DDI PB NY

Creating a Personal Brand in the Marketplace

October 7, 2017 A DGA East Coast Director Development Initiative Interactive Lab

DGA members looking for ways to improve their prospects and prepare for their next directing job in episodic television gathered in the Guild’s New York Boardroom on October 7, for the East Coast 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 to help 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 and an introduction by DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Todd Holland (The Real O’Neals), the lab began with a panel discussion featuring veteran Directors Brooke Kennedy (The Good Fight), Jan Eliasberg (The Magicians), Don Scardino (My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Marcos Siega (The Following), and Digital Branding Consultants Rob Barnett of Rob Barnett Media and Brendan Gahan of Epic Signal. In a conversation moderated by Holland, these experts discussed how directors can take advantage of the tools available in the digital age and become their own best advocates 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 Review” sessions where they received advice on how to refine their personal brand and got feedback on their clip reels.


ABOUT THE PANELISTS:

DDI NY PBDirector 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. Holland also serves as an alternate on both the DGA National Board and the Western Directors Council. He and Director Bethany Rooney serve as Co-Chairs of the DGA Diversity Task Force.

 

Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked BackDirector Brooke Kennedy
After beginning her career as a location coordinator, Kennedy served as an executive producer for several television series including Third Watch and The Good Wife for which she directed select episodes. Other directing credits include episodes of The Good Fight, and Brain Dead. Currently, Kennedy serves as the Second Vice President of the DGA and as a member of the Eastern Directors Council. She has been a DGA member since 1985.

 

Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked BackDirector Jan Eliasberg
Eliasberg’s prolific directing career includes the feature film, Past Midnight, multiple episodes of television series such as Bull; Nashville; The Magicians; Blue Bloods; Parenthood; Criminal Minds and Supernatural; anddramatic pilots for CBS, NBC and ABC. She is currently in pre-production on the indie feature Before I Sleep from her original screenplay. A DGA member since 1985, Eliasberg currently serves as an alternate member of the Eastern Directors Council and is a member of the Council’s Focus on Women Committee.

 

Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked BackDirector Don 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.

 

Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked BackDirector Marcos Siega
Siega began his directorial career with videos for music videos for bands such as Weezer, System of a Down, and Blink-182. His filmography also includes the dark comedy feature Chaos Theory; multiple episodes ofacclaimed television series such as Dexter, True Blood, Veronica Mars, Cold Case and Blindspot; and the pilot episodes of Vampire Diaries, The Following, Time After Time and The Passage. He is currently serving as the Executive Producer/Director for Lifetime’s new series You. Siega has been a DGA member since 2001.


Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked BackDigital Branding Consultant Rob Barnett (Rob Barnett Media)
Barnett creates innovative, original media with communicators and entertainers in pop culture. Formerly a creative management executive at networks like MTV, VH1 and CBS, he founded My Damn Channel, an online studio and network served as its CEO before launching Rob Barnett Media in 2016 to deliver talent, development and audiences to networks, producers and brands.


Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked BackDigital Branding Consultant Brendan Gahan (Epic Signal)
Gahan is founder of Epic Signal and works with Fortune 500 brands on their YouTube influencer and community building campaigns. He is also on the advisory board for Vidcon, the largest YouTube gathering and was featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Marketing & Advertising. Gahan was invited to the White House, during the Obama Administration, as one of the nation’s youth leaders to advise on how to get the word out about the Affordable Care Act.


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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