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Producers Guild of America Active Committees

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012
List Last Updated 06/02/10

While it maintains a small and hard-working staff, the Producers Guild is primarily a member-driven organization. The PGA’s many committees are responsible for most of the programs, benefits and events that the Guild offers. As such, we strongly encourage our members to join any of the committees that are open to participants--it’s a wonderful way to give back to your profession, and the best means the Guild offers for making new connections and expanding your network.

Following, please find a list of all committees manned by PGA members, including those in the PGA East and PGA Northwest, along with a brief description of the committee’s goals and activities, as well as the name of the committee Chair(s).

If there’s a committee that interests you and is designated as being open for volunteers, please contact Director of Member Benefits Kyle Katz (

* Designates a committee open for enrollment
by PGA member volunteers

Advisory Committee on Creative Rights for Motion Pictures

Advisory Committee on Creative Rights for Television

* Audio/Visual Committee

Benefits Committee

Constitutional Committee

Diversity Committee

* Diversity Workshop Committee

The Diversity Workshop Committee offers on a yearly basis since 2004 a producing workshop open to all producers (members and non-members of Producers Guild of America). The workshop aims at supporting and developing works that address diversity as well as producers of diverse backgrounds. Participants are mentored in the development of their craft and projects by members of the Diversity Committee as well as the most successful producers in the business. Past guest mentors have included: Mark Gordon, Bruce Cohen, Marshall Herskovitz, and Shonda Rhimes among many.

* Documentary & Non-Fiction Committee

* Employment Committee

* Events Committee

The events committee is one of the most entertaining committees at the PGA. We get to organize, on average, an event per month. Such events include: Golf Tournament, Poker Tournament, Dodger Day, Day At The Races, Family BBQ, Habitat for Humanity Build, Operation Gratitude, and the list continues. If you’ve come to one of the many PGA hosted events, then you already know who we are. Come join the team with new idea or with a helping hand. No matter what, you’ll have fun!

Finance Committee

* Film USA Committee

Film USA Committee was formed in order to promote and share information about filming within the United States. To this end it has a website (, and a membership that reports State by State on tax incentives, infrastructure and experiences of shooting within the U.S. Committee membership and the website provides a forum for Producers to share their knowledge, ask questions, and learn from other’s Production expertise and experience.

We welcome new members and visitors to our website!

Golf Tournament Committee

* Green Committee

The PGA Green Committee (East and West) was established in 2008 as part of the Producers Guild of America’s commitment to actively encourage and support sustainability in the entertainment industry. The PGA Green Committee has created and maintains the industry's foremost reference website for greening productions, This site is fast becoming the portal for all productions - Feature, TV and New Media, and is available to production crews worldwide. The PGA Green Initiative is to lead the way toward environmentally-friendly productions world-wide through our own "Green Outreach" programs, as well as informative seminars/webinars, screenings, Facebook & Twitter pages, and various events. PGA Green always welcomes new members dedicated to this timely and worthwhile mission.

* Independent Film Producers Committee

The Independent Film Producers Committee is dedicated to representing and promoting the interests of independent film producers within the PGA and in the marketplace. It is the goal of the IFPC to assemble our individual voices into one collective voice, and thereby advocate, support and protect the interests of the independent community. We are currently mirroring the efforts of the Truth in Credits campaign as it relates to leveraging credits for casting and financial participation on independent films, and hosting a series of panel discussions focusing on the various steps toward getting an independent film made and into the marketplace. We support other PGA committees by providing ideas and speakers from the independent world, and by including our voice in the ongoing efforts to expand health care benefits. The IFPC is a national committee.

The IFPC will be pleased to add any interested PGA members to its committee and will copy all on e-correspondence. As committee projects come up, members can choose to take on specific responsibilities.

International Committee

1. To increase the PGA and PGA Awards’ visibility and recognition globally.
2. To provide international networking and job opportunities for PGA members.
3. To facilitate idea exchange and co-production opportunities.
4. To assist PGA members with finance, tax, incentives, casting, location post-production and other production resources in overseas productions.
5. To encourage an overseas membership constituency to the PGA.

* Membership Committee

The Membership Committee oversees the vetting of membership applications and researches each applicant to ensure only qualified professionals are accepted into the Guild. As trained volunteers, Committee members also often speak with potential applicants at recruitment events to demystify the application process and to encourage qualified colleagues to join the Guild.

In these recruiting and vetting capacities, Committee members are directly responsible for the quality of membership and serve as the public face of our organization with many non-members in the industry.

This Committee is especially great for PGA members wanting to get involved with important Guild work on a flexible schedule. Participation brings you the benefits of networking for yourself while also being a tremendous service to your fellow members.

Mentoring Committee

* Motion Picture Technology Committee

* PGA East Community Action Committee

The Community Action Committee focuses on outreach and building relationships between the PGA East and local groups and community organizations. CAC works closely with the NY Production Alliance and it's legislative agenda dealing with NY City and State tax incentives. CAC has worked on initiatives with the NYC Mayor's Office of Film, Theater, & Broadcasting including the "Made in NY PA Training program", and the NYC Task Force on Diversity in Entertainment. The Community Action Committee welcomes all PGA members to join us.

Poker Tournament Committee

Produced By Conference Committee

* Seminar Committee

Sponsorship Committee

Website: Producers Wiki Committee

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The Debra Hill Fellowship Presents Weekend Shorts Contest 2012

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Update 3/15/13:  If you missed the announcements back in November you can check out all of the 2012 winners and finalists HERE

You can also read about the contest and awards ceremony in the Awards Edition of the Produced By Magazine, HERE
The Production Period of the Producers Guild Weekend Shorts Contest Has Begun!

The production period of The 2nd Annual Producers Guild Weekend Shorts Contest has begun!

A significant proportion (30%) of your film’s evaluation will be based on your entry’s EXECUTION OF ASSIGNMENT - a requirement that your film include certain story and thematic elements. The degree to which your film organically incorporates the elements of the assignment will dictate judges’ scoring of your film in this area.

Each iteration of the PRODUCERS GUILD WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST will be characterized by a specific ASSIGNMENT, requiring films to include certain story and thematic elements. The degree to which each film organically incorporates the elements of the assignment will dictate judges’ evaluation of the films’ EXECUTION OF ASSIGNMENT

For the 2012 WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST, the contest draws on key aspects of Debra Hill’s modern classic, THE FISHER KING. If you haven’t watched THE FISHER KING recently, you may wish to take a moment to refresh your memory of this wonderful film.

The elements of this year’s assignment are as follows:

Setting: A CITY or TOWN

THE FISHER KING memorably utilizes several New York City landmarks and locations. For the purposes of this year’s contest, any setting in a city or town will serve.

Story Elements: a GRAIL; a HAT; a DOLL

Each of these objects plays a key role in THE FISHER KING. Entries in the contest must include all three of these items in some fashion. Furthermore, at least one of the items must have a central or important function in the story.


Entries in the PRODUCERS GUILD WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST must include one of these thematic elements.

These themes are among the fundamental archetypes of storytelling; each has potentially limitless applications and manifestations. Indeed, one of the defining qualities of THE FISHER KING is its explicit transposition of such archetypal themes into a highly specific and contemporary setting. In the event that a PRODUCERS GUILD WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST participant requires further direction on how these themes might be interpreted, we can only suggest: Consider the movie. If you haven’t seen it recently, some quick internet research will help you out; Debra and her collaborators have already given you all of the examples and inspiration you might need.

Good luck with your productions. We can’t wait to see your films.

Please contact with any technical difficulties you encounter on their site.

The Producers Guild has got a challenge for you. Make a film – write, shoot and edit it – in two days. The 2nd Annual Weekend Shorts Contest takes place September 28-30, 2012.

We know that there are some great undiscovered producers out there. This is the chance for them to show us what they're made of. How fast can you mobilize your team? Craft your story? Find your locations? Hunt down your costumes? Call in your favors? Cut the pieces together?

We're not looking for Lawrence of Arabia, here. Your running time should be three to five minutes. For a great producer, that's plenty of time in which to tell a mesmerizing story.

Of course, just to keep you honest, we have some specifics that your story must include. (We can't have you go shooting the whole thing in advance, after all.) When the contest opens, we'll post the specific elements that your film will have to utilize. Because THE PRODUCERS GUILD WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST has been established to honor the legacy of Debra Hill and support the Producers Guild's Debra Hill Fellowship, the specific details will be drawn from Debra's films. These elements will be announced at the start of the filmmaking period: the evening of Friday, September 28. But that's all we can tell you for now.

The films entered in THE PRODUCERS GUILD WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST will be evaluated by a remarkable group of judges, including Bruce Cohen, Gale Anne Hurd, Paul Reubens, Stacey Sher, and Cathleen Summers. Each of the judges had the opportunity to work closely with Debra Hill, and we deeply appreciate their honoring her legacy by providing their time and expertise.

There are some terrific prizes, of course. THE PRODUCERS GUILD WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST is being held through

Got questions? Please see the FAQ page. If, and only if, you do not find your answer there, email us at

Congratulations, you now know what you're going to be doing over the weekend of September 28-30. Start getting your team together now; and we look forward to seeing your film!

NOTE: Certification statement, release agreement, and entry agreement documents are available for download at the bottom of the Rules page.

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Conference Comments

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Conference Comments
By Staff

One weekend at the Produced By Conference offers literally dozens of moments that can help you get a competitive edge, clarify your goals, or simply bring the nature of your work as a producer more clearly into focus. For instance, here’s a couple of minutes from last year’s session Raising Your Tentpole: Producing Motion Picture Franchises. In it, producer and PGA member Ralph Winter (X-Man, Fantastic Four) reviews the different considerations involved in acquiring source material from different media. It’s just a couple of minutes long, but it’s typical of the kind of unique insight and perspective you’ll find at the Produced By Conference.

And remember: That’s just two minutes out of a 75-minute panel discussion, and one panel out of the more than twenty sessions that the Guild puts together for Produced By. If you were wondering whether or not the Produced By Conference was worth your time and money, do the math. It’s a remarkable event, one that can truly change the trajectory of your career. And smart, pragmatic advice like you see in this clip is only the tip of a very large iceberg.

The first set of speakers for this year’s Conference have just been announced, including Chris Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises), Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind), Todd Phillips (The Hangover), Nina Jacobson (The Hunger Games), Ted Sarandos (Content Acquisition, Netflix), Bill Lawrence (Cougar Town), Mark Cuban (Owner, HD Net) and numerous others.

Sort of makes you wonder what they’ll have to say this June, doesn’t it?

You can register for Produced By Conference 2012 by clicking here.

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PGA Video Features

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Welcome to the Producers Guild featured video page.

Produced By Conference 2011 Featured Videos

We’re pleased to provide these exclusive video clips from Produced By Conference 2011; we’ll be presenting a new video every week.

But nothing beats seeing these top industry pros in person and asking them questions yourself! Register for Produced By Conference 2012 today!

"Producing Killer Apps" Seminar - Dec 12, 2011

What Producers Need to Know Before They Go Mobile, presented by PGA New Media Council East. Chris Pfaff introduced the speakers who talk about how to work with the app stores, what technical resources were best for porting mobile apps, and how to promote apps. Link to Networker Article

Panel IntroductionFuzz ProductionsHearst

Gilt GroupCNN MoneyPanel Discussion

Summer of Monte Wildhorn – PGA Goes Behind the Scenes
Hear from Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary, and the team behind Rob Reiner’s next feature in this first-ever video from PGA Original Content!

PGA on the Set: SUMMER AT DOG DAVE'S from producers guild on Vimeo.

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Niche Guys Finish First

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On location along the coast of Oregon shooting
b-roll of beach for "a NORML life".

Niche Guys Finish First
By Doug Ross

Back in ancient times after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Radio-Television-Film, I set out to master all the positions within video production. When I began working in television over 30 years ago, the basic camcorder and personal computer hadn’t been invented yet. Since that time, I have regularly learned new skills as an editor, technical director, writer, camera operator and producer. Who would have predicted that you would need to be multi-skilled to be competitive in today’s market? My diverse work as a producer includes corporate, commercial and non-fiction productions for History Channel, PBS, and History International. I was a producer in government programming with NASA-TV, USPS-TV and founded Honolulu Municipal Television. It’s been a long road but has been satisfied with the results.

Two years ago, I was contacted by a friend, Rod Pitman, Executive Producer of Hempsters Plant The Seed, who wanted to find a story within some raw footage from a hemp and marijuana conference in Berkeley, CA. Upon review I saw it needed much more additional shooting to be able to tell the real story about medical marijuana. Even though I don’t use marijuana, I looked at this project from the scientific and human view. Patients who have exhausted all conventional treatments were in chronic pain and desperate to receive medicine, no matter its legality. Before we shot one frame, we discussed how this was going to be marketed. Would we slog through the thousands of film festivals hoping for recognition leading to a distribution deal? We decided to go another route. We would narrowcast instead of broadcast our program using a transmedia storytelling approach, using several Internet sites to provide easy access to the video.

A few weeks ago, I was told our documentary, a NORML life had gone viral, having shot from 77,976 to a record breaking 875 on the iMDB Moviemeter Charts in just one week. What was behind this surprising (and surely welcome) news? I like to think we intended it from the very beginning.

On location backstage at HempFest in Seattle, WA where we interviewed medical marijuana patients, doctors and activists for "a NORML life".
We felt the documentary was perfect for a niche audience, the cannabis market, where the activist group NORML (Nationally Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) has over 3 million members with chapters worldwide. We reached out to the hemp community at HempFest, ASA (Americans for Safe Access), marijuana activist and individuals with local radio and television programs. We knew going in that we had a built-in audience that would respond to our documentary as a "commodity of choice." However, the audience needed to be able to access the video quickly, cheaply and easily.

I began by interviewing NORML officials and activists in the Washington, D.C. that helped us prepare for the larger production. Next it was on to a West Coast road trip interviewing patients, doctors, dispensary owners and activists. We captured the rest of the story in thirteen days and I edited the project over a few weeks.

With the film placed on multiple platforms, we worked to build buzz using social media on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and niche websites. The platforms of choice to access the documentary are iTunes, Netflix,, Facebook and in our case, the website, as well as other high-traffic cannabis related distribution platforms. We made a distribution deal with Cinema Libre' Studio, the distributor of Fuel, Robert Greenwald’s Outfoxed and Oliver Stone’s South of the Border, which gave us providence with national and international markets. The idea was to aggregate as many distribution platforms as possible using metadata, which connects and traces database information from Webpages, digital images and Websites. Google pioneered the SEO [search engine optimization] strategy used to push our video to the top of search rankings. This helped create buzz on a geometric level, which gives the documentary the best opportunity to go viral. Unfortunately there are no manuals or websites that instruct a Producer how to connect all these sites to advertise and distribute your video. However, The Long Tail, written by Chris Anderson, comes close to describing a similar method.

Producer Doug Ross interviews Dr. Frank Lucido at his clinic in Berkeley, CA. Dr. Lucido is a medical marijuana activist and writes recommendations for patients.
There has never been a better time than now for independent producers to reach their audiences by distributing videos through social media and Internet platforms. Viewers have many options to search for niche subjects then download, view or purchase DVD’s. In the past, film festivals provided the golden seal of approval for distribution deals if the producer sought broad theatrical exposure. Today, you have more choices and tools available, but of course, the real skill remains the ability to tell a compelling story with the content you’ve acquired.

But if you’re an independent producer serving an attentive audience, niche distribution strategy augments traditional distribution increasing the opportunity for your financial success.

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