November 23, 2018 at 11:42AM
I've been invited to join the DGA, but I'm not sure if I should?
Hi everyone, and thanks in advance for your time!
I'm 27, and I just directed my first national broadcast television commercial a few months ago. The project was big enough to make me eligible for the DGA and a membership application came in the mail! (Woo!)
I know that being in the DGA is considered a big honor and networking opportunity, and while I'm excited to join, I have a few remaining questions about how this all works before I sign up. I've called their Membership office, scoured their website and even stopped by their offices in Los Angeles to try and get these questions answered, but wasn't able to get the information I was looking for. I'm hoping someone here with more experience than me might have some advice?
While I'm moving toward more large projects, the majority of my shoots are smaller, non-union productions. In your opinion, are the benefits/exclusivity of the DGA worth making the jump while my invitation is still valid? Or should I wait? I'm not sure I'll have the privilege of directing a project that large again and I don't want to sign on too preemptively, but I also don't want to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join if you feel going the club is worth taking the leap.
Once I'm in, do I need to continuously do work to stay in the guild? Or is it a life-time membership as long as I pay my dues?
The only real benefits I know about the DGA (other than how it protects your rights on big shoots) is that it comes with nice health benefits, access to some DGA events, and the movie-screeners. But are there any other cool, lesser-known benefits to being in the union I should know about?
Once again, thanks SO much for your time. I need to make a decision in the next two weeks, so any/all input is sincerely appreciated!