InsideHollywood Newsletter 2006/01

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~~~~ InsideHollywood.Info Newsletter ~~~~

An online information ezine dedicated to teaching you all about Hollywood and the Film and TV Entertainment Industry.

January 01, 2006
Issue #2006-01

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# Introduction
---- We are back...

# Designing a Career
---- Basic overview of the DGA and being a Director

# Tell us what you think
---- Make this newsletter even better by submitting questions
and what you think of this newsletter.


Dear Subscriber,

Hope you and your family had a great Holiday and New Year.

We are back and cannot wait to continue our newsletter. Due to some personal issues we had to go on a little break with the website but are in deep discussions about what 2006 has in store for InsideHollywood.Info.

Thank you for your patience in this redesign and if there are any ideas or suggestions that you would like us to write about, please let us know.

Hope you enjoy this issue....


# Subject: Basic overview of the DGA and being a Director

Now that we went over Writing in our last newsletter, I thought we would deal with DGA and Directing. Like the writers, you must be a member to work on union projects. Also like the writers, there are a lot of categories that the DGA represents. There are at present over 12,000 members working globally. This includes theatrical, industrial, educational, and documentary films and television as well as videos and commercials.

The categories are Director, Unit Production Managers, First Assistant Directors, Second Assistant Directors, Technical Coordinators, Tape Associate Directors, Stage Managers, and Production Associates. You must work for a company that has a signed collective bargaining agreement with the DGA.

The following are examples of experience which are and are not considered production experience for purposes of determining an individual's eligibility for employment as an Associate Director and Stage Manager.

~ Acceptable Experience:

Props, Lighting, Camera, Grip and Electric Crew, Make-Up and Hair, Set PAs, Script Supervisors, Wardrobe, Editors, Production Coordinators.

~ Not Acceptable Experience:

Office Production Secretaries, Receptionists, Accountants / Production Accountants, Controllers, Location Auditors, Writers, Writers Assistants, Guards and Custodial Staff, Labor Relations Personnel

~~ Dues

Guild dues are based on DGA earnings. Earnings are reportable, and the corollary dues payable, quarterly. Each member pays basic dues of $50.00 per quarter. Basic dues are credited against each member's obligation to pay percentage dues equal to one and one-half percent of his or her gross earnings from employment in any Guild category, provided that such dues shall be payable only on gross annual income of between $10,000 and $300,000. In addition to basic dues and percentage dues, each member of the Guild shall also pay one percent of the total residual payments of all types he or she receives pursuant to employment under a DGA collective bargaining agreement.

~~ Definitions

Unit Production Manage (UPM):

This person is required to coordinate, facilitate, and oversee the preparation of the production including all offset logistics, day-to-day production decisions, locations, budget schedules, and personnel. Other important duties include prepare the script breakdown and preliminary shooting schedule, prepare or coordinate the budget. The UPM also oversees preliminary search and survey of all locations and the completion of business arrangements and the production report for each days work. As well as showing the status of production and distribution of the reports, coordinate arrangements for the transportation and housing of cast, crew and staff. Oversee the securing of release and negotiate for locations and personnel.

First Assistance Director:

The primary responsibility is to service and assist the Director. This person works in conjunction with the UPM, organizes pre-production, including the crew, securing equipment, breaking down the script, preparing the stripboard and a shooting schedule based on the board. During production the First Assistant Director assists the Director with respect to on-set production, coordinates and supervises crew and cast. The First Assistant Director may also be assigned responsibilities of the UPM. Other responsibilities are to supervise the preparation of the call sheet for the cast and crew, check the weather reports, and prepare the day out of day schedules. Sometimes the may be required to secure minor contracts, extra releases as well as supervise direct background action and crowd control.

Second Assistance Director:

This term includes Second Assistant Directors, Second Second Assistant Directors, and Additional Second Assistant Directors. This person works very closely with the First Assistant Director and/or the UPM. They prepare the daily production report and end of day paper work. Not to mention distribute scripts and script changes to cast and crew as well as call sheets. They distribute, collect and approve extra vouchers, placing adjustments as directed by the First Assistant Director on the vouchers. They also aid in scouting, surveying, managing of locations, and facilitate transportation of equipment and personnel.

Technical Coordinator/Associate Director:

This person assists the Director on multi-camera television photographed continuously before a live audience or as though a live audience were present. They are responsible in planning the placement and movement of each camera and for coordinating the execution of such placement and movement of each such camera.

~~ Assistant Directors Training Program:

There is another way to join the Guild that is a wonderful opportunity and it is called the Assistant Directors training program. This is an alliance with the Motion Picture & Television Producers Guild and the Directors Guild. This program accepts a limited number of non members each year to participate in an on the job training to become a Second Assistant Director. The job would include education, training, seminars and you would be paid. Training would complete 400 days of paid, hands on work experience on an actual film or television project. When completed with the program you would be invited to join the Guild.

To become eligible for this program you must be have employment eligibility status to work in the United States. (They will not except sponsors or signed visas.) Minimum age is 21 and either a BA from an accredited college or University or certification that you are a currently enrolled student who will complete your course work and graduate with a BA or written proof that you attained at least the level of E-5 in a branch of the U.S. military service or two years of full time paid employment or a combination of college credits and work experience to meet the eligibility requirements. Once the applicant meets the basic requirements, the next step is to take a written test. Check out the web site for an example of the test questions. You will note that it is not testing your knowledge of the motion picture industry but instead it is like your college tests where they ask verbal, reasoning and mathematical abilities as well as organizational and interpersonal skills.

The test is given once a year, usually in late January. It is offered in Los Angles, and Chicago and the fee is $75 non-refundable. Then they will take your test scores along with your written application, choice the next level and invited those people back for the final part, which is the interview. The interviews are held in Los Angeles only and usually in May.

For more information on the West Coast Program visit:, or contact them at ADTP, 14724 Ventura Boulevard, Suite #775, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403, (818) 386-2545.

For more information on the East Coast Program visit:, or contact them at ADTP, 110 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019, (212) 397-0930.

~~ New York - Assistant Training Program:

New York has their own Assistant Training Program, which is very similar in structure with Los Angeles, but there are some differences. Here is their site to get more information and the application: or application can also be requested through regular mail or by calling (212)-397-0930.

~~ The DGA offers scholarships and grants for film makers:

There is a DGA Student Film Award for African-American, Asian-American, Latino and Women Film makers. Over 40 California and national film schools participate in the program. The prize is $2500 from the DGA to the winner in each group and a project grant of 2000 feet of 16mm film is provided by Kodak.

For additional information and an entry form, contact the film school department heads or write to: DGA Student Film Awards, 7920 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046. You may also call (310) 289-2034 or e-mail Special Projects.

~~ DGA Diversity Programs:

Other programs that are sponsored by the DGA is a Diversity Program in conjunction with the Majors networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. The networks are encouraged to hire minorities and women which in turn gives the show monies. Talk to the show that you are on and find out the criteria. You need to be a member to really take advantage of this program in one of the categories that we discussed above. You can also contact DGA for more information of their Diversity Programs.

~~ New York - Film Academy:

The Academy was founded in 1992, in Robert DeNiro's Tribeca Film Center. Since that time they have grown into their own facility in Manhattan's Union Square and Soho. Additional Film Academies are at Universal Studios in Los Angeles and King's College in London, England. There are one-year and short-term programs throughout the year in these locations.

During the summer they offer short-term programs at a number of additional locations, including Harvard University, Princeton University, Disney-MGM Studios-Florida, Paris, France, and Florence, Italy. You can download their brochure and apply online.

~~ Industry Publications and Research Sources suggested by the DGA site:

- - an all-encompassing film resource site.
- - national entertainment career magazine for professional, creative, technical, production personnel and others interested in a career in the motion picture, broadcast or cable television business.
- - dedicated to independent film making.
- - resource for Indie film making.
- - High Definition Production resource directory.
- - source for books related to the film and entertainment industry.
- - The Industry Labor Guide.
- - Internet Movie Database.
- - Los Angeles resource directory for Film, Television and Commercial Production.
- - is a database compilation of available data on admissions of the films released in European cinemas since 1996.
- - New York resource directory for Film, Television and Commercial Production.
- - international production manual.


If you are looking where to send your resume to get jobs in the Film or TV Entertainment Industry or more tips and tricks, make sure to check out my upcoming eBook on how to find a Job in the Entertainment Industry - "Show you want to be in Show Biz?"


We would love to hear what you think of this issue of the "InsideHollywood.Info" Newsletter. And of course, if you have any suggestions for upcoming issues that you'd like to share with us, please send those, too!

Please send us your questions so we can answer them in upcoming issues. Your questions will only make our newsletter better.


That is it for this issue of the InsideHollywood.Info Newsletter. Until next time....