Disney/ABC wants to see that you’re ready.
If you’re not, they’re giving you seven whole weeks to get there.
The newly branded Creative Talent Development-formerly Talent Development and Diversity-at Disney/ABC has just opened the application period for the Disney/ABC DGA Directing Program.
From the Get Go
But this is not a training program. Applicants should be ready to be put on a show.
Once selected, the program directors comprise a talent pool. Reels are submitted to showrunners, executives, and directors across the Disney ABC Television group, and those in the talent pool may be selected to shadow a director on an episode or episodes. Unlike the DATG Writing Program, the Directing Program is two years.
The program was launched in 2001 and reconfigured by Janine Jones-Clark who now heads both the Writing and Directing programs.
Initial application materials include copies of a finished linear narrative project; résumé, biographical statement, and two letters of recommendation.
It’s recommended that the project have a beginning, middle, and end. Also the applicant should be mindful of DATG shows and submit accordingly.
Mind Your Words
Applicants who move into the second round should be prepared for intense interviews.
Word of advice: do not say, “I’m a hardworker.”
“Yeah, so was the person just before you.”
At Comic-Con, Emerlynn Lampitoc, Talent Development Specialist in the department, advised that generalized statements say absolutely nothing.
Another one: “I turn in things on time.”
Lampitoc warns, “We meet with up-and-coming talent all the time. The challenge for us is remembering who they are. We want to know what is it about you that sets you apart from the thousand other people who applied.”
On the department’s Wondercon panel, Samantha Humphrey, alumna of the writing program and supervising producer on Body of Proof, conveyed the importance of providing details of yourself.
“Don’t shy away from your uniqueness.”
In order to sell you, Creative Talent Development needs unique stories to say, “We think this person would be great on your show because of these experiences she’s had.”
Nothing is guaranteed-not shadowing assignments nor actual directing gigs.
Stipends are contingent on placement on a show.
But it does happen. Current program participant Rob Greenlea directed an episode of Grey’s Anatomy last season. He’s on tap to direct an episode in 2014.
Southland star Regina King, General Hospital star Kimberly McCullough, and Sundance fave Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) are also part of the 2012-2014 program.
The application deadline is November 27th.