Amy Louise Sotnick
BFA, Cinema and Media Studies '21
1) What interests you the most about your specific division or program at SCA?
The first thing that caught my eye was that the major covered a broader range of divisions within cinema and media, rather than being devoted to one particular aspect. The course allows me to explore many paths to find my niche within the industry. I am able to critically analyze films, television and media, and have also obtained production skills along the way.
2) Why did you choose SCA?
Initially, it was the location and the reputation of being one of the best film schools in the world. Knowing SCA alumni are some of the most successful people in the industry only increased my desire to attend this school and this became a dream of mine. There was a lot of acclaim attached to the school and to date, it has not disappointed me. I have access to amazing guest speakers, regular free screenings and many of the professors hold so much credit to their name, you really are learning from the best of the best.
3) What has been your biggest challenge so far in your time here?
Personally for me, and surprisingly, being an English speaking international student from England, "the language" has been my biggest challenge. English is my first language, and the expectations for me to produce work in a similar way of an English speaking American has challenged me on more than one occasion. Our education system in England is different so I have had to adapt to the American writing style which I know will only enhance my prospects for a successful career in the industry.
4) What has been your biggest success?
I cannot pinpoint one, but furthering my previous point, my biggest success so far is that each semester I have been here, my grades have improved progressively as I have adapted in the American system. Another accomplishment on a personal level is that I began my freshman year as a shy English girl, but I soon quickly learnt that attending a high caliber film school with amazing and talented fellow students, where presentational skills were in abundance, I had to be heard too, this only encouraged me to develop and become more outgoing and now, as a Junior, my confidence has skyrocketed. Furthermore, I have completed student productions that I am extremely proud of and recently I landed a great internship which starts in the new year,
5) How has SCA prepared you so far in your career in entertainment?
SCA has helped me prepare for my career on so many levels, it has given me an amazing base knowledge for numerous divisions of the industry that I would feel confident going to any interview for whether it be production, business or creative based. For example, most of my classes are about analyzing film but one of my favorite classes that I have taken so far is all about film adaptations with Hollywood. I have learned how to make a successful film pitch and the do's and don’ts that I otherwise would not have known. The networking opportunities are unbelievable, these can come from so many different avenues, from your professors down to your friends.
6) How has being an HFPA scholar helped you in achieving your goals?
Receiving the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Scholarship has been invaluable to me. It gave me the opportunity to attend one of the best film schools in the world, I am living my dream and I am now one step closer to having a career in the entertainment industry. I would not have been able to attend otherwise; I am so grateful.
7) What advice do you have for prospective students looking to apply to SCA?
One of the most important pieces of advice I can give is to be yourself and honest within your application. Do not write what you think they want to hear, write want you want to say because at the end of the day, you are hoping to enter an industry where you showcase your opinions, so it would be difficult to keep working on something that you don’t feel sincere about. Once you arrive here, throw yourself into as much as your time allows and meet people within your major, because you never know who you will be working with one day - also it’s nice to have friends!
Amy Louise Sotnick is a Cinema and Media Studies Student from Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom