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Directors Guild Assistant Director

July 3, 2012

Kristina Massie, Film & Video student, wrote this article about her being accepted into the prestigious NY DGA Assistant Director Program. If you are interested in sharing a story in our newsletter please email Lisa at

For the past few years, I have been interested in applying to the DGA Assistant Directors Program in New York City and finally decided to move forward with my application. It was a long application process, beginning back in December, that consisted of a paper application; an online exam evaluating my problem solving skills, verbal ability, and critical thinking; an interview with a consulting firm; and a final interview with the DGA Board of Trustees. I found out the same day of the final interview that I was 1 of 5 trainees selected for the 2012 program starting this June. As a trainee, I am guaranteed 400 days of work over the next two years, and the automatic eligibility to become a 2nd AD in the DGA once I have graduated from the program. 

I was shocked to find out that I was picked out of the hundreds that had applied to the program. I have focused on assistant directing here at Drexel for the past two years, and have thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a position that relies heavily on communication, organizational skills, and leadership. My professors here at Drexel have taught me a lot in the classroom, but even more valuable than that, have encouraged me to get as much hands-on experience as I can by working on multiple student and professional projects. During my junior year co-op in the Spring and Summer of 2011, I worked in Los Angeles, CA. I worked as an intern at a management/production company in Beverly Hills called Echo Lake Entertainment, and in Los Angeles on  the fifth season of the hit TV show, Mad Men. Through these experiences, I learned a lot about the industry and established confidence in my own abilities.

Over the next two years as a trainee, I hope to learn as much as I can about what it takes to become a successful assistant director. Although my workweeks will average 70 hours, I want to excel in every task I am given and take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. I hope to network with the cast and crew, so I will come out with great connections that may lead to future jobs. I can’t wait to start the program in a few weeks and get assigned my first job. I have to thank my wonderful family, professors, and friends for all the support they have given me over the past four years.