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9th Annual "Power of Diversity" Workshop Coming

Posted By Deborah Calla, Monday, March 04, 2013

"The Producers Guild of America: The Power of Diversity” is one of the most sought-after and successful producing workshops available today.

In 2004, the PGA Diversity Committee decided to empower producers looking to make a difference in the entertainment landscape through content that accurately reflects the environment we live in – a globalized world of many colors, religions, sexual orientations and physical abilities.

We wanted it to be an "A to Z producing" workshop and we wanted it to be inclusive. Our Celebration of Diversity (2002 – 2004) award recipients had given us a great legacy and we kept them in mind as we created the program.

"Every one of us matters. All our voices are primary voices. If I would look at my ideas in terms of film, it is to create a world where that is not only a reality for people of color like myself, but for women as well.”

-Danny Glover

"I've had an amazing journey that was fueled by my parents, who taught me how to work with people and that color didn't matter”.

- Chas. Floyd Johnson

George Sunga, Charles Howard, Steve Grossman, Yvonne Russo and I spent many late afternoons at the Guild and at different coffee shops, creating a format for the workshop. Although Charles and I are the only original founders who continue to be actively involved, we have been joined by a great many producers, including: Vicente Williams, Dan Halperin, Julie Janata, Megan Mascena, Cirina Catania, Luis Barreto, Karyn Benkendorfer, Rebecca Graham Forde, Christina Lee Storm, Rikki Hughes, Emily Barclay, Ayser Salman, Martha Cotton, and Paul Villadolid.

Since 2004, the workshop has evolved greatly, but it has never veered from its initial intent: to educate and create opportunity for projects and producers that pursue inclusion.

We have had the honor to work with hundreds of producers in the workshops, some new and some already established including Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (Southland CO-EP CSI: NY Supervising Producer), Sarah DeLio (Bless Me, Ultima Producer) and D'Arcy Conrique, Entertainment Finance Group at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

When asked about their workshop experience this is what two past alums had to say:

"The PGA workshop was invaluable in helping me with my television pilot and my career as a TV writer. The mentors enthusiasm,support and feedback was crucial to my development as a working writer and aspiring producer. They brought in the best producers, directors and executives in the business and have continued to foster relationships with all the workshop participants. I completed the workshop with a new found confidence and an understanding of the various facets of producing. This amazing opportunity provided me with skills that I continue to use on a daily basis.”

- Hollie Overton – The Client List

"Through dynamic instruction and unparalleled accessto top industry professionals and mentors, the PGA workshop has become a veritable masterclass for the next generation of producers.”

Ben Lobato – Justified, The Unit

The submission period for the ninth cycle of the "Producers Guild of America: Power of Diversity” workshop starts on March 11th 2013.

This is a unique opportunity to participate in the workshop with your dream project and advance your producing skills in one-on-one sessions with committee mentors and in master classes with such producers as Marshall Herskovitz, Bruce Cohen, Ali LeRoi, Damon Lindelof, Caryn Mandabach and Shonda Rhimes.

The program runs for eight weeks: once a week in the evening and two Saturday mornings.

Participants begin with a script for a project that they would like to see produced. The goal of the workshop is to get these participating producers’ projects ready for the marketplace by the end of the eight weeks.

In addition to attendance at the weekly master class and sessions with committee mentors, participating producers must prepare a plan of action for their project to be presented at the end of the workshop. This plan develops during the run of the workshop with the guidance of their assigned producer-mentors.

Subjects covered during the workshop include such topics as story development, pitching techniques, packaging, possible buyers for the project, how to approach and connect with buyers, financing, marketing plans and new media concepts and techniques.

If you are working on a project for the web, television or the big screen, the PGA Workshop can help take you and your project to the next level.

And the workshop is free.

Application requirements and forms can be found at: www.pgadiversity.org . There is a $35 application fee.

-Deborah Calla

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