Event Details
  • Non-members, please pay at least $8 to help keep us running.
    January 20, 2023
    5:00 pm - 6:45 pm
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How Shutdown Changed the TV and Film Industry
Friday 1/20 2023 at 5:00 eastern time
Community Gathering on Zoom - register with the bright red reservation box to receive the Zoom link. These gatherings are a service for the theater community and are offered free for TRU members; we ask that non-members help keep us running by making a donation or joining as a member.
In the room: Louis Guerra, first assistant director; Jim Bigwood, film and TV producer. We'll look at the unexpected production challenges of shutdown, and the need to acquire new skills, as well as how shutdown pushed streaming into the spotlight and helped it gain greater significance and stature so that it now competes with theatrically released films in the major awards. We'll also include comparisons with the theater industry, and the differences in their business models, job descriptions and hierarchies.

    moved from acting into behind the scenes film production, starting as an assistant accountant on Francis Ford Coppola’s Cotton Club in 1983.  He has worked variously as Associate Producer, Line Producer and Production Manager on such films as New Jack City (Warner Bros 1991), Juice (Paramount 1992), Bob Roberts (Paramount 1992), Posse (Gramercy 1993), Assault at West Point (Showtime 1994), Road to Wellville (Columbia 1994), Waiting to Exhale (Fox 1995), Double Platinum (ABC 1999), Boycott (HBO 2001), Gathering Storm (HBO 2002) and the Emmy nominated Bright Shining Lie (HBO 1998). In 1995, he co-produced Wide Awake for Miramax, in 1998, he produced The Tempest, starring Peter Fonda, for NBC.  In addition, he has produced ten television series: Touching Evil (USA Cable 2004), The Black Donnellys (NBC 2007), Lipstick Jungle (NBC 2008/2009), Mercy (NBC 2009/2010), The Red Road (Sundance 2013) Being Mary Jane (BET 2014), The Quad (BET 2017/2018), American Soul (BET 2019/2020), First Kill (Netflix 2021) and Kingdom Business (BET+ 2022/2023)  and the mini-series Revelations (NBC 2005). Along the way, he has managed to keep acting, playing small roles in The Tempest, Road to Wellville, Assault at West Point, Posse, Bob Roberts, Roanoak, Boycott, Revelations and Lipstick Jungle as well as in three films that he wasn’t already working behind the scenes on: Seven Minutes in Heaven, Nick and Jane and Panthers.  In 1985, he directed the short film Christmas On the Rocks with a Twist, which he produced with writer Timothy Lonsdale.


    discovered his love for storytelling and filmmaking when he was twelve years old. The youngest of three, he attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. There he majored in Radio/TV/Film production and earned a minor in Creative Writing for the Media. While at NU, Louis served as an intern on the film, “Jacob’s Ladder,” and through that internship, he was offered his first job as a production assistant on the feature JFK.  It was on this project that Louis learned the path to becoming an Assistant Director. He recently completed work as the 1st Assistant Director on Amazon’s “Paper Girls” and currently serves as 1st AD on the NBC drama “Law & Order.” Prior to that his credits include the final two seasons of “Orange Is the New Black” for Netflix, and “Clifford, the Big Red Dog,” for Paramount. Past credits include three seasons on the Emmy winning “Homeland” for Showtime, two on the Emmy Award winning “The Americans” for FX, two on “Gotham,” for Fox, and one on “Blue Bloods” for CBS. Louis also had the opportunity to direct the award winning short film, “Foreign Nationals.” In this short film he had the opportunity to present two sides to the same story, that of the illegal immigrants and that of the ICE agents who pursue them. His film garnered him Best 1st Time Director for a short film as well as the Award of Prestige (Vegas Movie Awards). His film was also selected as Best Film, Best Film Finalist, Semi Finalist, or Official Selection at another eleven festivals. Louis participates in The Director’s Guild of America, where he serves an Associate Board Member. He has also served as the Chairman of the AD/UPM Council for five years and has been on the council for seventeen. He has also been privileged to serve on the DGA Negotiating Committee in Los Angeles for five consecutive terms.