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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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Featured Member: Robert Klinger

Posted By Will Bryan, Thursday, March 8, 2012

Robert Klinger
Featured Member: Robert Klinger
From Contributing Member Elaine Spooner

WHAT DREW YOU TO THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS?
Charlie Chaplin. I was always clowning around as a child and Chaplin was my idol. When I realized that he lived a life of luxury in beautiful mansions, with a string of hot wives. I thought, "The only difference between my clowning and his is that he got paid.”

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE INDUSTRY?
I got paid $50 to perform stand-up comedy at a bar in Ft. Lauderdale. The place was filled with bitter middle-aged people lamenting their woes and they were not in the mood for levity.

HOW DID YOU START OUT AS A PRODUCER?
I was working under other producers and often found myself wondering why they were the boss of me and not the other way around.

WHAT LED YOU TO JOIN THE PGA?
I tried to join at one point but didn’t have the credits. So I just kept working and a friend on one job (Chris Thomes, who was my boss on last year’s Oscars) recommended I join. By then I qualified and he even sponsored me.

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE VOLUNTEER/COMMITTEE WORK YOU DO FOR THE GUILD?
The PGA International Committee’s main purpose is to serve as a window to and from our colleagues across national borders. The best way to do that is to increase the visibility of the PGA and Producers Guild Awards worldwide, to facilitate international networking and co-production opportunities for members and to help find and maximize international tax incentives and other production resources. I’ve only been to a few meetings so far, but we’re hoping to release a poll soon to determine what specific areas PGA members would like us to focus on most.

WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
In addition to producing ABC’s Oscar.com and other sites, I’m putting together a slate of films with the requirement that any project must be sensibly budgeted and eminently commercial. It just seems silly to me that there’s so much cash – worldwide – that companies and individuals are sitting on. I just need to convince enough of them that making movies is a more sensible thing to do with that money than sitting on it or making investment decisions from a fear position. I’m also producing a short video for Beachwood Canyon’s Hollywood Orchard.

WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR MOST INTERESTING PROJECTS, AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THEM?
A Song and a Prayer, the feature film I was involved with. My big take-away from that was to spend the money to have at least one known actor in your film. You can have amazingly talented people in your project (which we did) but you need a cast that will help sell the piece. My other favorite project was Importex, a bi-lingual comedy pilot we shot in Miami. Going back to my hometown to produce a project was an exciting experience.  I call L.A. the city of false starts because seemingly perfect opportunities present themselves and then nothing happens. But by the same token, something will come your way that you think nothing of and it turns out to be a really great experience.

Tags:  Featured Member  new media  PGA West 

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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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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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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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