Film School Application Essays

We hope our collection of UCAS Film Studies personal statements provides inspiration for writing your own. Please do not plagiarise them in any way, or UCAS will penalise your application. Our Personal Statement Editing & Review Services are available if you feel you need a little extra help.

If you are applying to university in the USA, please visit Studential.com/us.

Film Studies and English Personal Statement

I want to go to university because I want to further my education and knowledge in the subjects I enjoy the most. I have thoroughly enjoyed my BTEC Media course, mainly the film components and all opportunities including the extended writing pieces such as scripts and evaluations...

English/Film Studies Personal Statement

Books and films mediate and inform our lives. It seems to me that stories are the chief means by which we make sense of that within us and around us. Stories are assemblies of text; texts permeate everything...

Film Studies Personal Statement

Since I am a relatively young person living in a media orientated part of the world, film and television have been and continue to be hugely influential in just about every area of my life. For example growing up, my sense of humour was shaped by Jim Carey movies and joey from 'friends', I was unable to sleep properly between the ages of 9 and 14 because of those awful teen horror films that were popular back then and probably the biggest influence film has had on me was when I was around 16 years old I began acting out a lot of my life instead of being present and actually living in the moment...

A crowded and cluttered living room in a low-income townhouse. Stansfield bends over to see Leon lying in his own pool of imaginary blood that soaks into the already stained carpet. Leon uses his last ounce of strength to lift his clenched fist up to Stansfield...

Film Personal Statement

Without film, my ideas will come to nothing. Nothing is not enough. I want to aim to be the best. My choice of a degree in Film and television is to enhance my technological skills, to learn at the highest level, to exercise my creativity...

Film Studies Personal Statement

My childhood was like gypsies as my father was in railway department and was often transferred to far off places. Since my child hood I loved their lifestyle and I always fancied them. I had this desire in me to record each and everything they do...

Music Video and Short Film Production Personal Statement

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up" Pablo Picasso 1881-1973 I often get confused, angry, happy, sad, amazed, overwhelmed, shocked, lost for words, goose bumps and even the hairs on the back of my neck stand up from time to time! These are just some of the emotions and feelings I have experienced because of Film, Music and Art!!! Not just a passion for me but a way of life, why anybody wouldn't want to work in this amazing world confuses me...

I believe that my greatest strength is my vivid imagination. From a young age I have been fortunate enough to be able to create new worlds and characters for stories. .I have been inspired by Jasper Fforde's style of wit and wordplay in the “Literary Detective” and “Nursery Crime” series of books...

English Literature and Film Personal Statement

Who wouldn't want to spend a couple of hours getting jinxed by Harry Potter, shot by Tony Montana, rescued by Forrest Gump or unplugged from the Matrix by Morpheus? Well, this is exactly what a cinematic experience offers you...

Film & Cinematography/Media Personal Statement

I want to direct films. Directors have complete control over what is projected on the screen and, with this ability; they can hold the audience's attention. I want to be able to use my imagination to do just that...

Film and Media Personal Statement

I discovered my interest in Film and Media when I fist had Media as a subject: that one lesson weekly made me feel I was studying something that has a direct impact on my life. It was somewhat like discovering little secrets of both the media industry and filmmaking, which most people in this media-orientated world do not even realise...

Film And TV Production Personal Statement

The choice of course I am choosing is Film and TV Production, I want to take this course because I find the behind the scenes of films and TV are amazing as I found this out when filming a short film and also filming for Waterloo Road...

English and Film Personal Statement

From reading my first Roald Dahl book, peppered with magic and mischief, to writing my first short story, I have always known that my drive and passion for English was destined to be more than a hobby...

Film Personal Statement

Film is a vehicle to express one’s ideologies, philosophies, and politics. It can evoke emotion, thought and fear. Film is a way for an artist to channel their internal need to communicate a message or try to collapse ever-shifting boundaries within the industry...

Film Production Personal Statement

“You shouldn’t dream your film, you should make it” - A famous quote by Steven Spielberg and a quote that I strongly agree with. I have enjoyed this BTEC Media Diploma course so much because I believe film gives everyone the ability to become imaginative which is a valuable skill in life; it can also be very influential to a lot of people and can change people’s opinions...

Film Studies Personal Statement

Storytelling is the most powerful form of communication there is. It makes us laugh and cry, changes our views of the world, shapes our personalities and defines us as humans. Because I believe that no form of storytelling is as powerful as film, I want to be part of the film industry...

Film Studies Personal Statement

The idea of being able to create entertainment or capture the world's issues through a camera lens has always intrigued me. I chose to focus on film studies at A-level because the course promised to be provoking and interesting...

Film and TV Production Personal Statement

I’ve always enjoyed all kinds of media, how could I not when the world around me is shaped and changed by it everyday? We connect everyday through the power of social media, Television is used by the average UK citizen for 3 hours and 51 minutes a day and developments in production technology allows anyone to be able to express themselves through the medium of film...

Film Studies & Creative Writing Personal Statement

I’ve always believed in the importance of leaving a trace, something to be remembered for or, at least, something to rely on to look back and to recollect who we used to be. The most immediate way to do it is writing, writing who we are or what we have experienced...

In my last blog, I explained why the personal essay is the single most important element of your MFA film school candidacy. Now that you know what it is and why it matters so damn much, you need to know how to write it.  With that in mind, here are three DO’s and three DON’Ts when it comes to writing the film school personal essay:

First, the DOs: 

1. DO open with a story. You want to be a storyteller?  Then prove it.  But don’t just open with any story; detail the moment in your life when you realized filmmaking was your calling—what I call a “catalyzing moment.” Just one warning: This is not the time to tell us how you watched “Kill Bill” 30 times or made videos of your Legos when you were 8. Everyone has those moments—even future ornithologists.  You want to recount a defining life experience where you realized what kind of films you want to make. In other words, you should trace the origin of a perspective or viewpoint you have—the one that will allow you to make films that aren’t like all the others out there.

2. DO have strong opinions.  In personal essays, being opinionated is a good thing. Mamsy-Pamsy people don’t make films (and if they do, they’re mamsy-pamsy films).  If you’re tired of mindless Michael Bay movies, then tell them why, and how YOU plan to make different kinds of films. If you want to make movies that force people to consider the effects of racism or sexism, then sound off! Don’t worry that you’ll upset someone. The people reading your essays are open-minded adults. When I did admissions at Columbia University, a candidate wrote about how he loved Darren Aronofsky’s Pi. I loathed that film, but I recommended the student be admitted—he made good arguments for why the film worked for him, and he demonstrated heartfelt passion. Those are both great qualities.

3. DO get specific about why you like the school you’re applying to. If you want to go to NYU, you better have a good reason for it. And “it will help me reach my dreams” isn’t one of them. Show that you did your research and that you know why NYU is the perfect match for your particular needs. By the end of your essay, you should have identified at least two things that set the school apart from its peers.

And now for the dreaded DON'TS:

1. DON’T make excuses for your reel.  If you’re submitting a film with many problems, the first thing you should do is submit something else. But if you don’t have anything else, don’t spend multiple paragraphs explaining why the close-up is out of focus and why the actress’s cigarette magically disappeared halfway through Scene 5. The people reading your essay are filmmakers—they know why these things happen. Instead, focus on what you learned or the insights you gained through the filmmaking process. If we see your evolution, we will know you can be taught.

2. DON’T show off. The personal essay is not a pissing match, nor a time to roll out the laundry list of all the film festivals where your short film played. The admissions committee uses your reel and sample creative work to decide if you’re worthy—not the personal essay. If they don’t like your film, they don’t care that Steven Spielberg’s niece loved it, and they don’t care how many awards it garnered. Use those precious words to showcase how you think, not how big your “package” is.

3. DON’T try to prove how much you know about film. I once read a personal essay that was essentially a review of Citizen Kane, with lots of big French words thrown in for good measure. Sigh. If the schools wanted to test your knowledge of film theory, they’d give you a test. But you’re applying to make films, not appreciate them. Your knowledge of obscure Japanese films won’t impress anyone. Write about what your vision is, and what you want to say with your films.  

Read more on our MFA Film School consulting process or request a free candidacy assessment

-Justin Marshall

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