Graduates from Warner Bros. Television Group’s (WBTVG) Directors’ Workshop class of 2019 are all ready to sit in the director’s chair. All participants of this year’s program have booked directing assignments on upcoming episodes of a WBTVG series. On top of that, two of the directors have gone on to secure additional assignments — before even helming their first episode.
The WBTVG Directors’ Workshop looks to discover new and innovative talent, prepare directors from other creative fields or the transition to television, and spur diversity and inclusion by providing increased opportunities for female directors and directors from ethnic minority groups. Since its inception in 2013, the WBTVG Directors’ Workshop has helped to launch or further the TV directing careers of more than 50 women and/or people of color.
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Below are the graduates from the Directors’ Workshop class and their directing assignments for the upcoming 2019–20 television season.
- Bola Ogun is set to direct an episode of Legacies, and she is also set to direct episodes of Lucifer and God Friended Me. She previously directed an episode of Queen Sugar. Her short Are We Good Parents? premiered at SXSW. She’s also an alum of the Ryan Murphy Half Initiative, the WeForShe DirectHer Program, and AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women. She was also selected for Robert Rodriguez’s Rebel Without a Crew program, writing, directing, and producing the feature On the Run for $7,000.
- America Young will direct an episode of Blindspot, and she has also booked an episode of Legacies. A longtime stunt coordinator, America directed her first feature, The Concessionaires Must Die!, executive produced by Stan Lee.
- Lauren Petzke will direct an episode of Legacies. A production executive and coordinating producer at Julie Plec’s My So-Called Company, Lauren has previously directed several short films.
- Charissa Sanjarernsuithikul will direct an episode of God Friended Me. A longtime television editor on series such as The Following, Castle, Designated Survivor and more, Charissa is also an alum of the Sony Diverse Directors Program.
- Chell Stephen has been tapped to direct an episode of Riverdale. Her short film Crystal premiered at SXSW. She is also an alum of the Sundance New Voices Lab.
- Mo Perkins will direct an episode of Manifest. Her first feature, A Quiet Little Marriage, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at Slamdance, and her second feature, The Last Time You Had Fun, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
- Ryan Zaragoza will direct an episode of All American. Ryan’s pilot Sterling premiered at SXSW. He is also an alum of both the HBOAccess® Directing Fellowship and the Ryan Murphy Half Initiative.
- Caity Lotz is set to direct an episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Lotz stars in the series as Sara Lance/White Canary. She originated the role on Arrow and has also appeared as the same character on Arrow-verse series The Flash and Supergirl.
The following members of the class of 2019 have landed offers to direct episodes during the 2020–21 season (pending series renewals):
- Jes Macallan will direct an episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Jes currently stars as Ava Sharpe in the series and previously directed the short film Self, E.
- Nathalie Boltt will direct an episode of Riverdale. She currently recurs as Penelope Blossom in the series. With support from the Melbourne Film Festival’s Accelerator Program and the New Zealand Film Commission, Nathalie will direct the upcoming feature film Holy Days, which she also wrote.
The eight-week WBTVG Directors’ Workshop course is taught by esteemed directors Bethany Rooney and Mary Lou Belli. The Master Class features sessions that teach essential skills in directing as well as guest speakers currently working in television, including a mix of showrunners, directors, cinematographers, and editors.
The new group of graduates joined an esteem group that includes Pamela Romanowsky (Riverdale, Katy Keene, Blindspot), Marcus Stokes (Arrow, The Flash, Station 19, Blindspot), Jennifer Phang (Riverdale, The Boys, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Cloak & Dagger, The Expanse, Stargirl, The Exorcist), Alexis Ostrander (Light as a Feather, Riverdale, American Horror Story, Supergirl, Pearson), David Rodriguez (Chicago P.D., Animal Kingdom, Chicago Med, The Chi, Queen of the South), Sherwin Shilati (Lucifer, Riverdale, NCIS: Los Angeles, Trinkets) and Jude Weng (Fresh Off the Boat, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Life in Pieces, The Good Place, Young Sheldon), among many others.