DDI Navigating the Marketplace: Representation and Networking

Navigating the Marketplace: Representation, Networking & Director Demo Reel Review

May 23, 2018 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 headquarters on May 23 for the DGA Director Development Initiative’s (DDI) second interactive lab in Los Angeles for 2018. Navigating the Marketplace: Representation, Networking & Director Demo Reel Review provided an opportunity for the participants to better understand the world of representation, the art of building a team and the importance of working with their representatives to further a creative career. The lab also featured a Director Demo Reel Review that gave the participants critical feedback on their clip reels and the opportunity to network with representatives.

Following a welcome by DGA Executive in Charge of Diversity Programs and Committees Frank Bennett Gonzalez, DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chairs Todd Holland and Bethany Rooney gave a breakdown of how the lab would proceed. Then the lab kicked off with a presentation about the importance of director reels and how they lead to career opportunities with commentary from VIP guests: Directors Norberto Barba, Lesli Linka Glatter and Michael Lehmann, Agents Sean Barclay (The Gersh Agency), Michael Kolodny (Kaplan Stahler Agency) and Leah Yerushalaim (CAA), and Managers Eddie Gamarra (The Gotham Group) and Lucy Stutz (Rain Management). To supplement the discussion, three reels were highlighted from directors in the DGA’s DDI Mentorship program who have gone on to be hired for episodes including Tara Miele (Arrow), Valerie Weiss (Scandal) and Marcus Stokes (Blindspot).

Following the brief discussion, the lab’s attendees had the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions where they presented their personal one-minute pitches, discussed shows they are interested in directing and presented their directing reels to the group. The VIP guests acted as group leaders and provided feedback on the reels from a directorial and representational standpoint.

The evening concluded with a recap from each of the groups with members discussing the valuable feedback given to them regarding their reels.


Todd HollandDirector 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 has served on the Western Directors Council.


Bethany RooneyDirector 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.


Norberto BarbaDirector Norberto Barba
Barba has directed over 100 hours of television including episodes of S.W.A.T., The Path, The Strain, Preacher, Designated Survivor, Chicago Justice, Pure Genius, The Bridge, Lights Out, Ice, Against the Wall, Trauma, In Treatment, Fringe, The Event, Suits, NCIS: Los Angeles, Blade: The Series, Conviction, Threshold, CSI: Miami, Kojak, Medical Investigation, American Dreams, Resurrection Blvd, Level 9, NY Undercover, Vanishing Son, The Mentalist, Numb3rs, CSI:NY and Law & Order: SVU. Barba also directed the Emmy-nominated movie for television Apollo 11: The Movie. His feature credits include Blue Tiger and SOLO. He was also 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.


Lesli Linka GlatterDirector Lesli Linka Glatter
A DGA member since 1985, Glatter’s directing credits include the feature films Now and Then and The Proposition; the movie for television State of Emergency; episodes of the series The Newsroom, The Walking Dead, Justified, Ray Donovan, Masters of Sex, Nashville, True Blood, The Good Wife, Weeds, House, Heroes, The West Wing, NYPD Blue, ER and Freaks and Geeks; and the pilots for the series Grace, Gilmore Girls, In My Life, Pretty Little Liars, Six and Law and Order: True Crime. In addition, Glatter was the Co-Executive Producer/Director of The Chicago Code, The Playboy Club, Citizen Baines and The Leftovers and was the Executive Producer/Director of Homeland Seasons three through seven. After earning an Academy Award nomination in 1985 for her short film Tales of Meeting and Parting (shared with Sharon Oreck), in 1990, she earned her first DGA Award nomination for "Episode 32006" of Twin Peaks. She garnered an Emmy Award nomination and took home the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Dramatic Series for her 2009 Mad Men episode “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency.” She won a second DGA Award in the same category for her Homeland episode, “From A to B and Back Again.” Glatter was nominated for her sixth DGA Award and her fourth Emmy nomination for her Homeland episode, "The Tradition of Hospitality." Recently, she earned her fifth Emmy nomination for her Homeland season finale, "America First." She currently serves as the DGA’s Fifth Vice-President, and also serves on the Guild’s Western Directors Council, the PAC Leadership Council and the Diversity Task Force.


Michael LehmannDirector Michael Lehmann
Lehmann has been a director and producer in film and television for over 30 years. A DGA member since 1989, his filmography includes the feature films Heathers, Airheads, 40 Days and 40 Nights and The Truth About Cats and Dogs; and episodes of The Larry Sanders Show, Blunt Talk, Tyrant, Calfornication, Dexter, Bored to Death, Nurse Jackie, The Big C, True Blood, American Horror Story, The Comeback and Snowfall.

Sean BarclayAgent Sean Barclay
Barclay is currently a Senior Vice President of Television at The Gersh Agency. A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Barclay broke into the industry with a stint in the news business at ABC’s Boston affiliate. He later relocated to Los Angeles and has been with The Gersh Agency for almost fourteen years.

Eddie GamarraManager Eddie Gamarra
Gamarra is a literary manager/producer at The Gotham Group. He is also the Executive Producer of The Maze Runner series of films, and has served as a consultant for Teen Magazine, National Geographic’s TV series Hollywood Science and MANswers on Spike TV.

Michael KolodnyAgent Michael Kolodny
Kolodny has been a literary agent at Kaplan Stahler Agency for the past three years. Previously, he was a manager at Fineman Entertainment. Michael moved to Kaplan Stahler after two years as a manager. Prior to Fineman Entertainment, he worked in development at ABC Network and Fox Television Studios.

Lucy StutzManager Lucy Stutz
Stutz is a literary manager at Rain Management where she focuses on writers and directors in television, film and new media, with a particular emphasis on unique and underrepresented voices. She has been an agent at The Rothman Agency and the predecessor to Paradigm, Shorr-Stille & Associates. Stutz started her career as a programming executive at Showtime.

Leah YerushalaimAgent Leah Yerushalaim
Yerushalaim is a Television Literary Agent at Creative Artists Agency where she represents writers, directors, actors and producers. Some of her clients include filmmaker Cathy Yan, DGA Movies for Television Award nominee Kyra Sedgwick and Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine.

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.

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