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Produced By October/November 2016
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ABOVE & BEYOND - Pointing The Way In: Two Longtime Volunteers Offer Access and Opportunity

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 27, 2016
When Carla first joined the PGA, she volunteered for the Guild’s Events Committee. Building on that experience, she became part of the core group of members who conceptualized and created the Debra Hill Short Film Contest (later known as Make Your Mark). “Volunteering for the Guild has allowed me to meet some incredible people,” says Carla. “It also allows me to share my professional talents to benefit the Guild and its members ... sort of a giving back. Through several years of organizing events like the annual golf tournaments and Christmas parties, I have created lifelong friendships.

“The committee that I am most proud of is Make Your Mark,” she smiles, “and the way that it’s grown over the years.” Conceived five years ago from the seed of an idea by Carole Beams, the short-film contest to honor Debra Hill’s legacy was born from one night’s marathon collaboration between Carla, Carole, Steven Wolfe (see below), Erin O’Malley, Pixie Wespiser, Salvy Maleki and Vance Van Petten. “We all get to participate in one round of the judging process, which allows us to see some incredible work,” adds Carla, who also plays a key role in recruiting A-list judges for the contest’s final round. She strongly encourages her fellow members to volunteer for Guild service, taking advantage of committees’ abilities to create a community of colleagues and like-minded producers. Carla has been a member since 2003 and works as a talent producer.

Steven has been a key contributor to numerous committees, including Events and later, Mentoring. “I was involved in creating the Debra Hill Short Film Contest (Make Your Mark) from its inception,” he says proudly, “and have sat on that committee from the start. I’ve continued to mentor other producers every [mentoring] cycle for over 10 years. I’ve participated in the credits arbitration process whenever asked, participated in the job forums as an employer, helped staff Produced By conference events on multiple occasions, attended most General Membership Meetings since I joined the Guild and generally lent a hand, when asked, at anything I’ve been able to make the time for.” He believes that volunteering for the Guild is all part of giving back to the industry that’s been his life’s work. “I enjoy helping others find the inspiration to make their dreams a reality and offering guidance to those who don’t have a way into the business or into a particular area of the business they would like to work in. When I started in the business I didn’t know a soul, and I didn’t have a way in. It seemed like a closed, insider club and there were few resources or places to go for help and advice. It’s been a privilege for me to lend support to those who need a hand. I’m also keenly aware of the important position the Producers Guild holds in protecting the integrity of our credits and protecting the role of the producer and the producing team. I feel it’s imperative to do my part to be sure the Guild can uphold our objectives.” Steven is entering his 14th year as a member; he works as an independent film producer and talent manager. 

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