How to Join the Directors Guild


The Director's Guild of America represents directors, stage managers, production associates and other entertainment industry professionals closely aligned with the directors' trade. Most professionals working in these fields (except for directors, production assistants and technical coordinators) join the DGA after meeting certain criteria. Do your research beforehand if you want to become a member.

  • Find a job with a production company that has a collective bargaining agreement with the DGA. To gain employment with a signatory company, you need to meet a list of qualifying rules. If you are an associate director or stage manager, you can be hired if you've completed a DGA sponsored tape orientation seminar, or if you've had 3 years of production experience in the commercial production industry.

  • Study the Directors Guild rules for film membership. If you're a first or second assistant director or unit production manager, you must be placed on a qualifying list that's run by the DGA Contractor's Administration. Contact the New York City or Sherman Oaks, California office of the Contractor's Administration for more information.

  • Check the list of acceptable and unacceptable job experience. Some appropriate tasks include lighting, props, makeup or hair, editing or script supervisor. Jobs such as controller, receptionist, accountant or production secretary don't count toward guild eligibility to join.

  • Consult the Director's Guild to figure your initiation fee. Once you've been accepted as a member, make a one time payment based on your category. Feature film and television directors and unit production managers pay much more to join than documentary and low budget directors, for example.

  • Remit dues based on a schedule of Directors Guild earnings. Members pay quarterly base dues plus an amount calculated on a half-percent of the director's gross income. Finally, DGA members pay 1 percent of the residuals they receive.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult the Directors Guild for more specifications.

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