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Produced By: Francis Ford Coppola Sees A “Live” Future For Film

Produced by CoppolaFrancis Ford Coppola can see the future of cinema, and it’s going to be “live,” like a digital play or a virtual opera. Speaking before an overflow crowd at the closing of the Producer Guild‘s Produced By conference, Coppola said he sees a future in which movies will be presented “live” to audiences all around the world at the same time.

With the digital revolution, he said, “movies no longer have to be set in stone and can be composed and interpreted for different audiences that come to see it. Film has always been a recorded medium,” but live cinema remixes might be “30 percent pre-recorded as the actors do it live. You can do anything and you can do it live.”

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Coppola said he might even essay such a “live” movie himself.  Coppola, who is currently writing a saga about multiple generations of an Italian-American family (ed.: why does this somehow sound familiar?), said, “Maybe I should put my money where my mouth is and do it live.”

The Godfather of American cinema said that he is “very optimistic about the future of cinema and the world,” and he’s especially bullish on independent filmmaking. ”If not for independent filmmakers,” he said, “all we would have would be these big industrial films. The cinema is too important to allow industry high finance to stop it. Cinema is too big to be defeated.”

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Produced By: Norman Lear Goes Archie Bunker On TV Ageism

Norman LearNorman Lear, the greatest TV comedy producer of all time, can’t get a series made these days, he says. The Producer’s Guild of America may have named its episodic comedy award after Lear, but good luck getting a Lear-made episodic comedy on the air now. In a TV-transforming run through the 1970s, Lear tackled the most controversial issues of the time – including racism, abortion, sexism and so much else – but he says the only time he’s ever been censored is today.

Lear, now almost 92 and reflecting on his legendary career in a packed session at the PGA’s Produced By conference, said no one ever told him, “You can’t do that,” while he was producing ground-breaking shows such as All in the Family, Maude, and The Jeffersons. But today, when he pitches a comedy that’s set in a retirement village, nobody wants to hear about it.

Betty White“They don’t want to touch the demographic,”he said. Apparently, he said, there’s only room for one old person (that would be another comedy veteran, Betty White, who actually is a few months older than Lear) on network television today.

The name of the show Lear has been pitching is Guess Who’s Dead?, a title that got a huge laugh from the audience. It is particularly ironic that Lear, whose People for the American Way organization long has fought for free … Read More »

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PGA Digital Visionaries: Netflix, AwesomenessTV, GTA V, Batkid, ‘Veronica Mars,’ Alfonso Cuaron, More

By | Saturday June 7, 2014 @ 12:21pm PDT

PGA Herskovitz Williams 06-07-14, 12.01.53 PMThe Producers Guild of America handed out its Digital Visionaries awards Friday night, recognizing nine notable organizations and the people behind them for using technology to advance the ways stories are told. “These are the top Hollywood people who are ultra-forward thinking in their vision of telling stories,” said Marc Scarpa, co-chair with Shawn Gold of the committee selecting the award winners. “We’re about pushing the medium forward.” Producer/Writer/Director Marshall Herskovitz (ThirtySomething, The Last Samurai and a prominent PGA member) handed out the night’s awards with short comments about each:

  • The people behind the elaborate, and endlessly charming, confabulation that turned the city of San Francisco into a giant superhero playground for one ailing child dressed as “BatKid.” This award went to Patricia Wilson, Executive Director of Make-A-Wish Foundation, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and the city’s residents.
  • Netflix, for its swath of original programming. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said the company’s event Thursday evening featuring notable women actor/directors who are part of its shows House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, as well as the Oscar-nominated documentary The Square, “show you where we’re going, particularly for the directors on that stage (Jodie Foster, Robin Wright, Jehane Noujaim). We get to really broaden the spectrum (of programming options and voices).” As for innovation on the technical side,

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PGA Awards Sets 2015 Timeline

By | Monday April 21, 2014 @ 11:45am PDT

pga67__140108185018-275x154__140121183522LOS ANGELES (April 21, 2014) – The Producers Guild of America announced today the opening of the submissions and key deadlines for consideration for the 2015 Producers Guild Awards. The 26th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.

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PGA Awards Sets 2015 Date

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 12:04pm PST

pga67__140108185018-275x154LOS ANGELES (February 10, 2014) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that the 2015 Producers Guild Awards, honoring excellence in motion picture, television and new media productions, will take place on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

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Producers Guild’s Stunner Of A Split Decision; How Does It Alter The Oscar Race?

Pete Hammond

For six years in a row, the Producers Guild Awards have correctly forecast the eventual Oscar winner for Best Picture. So Sunday night we came to get some kind of clarity in this year’s ultra-competitive Oscar race. Instead we got chaos.pga67

When I entered the Beverly Hilton Hotel lobby for the PGA Awards, I ran smack into 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen and some Fox Searchlight publicists. ”This should be an interesting night,” I told them. That turned out to be the understatement of all time. At the pre-reception, producer and moderator of the PGA’s nominee confab Saturday morning, Gary Luchessi, said, “I think there is going to be a big surprise tonight. I think it’s going to be either Gravity or Captain Phillips.” Well, he got half of it right and he was definitely on the money about the surprise part.

Related: PGA Awards: First-Ever Tie For Best Motion Picture — ‘Gravity’ And ‘12 Years A Slave’

25th Annual Producers Guild Awards Saturday night’s big SAG winner, American Hustle, could have built unbeatable momentum following it up with a PGA win – a one-two punch that influences the rest of the campaign and a knockout in awards-season terms. Instead, in an unprecedented result for either the PGA or the Oscars, there was a tie for Best Picture (or the Darryl F. Zanuck Award For Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, as the PGA puts it) and it was between Hustle’s two key rivals, Gravity and 12 Years A Slave. That means each of Oscar’s presumed three frontrunners all could point to a key victory in this all-important weekend. Nothing was settled. The race goes on. In fact, put the whole thing on reset and start over. Hustle’s co-producer Chuck Roven looked a little shell-shocked when I ran into him moments after the show ended. “I guess this means it’s a horse race,” he said when I asked him his reaction to the night’s results. Earlier I had run into Hustle director David O. Russell who was clearly still on a high from the previous evening’s SAG victory for Outstanding Cast. No doubt the surprise outcome brought him down to Earth. You could feel the numbed reaction throughout the room when presenter Ben Affleck got to make the announcement of a tie. Once again, the PGA has upended the whole race. Read More »

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25th Annual PGA Awards: First-Ever Tie For Best Motion Picture — ‘Gravity’ And ‘12 Years A Slave’; ‘Breaking Bad’ & ‘Modern Family’ Take Top TV Awards; Winners List

pga67UPDATED WITH WINNERS AND BACKSTAGE REACTIONS: The Producers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton ended with a stunner: The first tie for the top film prize in the PGAs’ 25-year history. Gravity and 12 Years A Slave shared the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. The award for Gravity catapults the Warner Bros picture squarely into the Best Picture Oscar race, whereas up until now, it seems that 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle were the front-runners. Deadline’s Pete Hammond will post an analysis of the awards later tonight.

On the TV side, AMC’s now-wrapped Breaking Bad won The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama, and ABC’s Modern Family took the Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy, for a fourth consecutive year. The wins mirror last night’s SAG Awards and the Emmys. Breaking Bad also won the Golden Globe last week, but rookie Brooklyn Nine-Nine took the comedy prize.

PGA Awards GravityIf it weren’t for Jeff Robinov, former president of Warner Bros Motion Picture Group, Gravity would not have gotten made. The picture that stars Oscar nominee Sandra Bullock and George Clooney got shoved aside by Universal after Angelina Jolie dropped out. Enter Robinov, who took the project under his wing and was its behind-the-scenes champion. 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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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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Producers Guild Unveils Motion Picture And Long-Form TV Noms For 2014 PGA Awards

By | Thursday January 2, 2014 @ 9:51am PST

pga1__131203181235The Producers Guild of America has selected (in alphabetical order) American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Saving Mr. Banks, 12 Years A Slave, and Wolf Of Wall Street for its top feature film honor, the Darryl F. Zanuck award, in its nominations announced today. The PGA announced its movie and long-form TV noms for its 25th annual PGA Awards, with winners to be announced during a ceremony January 19 at the Beverly Hilton. (The episodic TV and documentary film nominees were announced earlier). Here are the 2014 nominated films and TV programs listed in alphabetical order by category, along with producers in alphabetical order:

PGA Awards TV: Netflix, ‘Duck Dynasty’ Enter Series Fray For First Time
Producers Guild Announces Documentary Film Nominees

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Peter Jackson, Joe Letteri & Weta Digital To Receive Producers Guild’s Vanguard Award

By | Monday November 11, 2013 @ 10:35am PST

LOS ANGELES, CA (November 11, 2013) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson, visual effects artist Joe Letteri and Weta Digital will receive the Producers Guild’s 2014 Vanguard Award. The award will be presented to Jackson, Letteri and Weta Digital at the 25th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 19th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

Jackson and Letteri‘s Academy Award-winning visual effects powerhouse Weta Digital is a world leader in all areas of digital visual effects production, having created some of the most astounding effects ever seen onscreen. Their motion picture credits include such hits as THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, AVATAR and KING KONG, among many others.

The Producers Guild’s Vanguard Award recognizes achievements in new media and technology. Previous recipients include James Cameron, Stan Lee, George Lucas, John Lasseter, YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, and game designer Will Wright, as well as RealD’s Michael V. Lewis and Joshua Greer.

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Hillary Clinton & Chelsea To Speak At Closed PGA Event Tomorrow

By | Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 11:58am PST

She may not be a 2016 Presidential candidate yet but the former Secretary of State will be packing in a lot of face time with Hollywood over the next couple of days. On Friday afternoon, Hillary Clinton will be speaking along with her daughter Chelsea at an event co-sponsored by the Producers Guild of America and the Clinton Foundation. The focus of the gathering is education and national service. PGA President Mark Gordonwill give opening remarks and act as emcee for the event, I’ve learned. Rob Reiner, a big backer of President Bill Clinton and Hillary, will be moderating the conversation between the two Clintons. Claiming security reasons, the PGA and the foundation are staying mum about the event’s location. Also, like many recent Clinton events and her visit to San Francisco later this weekend, media are blocked from gathering. (UPDATE, 2:38 PM: The organizers don’t want to give out the location but Hillary Clinton’s PGA event tomorrow will be held at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills, I’ve learned. It’s scheduled to run from approximately 1 PM to 3 PM on Friday.) The Clinton Foundation says that Scandal creator and recently named Kennedy Center board member Shonda Rhimes is scheduled to attend. CBS’ Nina Tassler, Shine America’s Rich Ross, Fox’s Kevin Reilly, Modern Family EP Steve Levitan, Parenthood EP Jason Katims and New Girl EP Liz Meriwether are also set to be there. 

Soap Producer Colleen Bradley Bell Named Ambassador To Hungary
Obama Hosting White House ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’ Screening
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James Bond Team Of Michael G. Wilson And Barbara Broccoli Set For Producers Guild Honor

By | Wednesday October 30, 2013 @ 10:00am PDT

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 30, 2013) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions will receive the 2014 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures. The award will be presented to Wilson and Broccoli at the 25th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 19th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

“We’re honored to be associated with the legendary David O. Selznick and delighted to be receiving this award along with its previous recipients,” said Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

The Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Achievement Award recognizes a producer’s outstanding body of work in motion pictures. The honor has a rich and distinguished history with past recipients including such legendary producers as Stanley Kramer, Saul Zaentz, Clint Eastwood, Billy Wilder, Brian Grazer, Jerry Bruckheimer, Roger Corman, Laura Ziskin, Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg and last year’s recipients Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

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Outgoing Academy Prexy Hawk Koch Regains Top Producers Guild Post

By | Monday August 5, 2013 @ 9:14am PDT
Mike Fleming

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that Hawk Koch rejoins Mark Gordon as President of the PGA after a leave to serve a one-year term as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Gordon and Koch were first elected Presidents of the PGA in 2010, and were reelected in 2012.

“We work together extremely well, and we are proud of the Guild’s recent historic achievement in securing the industry-wide adoption of the Producers Mark,” said Mark Gordon and Hawk Koch in a joint statement. ”In the year that lies ahead, we look forward to building on the momentum of that and other successes, such as the recent Produced By Conference, once again as Presidents of this great Guild.”

The PGA recently announced that all six major studios have signed on to implement the Producers Mark certification, indicated by the letters “p.g.a.” following a motion picture’s “Produced By” credit. The Producers Mark is the result of a long campaign led by Gordon and Koch to develop and launch a vetting process that clearly certifies who did the majority of the producing work on a film while also establishing an authentic seal of approval.

A longtime PGA National Board member, Hawk Koch has worked in the entertainment industry for more than four decades. His credits include more than 60 films including the Golden Globe Award®-winning HEAVEN CAN WAIT, WAYNE’S WORLD, PRIMAL FEAR, GORKY PARK, THE IDOL MAKER, POPE OF

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Producers Guild’s Gary Lucchesi On This Weekend’s ‘Produced By’ Confab

By | Friday June 7, 2013 @ 7:01am PDT

Diane Haithman is a Deadline contributor.

The Producer’s Guild’s 5th annual ‘Produced By’ Conference gets underway Saturday at Twentieth Century Fox Studios with panelists including JJ Abrams and Roland Emmerich. (Tom Cruise was slated to appear at the time of this interview but has canceled because of ‘last-minute scheduling problems’). PGA vice president of motion pictures Gary Lucchesi — event co-chair with Tracy Edmonds, PGA president emeritus Marshall Herskovitz and Rachel Klein —talked with Deadline contributor Diane Haithman about PBC 2013.

DEADLINE: Is this a good place to pitch and sell your material?
GARY LUCCHESI: (Laughs) There are better avenues than this to submit material. I’ll tell you what though, if you do have a project you will probably be clued in to how to submit it. There is not one producer in town who is not constantly panning for gold. And there are ways to submit material to agents or producers or directors. I would think that this conference would offer people with screenplays a way in.

DEADLINE: Why a ‘Produced By’ Conference?
GARY LUCCHESI: At the end of the day most of the content is coming out of, or at least being organized by, producers. And young people and people who are struggling producers want to try to get a leg up. This conference is very informational and inspirational. On the one hand we look at it as the way to give back, but on the other hand it’s a way to grow the brand of producing as well.

DEADLINE: How has the conference changed in 5 years?
LUCCHESI: Five years ago we were a little more film-centric, now we’ve got a lot of television, and a lot of new media programs that are really focused on trying to figure it out. A couple of years ago we had James Cameron and 3D was a big thing. Look at it this way — we have Jerry Bruckheimer who has been quite successful in film and in television, we have J.J. Abrams who works in both mediums. Mark Gordon works in both mediums. Gale Ann Hurd works in both mediums. Mark Burnett has done his reality television but is now doing longform too. Read More »

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Producers Guild’s Digital V.I.P. Honorees

By | Friday April 12, 2013 @ 11:58am PDT

Jim Carrey, Louis C.K., Conan O’Brien and Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Bill Westenhofer were among nine people honored last night by the Producers Guild of America for their contributions to the advancement of digital entertainment and storytelling in the past year. John Lasseter, Morgan Freeman, and PGA President Mark Gordon were among those who attended the inaugural Digital V.I.P. Awards (Visionaries, Innovators and Producers) at the Bel Air home of entrepreneur Elon Musk. Click over for a complete list: 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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Producers Guild 2013 Awards: ‘Argo’ Wins, Also ‘Homeland’, ‘Searching For Sugar Man’, ‘Wreck-It Ralph’, ‘Game Change’, ‘Modern Family’, ‘Amazing Race’, ‘Colbert Report’

By | Saturday January 26, 2013 @ 10:29pm PST

UPDATED WITH ALL WINNERS AND SPEECHES: The Producers Guild of America announced its 24th annual film, Producers Guild Awards 2013 Winnerstelevision, and digital award winners tonight during a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton. Cheers erupted when Warner Bros’ Argo won the top feature film honor, the Darryl F. Zanuck Award. Ben Affleck exclaimed: “I am surprised.” The thriller now takes the lead in what is still a very close Best Picture Oscar race. Because the PGAs since its start in 1990 have selected 16 of the 22 winners to that the Academy Award – a 73% success rate. And since 2008 (when No Country For Old Men won) the PGA has been on a 5-year hot streak.

Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph won best animated film and Sony Pictures Classics’ Searching For Sugar Man best documentary feature. Showtime’s Homeland won best drama series. ABC/Twentieth TV’s Modern Family won best comedy series. HBO’s Game Change won for best long-form TV. The PGA Awards categories also include animated movies, feature documentaries, non-fiction programs, talk shows, competition shows, sports programs, children’s programs, as well as digital TV series. This year, the Producers Guild awards special honors to The Weinstein Company’s Bob and Harvey Weinstein (who cried onstage), Bad Robot’s J.J. Abrams, Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and Def Jam founder Russell Simmons. the PGA recognized several producers with honorary awards including Bob and Harvey Weinstein (Milestone Award), Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures), J.J. Abrams (Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television), Russell Simmons (Visionary Award), and BULLY (Stanley Kramer Award).The 2013 Producers Guild Awards Chair is Michael DeLuca.

On the scene are Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and Awardsline’s Anthony D’Alessandro:

The show kicked off with PGA President Mark Gordon featured in an opening video clip singing a parody of The Sound Of Music‘s ‘Do Re Mi’ with Hawk Koch, Paula Wagner, Michael DeLuca, Norman Lear and others complaining about the challenges of producing films. The lyrics included this line: “When your job is on the brink, you will be trashed on Nikki Finke.” Deadline reporters say ‘The place went nuts.’ (I’m truly flattered by the diss, PGA.)

No doubt the longest acceptance speech of the night belonged to Harvey and Bob Weinstein in part because they received the Milestone Award from Robert De Niro, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodriguez. De Niro took the podium first alone, saying “They’ve been my neighbors in Tribeca and have always been there for me… They’re enormous. But I’m not afraid of ‘em! (Harvey said it was OK for me to say that.)” De Niro ribbed about their Silving Linings Playbook: ”When they came to me with a movie about mental illness, I asked which brother do they want me to portray?” Next came Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez who said: “Talking about them is like talking about how your family sacrificed everything for you. I watched Bob build Dimension, and when he believes in you as a filmmaker, he gives it his all. I can’t think of any producers who sit with you and go through it line by line.” Rodriguez then launched into a gruff imitation of Bob Weinstein. “He told me not to do test screenings for Sin City and he never questioned when I wanted to go from horror films to family films.” Rodriguez recalled how ecstatic Bob became over the first Friday grosses of Spy Kids 3D. Quentin Tarantino took the mike and said: “It is safe to say my filmography and my career would not be the same without the Weinstein Brothers. Bob is always there to hear me when Harvey can’t. To me, Harvey is the only game in town.”

Everybody in the ballroom rose to their feet when Bob and Harvey took the stage. Bob spoke first, “There isn’t a chance in hell I would be up here if it wasn’t for Harvey. That’s what he told me to say.” Bob launched into the origins of their partnership, how he was making $35,000 in 1988 at Miramax and Harvey less. “Brad Grey worked for us and even then he thought we worked for him.” Bob mentioned how he almost took a $60+K exhibitor booking jib in 1988 and abandon his and his brother’s dream of a film studio. But then Bob passed on the job. The brothers gave it another go for a year and in 1989 released My Left Foot, Cinema Paradiso and Sex, Lies, And Videotape and never looked back. He also thanked former New Line heads Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne. “If Macys needed Gimbels, if Ali needed Frazier, then we needed them,” said Bob. And to his brother Harvey, Bob said: “Like all geniuses, you are murder to live with. There is a 60-40 chance that he and I will have a fight before the night is done. Also thank you to Miriam and Max,” ended Bob with a note to his parents.

Harvey took the mike and said: “I had no idea he was that funny!” In a teary speech, Harvey remembered how Bob and he went to the Cannes Film Festival for the first time, shared a mattress, and had Sean Connery ensure they weren’t kicked out of a screening. He called Tarantino the company’s ‘Babe Ruth’ and mentioned De Niro’s generosity post 9/11. He covered numerous topics from how the power of movies obtained Nelson Mandela’s freedome, the executives and agents like Brad Grey and Robert Newman who have passed through their Miramax and Weinstein hallways, as well as “my kids who are the best marketing research team in the world.”

J.J. Abrams accepted the PGA’s Norman Lear Achievement Award. Jennifer Garner presented, recounting when Abrams first called her in late 2000 with the script of the TV show Alias. (“The more he imagines, the taller his hair gets.”) A clip showed off Abrams’ TV and film work, including Felicity, Lost, Alias, Mission: Impossible 3, Super 8, and Star Trek. “Typical week!” quipped Abrams, winking at the headlines he made about his new Star Wars directing job for LucasFilm. “I stand before you accepting the Norman Lear Award. What the hell has happened to our standards?” The producer recalled watching Norman Lear’s sitcoms as a kid in his family’s living room, particularly All In The Family. “Like life itself, the nuanced dialogue mattered more tham 3D itself.” Abrams poignantly segued to his late mother’s memorial service last June. “I walked into my father’s house and there was one guest who arrived first. It was Norman Lear. We laughed and drank. I was there once again in my parent’s living room – with Norman Lear.”

Bradley Cooper presented the Stanley Kramer Award to the Bully filmmakers, producers Lee Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen, citing the statistic that “every 7 minutes a child is bullied at school. Bully is about standing up, not standing by. This film continues to change lives.” Director Lee Hirsch thanked Harvey Weinstein for distributing the film. “You made a lot of promises when you bought the film, and you made good on them. If there was one thing Bully gave people something to point at, it was ‘This is going on at my school.’” Producer Cynthia Lowen added, “Bully was the result of those extraordinary voices of those families who were courageous enough to come forward with their painful stories and to make this film create change. We made this film for the brave kids who walk through their schools.”

Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner received the David O. Selznick Achievemen​t Award from their Les Miserables co-star Anne Hathaway, who read a witty letter that their frequent collaborator Richard Curtis wrote to her about the pair: “They are decent men and they calm things down in post production. Love Actually was a disaster until they gave me two months. Fellner said: ”Thirty years ago, we were trolling the streets of Soho, dodging hookers and perverts which in the end prepped us for Hollywood. If we get to do Les Miz 2, all those guys will be in the movie.” Fellner listed his mentors throughout the years including Jeremy Thomas, David Puttnam, Brian Grazer, and Kathleen Kennedy. “These were people we wanted to be like. This is a tough thing we do. We are blessed. We see ourselves as enablers of really talented people, to make the best version of their projects. Years ago, we were looking for 70% of our budgets from the studios. Today you are lucky to get that percent of your budget from Harvey!” Tim Bevan followed. “I didn’t think 26 years ago I would live a career like David O Selznick. Doing this with someone is a lot better than doing it on your own. People always ask me what my favorite point of filmmaking is. First day of principal photography is always my favorite. Then there’s the magic moments in absolute moments of laughter and silence when you are with the cinema audience.”

Russell Simmons accepted the Visionary Award presented by LL Cool J who praised what a force he has been with Def Comedy Jam and Def Poetry Jam. Simmons kept it brief and humble, talking about how he has recently transplanted from New York to LA: “I’ve been staying at Brett Ratner’s house while I buy one here. Now what I really want to do is earn this award.”

2013 Producers Guild Of America Award Winners

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures
Argo (Warner Bros.)
Producers: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov

Ben Affleck and Gr​ant Heslov accepted the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstandin​g Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. (George Clooney was in Berlin.) The Beverly Hilton ballroom erupted in cheers when Nicole Kidman announced that Argo was the winner. Ben Affleck exclaimed: “I am surprised and I am not even in the PGA. I would be remiss to say that I am still acting.” He went on to thank Harvey Weinstein for all his compliments in his tribute speech and Bob Weinstein who “showed me longer isn’t always better”. Grant Heslov said: “The hardest thing about this movie is working with two producers who are the Sexiest Men Alive. That puts pressure on me.”

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Wreck-It Ralph (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Producer: Clark Spencer

Clark Spencer explained why the film was greenlighted: ”I joined Disney 23 years ago during difficult times and always wondered when I should leave. But I always believed in the studio. There is a renaissance going on at the studio – and that is John Lasseter.”

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures
Searching For Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn

Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn accepted the award from Julianna Margulies. Bendjelloul said: “This is a film about a man who lived his life as a constructor worker in Detroit not realizing he was more famous in South Africa.” Chinn added: “It is wonderful that people are discovering the musician Rodriguez.”

The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama
Homeland (Showtime)
Producers: Henry Bromell, Alexander Cary, Michael Cuesta, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Michael Klick, Meredith Stiehm

The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television
Game Change (HBO)
Producers: Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Jay Roach, Amy Sayres, Steven Shareshian, Danny Strong

The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy
Modern Family (ABC)
Producers: Cindy Chupack, Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Morton, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Chris Smirnoff, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker
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‘Bully’ Docu Wins Stanley Kramer Award From Producers Guild

By | Tuesday December 18, 2012 @ 6:48am PST
Mike Fleming

The MPAA certainly gave the documentary Bully a hard time with its rating, but the Producers Guild of America is showing the anti-bullying documentary some love: It has awarded the film its Stanley Kramer Award, bestowed on a film which raises public awareness on an important issue. The film, which initially received an R rating until filmmakers cut a few cuss words to get the PG-13, is shortlisted for Best Documentary in the Oscar race. This comes months after The Weinstein Company‘s Harvey and Bob Weinstein were selected to receive the PGA’s Milestone Award, which will be presented at the same event January 26. Here is the PGA’s official announcement: Read More »

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