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Saturday Night Special

Posted By Rembrandt Bell, Monday, January 28, 2013

Yes, it’s true. Whatever you heard about Saturday’s Producers Guild Awards… it’s all true.

Mark Gordon sang. Harvey Weinstein wept. Ben Affleck stumped for acting gigs. Russell Simmons bought a house. Argo kept rolling. The Producers Mark arrived. Hawk Koch picked up a new nickname. Even the agents and lawyers in the room got some love from the stage, from Eric Fellner, who may still be delivering his Selznick Award acceptance speech, somewhere.

From the "Producers Do-Re-Mi” opening video, to J.J. Abrams’ moving reminiscences of his mother, to Robert Rodriguez’s affectionate channeling of Bob Weinstein, to Harvey’s own poignant recollections of sneaking into the Palais at Cannes as a young and hungry producer, the 2013 Producers Guild Awards might stand as the biggest-hearted show in the event’s history. If many of the winners in the competitive categories (including Homeland, Modern Family, Searching for Sugar Man and The Colbert Report) followed the expected script, the show did provide the occasional surprise, such as Wreck-It Ralph’s Animated Feature win over fellow Disney nominee Brave, and the onstage characterization of Documentary nominee The Gatekeepers as being about the college admissions process, rather than the film’s actual subject, the top-level Israeli security agency Shin Bet. (Missed it by that much…)

But we’re not quibbling. Saturday night gave our Guild and our industry the kind of night we need more of: a true celebration, flush with good spirits, good humor, and a uniquely warm and intimate vibe that reminded everyone present what a small and tightly-knit group the entertainment community really is. Our heartiest congratulations and thanks go out to Michael De Luca, Branden Chapman, Dan Mojica and the entire Awards production team for an evening that delivered on all counts, proudly wearing its collective heart on its sleeve.

-- See a list of all of the 2013 PGA Awards Winners here:

--See more 2013 PGA Awards Media here:

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The PGA's New Brand

Posted By Gregg Kilday, The Hollywood Reporter, Friday, January 25, 2013

This year's awards gala, on Jan. 26, will celebrate a new distinction, the Producers Mark, which should allow some studios to avoid hangers-on and keep their credits honest-

(This story first appeared in the Feb.1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.  It is reprinted with permission.)

To the average guy on the street, the letters PGA probably summon images of country clubs, fairways and putting greens. But the Producers Guild of America is determined to change that -- at least for those in the entertainment industry -- by giving new meaning to the lower-case letters p.g.a.

When "p.g.a.," known as the Producers Mark, shows up after a producer's name in credits, it signifies that the producer so designated actually did the work of producing the movie onscreen. The mark began appearing in film credits for the first time this fall on such titles as the Weinstein Co.'s Lawless and Silver Linings Playbook. By November, several studios -- Universal, Sony and Fox -- had agreed to adopt the practice. DreamWorks Animation came on board, and as the new year began, DreamWorks has joined as well. While the companies involved have agreed to participate in the process, the mark itself is added to a film only when an individual producer voluntary requests it and offers evidence of his work.

"We feel really good about it; we've reached a critical mass," says Vance Van Petten, national executive director of the PGA, which holds its annual awards dinner Jan. 26 in Beverly Hills. "The initial agreements took some time to negotiate, but now they seem to be coming rapidly one after the other."

The PGA, a trade organization representing more than 5,000 producers in film and TV, long as sought to raise the status of working producers by insisting that their contributions to a film receive proper credit. In the PGA's view, the widespread practice of rewarding everyone from financiers to business managers with producer credits has diluted the meaning of the term. Those producers who actually develop projects, spend time on set and then shepherd their finished films through marketing and into distribution have been looking for a way to restore the meaning of the title of producer.

To that end, in 2004, the PGA set up a Code of Credits, which outlines the roles that a producer plays on a movie. It's that code taht the PGA refers to when it decides which producers have done enough work on a project to claim credit on a fiml nominated for one of its PGA awards. Since 2005, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also has followed the PGA's lead and used its credit determinations to decide which producers are eligible to go onstage and claim an Academy Award for best picture should they win.

The Academy decided to get stricter about producing credits after Shakespeare in Love was named best picture in 1999 and five producers, including Harvey Weinstein, whose Miramax Films produced, crowded onto the state. Ironically, Weinstein has been among the first to adopt the Producers Mark on films released through his Weinstein Co.

"Harvey has really been a fabulous supporter from the get-go," says Van Petten. "He still feels like he was unfairly accused of starting the mess with Shakespeare in Love. But he's been in the forefront of supporting honest producing credits." Weinstein and brother Bob will be recognized at the PGA's awards dinner with its Milestone Award.

Going forward, Van Petten predicts that the Producers Mark -- championed by PGA president Mark Gordon and president-on-leave Hawk Koch -- "should become a commonplace practice within the industry."


Tags:  producers mark 

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Inaugural PGA Delegate Lot Lunch

Posted By Rembrandt Bell, Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January 22 marked the very first PGA Lot Delegate Lunch. The networking event was the brain-child of AP Council members Karen Covell and Jethro Rothe-Kushel. It was held for PGA members working for the Walt Disney Company Disney at their Studio Lot in Burbank California. 

The Delegate Lunch program is designed to connect the PGA members on each lot so they have friends and associates to network with and hire.  It also provides the PGA with a more viable presence at each studio creating a linked community of member producers, and serves as a way to reach new potential members.

Thanks to Vice President of Digital Media Studio, Disney/ABC Television Group, Chris Thomes (also PGA New Media Council Chair and VP of New Media for the Guild) the event reached producers from divisions all over the Walt Disney Company including Television, Motion Pictures, Interactive and Imagineering. "It was a great way for PGA members to find each other in a Studio," says Thomes, "It's not easy to identify PGA members or connect with them at work. This program is a first step in that vein and will be a real value to PGA members moving forward. Karen and Jethro have the right idea here."

Tags:  ap council  disney studios  lot lunch  new media 

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PGA at Sundance

Posted By Kevyn Fairchild, Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The Producers Guild of America is headed to Park City for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival!

With sixty members screening thirty-four films (read the list here), our members represent a significant portion of this year's slate, and we're excited to get a chance to meet with them to talk a little shop.  Every day, we'll be uploading a short interview clip, with full edited interviews to come after the festival.  You can read the daily dispatches here. 

Since Sundance is one of ten membership qualifying film festivals, we are also reaching out to producers in attendance regarding membership.

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This is 40: Q&A

Posted By Rembrandt Bell, Thursday, January 17, 2013

After screening This is 40 Producers Guild members were treated to a Q&A session with producers Clayton Townsend, Judd Apatow, and Barry Mendel. See select highlights below:

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