Navigating Safety on Set in 2022

September 20, 2022 A DGA Women's Steering Committee Virtual Event

On September 20, the Women’s Steering Committee (WSC) virtual meeting featured the discussion, Navigating Safety on Set in 2022. In a conversation moderated by Director/WSC Activities & Events Co-Coordinator Marie Jamora (All Rise), Western AD/UPM Council Chair Linda Montanti (The Listener) and First Vice Chair Jennie O’Keefe Armas (The Rookie), First Assistant Director Desiree Stevenson-White (Queen Sugar) and Stage Manager Jackie Stathis (MTV Movie & TV Awards) discussed the best practices in the current climate for on-set safety and how UPMs, Assistant Directors, Associate Directors, and Stage Managers play important leadership roles on set.

During the conversation, they also discussed the nuances around set safety on scripted, single camera shows versus live variety shows; their experiences coordinating with experts from armorers to COVID Supervisors; and shared stories on how they have navigated extreme weather such as very high temperatures and hurricanes. They all emphasized the importance of prep and the need for training.

Following the moderated portion of the discussion, the panelists fielded questions from the online audience.

Linda MontantiWestern AD/UPM Council Chair Linda Montanti
Montanti is a 1st AD member working in television and feature films. She is a graduate of the DGA Training Program in New York and moved to Los Angeles as a 2nd AD. Her 1st Assistant Director resume includes numerous projects including features such as Melanie Mayron’s Snapshots and Basel Owies’s The Barber; as well as multiple episodes of series such as Party of FiveSneaky Pete and Jane the Virgin. She most recently served as the 1st AD on two projects being released soon: Director Steve Buscemi’s feature, The Listener, and the upcoming mini-series, Welcome to Chippendales. A DGA member since 1981, Montanti currently serves as Chair of the Western AD/UPM Council and has been very active in DGA committees, including the proposals and negotiating committees. 
Jennie OKeefe ArmasWestern AD/UPM Council First Vice Chair Jennie O’Keefe Armas
A proud member of the DGA since 1998, O’Keefe Armas has worked as an Assistant Director on episodic television projects including The RookieAmerican Crime StoryWhy Women KillGleeI Am The NightLuciferVeepThe OfficeArrested DevelopmentThe CloserIt's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and most recently, serving as the 1st Assistant Director on The Rookie Feds. She is a former Associate member of the National Board and currently serves as the 1st Vice Chair of the Western AD/UPM Council and as Chair of the Council’s Education Committee where she focuses her energy on training new DGA members on all the resources that the industry has to offer. 
Desiree Stevenson WhiteFirst Assistant Director Desiree Stevenson-White
Stevenson-White is a New Orleans based 1st AD. Her Assistant Director resume includes feature films such as Malcolm D. Lee’s Girls Trip, John Wells’s Burnt, Nima Nourizadeh’s American Ultra and Anthony Burns’s Home Sweet Hell; as well as numerous episodes of Queen Sugar and Naomi.Stevenson-White joined the DGA in 2012. 
Jackie StathisStage Manager Jackie Stathis
Stathis's Stage Manager credits include live television productions such as the Academy Awards, BET AwardsMTV Movie & TV AwardsAmerican Rescue Dog ShowBillboard Music AwardsNickelodeon Kids' Choice AwardsGrammy AwardsCritics' Choice AwardsPeople's Choice AwardsAmerican Music AwardsPrimetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards and Adele: One Night Only, among many others. Stathis joined the DGA in 2002 and currently serves as a alternate on the Western AD/SM/PA Council. 

Marie JamoraDirector Marie Jamora (moderator)
Born and raised in Manila, Jamora began her career directing music videos during the golden age of the Philippine rock scene. Her filmography includes the feature, What Isn’t There (Ang Nawawala), award-winning short films, Flip the Record and Harana (Serenade); and episodes of Queen SugarThe Cleaning LadyGood SamFantasy Island and All Rise. She is also an Executive Producer and Director of Family Style. A DGA member since 2021, Jamora currently serves as a Co-Coordinator of the DGA Women’s Steering Committee’s Activities & Events subcommittee. 


The Women's Steering Committee (WSC) was created to advance the professional interests of its members, and to heighten their visibility and career opportunities in the entertainment industry. The WSC currently promotes diversity through sponsoring net-working events, screenings and seminars, and fosters relationships between the members to provide support, mentoring and networking opportunities. The WSC’s current Co-Chairs are Tara Miele, Shawn Pipkin-West and Liz Ryan.

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