DDI Creating A Personal Brand

Creating a Personal Brand in the Marketplace

June 28, 2017 A DGA Director Development Initiative interactive lab in Los Angeles

DGA members looking for ways to improve and help themselves get ready for their next episodic job, gathered in the Guild’s Los Angeles Boardroom on June 28, for the DGA Director Development Initiative’s second interactive lab, Creating a Personal Brand in the Marketplace. The series is designed to provide current information on the Director’s craft in order to further the Guild’s mission to increase the diversity of the industry. This lab featured veteran Directors and other industry professionals sharing their knowledge of how directors can shape their story by understanding personal branding, interpersonal communication skills, the importance of their online image, and professional marketing tools.

Following a welcome by Frank Bennett Gonzalez, DGA Executive in Charge of Diversity Programs and Committees, and an introduction by DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Bethany Rooney, the lab began with the panel discussion, Creating A Personal Brand in the Marketplace, featuring veteran Directors Norberto Barba (Grimm), Karen Gaviola (Lucifer), and A. Laura James (Bunk'd); talent agents Amy Retzinger (Verve) and Paul Alan Smith (E.S. Artists), brand strategist Joie Gharrity (113 Branding) and personal branding consultant Brian Rodda (Brian Rodda Consulting). In a conversation moderated by Rooney, these experts discussed how directors can take advantage of the tools available in the digital age and become their own best advocate by strengthening their personal brand and raising their profile online and in social media.

After the discussion, the attendees broke into smaller groups for “Reel Pitch” sessions where they received feedback on their clip reels. Gharrity and Rodda also led a discussion about social media as a useful tool for furthering one’s branding and the importance of establishing an online presence on various digital platforms to add to your marketability.

You can watch video highlights from the discussion in the gallery below.
DGA members, please log in to view the full discussion from this event.

Members can watch the full video from all of the
Director Development Initiative Speaker Series events by clicking here.


DDI Creating A Personal BrandDirector Bethany 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.


DDI Creating A Personal BrandDirector Norberto Barba
Barba has directed over 80 hours of television including episodes of The Bridge, Fringe, In Treatment, Law & Order: SVU, Numb3rs, and Suits; as well as the feature film credits Blue Tiger and Solo. He was an Executive Producer and Director on the series Grimm and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. A DGA member since 1994, Barba has served as an alternate on Western Directors Council.


DDI Creating A Personal BrandDirector Karen Gaviola
Gaviola has directed over 110 hours of television including episodes of Lucifer, Supergirl, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Blindspot, NCIS: Los Angeles, Criminal Minds, Sons of Anarchy, Private Practice, CSI: Miami, Without a Trace, NYPD Blue, Cold Case, and Lost. Mostly recently, she served as the supervising producer/director on the series, Lucifer. A DGA member since 1985, Gaviola serves on the DGA National Board and is an active member of the DGA Women’s Steering Committee, Asian American Committee, and the TV Creative Rights Committee.


DDI Creating A Personal BrandDirector A. Laura James
James has directed episodes of series such as Bunk'd and Austin & Ally as well as digital shorts for Disney Channel. A DGA member since 2013, James currently serves as a co-chair of the Women’s Steering Committee (WSC), and previously she spearheaded a hands-on Online Presence Workshop for the WSC which gave participants the opportunity to work one-on-one with experts to help shape their personal brand across their digital platforms.


DDI Creating A Personal BrandBrand Strategist Joie Gharrity
The founder of 113 Branding, Gharrity is a brand strategist, marketer, author, and international speaker who has worked in the entertainment industry for more than 15 years at top companies in film, television, original web content, and branded entertainment. Through 113 Branding, Gharrity integrates her strategic branding and marketing vision with both the creative and business sides of the entertainment industry. Her recent book, The Red Carpet Guide to Visibility and Influence, includes branding and marketing strategies, techniques, tools, and tips to gaining visibility and influence.


DDI Creating A Personal BrandTalent Agent Amy Retzinger
Retzinger is a partner at Verve with a particular focus in television. She has fostered a diverse list of high profile director and writer clients, while also being an adamant supporter of women in the agency, hiring or mentoring a number of female agents. After graduating from Harvard, Retzinger worked for a short time in television documentary production in Boston, where she traveled the world, learned Malay, and lived on an oil rig. In 1999, she moved to Los Angeles where she began her career as an assistant at The Gersh Agency.


DDI Creating A Personal BrandConsultant Brian Rodda
Rodda has vast experience in personal branding and viral marketing, having worked passionately with over 100 clients to launch their independently produced content online since 2007. In 2011, he founded Brian Rodda Consulting through which he has worked with notable web series. His web series, The Brian Rodda Show, which he also produced, has been submitted for consideration for Outstanding Original Interactive Program for this year’s Emmy Awards.


DDI Creating A Personal BrandTalent Agent Paul Alan Smith
Since 1984, Smith has predominantly worked as an agent in the motion picture/television business agencies including Triad Artists, BKWU and ICM. In 2013 he opened his own firm, E.S. Artists, out of his desire to create an example of how a “for-profit” company can help cure long-standing sociopolitical ills. The rapidly-growing company represents writers and directors as either a manager or agent.

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.

< >
Log in as a Member to see upcoming events, screenings, and meetings.
DDI Lab Career Navigation
A DGA Director Development Initiative Lab
Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked Back
A DGA East Coast Director Development Initiative Interactive Lab
Episodic TV Directing Class
A DGA Director Development Initiative Workshop
DDI Editing and Post
A Director Development Initiative Event
DDI Mis-En-Scene 0916
A Director Development Initiative Event
DDIC Workshop
A DGA Director Development Initiative Career Workshop
A DGA Director Development Initiative Event