This is a list of the most common questions we receive from applicants to the program.
Q: Do I have to have an art or animation background?
A: While we do have a fair share of art majors, applicants are not required to have an art school background to be accepted by the Workshop, nor do we require previous experience in film, art, or animation. The Department accepts people from diverse backgrounds, which have included: English majors, lawyers, architects, software engineers, typographers, and a navy combat pilot to cite a few examples. As far as the workshop is concerned, what matters is the quality of your portfolio (more on this below) and your personal essay (Statement of Purpose). Remember, Animation can be fun, but it is also very hard work.
Q: What if I only want to do 3D computer animation?
A: There are no exceptions to the first year, non-digital course requirements. If your sole interest is in digital animation, we recommend that you explore other schools. We teach animation, not computer science. Computers do not animate, artists animate.
Q: What if I am graduating from a two year Associates Degree program?
A: University policy requires full four year undergraduate degrees of applicants to all of our graduate programs, including the UCLA Animation Workshop which culminates in an MFA degree.
Q: I am graduating from high school. Can I get into the Workshop?
A: This is a graduate program so the only animation classes available to UCLA undergraduates are the traditional (non-digital) sequence of animation classes, ( 181A, B and C). These can be taken during the Junior and Senior years after all electives have been completed. They are also open to any undergraduate major programs, ranging from Film/TV to English literature. Some undergraduates who have completed their 181C project (sync-sound/ animated film), and then applied to the Animation graduate program, have been accepted. This however is no guarantee.
Q: What are the undergraduate application deadlines?
A: Please see, www.tft.ucla.edu
Q: Can I request a pre-application interview?
A: Workshop professors are available for pre-application interviews, as schedules permit. This will not necessarily improve your chances of being accepted. We advise prospective students to visit the workshop (more details below), sit through some classes, and speak to professors and students at that time. Please contact the Workshop before making your visit.
Q: How can I get an application for the Graduate program and what is required?
A: The deadline for admissions is applications is February 01, 2014. Applicants must have a four year degree from an accredited college or university and hold a B average or above. It does not have to have been an art school. The University requires an application form, a check for $60, copies of your official college transcripts and three letters of recommendation. The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is not required, but can be helpful in deciding final applicant acceptance. Applicants from foreign countries are required to take the TOEFL exam. These are all University requirements.
Q: What supporting materials do I need to submit?
A: The most important parts of your application are your essay and your portfolio, with a major focus on your creativity. We can teach animation, but not creativity. A storyboard of a proposed work, poetry or a script must be submitted to illustrate an applicant’s creative abilities.
Q: What is a storyboard?
A: Not unlike a comic book, a storyboard is a visual script, a series of drawings mounted horizontally on cardstock or paper, in sequential order, describing the story structure, visual look and action of a proposed film. Below each panel is a card indicating the dialogue, sound effects, music for that panel.
Q: Can I visit the Workshop?
A: The workshop is located on the second floor of the Film & Television building, Melnitz Hall, Room 2487, located in the northeast corner of campus, south of Parking Structure 3 and the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Hilgard Avenue. Contact : Doug Ward at email@example.com if you wish to schedule an appointment. Remember, this is only as time permits and be prepared to pay for hard-to-find parking.
Q: What are the Degree Requirements?
A: Contact Cheri Smith, Graduate Advisor.
Q: How expensive is the program?
A: Tuition for out of state students and foreign nationals is higher than that of California residents. For residency, you have to live in California for one full year. If you want to become a resident, start this process as soon as you arrive in California. Details on applying for residency status are available at the University’s Registrar’s Office. In addition to tuition there are professional fees for Film/TV students. The cost of living in the area averages about $800 to $1,200/month depending on where you live. Filmmaking expenses vary based on the scope of your projects, but most of the time, animation student project budgets can range between $300 and $1,500 per film. (The biggest expense is usually the cost of film and developing.) These costs are low compared to live action students who spend several thousands of dollars to make their films. The Workshop is a Professional Degree program, which means most of the federally subsidized aid available is limited to loans. The Workshop offers limited amounts of financial aid to students in their second year, and a few small grants and scholarships are available through the film school. Many students work part-time to supplement their incomes. There are also, scholarships aimed at women, minority and disabled students.
Current fee information is available at: http://www.registrar.ucla.edu/fees/tftfee.htm
Q: What are some other programs that offer animation coursework?
A: Note: These programs are listed as a courtesy and are in no way a recommendation.
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Valencia, CA.
The School of Visual Arts, New York City, NY
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.
Loyola Marymount University, Playa Del Rey, CA.
Sheridan School, Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Q: What books can I read to learn about animation?
A: Preston Blair’s, “Cartoon Animation-LTD Edition”
Preston Blair’s, “Animation” and “How to Animate Film Cartoons” (these books are inexpensive and a must to own)
Jack Hamm, “Cartooning the Head and Figure”
Kit Laybourne’s, “The Animation Book” (helpful storyboard resource)
Milton Gray, “Cartoon Animation, Introduction to a Career”
Shamus Culhane’s, “Animation: From Script to Screen”
Peter Lord & Brian Sibley’s, “Creating 3D Animation: the Aardman Book of Filmmaking.”
Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnson’s, “The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation”
Richard Williams’, “Animators Survival Kit” A Must Have