Directing

Launched in 2001, the Walt Disney Television Directing Program is one of the longest-running programs of its kind in the television industry. The two-season program has launched the episodic careers of several directors including Seith Mann (The Walking Dead, Elementary), Zetna Fuentes (Grey’s Anatomy, Jane the Virgin), Nzingha Stewart (How to Get Away with Murder, A Million Little Things), Jaffar Mahmood (Modern Family, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Jude Weng (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Fresh Off The Boat).

In addition to possessing the right skillset to direct television, it is imperative to develop strong and lasting relationships with industry decision makers. Participating directors have secured a number of directing assignments on series such as ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal; Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars and The Fosters; and Disney Channel’s K.C. Undercover.

With the support of nearly 30 WDT live-action series, the directing program has attracted an array of professionals with varying backgrounds including Assistant Directors, grips, music video directors, commercial directors, actors such as Regina King (American Crime, The Good Doctor) and Kimberly McCullough (General Hospital), as well as award-winning feature director Ryan Coogler (Creed, Black Panther).

"The Walt Disney Television Directing Program has taught me what I didn't know about the 'business' of television directing. It has exposed me to an impressive, inspiring group of industry professionals and provided opportunities to promote myself, as a director, in television executive offices as well as on set."

- Rob Greenlea (2012-14) Episodic Director, credits include Grey's Anatomy, Madam Secretary, Stitchers

About the Directing Program

The two-year professional directing program, which spans two television seasons based upon our network production calendar(s), recruits experienced directors on the cusp of making the transition into episodic directing. The primary goal of this program is to afford Program Directors access to develop relationships with WDT executives and productions. Those selected to participate in the program become part of the Walt Disney Television Directing Program directing talent pool. Directors on active assignments will receive a paid stipend in the amount of $950.00 per week. The duration of an individual's participation is at the discretion of WDT executives, executive producers and/or episodic directors.

REQUIREMENTS

Applicants must be able to legally work in the United States and be at least 21 years of age. Material must be directed by a single director. Material directed by directing teams will not be accepted. Previous professional experience working in television production is strongly preferred, but not required. Past participants who entered the program with television production experience (e.g. acting, assistant directing, etc.) have found that knowledge beneficial in connecting with executives, producers, and production teams.

  • WHEN TO APPLY

    The Walt Disney Television Directing Program accepts applications every two years on odd calendar years. The 2020-22 Program applications will be available in Spring of 2020. Please follow our Facebook page for that announcement.

  • HOW TO APPLY

    Once the application goes live for a program cycle, the application, instructions and FAQs will be available via our Facebook page, together with program acceptance notifications and all announcements. The application is only available during the open submission period. Applications will not be accepted prior to the submission period opening date and submissions MUST be submitted no later than 11:59 pm on the designated deadline date.

  • ACCEPTABLE MATERIAL

    Please reference the application, instructions and FAQs, when published, for specific content submission guidelines (examples of acceptable material might include: TV or web episodes; feature films; short films, professional reels or other original works). The extensive criteria for judging material might include, and is not limited to: execution of storytelling; originality; shot selections; talent performances; and overall production value.

  • NOTIFICATION PERIODS

    Due to the volume of submissions received, those not accepted will not be notified. Please check our Facebook page for announcements regarding individuals selected to join the directing talent pool. Selection timelines may vary year to year.