DDI  Lab 2 - The Business of TV

Television 101: What Directors Should Know About the Creative Process

July 31, 2019 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 July 31 for the DGA Director Development Initiative’s (DDI) second interactive lab in Los Angeles for 2019. Television 101: What Directors Should Know About the Creative Process provided an opportunity for the participants to learn more about the foundational structure of the television business from experienced Director-Producers and discover how to how to maximize their positioning for hiring.

Following a welcome by DGA Executive in Charge of Diversity Programs and Committees Frank Bennett Gonzalez, DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Todd Holland (Hannah and her Family) gave a breakdown of how the lab would proceed. Then the lab kicked off with a panel discussion with Directors Vanessa Parise (Charmed), Rosemary Rodriguez (Home Before Dark) and Lee Rose (Star Trek: Discovery) in a conversation moderated by Holland and illustrated by a PowerPoint presentation that covered the entire “Television 101” process — from pilot to series. The panelists also explored subjects including: working with content creators and PODs, the broadcast TV cycle from pitching product to pick-up and the recent trend towards network streaming services.

Following the panel discussion, the participants engaged in an open forum with the attendees where they answered questions and provided feedback on ideas.

You can watch video highlights from the discussion in the gallery below.
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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 200 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 and Hannah (and Her Family). Holland also serves as a member of the DGA National Board, the Western Directors Council, and currently co-chairs the DGA Feature Film and Television Negotiations Committee alongside Director Jon Avnet.

Rosemary RodriguezDirector 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. Her other directorial credits include the upcoming feature The Cure; and episodes of Home Before Dark, Truth Be Told, The Walking Dead, Jessica Jones, The Tick, 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 has also served as an alternate member of the DGA National Board.


Lee RoseDirector Lee Rose
A DGA member since 1998, Rose started her career as an apprentice on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She made her directorial debut with the 1998 feature, The Color of Courage, and has since gone on to direct such projects as the movie-for-television The Truth About Jane; the four-hour Showtime mini-series, A Girl Thing; and Showtime’s Jack, for which she received a DGA Award nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs in 2004. Her episodic directing credits include Weeds, Soul Food, True Blood, Star Trek: Discovery, Grace and Frankie, Related and Instinct. She is currently in development at HBO with her project True North and has just begun work on the Netflix program Firefly Lane as Producer-Director and Executive Producer.


Vanessa PariseDirector Vanessa Parise
Since turning down an acceptance to Harvard Medical School to write, direct and produce the indie feature Kiss the Bride, Parise has gone on to direct a multitude of projects including the features Jack and Jill vs the World and The Wedding Chapel; the movies for television The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar, Drink Slay Love, Perfect High and Coming Home for Christmas; and episodes of the series Firefly Lane, Beyond, Just Add Magic and Runaways. Named one of “Ten Female Directors Breaking Stereotypes” by SheKnows, Parise recently served as the Producer-Director and Co-Executive Producer on the reboot of the series Charmed and directed four episodes in its first season, including the finale. She joined the DGA in 2016.


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.

Pictures & Video

photos by Elisa Haber

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