Producers guild to embrace Web counterparts

Levey named new-media committee boss

The Producers Guild of America is looking to open its doors to producers of programming for the Web.

Marc Levey, head of production at Web design shop Dream Theater (“The Sixth Sense,” “The Sixth Day”), has been tapped chairman of the org’s newly formed new-media committee.

Levey will work with guild prexy Thom Mount and executive director Vance Van Petten to amend the PGA’s constitution and hammer out a standard for accepting Web producers.

Currently, no standards or definitions of roles exist for Internet producers, with guild entree limited to television and film producers who have at least two full-length features or 13 half-hour or six one-hour TV episodes to their credit.

PGA members receive health benefits, pension plans and discounted car leases, among other offerings. The same perks will be offered to Web producers once they are admitted.

Additionally, Levey will explore ways to protect the rights of interactive producers when inking contracts with Web programming distributors.

“The roles between television and feature producers are different,” Levey said. “The same is true on the Internet. Do Internet producers need to be protected? I think the answer is yes.”

“Our members realize we have to address this area,” Van Petten said. “It’s crucial. There’s been such a clamoring for it. Our mandate currently does not allow Internet producers into the guild, and that needs to change as this space grows.”

Van Petten said the guild hopes to have a working definition of an Internet producer included in its constitution within a few months and “certainly before the end of the year.”

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