Actors Turned Directors The Storytellers Journey

Actors Turned Directors: The Storyteller’s Journey

October 25, 2017 A DGA Latino Committee event

On October 25, DGA members and guests gathered at the Guild’s Los Angeles headquarters for the Latino Committee’s special event, Actors Turned Directors: The Storyteller’s Journey. The evening featured an enlightening in-depth conversation with Directors Kimberly McCullough (Pretty Little Liars), Lou Diamond Phillips (Longmire) and James Roday (Psych), who all began their careers on the other side of the camera.

Following a VIP reception in the Guild’s Los Angeles Atrium, the action moved to DGA Theater One where DGA Executive in Charge of Diversity Programs and Committees, Frank Bennett Gonzalez welcomed the audience and Latino Committee Co-Chairs Regina Ainsworth, Rami Rivera Frankl and Alejandro Treviño spoke about the work of the Committee before introducing the speakers and guests.

Then in a conversation moderated by Treviño, McCullough, Phillips and Roday discussed how their previous experiences influenced their directorial techniques and informed decisions about casting, rehearsing and eliciting the best performances from actors. They were also joined by special guests, actors Troian Bellisario from Pretty Little Liars and A Martinez from Longmire, who weighed in on what it is like to work with a director who is thoroughly familiar with their end of the craft.

The conversation was illustrated by clips from McCullough and Bellisario’s work on Pretty Little Liars, Phillips and Martinez’s work on Longmire, and Roday pulling double-duty as actor and director on the series Psych and the feature film Gravy. The evening concluded with a Q&A session where the directors and actors took questions from the audience.

About the Panelists:

A2DDirector Alejandro Treviño (Moderator)
Treviño began his career as an actor in Mexico City before transitioning into directing and executive producing. His directing credits include La Chamba, Si Es I, Pepe and Melodia De Amor. A DGA member since 2013, he serves as a Co-Chair of the DGA Latino Committee.


A2DDirector Kimberly McCullough
McCullough made her acting debut at the age of six in Sam Firstenberg’s feature Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. In 1985, she joined General Hospital as Robin Scorpio, and earned two Daytime Emmys for the role. She began directing with the short films Life After, Lil Star and Nice Guys Finish Last before time with the Disney/ABC Talent Development for Directors program lead to directing her first episode of Shake it Up! In addition to Pretty Little Liars, her directorial filmography includes episodes of KC Undercover, One Day at a Time and Youth and Consequences. McCullough joined the DGA in 2013.


Photo to comeDirector Lou Diamond Phillips
Phillips is an actor, director, writer and producer who has worked as an actor in feature films such as Luis Valdez's La Bamba, Edward Zwick's Courage Under Fire and Patricia Riggen's The 33; and episodes of the series including Blindspot, Hawaii Five-0 and Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Ranch. Phillips made his feature directorial debut with Dangerous Touch, which he co-wrote. His other directing credits include the movie for television Love Takes Wing, and episodes of Resurrection Blvd., The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. Phillips joined the DGA in 1998.


A2DDirector James Roday
Roday is best known for his starring role as Shawn Spencer on the comedy series Psych. His acting resume includes Wim Wenders’ Don’t Come Knocking, Jay Chandrasekhar's The Dukes of Hazzard and the upcoming movie for television Psych: The Movie. Roday’s directing credits include episodes of the series Psych, Rosewood, Blood Drive and The Resident. He also co-wrote and directed the feature film Gravy. Roday has been a DGA member since 2008.


A2DActor Troian Bellisario
Bellisario is best known for her starring role on the series Pretty Little Liars, for which she has also directed an episode. Her other acting roles include Sean Hanish's movie for television Sister Cities, Kevin Goetz and Michael Goetz's feature Martyrs and Richard Linklater’s upcoming feature Where’d You Go Bernadette? Bellisario also wrote, produced and starred in the short film Exiles and joined the DGA in 2016.


Photo to comeActor A Martinez
Martinez’s portrayal of Cruz Castillo on the long-running drama Santa Barbara earning him an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. In addition to his work on Longmire, his acting resume also includes episodes of the television series NCIS, The Bold and the Beautiful, Castle, Criminal Minds, General Hospital, All in the Family and Kung Fu; features such as Susan Seidelman's She-Devil and Mark Rydell's The Cowboys and Paris Barclay’s movie for television The Cherokee Kid.

About the DGA Latino Committee:

The Latino Committee (LC) was created as a networking group to advance career and job opportunities for Latino DGA members by improving craft skills, networking, and making Latinos better known to the Hollywood creative community. The Committee meets monthly and the current Co-Chairs Co-Chairs are Directors Regina Ainsworth, Rami Rivera Frankl and Alejandro Treviño. The event was organized by the LC Events Subcommittee, Co-Chaired by Ainsworth and John Mendoza with members Frank Aragon, Efrain Cortes, A.P. Gonzalez and Alicia Zaragoza.

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