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California Film and Television Production Alliance Works For Better Incentives

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On August 1st, 2013 the California Film Commission, AMPTP, local business owners, Unions and Guilds, including the Producers Guild of America, gathered at San Francisco’s City Hall with the common goal of improving film production in California. This loosely formed coalition is working together to promote, improve, and enhance film and television production in the State of California. In the past 12 years, California’s place as the epicenter of film and television production has dramatically diminished - almost all large budget motion pictures are now made outside of California and less than 40% of primetime scripted 1-hour TV shows are filmed in the state. For a highly mobile industry, decisions about where to shoot are largely dictated by financial considerations-the availability of state or country incentives looms large as a consideration.

In 2009, the Alliance successfully worked with the Legislature and the Governor to create a 5-year, $100 million-a-year California Film and Television Production Incentive, which was further extended for 3 years in 2012. However, demand from productions that want to remain in or return to California has far exceeded the program’s funding - many productions must then leave California to film elsewhere. The program is up for renewal in 2014 and the Alliance’s sole goal is to secure an incentive that will actually make California competitive for the revenue, work, and jobs that come with this "home grown” industry.

Tags:  california  financing  incentives  production 

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Portraits of Diversity - Debra Martin Chase

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 1, 2013

In this millennial generation, the collective power of diversity resonates more than ever throughout our broadcast spectrum. The Producers Guild of America East Diversity Committee is proud to pay tribute to producers of diverse backgrounds who have achieved excellence in our industry. Throughout the year, producers will share some of their insights on producing with an emphasis on a greater understanding of why diversity is so important in this global, multi-platform entertainment market.

Debra Martin Chase is an Emmy nominated and Peabody Award winning television and motion picture producer whose company, Martin Chase Productions, has been affiliated with the Walt Disney Company since 2001.

In the 1990s, Ms. Chase ran Mundy Lane Entertainment, the Sony Pictures based production company of Denzel Washington and subsequently was the producing partner of Whitney Houston in the Disney based BrownHouse Productions. She began her career as an attorney and worked at several major law firms and Fortune 500 companies.

In 2007, 2008 and 2009, Ebony Magazine named her one of the 150 Most Influential African Americans in America. In December 2012, Black Enterprise Magazine named her one of the Ten Most Bankable African American Movie Producers in Hollywood based upon worldwide box office, the only woman on the list. In January 2013, she was honored with the Entertainment Award from the Trumpet Awards Foundation for her career achievements.

Her filmography includes The Princess Diaries, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Cheetah Girls, Sparkle, Just Wright, Courage Under Fire and The Preacher's Wife.  Her television credits include the Emmy winning "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderlla", the Lifetime TV series "Missing", which had the most watched series debut in the network’s history; "Lemonade Mouth", and the Oscar and Emmy nominated and Peabody Award winning documentary "Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream." 

 PGA Diversity Committee East Presents: A Spotlight on Debra Martin Chase

Tags:  diversity  PGA East  video 

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Audience Research - Results From Worldwide Motion Picture Group

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pre-Registrants of the session "Every Number Tells A Story: The Power of Research" at the Produced By Conference submitted questions they would like to see answered by movie goers.  Worldwide Motion Picture Group selected four of those questions and did the research.  Here are some of the results and what those results say.

The first slide queries the motivations for audiences to go see a film in the Theater.  What surprised many was the lack of influence from social media and critical reviews relative to word of mouth and commercials and trailers.  So audiences connect with the content itself or close friends rather than filtered through media.  Audiences are savvy enough to discern if they think a movie is bad just through a trailer.  Social media is more of a symptom of audience interest than a cause.

The second slide indicates a higher interest in though-provoking films than what might have been assumed.  This can be interpreted in a couple of ways: 1) art-house and thought-provoking films are being integrated with mainstream more regularly making discernment more ambiguous and 2) that art-house is becoming even more increasingly niche and hard to find and audience are naive or inclined to bluff their preferences.

The third slide explores feelings on blockbusters and the collective sentiment leans toward them being a pleasant but unsurprising experience.  For as much as Hollywood blockbusters are predictable they are at least as enjoyable.

In the fourth slide we see that many people are not dissuaded to go to the theaters, but for those who are, it is a combination of quality content being readily available to them in the home, including a short transition of the theater content making its way to DVD and VOD.

Lastly, the fifth slide suggests general multi-tasking for audiences during views, but quality content, the right kind of content, can grab their interest and hold their attention.

View all slides in the PDF below. 

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In a World of Transmedia, Content is King

Posted By Andrew Mahlmann, Thursday, June 27, 2013
Updated: Thursday, June 27, 2013

At the center of the entertainment business is IP (intellectual property).  An idea, story, character, concept, something original that can hook audiences and build franchises. If you create a great story about a heroic ex-marine out for justice in his old neighborhood, that character can have his story told by Hollywood on the big screen, by interactive developers for computer, console, and mobile gaming, and even by marketers for viral campaigns across television, the internet, outdoor media, and more.  This proliferation of of IP through different "arms" or "channels" is often referred to as transmedia.

The video gaming industry has pushed the envelope of digital transmedia and dividends have been paid. In 2012, the video game industry was reported to bring in $67 billion.  Another part of gaming's success is its ability to tap into a vibrant and engaged audience that is bursting at the seems.

Right now it is conference season and that means that everywhere you turn there are events, expos, trade-shows, and any other kind of industry related showcase one can think of.  One of the biggest and readily recognizable is the Annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), held this year at the Los Angeles Convention Center June 11-13.  Since hitting the scene in 1996 with over 80,000 attendees, E3 has been a revered occasion representing the latest and greatest with anything having to do with video gaming hardware, software, accessories and game-related merchandise.  E3 is a magical place that surrounds individuals with the latest gaming related interactive technologies and tantalizes with dragons, wizards, soldiers, demons, super-heroes, puzzles, fantasy, mobsters, babes, racecars, wild animals, and just about anything else you can imagine.  

Yet for all of gaming's successes and achievements, motion pictures retain an eminence in entertainment's zeitgest.  According to Damian Lichtenstein (CEO, PAYDAY Productions) speaking at the Produced By Conference, the coveted demographic of male 16-24 year olds, which spends a predominant amount of their free time gaming and driving that 67 billion dollar number, actually lists "movies" as the number 3 thing that they are passionate about (falling behind "internet” and "music”).  Video games come in somewhat surprisingly at number 9. 

So what does this tell us about the creative process?  It all comes back to IP; it always has and it always will.  Original scripted entertainment has an indelible appeal to us that affords a deep appreciation for craft within storytelling.  As business people, however, producers must continue becoming increasingly savvy to engage audiences with transmedia.  You can thank the sharp and courageous minds of the PGA New Media Council for helping pave the way ;)


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Tags:  new media  transmedia 

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Portraits of Diversity - Ali LeRoi

Posted By KEVYN FAIRCHILD, Monday, June 17, 2013

In this millennial generation, the collective power of diversity resonates more than ever throughout our broadcast spectrum. The Producers Guild of America East Diversity Committee is proud to pay tribute to producers of diverse backgrounds who have achieved excellence in our industry. Throughout the year, producers will share some of their insights on producing with an emphasis on a greater understanding of why diversity is so important in this global, multi-platform entertainment market.

Ali LeRoi is the Emmy Award winning executive producer/director of the syndicated hit TBS series "Are We There Yet?" Based on the film of the same name, Ali partnered with Joe Roth of Revolutions Studios, Ice Cube, and matt Alvarez of Cubevision, and developed the show for television in the ground breaking 10/90 production model. After an initial run of 10 on-air episodes, TBS was impressed enough by ratings to geen light a 90 episode pickup. Ali LeRoi is the only other producer/director other than Tyler Perry to have successfully produced a complete series on this model.

Ali is also the co-creator of the critically acclaimed syndicated comedy Everybody Hates Chris, a series inspired by the childhood experiences of the comedian Chris Rock.

PGA Diversity Committee East Presents: A Spotlight on Ali LeRoi

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