DDi Landing the Job

Landing the Job: The Role of the Creative Executive

October 26, 2017 A DGA Director Development Initiative interactive lab in Los Angeles

DGA members seeking ways to better prepare for their next episodic directing assignment gathered at the Guild’s Los Angeles headquarters on October 26, for the DGA Director Development Initiative’s final interactive lab of 2017, Landing the Job: The Role of the Creative Executive. The event provided an opportunity for the participants to learn directly from creative executives what they look for when hiring directors for episodic television.

Following an introduction from DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Todd Holland, the lab kicked off with a panel discussion where Amazon Studios Development and Programming Executive Jill Arthur, Sony Pictures Television Executive Vice President Jeffrey Glaser, Paramount Television Senior Vice President Katy Rozelle, Universal Television Executive Vice President Chris Sanagustin, Twentieth Century Fox Television Senior Vice President Dana Sharpless and CBS Entertainment Senior Vice President Pamela Soper shared their thoughts on the subject of the evening in a conversation moderated by Director/DGA Past President Paris Barclay.

Following the panel, 60 DGA members participating in the lab had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with creative executives in a simulated interview scenario. These participants had been required to prepare for these mock interviews by sending the executives their reels, bios, and resumes for the executive to review.

You can watch video highlights from the discussion in the gallery below.
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Members can watch the full video from all of the
Director Development Initiative Speaker Series events by clicking here.


DDi Landing the JobDirector Paris Barclay (moderator)
Barclay is a preeminent force in television entertainment who has directed more than 150 episodes of television and was active as a Director Producer for series including: Pitch, The Bastard Executioner, Sons of Anarchy, Cold Case, City of Angels and NYPD Blue. He also has directed episodes of House, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife, CSI, Lost, The Shield, The West Wing and ER; as well as three films: Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; and the movies for television The Cherokee Kid and The Big Time. He earned two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Direction of a Drama Series for NYPD Blue, received six additional Emmy nominations for both producing and directing, garnered ten DGA Award nominations and became the first Director in the history of the Guild to receive a comedy and a drama nomination in the same year, two years in a row (In Treatment and Weeds in 2008; In Treatment and Glee in 2009). He won the 1998 DGA Dramatic Series Award for his NYPD Blue episode “Heart and Souls.” A DGA member since 1992, Barclay’s service includes two terms as President of the Guild as well as numerous terms on the National Board and Western Directors Council and chairmanship and participation in several committees. He was honored with the DGA Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award in 2007, which is given for providing extraordinary service to the Guild.


DDI Building Your Team Agents and ManagersJill Arthur
Arthur is a veteran of Amazon Studios, where she is a Development and Programming Executive. She has overseen a number of scripted series including Red Oaks and The Tick. Previously, she was in charge of development at Jerry Weintraub Productions where she successfully steered projects like Tarzan, was fundamental in setting up HBO’s DGA Award nominated series Westworld and involved with Director Steven Soderbergh’s 2013 DGA Award-winning movie for television Behind the Candelabra, among others.


DDI Building Your Team Agents and ManagersJeffrey Glaser
Glaser currently serves as Executive Vice President, U.S. Current Programming for Sony Pictures Television Studios (SPTS). Previously, he spent nearly twenty years at 20th Century Fox Television, serving as Head of Current Programming for over half the time, guiding series to syndication sales and supervising series such as 24, Arrested Development, Bones, Empire, Family Guy, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family and The X-Files.


DDI Building Your Team Agents and ManagersKaty Rozelle
Rozelle currently serves as a Senior Vice President, Development of Paramount Television and has been on the Paramount Television team since its inception. She oversees the USA series Shooter and this year she spearheaded the approach to option the series rights to Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. Previously, she oversaw three seasons of Burning Love, two seasons of The Hotwives of Orlando and Bajillion Dollar Propertie$.


DDI Building Your Team Agents and ManagersChris Sanagustin
Sanagustin is the Executive Vice President, Current Programming at Universal Television (UTV) where she oversees the award-winning series such as Bates Motel, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Will & Grace, Superstore, The Good Place, The Mindy Project, and the multi-Emmy-nominated Master of None and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. In 2008, she made her directorial debut with Fleece, a short film she co-wrote and produced as part of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women.


DDI Building Your Team Agents and ManagersDana Sharpless
Sharpless currently serves as Senior Vice President of Current Programming at Twentieth Century Fox Television where she began her career over 18 years ago as an Assistant in the Drama Department. She has guided drama and comedy series including Empire, Star, 24, the American Horror Story franchise, Prison Break, Boston Legal, The Practice, The Last Man On Earth, Reba, Last Man Standing and the upcoming Ryan Murphy series 9-1-1.


DDI Building Your Team Agents and ManagersPamela Soper
Soper is the Senior Vice President of Current Programing at CBS Entertainment where she oversees new and returning series for CBS Network and CBS Television Studios including The Good Fight, S.W.A.T., Mom and NCIS: New Orleans. With over 15 years of experience, Soper has also shepherded award-winning programs such as The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, Jane the Virgin, Person of Interest and The Unit.

Other VIP Hosts

In addition to the panelists above the following creative executives participated in the one-on-one meetings with the lab attendees:

Juan Alfonso, VP Drama Development, ABC Studios; Lauren Anderson, Chief Content Officer of NBC Universal and Snap Inc.; Erynn Baldwin, VP Development, Paramount Television; Debra Bergman , SVP Production, Paramount Television; Cara Dellaverson, SVP Drama Development, NBC Entertainment; Jo DiSante, VP Current Programming, ABC Television Network; Jonathan Frank, EVP, Current Series & FX Productions ; Jenny Fritz, Director, Comedy Development, ABC Studios; Kelly Goode, VP Current Programming, Warner Bros. Television; Brian Harvey, Development Executive, Amazon Studios; Todd Holland, Director/Producer and Co-Chair, DGA Diversity Task Force; Lisa Lang McMullen, VP Comedy Development, ABC Studios; Michelle Mendelovitz, VP, U.S. Scripted Programming, Sony Pictures Television; Jeff Meyerson, VP Comedy Development, NBC Entertainment; Mike Nunes, VP Current Programming, NBC Entertainment; Steven Prinz , Development Executive, Amazon Studios; Chris Salvaterra, SVP Miniseries and Programming, HBO/Cinemax; Kyle Schmitz, Director, Scripted Programming, Warner Horizon; Dan Shear, VP Comedy Development, Universal Television; Reena Singh , VP Current Programming, Twentieth Century Fox Television; Christina Smith , Director Current Programming, NBC Entertainment; Steve Tao, Creative Consultant, The CW Network; Hillary Turner , Director, Original Series Development, Disney Channel/Disney XD; and Molly Wilson , Director, Current Programming, Warner Bros. Television. And DGA Executive in Charge of Diversity Programs and Committees Frank Bennett Gonzalez.

 DDi Landing the Job

About the Director Development Initiative:

The Director Development Initiative 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.

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