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PGA Putting Its “Mark” on New Releases

With Walt Disney Studios close to signing a deal to adopt the Producers Guild of America’s “Producers Mark” for inclusion in all its film credits, the PGA is closing in on organizing all the major studio distributors after just two and a half years of campaigning. Only Warner Bros. and Paramount don’t have a deal in sight, but negotiations continue and are expected to come to fruition.

The mark, a concept first unveiled in an open letter from 145 Hollywood producers in October 2010, affords a special designation to producers who are deemed to have actively produced a film.

With the new mark, the letters “p.g.a.” appearing after a producer’s name in a movie’s credits are meant to distinguish him or her from producers “in title only.” Inside jokes abound in Hollywood about producer titles being handed out as favors or vanity stamps or simply as currency in exchange for financial support. That turned out to be a problem for the producers actually doing the work of, well, producing. Putting the project elements together, developing the script, tracking the budget, reporting out to the studio and putting out a host of fires daily… the value of that work was being diluted by all those extra credits.

The PGA is quick to point out that one doesn’t have to be a guild member to be graced with the Producers Mark distinction: the first “p.g.a.” credits appeared on The Magic of Bell Isle, with two PGA members (Lori McCreary and Alan Griesman) and one non-member (Rob Reiner) being named certified producers. The Weinstein Company, while not having signed any agreements yet, got in on the concept early, distributing the second film to use the “p.g.a.” mark (Lawless, which identified two out of four producers as certified) and also utilizing the credit on its Oscar nominated Silver Linings Playbook in late 2012.

“Make no mistake: The Producers Mark is going to be a regular feature on movie screens going forward,” said the guild in a recent issue of its Produced By Magazine. “As the first new screen credit in a generation, it’s important for readers of this magazine and members of the producing community to learn what the Producers Mark means, how it came to be, and most important: how to qualify for and receive the Producers Mark on their own credits.”

PGA’s Produced By Conference Set for Next June at Fox

The Producers Guild of America will hold its fifth annual Produced By Conference June 8-9 of next year, the guild has announced. The yearly confab became an instant hit with major Hollywood players, many of whom are PGA members, when it first launched in 2009. In just a handful of years, it’s become a must-attend event for producers and studio types still in town for the summer.

Next year’s event will be hosted by 20th Century Fox Studios and be chaired by Producers Guild President Emeritus Marshall Herskovitz (Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai), Gary Lucchesi (The Lincoln Lawyer, Million Dollar Baby), Tracey Edmonds (Good Luck Chuck, Soul Food) and Rachel Klein (Payday: The Heist).

Full press release from the PGA here.

PGA Walk To Honor Laura Ziskin, Benefit Stand Up To Cancer

Logo Producers Guild of AmericaThe Producers Guild of America tomorrow will honor the late producer and studio executive Laura Ziskin with a walk-a-thon benefiting the organization she co-founded, Stand Up To Cancer, as well as the PGA Foundation. The walk is “a tribute to Ziskin’s work in the industry and her humanitarian efforts in working to shape a patient-centric vision for cancer treatment.” The event is timed to take place on the birthday of the legendary producer, who died last year after a battle with breast cancer.

PGA Executive Director Vance Van Petten will be on hand tomorrow to share stories and quotes from Ziskin, along with her surviving husband and daughter, who will participate in the walk.

“Laura was the heart and soul of Stand Up To Cancer,” said organization co-founder Sherry Lansing at the time of her death last June. “She dreamed big, and attacked every challenge with creativity, passion, perseverance and intelligence.”

“Laura was one of the most courageous people I’ve ever known,” said Katie Couric, another co-founder. “Her fearlessness in the face of this relentless killer inspires everyone on the SU2C team to redouble our efforts to make cancer history.”

Ziskin began her storied producing career with critical successes Murphy’s Romance and No Way Out in the 1980’s, before moving to an executive role on the breakout hit Pretty Woman for Touchstone. After scoring more successes with What About Bob? and Gus Van Sant’s To Die For, Ziskin was appointed first president of newly formed Fox 2000, where she shepherded such projects as Courage Under Fire, One Fine Day and the Oscar-nominated As Good as It Gets.

After moving to Columbia Pictures, Ziskin produced megahit franchise builder Spider-Man, and went on to produce two sequels for Columbia, breaking box office records along the way. She was at work on the reboot The Amazing Spider-Man at the time of her death.

The walk-a-thon, which is open to Producers Guild members and the general public, is a 5K (3.1 miles) over a mix of paved walkway and grass. Continental breakfast for the event will be provided by Doughboys.

Cheviot Hills Park
2551 Motor Ave.
Los Angeles, California  90064

Registration: 9am
Walk begins: 10am
Registration Fee: $35

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