Accepting the Producers Guild’s David O. Selznick Career Achievement Award last night, Steven Spielberg said about the people who stitched this video together: “I think we should have them working for us.” It was edited by Todd Sandler.
In the last two years the winner of the Producers Guild of America’s Best Picture award (aka Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures) has turned the Oscar race on its head. The choice in 2010 of low-grossing indie The Hurt Locker over the highest grossing movie ever Avatar just one week after its Golden Globe win was a shocker. So was last year’s defeat of The Social Network by Harvey Weinstein’s upstart The King’s Speech also just one week after Sony Picture’s Facebook film triumphed at the Globes. But Saturday night’s victory by frontrunner The Artist isn’t inspiring the same comparisons.
If the PGA winner had been any film other than The Artist, then the race would have taken a new twist. Instead it went the way most pundits expected. And it would appear, on the surface at least, the little French black-and-white silent movie is well on its way to victory at the Oscars. After all, the PGA is the first real industry test and it has a good track record matching its winner with the eventual Best Picture Oscar for the past four years. (It has missed three others in the last decade though). The PGA is the first guild to reveal its choice and many members are also Oscar voters so it carries a great deal of weight. The glum faces of competitors in the Beverly Hilton lobby afterwards would seem to indicate the seemingly inevitable crowning of The Artist at the Kodak Theatre. But it ain’t over til its over — and in fact we don’t even get the Academy Award nominations until Tuesday.
Still, Thomas Langmann, producer of The Artist, played the role of underdog in his classy acceptance speech when he said, “We were just writing a love letter to American cinema. We never dreamed we would get to taste the American dream”. It went over well in the room, especially when he pointed out none of them could believe they were in the same room as Steven Spielberg, much less the same category. While I was congratulating Langmann in the lobby, Harvey Weinstein came up and warned him there is still a long way to go and that nothing should be taken for granted. He recalled being on the opposite side last year when it seemed inevitable that The Social Network was going to win. In fact last year Harvey didn’t make the trek up to LA from Sundance just for the PGA night like he did this year. But then this year he knew he might have the winner — and Harvey looked like the cat that just ate the canary.
For the past two years, the Producers Guild of America’s theatrical motion picture awards have had a major impact on awards season. Its 2009 winner The Hurt Locker and 2010 winner The King’s Speech really started their serious runs for the Best Picture Oscar by respectively surprising — and defeating — presumed PGA and then-Oscar favorites Avatar and The Social Network, respectively. In both cases I watched as top executives from 20th Century Fox and Sony seemed stunned and depressed. Will the PGA play king-maker for a third year in a row by going their own way and setting the table for the rest of the season?
As we have said many times, the PGA awards along with SAG, DGA and WGA hold more weight in determining Oscar sentiment as many of their members cross over with actual Academy voters. The PGA in fact participates in vetting producer nominees for the Academy, so today’s list of 10 nominees (the guild decided to stick to 10 even though this year the Academy has switched to a voting system that could produce anywhere from five to 10 contenders) should be taken very seriously. In that regard, Sony and producer Scott Rudin — who both felt the PGA’s cold shoulder last year by eventually dooming their early-season favorite The Social Network — should be ecstatic as both Moneyball and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo made the cut. Rudin was personally nominated for Dragon Tattoo (with Cean Chaffin) and is an executive producer on Moneyball (the PGA, like the Academy, does not officially nominate EPs). Count in George Clooney’s The Ides Of March, which until the Golden Globes and now the PGAs hasn’t had much luck this season, and you have a very good morning for the Culver City lot — even though their animated hopeful Arthur Christmas failed to make the list of five nominees for Animated Feature.
LOS ANGELES, CA (January 3, 2012) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today the motion picture and long-form television nominations for the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards. The categories include: The Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures; The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures; and The David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Long-Form Television. The documentary film category and other television category nominations were already announced by the Guild in December 2011.
All 2012 Producers Guild Award winners will be announced on January 21, 2012 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. This year, the Producers Guild will also award special honors to Leslie Moonves (Milestone Award), Steven Spielberg (David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures), Don Mischer (Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television), Stan Lee (Vanguard Award), and IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY (The Stanley Kramer Award). The 2012 Producers Guild Awards co-chairs are Paula Wagner and Michael Manheim.
The 2012 Producers Guild nominated films and television programs are listed below in alphabetical order by category, along with producers. The producers’ names listed for each nominated production are listed in alphabetical order and are not necessarily the proper order of credits.
The theatrical motion picture nominees are:
Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Producer: Thomas Langmann
Producers: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Clayton Townsend
Producers: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
Producers: Ceán Chaffin, Scott Rudin
Producers: Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus, Brunson Green
Producers: Graham King, Martin Scorsese
THE IDES OF MARCH
Producers: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Brian Oliver
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
Producers: Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg
LOS ANGELES, CA (December 13, 2011) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA), announced today that IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY will be honored with the 2012 Stanley Kramer Award. The film’s producers will be honored with the award at the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 21st at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
The Stanley Kramer Award was established in 2002 to honor a motion picture, producer or other individual, whose achievement or contribution illuminates provocative social issues in an accessible and elevating fashion. Kramer created some of the most respected and successful works in the annals of American motion pictures, with such classics as THE CAINE MUTINY, HIGH NOON, THE DEFIANT ONES, and GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER.
Creative America, the coalition formed by labor unions, guilds, studios and networks that launched in July, said today that it has kicked off awareness campaign as well as a redesigned website. The group also said the AFL-CIO, the Association of Talent Agents, …
LOS ANGELES, CA (September 21, 2011) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that producer, director, writer and Principal Partner of DreamWorks Studios Steven Spielberg will receive the 2012 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures. The award will be presented to Spielberg at the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 21st at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
The Producers Guild of America’s 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, John Lasseter and last year’s 2011 recipient Scott Rudin.
The Department of Justice said today that the Producers Guild of America’s certification system to distinguish full-on film producers from “financiers, actors, lawyers or others in the entertainment industry who may bargain for a generic producer credit in return for their services” would likely not reduce competition among producers or studios and should benefit the industry by providing transparency. The review ruling gives the guild the all-clear in regard to its system — which is voluntary — having anticompetitive effects. “We’re extremely pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice has fully endorsed the Producers Guild’s certification mark,” the PGA said in a statement. ”The DOJ’s critical decision clearly and definitively paves the way for swift adoption of the Producers’ Mark, as there should be no further resistance from the motion picture studios to participate in the ‘p.g.a.’ certification program. We stand in solidarity with our nearly 5,000 Guild members, in our belief that the entire industry benefits from recognizing producers for their work.”
Here’s the DOJ release:
WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice announced today that it will not challenge the Producers Guild of America’s proposed use of a voluntary certification system for film producers. Based on the representations made by the Guild, the department said that the proposed voluntary certification system is unlikely to reduce competition among producers or film studios for producer services and could provide clarity to the film industry and the public.
The Department of Justice’s position was stated in a business review letter to counsel for the Guild from Sharis A. Pozen, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.
With this certification, the Guild aims to distinguish those who perform what it considers to be the full range of producer’s duties on a film from those financiers, actors, lawyers or others in the entertainment industry who may bargain for a generic producer credit in return for their services. The Guild proposes using the certification “p.g.a.” after a person’s name in the work’s credits to clarify who performed the producing functions on a film as defined by the Guild’s specifications. According to the Guild, a producer who earns the “p.g.a.” certification will have been involved in all phases of development of a work, from its conceptual stage all the way through post-production and marketing.
The PGA’s third annual Produced By Conference, set for June 3-5 at Walt Disney Studios, will be held alongside the Association of Film Commissioners International’s Locations show. The event recently announced an initial roster of speakers, to which NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt has since been added. Among the topics to be discussed at the conference — chaired by Marshall Herskovitz, Gale Anne Hurd and Rachel Klein — are new media, global finance, producer/director collaboration, distribution, independent film, scripted television, reality television, digital content and brand identity. The updated schedule:
CONVERSATION: ROBERT GREENBLATT AND MARSHALL HERSKOVITZ
A one-on-one conversation with recently named Chairman of NBC Entertainment, Robert Greenblatt, about his vision for broadcast television, led by Emmy-winning® producer Marshall Herskovitz (LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS, BLOOD DIAMOND, “thirtysomething”).
LOS ANGELES (March 17, 2011) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards, honoring excellence in motion picture and television production, will take place on Saturday, January 21st, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.