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Tony Awards Show Sings Hollywood’s Praises While Oscar Producers Return The Favor At PGA’s Produced By Conference

Pete Hammond

Presenting the two directing prizes on Sunday night’s Tony Awards, Clint Eastwood, who was on the show because he has2014 Tony Awards - Show directed the film version of the Tony winning Broadway musical Jersey Boys (6/20), summed it all up for me. “It seems like producers and directors from the stage and from movies are always looking for good new material, and sometimes they don’t find it. Sometimes they have to take it from one another with The Bridges Of Madison Country (Eastwood starred in and directed the film) or Bullets Over Broadway going to musical plays, and I’m proud to say that we’re bringing Jersey Boys to the movies and that will be after nine successful years on Broadway,” he said in introductory remarks. It was an understatement as most of the evening’s winners, spread among a larger number of shows than usual, have deep ties to movies-jersey-boys-stillHollywood and that included Bridges which picked up a couple of key Tonys for its composer Jason Robert Brown, despite closing last month. There’s also Rocky (Best Scenic Design of a Musical), Aladdin (Best Featured Actor in a Musical), as well as the two big musical winners of the evening (each with four victories), A Gentlemen’s Guide To Love And Murder (winner of Best Musical and which is derived from the 1949 Alec Guiness film  Kind Hearts And Coronets), and Read More »

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Gary Lucchesi & Lori McCreary Elected PGA Presidents

By | Saturday June 7, 2014 @ 5:32pm PDT

pga67__140108185018-275x154__140121183522Following Saturday’s Produced By Conference at the Warner Bros. Studios, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced their 2014 National Board and officer election results, naming Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary as presidents. It’s the second time in the union’s history that the Guild’s nominating committee has selected a pair of members to stand for election together as presidents, following Mark Gordon and Hawk Koch. Lucchesi, who is also the president of Lakeshore Entertainment, has served as the PGA’s VP of motion pictures for the past four years as well as co-chaired the Produced By Conference for the past four years. McCreary, the CEO of Revelations Entertainment, served as the PGA’s national treasurer for the past two years as well as co-chaired the 2014 PGA Awards with Michael De Luca. Read More »

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Deadline Advisory: Produced By Conference Coverage

By | Friday June 6, 2014 @ 6:21pm PDT

Produced by Conference 2014 logoDeadline’s Jen Yamato, David Robb and Anthony D’Alessandro will be on hand this Saturday and Sunday covering the Produced By Conference at Warner Bros studios in Burbank. Sponsored by the PGA, the conference brings together marquee and burgeoning producers who will dive into issues impacting the film and TV industry including distribution, finance, marketing, branding and production. At last year’s conference, J.J. Abrams announced when he was starting production on Star Wars: Episode VII, Stacey Sher discussed the success of crowdfunding Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here, and Tom Cruise spoke about how he reinvented global studio promotion. Here is the full schedule for the 2014 Produced By Conference: Read More »

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PGA Produced By Conference 2014: Francis Ford Coppola Among Speaker Additions

By | Monday April 28, 2014 @ 10:27am PDT

Related: Produced By Conference Unveils 2014 Lineup

ProducedBy2014LOS ANGELES (April 28, 2014) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) is pleased to announce that Academy Award-winning filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola (GODFATHER I, II and III, APOCALYPSE NOW) will join the 6th annual Produced By Conference (PBC) as a featured speaker. Coppola will join some of the entertainment and digital industries’ most renowned producers and visionaries, including Ceán Chaffin (GONE GIRL, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, THE SOCIAL NETWORK), David Fincher (GONE GIRL, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, THE SOCIAL NETWORK), Evan Goldberg (NEIGHBORS, THIS IS THE END, SUPERBAD), Norman Lear (“The Jeffersons,” “All In The Family”), Seth Rogen (NEIGHBORS, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, KNOCKED UP), Joe Roth (HEAVEN IS FOR REAL , MILLION DOLLAR ARM, MALEFICENT) and James Weaver (NEIGHBORS, THIS IS THE END, THE GUILT TRIP). Produced By 2014 is hosted by Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles on June 7-8.

For a full list of speakers and to register for Produced By 2014, please visit www.producedbyconference.com

Newly added speakers, in alphabetical order, include:

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Produced By Conference Unveils 2014 Lineup

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 10:09am PDT

pga67__140108185018-275x154LOS ANGELES, CA (March 27, 2014) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) is pleased to announce the initial slate of speakers confirmed to participate in the 6th annual Produced By Conference (PBC). Director and producer David Fincher (GONE GIRL, FIGHT CLUB, SE7EN, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON) & producer Ceán Chaffin (GONE GIRL, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO), producer Norman Lear (“The Jeffersons, “All In The Family”), actor and producer Seth Rogen (NEIGHBORS, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, KNOCKED UP), and producer Joe Roth (MALEFICENT, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN) will participate as featured speakers at the 2014 Produced By Conference, hosted by Warner Bros. Studios on June 7-8.

Additional speakers include some of the entertainment and digital industries’ most renowned producers and visionaries. Confirmed speakers are noted below in alphabetical order. Additional speakers will be announced prior to the conference.

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Sundance: Producer Michael De Luca On ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Movie – More “Erotic”, Less “Explicit”

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608Worry not Fifty Shades Of Grey fans: The movie of the book aims to give you what you want. “We’re very conscious of not making anything gratuitous or exploitive while being faithful to the stories of the book and to 5o9a0132the fans of the book,” said producer Michael De Luca this morning at the Sundance Film Festival. “We’re going to give them what they expect, which is an intense and erotic love story,” he added. “Obviously the film can’t be as explicit as the book,” De Luca noted. “A picture is worth a 1000 words. So to be erotic onscreen means I think an image is going to have way more power than reading the words on a page.”

Related: In Michael De Luca’s 1st Deal, Sony Acquires ‘The Director’ For Greengrass & Rudin

pga67__140108185018-275x154The soon to be president of Production for Columbia Pictures (he officially takes the reins March 1) was in Park City for the second annual PGA Breakfast. In a free-ranging discussion with Producers Guild national executive director Van Van Patten, De Luca mainly discussed his career history. But it was on Fifty Shades that things got steamy.

“Not to sound corny, but it is, at its heart, a young love story. I think those things always work,” he said of the blockbuster trilogy of books. “No matter what you think about the book, those things are in that story and they are very cinematic. I think people love a good love story and the these two characters endeared themselves to 90 million readers so it’s hard to say that it didn’t connect on a deeper level than just its more sensationalist aspects, but it was the love story that did it for me.” Read More »

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Producers Guild Leaders On Their Banner Year, The p.g.a. Mark, Sunday’s Big 25th Anniversary Awards, And Why Scorsese And DiCaprio Didn’t Make The Cut

Pete Hammond

When I ran into Ben Affleck at the Golden Globes on Sunday he told me he thinks this wide open Oscar race won’t really come into focus until theProducers Guild of America Producers Guild names its choice for Best Picture on January 19th at the Beverly Hilton. Of course Affleck (with George Clooney and Grant Heslov) won at the PGA last year for Argo and it went on to take the Oscar for Best Picture as well. Now about to celebrate their 25th anniversary the PGA awards have become one of the most reliable bellwethers of eventual Oscar glory. In fact the last six films in a row that have taken the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures has gone on to win the Academy’s Best Picture prize too, a list that in addition to Argo includes The Artist, The King’s Speech, The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire and No Country For Old Men. In fact it was the PGA that turned the race completely around for The Hurt Locker by unexpectedly choosing it over Avatar and picking King’s Speech over The Social Network, the favorite until that point. The PGA turned both races on a dime. In fact since handing out awards a quarter century ago the Guild has had a strong overall track record in matching Oscar’s sentiments. Perhaps one reason is they work very closely with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in vetting producers credits and determining which producers are eligible not only for the PGA award, but also the Oscar, although the final decision on the latter is up to the Academy’s producers branch.

Related: Producers Guild Unveils Motion Picture And Long-Form TV Noms
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PGA’s ‘Produced By’ Conference Set For June 7 & 8

By | Wednesday January 8, 2014 @ 10:19am PST

pga67The Producers Guild’s 6th ‘Produced By Conference’ is slated for June 7 and 8 at Warner Bros Studios in Burbank (Fox hosted last year). The guild hasn’t revealed the lineup yet, but last year’s speakers included JJ Abrams and Roland Emmerich. “Producers are the driving force behind the entertainment and media industries, and we love creating this annual gathering where they can come together as a community,” said Producers Guild of America National Executive Director Vance Van Petten. “Each year, our sold-out Conference continues to grow because it represents a truly unique setting that encourages creativity and collaboration between our industry’s storytellers, innovators and thought leaders. We are thrilled to welcome Warner Bros. Studios as the host of the 2014 Produced By Conference.” The 2014 PBC is chaired by Guild members Tracey Edmonds, Marshall Herskovitz, Rachel Klein and Gary Lucchesi. Diane Salerno (Six Degrees Global) is the PBC Sponsorship Director, Barry Kaplan is the PBC Supervising Producer, and Lynda Dorf is the PBC Marketing Consultant.

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday January 5, 2014 @ 5:15pm PST

Catch up with Deadline’s best film stories of the week:

hollywood-signYear-End: How A Growing Global Mandate And Franchise Fever Led To Movie Studio Tsuris
By Mike Fleming – Considering that global movie ticket sales reached precedent levels after a particularly robust holiday period and a mostly sizzling summer, 2013 was one of the most turbulent years I can remember in the executive suites of major studios.

Box Office: Nation In Deep Freeze As Ticket Sales Plummet; ‘Frozen’ Still No. 1, Just Shy of $300M; ‘Paranormal’ Audiences Scared While ‘Wolf’ And ‘Hustle’ Close
By Anita Busch – With the nation in a deep freeze, pictures across the board were affected this weekend. And Sunday moviegoing is expected to be down. With more estimates coming in, the odds are that The Wolf of Wall Street will just nudge out American Hustle by a mere $200,000 for the weekend to take the fourth spot.

Year-End: UK Tax Breaks Too Much Of A Good Thing? Tasty Danish Offerings; French Film Biz Blues; Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain
By Nancy Tartaglione – The UK emerged in 2013 as an increasingly attractive location destination with new and expanded tax credits – but can it stand the bulge? Hollywood has cozied up to Britain, not only bringing its films there to shoot, but now its TV programs while it also continues to plumb it as a source of original drama to be remade in the U.S.

Inside Llewyn DavisWGA Continues Strong Awards Season For ‘Wall Street’, ‘Hustle’, ‘Dallas’ & Woody, But ‘Gravity’, ‘12 Years’ & Coens Not Invited To The Party
By Pete Hammond – It continues to be a good week for American Hustle, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Her, Captain Phillips, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club and Nebraska. All followed up yesterday’s Producers Guild nominations with WGA noms this morning, making it 2-for-2 in the early guild contests of this new year. Read More »

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No Giant Surprises On All-Important PGA Best Picture List But Will Oscar Fall In Line?

Pete Hammond

There may be a couple of eye-openers about individual producers who didn’t get nominated (sorry Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio – see below) but there were no huge surprises, and no slam dunk front runner either, from the Producers Guild Of America‘s list of tenGravity-c films competing for their Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures (now in its 25th year) with expected bids going to a lot of titles that have been showing up on other lists including American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Saving Mr. Banks, 12 Years A Slave and Wolf Of Wall Street.  The list is rounded out by a couple of smaller films, Focus Features’  micro-budgeted, long gestating Dallas Buyers Club and Sony Pictures Classics’ Blue Jasmine from Woody Allen.

Cate-Blanchett-Blue-Jasmine-VideoThe latter is considered an awards front runner for Cate Blanchett’s lead performance this year but was thought to be possibly a longer shot for Picture. This helps its Oscar chances big time since PGA is likely representing industry sentiments and has a large crossover with Academy voters. And even though they are from major studios both Her and Nebraska are also smaller films that resonated with the PGA membership which in the past has often tended to throw bones to some bigger- budgeted contenders such as the James Bond juggernaut, Skyfall last year. Not so this year. But despite a lack of huge blockbuster-type films (save Gravity maybe) it was a … Read More »

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Chris Meledandri To Receive PGA’s 2014 Visionary Award

By | Monday October 28, 2013 @ 10:26am PDT

Related: Studio Executives Past And Present Gather To Honor Chris Meledandri

LOS ANGELES (October 28, 2013) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that Chris Meledandri, Founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, will receive the 2014 Visionary Award. The award will be presented to Meledandri at the 25th Anniversary Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 19, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

The Producers Guild Visionary Award recognizes a television, film or new media producer for his or her unique or uplifting contributions to our culture through inspiring storytelling or performance.

Meledandri is being recognized with the Visionary Award as one of the definitive producers of contemporary animation. He receives this award just as the latest blockbuster hit that he has produced, Universal and Illumination’s DESPICABLE ME 2, becomes the 5th highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide at the global box office.

“I have spent my career working alongside brilliant, passionate filmmakers to tell the types of stories that move audiences, and to receive recognition for this from the peers whose work I deeply admire makes this award all that more meaningful,” said Meledandri.

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Bob Iger To Receive Producers Guild’s 2014 Milestone Award

By | Wednesday October 9, 2013 @ 10:14am PDT

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 9, 2013) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that The Walt Disney Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bob Iger, will be honored with the 2014 Milestone Award. The award will be presented to Iger at the 25th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on January 19, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

“I’ve had the great privilege of working with some of the world’s best storytellers,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “I am constantly inspired by the creativity and innovation at Disney, as thousands of people around the world work together to tell great stories in spectacular new ways. For 90 years, Disney has redefined what’s possible and raised the standard of excellence in entertainment. We continue to strive to live up to that legacy, and it’s very rewarding to see our efforts recognized in such a meaningful way by the Producers Guild of America.”

The Milestone Award is the Guild’s highest honor recognizing an individual or team who has made historic contributions to the entertainment industry. In the past, the Producers Guild has paid tribute to such industry leaders as Clint Eastwood, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Ron Meyer, Walt Disney, and the 2013 recipients Bob and Harvey Weinstein, among others.

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Disney, Warner Bros & Paramount Sign On To PGA’s Certification Mark Program

By | Thursday July 11, 2013 @ 6:30am PDT

It’s a clean sweep for the Producers Guild of America as the six majors have now all agreed to add an onscreen “p.g.a.” designation to approved producers on all their future releases. Disney, Warner Bros and Paramount Pictures join the already-commited Sony, Universal and Fox, who signed on to the mark credit program last November. The addition of the latest trio finalizes the more than a decade long effort by the guild to develop and launch a certification process that clearly delineates who did the majority of the producing work on a film while also establishing an authentic seal of approval. “The fact that all six major studios as well as many of the independents have signed onto the p.g.a. certification clearly demonstrates that it is necessary. Change is difficult and an industry wide cultural shift of this nature doesn’t happen unless a majority agrees that it’s essential. It’s the right thing to do,” PGA president Mark Gordon told me. And the change is already here. Including The Lone Ranger, the upcoming R.I.P.D., Saving Mr. Banks and Turbo, there are 47 films currently approved to carry the “p.g.a.” certification.

Related25th PGA Awards Set For January 19, 2014

Only producers who ask for the “p.g.a” and are approved by the guild are able to use the mark. Also, while the producer in … Read More »

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Producers Guild Announces 9th Annual ‘Power Of Diversity’ Workshop

By | Tuesday March 5, 2013 @ 7:28pm PST

The annual Producers Guild Of America-hosted confab, designed to foster producers with diverse perspectives in television, film, and digital media, will be held from May 28 to July 13 in Los Angeles. Submissions will open on March 11 and close April 19 at 12 midnight PT, with ten candidates selected to participate in one-on-one mentoring sessions and master classes with veteran producers and PGA members. “Reflecting diverse communities through accurate and informative storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool that brings us all closer together”, workshop chair and PGA Diversity Committee chair Deborah Calla (Dream House, A Beautiful Life) said in a statement. “As PGA producers, we have a responsibility not just to appreciate different perspectives, but to empower such producers with the tools, resources and capacity to assist them in bringing their projects to fruition”. In past years the “Power Of Diversity” workshop enlisted Silver Linings Playbook‘s Bruce Cohen, Grey’s Anatomy‘s Mark Gordon, The Last Samurai‘s Marshall Herskovitz, LOST/Star Trek‘s Damon Lindelof, Nurse Jackie‘s Caryn Mandabach, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice creator Shonda Rhimes, Sex And The City‘s Darren Star, Smallville‘s Mike Tollin, and X-Men producer Ralph Winter as mentors.

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25th PGA Awards Set For January 19, 2014

By | Thursday February 21, 2013 @ 9:46am PST

LOS ANGELES (February 21, 2013) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that the Producers Guild Awards, honoring excellence in motion picture, television and new media productions, will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

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PGA Win: Is ‘Argo’ Now Oscar Frontrunner?

Pete Hammond

It’s starting to get serious. This wild ride of an awards season may not be predictable, according to conventional wisdom. But in the end the winner of the Producer Guild’s Best Picture award Saturday night was completely predictable in my opinion. After all, Warner Bros’ Argo features a key role for a Hollywood movie producer who rises to the occasion and helps make a difference in the world, winning the hearts and minds of a group of producers. Imagine that. This is the first guild to weigh in so we have a tentative frontrunner in Argo now for the Academy Awards’ Best Picture. Had producer/director/star Ben Affleck not been snubbed for a Best Director Oscar, the word “tentative” wouldn’t even be used. When I talked to Affleck  in the Beverly Hilton ballroom moments after his picture won, he still seemed to be reeling from the roller coaster ride he’s been on, but clearly happy. (Co-producer Grant Heslov suggested they should call their fellow producer George Clooney in Berlin and tell him the good news.) “When I didn’t get the Best Director nomination after everybody told me I would, I was depressed. But then that same day I won at Critics Choice which was really torturous because everyone kept asking me all night how I felt,” Affleck told me. “Then we win at the Globes.” Argo was also named the year’s Best Picture at the Critics … Read More »

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PGA Awards Film: Best Picture List Offers No Surprises But Could Have Strong Influence On Oscar

By | Wednesday January 2, 2013 @ 4:12pm PST
Pete Hammond

In an intriguing move, the Producers Guild of America decided suddenly to move its annual PGA Awards nomination announcement up a day and put out the list shortly after 2 PM PT this afternoon — instead of the originally scheduled time tomorrow. Whatever the reason for jumping the gun, it could impact the Oscar race as the Academy extended its own voting period 24 hours to a 5 PM deadline Friday instead of Thursday, as originally planned, and the PGA choices could be influential for last-minute Oscar voters rushing to see everything and get their ballots in. In the new world of online voting for the Academy, this two-day window could be important, and I will bet the PGA was aware of that when they decided to unleash their choices today.

Related: PGA Awards Nominations Announced

If that’s the case, the PGA’s 10 nominations for Best Picture — or as the guild calls it, the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures — provided no real surprises. All 10 picks — Argo, Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life Of Pi, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty — are the most likely contenders to score at the Oscars according to most prognosticator predictions. It’s particularly good news for Quentin Tarantino’s bloody and controversial Django Unchained, as the film was one of the last to be screened in 2012 and was the only one that reportedly did not benefit by having a screener sent to the PGA membership, the reason widely blamed for its AWOL status in the SAG Awards nominations announced in mid-December.

One film left off, Sony Pictures Classics’ Amour, is not a shocker since smaller foreign-language entries rarely make the PGA list. It would seem the most likely to replace one of the PGA nominees when the Oscar list is announced January 10. Other films missing from the list like Flight, The Impossible and The Master have seen momentum stalled with poor showings in critics and other precursor awards. The only slight surprise for me was the omission of big moneymaker The Dark Knight Rises since the PGA, being producers after all, do like to reward financial bonanzas and the film was the last of Christopher Nolan’s enormously profitable and critically acclaimed Batman trilogy for Warner Bros. The PGA also had previously nominated 2008′s The Dark Knight for their top honor even when the group had only five nominations; Oscar failed to follow suit and passed it by for a Best Pic nod that year. The move prompted the Academy to move to 10 nominations the next year to (hopefully) include more popular films in their Best Picture lineup. Read More »

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Sony, Fox, Universal Sign On For PGA’s Producers’ Mark Credit Program

By | Thursday November 8, 2012 @ 3:44pm PST

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) is pleased to announce that Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Columbia Pictures and Screen Gems, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Universal Pictures have officially signed on to implement the Producers’ Mark certification: “p.g.a.” Establishing the “Produced by” credit certification is a significant industry achievement as it protects the integrity of one of the most challenging and enduring roles in feature film production. Once a producer’s work on a film is vetted and certified through the PGA’s arbitration process, their “Produced by” credit and name will be followed by the distinctive mark: “p.g.a.”

As of now, the Producers’ Mark certification program does not include television or new media productions.

“This is a remarkable moment in the entertainment industry, and a historic step forward in our twelve year-long campaign at the Producers Guild to protect producers and the ‘Produced by’ credit,” said PGA President Mark Gordon. “Simply put, the Producers’ Mark certification changes the process of how we credit producers on a film by appropriately acknowledging producers for the actual work they have done.”

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Producers Guild Unveils Jobs Board

By | Monday July 30, 2012 @ 11:24am PDT

LOS ANGELES (July 30, 2012) – The Producers Guild of America announced today that it has launched a new, state-of-the-art online job board for Guild members and employers. The new Producers Guild Job Board can be found online at http://jobs.producersguild.org/.

“One of the primary objectives of the Producers Guild is to provide our members with access to good, quality jobs, and this new site will greatly enhance our ability to do just that,” said Chris Thomes, Producers Guild Website Committee Chair and Vice President of New Media Council. “Reimagined and redesigned to be elegant and effective, our new site includes tools, functions and features that distinguish the Producers Guild Job Board as the best one-stop-shop for the highest-quality producing team members in the industry.”

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