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Film-making interest - USC Supplement

Hawaiiiiii 4 / 7 1  
Jan 5, 2019   #1
Hi, this these are my USC supplement essay. It would really mean a lot to get some helpful feedback !!!

[1] Describe something outside of your intended academic focus about which you are interested in learning. 250-word limit

my grandfather's Alzheimer and filmmaking

Filmmaking has always been more than just pointing your camera at something aesthetic, slapping effects on it, and posting it online. Videos are so intensely personal; a single film could inspire thousands of different interpretations shaped by the audience's experiences, but only the creator knows the true meaning of his or her craft. It's an unfathomable thought - with a single button, we're able to cherish moments eternally or experience life as we've never seen before.

My interest in filmmaking stemmed from an encounter I had with my grandfather who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. I teared as I watched him struggle to remember the names of his children. My family has a history with the illness, and, although not scientifically proven, I can't afford the risk of one day having no recollection of the life I lived. This is why I turned to videos. So that one day, even if my mind deteriorates and my memories fade into the darkness, I will still be able to live vicariously through the lens of my old life.

I have developed this interest through volunteering as a videographer for an animal rescue shelter and on several service trips, capturing life through a different perspective and sharing my experiences with the world around me. It's through these captured memories and the impact filmmaking has had on my outlook on life that shapes the person who I am today.

So, what better place to mature my hobby than the best film school in the world?

Jan 6, 2019   #2
Personally, I would explain what film making means to you in the introduction. Simply modifying to personal pronouns should do the job. Your middle paragraph already answers your interest for film making. Please use the second last paragraph to focus and build upon your middle paragraph. You're effectively contradicting yourself with the third paragraph. Also, leaving an open ended question is never a good idea and I would not describe it as a hobby as it was derived by something more meaningful than what hobby describes. Make a statement that instead includes the magnitude of your passions applications inside that school.
Holt - / 7,532 2001  
Jan 6, 2019   #3
Jordan, you are not responding to the prompt. The prompt is asking the question "If you were not studying film-making, what would you be studying? What other learning interests do you have that do not relate to film-making?" The reviewer needs to get a complete idea of what your overall learning interests are. These interests need to be unrelated to the world of film-making or anything that inspired your interest in the craft of film-making.

You cannot use the story of your grandfather and how it ignited your interest in film-making. However, you could say that you would be interested to learn about Alzheimer's in relation to its causes, treatment, and care for patients because your grandfather suffers from it and you would like to properly care for him at home. Do not circle back and relate to film-making because your major is not a part of the discussion prompt.
OP Hawaiiiiii 4 / 7 1  
Jan 6, 2019   #4
thanks for the feedback!

@Holt Sorry, I should have specified that I am applying to USC as an environmental science major and that filmmaking is only a hobby of mine which I do not intend to pursue academically.

@NOTTHESTEVEN I do see the confusion in the last paragraph because in the paragraphs prior I kept talking about how my films are all personal yet in the third paragraph I publicize my films to connect with others.
Holt - / 7,532 2001  
Jan 6, 2019   #5
In that case, I don't think that your last sentence in the essay should be included in this presentation. It makes it appear like you are planning to pursue this hobby academically because you stated

what better place to mature my hobby than the best film school in the world?

The statement indicates an academic pursuit while a student at the university. Removing it and simply stating that you hope to join the AVR club or something during your non-academic hours would be clearer in presenting the idea that it is a hobby and nothing more. The AVR club is a reference to how you plan to use the activity as a relaxation technique while at school, which is another way of approaching the essay prompt.

Clarity is of the utmost importance in your response essays. As you can see, there was a misconception produced by your last sentence. You have to be sure that you are responding to the essay in a manner that clearly adheres to the prompt requirements. My suggestion should help you clarify the presentation of your response.

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