I hate to burst your bubble but they are all just titles. Lol. Kidding...not really. Let's start from the bottom up. (Note: These descriptions are simplified. Each role goes above and beyond what's written below.) First some background on Creative Departments:
I applied to several graduate programs. The majority of them were MFA Film or Writing programs, some were MA Film programs and some were MA Creative Writing programs. What's the difference in those degrees, you ask? MFA (Master's of Fine Art) is a practical degree, where you not only study the art but you physically do the art. An MA (Master's of Art) is more of a theoretical degree where you study the art but you don't necessarily practice it. Make sense? Maybe not but that's the gist of it. For example, an MFA is to a Filmmaker what an MA is to a professor (there are always exceptions to the rule).
As I told you, I wanted to be a writer. At this time in my life I had narrowed it down to a TV writer. Well, after taking the GRE twice (only one of my schools needed this score, it happened to be the school I attended!), practically teaching myself how to write a screenplay, and writing more admissions essays than anyone ever wants to write in a lifetime, I was finally accepted into two of the programs: American Film Institute in LA and Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. So therein lies the question: Shannan, why didn't you choose AFI? Well, we have to back up a bit to find the answer.
I was that kid, sitting in my 3rd grade class, learning about descriptive writing and eating it all up. After reading my first descriptive story, my teacher Mrs. Jones told me I should be a writer. Great! At 8 years old, I totally knew what profession I'd be going into. I wrote my first novel at age 10. I wrote short stories that kept me up all night because I didn't want to leave my characters to solve their own problems. I carried R.L. Stine, Beverly Clearly and eventually Terry McMillan in my purse because if boredom ever tried to sneak in, I would disappear into another world.
I wanted to be an author, knowing that I'd need a day job because you don't become Stephen King over night. You have to pay your bills somehow. .
Shannan E. Johnson, a writer who doesn't write.