Increasing Visibility

December 20, 2021 An Eastern Diversity Steering Committee Discussion

Ahead of their online meeting on December 20, the Eastern Diversity Steering Committee (EDSC) hosted the program, Increasing Visibility: A Panel Discussion with Array Crew, Crew Me Up and New York Film & Television for Diversity and Inclusion.

During a conversation moderated by 1st AD Rebecca Strickland (The Romanoffs), Array’s Director of Industry Relations Meredith Shea, UPM/New York Film & Television for Diversity and Inclusion representative Gilana Lobel (Russian Doll), 2nd AD/Crew Me Up’s Creator Joshua A. Friedman (Your Place or Mine), and SAG/AFTRA Stunt Performer/Crew Me Up’s Co-Founder Voravong “Nong” Nachampassak gave demonstrations of their respective crew platforms and spoke about how DGA members can take advantage of these tools for getting hired.

The panelists gave additional advice to DGA members interested in using the various platforms to hire more diverse television and film crews. Strickland also reminded the attendees to boost their member profiles on the DGA website for prospective employers who use the Guild’s online database to staff their productions.

Rebecca Strickland1st AD Rebecca Strickland (moderator)
Strickland got her start working in New York as a DGA Production Assistant, then Associate Director on Daytime Dramas such as All My Children and Loving. Her resume includes work on feature film including James Mangold’s Cop Land, Stephen Norrington’s Blade and Peter Weir’s DGA Award-nominated Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. For the last 10 years, she has been working predominately in episodic television on shows including Law & Order: Criminal IntentBlue BloodsOrange is the New Black and The Romanoffs. She recently wrapped on Chinonye Chukwu’s feature film, Till. Strickland has been a DGA member since 1986, and previously served as a Co-Chair of the EDSC and as the 2nd Vice Chair of the Eastern AD/UPM Council. 
Joshua Friedman2nd AD Joshua A. Friedman (Crew Me Up)
Friedman is a Producer, DGA Assistant Director and the author of Getting It Done: The Ultimate Production Assistant Guide. He joined the DGA in 2011 as an Assistant Director on Person of Interest and most recently worked as an AD on Netflix’s Your Place or Mine and as a Producer on the feature film Your Ears Shall Bleed. Friedman's insider experience led him to create Crew Me Up, a mobile filmmaking hub bridging the gap between people and productions. 
Gilana LobelUPM Gilana Lobel (New York Film & Television for Diversity and Inclusion)
Lobel is a New York based DGA UPM and Line Producer. Most recently, she completed work on the second season of the Netflix series, Russian Doll, and is currently in pre-production on a film for IMAX/Imagine. She also co-authored the production office assistant handbook, Keys to the Production Office, to help make entering the film industry more easily accessible. During the pandemic in 2020, Lobel began working with fellow UPM Canella Williams-Larrabee on New York Film & Television for Diversity and Inclusion. Lobel joined the DGA in 2017. 
Nong NachampassakVoravong “Nong” Nachampassak (Crew Me Up)
Nachampassak is SAG/AFTRA Stunt Performer and Co-Founder of Crew Me Up. Nachampassak started his stunt career working on Netflix's Iron Fist and has continued work on shows such as FBI: Most Wanted and Wu Tang! His current focus is on building the Crew Me Up Community and supporting entertainment professionals. 

Meredith SheaMeredith Shea (Array)
Shea is the Director of Industry Relations at Array, the Peabody Award-winning multi-platform arts and social impact collective dedicated to narrative change, founded by filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Shea is responsible for managing and fostering relations with crew members, studio partners, film festivals and industry organizations for the inclusive below-the-line hiring database, Array Crew. Launched in 2021, Array Crew’s mission is to connect underrepresented below-the-line crew members of color and women of all kinds with studio executives, producers and department heads in an effort to diversify film and television productions all over the world.


About the Committee:

Eastern Diversity Steering Committee

The Eastern Diversity Steering Committee represents the concerns of Guild members of African, Asian, Native American, Arab-Middle Eastern or Latino descent residing in the East. Committed to improving the employment opportunities, working conditions and the skills of ethnically diverse Guild members, the Committee sponsors workshops, seminars, round-table discussions and networking events to showcase the talents of its members, recognize their contributions and increase their visibility in the industry. The Committee’s current Co-Chairs are UPM Canella Williams-Larrabee, Second AD Sussan Cordero and Stage Manager April Smith.

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