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A Message from the Executive Director
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Conference Call
By Vance Van Petten

After working for producers for more than 10 years, I’ve learned a few things: 1) Don’t count on back-end points; 2) Make sure you’ve got decent craft service; and 3) You’ve got to top what you did last time out.

That last point is the one we’ve had to keep in mind for our 2011 Produced By Conference. Our previous two efforts were sellout successes, so the bar was already pretty high. But after a lot of hard work, we’re certain that this June 3–5, the PGA will be offering its biggest and best edition of Produced By yet.

To do that, we’ve brought on a partner, the Association of Film Commissions, International (AFCI), who have merged their annual Locations Expo under the Produced By banner. So what does this change mean for producers attending our Conference? Only that they’ll have access to over hundreds of local, state and international film commissions, each of which will be trying to lure your next project to their neck of the woods. Together, these commissions represent more than $2 billion — yes, that’s billion with a "B” — in production incentives. If you’ve got a project you’re looking to get off the ground (and if you’re reading this magazine, you probably do), Produced By 2011 is where you start the countdown.

Of course, our Conference will be offering the mix of top speakers and panels you’ve come to expect from this event. How often do you get to spend a weekend with Harvey Weinstein, Mark Gordon, Gale Anne Hurd, Damon Lindelof, Hawk Koch, Marc Cherry, John Sloss, Marshall Herskovitz, Lauren Shuler Donner, Jason Blum and dozens of their colleagues, all drawn from the top ranks of our profession? You’ll hear the straight story from producers who have been there, on everything from producing blockbusters to getting micro-budget features made to selling your non-fiction series to a hungry network.

Every year, we try to rotate our Conference to a new studio venue. This year, Disney/ABC Studios has stepped up as our host, offering Conference attendees unique access to their facilities and producing talent. Executives Barry Jossen, Paul Lee, Sean Bailey and Anne Sweeney have embraced the event wholeheartedly and have helped us to assemble a weekend that no producer will want to miss.

At Produced By, you’ll have the opportunity to network with hundreds of your colleagues, get face-to-face advice from a top producer through our Mentoring Roundtables, learn detailed ins and outs of a variety of shooting locations through FilmUSA’s "On the Ground With...” program, and immerse yourself in your profession like never before.

Oh, and in case you hadn’t heard, 600 PGA members (first come, first served) will get to do nearly all of this for free. Membership has its privileges, after all.

I look forward to seeing you at Disney/ABC Studios for this year’s Produced By Conference ... assuming you can get a registration slot. As I mentioned earlier, this thing has a habit of selling out. Go to today and register for the event of the summer.