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The Networker Blog is the internal publication of the Producers Guild. In it, members will find information about Guild benefits, programs and initiatives, career advice, member spotlights, and extensive coverage of major Guild events, seminars and screenings.

 

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Top tags: new media  non-fiction  PGA East  PGA West  Featured Member  events  PGA National Capital  Inside Jobs  los angeles  PGA Green  Digital 25  jeffrey lerner  Kickstarter  Nancy Goldman  networker 2.0  video 

Producing Killer Apps - What Producers Need to Know Before They Go Mobile

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fuzz Productions' Bradley Glenn
Producing Killer Apps Event in New York Presents the State of the Mobile Apps Industry 
By Chris Pfaff 

 
A sell-out crowd of 100 people crammed into the 57th Street Screening Room last month to see four of New York’s leading app producers discuss the current state of the mobile app developer industry and hear the tricks of the app store trade at the PGA New Media Council East’s ‘Producing Killer Apps: What Producers Need to Know Before They Go Mobile’ event. Part of PGA NMC East’s successful salon series (now in its 7th season), the event featured two members of the NMC East executive committee – Fuzz Productions’ Bradley Glenn and Hearst Magazines’ Julia Schulhof – as well as Gilt Groupe’s Chris Gonzalez and CNNmoney.com’s Jeff Frese. 
 

PGA NMC East member, and Hearst director of
mobile, Julia Schulhof
Bradley Glenn discussed the agency side of the mobile app business, showcasing some of Fuzz Productions’ recent work for Jay-Z’s ‘Decoded,’ as well as the Pat LaFrieda app for the popular meat expert, and the Preplay app for NFL fantasy football. Bradley discussed the wireframe as the "script and storyboard” for mobile apps, and how keeping it simple for the mobile interface will yield better results for app producers. Julia Schulhof discussed the trajectory of her career in mobile, which started with work on behalf of a science TV producer and led to CondeNet, the digital arm of Conde Nast. She showed how Hearst is getting solid traction from its investments in mobile apps, and discussed how she works with her development team to create apps under stringent deadlines. 

 Chris Gonzalez dazzled the audience with live demos of the Gilt Groupe app, which has to appeal to a rabid audience of daily deal-buyers. Jeff Frese demonstrated the CNNmoney.com app, and discussed the considerations of a mobile producer creating a mobile version of a popular web site.  

The panelists dispensed solid advice on how to work with the app stores, what technical resources were best for porting mobile apps, and how to promote apps. The PGA New Media Council East was thrilled to host these experts in the field, and looks forward to holding further such thought-provoking events through its continuing salon series.

Tags:  new media  PGA East 

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Inside Jobs: Kickstart Your Financing

Posted By Will Bryan, Monday, January 9, 2012


Nancy Goldman
Inside Jobs: Kickstart Your Financing
By Nancy Goldman, Ed.D.

KickStarter.com is unique way to fund creative ideas providing independent producers with a novel way to finance films. Called "crowdfunding,” Kickstarter.com allows creators to procure financial contributions online from multiple donors simultaneously.

The way it works is that a producer determines the total amount of money she intends to raise and how long it will take. This decision is critical because she must receive this total in funders’ pledges to be considered successful and to collect all the pledged donations. If the pledges total less than the goal amount, she gets none of the money.

PGA member Gayle Kirschenbaum raised $50,000 toward her feature documentary, My Nose: The Bigger Version, this way. One hundred ninety eight backers made pledges in denominations from $1 to $10,000. In return they received sundry incentives including family therapy, designer haircuts, and patron credits on the film. The more they gave, the more illustrious the incentive.

Here are excerpts from my conversation with Gayle in October:

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO RAISE MONEY FOR YOUR FILM USING KICKSTARTER.COM?

This was a personal film which doesn’t fit the personality of a grant. I had to tailor it to fit me. I love communicating with the public. When I did an indie with my dog, I put up a website and a diary and newsletter and I had a contest. I love having direct contact with the public.

HOW DID YOU PUT THE CAMPAIGN TOGETHER?

I had 3-4 interns helping me: one for social marketing, one to find partners, and one for graphics. I knew that the campaign had to be in my voice so I shelved everything else for three months. I planned the video, campaign page, and one minute trailer. I came up with the new content.

WHAT HAPPENED?

We put up the campaign and I sent my first email to my email list. I raised $4,000 in 4 days. Then it was dead. I started a pity party. But that’s not a good place to be. It’s all about your attitude. I started listening to "The Power” by Rhonda Byrne. It filled my engine with positivity. I got into feeling gratitude and love. I could be grateful for what was coming in. It was a spiritual practice. I didn’t know how emotional it would be.

WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR PGA MEMBERS?

I am happy I made a higher goal. It’s the same amount of work as making a lower goal. I wouldn’t do it in the summer because people are on holiday. I would make it 60 days or 45 days [instead of 90 days] to create more urgency.

Think about what makes you special-the angle of why people would want to give. The key is to communicate gratitude. Get into the head of "What can I give the donors?”

I heard "Gayle, it’s a bad time” over and over. The fact is you’re dealing with more people. You’re building your community. I no longer feel bad about asking for money because it was a vehicle for me to give something to people.

Tags:  Inside Jobs  Kickstarter  Nancy Goldman 

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PGA East Holiday Party

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 23, 2011

Photo by Andrew White
PGA East Holiday Party
by Patrick Clancy

On Friday, December 16, the PGA East hosted its annual holiday party at the new and exclusive Club 15W in downtown SoHo. The weather outside was frightful, but members still came in droves to mingle and warm themselves by the "convivial fire.” Members enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and an open bar of wine and cocktails, complimentary of Terra Fossil Wines and SVEDKA.


Photo by Andrew White

Jennie Bourne of the New Media Council conducted impromptu interviews, asking members, "What do you love most about the PGA?” The range of answers varied from this year’s innumerable PGA East screenings and events to the Guild’s unparalleled access to networking resources. But most of all, members voiced their gratitude for the Guild’s undying support and sense of community. In the words of PGA Member Trilby Schreiber, "What I love about the PGA is that it’s an amazing group of active, positive, energetic, go get ‘em, never say no, never say die, never give up, people!”


Take a look at our holiday party video via VIMEO, entitled, "PGA East Holiday Party.”


The PGA East would like to thank Club 15W, Terra Fossil Wines, and SVEDKA for their generous contributions.

Tags:  events  PGA East 

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PGA Holiday Party 2011

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 16, 2011

Photo By Michael Q. Martin
PGA Holiday Party 2011
By Ryan Willis


A PGA Holiday Indeed!

First, let me disclose that as this was my first year attending the West Coast PGA Holiday Party (held, as always, at the Luxe Hotel), I had nothing to compare the experience to.  That being said, I was impressed.  The event was realized in true traditional holiday spirit: a time to come together, have fun, re-connect with familiar faces, as well as meet some new ones.


Photo By Michael Q. Martin
Down to the smallest details, the party provided each PGA Member with a quality experience.  The wine, provided by Rob Mondavi, Jr.’s ONEHOPE winery in Napa, CA was as deserving of praise as the causes they donate to.  The catered food buffet was delicious.  The outdoor photo booth (provided by Creative Handbook) allowed even the quietest producers to let loose and be wacky with their colleagues.  And, the psychic fortune teller, Ellen Magdalena Fornaro, added to the amusement as many members, immediately after check-in, rushed to be the very first to sign up to see how their upcoming projects would fare.

The prize drawing was full of intriguing packages varying from a pack of electronic cigarettes (provided by The SafeCig), Cirque du Soleil IRIS tickets at the Kodak, Toys from LES DÉGLINGOS, two weeks of a GM loaner vehicle,  and a two night stay at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, and JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort and Spa.  Sadly, I did not win any of these. 


Photo By Michael Q. Martin
Of course, what would the night be like without casino games?  It was exciting to see Hawk Koch and Mark Gordon, among others, at the tables dealing blackjack to our members.  With poker, blackjack, and roulette tables a plenty, it could have easily been mistaken for a PGA Holiday Vegas Party.  And the prizes to the largest winners did not disappoint, including Produced By Conference passes, PGA Golf tournament rounds, and a set of poker chips.  Each winner was also given a week of a GM loaner vehicle as well.  So, it seems that in keeping with the Holiday theme, even the PGA Holiday party was complete with wonderful presents for its members.

At the end of the evening, PGA members were given a novelty stuffed animal to remember this PGA Holiday Party… and why shouldn’t they remember it?  Coordinated by the PGA Events Committee(with special kudos to co-chairs Salvy Maleki and Vincente Williams) and executed by dozens of PGA volunteers and staff, I believe the event left producers wanting to stay just a little bit longer and hoping next year’s party comes just a little bit sooner. 

It was certainly a night not to be missed! 

Ryan Willis is an aspiring producer and former PGA Intern (Spring 2010)

Tags:  los angeles  PGA West 

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Featured Member: Dave Blackburn

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 9, 2011
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2011

Featured Member: Dave Blackburn


WHAT DREW YOU TO THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS?

I got my start in new media in 1992 by using 3D animation and modeling software for engineering projects. Interested in different applications in medicine, architecture, city planning and entertainment, I left my career as an engineer to work as a consultant in the emerging business of real time 3D applications. I wanted to see where the world of visualization and real time immersive interfaces was going. As I started to learn about it, I realized I knew more than most of the people in the field.


WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE INDUSTRY?

I worked on my own for 14 years as a consultant and producer. My practice evolved into expertise in real-time character animation and motion capture, which got me a VP job with Motion Analysis. They hired me to visit locations in North and South America to bring their motion capture technology into a variety of production facilities. Motion Analysis built and designed their own high fidelity motion capture systems, and we sold them to TV and film producers, and game/interactive entertainment studios worldwide.


HOW DID YOU START OUT AS A PRODUCER?

In 2000, I created a digital co-host for Martin Short for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences annual awards event at the Los Angeles Biltmore Bowl – the first live, virtual co-host of a live awards show. Over the years, I worked with client The Jim Henson Company evolving the HDPS, a completely motion capture- and performance-driven real-time CG animation system. They put together the most sophisticated virtual character live production system in existence. Puppeteers used the technology to drive a virtual character's facial animation and voice, rather than a physical puppet. Body performers in Motion Capture suits worked in concert with the puppeteers. When it matured, the system was used to produce Sid, The Science Kid a Jim Henson/KCET collaboration TV show that won numerous awards.


WHAT LED YOU TO JOIN THE PGA?

I hadn’t heard of the PGA, but my role as Executive Producer of fastpitch remote broadcasting efforts got me the credits to join in 2005, under the urgings of my PGA sponsor Julie Klein. I went to screenings and workshops and stayed connected.


CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE VOLUNTEER/COMMITTEE WORK YOU DO FOR THE GUILD?

I got involved with the PGA Camera Assessment Committee, in its early evolution, and I would like to continue being involved with PGA-related Committee work in the future, where my skills and 20 years entertainment industry experience can be utilized appropriately.


WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?

On August 26th, 2010, everything changed for me as a result of a horrific car accident. With 27 broken bones, 2 collapsed lungs, and a bruised heart, among numerous other complications, I spent 64 days in a trauma center in Phoenix, then another 52 days at Kaiser Hospital in Hollywood, followed by 100 days at the Hancock Park Rehabilitation Center in LA. I'm still in a wheelchair. My job went away while I recovered. Fourteen months later, the job is gone and I’m looking to ease back into my next professional position. I’m a PGA member still and I still produce the Fastpitch World Championships. This year I was inducted into the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame during this year's annual World Championship event.


WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR MOST INTERESTING PROJECTS, AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THEM?

I was an early proponent and evangelist of performance animation before anyone knew what it was. I was experimenting with it back in 1993. Now it’s on the big screen and it’s fabulous. Avatar was a brilliant movie, but it was disappointing in the way that the PR people made it seem like Cameron invented all the technology. He gave us a modern vision and now Tintin is pushing it further. The movie includes one continuous 10-minute cut of an escape from a city that’s totally breathtaking.

Tags:  Featured Member  new media  PGA West 

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