I would like to be admitted into the DGA. Is there any other way to join besides getting into the training program?
For information regarding membership in the Directors Guild of America, you would need to contact them directly. Please be aware that we are not the Directors Guild and we operate as a separate, non-profit, ERISA trust with a Board of Trustees made up of members from the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. You may also go to www.dgaca.org. This is the link to DGA Contract Administration and has information on the minimum requirements for work as a UPM, 1st AD and 2nd AD.
Is there also Producer training? How can I become a producer?
Because both the DGA and the AMPTP established this program, the name of our trust is the Directors Guild-Producer Training Plan. There is no actual training for producers through our program. The name of the program is the Assistant Directors Training Program. This causes confusion for some applicants who are looking to become producers. Our program trains 2nd Assistant Directors. We are unaware of any producer training since the career ladder most frequently followed by 2ndADs is: 2nd AD, 1st AD and then Unit Production Manager. A number of UPMs become producers after spending many years in the industry honing their craft.
Is there a test or a fee?
There is no written test or fee to apply or participate in the Los Angeles Assistant Directors Training Program.
How will you know that I applied before?
There is a question at the top of the application, which asks if you have applied within the last five years. Make sure to mark “yes” so we know to look for your file.
Is there anything I can do to make my application look better?
Just be sure to follow all the application instructions and answer all the questions completely. If something is not applicable, you should consider noting that in that section or box provided. Please see our "common mistakes" section for more information.
When can I expect to hear back? When is the Assessment Center? Interviews? When is the next application available?
There is a timeline on this site, and on the first page of the application instructions. We do our best to estimate the dates of the application and selection process for the year. Because the timeline changes each year, we cannot give exact dates for Training Plan events.
I received a message saying that my application could not be processed. What does that mean?
The application for the Assistant Directors Training Program must be completed in its entirety and all the elements must be submitted in one submission by the deadline. Please remember that all applicants receive this same set of guidelines and they must be followed without exception so that the selection process is fair.
I received a letter saying that I was not selected to move on in the process. What does that mean?
You will not be moving on to the next phase of our process. There is no further information that can be provided regarding your application. Each application is rated by our Board of Trustees.
I didn’t make it to the next stage. Now what?
We encourage you to apply again next year. Many successful trainees have applied several times. Take your time and go through the application carefully. Be sure to submit it with plenty of time before the deadline. This is a highly competitive program and the applicant pool changes every year. In addition, you will have another year to build your resume, take more classes, or become more involved in some facet the entertainment industry. If you choose to reapply, please remember that we keep your transcripts, work equivalency forms and/or military forms on file for 5 years from the date of your most recent submission (depending on which category you chose). If you submitted a transcript with a pending degree and a letter from the registrar, you need to make sure that we have a transcript that reflects your degree earned for the next application period. If you had previously applied and have additional classes/schools to add to the application, you must obtain a transcript or letter from the registrar that documents your current enrollment.
I missed the deadline! What do I do? Do you take late applications? Do you have a waiting list?
Our deadline is typically in the late fall. If you do not have your application submitted by the deadline date, you will have to wait and apply next year. We do not take any applications past the deadline and no exceptions are made. We do not have a waiting list.
I heard there is a New York Program. Can I apply to both? Are there other training programs?
There is a program in New York. We are two separate programs, so you are welcome to apply to both. There is a different application and deadline, so be sure to visit www.dgatrainingprogram.org if you would like information about the New York program. Our programs, based in Los Angeles, and the New York program, are the only industry sponsored Assistant Director Training Programs available.
Most Common Application Mistakes?
- Incorrect font size/type in essay and resume
Essay margin size (see Step 8)
Transcripts are Secured/locked or unofficial (see Step 6 below)
Pending Graduates still need to submit official transcripts. Accepting unofficial versions is a very rare occurrence.
Educational Record does not match transcripts (we check GPA's, majors, etc.! Errors requires a REDO of your application)
Listing schools (except H.S.) without proper documentation to upload (this requires a REDO of the entire application to fix, so please have your education docs ready to go before filling in education!)
How can I prove “demonstrated interest?"
Any paid work, internships or volunteer work in motion picture, television, entertainment or related industries can be demonstrated on your Employment Record, essay, resume and/or Work Experience Equivalency forms. Any classes taken related to the entertainment industry can be shown on your transcripts or with copies of certificates. You can also reference your interests and experience in your essay responses.