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May 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
"Richard J. Leskosky" <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 16 May 1994 17:04:41 -0500
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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>I know that someone out there know some of the specifics of what is required
>to participate in the Directors Guild of America 2nd AD training program.
>I was given an address to write for information, but was wondering if anyone
>had some details.
>Thanks in advance,
In answer to Brent Kelley's request for info about the DGA 2nd AD test.
There is a test involved which is something like the SAT, except that it
also tests your imagination and spatial perception abilities.  The DGA
calls in about the top one hundred people from this test for interviews.
The interview is something like an oral exam, with a panel of program
administrators and DGA members asking you questions (1) about your career
goals and (2) to test your resourcefulness and imagination with particular
reference to the sorts of situations you might encounter as a 2nd AD.  From
these interviewees, they select about twenty.  That's the way it was a few
years ago, and they probably haven't changed the system very much, except
that now you can take the exam in places other than Los Angeles (back in
the 1980's, a friend of mine had to fly out to LA for the test, fly out
again for the interview, and then come back to the Midwest to wait for the
panel's approval before moving out there).  If you are accepted, you will
ahve to attend a few seminars, but the main part of the program consists of
working for 400 days on various film and TV projects.  The good news is
that the DGA will find the projects (theatrical films, TV movies, TV
series) for you to work on; the bad news is that they don't guarantee that
the 400 days will be consecutive--and there may be days (or even weeks if,
for example, there's any sort of  strike that holds up production) between
assignments.  The salary they pay you would not be bad if you weren't
living in an expensive big city and if your hours weren't so long...but
then the hours are so long that you won't have any time to spend any money
except on rent and car expenses. Good luck!  P.S.  When you go in for your
interview, it's probably not a good idea to tell them that you really want
to direct.
Richard J. Leskosky
Unit for Cinema Studies, UIUC
office phone: (217) 244-2704
FAX: (217) 244-2223
e-mail: [log in to unmask]