Making Your Day While Making a Great Episode

November 10, 2022 A DGA Director Development Initiative conversational lab

More than 200 DGA members seeking ways to better prepare for their next episodic directing assignment received valuable information on November 10 when the DGA Director Development Initiative (DDI) hosted the conversational lab, Making Your Day While Making a Great Episode. The final DDI lab of 2022 was an online event that featured Directors Norberto Barba, DeMane Davis and Viet Nguyen. In a conversation moderated by Director Rachel Raimist, they shared strategies for how to adapt when things go wrong.

The Directors discussed the importance of everything from getting to know the project you are working on before arriving to the set to getting to know the team who will help you achieve your artistic vision. Barba stressed the importance of knowing the difference between days that can be made and the work you’ll need to stretch in order to ensure the quality of the episode. Davis noted her desire to arrive early on the set to see what is happening on the set before she takes over and getting to know the writers’ intentions, understanding the pace and rhythm of the show, and doing specialty shots at the end of the day. Nguyen spoke about some of the technology he utilizes in the prep process – highlighting specifically the apps Scriptation and Shot Designer as reliable tools to help Directors move through their process more efficiently. Nguyen also noted the importance of Directors engaging with continuing education to improve their knowledge of tools available to support them. Moderator Raimist also pointed out using Endnote as a tool in the Director’s process.

See a video highlight from this discussion in the gallery below.
DGA Members can watch the full video from Director Development Initiative events
by clicking here.

Norberto BarbaDirector Norberto Barba
Barba’s directorial credits include the feature films Blue Tiger and SOLO; and the Emmy-nominated movie for television Apollo 11: The Movie. He has directed over 100 hours of television including episodes of Mayans M.C., Better Call Saul and FBI; served as an Executive Producer and Director on the series Grimm and Law & Order: Criminal Intent and is the current Executive Producer/Director for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. A DGA member since 1994, Barba has served as an alternate on Western Directors Council, is an active member of the Latino Committee, a Career Advancement Subcommittee leader, and a Mentor for the Director’s Development Initiative. 
DeMane DavisDeMane Davis
Davis’s directorial credits include the indie feature Lift; episodes of Queen Sugar — where she also worked as Producing Director; the three-time NAACP Image Award-winning series Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker; the limited series The Red Line; and episodes of YouFor the PeopleHow to Get Away with Murder and Station 19. She recently wrapped her duties as Co-Executive Producer on Clarice, the television sequel to Jonathan Demme’s DGA and Academy Award-winning feature, The Silence of the Lambs. Davis has been a DGA member since 2017 and serves as a Co-Coordinator of the Women’s Steering Committee’s WSC Squad Mentorship Program. 
Viet NguyenViet Nguyen
Nguyen’s directorial credits include episodes of The Brothers SunLet the Right One InBig ShotThe Midnight ClubLuciferChilling Adventures of SabrinaiZombieDC’s Legends of TomorrowThe FlashDynasty and Play It Again, Dick. Nguyen joined the DGA in 2015. 
Rachel RaimistRachel Raimist (moderator)
Raimist’s directorial credits include the pilot of the series Wild Life; episodes of the series Up HereSex/LifeSex Lives of College GirlsThe Big LeapWuTang: An American SagaDiary of a Future PresidentThe Republic of SarahNancy DrewGreenleafTruth to PowerQueen Sugar and Roswell, New Mexico; and the documentaries Stories of the Storm and Nobody Knows My Name. A DGA member since 2018, Raimist has served on the DGA Special Projects Committee, as an alternate Co-Chair of the Latino Committee and as a Co-Coordinator of the Women’s Steering Committee’s Activities & Events Committee and its WSC Squad Mentorship Program. 

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 goal to increase diversity and inclusion in the industry.

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