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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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Going Green: PGA Green receives EMA’s Green Production Award

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 2, 2011

Going Green: PGA Green receives EMA’s Green Production Award
by Rachael Joy

It isn’t often that in one evening Norman Lear, Justin Timberlake and a water-free urinal share the stage but that’s exactly what happened at the 21st Annual Environmental Media Awards, which celebrates outstanding achievement within the entertainment and environmental communities.

Timberlake was just one of the many recipients being honored for their environmental contributions including PGA Green, which received the Green Production Award for promoting sustainable production practices–namely through the creation of PGAGreen.org and GreenProductionGuide.com. TheProducers Guild of America's Green Initiativewas introduced in 2009 as a direct response to PGA members who voiced the need for additional information on how to best produce more sustainable productions.

Co-founded in 1989 by the legendary producer Norman Lear, the Environmental Media Association mobilizes the entertainment industry in educating people about environmental issues. Their annual event recognizes environmentally conscious artists, films, TV programs and products including the aforementioned toilet, The Falcon waterfree urinal, saves over 40,000 gallons of water per unit annually. It’s these kind of innovative products and services that are listed in the GreenProductionGuide.com and can help your next production be greener.

The Green Production Guide is a user-friendly website where members of the entertainment industry can access a vast global database of vendors that offer sustainable or environmentally sensitive services and products. Currently, more than 2,000 vendor listings are available, referred by producers and production representatives who had positive experiences with products and services on past productions.

In accepting their EMA Reality TV award, the producers of "Green Home 2011” on HGTV mentioned their use of the Green Production Guide and the PGA Green Unified Best Practices Guide. "We had our crew carpool to the set, used actual dishes at craft services and catering that we'd wash and bring back the next day. We felt like we were practicing what we preached instead of just doing a show about green," noted producer Loren Ruch.

It’s this implementation of the guide throughout the industry that led the Environmental Media Association to honor PGA Green with its inaugural Green Production Award.

Vance Van Petten and PGA Green Chairs Lydia Dean Pilcher and Fred Baron accepted the award on behalf of the entire committee. Van Petten stated, "In the more than 10 years I’ve served as the PGA’s Executive Director, there’s nothing I’m more proud of than they way our members have risen to meet the challenge of climate change.”

Tags:  PGA Green 

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PGA Plants Hope With Habitat For Humanity

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 18, 2011
PGA Plants Hope With Habitat For Humanity
By Brent Roske

Golf. Sailing. Hauling dirt. What do these 3 things have in common?  I’m glad you asked!

5am on Saturday came too quick. I had to get to the Starbucks in Long Beach by 7 to make it to the build site by 745 - the first 20 miles of driving was mentally pretty foggy.  2 boxes of coffee, a bunch of muffins and bagels and I was off to the build site.

I didn’t know much about Habitat for Humanity before then. Here’s what they do and why they do it: Habitat builds houses for qualifying families, which is one that needs some housing help and can make the mortgage payments on the house once it’s finished.  Habitat calls it ‘a hand up and not a hand out’ which sounds good to me. Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man how to drive a nail through a fish with a high-powered nail gun and you’ll get a good photo. Every family that is accepted into the program has to work 500 hours at a Habitat property - often at the home they’ll be living in - building ‘sweat equity’. A normal workweek here in the States is 40 hours (not for us hard working producers but we’re special) so over the year it takes to build a Habitat house the owners are certainly putting in their time.

We got hats. Brand new PGA Green Committee baseball hats and a cup of coffee and we were split up into teams. I was put on landscape because I guess they didn’t want me inside the house. Our team’s job was to level the front yard so we could put some plants in.  It had been over 12 years since I last touched a wheelbarrow for either business or pleasure (don’t ask). Everybody grabbed a shovel and started filling them up so R.J. Hume and I became ‘Dirt Removal Team Alpha’ (our own name).  The first half of our day: Fill the wheelbarrow, wheel it to the dump, lift it with R.J., dump the dirt, repeat.

At the start of the workday we had a group prayer. Habitat for Humanity is a faith-based organization and all faiths are welcome.  I had a moment of surprise when I realized that during the prayer all 24 PGA producers weren’t talking! I’m sure that’s some sort of record.

That day we painted, cut tile, sawed wood, dug, planted, hauled stuff, and used muscles that at least for me had been dormant and un-flexed for too long. And the best part? We were there not because we had to be, or because we were getting paid for it, or because we expected anything from it.  We were there because a family of 5, who had been living in a one bedroom apartment for years (mom, dad and 3 sons in 700 square feet), now would get to live in a house that they applied for, worked hard to help build and will be responsible for the upkeep and payment for once they move in.  With all the partisan politics, economic troubles and other daily struggles we all face, simple acts like helping someone build their house is about as gratifying as you can get.  As producers, most of our careers are spent talking – talking about projects, creating excitement, generating funding, casting – you get it. I don’t think I’ve talked less in a day than on the build with Habitat, and there is a good feeling that comes with the tactile experience of creating a home that kids will laugh in.

So, to answer the question at the top of this article: what does golf, sailing and hauling dirt have in common? Find out for yourself by volunteering for a day with Habitiat for Humanity. (and then go golfing and sailing). 

If you would like to see more pictures from the PGA Habitat for Humanity, go to our Facebook Page.

Thank you to our Sponsor Safecig for making this year’s build possible.  For more information about Safecig, go to www.thesafecig.com.

For more information about PGA Green, go to:   www.pgagreen.org or join our Facebook page.

For more information about volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, go to:  www.habitatla.org 

Brent Roske is a member of the PGA Green Committee and his short film ‘African Chelsea’ is now qualified for Oscar consideration.

Tags:  PGA Green  PGA West 

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PGA Poker Tournament

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 11, 2011
PGA Poker Tournament
By Chris Debiec

The Hollywood Park Casino
Photo By Michael Q. Martin
As a producer I often find myself in situations that, in many ways, feels like gambling. I’m taking a chance and going all in on whether my new show is going to sell. I’m betting that my budget estimate will be on target or else I’m going to be busted out… at least that’s how it feels, sometimes.

On Sunday, October 16, the PGA held its 4th annual Poker Tournament at Hollywood Park Casino in Los Angeles. The turnout was exceptional. We had more than 150 members and guests attend the event and over 90 players participate in the tournament itself.

This year we wanted to shake things up a bit by creating a themed event so we went with the "Rat Pack”… Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. (the classics). We had music from the era playing in the background; adding in the sound of shuffling cards and clacking of the poker chips made for one helluva great experience.

Photo By Michael Q. Martin
LA has some of the best food trucks in the country and we got them: Shrimp Pimp, Holy Aioli and Sugerbaby’s Cupcakes rocked the house. The Dealer Dolls educated and got many of us warmed up before the tournament.

We could never pull off an event of this magnitude without our paid sponsorships. Taking the top platinum spot was a company called "TheSafeCig”… a great alternative to quit smoking. The gold goes to one of our favorite sponsors; "Culver Studios”. Two newcomers to the race are "CET Universe” taking the silver and "PES Payroll” taking the bronze sponsorship.

In addition to the paid sponsors we would like to thank companies that donated services and materials: Universal Studios Prop Department donated our Rat Pack themed décor, GDC Technology for the awesomely huge gift bags and to Premiere Entertainment for all the yummy drinks.

Without the help and continued dedication of sponsors like these, guild events like this could not happen.

The PGA events committee has some of the most dedicated members in the organization. We would like to recognize those hwo helped us put this event together: Maureen Dooling, Giselle Rivera, Kristine Lacey, Elizabeth Hitt, Eve Watterson, Deen Dioria , Rikki Hughes, Kimberly Austin, Logan Stein, Craig Erpelding, Kathy OConnell, Norman Marcus and Michael Martin

The Final Table
Photo By Michael Q. Martin
The PGA would like to congratulate the winners on their valiant efforts. We had last year’s returning champion Dan Abrams take the title once more.  In addition to our first-ever two-time champ, the final table included: Kyle Leonard (2nd), Jonathan Watson (3rd), Tom Dean (4th), Darryl Harris (5th), Tom Whelan (6th), Carl Nielson (7th), Randall Smith (8th) and Mary Jaras (9th)

Once again, congrats to Dan and all of our winners!




Tags:  events  los angeles 

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Featured Member: Marko Albrecht

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 4, 2011

Featured Member: Marko Albrecht

Marko Albrecht’s immediate challenge is time management. He’s a new father of twins, founder of his own digital ad agency and documentary filmmaker. Life is good.

He always wanted to be a producer. After creating short videos and films throughout childhood, he interned at the Filmworkers Club in Chicago at 18.  A soccer scholarship to Long Island University in Brooklyn got him hooked on the energy of New York. "Just out of college, I met a producer on an airplane who is now Creative Director at USA. He saw something in me and brought me to TRIO where I worked as an AP in On-Air Promos until they went off air in 2004.I then worked a variety of gigs the next few years at Style, Current TV and on feature films.”

Albrecht moved to New Jersey when he got married in 2006 and briefly joined the commercial real estate firm, RJ Brunelli.Soon, he was back in media and started a nightlife webseries that profiled nightclubs and DJs across the USA. With millions of views and revenue share on YouTube, the web series was a success, but the topic just wasn’t compatible with his lifestyle. He cancelled the show, but it taught him how to use video as a branding and online marketing tool. In 2007, he started Essential Creative, a Woodbridge, NJ based boutique ad agency that specializes in social media marketing, digital production and branding.

"Essential generally works with 3-4 clients at a time in order to give each brand the attention it truly needs. Our client Muscle Maker Grill grew from 14 to 50 locations across the country in the 2 years we have worked together.We constantly adapt our social media marketing and media consulting to fit their growth. Essential recently won a Telly Award for our online commercial for client SSP Nutrition. I’m a dual citizen of USA and Finland, so we have worked with Finnish companies MultiTouch and Bublaa on their launches into the USA.”

Albrecht relishes the diverse skill set needed as an entrepreneur. "I had to learn everything because I needed to do it all myselfat first. All the technical skills as well as the creative process. My favorite part is to come up with the vision for a brand and see it through. It’s a beautiful thing to see an idea come full circle to reality.” His company has a small staff, including young video editors/shooters that Albrecht finds and mentors. "I wanted to work with younger kids to give them a start. They are amazingly skilled at a very early age. They’re naturally comfortable with all things digital.”

In today’s world, it’s hard to offer just one service – Albrecht knows he has to be ready to do it all.One of the key things about being a producer is that, even if you don’t know how to do something, you learn and adapt to what needs to be done.

Albrecht Family"The most exciting thing in my life right now is fatherhood,” he shares. It’s changed everything. I’m also passionate about a personal project, a documentary about my Mom. She passed away when I was 16. Mom was an artist and writer who emigrated from Finland. Her story deserves to be told.”

Albrecht joined the PGA early in his career. "The PGA has been a great asset to me and my company. The people I meet are amazing. The Producers Guild Awards and Produced By Conference are great events. It’s wonderful to be part of an elite society and have instant credibility because of it. New Media Council members have been mentors and partners in projects. The diversity of the membership is perfect for me. Finding good people is key and the PGA can help. A talented network expands your capabilities.”


Question of the Month: What’s the most exciting innovation happening in the industry today?

"Social media changed the way that businesses and marketers associate with their customers and fans. You must be transparent. It’s the only way to be successful today. You can’t get the results you want by just running a TV commercial anymore. It’s changed so fast and we’re all learning.”

"Also the advancement of equipment is astounding. For example, new DSLR cameras allow you to create a super high-end look on almost any budget.”

"Whether you produce films or manage clients, if you’re not working with social media, you’re dead in the water.”

 

 

Tags:  Featured Member  new media  PGA East 

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FEATURED VIDEO

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Digital 25 – In Their Own Words

Members of the Digital 25 discuss the industry and the future of digital entertainment in this exclusive PGA video.

On October 17, the PGA and Variety hosted the annual Digital 25 event in Marina Del Rey, honoring the visionaries, innovators and producers doing the most exciting work in the digital space today. With everyone from Pixar’s John Lasseter to The Guild’s Felicia Day to host Illeana Douglas in attendance, the Digital 25 remains one of the most unique and exclusive venues for new media storytellers to gather, celebrate, and share ideas about the future of entertainment.

For more of the flavor of this remarkable evening, enjoy the accompanying video.

Tags:  Digital 25  new media  video 

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