DD Kickoff

East Coast Director Development Initiative Kickoff Event

June 8, 2017 A DGA Diversity Event in New York

On June 8, DGA members gathered at the Guild’s New York Theater for the East Coast launch of the DGA’s Director Development Initiative (DDI), a DGA Diversity program. The DDI program focuses on education, networking, and career development for DGA Director Members in episodic television. The program features curriculum-based labs designed to provide current information on the Director’s craft with a focus on preparation for the marketplace.

Following a welcome from DGA National Vice President Vincent Misiano, DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chairs Todd Holland and Bethany Rooney spoke briefly about the program which initially launched on the West Coast as a pilot program in 2016. Detailing the success of the Los Angeles version, Holland and Rooney touched upon the work that has been done with members of the Eastern diversity committees and the DGA staff to develop a preliminary framework around an East Coast program designed to mirror the success of its counterpart.

After the introductions, the program kicked off in earnest with the panel discussion, Making it Happen: Accountability & Opportunity featuring veteran Directors Darnell Martin (Sleepy Hollow), Martha Mitchell (Chicago Justice), Don Scardino (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), and Holland (The Real O’Neals).

In a conversation moderated by Rooney (Pretty Little Liars), the panelists engaged in an exploration of the attributes of success and tackled questions such as: can episodic directors be held accountable for their own careers, does gender play a role in the concept of accountability, is there ever a time in a director’s career when one can relax and not be accountable, the single most important thing one can do for oneself to continue to evolve and  become a better director, and what they know now that they didn’t know when they were starting out. At the end of the discussion, the floor was opened to questions from the audience and all attendees were invited to a reception with the panelists.


ABOUT THE PANELISTS:

DDIKO ECTodd Holland
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 ECDarnell Martin
With 40 credits to her name Martin’s filmography  includes the feature film Cadillac Records, and episodes of the series Sleepy Hollow, Blindspot, The Walking Dead, Grimm, The Vampire Diaries and Law & Order: Criminal Intent to name a few. In 1994 she was nominated for Cannes Film Festival Golden Camera award for her debut feature I Like It Like That, which also earned her the "Best New Director" prize at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. She also garnered a DGA Award nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television for her 2005 film Their Eyes Were Watching God. Martin has been a DGA member since 1993 and has served as an alternate on the Eastern Directors Council.

 

DDIKO ECMartha Mitchell
Mitchell has directed over 100 episodes of television including series such as Chicago Justice, Madam Secretary, White Collar, Blue Bloods, The Mentalist, Without a Trace, NCIS, House, Veronica Mars, Numb3rs, Joan of Arcadia, Judging Amy, Law & Order, Strong Medicine, The Education of Max Bickford, Touched by an Angel, Chicago Hope, The Practice, Timecop, and New York Undercover. Mitchell has been a DGA member since 1994 and has served as both a member and an alternate on the Eastern Directors Council.

 

DDIKO ECDon Scardino
A DGA member since 1986, Scardino has more than 50 directing credits on his filmography including the feature films Me & Veronica, Advice from a Caterpillar, and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone; and episodes of the series such as 2 Broke Girls, My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The West Wing, Rescue Me, Sports Night, and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. Scardino has garnered four DGA Award nominations, two in the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series category for episodes of 30 Rock and another two in the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical/Variety category for episodes of Tracey Takes On... He also earned two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for episodes of Tracey Takes On...  Scardino has also served as an alternate on the Eastern Directors Council.

 

DDIKO ECBethany Rooney (moderator)
Rooney has directed over 200 hours of prime time TV including critically acclaimed series such as Scandal, Arrow and Nashville, and classics including Desperate Housewives, Ally McBeal and Brothers & Sisters. She began her directing career on the 1980s iconic television show, St. Elsewhere, where she also served as an associate producer. In addition to co-authoring three books on directing with Belli, Rooney has taught directing at UCLA Extension and numerous acting workshops in the LA area. A DGA member since 1985, Rooney formerly served as a Co-Chair of the Guild’s Women’s Steering Committee and is currently member of the Western Directors Council, an alternate on the DGA National Board, and a Co-Chair of the DGA Diversity Task Force.


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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07/20/18-07/26/18
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