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PGA Credits Certification Gains Momentum with 150 Movies

The Producers Guild of America’s longstanding campaign to get rid of undeserved credits has gained plenty of traction with its PGA certification mark on 150 movies — triple what it was a year ago.

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 Producers Mark — a lower-case “p.g.a.” after a certified producer’s name — was first used on “Lawless” when it screened in May, 2012, at Cannes.

The mark received a major boost over the following year as the six majors — Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros. — agreed to the PGA’s process, aimed at protecting the integrity of the role of the producer by ascertaining who actually performed the producing duties on a film.

When Disney, Paramount and Warners signed last July, the number of films with the Prodcuers Mark was about 50.

Upcoming titles with PGA certification include “A Most Violent Year,” starring Jessica Chastain, from Participant Media; “1:30 Train” from Wonderland Sound and Vision; Jon Stewart’s directorial debut “Rose Water” from OddLot Entertainment; Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” from Universal; and Ron Howard’s “Heart of the Sea,” starring Chris Hemsworth, from Warner Bros.

“We are starting to see producers self-monitoring their own credit, for example, voluntarily changing their credit from ‘Producer’ to ‘Executive Producer’ based on the actual workload that they contributed to a film,” said PGA exec director Vance Van Petten. “This shows the success of The Producers Mark and how it’s becoming standard procedure in the industry.”

Van Petten said the PGA receives at least one submission daily with producers notifying the organization at the start of post-production. There are more producers on movies generally because independent titles need more producers to get completed.

The PGA, which has 5,700 members, unveiled the producers mark concept in October 2010 with 144 notable producers endorsing the concept. 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. The 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 guild held its first credit arbitrations in 2001, promulgated the 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.

The PGA is holding its 6th annual Produced By conference this weekend at Warner Bros.

 

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