Inspiring The Aspiring: Advice For New Directors
(Top row, l-r) Kira Carstensen, Shannon Lords-Houghton, Jesse Dylan. (Bottom row, l-r) Hani Selim, Hal Dantzler, Rebecca Niles, DJay Brawner.
Production company EPs and executives offer career counsel to filmmakers starting out

“Break a leg” is theatrical slang for good luck. But there’s more than luck involved in breaking successfully into the industry and evolving into a working director.

Each step along the way is a challenge--one we hope to make a little easier through career advice offered by a mix of production house executive producers, managing directors and execs/owners.

To help foster opportunities for those seeking a meaningful foothold in the industry--and in the spirit of SHOOT’s 19th New Directors Showcase--we invited production company pros to offer career counsel to aspiring filmmakers.

SHOOT garnered responses to a pair of questions:

  1. What advice do you have for new directors? Include whatever you feel will be helpful; possible topics might include...
    • Tips for getting production co. representation or an agent.
    • Tips for freelance directors on getting an ad agency’s attention.
    • How to obtain financing for a film or TV project.
    • What to put or not put on a reel.
    • How to decide which film festivals to enter.
    • What technology is a “must be proficient in” to succeed today? 
  2. Any tips on how to balance career and personal life?

Here is the feedback we received:

Name Title Company
DJay Brawner Executive Producer/Partner Tuff Contender
Kira Carstensen Global Managing Partner Merman
Hal Dantzler Executive Producer/Creative Content charlieuniformtango
Jesse Dylan Founder and CEO Wondros
Shannon Lords-Houghton Exec Producer|Owner Mutt Film
Rebecca Niles Managing Director, Live Action ArtClass
Hani Selim EP/Managing Director Durable Goods


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