DGA Directors Development Initiative Events

On January 13, 2016, the DGA launched a new diversity initiative focused on education, networking and career development for DGA members through career and craft workshops and a curriculum-based speaker series.

In his welcome to the attendees of the kickoff event, DGA President Paris Barclay said, “Tonight we’re kicking off the next phase in diversity programs at the DGA. The pressure on industry employers to change has never been greater than it is today. It feels like we’re on the precipice of real change. So what can we all do now to ensure that our members can seize opportunity and turn it into long term careers? The number one thing we’ve heard is that there is a tremendous appetite for education, career development and networking programs to help set you up for success.”

DGA Members, click here to login and view the full panel discussions for each of these events.

 


Career Workshop - November 10, 2018

Panelists:

  • Director Kabir Akhtar (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
  • Director Daniella Eisman (The Mindy Project )
  • Director Jessica Lowrey (Heathers)
  • Director Michael M. Robin (Major Crimes)
  • Director Valerie Weiss (Chicago Med)
  • Director Jude Weng (The Good Place)
  • Director Andy Wolk (SEAL Team)
  • "Get the Job" moderated by Director and Women's Steering Committee Co-Chair Mary Lou Belli (NCIS: New Orleans)
  • "Get Asked Back" moderated by Director Rob J. Greenlea (Madam Secretary)

Members looking for ways to improve and help themselves get ready for their next episodic job gathered on November 10 for the DDI's multi-part Career Workshop. The day-long event was split into two sessions, both of which featured panel discussions and breakout groups that covered the subjects of Getting the Job and Getting Asked Back.

The first session began with the panel discussion "Get the Job," and the panelists explored how directors can put their best foot forward to jumpstart their careers. The discussion was followed by the attendees splitting into breakout groups where they received up close and personal attention from the veteran directors. The second session continued with another panel discussing how to "Get Asked Back," where veteran directors spoke about how to establish lasting relationships with those empowered to continue to hire you. The panel discussion was again followed-up with breakout groups where the attendees had a chance to take dry runs at putting into practice some of the information disseminated during the discussions.


Visual Storytelling: Editing and the Magic that is Post - A DDI Lab - September 20, 2018

Panelists:

  • Director Kabir Akhtar (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
  • Director Arthur W. Forney (FBI)
  • Director Jaffar Mahmood (Young Sheldon)
  • Director David Semel (Star Trek: Discovery)
  • Moderated by DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair and Director Todd Holland (The Real O'Neals)

At Visual Storytelling: Editing and the Magic that is Post, members discussed and discovered how Episodic Television Directors can shape the story through editing and post-production. The panel discussion covered how skillful use of post-production is an opportunity for Directors to enhance their storytelling process.

Following the panel discussion, the lab's attendees had the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions where they continued their explorations of the subject of the day and got practical advice from the veteran directors. The lab concluded with a recap from each of the groups with members discussing the information disseminated during their explorations.


Performance: The Director-Actor Dynamic - A DDI Lab - July 25, 2018

Panelists:

  • Director Carlos Bernard (MacGyver)
  • Director Regina King (Insecure)
  • Director Kimberly McCullough (All About the Washingtons)
  • Director Fred Savage (Modern Family)
  • Director Tom Verica (Scandal)
  • Moderated by DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair and Director Todd Holland (The Real O'Neals)

Performance: The Director-Actor Dynamic explored the Episodic Television Directors' approach to performance, how to adapt to an actor’s method of reaching their goals and workshopped techniques that inspires an actor’s best performance to assist members seeking ways to better prepare for their next episodic directing assignment.

Following the panel discussion, the lab’s attendees had the opportunity to participate in hands-on breakout sessions where they directed and performed scenes, continuing their explorations of the subject of the day and got practical advice from the veteran actor/directors. The lab concluded with a recap from each of the groups with members discussing the information disseminated during the discussions.


Navigating the Marketplace: Representation, Networking & Director Demo Reel Review - A DDI Lab - May 23, 2018

Panelists:

  • Director Norberto Barba (S.W.A.T.)
  • Director Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland)
  • Director Michael Lehmann (Deception)
  • Eddie Gamarra Literary Manager/Producer at The Gotham Group; Executive Producer, The Maze Runner trilogy
  • Michael Kolodny Agent, Kaplan Stahler Agency
  • Lucy Stutzn Manager, Rain Management
  • Leah Yerushalaim Television Literary Agent, Creative Artist Agency
  • Moderated by DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chairs and Directors Todd Holland (The Real O'Neals) and Bethany Rooney (NCIS)

Navigating the Marketplace: Representation, Networking & Director Demo Reel Review provided an opportunity for the participants to better understand the world of representation, the art of building a team and the importance of working with their representatives to further a creative career. The lab also featured a Director Demo Reel Review that gave the participants critical feedback on their clip reels and the opportunity to network with representatives

The lab kicked off with a presentation about the importance of director reels and how they lead to career opportunities. To supplement the discussion, three reels were highlighted from directors in the DGA's DDI Mentorship program who have gone on to be hired for episodes. Following the discussion, the lab's attendees had the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions where they presented their personal one-minute pitches, discussed shows they are interested in directing and presented their directing reels to the group. The VIP guests acted as group leaders and provided feedback on the reels from a directorial and representational standpoint.


Making It Happen: Accountability and Opportunity - An East Coast DDI Lab - April 12, 2018

DDI Making It Happen NY 2017 Panelists:

  • Director David McCoy Barrett (Star Trek: Discovery)
  • Director Laura Belsey (Arrow)
  • Director Erin Feeley (Orange Is the New Black)
  • Producer / 2nd Unit Director John Mabry (Blue Bloods)
  • Director Joe Morton (Scandal)
  • Director/Producer Bryan Spicer (Hawaii Five-0)
  • Moderated by DGA National Vice-President Vincent Misiano (Director, Bull)

Making It Happen: Accountability and Opportunity was the first interactive lab of 2018 on the East Coast for DGA members seeking ways to better prepare for their next episodic directing assignment. The event's goal was to break down the fundamental qualities of personal leadership and who those translate to empowerment and ultimately, professional success.

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 participated in breakout sessions where they practiced their "elevator pitches" with the panelists and received personalized feedback on their next steps toward making a career in episodic television.


Making It Happen: Accountability and Opportunity - A DDI Lab - March 21, 2018

DDI Making It Happen LA 2017 Making It Happen: Accountability and Opportunity was the first interactive lab of 2018 for DGA members seeking ways to better prepare for their next episodic directing assignment. The event highlighted the participation of both mentors and protégés from the inaugural DDI Mentorship Program in 2017. Co-Chair of the DGA Diversity Task and 2017 Mentor Bethany Rooney (NCIS) lead a discussion with fellow mentor Gail Mancuso (Modern Family) and protégés Daniella Eisman (The Mindy Project), Kim Nguyen (SantaLand), and Marcus Stokes (Blindspot).

Following the discussion portion of the evening, the lab's attendees participated in breakout sessions where they practiced their "elevator pitches" with a group of VIP Guests and received personalized feedback on their next steps toward making a career in episodic television. The participating VIP Guests were Directors Mary Lou Belli, (NCIS: New Orleans), Tom Verica, (Scandal), Ken Whittingham, (Grace and Frankie), Andy Wolk, (SEAL Team ), Greg Yaitanes, (Manhunt: Unabomber), and Craig Zisk, (The Looming Tower).


DGA TV Director Mentorship Program Inaugural Participants Graduation - February 15, 2018

DDI Inauguaral Mentorship Graduation On February 15, 2018, the Directors Guild held a graduation ceremony for the inaugural participants of its Television Director Mentorship Program. The mentorship program paired members who aspire to expand their TV-directing careers (protégés) with veteran directors (mentors) who served as their professional guides to the working world of episodic television throughout the 2017-18 season. Participants in the structured, intensive career development program were matched based on their work experience, interpersonal chemistry and mutual craft interests to ensure a fulfilling experience.

During the evening, the attendees heard from several speakers including: DGA President Thomas Schlamme, Director Jessica Lowrey who spoke on behalf of the protégés, DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Todd Holland who delivered the "Mentors' Moment' and DGA Executive in Charge of Diversity Programs and Committees Frank Bennett Gonzalez. The assembled also heard from mentors and protégés in attendance including DGA Past President Paris Barclay who both championed the program during his term and served as a mentor, and DGA Women's Steering Committee Co-Chair A. Laura James.


Landing the Job: The Role of the Creative Executive - A DDI Lab - October 26, 2017

DDI Landing the Job LA 2017 Panelists:

  • Jill Arthur (Development & Programming Executive, Amazon Studios
  • Jeffrey Glaser (Executive Vice President, U.S. Current Programming, Sony Pictures Television Studios
  • Katy Rozellez Senior Vice President, Development, Paramount Television
  • Chris Sanagustin Executive Vice President, Current Programming, Universal Television
  • Dana Sharpless Senior Vice President of Current Programming, Twentieth Century Fox Television
  • Pamela Soper Senior Vice President of Current Programing, CBS Entertainment
  • Moderated by Former DGA President Paris Barclay (Director, Pitch)

Landing the Job: The Role of the Creative Executive provided an opportunity for DGA members seeking ways to better prepare for their next episodic directing assignment to learn directly from creative executives what they look for when hiring directors for episodic television.

Following the panel, 60 DGA members participating in the lab had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with creative executives in a simulated interview scenario. These participants had been required to prepare for these mock interviews by sending the executives their reels, bios, and resumes for the executive to review.


Creating a Personal Brand in the Marketplace - An East Coast DDI Event - October 7, 2017

DDI Personal Branding NY 2017 Panelists:

  • Director Brooke Kennedy (The Good Fight)
  • Director Jan Eliasberg (Bull)
  • Director Don Scardino (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
  • Director Marcos Siega (Time After Time)
  • Digital Branding Consultant Rob Barnett (Rob Barnett Media)
  • Digital Branding Consultant Brendan Gahan (Epic Signal)
  • Moderated by DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Todd Holland (Director, The Real O'Neals)

Creating a Personal Brand in the Marketplace featured veteran Directors and other industry professionals sharing their knowledge of how directors can shape their story by understanding personal branding, interpersonal communication skills, the importance of their online image, and professional marketing tools. These experts discussed how directors can take advantage of the tools available in the digital age and become their own best advocate by strengthening their personal brand and raising their profile online and in social media.

After the discussion, the attendees broke into smaller groups for "Reel Review" sessions where they received advice on how to refine their personal brand and got feedback on their clip reels.


Building Your Team: Agents and Managers - A DDI Lab - August 16, 2017

DDI Buidling Your Team LA 2017 Panelists:

  • Michael Goi (Director, Nashville)
  • Jaffar Mahmood (Director, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
  • Rosemary Rodriguez (Director, The Good Wife)
  • Jonas Brooks (Agent, Scripted Television, Creative Artists Agency)
  • Dana Jackson (Manager, Fineman Entertainment)
  • Toochis Morin Rose (Agent, Brant Rose Agency)
  • Brant Rose (Owner/Agent, Brant Rose Agency)
  • Moderated by Women's Steering Committee Co-Chair Mary Lou Belli (Director, NCIS: New Orleans)

Building Your Team: Agents and Managers was designed to provide an opportunity for the participants to better understand the world of representation, the art of building a team and the importance of working with their representatives to further a creative career.

Following the discussion, the attendees broke into smaller groups where they were able to meet with agents and managers including Jairo Alvarado (Circle of Confusion), Sean Barclay (The Gersh Agency), Abe Cohen Hoffing, Jordan Cerfn and Ashley Holland (William Morris Endeavor Entertainment), Sean Freidin (ICM Partners), Jennifer Good and Michael Swidler (Paradigm Talent Agency), Vanessa Livingston (Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston), Jarrod Murray (Epicenter), Katt Riley (Kaplan Stahler Agency), and Greg Shepard (Writ-Large).


Creating a Personal Brand in the Marketplace - June 28, 2017

DDI Personal Branding LA 2017 Panelists:

  • Director Norberto Barba (Grimm)
  • Director Karen Gaviola (Lucifer)
  • Director A. Laura James (Bunk'd)
  • Talent Agent Amy Retzinger (Verve)
  • Talent Agent Paul Alan Smith (E.S. Artists)
  • Brand Strategist Joie Gharrity (113 Branding)
  • Personal Branding Consultant Brian Rodda (Brian Rodda Consulting)
  • Moderated by DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Bethany Rooney (Director, NCIS)

Creating a Personal Brand in the Marketplace featured veteran Directors and other industry professionals sharing their knowledge of how directors can shape their story by understanding personal branding, interpersonal communication skills, the importance of their online image, and professional marketing tools. These experts discussed how directors can take advantage of the tools available in the digital age and become their own best advocate by strengthening their personal brand and raising their profile online and in social media.

After the discussion, the attendees broke into smaller groups for "Reel Pitch" sessions where they received feedback on their clip reels. Joie Gharrity and Brian Rodda also led a discussion about social media as a useful tool for furthering one's branding and the importance of establishing an online presence on various digital platforms to add to your marketability.


Career Navigation: Get the Job and Get Asked Back - An East Coast DDI Event - June 10, 2017

DDI Career Navigation NY 2017 Panelists:

  • Laura Belsey (Director, Arrow)
  • Brooke Kennedy (Director, The Good Fight)
  • Eric Stoltz (Director, Madam Secretary)
  • Christopher Mack( VP, Television Workshop/Current Programming, Warner Brothers)
  • Jet Wilkinson (Director, Iron Fist)
  • Vanessa Livingston (Agent, Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston)
  • Scott Yoselow (Agent, Gersh NY)
  • Johnnie Planco (Manager, Parseghian Planco)
  • Moderated by DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Todd Holland (Director, The Real O'Neals)

The East Coast DGA Director Development Initiative’s first interactive lab featured veteran Directors and other industry professionals working with participants on ways to improve and help themselves get ready for their next episodic job.

Attending DGA members shared their personal story pitches in 60 seconds, panelists explored the relationship between directors, agents and managers and how directors can put their best foot forward to acquire representation and jump-start their careers, and delved into the relationship directors have to maintain with the studio or Executive Producer when working on various projects.


East Coast Director Development Initiative Kickoff Event - June 8, 2017

DDI NY Kickoff 2017Panelists:

  • Director Todd Holland (The Real O’Neals)
  • Director Darnell Martin (Sleepy Hollow)
  • Director Martha Mitchell (Chicago Justice)
  • Director Don Scardino (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
  • Moderated by Director/DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Bethany Rooney (Pretty Little Liars)

The DGA's Director Development Initiative launched their series of programs for New York members in 2017. Following a welcome from DGA National Vice President Vincent Misiano, DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chairs Todd Holland and Bethany Rooney spoke briefly about the program which initially launched on the West Coast as a pilot program in 2016.

The panel discussion explored of the attributes of success and tackled questions such as: can episodic directors be held accountable for their own careers, does gender play a role in the concept of accountability, is there ever a time in a director's career when one can relax and not be accountable, the single most important thing one can do for oneself to continue to evolve and become a better director, and what panelists know now that they didn't know when they were starting out.


Career Navigation: Getting the Job and Getting Asked Back - A DDI Interactive Lab - April 12, 2017

DDI Career Navigation LA 2017 Panelists:

  • Norberto Barba (Director, Grimm)
  • Dana Gotlieb-Carter (VP, MTV)
  • Bob Koherr (Director, Anger Management)
  • Christopher Mack (VP, Television Workshop/Current Programming, Warner Brothers)
  • Linda Mendoza (Director, Black-ish)
  • Toochis Morin (Agent, Brant Rose Agency)
  • Eric Pertilla (Agent, Paradigm Talent Agency)
  • Rosemary Rodriguez (DGA Fourth Vice President/Director, The Good Wife)
  • Brant Rose (Agent, Brant Rose Agency)
  • Andrea Simon (Principal/Producer/Manager, Andrea Simon Entertainment)
  • Ken Whittingham (Director, Life in Pieces)
  • Moderated by DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Todd Holland (Director, The Real O'Neals)

The DGA Director Development Initiative’s first interactive lab featured veteran Directors and other industry professionals teaching the participants how to navigate a career as an episodic television director and key strategies for networking.

The evening also included “Elevator Pitch” sessions and panel discussions covering the relationship between directors, agents and managers and how directors can put their best foot forward to acquire representation and jumpstart their careers; and successful directors discussing how they got their start and how they maintain relationships with the studio or Executive Producer when working on various projects.


The Movie You Cut: Editing & the Magic that is Post - November 17, 2016

DDI Editing LA 2016 Panelists:

  • Director Kabir Akhtar (Unsolved Mysteries)
  • Director Arthur Forney (Chicago Fire)
  • Director Todd Holland (The Real O'Neals)
  • Director Mimi Leder (The Leftovers)
  • Director Diana Valentine (NCIS: Los Angeles)
  • Director Oz Scott (Scream: The TV Series) - Moderator

Covered topics include the director's role in the editorial process of episodic television, the working relationship between an editor and director, how critical it is for a director to know his or her creative rights, and how to shoot for a specific style of a show and how that translates into the editing room.



Mise-en-scène: Staging & Camera - September 22, 2016

DDI Mise-en-scène LA 2016 Panelists:

  • Director Deborah Chow (Fear the Walking Dead)
  • Director Zetna Fuentes (How to Get Away with Murder)
  • Director Millicent Shelton (Empire)
  • Director Sylvain White (Major Crimes)
  • Director Greg Yaitanes (Quarry)
  • Director/Executive Producer Michael M. Robin (Major Crimes) - Moderator

Covered topics include the behavioral, aesthetic, and technical aspects of staging — and its relationship to the camera; how a director’s initial staging of a scene during prep might change during the shoot; the process of making the DP your ally; tips for making up time when behind; and how to do something new as a guest director on a show while maintaining the show’s desired look.



Performance: Catching Lightning In A Bottle - July 21, 2016

DDI Performance LA 2016 Panelists:

  • Director Lee Shallat Chemel (The Middle)
  • Director Hanelle Culpepper (Criminal Minds)
  • Director Scott Ellis (Dr. Ken)
  • Director Rodrigo García (Bull)
  • Director Laura Innes (How to Get Away with Murder)
  • Director and DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Todd Holland (The Real O'Neals) - Moderator

Covered topics include notes on the language used to direct an actor’s performance; the most challenging aspects of working with actors; and how to adapt to an actor’s method for reaching their best performance.



Unstuck: Get the Job & Get Asked Back - A DDI Career Workshop - June 4, 2016

DDI Unstuck: Get the Job & Get Asked Back LA 2016 Panelists:

  • Director Miguel Arteta (Getting On)
  • Director Norberto Barba (Grimm)
  • Director Laura Belsey (Criminal Minds)
  • Representative Anne Damato, RAIN Management
  • Director Roxann Dawson (Bates Motel)
  • Director Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland)
  • Director Rob Greenlea (Madam Secretary)
  • Representative Jacquie Katz, CAA
  • Director Michael M. Robin (Major Crimes)
  • Director Joe Russo (Captain America: Civil War)
  • Director and DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Todd Holland (The Real O'Neals) - Moderator

The first session featured a series of mock interviews where the attendees experienced what it’s like to present themselves in a cold interview setting. Panelists discussed the subjects of how to find representation and what to expect from it, and how to get and prepare for a show interview. Following the discussion, the attendees had the opportunity to apply what they had just learned about making a personal narrative pitch in a second round of mock interviews.

Director Joe Russo spoke to the attendees about the arc of his career and how he has reinvented his approach, always valuing the idea of learning and growing. Russo also stressed that you can't wait for an opportunity to come knocking, you have to be prepared, especially with the media landscape having changed in traditional filmmaking.



Storytelling: What’s the Story? - May 26, 2016

DDI Storytelling LA 2016

Panelists:
  • Director/Producer Roxann Dawson (Bates Motel)
  • Director/Executive Producer Anthony Hemingway (American Crime Story)
  • Director Bethany Rooney (Criminal Minds)
  • Director Nicole Rubio (Grey’s Anatomy)
  • Writer/Executive Producer Kenya Barris (Black-ish)
  • Writer/Executive Producer Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead)
  • Director/Executive Producer Alan Poul (The Newsroom) - Moderator

Covered topics include the subject of storytelling and how it informs the Director’s process; what directors can do to prepare for an opportunity; the collaboration between writers and directors; and the importance of remaining consistent with the tone of a series.



Making It Happen: Accountability and Opportunity - March 23, 2016

DDI Making It Happen LA 2016 Panelists:

  • Director/DGA Fourth Vice President Rosemary Rodriguez (The Good Wife)
  • Director/Executive Producer Michael M. Robin (Major Crimes)
  • Equitable Stewardship for Artists Representative Paul Alan Smith
  • WME Agent Andrew Wang
  • CBS Executive Vice President of Current Programs Bridget Wiley
  • Director and DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Mary Lou Belli (NCIS: New Orleans) - Moderator

Topics covered include the fundamental qualities of leadership and creative vision, and how these things translate into empowerment and ultimately success; the attributes of successful directors and the related tools and resources that are key to career empowerment.



Director Development Initiative Kickoff - January 13, 2016

DDI LA Kickoff 2016 Panelists:

  • Director Norberto Barba (Grimm)
  • Director Pamela Fryman (How I Met Your Mother)
  • Director Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland)
  • Director Ken Whittingham (Black-ish)
  • Director and DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Mary Lou Belli (NCIS: New Orleans

Topics covered include their directing careers and the challenges encountered as women and minority directors.

Contact
Frank Bennett Gonzalez
Executive in Charge of Diversity Programs
and Committees
310-289-5377
FGonzalez@dga.org