2019 Television Mentorship Program Launch & Craft Workshop

Director Development Initiative Hosts 2019 Television Mentorship Program Launch & Craft Workshop

May 4, 2019

On the morning of May 4, the DGA Director Development Initiative (DDI) launched its 2019 Television Mentorship Program at Guild Headquarters in Los Angeles. In addition to introducing the mentors and protégés for the program, the Initiative also hosted a Craft Workshop that same afternoon.

Created for members who aspire to direct or expand their directorial career in episodic television direction, the combined programs aim to set members up for success through professional development so that they can turn new opportunities into long-term careers. The programs are designed to provide an interactive setting in which DGA members with limited or no episodic television directing experience (protégés) are matched with experienced episodic directors (mentors) for a nine-month program that will expose them to the latest technical skillsets in demand and best practices in preparation for a career in directing episodic television. The protégé candidates were selected through an online application process which ran from December 18, 2018 - January 18, 2019.

Television Mentorship Program Launch & Orientation

The launch and program orientation kicked off with a breakfast mixer in the DGA Los Angeles Boardroom followed by a welcome from DGA Executive in Charge of Diversity Programs and Committees, Frank Bennett Gonzalez, and comments from DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chairs Todd Holland and Bethany Rooney.

“What I hope we can do for all of our protégés here is open doors to more insight and understanding of your career and your skillsets and how to use them best to move your careers forward,” said Holland.

“It's a really beneficial relationship for both [mentors and protégés],” said Rooney, “because when you teach, you learn. I'm grateful to get to be a mentor and I hope you guys get a lot out of it too.”

Following introductions, each protégé was asked to briefly share who or what inspired them to become a director and what current job/project they’re involved in. Each mentor then described a television series or individual director who served as an example of exemplary directing or a single piece of advice that they received early in their careers they would like to offer emerging directors.

The mentors and protégés then enjoyed a luncheon before the afternoon craft workshop.

The 2019 Mentor participants are:
  • Allan Arkush
  • Paris Barclay
  • Norberto Barba
  • Mary Lou Belli
  • Jeffrey Blitz
  • Mark Cendrowski
  • Mel Damski
  • Roxann Dawson
  • Rodrigo Garcia
  • Michael Goi
  • Karen Gaviola
  • Todd Holland
  • Bob Koherr
  • Michael Lembeck
  • Melanie Mayron
  • Ed Ornelas
  • Bethany Rooney
  • Lee Rose
  • Oz Scott
  • Mark Tinker
  • Tom Verica
  • Ron Underwood
  • Andy Wolk

The 2019 Protégé participants are:
  • Abdul Malik Abbott
  • John P. Aguirre
  • Maureen Bharoocha
  • Anna Ramey Borden
  • Maria Burton
  • Alberto Belli Crifo
  • Devon Gummersall
  • Julie Herlocker
  • Michael Kang
  • Paolo Monico
  • Leena Pendharkar
  • Keith Powell
  • Jabbar Raisani
  • Drew Ann Rosenberg
  • Jason Shipman
  • Evan Silver
  • Gregg Simon
  • Javier Soto
  • Ian Truitner
  • Melanie Wagor
  • Alphonzo Wesson

DDI Craft Workshop

Following the lunch, the protégés returned for the start of a three-day craft workshop led by Rooney and Director Mary Lou Belli. After introducing themselves and going around the class for short introductions of the attendees, Rooney and Belli described the workshop with the first day – How a TV Director Preps – covering the preparation required to take an episodic script from page to screen including: casting, tone/production design and the responsibilities of each department regarding the script. The second day A Director’s Work – covered items such as blocking and shot listing and editing order. The final day – Getting to Direct! – took place on a soundstage where the participants were able to put their training into action via a hands-on situation where they directed actors.

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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