In her capacity as vice president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and a two-term president of the Producers Guild of America, Kathleen Kennedy helped lead the way in defining what exactly it means to be a producer.
At the PGA, Kennedy spearheaded the effort to establish clear guidelines on the role of a producer and, as a result, crack down on the proliferating number of producer credits, both in film and television. In 2007, the PGA’s reformed guidelines were accepted by the Academy.
“There had never been an industry definition (of a producer), so we set about the task of defining it,” Kennedy says. “It took a long time — several years — to investigate exactly what we thought the credit, on a day-to-day basis, was for a producer. Then we had the added complication of having to create the definition for a producer in TV.”
Kennedy also steered the PGA through a significant part of its history when it merged with the American Assn. of Producers.
“When the AP Council joined the PGA, that brought about membership, that really kickstarted the guild, and people began to feel a real purpose … that it was an organization that was truly representing them,” Kennedy says.
The influx of members meant that the PGA became more of a community and social structure for producers, a role that is only increasing. The East Coast branch of the PGA has grown substantially in recent years, and branches are starting to spring up around the world, in such places as India, England and Spain.