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AP Council Throws 1st Annual Oscar Viewing Party and Recruitment Event

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 28, 2013

The AP Council hosted its First Annual Oscars Viewing Party at Planet Dailies on Sunday, February 24th. One hundred potential new members mixed and mingled with PGA members from all councils to learn about the guild and the benefits of membership --  all while watching the Oscar telecast on 20 screens!

The viewing party was the culmination of the Council's multi-week new member recruitment initiative. As a result of their efforts approximately sixty new applicants have joined the Guild. The council hopes to make the Oscars viewing party an annual event!

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Pictured above: Christina Lee Storm, Hayma 'Screech' Washington, and Rebecca Graham Forde
See below for more photos!  
Photos courtesy of Michael Quinn Martin

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Maker Studios Talks Partnership with PGA ProShow

Posted By Administration, Friday, March 22, 2013

At this year's Produced By Conference the Producers Guild ProShow is teaming up with Maker Studios for their development partner in "online content". PGA member Emily Barclay, who is Senior Director of Special Projects at Maker Studios, took some time to talk about Maker's involvement with the ProShow.

This is the first year the ProShow is partnering with specific Development Partners to offer a deal to each category winner - what was your main inspiration for joining up?

Emily Barclay: Maker Studios is excited that the digital platform is being recognized more and more by traditional media professionals as a viable distribution model for content, and we want to offer the opportunity for producers from all backgrounds to engage with us to develop and create online content that might break the mold of what they are accustomed to creating.

Are there specific types of projects you're looking for, or any sort of guidance you can give entrants? What does "online content" mean to Maker Studios?

EB: We're looking for creative concepts that would attract large audiences globally through a YouTube channel. Maker has a very large audience base through our network of channels, so we are positioned to help a creator find and grow a subscriber base for viewership. Successful examples of online content are often repeatable format concepts, generally short form, often non-episodic so that the viewer can consume non-linearly. Audience engagement through calls-to-action are great ways to sustain a show. Ideas that span categories of comedy, music, lifestyle, gaming, and science fiction can generally find large audiences online. However, if the right "big" idea of a narrative, longer form concept came along that seemed particularly suited for internet distribution we would definitely be interested.

When you meet the finalists at the Produced By Conference, are you looking for them to pitch verbally, or with materials, or are you indifferent?

EB: Materials are helpful. It is good to know that a producer not only has a vision but the ability to execute a concept beyond just an idea.

Are you bullish on developing new stories?

EB: We definitely are interested in new stories -- stories and CHARACTERS. The most successful shows online are personality driven.

Any final words for potential contestants?

Familiarize yourself with what is happening online. A new generation of viewers have emerged whose primary consumption of content is through the Internet. They want to be entertained. What is your voice? Imagine what you could do in this space originally and creatively, to find your own audience by giving them something fresh and unique.

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To submit for the PGA ProShow, please go HERE.

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Ryan Seacrest Productions Talks Partnership with PGA ProShow

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Heather SchusterThe PGA Producers Showcase is teaming up with Ryan Seacrest Productions to provide the winning producer(s) a development deal in Reality Television. Heather Schuster, the Senior VP, Development and Current, Unscripted Programming for Ryan Seacrest Productions answered some questions about the new relationship.

This is the first year the ProShow is partnering with specific Development Partners to offer a deal to each category winner - what was your main inspiration for joining up? 

Heather Schuster: There are so many producers with strong ideas out there, and they may not always have access to the right people or company. This is a terrific opportunity for rsp to find new content that otherwise might not make its way to us. It's also a way to meet and work with talented producers.

Are there specific types of projects you're looking for, or any sort of guidance you can give entrants? How does Ryan see his company expanding in the future?

HS: The exciting thing about RSP is that we are an independent company, so we can develop and sell to any buyer. That enables us to pursue all kinds of projects from large network formats, like game and arced competition, to water cooler docu-series. We are really open to a wide range of ideas, particularly those that touch on facets of pop culture and have a wide appeal. New approaches are crucial, as well. I look forward to finding the next fascinating subculture we can immerse ourselves in through follow doc, as well as the next innovative network format that leaves everyone saying "why didn't i think of that?"

When you meet the finalists at the Produced By Conference, are you looking for them to pitch verbally, or with materials, or do you have no preference?

HS: I think the best pitches are those that are organic to the project and play to its strengths. it's nice to be surprised in a pitch, as well. a great verbal pitch is an art―it is storytelling. I always suggest losing the notes and trying not to read the deck in the room. Strong materials are also key. You never want weak leave-behinds to undermine the strength of an idea.

Are you bullish on developing new stories?

HS: Absolutely. That is our business! We constantly have to find new stories and new ways of telling them. Hopefully, this will be just the beginning of some fruitful new relationships to develop new hit shows.


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Sunset Bronson PGA Lot Lunch

Posted By Rembrandt Bell, Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The new PGA Studio Lot Initiative had it's 2nd lunch on Monday, March 11th - this time on the Sunset Bronson Studio Lot.  The lunch was hosted by Vance Van Petten at the PGA and PGA member Beth Talbert put it all together.  Thirteen of the 23 known PGA members on the lot attended and it was a great time!  

If you would like the PGA to host a PGA members-only lunch on your lot, contact Karen Covell at karen@karencovell.com or Jethro Rothe-Kushel at jrothe-kushel@scenario-la.com and they will help you set it up.  It's a wonderful time to have PGA members meet one another and talk about ways to invite others on that lot to join the PGA!  

If you would like to find out about other PGA members on your lot, just click here to fill out the short survey:  http://tinyurl.com/9eyqnok.

*Pictured.  From left:  Lance Lucas, Debbie Alpert-Orrall, Jeff Reilly, Vance Van Petten, Karen Covell, Lou Dennig, Jan Davis, Jackie Pratt, Brad Dumont, Deb Whitcas, Carlos Huizar, Jeannine Sullivan.Not pictured:  Jethro Rothe-Kushel, Beth Talbert

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9th Annual "Power of Diversity" Workshop Coming

Posted By Deborah Calla, Monday, March 4, 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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