On June 29, DGA members gathered at the Guild’s Los Angeles headquarters for the Seventh Annual 1st AD Breakfast. Hosted by the AD/UPM Council West’s 1st AD Committee, this year’s event was titled The 1st AD-Director Dynamic, and was designed to provide information necessary to stay competitive in today’s workplace through an exploration of techniques that can make 1st ADs more efficient and effective.
Following a breakfast/social mixer during which the attendees were encouraged to sign up for a discussion group that would further explore the topics of the day, 1st AD Committee Co-Chair Mark Hansson (The Glades), AD/UPM Council West Chair Marie Cantin (Days of Wrath), 1st Vice Chair Cleve Landsberg (Perception) and DGA Associate Western Executive Director Jon Larson welcomed the attendees and gave an overview of how the day would proceed.
Then Hansson introduced the co- hosts for the breakout discussion groups: Kevin Brady (national commercials), Joe Camp III (Now You See Me), Vernon Davidson (The Goldbergs), Steve Dunn (Safe Haven), Susie Flower (Parks and Recreation), Franklyn Gottbetter (Episodes), Bruce Humphrey (CSI:NY), Cynthia A. Potthast (Full Circle), Vicki Rhodes (Everybody Hates Chris), Anthony Rich (The Big Bang Theory), Donald L. Sparks (The Help), and Jerram Swartz (The Walking Dead). During the introductions, each of the co-hosts stated their primary work genre and gave a short example of a 1st AD-Director dynamic aspect they were planning to explore further.
Each group then engaged in a dialogue on the subjects of the day that included: the best advice for new 1st ADs when it comes to prep; how to discuss schedule challenges with a director; how to adapt to different directors and their needs while still serving the company; and what makes an ideal AD/Director situation. Each of the groups also emphasized what was available to members of this category through the Guild such as the free safety training that will soon be mandatory for all 1st AD members, and the online tools such as the Work Reporting function and the Availability List that are accessible via the DGA website.
Afterward, the groups all reassembled in the Boardroom to report the results of their discussions.
The AD/UPM Council West First AD Committee meets to plan events, exchange information, share ideas and address issues facing 1st AD members. In addition to Committee Co-Chairs: Mark Hansson and Alan Curtiss, the 1st AD Committee Members are: Tony Adler, Tracey Smith Baumert, David Bernstein, Nicole Burke, Steve Danton, Bruce Franklin, Katterli Frauenfelder, Gary Goldman, Jim Goldthwait, Franklyn Gottbetter, Van Hayden, John Hockridge, Tom Irvine, Eric Jewett, Kevin Koster, Larry Lerner, Linda Montanti, Michele Panelli-Venetis, Cynthia Potthast, Lou Race, Liz Ryan, Babu Subramaniam, Julian Wall, and Eddie Ziv.