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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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The 101 of 501(c)

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 6, 2012
Nonprofit Tips for Producers: All you need to know about starting a 501c3 for your production company.
By Tanja Meding

Not-for-Profit corporations and how they can benefit producers was the topic of the 101 or 501, a panel discussion produced by PGA East Documentary and Employment Committees.

An expert panel provided firsthand experiences and important answers to all things 501(c)(3): legal, accounting and a non-profit organization as a business model, plus how to set up one’s own not-for-profit organization.

Moderated by PGA East Doc committee chair Shirley Escott, panelists Tracie Holder, Filmmaker and Program Consultant for the Production Assistance Program at Women Make Movies, lawyer Thea J. Kerman, filmmaker Barbara Rick, Financial Consultant Howie Seligman and Juliana Steele, Program Specialist for Fiscal Sponsorship at Fractured Atlas, addressed questions such as:
  • Do you have an idea for a film and are you looking into funding from private sponsors and public grants?
  • What does it mean when funders are asking for a fiscal sponsor or a not for-profit organization?
  • When should you set up a non-profit organization versus using a fiscal sponsor?
  • How can you actually make money with a non-profit organization?
Tracie Holder  
Fiscal Sponsorship



Juliana Steel
What a Fiscal Sponsor can Do for You
Barbara Rick
Starting a Not-For-Profit
Thea Kerman
Starting a 501c3 a Legal Perspective
Howie Seligman
Record Keeping for Not for Profits

The 101 of 501
View the entire panel discussion featuring all the excerpts above and more. Tips for Producers on starting and maintaining a 501c-3 from legal and financial considerations to choosing a fiscal sponsor. (TRT 19:17)

 


Tags:  non-fiction  PGA East 

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Featured Member: Autumn Tarleton

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 23, 2012
Featured Member: Autumn Tarleton
From Contributing Member: Elaine Spooner


Autumn Tarleton
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS? 

I came to film from dance, which I studied as a kid.  Dance combines performance, music, choreography, costume design – all the elements for artistic mediums.  I no longer dance, but I still love the process.  I watch films and editing to see how subjects are expressed.  I think of them as dances. 

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE INDUSTRY?

My first job in the industry was in the wardrobe department on a couple of small indie features. I just wanted to get in at whatever level I could and start learning the filmmaking process from the bottom up. Being hyper-organized was key to being a good wardrobe supervisor and that constant attention to every lapel crease, every striped sock, every detail has helped make me a better producer.   

HOW DID YOU START OUT AS A PRODUCER?

I joined Double Wide Media after earning my Masters in documentary filmmaking and I was immediately trusted to just jump in and learn how to produce whatever the company was working on. I think, again, that knowing about the production process and the art of storytelling helped steer me towards the producer role. To be honest, there was also a certain level of creative control that I was interested in obtaining and steering a project from start to finish is something that I found really suited me. I learned quickly to be courageous because I always had Don Faller (the owner of Double Wide Media) around to rely on if things got complicated or harried. He really taught me the ropes by giving me a lot room to do what I thought was best and he always had my back. It was incredibly freeing. In 2007, I was offered the opportunity to partner with the Editors of GQ to produce content for GQ.com, their online magazine.  One of the first online magazines, highlights included GQ Rules for topics such as ‘How To Tie A Tie’ and the ‘Verge Girl’ series.  The site received 3 Webby nominations and is still a leading edge online publication.  "We were one of the first sites to take the magazine pages and bring them to life on the web.  We created art pieces with great editing and music.”  

WHAT LED YOU TO JOIN THE PGA?

I joined the PGA about 2 years ago at the suggestion of Don Faller, Owner and Executive Producer of Double Wide.  The East Coast Chapter and the New Media Council have great meetings, with wonderful networking and screening opportunities.  Participating with other filmmakers is terrific.   

 WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?

2010 was really a heavy production year for me and 2011 became the year of premieres and distribution, which then morphed back into development again -- it's the same ol' cycle. We've created several original programming opportunities this year and are wrapping up 2011 pitching them to talent, directors, agents and networks. I'm very excited about them. One project is a half hour dark comedy called THE NORMS which is a scripted series that follows a couple of guys in their mid-30s who struggle to be special in a big city that couldn't care less that their somewhat successful band broke up... 15 years ago. I feel like it's a little bit ‘Louis’ and a little bit ‘Mr. Show’ if that show's themes were wrapped in a dark comedy soap opera. And then there's ‘The Flesh’, a scripted genre show that follows Ava Lone, a young woman who has survived a global viral outbreak, after she makes it back home to New Mexico looking to start over.  

I’m very excited about a new project called ‘Random Fandom’, to be hosted by Kevin Maher.  The idea is to travel to special-interest conventions and embed with the fans to understand the cultures.  We’ll be starting on TV, but the digital media elements will be much bigger.  We plan to coordinate with all the online sites and user content possibilities presented by the huge fan bases for these events.  Viewers will watch on their phones, interact on the TV and consume with additional content wherever it appears.

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

I produced a web series about Chicago Bears’ Quarterback Jay Cutler’s triumph over diabetes on the football field and post-produced a documentary about New York Knicks’ Tracy McGrady and his trip to Chad to learn of the Sudanese atrocities in Darfur.  In 2008, she post-produced ‘Life For A Child’, another documentary about children with diabetes set in Nepal.  In 2010, she produced a month-long documentary shoot in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The film focuses on children struggling to survive with juvenile diabetes. 

My most recently produced film is ‘Animals Distract Me’ which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Directed by and starring Isabella Rossellini, this docu-fantasy film explores a "day in the life” of the animal-obsessed Rossellini.  My first feature length documentary, ‘Windfall’, tells the story of the inhabitants of a small, rural town in upstate New York and their struggle to decide whether or not to allow industrial wind turbine development amidst their homes. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 DOCNYC Festival and premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. The film is scheduled to hit theatres in New York in February of 2012.  

Production allows you to do a lot of different things.  I love editing, but I can’t do just that.  On smaller productions with a 4-person crew, I am responsible for the digital media management, interviews, sound  recording and b-roll production, among other roles.  Now, I’m doing a lot of great development work, some on our own and some for other people.  And, of course, we’ll marry everything with the web.

It might sound generic but I think you learn something from all your projects. Sometimes it's as simple as learning a new camera setup or it can be as complicated as navigating the psychology of humans who are just trying to work and create stories together. 

Producing a documentary about juvenile diabetes that we shot for a month in the Congo was truly interesting. Our main concern was just keeping everyone safe and healthy but then there were complications, obviously. We couldn't go anywhere without two security guards at all times and I am usually more accustomed to finding the story out of a certain freedom and access to your subjects and your surroundings. We had little of that. The fact that the families we met and who we cared deeply for didn't have money, or food, or jobs to provide for themselves was an emotional weight added to the 12 hour days in extreme heat. There is a sheer will to survive in Kinshasa that we can all learn from.

It all goes back to storytelling and today we have more avenues to tell any story.  I like playing that game.

Tags:  Featured Member  non-fiction  PGA East 

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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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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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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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