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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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Gale Anne Hurd gets Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hollywood Chamber honored Gale Anne Hurd with Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored Gale Anne Hurd with star on the famous Walk of Fame on October 3, 2012 at 6621 Hollywood Boulevard in front of Napoleon Perdis Hollywood. Emcee Leron Gubler, President/CEO of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and guest speakers James Cameron and Andrew Lincoln helped unveil the 2,483rd Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures. Special celebrity guests included Roger Corman and the cast of The Walking Dead: Norman Reedus, Sarah Wayne Callies, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan and David Morrissey.

The star ceremony streamed LIVE on Enjoy watching the complete ceremony at the bottom of this page.

Gale Anne Hurd is one of the industry’s most respected and innovative film and television producers. Over the course of her career, Hurd has developed and produced films that routinely garner Academy Award® nominations, and TV programs that win Emmys® and shatter ratings records. By continually selecting daring material, championing technological innovations, and remaining hands-on in her approach, Hurd has carved out a leading position in the previously male-dominated world of the blockbuster, and become a recognized creator of iconic cultural touchstones.



After a successful rise from Roger Corman’s executive assistant to head of marketing, Hurd’s production career launched when she produced The Terminator, written and directed by James Cameron. This success was quickly followed with Cameron’s Aliens, which received seven nominations and two Academy Awards®, and the Oscar®-winning films The Abyss and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

At the helm of her production entity, Valhalla Entertainment, Hurd continually develops and produces a broad range of projects, including AMC’s hit drama, The Walking Dead, which she developed and executive produced with filmmaker Frank Darabont. The third season premieres Sunday, October 14.

Hurd is also developing the feature films The Shipkiller with Arenamedia, The Nameless with Route Oneand Hellfest with CBS Films. Hurd’s indie film, Very Good Girls, starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen, which she is executive producing with Hawk Koch, is in post-production. Hurd’s company, Valhalla Entertainment, has an overall deal with Universal Cable Productions to develop new television and digital series. She is also developing a television series adaptation of Annie Jacobsen’s novel, Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base, for AMC, and is adapting Lord Jeffrey Archer’s The Eleventh Commandment for television with New Franchise Media.

Other Valhalla Entertainment productions include Marvel’s smash hit The Incredible Hulk, starring Edward Norton, the futuristic sci-fi thriller Aeon Flux starring Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron; The Punisher and The Punisher: War Zone based on the classic Marvel comic; The Hulk, directed by Academy Award® winner Ang Lee; the Academy Award® nominated Armageddon; Dante’s Peak; The Relic; the political comedy Dick; and the Academy Award® winning film The Ghost And The Darkness, amongst many others.

Hurd produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning films Tremors, Alien Nation, which was adapted into an acclaimed Fox TV series; Safe Passage starring the Academy Award® winner Susan Sarandon; and the Spirit and Sundance Audience Award winning indie, The Waterdance. She also served as executive producer of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

Her producer credits include a number of distinguished TV movies, including HBO’s Emmy nominated Sugartime, the Emmy winning Cast a Deadly Spell, The Wronged Man starring Emmy winner Julia Ormond, Witch Hunt directed by Paul Schrader and the documentaries True Whispers: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkersand Choctaw Code Talkers.

Hurd serves on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors and as an officer of the Producers Guild of America. She chairs the Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship Committee and the Executive committee of the Producers Branch at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is a member of the Film Festival Grants Committee. An avid scuba diver, Hurd serves on the Advisory Boards of Heal the Bay and Reef Check. Hurd also serves on the Advisory Board for Artists and for Peace and Justice. She was honored by Global Green USA with the Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership Award, the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology, the Crystal Award from Women in Film, the New York Women in Film & Television’s Loreen Arbus Awards, the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television/Producers Guild of America’s Vision Award and the PGA’s Charles Fitzsimons Award for her service to the Guild.



For more information and to view who shares a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit




The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an internationally-recognized Hollywood icon. With approximately 24 star ceremonies annually broadcast around the world, the constant reinforcement provided to the public has made the Walk of Fame a top visitor attraction. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce continues to administer the Walk of Fame as the representative of the City of Los Angeles. The Walk of Fame is a tribute to all of those who worked diligently to develop the concept and to maintain this world-class tourist attraction. The Walk of Fame is open to the public. No paid admission or assigned seating at star ceremonies.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Sign are registered trademarks of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.



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Featured Member: Pamela Keller

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Featured Member

Pamela Keller

AP Council Board of Delegates


My mom has a story that I used to give direction to my sister and our friends when we would play with Barbies. "No, say [the line] like this. We have to arrange the furniture this way, so Ken can enter from the back of the house, and Skipper will be surprised…' My mom asked if I was a director and I didn't know what the heck she was talking about.

I believe my love for storytelling is what attracted me initially, and it's what keeps me passionate about the business to this day.


I was a receptionist in a high-end post house in San Francisco. I moonlighted as a non-equity stage manager at a small theatre, and invited the producer clients to come see my show in the hopes that they would see similarities in the job, take a chance on me, and hire me as a PA. This was in the 90s when Industrial Light + Magic still had a commercials division. I guess it worked, because luckily, I was hired to work on the ad agency side as a production coordinator on a series of ILM's spots for Intel.


When Julia Sweeney was gearing up to perform her second monologue In The Family Way at the Groundlings Theatre; my second job was as one of the staff house managers.

I admired Julia's work, and never had the chance to see God Said Ha! when it was at San Francisco's Magic Theatre years ago. At the time, I was struggling to make ends meet, and the ticket price was too high for me to afford.

I looked up to Julia, and thought how great it would be if she could be my mentor. I begged and pleaded with my Groundlings boss to let me house manage her show, so he put me on the schedule.

After a few weeks, I finally got the nerve to ask her if she needed an assistant. I remember she looked at me and said, "Oh, that’s so sweet!" She thought it would be helpful if I could help her out on the weekends, so I gladly accepted my third job. Eventually, she hired me as her full-time business assistant and later, as the producer for her third monologue Letting Go of God In Los Angeles. Up until that point, however, I wasn't really sure what to focus on, because everything in this business seemed so dang fun. Producing the play was when something clicked for me, and I knew I was finally in my wheelhouse.


Ever since I knew of the Producers Guild, it became one of my career goals to become a member. I heard of the continuing workshops, and thought of it as an opportunity to rub shoulders with the best in the business, and that it would in turn, make me better at what I do.


My favorite project is Rough Cuts West, which I help run for the Documentary/Non-fiction Committee. A member submits a rough cut or trailer of a doc or non-fiction project, and screens for to our panel of experts (also PGA members). The panel provides constructive criticism and professional advice, which allows the filmmaker to make changes and improve upon their work. I believe everyone in the room learns something from the experience, and it’s a great way for members to network with each other. In fact, we're looking for projects to screen, and if anyone is interested, they can shoot me an email.


I recently wrapped Season 3 of Good Luck Charlie for the Disney Channel, working as production coordinator, and am currently prepping as the floor director and production manager for the University of Mixed Martial Arts’ next show at LA Live's Club Nokia on October 21st. I'm (already!) in talks about next year’s Produced By Conference, and have a few other irons in the fire in the development stage.


Theatre has taught me the most. I have to say, working with a live audience is the greatest. It's pure, instant feedback, and watching their faces as they're involved in the story can fill you with such joy.

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Debra Hill Fellowship: Weekend Shorts Contest 2012

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weekend Shorts Contest: September 28th-30th

The time is nearly upon us for the second annual Weekend Shorts Contest presented by the Debra Hill Fellowship.

Awards include well over $100,000 value in prizes, PLUS, Producers Guild mentorships with prestigious members.

Make sure to check back in at 2:01 pm PST on Friday the 28th for contest criteria and final instruction!

Debra Hill Fellowship's Weekend Shorts Contest 2012.

Winners From 2011

First place
Produced by Edgar Alvarez
Directed by Edgar Alvarez
Written by Edgar Alvarez and Amanda Rodriguez

Second place
Group Ethos
Produced by Joe Schober
Directed by Ian Spohr
Written by Chioke Nassor

Third place
The White Queen
Produced by Christin Mizelle and Dianne Ward
Directed by Bryan
Written by Chris Wiltz

In memory of Debra Hill and the films she produced, submitted projects were required to include:

  • Halloween as a setting. (In recognition of Debra Hill’s breakthrough film of that same title.)
  • Story Elements: a CHESS KNIGHT; a CASSETTE TAPE; a KNITTING NEEDLE. (Each of these objects has played a key role in one of Debra Hill’s films. Entries were required to include all three of these items in some fashion, with at least one items playing a central or important function in the story.)
  • Thematic Elements: ESCAPE; an UNLIKELY HERO; GRACE and FORGIVENESS. (Entries were required to include one of these thematic elements.)

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PGA Northwest Networking: "An Evening of Locations"

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

An Evening of Locations!
by Brandon Grande

Scouts and Location Managers are vital in determining logistics, working with the producers, and helping to organize aspects from legal and accessibility to parking and permits. So, on August 15th, 2012, the PGA Northwest chapter gathered at Ambiance Antiques in the SOMA for "An Evening of Locations”.

Ambiance can double as a movie set in itself, and it was the perfect backdrop for the night's event. Thrown by Teri Cundall, of local prop and wardrobe directory Propville, along with the PGA Northwest, the event drew San Francisco's best location professionals.

The salon’s experts speaking included:
Sussanah Greason Robbins - Executive Director San Francisco Film Commission
Ricardo Capdepont - Location Scout
Jason Pachura - Birdman Locations Inc.
Jim Baldwin - Baldwin Production Services
and Gail Stempler - Location Scout & Manager

Each expert offered a unique perspective and everyone in attendance had plenty of interesting experiences to share. The cocktail reception to follow was a great opportunity for everyone to network and the guest’s were treated to a divine spread of wine and local cheeses while they schmoozed amongst one another. The night offered a unique opportunity to learn about the details of locations and it was huge success!

photo credit: Stefani Renee, Production stills.

Speakers from left to right: Jim Baldwin, Ricardo Capdepont, Jason Pachura, Sussanah Greason Robbins, Gail Stempler

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