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Guild and Grapes 2012 Recap

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

by Brandon Grande

On Friday, October 19th PGA Northwest, hosted their 4th annual "Guild and Grapes" event, in the heart of San Francisco. The day kicked off with a delicious luncheon on the patio of Sen’s Restaurant over looking the Bay, which was followed by an incredible exclusive behind the scenes tour and decadent dessert reception at Pixar.

Guests continued the adventure up to the renowned Napa Valley traveling in eco friendly style thanks to Bauer Transportation. Silverado Resort and Spa provided the weekend accommodations and Friday night’s reception and dinner at Raymond Vineyards was nothing short of spectacular. The fun continued Saturday with private tastings and custom tours from Keever Family Vineyards, Trinchero Napa Valley, Charles Krug, and Niebaum Coppolla. Along the tour TurnkeyHD provided a tasty picnic lunch while showing off their bio diesel production sprinters.

The weekend was a complete success and it would not have been possible without the generous donations of our sponsors Advanced Systems Group, DTC, Beyond Pix and The San Mateo/Silicon Valley Film Commission.

Everyone had a fantastic time while making new friends and connections reminding us of why Guild and Grapes is such a special event.

See also: Guild and Grapes preview and video


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Going Green

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

PGA Green: Do you consider it part of our responsibility as producers — with our access and reach — to take the lead with being green? Lesley Chilcott: Ours is an inherently wasteful industry. We create temporary worlds and we tear them down, so the trick is to try and minimize your footprint in any way possible. I do think that part of your responsibility as a producer is to give back or mentor. That can be volunteering at a non-profit, or sometimes it’s just easier to do little green things every day.

Tell us about your non-profit started it in 2008 to encourage people to convert your regular, now old, incandescent light bulbs to LEDs. Unscrew your regular light bulbs and screw in more energy-efficient ones. The site is also to educate that CFLs are a stop-gap measure until more great LED lighting is available. If you must use CFLs, then use the low-mercury options (two micro-grams of mercury or less). We provide links to both CFLs and LEDs that we like in the light review section. I bought 50 different light bulbs and tested them and found about 18 to 20 that I liked and that had a nice quality of light.

Do you use a carbon offset calculator on your productions? Yes, I use one from Native Energy. When we calculate certain things in our industry, we don’t often calculate all the pollution and waste we create. More so than other industries, we have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves every time with every new job. How are we going to do this and be mindful of the environment? Say we learn that people from different departments didn’t mind carpooling to the set or location — it saves us money and it’s less waste.

If there’s not a reduction in emissions, then are carbon offsets really a solution?If you’re just buying carbon offsets at the end of a job — then you’re not really doing anything. But if you’re doing everything you can to reduce your carbon footprint, and you buy carbon offsets at the end of the job, then that is effective because you’re thinking about ways to reduce as you go. I advocate the idea of having an Eco-Captain on every job. It can even be a P.A./Eco-Captain. One of the biggest successes I’ve had is to ask my crew on the first day of shooting, "What could we do differently? What can we give you to help you to use less waste?” And the Eco-Captain gives me a report at the end of the job.

Tell us a little bit about An Inconvenient Truth and carbon offsets.An Inconvenient Truth was the first movie to put carbon offsets in its end credits. What you want from your carbon offset company is a company who can prove that their donation actually made an offset project happen, as opposed to it was happening anyway and they gave it a little bit of money. It’s an eco project that would not have happened without the funding from carbon offsets. In the industry it’s known as "additionality.”

What’s the journey been like with An Inconvenient Truth?Laurie David, Lawrence Bender, Scott Burns, Davis Guggenheim and I had this project. Starring: Al Gore ... Subject: global warming ... Format: slide show. (laughs) No one, least of all us, expected this to turn into an Academy Award– winning movie, a screening at Cannes, standing ovations at Sundance. Now, six years later, the movie is required viewing in several countries—in junior high and some high school curricula. Other countries have always been ahead of us on reducing their carbon footprint and realizing their connection to the environment. They have instituted concrete steps to lower their impact.

Has there been a shift in awareness?When we came out with the movie in 2006, magazines were doing their first "green” issues and the timing was very good. There were new reports from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and multiple articles from The New York Times and people were more vocal about it. Environmentalists had been working on this for years, but in May of 2006, this sort of all came to a head. All of the polls indicated that awareness increased drastically. Now six years later, there’s definitely been a huge slip. What remains positive now is that most large companies have sustainability officers and people have realized it’s good for the earth and good for their bottom line to put green practices into their business plan. The cat’s out of the bag and can’t be put back in ... but there’s still a lot of work to do.

Do you see producers — especially those concerned about the environment — as pushing boundaries? I do. I am a person who finds producing very gratifying. I think that with all of the entrenched interests and historical ways of doing things, you do have to push boundaries in production and come up with less wasteful ways. One of the biggest conflicts right now is that all of the projects, no matter the medium, happen so last-minute. When things happen last-minute, you tend to skip the eco-step because you don’t have time; you’re busy just trying to pull off the job. If you have your standby things that you always do on a project no matter what, then continue to do those things — but take a few seconds during the job to ask what else you can do.

Is it personal accountability that ultimately makes the difference?It is — it’s definitely personal accountability, but I don’t think you should do it in a vacuum. You know if you have your Eco- Captain or you have a couple of other people who are just as concerned as you are, then four heads are going to come up with a better way than one.

Tell us about your work in documentaries — what inspires you?I think that when you have a chance to tell a story or someone’s story and you’re able to show a type of truth — a side of them that people didn’t know — or even an experience — there’s something so gratifying in doing that. Once you get to show somebody’s truth that maybe people didn’t know about—that in a way is the ultimate story.

What would be your ultimate green story?I would like it so that phrases like "greening your production” no longer exist. Ultimately, PGA Green and other initiatives disappear because being eco-minded is inherent in all of the decisions that we make. The Eco-Captain would be obsolete in 10 years because all of these things would be designed into what we’re doing ... not only because it’s good for the environment, it’s good for the budget too.

Thanks, Lesley!

Thank you! Please keep up the good work!


Lesley Chilcott’s 3 Easy Green Tips

If you are not already, try using a file-sharing program like Dropbox. If everyone has access to the same files for a particular job, it cuts down on printing needs, especially color printing, as all the files are accessible to everyone who needs them.

Elect someone on your crew to serve as the Eco-Captain; on longer jobs, you can rotate this role to different team members. Get feedback from your crew on what can be done.

Eat/serve less meat in catering and craft services. I’m not saying to eliminate it, just replace some of the meat options with healthier non-meat ones. This cuts down on food waste, food miles, and environmental impact.


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PGA Poker Tournament 2012

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

by Chris Debiec

On October 7, 2012, the PGA held its 5thannual No-Limit Texas Hold 'em Poker Tournament at Hollywood Park Casino in Los Angeles. The turnout was exceptional. We had more then 100 members and guests attend the event and over 70 players participate in the tournament itself. The competition was hot and heavy, but in the end, only 10 players were "in the money." The top three money winners were Gordon Bressack ($950), Aye Jaye ($1,470), and in a stunning reversal of fortune, Dan Kuba came from behind to win first place for a total of $2,780!


We could never pull off an event like this without our paid sponsorships. For the second year in a row, SafeCig, a great alternative to quit smoking, was a platinum sponsor, along with Andromeda Studios, the best little soundstage in LA. The silver sponsors were VER (Video Equipment Rental) in Glendale and Chainsaw Post in Hollywood. And we'd like to acknowledge Media Distributors and Culver Studios as our bronze sponsors.


In addition to the paid sponsors, we would like to thank Hollywood Park Casino for hosting the tournament, GDC Technology for the awesomely huge gift bags, and the comedic genius of our MC, "New Jersey's Bad Boy", Mike Marino.


Our catering was provided by Doughboys. Thanks to them for the delicious sandwiches, salads, and of course, those incredibly delicious red velvet cakes that I could not put down to save my life.


Without the help and continued dedication of sponsors like these, guild events like this could not happen.


The PGA events committee has some of the most dedicated members in the organization. We would like to recognize those who helped us put this event together.


Thanks to Vicente Williams and Leonard Koss, who joined me in chairing the event. Much appreciation to our illustrious volunteers: Briana Aeby, Karyn Benkendorfer, Mandy Carranza, Deen Dioria, Rikki Hughes, Joseph Morabito, Todd Serlin, and Rose Testa. And a big thank you to Michael Q. Martin for coming out and photographing the event for us!

The PGA would like to congratulate the winners on their valiant efforts. We look forward to seeing all of you next year at the 6th Annual PGA Poker tournament!





Left to Right: Leonard Koss, Gordon Bressack, Aye Jaye, Dan Kuba, Chris Debiec, and Vicente Williams

The final 9 players bask in their glory with the event organizers

Shuffle up and Deal.... the tournament begins.

The stakes are high as the players size up their opponents.

The SafeCig girls are always a favorite of the players.

The final 9 players received a personalized PGA chip case and goodie bag filled with the best the PGA has to offer.

The luckiest man in the world (Chris Debiec) poses with the beautiful Dealer Dolls and SafeCig girls.

Our MC for the day "News Jersey's Bad Boy" Mike Marino and event chair Chris Debiec ham it up for the camera.

Our wonderful host, the Hollywood Park Casino.

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Guild and Grapes 2012

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

October 19th through October 21st.

This Year: Napa!

PGA Northwest proudly hosts the 4th edition of its signature event. Engage in a unique, personalized look at San Francisco’s diverse and dynamic production community, enjoy special networking opportunities, and then partake in exclusive activities specially designed for you and your guest amidst the beauty of world-renowned Napa Valley.

Ask anyone who’s already experienced our premier event and you’ll only hear accolades. This year will be no different with our VIP networking luncheon in the heart of San Francisco, to our exclusive tour of Pixar and then off to the Silverado Resort and our very special custom designed weekend in Napa Valley.

This celebration of the Bay Area's charms and production community attracts Guild members and leadership from Los Angeles and New York. It is giving producers the chance to connect across regions where production takes place, hopefully generating new business, and long lasting relationships. Watch 2011’s schmooze-and-food fest enjoyed by all here!

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PGA Diversity Reunion 2012

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On September 29th 2012, the Diversity Workshop Committee held its first ever workshop reunion. The event brought together 8 years of participants and mentors as well as our executive director Vance Van Petten, a great supporter of the program from the start.

The event took place at BLT Steak House on Sunset Plaza and even carmageddon - which took place that weekend - couldn’t keep Workshop participants and mentors away.

This very successful program was created in 2004 and has since helped nearly 200 producers hone their skills and take their projects to the next level. The Diversity Workshop’s mission is to empower producers to create content that is representative of the diversity of its audience and the culture at large.

The afternoon was great fun with participants and mentors catching up on their professional developments.

Many past workshop participants have gone on to such successful shows as Justified, Sons of Anarchy and The Client List among many others. Others have gone the more independent route and started their own production companies or produced their own films.

The event was sponsored by CEG Tech International,, a technology company protecting creative rights.

The Diversity Workshop Committee is very proud of its alumni/ae and looks forward to the next cycle in 2013.

The workshop is chaired by Deborah Calla and co-chaired by Charles Howard and Karyn Benkendorfer.

The Diversity Workshop is free and open to producers at any career level who have a good idea and the passion to make it happen.

Photos by: Michael Quinn Martin

-Group photo

-A candid moment!

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