Sonia Miranda

Sonia is a second-year screenwriter in the MFA in Writing program at the College of Motion Picture Arts (pictured above, far right). As a requirement of the program, writing students spend their first spring semester in London, England, where they study at the FSU Study Center at the heart of the city. Sonia shares her experiences with us below.


What were you least prepared for when you entered the MFA in Writing program?

I was least prepared for the amount of freedom that I have. It's amazing and exactly what I needed. I truly appreciate that the faculty understand that we need space and time to go away and write. I feel empowered by this because I can plan how and when I work. It is a very organic way of being productive and it has forced me to take ownership of career.


What advice do you have for prospective graduate applicants of the Writing program?

I would advise the prospective students to read as many scripts and screenwriting books as they can. It helps you gain of sense of what goes into a script and how to come up with great stories. Try to travel. This opens your eyes to new things and can only make your stories richer for it. Most importantly, find those things that you are passionate about. If you are still not sure, try and figure it out. It can be a jumping off point for your creativity. Be creative in your applications and write what feels honest to you.


What does a day look like for a graduate film student in Writing?

It is a great one usually, which involves a nice balance of soaking up experiences and writing. Part of the day is in class, where we usually workshop our films or TV scripts. Then we are released to read books, scripts, and watch films that can inspire us further. For me, the best part of the day is sitting down and getting lost in writing for as much time as life allows. Since the writing requires I sit at a desk for hours I try and balance that by going and doing things that require movement.


Tell us what past experiences led to your passion for filmmaking.

I have always been inspired by movies and knew at a young age I wanted to work in film. After getting my Bachelor's degree, I went to work in New York. I was fortunate enough to work on TV sets and film sets. Whether the crew was two hundred or two, I knew then, that even with all the work and sacrifice that filmmaking asks, I still loved it. My passion for filmmaking stretched to screenwriting and that's what I am currently working on learning.


How has the MFA in Writing program prepared you to enter the industry?

I feel confident that when I graduate I will be able to have a career in the industry thanks to the faculty. The professors have been amazing at teaching us the business aspect of screenwriting. We have had practice pitching sessions with working producers and had workshops with working writers, directors and actors who have given us great insight. The individual attention that they have given us has been incredible. I feel very fortunate to say that we have had Oscar winning screenwriters come and give us advice on the industry. The Film school invests time to make sure that we have classes dedicated to the practical aspects of screenwriting as well as the creative side. This combination in a two-year period assures our preparedness.