DDI Lab Career Navigation

Career Navigation: Getting the Job and Getting Asked Back

April 12, 2017 A DGA Director Development Initiative Lab

DGA members looking for ways to improve and help themselves get ready for their next episodic job, gathered in the Guild’s Los Angeles Atrium on April 12, for the DGA Director Development Initiative’s first interactive lab, Career Navigation: Getting the Job and Getting Asked Back. 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 and this event featured veteran Directors and other industry professionals teaching the participants how to navigate a career as an episodic television director and key strategies for networking.

The evening began with “Elevator Pitch” sessions where participants shared their personal story pitches in 60 seconds with DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Todd Holland, Directors Norberto Barba, Bob Koherr, Linda Mendoza, Rosemary Rodriguez, and Ken Whittingham, Producer Andrea Simon, MTV VP Dana Gotlieb-Carter, Warner Brothers Television Workshop/Current Programming VP Christopher Mack, and Agents Toochis Morin, Eric Pertilla and Brant Rose.

In the next part of the event, Whittingham, Gotlieb-Carter, Morin, Pertilla Rose and Simon were the panelists for the discussion, “Getting 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 jumpstart their careers.

Following a break, the event continued with the panel discussion, “Getting Asked Back.” With Holland once again serving as moderator, Barba, Koherr, Mendoza, Rodriguez, and Mack 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 third “Elevator Pitch” session where the participants could immediately put to test the information they had received during the lab.


DDI Lab Career NavigationDirector Todd 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.


DDI Lab Career NavigationDirector Norberto Barba
Barba has directed over eighty 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 starring Virginia Madsen and Harry Dean Stanton and Solo. He also serves as the Executive Producer and Director on the series Grimm and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. He has been a DGA member since 1994.

DDI Lab Career NavigationVP Dana Gotlieb-Carter
Gotlieb-Carter is Vice President of MTV Scripted Development and Current and has covered shows including Awkward, Teen Wolf, Scream, The Shannara Chronicles, Faking It, Finding Carter, Loosely Exactly Nicole, and I Just Want My Pants Back. Prior to MTV, Gotlieb-Carter worked at ABC on shows including Scrubs, Miss Guided, and Notes from the Underbelly.
DDI Lab Career NavigationDirector Bob Koherr
Koherr started as a sketch and improv comedy performer before launching his episodic television directing career with an episode of The Drew Carey Show and becoming one of the regular directors of that series. Since joining the DGA in 2000, he has been directing half-hour multi-cam comedies including: Anger Management, Bunk'd, Jessie, Hannah Montana, Wanda at Large, and Good Luck Charlie. He also directed four pilots to date, all of which went to series.
DDI Lab Career NavigationVP Christopher Mack
Mack is a Senior Vice President at Warner Bros. Television and has headed the studio’s Television Workshop for the past nine years. He has also covered shows like Two and a Half Men and Smallville for the Current Programs Department. He has been at the forefront of launching Stage 13, a digital initiative for the studio. Previously, he worked as a writer on various one-hour dramas including ER, The Practice and the new The Twilight Zone. He began his career in television at NBC Studios where he oversaw a varied list of shows including The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, In the House, Homicide: Life on the Street, and The Pretender.
DDI Lab Career NavigationDirector Linda Mendoza
A DGA Member since 1987, Mendoza started her directing career on The Chris Rock Show and The Bernie Mac Show. Her work has included episodes of 30 Rock, Men at Work, Scrubs, Gilmore Girls, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. She earned an ALMA Award for her “Betty’s Baby Bump” episode of Ugly Betty. Mendoza also earned DGA Award nominations for her specials Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House (2015) and Paul McCartney: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in Performance at The White House (2010).
DDI Lab Career NavigationAgent Toochis Morin Rose
Morin Rose worked with Monty Python’s Eric Idle on the Broadway musicals Spamalot and The Rutles 2: Can’t Buy Me Lunch prior to joining Brant Rose Agency as an agent. She also worked in Business Affairs at Mandalay Pictures. Morin Rose studied Filmic Writing and Still Photography at USC School of Cinematic Arts and prior to film school, performed off-Broadway and worked in TV and film as an actor.
DDI Lab Career NavigationAgent Eric Pertilla
Originally aiming to be a sports agent, an internship at New Line Cinema led Pertilla to a love for the movie business. After several years of temp jobs, internships, assistant, and executive positions for companies like CBS and Disney, and in working talent management at Mosaic, he is currently an agent at Paradigm Talent Agency.

DDI Lab Career NavigationDirector Rosemary Rodriguez
Rodriguez began her directorial career by writing and directing the Independent Spirit Award-nominated feature Acts of Worship. Her second feature, Silver Skies, won “Best Feature” at Manhattan Film Festival. Rodriguez’s episodic television work includes The Walking Dead, Jessica Jones, Sneaky Pete, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, Empire, Hawthorne, Third Watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Rescue Me, and 18 episodes of The Good Wife including the 100th. A DGA member since 2004, Rodriguez also serves as the Fourth Vice President of the Guild.

DDI Lab Career NavigationAgent Brant Rose
As an agent who represents writers, directors and producers in television, film and new media, Rose has helped shape the careers of a number of DGA, Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy, WGA and Independent Spirit Award winners and nominees. He has served on the Sundance Producers Conference, the American Cinematheque board, and the I Have A Dream Foundation-LA. Prior to the entertainment business, Rose worked in brand management/marketing at Procter & Gamble after graduating Dartmouth College with a degree in Government.

DDI Lab Career NavigationProducer/Manager Andrea Simon
Simon began Andrea Simon Entertainment after a successful career as a literary agent. Some of her clients’ credits include Fear the Walking Dead, The Americans, House of Cards, Shameless, Masters of Sex, Scandal, The Blacklist, Grey’s Anatomy, This Is Us, Jane the Virgin, Community, Hung, Big Love, The Good Wife, and The Sopranos. As a producer, she has set up projects at HBO, Amazon Studios, Lifetime, Corus and OddLot Entertainment.

DDI Lab Career NavigationDirector Ken Whittingham
During his over 25 years in the industry Whittingham has directed episodes for television series including black-ish, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Survivor’s Remorse, Parenthood, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Entourage, Everybody Hates Chris, King of Queens, and The Bernie Mac Show. Whittingham won NAACP Image Awards for his work on Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and The Office. He has been a DGA member since 1987.

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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