After the recent decision to reshape its directors’ training program, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) announced its new Access Directors Program.
WBD has rebranded and expanded the directors’ program to assist and nurture television directors through workshops and shadowing, led by WBD’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team. Participants will receive the opportunity to direct a full WBD television episode. In addition to workshops, directors will have the chance to work on WBD shows and participate in a virtual curriculum focused on best practices and equity mindset sessions, with the ability to shadow directors on up to two television episodes (during which participants may receive a small childcare stipend).
In October, Warner Bros. Discovery revealed that, amid wider restructuring at Warner Bros. TV Group, its long-running Writers Workshop and Directors Workshop would move from Warner Bros. Television to the conglomerate’s DEI unit. The new Writers and Directors Workshop were said to “will build on the successful program initiated by WBTV and expand it across the entire WBD content portfolio.” Plus, the original workshops did not have a specific DEI focus, but the new program does.
Directors Mary Lou Belli and Bethany Rooney, who previously taught the Warner Bros. Television workshop and are co-authors of “Directors Tell the Story,” return to lead the program and in-person workshop. Belli and Rooney will provide the up-and-coming directors with insight into all facets of television, including developing episodic television, prep expectations and working collaboratively with the cast and crew.
“We are excited to continue the legacy of the Directors Program and expand the program, which will continue to include Warner Bros. Television productions and will also feature shows across the Warner Bros. Discovery portfolio,” said Karen Horne, DEI senior VP. “These programs are the key to cultivating underrepresented emerging talent and equipping them with skills and experience needed to succeed in the industry.”
Directors interested in participating can apply until March 20, via the application portal, and those selected will begin the program this June.