NBCU Launch Tv Directors Program | Female Forward
The combined NBCU LAUNCH TV Directors Program | Female Forward is NBCU’s groundbreaking scripted directing program created with the goal to systemically increase the number of experienced directors of underrepresented backgrounds in episodic television.
The NBCU LAUNCH TV Directors Program | Female Forward’s goal is to increase authentic storytelling by providing opportunities for directors who have distinct points of view and diverse lived experiences, including but not limited to those who are from historically underrepresented backgrounds, such as directors who are ethnically diverse, directors with disabilities, LGBTQ+ directors, female directors, and directors who identify as non-binary. The combined program builds on the company’s success as the first episodic directing initiative in the entertainment industry to guarantee that participants will helm at least one episode by the culmination of the program. Each participant shadows on up to two episodes of an NBCU scripted series before directing an in-season episode of the same series.
During the program, directors participate in curated workshops to prepare them to shadow, gain the necessary tools for their assignments, and build their professional networks in order to create a successful career in episodic television directing.
The annual program is designed for experienced directors who want to break into episodic directing and are accomplished in their respective fields including, but not limited to full-length feature films, short films, commercials, music videos, digital content/webseries, and unscripted programming.
Applicants are encouraged to review the FAQs carefully as they are designed to guide you in creating a strong submission.
SUBMISSION PERIOD and PROGRAM TIMELINE
- Applications will be accepted November 15, 2022 through December 15, 2022. Applications will not be accepted after 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on December 15, 2022.
- Targeted Program Launch is June 2023.
- Applicants must be authorized to work legally in the United States. Visa sponsorship is not offered to program participants.
- Applicants must be at least 21 years of age as of June 1, 2023.
- Must have directing experience in respective fields including but not limited to full-length feature films, short films, music videos, commercials, digital content, and unscripted programming.
- Applicants who have more than one directing credit on a broadcast, cable, or streaming series are ineligible.
Those applying must submit a complete application package, which includes the following items:
- APPLICATION must be completed in its entirety. Incomplete applications will be disqualified.
- TWO DIRECTING SAMPLES that capture the director’s unique visual style and ability to direct performers. All samples must be scripted, live-action narrative content. Only scripted feature films, short films, and webisodes will be accepted as eligible directing samples. Animation, documentary, unscripted content, compilations, and sizzle reels are not accepted as directing samples and will not be reviewed. The applicant must be the sole director of all samples submitted. Delivery requirements: We only accept samples via online streaming links. You must provide an online streaming link and password, using Vimeo or YouTube. Your samples should be available for at least six months after you submit your application. Please do not update or change your uploaded file or its password once you submit your application. Please double-check that you have entered the password correctly (remembering that passwords are case sensitive). If we do not have the correct password, we will not be able to evaluate your samples. We do not accept WeTransfer, Dropbox, Google Drive, or other such file-transfer services for the visual material delivery.
- RELEASE FORMS must be completed, signed, and dated, in order for submissions to be accepted. Incomplete release forms will result in disqualification.
- RÉSUMÉ outlining chronological paid employment history (may include entertainment and non-entertainment positions) and any directing-related honors/awards. Positions must have been held within the past 15 years (two pages or less). Only list compensated positions, with the exception of entertainment industry internships and full-time volunteer work at non-profits. If listing directing projects, only include projects that were produced. The applicant’s résumé will provide us an understanding of their work history and insight into their individual life experiences.
- PERSONAL ESSAYS articulate the applicant’s unique perspective and background as it relates to their creative process. Applicant must answer both (2) essay questions, and EACH essay must not exceed 400 words.
(OPTIONAL) LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION from entertainment industry professionals who have watched the applicant’s work and can comment on the applicant’s directing ability. Letters of recommendation are strongly encouraged, but not required. Acceptable letters must be on business or personal letterhead, dated in the current calendar year and include the author’s title and/or industry affiliation. No more than two letters per application will be accepted. Letters must accompany the submission and may not be submitted separately via email or mail. Any recommendation letters emailed or mailed to the Program separate from the director’s application will not be accepted. Letter(s) from agents, managers, attorneys, etc. are considered a conflict of interest and will not be considered.
Any candidate who does not meet the aforementioned criteria will be disqualified.
Due to the volume of submissions received, only those applicants who are selected to participate in the Program will be notified. Applicants who are not selected will not be notified. Please check our social media pages for updates on the selection process. Selections will be announced a few weeks before the Program commences.
- Will directors be compensated?
No, directors will not be compensated for participating in the program. However, mandatory workshops focused on the craft of episodic directing are part of the program curriculum, and directors will be paid for their participation in these workshops. In addition, directors will receive a weekly stipend during their shadowing placements and will be compensated for their directing assignment.
- Where is the Program located?
Some of the mandatory workshops will be virtual while other workshops will be in-person. In-person workshops will take place in the Los Angeles area. Travel, accommodations, and meals for these in-person workshops will be covered by the program.
Shadowing and directing assignments are in-person and can take place anywhere in the United States, depending on where the assigned series is being filmed. Travel and accommodations for the shadowing and directing assignments will be provided.
- May directors hold other forms of employment or be enrolled in school while in the Program?
Yes. However, if accepted into the Program, the mandatory workshops, shadows and directing assignment will assume first-priority.
- Is there an application fee?
- How many directors are selected for the Program each year?
The number of directors selected can vary from year to year.
- If selected for the Program in addition to my guaranteed directing assignment, will I be guaranteed a second episode of TV to direct?
- Will NBCU sponsor work visas?
- Do I need to have representation to apply?
- Are Comcast-NBCUniversal employees eligible to apply?
- Do I have to be a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) to apply?
- May I submit material that I previously submitted during the last application period?
Yes. However, new material will better reflect a director’s progress.
- Who reviews submissions?
NBCUniversal executives, producers, and directors.
- Will I receive feedback on my submission?
No. Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback.
- What do evaluators look for when reading the 2 required personal essays?
The 2 personal essays are an important and essential component to the application process. Responses should convey the director’s distinct point-of-view, diverse lived experience, vision, and creative sensibility.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
- How do you define “industry professional” for Letters of Recommendation?
Industry professionals are persons who currently or previously worked in entertainment media (e.g., film, television, digital and streaming services, etc.). Positions within both film and television industries include studio, production company, and network executives, writers, producers, feature film and episodic directors, and educators (e.g., professors or writing instructors) who have entertainment industry experience and/or produced credits. Letter(s) from agents, managers, attorneys, etc. are considered a conflict of interest and will not be considered.