The Producers Guild of America has waged a ten-year campaign to get the six major studios to adopt their “Producers Mark” on their films. It’s a Seal of Approval showing that the credited producers on the film meet the strict criteria set by the PGA. And they finally got all six studios to sign up to implement the on-screen “p.g.a.” credit and certification.
According to three officers at the PGA, president Mark Gordon, president on leave Hawk Koch, and National Director Vance Van Petten, over the past 2 1/2 years they have each approached the studios, one by one. The first two studio executives to sign on were Universal Pictures’ Ron Meyer and Sony Pictures’ Michael Lynton, followed by Twentieth Century Fox and, this week, the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Pictures and Paramount Pictures. Gordon, Koch and Van Petten say the negotiations with studio heads, attorneys and labor relations took time.
“Any change is hard,” says Gordon during a phone interview with Koch and Van Petten. “Any time you have a group pf separate companies all of whom have business practices that have been in effect forever, we believe that ultimately it came down to, not from a business perspective, ‘what’s in it for us,’ but ‘what is the right thing to do.'”
Adds Koch: “For a long time a lot of people have taken producer credits who didn’t really produce the movie. We put together a code of credits, a set of criteria, for the Oscars, Golden Globes, Producers Guild Awards and BAFTAs. They all used the PGA to determine who produced. The next level is not waiting for awards seasons to the let the business and public know who did the majority of the work.”
The studios worked closely with them to define clearly the job descriptions, adds Van Petten, who thinks the seal of approval next to a producers name will help in future hiring of producers who know how to produce a film.
The U.S. Department of Justice was fine with the PGA mission as long as they approached the studios one at a time. Fifty films so far carry the “p.g.a.” certification, from independent and animated to major studio films.
The PGA regards establishing the “Produced by” credit certification as important in protecting the integrity of the producer’s role on a movie. Once a producer’s work on a film is certified by the PGA, the ‘Produced by’ credit and producer’s name will be followed by the distinctive mark: p.g.a.”
Koch will re-join Gordon as co-president of the Producers Guild of America on July 30th, 2013 when his term as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expires.
More details on the jump:
The Producers Mark certifies authenticity, not membership. A producer need not be a member of the PGA to be eligible for certification. The Producers Mark consists of the acronym of the Producers Guild of America, in lowercase letters separated by periods: “p.g.a.” However, the Producers Mark is, specifically, a certification mark, and simply indicates that the credited producer performed a majority of the producing duties on the film.
The Producers Mark is given only to producers who request it and are certified through the PGA’s process, and may be used only with respect to the film for which the certification was given. At present, the Producers Mark certification program does not include television or new media productions. Studios can continue to recognize other individuals with the “Produced by” credit as they deem appropriate, even if such producers have not sought, or have been denied, permission to use the certification mark.
The process for acquiring a “p.g.a.” certification is comparable to the arbitration process implemented by the PGA during awards season, only with a quicker turnaround time. Studios will provide a Notice of Producing Credits to the PGA upon the commencement of post-production. The certification is modeled on the guidelines established by the Producers Code of Credits (PCOC) that was initiated in 2004 and is accepted industry-wide.
The Producers Mark does NOT:
Control the “Produced by” credit. Studios and distributors remain free to assign the credit to whomever they wish.
Rely solely on the input of the Guild and its members. Non-Guild members are eligible both to receive the Producers Mark and to serve on panels to determine the certification of a given film’s credits.
Confer any compensation on producers who receive it.
Exclude directors, writers, actors or others who may have performed additional duties on a film beyond serving in a producing capacity.