Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked Back

Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked Back

June 10, 2017 A DGA East Coast Director Development Initiative Interactive Lab

On the heels of the successful launch of the Guild’s new East Coast Director Development Initiative (DDI) on June 8, the program leapt into action with its first interactive lab, Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked Back, on June 10. DGA members looking for ways to improve and help themselves get ready for their next episodic job gathered at the Guild’s New York boardroom to receive valuable information on how to navigate a career as an episodic television director and hear key strategies for networking from veteran Directors and other industry professionals. The event was modeled on a previous similar lab that took place in Los Angeles on April 12, 2017.

Following a welcome from DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Todd Holland, the morning began with an “Elevator Pitch” session where participants shared their personal story pitches in 60 seconds with Directors Laura Belsey, Brooke Kennedy, Eric Stoltz and Jet Wilkinson; Agents Vanessa Livingston from Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston and Scott Yoselow from Gersh NY; Manager Johnnie Planco from Parseghian Planco; and Holland.

In the next part of the event, Planco, Livingston and Yoselow were the panelists for the discussion, “Get the Job.” In a conversation moderated by Holland, the panelists explored the relationship between directors, agents and managers and how directors can put their best foot forward to acquire representation and jump-start their careers.

Following a break, the event continued with the panel discussion, “Get Asked Back.” With Holland once again serving as moderator, Belsey, Kennedy, Stoltz and Wilkinson discussed their careers, how they got their start and delved into the relationship they have to maintain with the studio or Executive Producer when working on various projects.

The final part of the evening featured a final opportunity for the participants to hone their “Elevator Pitch” skills during a final session where they could immediately try out the information they had received during the lab.


DDIKO ECTodd Holland (moderator)
A DGA member since 1986, Holland broke into the industry after Steven Spielberg saw his short film, Chicken Thing, and hired him to write and direct for the series Amazing Stories. Since that start, he has directed three feature films and more than 170 episodes of television spanning the gamut of genres from dramas like Twin Peaks, My So Called Life, and Shameless to comedies like Tales of the Crypt, Friends and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in comedy. His work has earned him three Emmy Awards and eight nominations; five CableAce Awards; a DGA award and six DGA nominations; and a WGA nomination. He was a key creative force behind The Larry Sanders Show, Malcolm in the Middle, and co-creator of Wonderfalls. His recent work includes executive producing and directing the pilots for the series The Real O’Neals and Furst Born. Holland also serves as an alternate on both the DGA National Board and the Western Directors Council.


DDIKO ECDirector Laura Belsey
Belsey has directed the documentary Katrina's Children; episodes of Arrow, Blindspot, Bull, Chicago Med, Criminal Minds, NCIS New Orleans, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Stitchers, Unforgettable and Law & Order SVU; and hundreds of commercials. A DGA member since 1993, Belsey was recently elected the Sixth Vice President of the Guild and also serves as a member of the Eastern Directors Council.


DDIKO ECDirector Brooke Kennedy
After beginning her career as a location coordinator, Kennedy served as an executive producer for several television series including Third Watch and The Good Wife for which she directed select episodes. Other directing credits include episodes of The Good Fight, and Brain Dead. Currently, Kennedy serves as the Second Vice President of the DGA and as a member of the Eastern Directors Council. She has been a DGA member since 1985.


DDIKO ECDirector Eric Stoltz
Stoltz began his directorial career with the Emmy-winning children’s special My Horrible Year! His other directing credits include episodes of Boston Legal, Glee, Madam Secretary and the upcoming feature Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk. A DGA member since 2000, Stoltz formerly served as an alternate on the DGA National Board and is currently a member of the Eastern Directors Council.


DDIKO ECDirector Jet Wilkinson
Originally from Sydney, Australia, Wilkinson has been working in the television industry for 22 years and has directed non-stop for the past 16 years with over 200 episodes of Australian television drama and earning two Australian Director’s Guild Awards nominations in the category of Best Achievement in Direction for a Television Drama Series Since joining the DGA in 2015 Wilkinson has expanded her career into the U.S. market, with episodes of Madam Secretary, Iron Fist, How to Get Away with Murder, Bull, Zoo, Code Black, American Gothic, The Punisher and Jessica Jones.


Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked BackAgent Vanessa Livingston (Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston)
Livingston is a partner at literary agency Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston in Beverly Hills where she represents writers and directors with an impressive list of credits. Before becoming an agent, she was a manager at Tavel Entertainment where she developed series, feature films and movies for television for her clientele. She started her career with a variety of jobs, including working in development for foreign-financed films with Richard Attenborough and as a casting assistant for James L. Brooks.

Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked BackAgent Scott Yoselow (Gersh NY)
Yoselow is a New York-based talent and literary agent who began his career in the legendary William Morris mailroom, working as an assistant for various film, casting, theatre and music agents. He joined The Gersh Agency after helping to open the New York office in the 1980s. Over a career spanning more than three decades, Yoselow has built an award winning client list including playwrights, below-the-line talent, as well as feature and television writers, producers and directors.

Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked BackManager Johnnie Planco (Parseghian Planco)
Born and raised in New York, Planco joined the famed William Morris Agency Mailroom in 1972 and became the youngest department head and senior vice president in the agency’s history, running both the Motion Picture department in New York and the William Morris Talent Department which he created. After 28 years at WMA, he and Gene Parseghian formed Parseghian Planco, a Management and Production company with an impressive client base which soon merged with Untitled Entertainment, a Los Angeles Management firm with an equally list of A-List clients. The company specializes in film and theater projects.

About the Director Development Initiative:

The Director Development Initiative is a DGA Diversity program focusing on education, networking, and career development for DGA Members. The program features curriculum-based labs designed to provide current information on the Director’s craft and focus on preparation for the marketplace.

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