Producers' Mark

Mouse House joins Fox, Sony, Universal and Weinstein Co.

The Producers Guild of America’s plan to certify film credits is gaining traction with Disney in final talks to be the fifth  major film company to agree to the voluntary process.

The Weinstein Co. was the first to agree to use of the Producers Mark — a lower-case “p.g.a.” after a certified producer’s name — on its prohibition era drama “Lawless” when it screened last May at Cannes. The process received a major boost in November when Fox, Sony and Universal signed off on agreements.

Additionally, Warner Bros. is in negotiations with the PGA over coming on board but those talks are not at the conclusive stage.

The mark has been used on more than 20 titles including “Fast and Furious 6,” “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Magic of Belle Isle,” “Lonely Boy,” “Rise of Guardians” and “The Croods.”

Prominent upcoming titles include Universal’s “R.I.P.D.” for Neal H. Moritz; Fox Searchlight’s “The Way, Way Back” for Kevin J. Walsh and Tom Rice; Lionsgate’s “All Is Lost” for Neal Dodson and Anna Gerb; Dimension’s “Dark Skies” for Jason Blum; “Plush,” for Blum, Catherine Hardwicke and Sherryl Clark; and Universal’s “The Purge” for Blum, Sebastian K. Lemercier and Brad Fuller.

The PGA, which has more than 5,600 members, unveiled the producers mark concept in October 2010. More than 150 notable producers endorsed the mark to protect the integrity of the role of producer. To receive it, a producer’s work must be vetted and certified through the PGA’s arbitration process.

Producers don’t have to be a member of the PGA to be eligible to receive the certification, which is only given to producers who request it.

The PGA’s Code of Credits spells out the qualifications for those eligible to receive the “produced by” credit for features and executive producer credit for TV. The code attaches specific weights to producer functions — 35% for development, 20% for pre-production, 20% for production and 25% for post-production and marketing — and includes job descriptions, guidelines and rules intended to help resolve credit disputes and protect the integrity of the “produced by” credit in features and exec producer credit in TV. The PGA code requires that a person must have had substantial involvement adding up to a majority of those functions to qualify for the PGA credit.

The PGA has emphasized that the PGA’s mark does not govern who can receive a “produced by” credit on a pic with studios and distributors remain free to assign that credit to whomever they wish.

The PGA has made reining in the volume of producer credits its signature issue since the 1998 Oscar ceremony, where five producers were credited for best-picture winner “Shakespeare in Love.” The org held its first credit arbitrations in 2001, promulgated a Code of Credits in 2004 and gained traction in 2005 when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced that the PGA’s credit determination process would be the one it uses as a guideline on best picture nominations.

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