Directing Program

  • Q If I don't work or live in the United States, am I eligible to apply to the Directing Program?

    A Yes. However, due to the nature of the program, we are unable to sponsor individuals for United States work visas. To be eligible, an applicant must possess and present evidence of identity and United States employment eligibility (valid for the duration of the program) as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, as amended.

  • Q How old do you have to be to apply?

    A You have to be 21 years or older to be considered for the program.

  • Q If I work for Walt Disney Television (WDT) or any subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, am I eligible to apply?

    A Yes. The Directing Program is open to employees of The Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries.

  • Q Do you need to have professional directing experience to apply to the program?

    A Professional directing experience is preferred, but not required.

  • Q Do I have to be a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) to apply?

    A No, DGA membership is not required. Both DGA members and non-members may apply.

  • Q Do you accept submissions from co-directors/ directing teams?

    A No.

  • Q What would be appropriate directing samples?

    A Applicants are encouraged to submit a single body of work that has a linear storyline incorporating a beginning, middle and end. Acceptable bodies of work include, but are not limited to: television pilots, episodic series, feature films and short films. All submissions must be final, sweetened cuts. Compilation reels are accepted, but not encouraged.

  • Q How long, in terms of minutes, would a suitable sample be?

    A No more than a two (2) hour and thirty (30) minute feature and no less than a two (2) minute short.

  • Q May I submit the same body of work that I used in a previous year's application?

    A Yes, but submitting a new body of work will better reflect an applicant's directing progress.

  • Q What type of television programs do participants shadow?

    A If selected, participants will potentially shadow veteran directors working in various genres within WDT.

  • Q May I submit more than one sample?

    A No. We will only accept a single body of work.

  • Q Must I submit a résumé and essay if I have not worked as a professional director?

    A Yes. As part of the review process, all applicants must submit a chronological work résumé and an essay addressing the application question. Resumes should list the past ten (10) years of an applicant’s work history excluding independent feature projects that have not been distributed by a major production studio; television projects that have not broadcast on a network, cable or streaming service; and/or projects not officially selected at major film festivals. Applications that do not include both a resume and essay will not be considered.

  • Q Where can I find the application question to complete my essay?

    A The application essay question will be listed under “Requirements.” Please note that the application essay question may vary each submission period.

  • Q Must I submit a letter of recommendation from a television or feature film professional?

    A A letter of recommendation from an established television or feature film professional (producer, writer, director, executive) is preferred, but not required. However, the television or feature film professional writing your letter of recommendation must be familiar with your work and ability as a director.

  • Q May I submit a letter of recommendation from my professor or representation?

    A We will accept letters of recommendation from educators if they have film or television experience and/or produced credits. Letters from representatives (e.g., agents, managers or attorneys) will not be accepted.

  • Q What other information should be included in the letter(s) of recommendation?

    A Letters must be on either corporate or personal letterhead with a name, contact information, and dated in the current calendar year. It is recommended that those signing recommendation letters include either a title or a brief introduction indicating their position or affiliation.

  • Q Can my letter(s) of recommendation be sent separately from my application?

    A Recommendation letters must be included with your submission and not sent separately.

  • Q Does my application need to be submitted or received by the deadline date?

    AYour application must be submitted no later than midnight (Pacific Standard Time) of the deadline date. Applications submitted prior to the application start date or later than the application deadline date will not be accepted.

  • Q Will you confirm receipt of my application submission?

    A No. Due to the high volume of submissions received, we are unable to confirm receipt of any application submitted.

  • Q May I deliver my application in person?

    A No

  • Q Who will review my submission?

    A WDT executives and executive producers from series airing on ABC, Freeform, and/or Disney Channel will review submissions. The extensive criteria for judging material includes: execution of storytelling; shot selections; performances; and overall production value.

  • Q Will I be able to receive feedback on my submission?

    A No. Due to the high volume of submissions to the program, we are unable to provide you with feedback. Periodic updates will be posted on Facebook (Facebook).

  • Q Will I be informed if I am not selected?

    A No. Due to the high volume of submissions we are unable to notify each applicant upon completion of the judging process. We will not be able to respond to telephone calls and/or emails due to the high volume and nature of the notification process. Directors accepted to the program will be notified and subsequently posted on this website.

  • Q Will my submission be returned to me? What happens to my submission after it's reviewed?

    A No. Your submission will not be returned.

  • Q Who owns the rights to the work that I submit for consideration?

    A Whoever owns the rights to the submitted material retains ownership.

  • Q If selected as a finalist to participate in the in-person interviews and I do not live in Los Angeles, will Disney│ABC pay for my travel expenses and accommodation expenses?

    A No

  • Q How many directors will be selected for the program?

    AThe number of directors selected for the talent pool varies.

  • Q When does the Directing Program begin?

    AThe Directing Program is a two-year program and starts mid-summer of even years (2014, 2016, etc.).

  • Q What is the duration of the Directing Program?

    A Directors remain in the talent pool for two consecutive television seasons. Episodic shadowing assignments may last three (3) or more weeks. The length of time for an individual's participation is contingent upon executive producers' and/or directing producers' interest in the individual.

  • Q Is the Directing Program a full-time employment opportunity?

    ANo. Compensation occurs only if a director is offered a shadowing assignment. The majority of the directors in the program have full-time positions elsewhere while simultaneously participating in the program.

  • Q Will I be compensated for my time in the Directing Program?

    A Yes. Those participants who secure shadowing assignments, which encompass pre-production, shooting and/or post-production, will be compensated in the amount of $950.00 per week when actively shadowing on any aspect of a production.

  • Q Must I reside in Los Angeles to participate in the Directing Program?

    A No. However, if asked to shadow on a series shooting in Los Angeles, or anywhere outside from the participant’s living area, the Program Director is responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses.

  • Q What type of television programs do participants shadow?

    A If selected, participants will potentially shadow veteran directors working in various genres within WDT.

  • Q Are directors guaranteed shadowing assignments?

    A No.

  • Q Will directors be able to choose which shows they shadow on?

    A No. Assignments are determined by producers and/or Disney|ABC executives.

  • Q Can directors use their existing relationships to reach out to Disney | ABC shows for shadowing assignments?

    A Yes, but only if strategy is discussed with Creative Talent Development and Inclusion executives prior to communication taking place.

  • Q Will participation in the Directing Program guarantee me a job as an episodic director?

    A No