PGA Putting Its “Mark” on New Releases

With Walt Disney Studios close to signing a deal to adopt the Producers Guild of America’s “Producers Mark” for inclusion in all its film credits, the PGA is closing in on organizing all the major studio distributors after just two and a half years of campaigning. Only Warner Bros. and Paramount don’t have a deal in sight, but negotiations continue and are expected to come to fruition.

The mark, a concept first unveiled in an open letter from 145 Hollywood producers in October 2010, affords a special designation to producers who are deemed to have actively produced a film.

With the new mark, the letters “p.g.a.” appearing after a producer’s name in a movie’s credits are meant to distinguish him or her from producers “in title only.” Inside jokes abound in Hollywood about producer titles being handed out as favors or vanity stamps or simply as currency in exchange for financial support. That turned out to be a problem for the producers actually doing the work of, well, producing. Putting the project elements together, developing the script, tracking the budget, reporting out to the studio and putting out a host of fires daily… the value of that work was being diluted by all those extra credits.

The PGA is quick to point out that one doesn’t have to be a guild member to be graced with the Producers Mark distinction: the first “p.g.a.” credits appeared on The Magic of Bell Isle, with two PGA members (Lori McCreary and Alan Griesman) and one non-member (Rob Reiner) being named certified producers. The Weinstein Company, while not having signed any agreements yet, got in on the concept early, distributing the second film to use the “p.g.a.” mark (Lawless, which identified two out of four producers as certified) and also utilizing the credit on its Oscar nominated Silver Linings Playbook in late 2012.

“Make no mistake: The Producers Mark is going to be a regular feature on movie screens going forward,” said the guild in a recent issue of its Produced By Magazine. “As the first new screen credit in a generation, it’s important for readers of this magazine and members of the producing community to learn what the Producers Mark means, how it came to be, and most important: how to qualify for and receive the Producers Mark on their own credits.”

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