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Produced By April/May 2018
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A Family Outing - From The National Executive Director

Posted By Vance Van Petten, Monday, April 16, 2018

Yes, of course, I’ve missed you too.

Almost a year ago, we decided that it would be redundant for Produced By to feature a column by the Guild’s Presidents as well as its National Executive Director. Upon reaching that conclusion, I readily ceded my editorial perch to Lori and Gary. But last month, I attended a PGA event that was so unique and delightful that I prevailed upon our editor, Chris Green, to allow me back into the magazine so that I could share it with you.

The evening billed itself as a “Festival of Comedy” at the Nethercutt Museum in Sylmar, CA. (You can find photos from the event on page 21.) I confess, I had never heard of the Nethercutt Museum prior to this event and wasn’t terribly excited about driving to Sylmar on a Satursay evening. But this event obliterated my doubts. While I and my fellow attendees turned up for a screening of classic comedy shorts, the first exhibition we were met with was the museum’s first-floor gallery of early 20th century automobiles, all in pristine condition and open to guests to touch and explore.

Upstairs, we enjoyed classic short films, including a rarely seen print starring Laurel & Hardy. The films were made even more special being shown via a restored, hand-cranked 35mm projector and accompanied by live organ music on one of the numerous working antique instruments on display around the theater space. Anyone who’s seen those silent classics can testify to the timelessness of their comedy. But it’s another experience altogether to encounter them as audiences did a century ago. The screening left me with a new and gratifying sense of connection to our industry’s roots, a feeling of being part of an incredible century-plus heritage of entertainment and storytelling.

It’s a feeling I never would have experienced if not for the PGA and the dedicated, creative members who constantly seek out new benefits and programming to introduce to their colleagues. In this case, the credit goes to our Events Committee chairs Karen Covell and Joe Morabito, to whom I’ve already offered my personal thanks. But Karen and Joe are just two among the PGA’s small army of volunteers, all of whom are on the lookout for ways to improve your career—or even just your weekend—with events and programs you might never have discovered by yourself.

So that’s what’s brought me back to the pages of Produced By—I attended a really cool PGA event and just had to tell you about it. The simple fact is, I’ve been fortunate to fulfill my role in the PGA for almost 20 years, and I’m still discovering events and benefits that make me want to jump up on the nearest platform and shout about it to everyone I know. In that spirit, I hope that you look on your Guild not just as a provider of screenings, screeners and seminars, but as an extended family dedicated to enriching your life. I can firmly vouch for the degree that it’s enriched mine.

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