Thursday, September 4, 2008

DGA Presentation Overview

Lisa Layer, Special Assignments Executive for the Directors Guild of America, came to visit the Student Symposium on Friday at approximately noon. In addition to bringing us DGA swag in the form of winter caps, she provided to us invaluable information with regard to low-income, independent pictures or in some cases no-budget experimental projects.

In her lecture/discussion with the Symposium, I learned a couple of important tidbits for the future. First, I learned of a program that I may take into consideration after finishing my undergraduate degree at Northwestern, which is a 2-Year Producer's Program through the DGA. It's official title is the Director's Guild Producer Training Plan.

Now, here's what it is all about. For two years, you live in the Los Angeles or New York area, working on a variety of different projects for a multitude of studios as a 2nd Assistant Director-in-Training. After two years of on-the-j0b, paid experience, mixed in with curriculum-based classes, you are placed on a Qualification List as a Second Assistant Director and become eligible for membership in the Director's Guild of America.

There are pros and cons to this program. It's selective, so it is an honor to be chosen for it. And, being placed on the aforementioned list of 2nd ADs almost guarantees one work immediately after the close of the program. It is, however, somewhat difficult to make the jump from 2nd AD to Director. Not impossible, as it can be done (and has been done). Time will tell whether this is the right path to pursue. It would be a great experience to be sure, but if I want to direct my own films... I'm not sure.

In the meantime, Lisa Layer also informed me of the DGA's Experimental Project Agreement for non-DGA members to use DGA-affiliated persons to work on independent and no-budget short projects, similar to student film projects essentially. This is something to look into for the immediate future. Already a number of ideas strike me for materializing a project such as this; indeed, one in particular seems remarkably approachable. I'll be attempting to put together a team in the near future, drawing from individuals both local and global. Exciting, no?


Brandon Colvin said...

That does sound exciting!

Do you know of anyway I could gain access to that sort of information?

Mugsie said...

Very cool.
And naturally, you'd be wanting a costumer for whatever short thing you'd be directing, right? <3

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