

I really liked the usage of that blog quote.

If SCAD doesn't see the potential in me, I will still move on and get where I am going. ...I wouldn't put such a statement in an admission essay.

...selected to participate in the prestigious SIGGRAPH conference...impressive

Hope this helps
OP PrakritiSK 1 / 6  
Jun 28, 2010   #3
Thanks Ershad.

That was wonderful feedback. Here are few points I need your help on:

My main interest is to tell good stories that could make a difference in the world. The medium could be thru animation, film or even music videos. The modules I want to study would basically help me with the pre-production and story development process. I want the admission officers to know this aspect of me thru the first line you asked me to correct. Is there a better way to phrase that sentence or the meaning rather than trash it??

Since I am an international student applying, I thought it was necessary to state the reason why I cannot get what I am looking for in my country. And not everyone may know how the animation industry works here.

The third correction is true but I agree with you there.

Thanks

I request essay forum to please give me more feedback of any kind.
ershad193 14 / 337 5  
Jun 28, 2010   #4
Prakriti

As I don't have any expertise in your field, I won't be able to help you much. But I can offer you
some general advice.

Don't you think your essay would look much better if you put all your interests in a single paragraph. Then you can follow it up with your career goals. In that way you can explain whatever you intend to achieve. But I would advise against using phrases like, "save our planet" and "make a difference in the world".

The second point that I mentioned was because the first two lines of the corresponding paragraph already describe the state of the animation industry in India. This in turn justifies your inclination to take up studies abroad. Hence, I see no reason why you should explain what will happen in India in the future.

Hope I managed to clarify some of your doubts.

Good luck!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Jun 28, 2010   #5
As with every other Pixar film, I looked forward to being entertained by a magical movie moment, knowing my high expectations would be met. ---I made few changes here...

...could teach me values that I had otherwise taken for granted which my own parents had repeatedly tried in vain to instill in me.

Here is a place to reduce word count:
There are Many people who want to change the and make a difference in big and small ways. world for the better,----actually, get rid of this whole sentence! Start the para with this:

The impact a powerful story can have on society (no comma necessary) is a strong tool I can use to express my vision to change a system as big as a nation and take huge strides to save our planet.

Out of all the beautiful art forms man humankind has created over time -- himself (Don't use language that excludes females)- painting, dance, music, theater, film etc, my heart got drawn towards animation as the best medium to give voice to my thoughts.

At this point I am tempted to quote some great personality like Walt Disney or Andrew Stanston to make my SOP sound interesting.--- I like this sentence lot. Very clever...

... true art needs requires time more than anything else; d ue to financial limitations I can only afford the M.A program in Animation.

My aims are high, and my journey is long. I hope SCAD would be the place where I get support, belief and encouragement. If SCAD doesn't see the potential in me, I will still move on and get where I am going. Even thou though it may get tougher and harder , I will make it sooner or later. But I would rather be in SCAD than anywhere else as SCAD is the only right place for me. can't say only because it contradicts what you just said, sort of...

This is great, very enjoyable to read.
OP PrakritiSK 1 / 6  
Jun 29, 2010   #6
Thanks alot Kevin and Ershad.

Your feedbacks was greatly appreciated. Please continue this site coz what you are doing is wonderful. I would love to help others too since you encourage members to answer other essays. But I am not good with English grammatic and technicalities. I don't want to give bad advices.

Thanks again

Regards
ershad193 14 / 337 5  
Jun 29, 2010   #7
Hey Prakriti

You don't have to be good at English. What counts is the insight you give. Say the first thing that comes to your mind after you read an essay.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Jun 30, 2010   #8
ut I am not good with English grammatical and technicalities.

No, no, you are not thinking about it the right way! An essay is to be read by all people, even people who are still learning English. The writer wants to know what the essay made you think, what iut made you feel. You do not need to be good at grammar. Just tell them how their art affected you.
OP PrakritiSK 1 / 6  
Jul 9, 2010   #9
Ok. I get it now. In that case I guess I could give it a try.
Thanks
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Jul 12, 2010   #10
Yeah, you have a special ability to help as a bilingual person, because you have insight about learning language.

Actually, this is something I talk about a lot, because many people feel like you... not wanting to give bad advice. I tell them to leave comments about how the essay makes them feel, what ideas it gives.. you don't have to tell them what to do or what to change. Just interact with what they write, and you will be helping them a lot. We can help each other to think with multiple perspectives about what we write.


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