April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: Producers Guild of America

Coming Soon: More Producer Credit Glut!

By ROBERT W. WELKOS
When you ask indie producer Luillo Ruiz how his recent low-budget action-comedy film Welcome to the Jungle featuring veteran martial arts star Jean-Claude Van Damme could come with 31 producer credits, his answer is simple and straightforward.
The film’s financiers were given executive producer credits, he said, while others who provided their production skills for less than what they would normally charge accepted other producer credits.
“They are not charging what they are supposed to charge but they are very passionate about bringing their skill to this film and the skills they bring to this film have a cost. That cost you should repay,” Ruiz explained by telephone from Puerto Rico, where his production company, Piemienta, is located and where the film was shot.
In the film, which came out in limited release Feb. 7 and has also been released on DVD, Van Damme plays an unhinged Marine who leads a group of unsuspecting office workers on a survival trek across a jungle-infested island when they find themselves stranded at a corporate retreat.
Ruiz said the shoot took 19 days in Puerto Rico.
According to IMDB, Welcome to the Jungle comes with two producers—Ruiz and L.A.-based Justin Kanew (“The Amazing Race”)—along with 14 executive producers, eight associate producers, four co-executive producers and three co-producers.
Welcome to the jungle, indeed.
But the Van Damme film is not an isolated case of producer credit glut.
Last year, Lee Daniels’ The Butler drew media attention apart from the drama’s strong reviews when it listed 41 producer credits.
The Producers Guild of America co-president Mark Gordon told the entertainment website The Wrap that the 41 producer credits was “a little embarrassing for everyone within our community.”
The PGA has been fighting producer credit bloat for years and now has a certification process in place to protect the integrity of the producer credit.
According to the PGA, once a producer’s work on a film is certified by the guild, the “Produced by” credit and producers name will be followed by the distinctive mark: “p.g.a.” All the major studios have signed on to the process as well as many independent producers.
In the days and weeks to come, Hollywood studios and independent distributors will be releasing all sorts of films that are crammed with producer credits. For example:
*Fifteen producer credits on IFC Films’ The Face of Love starring Robin Williams, Ed Harris and Annette Bening.
*Fourteen producer credits on A Birder’s Guide to [...]

Oscars: Get to know a Best Picture nominee: “Gravity”

“Gravity”
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Written by: Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón (reportedly with some uncredited collaboration by George Clooney as well)
Main cast members: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and Ed Harris (voice)
Number of Oscar nominations in total: 10
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Director (Cuarón), Best Actress (Bullock), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects
Notable precursor wins: Tied for Best Picture at the Producers Guild of America Awards, Won Best Director at the Directors Guild of America Awards, Won Best Director at the Golden Globe Awards, Won Best Director and Best British Film at the BAFTA Awards,
Chances at winning Best Picture: One of the top three contenders for the award and a definite co-frontrunner, if not THE frontrunner
Chances at other Academy Award wins: A sure fire win in Best Director, along with Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects, though it could legitimately win every technical award that it’s nominated for
ANALYSIS OF OTHER OSCAR NOMINEES: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity and HER.
Gravity is the fifth film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s the other main contender in the category. In fact, it’s probably got the best chance of the bunch to win. Sure, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if 12 Years a Slave took home Best Picture, and I’d be one of the few not surprised by an American Hustle win, but still…Gravity is the most likely of that trio. It tied with Hustle for the most nominations overall, has picked up some strong precursor attention, and will likely dominate the tech categories at the Oscar ceremony. That gives it a leg up on the competition for sure. It’ll likely come down to if voters are opposed to citing a science fiction film as their Best Picture winner. If they don’t mind, then this movie is probably winning the Oscar.
Working in Gravity’s favor is just how significant its wins have been and how rare a split between Best Picture and Best Director is. Alfonso Cuarón has dominated the Best Director race, so his win is a slam dunk. With the flick tied for the most nominations overall and a prime competitor for the top prize, it’ll be all too easy for Academy members to not split their ballot. It may not have won the [...]

Oscars®: Get to know a Best Picture nominee: “12 Years a Slave”

12 Years a Slave
Directed by: Steve McQueen
Written by: John Ridley
Main cast members: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, and Alfre Woodard
Number of Oscar nominations in total: Nine
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Director (McQueen), Best Actor (Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actor (Fassbender), Best Supporting Actress (Nyong’o), Best Adapted Screenplay (Ridley), Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing
Notable precursor wins: Tied for Best Picture at the Producers Guild of America Awards, won Best Drama at the Golden Globe Awards, won Best Supporting Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards and and USC Scripter Award.
Chances at winning Best Picture: One of the top three contenders and main frontrunners for the award
Chances at other Academy Award wins: Frontrunner in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay races

12 Years a Slave is the first film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s one of the main contenders in the category. The film is about the true life tale of Solomon Northrup, a free black man who was tricked into slavery and kept for the dozen years that gives the movie its name. Ever since it was announced that the film was being made, pundits like myself speculated that it was going to be an awards juggernaut. Well, it didn’t disappoint and after being the most cited flick among the precursor season, it’s now one of the most nominated films by the Academy and deep in the fight for Best Picture.
Working in 12 Years a Slave’s favor is that it is basically a universally beloved film. There might be more passionate support for other contenders, but it’s almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t think that the movie is at least very good, if not great. That creates a situation where voters are basically assured of placing it high up on their ballot. Consensus is the key to victory in this category, and this is a flick that will not want for number one votes. The question is simply if the other two main competitors (American Hustle and Gravity) can amass a wider range of Academy members to vote for them as opposed to this one.
If you’re looking for something that’s not in this film’s favor, it’s [...]

PGA Producing Workshop: “The Power of Diversity.”

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) is pleased to announce the opening of submissions for the ninth annual PGA Producing Workshop: “The Power of Diversity.” This multi-session workshop will run from May 28 through July 13 in Los Angeles, and is designed to foster the development of aspiring and seasoned producers who bring diverse perspectives to television, film and digital media.
This annual program provides ten participants with one-on-one mentoring sessions with members of the Guild’s Diversity Committee as well as master classes with some of today’s top producers. Topics are tailored to the participating producers and their projects, and will include all aspects of producing such as story development, pitching, packaging, financing, marketing and digital media.
“We’re excited to offer this unique and career-enhancing workshop to entertainment professionals,” said workshop chair Deborah Calla, who also chairs the PGA Diversity Committee. “Reflecting diverse communities through accurate and informative storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool that brings us all closer together. 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.”
Past mentors have included such top producing talent as Bruce Cohen (SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, AMERICAN BEAUTY), Mark Gordon (“Grey’s Anatomy,” SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, 2012), Marshall Herskovitz (DEFIANCE, BLOOD DIAMOND, THE LAST SAMURAI), Damon Lindelof (LOST, STAR TREK), Caryn Mandabach (“Nurse Jackie,” “That 70s Show”), Lori McCreary (INVICTUS, THE MAIDEN HEIST), Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice”), Darren Star (“Sex in the City,” “90210”), Mike Tollin (“Smallville,” “One Tree Hill”) and Ralph Winter (X-MEN, FANTASTIC 4), among many others.
Past mentees have included Ben Lobato (“The Unit,” “Justified”), Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (“Southland”), Sarah DeLio (BLESS ME, ULTIMA) and Holly Overton (“The Client List”).
“The mentors’ enthusiasm, support and feedback were crucial to my development as a working writer and aspiring producer,” said Overton. “They brought in the best producers, directors and executives in the business and have continued to foster relationships with all the workshop participants. I completed the workshop with a newfound confidence and an understanding of the various facets of producing. This amazing opportunity provided me with skills I continue to use on a daily basis.”
Submissions for the “Power of Diversity” workshop will open on March 11 and close on April 19 at midnight Pacific Time. Ten participants will be selected to take part in the workshop at no charge.
For [...]

Producers Guild of America Awards announce winners

Tonight the Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced this year’s winning motion picture and television productions at the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
In addition to the competitive awards, 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 were chaired by Michael De Luca.
The 2013 Producers Guild nominated films and television programs are listed below in alphabetical order by category, along with producers. The producers’ names for each nominated production are listed in alphabetical order and may not reflect the order of screen credits. The winners are indicated in bold and with an asterisk (*).
The theatrical motion picture nominees and winners are:
The Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:
* ARGO (Warner Bros.)
Producers: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Producers: Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey, Josh Penn
DJANGO UNCHAINED (The Weinstein Company)
Producers: Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone, Stacey Sher
LES MISÉRABLES (Universal Pictures)
Producers: Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
LIFE OF PI (Fox 2000 Pictures)
Producers: Ang Lee, Gil Netter, David Womark
LINCOLN (Touchstone Pictures)
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg
MOONRISE KINGDOM (Focus Features)
Producers: Wes Anderson & Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (The Weinstein Company)
Producers: Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon
SKYFALL (Columbia Pictures)
Producers: Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson
ZERO DARK THIRTY (Columbia Pictures)
Producers: Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Megan Ellison
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
BRAVE (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Producer: Katherine Sarafian
FRANKENWEENIE (Walt Disney Pictures)
Producers: Allison Abbate, Tim Burton
PARANORMAN (Focus Features)
Producers: Travis Knight, Arianne Sutner
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (Paramount Pictures)
Producers: Nancy Bernstein, Christina Steinberg
* WRECK-IT RALPH (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Producer: Clark Spencer
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:
A PEOPLE UNCOUNTED (Urbinder Films)
Producers: Marc Swenker, Aaron Yeger
THE GATEKEEPERS (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Estelle Fialon, Philippa Kowarsky, Dror Moreh
THE ISLAND PRESIDENT (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Producers: Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen
THE OTHER DREAM TEAM (The Film Arcade)
Producers: Marius Markevicius, Jon Weinbach
* SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn
The television nominees and winners are:
The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television:
“American Horror Story” (FX)
Producers: [...]

Can the British Academy Award Members influence the Oscar nomination results? Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, ‘Best Exotic,’ and ‘Skyfall’

Exactly two hours before I began writing up this article, the Producers Guild of America had just announced its complete list of nominees.
In the “Theatrical Motion Picture” category, one film appeared that virtually no pundit had thought to anticipate: Sam Mendes’ British-produced Skyfall. But after recently crossing the $1 billion mark worldwide, not to mention its widespread critical acclaim and seven BFCA nominations, does this really comes as that much of a surprise? Oh yes, I forgot…Skyfall is a “genre” film, which means its “Best Picture” chances would usually be at the bottom of the barrel when stacked against baitier competitors that seem destined for Oscar® upon announcement. However, it has two things going for it that critically-beloved moneymakers like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises do not: a late release closer to the pivotal Oscar® date and, most importantly, a huge chunk of support behind it in the form of the Academy’s hefty British voting bloc, who are no doubt beyond astounded by its record-breaking success, and not just for the James Bond franchise either.
Skyfall is currently the 14th highest grossing movie of all-time and the United Kingdom’s top movie earner in history, barely surpassing James Cameron’s Avatar. Not including the Harry Potter movie franchise, Skyfall is also the most successful British film (Eon Productions) ever released. With these figures and the aforementioned accolades and overall success, it may be time to not just realistically consider Skyfall for “Best Picture,” but also come to the realization that we’ve been underestimating the influential power of the Academy’s British voting bloc throughout this entire race. In addition to Skyfall, I’ll now turn your attention towards award hopefuls who have been under-the-radar all season long like Judi Dench as “M” in Skyfall, Maggie Smith in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and even John Madden’s British ensemble dramedy itself. I strongly believe these four British category contenders will receive their major boost from the crucial British voting bloc in the form of Academy Award™ nominations come the morning of January 10th. After the jump, you will see the ‘Skyfall’ category contenders in this first of a two-part article series…
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“Bully” to receive the 2013 Stanley Kramer Award

The Producers Guild of America (PGA), announced today that critically acclaimed documentary feature BULLY will be honored with the 2013 Stanley Kramer Award at the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony. Director Lee Hirsch and producer Cynthia Lowen will accept the award on Saturday, January 26 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
The Stanley Kramer Award was established in 2002 to honor a production, producer or other individual whose achievement or contribution illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues. Stanley Kramer created some of the most powerful and acclaimed works in the history of American motion pictures, including such classics as INHERIT THE WIND, ON THE BEACH, THE DEFIANT ONES, and GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER.
Previous recipients of the Stanley Kramer Award include such films as THE GREAT DEBATERS, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, HOTEL RWANDA, IN AMERICA, ANTWONE FISHER, PRECIOUS and the 2012 honoree IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY.
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PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA ANNOUNCES HONOREES FOR ‘DIGITAL V.I.P.’

The Producers Guild of America announced today the honorees for the inaugural Digital V.I.P. initiative and awards gala. Nine Visionaries, Innovators, and Producers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of digital entertainment and storytelling during the past year will be honored on April 11 in Los Angeles.
Honorees for the first-ever Digital V.I.P. are:
VISIONARIES – those who have brought forth new ideas about the creative application of technology to advance storytelling across all media.
Ø John Raatz (Founder, Board Chairman, CEO), Eckhart Tolle (Honorary Founder) and Jim Carrey (Honorary Founder) of The Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment (GATE)
Ø Bruce Sterling, multi award-winning science fiction author for his influence upon technology as it relates to storytelling and in co-founding the cyberpunk movement
INNOVATORS – those who have developed new methods or technology that enables the production of storytelling.
Ø Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Co-Founders of Instagram
Ø Bill Westenhofer, Academy Award-winning VFX supervisor for Rhythm & Hues Studios for LIFE OF PI
Ø Philip Atwell and Dylan Brown of Digital Domain for Virtual 2Pac
PRODUCERS – those who have created content whose reach, execution, and influence has advanced the audience experience.
Ø Disney Imagineering team and developers for Disney’s Cars Land
Ø Louis C.K., Emmy Award-winning stand-up comedian, writer, director, actor, and producer for his show “Louie” and re-engineering the role of artist in entertainment distribution
Ø Ben Donovan (President & Co-Founder), Danny Zappin (CEO & Co-Founder) and Lisa Donovan (GM & Co-Founder) of Maker Studios for pioneering the online multichannel network
Ø Conan O’Brien, Emmy Award-winning television host and comedian for the “Team Coco” digital experience
Mark Gordon, President of the PGA said, “Congratulations to this outstanding group of honorees. These visionaries, innovators, and producers are leading change and creativity at the intersection of entertainment and technology. We at the Producers Guild are pleased to acknowledge their contributions to our rapidly evolving digital industry, and we look forward to celebrating with them in the spring.”
Membership in the Producers Guild was not a requirement for eligibility.
The Producers Guild Digital V.I.P. Committee determined the honorees, in conjunction with Producers Guild of America President Mark Gordon and a distinguished list of Industry Advisory Board members.
Digital V.I.P. Committee members include: Co-Chairs Shawn Gold, Marc Scarpa and Chris Thomes (Producers Guild National Board, Vice President of the Producers Guild New Media Council), Laura Allen (New Media Council), Dina Benadon (Producers Guild National Board, New [...]

Michael De Luca to Produce 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards

HollywoodNews.com:The Producers Guild of America announced today that it has shifted the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony to take place on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Additionally, Producers Guild Presidents Hawk Koch and Mark Gordon announced that the 2013 awards program, which honors excellence in motion picture and television production, will be produced by Academy-Award® nominated producer Michael De Luca.
“Michael is an original, creative producer with some of the most impressive credits in the business and we’re thrilled he has accepted our invitation to produce the 2013 Producers Guild Awards show,” said Koch and Gordon. “We’re certain that with his fresh approach the Producers Guild Awards will continue to be one of the best industry awards events of the year.”
“I’m energized to help recognize this year’s most deserving creative storytellers, and I’m honored the Producers Guild has chosen me to take on this existing task. I can’t wait to get started,” said De Luca.
This past year, the PGA awarded THE ARTIST with its Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures and also paid tribute to several special individual honorees including 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 the producers of IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY (The Stanley Kramer Award).
De Luca began his career at New Line Cinema working on the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series but quickly rose to head of production there, green-lighting in short order THE MASK and DUMB AND DUMBER for an ascendant Jim Carrey. He followed those hits with successes as diverse as SEVEN, BOOGIE NIGHTS, PLEASANTVILLE, BLADE I and II, and AUSTIN POWERS I and II. He has also launched or helped advance the directing careers of some of today’s most celebrated filmmakers including David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, Jay Roach, Gary Ross, and Guillermo Del Toro. In 2003 he become head of production for DreamWorks Pictures, where he green-lit both classic Will Ferrell hits OLD SCHOOL and ANCHORMAN. Most recently De Luca produced Academy-Award® nominated films MONEYBALL and THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Additional producing credits include MAGNOLIA, AMERICAN HISTORY X, WAG THE DOG, I AM SAM, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, 21 and GHOST RIDER I and II, among others.
About the Producers Guild of America
The Producers Guild of America is the non-profit trade [...]

Producers Guild produces a few surprises with 2011 nominations – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: It’s unclear yet how many films will compete for a Best Picture trophy at this year’s Academy Awards. Rule changes eliminate the need to film 10 slots, so a fluid number of pictures could end up with nominations on Jan. 24. But it’s safe to bet that the movies that do make the cut will come from this list.
The Producers Guild of America in just revealed its l0 nominees for Producer of the Year Award. Unlike the Academy, the group stuck with a traditional 10, and found room for a few surprises. Here are their selections:
THE ARTIST
Producer: Thomas Langmann
BRIDESMAIDS
Producers: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Clayton Townsend
THE DESCENDANTS
Producers: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
Producers: Ceán Chaffin, Scott Rudin
THE HELP
Producers: Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus, Brunson Green
HUGO
Producers: Graham King, Martin Scorsese
THE IDES OF MARCH
Producers: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Brian Oliver
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
MONEYBALL
Producers: Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt
WAR HORSE
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg

Heavy hitters like “The Artist,” “The Descendants,” “War Horse” and “The Help” likely can book their ticket for the Kodak Theatre. But today’s announcements generated hope for alleged fringe players like “Moneyball,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “Bridesmaids.”
Also, quietly, George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” has received significant support from the PGA and the HFPA. Could the Academy follow their leads?
“Drive” and “Shame,” which appeared to be longshots, took a hit here, though both could be helped by the Directors Guild, who easily could honor Steve McQueen and Nicolas Winding Refn and put both films right back on the Oscar map.
In addition, the PGA revealed its nominees for Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures, which were:
THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
Producers: Peter Jackson, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg
CARS 2
Producer: Denise Ream
KUNG FU PANDA 2
Producer: Melissa Cobb
PUSS IN BOOTS
Producers: Joe M. Aguilar, Latifa Ouaou
RANGO
Producers: John B. Carls, Gore Verbinski
For a full list of this morning’s PGA nominees, click here.
Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
- Harvey Weinstein
- The cast of “The Artist.”
- Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
- Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
- Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
- Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
- David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
- [...]

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