2018 DDI Lab NY 001

Making It Happen: Accountability and Opportunity

April 12, 2018 A DGA Director Development Initiative interactive lab in New York

On April 12, the DGA Director Development Initiative’s (DDI) held its first interactive lab of 2018 on the East Coast. DGA members seeking ways to better prepare for their next episodic directing assignment gathered at the Guild’s New York offices for, Making It Happen: Accountability and Opportunity, an event that broke down the fundamental qualities of personal leadership and how they translate to empowerment and ultimately success.

Following a welcome by DGA Assistant Executive Director Rachel Paster, DGA National Vice President Vincent Misano (Bull) spoke briefly about the program and introduced the panelists for the lab: Directors Laura Belsey (Blindspot), David McCoy Barrett (Blue Bloods), Erin Feeley (Orange Is the New Black), John Mabry (Blue Bloods), Joe Morton (Scandal) and Bryan Spicer (Hawaii Five-O).

In a conversation moderated by Misano, the panelists explored the attributes of successful directors and the related tools and resources that are key to career empowerment. Following the discussion portion of the evening, the lab’s attendees, who had all been instructed to prepare beforehand, had the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions where they practiced their personal brand statements — aka “elevator pitches” — with the panelists and received personalized feedback on their next steps toward making a career in episodic television. 

You can watch video highlights from the discussion in the gallery below.
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Vincent MisianoVincent Misiano (Moderator)
Misiano began his film career as a grip and prop master before segueing into directing commercials. With the help of director/producer Ed Sherin, Misiano shadowed on Law & Order and directed an episode of the show, leading to a long career as an episodic television director. His other directing credits include episodes of The West Wing, Ally McBeal, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Chicago Med and Bull. An active member of the DGA since 1989, Misiano has served nearly two decades on the National Board and Eastern Directors Council and currently serves as the National Vice President of the Guild. He has also been a member of the Television Creative Rights Committee and has served on numerous Negotiating Committees.


David McCoy BarrettDavid McCoy Barrett
Barrett is a television/film director and producer who has directed over 100 episodes for more than 43 different television series including: Star Trek: Discovery, Zoo, Under the Dome, Arrow, The Mentalist, Once Upon a Time, Castle, NCIS: Los Angeles, Cold Case, Smallville, Fastlane, FreakyLinks and Pacific Blue. He is currently a Director/Producer on the CBS crime drama: Blue Bloods. Barrett has been a DGA member since 1998.


Laura BelseyLaura Belsey
Belsey directed the documentary Katrina's Children; and has directed episodes of Arrow, Blindspot, Bull, Chicago Med, Criminal Minds, NCIS New Orleans, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Stitchers, Unforgettable and Law & Order SVU; and hundreds of commercials. A DGA member since 1993, Belsey was recently elected the Sixth Vice President of the Guild and she also serves as a member of the Eastern Directors Council.


Erin FeeleyErin Feeley
Feeley has directed multiple episodes of Orange Is the New Black and recently served as creative on-set producer for the show. A DGA member since 2015, her other directing credit is an episode of the Lifetime series, YOU. Feeley began her career working in various roles including script supervisor on notable projects such as The Good Wife, Rescue Me, The Americans and J.C. Chandor’s feature, Margin Call. She also served as a producer on Chandor’s feature, All Is Lost.

John MabryJohn Mabry
Mabry is a television producer known for his work on Blue Bloods, for which he was also second unit director on multiple episodes. His other credits include How I Met Your Mother, Hap and Leonard, Murder in the First, Gossip Girl and Supernatural. Mabry has been a DGA member since 2017.


Joe MortonJoe Morton
Morton is a director and veteran actor whose directing credits include episodes of Scandal, Tribeca and the independent feature, Sunday on the Rocks. He earned an NAACP nomination for directing the episode "Stoned" of the Emmy-nominated series, Eureka. Best known for his acting roles in the series Eureka and Scandal and the features, The Brother from Another Planet, Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Justice League, Morton has been a DGA member since 1992.


Bryan SpicerBryan Spicer
Spicer is a is a television/film director and producer who has directed over nearly 70 projects including the feature films For Richer or Poorer, McHale's Navy and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie; the movies for television Strange Frequency and The First Gentleman; the pilot for the series The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.; and episodes of Hawaii Five-0, Castle, In Plain Sight, Fringe, Burn Notice, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, American Dreams, The Lone Gunmen, Third Watch, SeaQuest, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Superboy, Hull High and Booker. A DGA member since 1986, Spicer has been a Director/Producer on the series Hawaii Five-0 for the last six seasons.


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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