Last Holdouts Disney, Warners and Paramount Adopt the Producers Mark

Hawk Koch, left, and Mark Gordon
Hawk Koch, left, and Mark Gordon
 Charley Gallay/Getty Images; Courtesy of Subject

Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures and Paramount Pictures have all concluded agreements with the Producers Guild of America to use the Producers Mark certification “p.g.a.” on all their films moving forward.

The deals, completed over the past few days, signal a major turning point in the adoption of the Producers Mark. All six major studios are now on board since Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox Film Corp. had earlier agreed to the practice.

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The mark -- the lower case letters “p.g.a” following a producer’s name in a film’s credits -- certifies that that producer has actually done the majority of the work of producing the movie. Over the past two and a half years, the PGA has made winning studio approval of the practice one of its major initiatives.

The mark has appeared on nearly 50 films to date. Disney inaugurated its use of the mark with its recent releases Monsters University, on which Kori Rae receives the designation, and The Lone Ranger, on which the names of producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski (who also directed the film) are followed by the “p.g.a.”.

“We set out to change the culture and to give respect back to the producer. We’ve worked really hard for this, and we are proud all the studios have signed on,” said Hawk Koch, who has been on leave as co-president of the PGA while serving as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (He returns to his PGA post July 30 when his term at the Academy ends.)

Mark Gordon, who also serves as PGA co-president, expanded on that thought, saying, “The studios came to the conclusion that, putting their business point of view aside, this was the right thing to do. And ultimately there is something in it for all of us. By our changing the culture in a positive way, there are benefits for the studios, too, when they get requests for producing credits.”

Studios and other distributors are still free to award producing credits as they see fit. Producers seeking the added “p.g.a.” designation must request that the PGA certify that they fulfilled a significant number of their film’s producing functions as described in the PGA’s Producers Code of Credits. Producers need not be members of the PGA to apply for the mark, and there is no limit on the number of producers who can be certified on a single film.

The 5,700-member PGA initially developed its producers code as a way of determining which producers on a film should be eligible for its PGA Awards -- preferring to honor producers who tackled all aspects of the job rather than those who earned a producing credit simply because they brought financing or talent to a movie.

The AMPAS also has adopted the PGA’s recommendations in deciding which producers should be designated as the nominees for any movie nominated for best picture. In effect, producers receiving the "p.g.a." mark will now also be recognized by both the PGA and the Academy for any potential awards consideration.

Gordon and Koch credited Vance Van Petten, national executive director of the PGA, and past PGA presidents Marshall Herskovitz and Kathleen Kennedy for promoting the concept of the mark.

Van Petten said a key factor in the studios’ willingness to come on board was an August 2011 review by the U.S. Department of Justice that found the certification system voluntary and not a violation of antitrust laws. “That was the turning point for us,” Van Petten said Wednesday.

The mark began appearing in film credits last fall on such titles as The Weinstein Co.'s Lawless and Silver Linings Playbook. By November, Universal, Sony and Fox had agreed to adopt the practice. DreamWorks Animation signed up after that, and in early 2013, DreamWorks joined as well.

A list of films on which producers have received the "p.g.a." mark follows:

47 Ronin
All Is Lost
Apparitional
Battle of the Year
Black Nativity
Blood Brother
Carrie
Catskill Park
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
The Croods
Dark Skies
The Delivery Man
Devil's Due
Echo
Epic
Fast & Furious 6
Generation Iron
Ghosts of the Pacific
In The Blood
Informant
Insidious: Chapter 2
Lawless
The Lone Ranger
Lonely Boy
The Magic of Belle Isle
Mercy
Monsters University
The Olyer House: Richard Neutra's Desert Retreat
Planes
Plush
The Purge
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
R.I.P.D.
Rise of the Guardians
Saving Mr. Banks
Scribble
Silver Linings Playbook
The Sisterhood of Night
Smurfs 2
Space Station 76
Thor: The Dark World
The Time Being
Turbo
We Are What We Are
White House Down
Why We Ride
Wicked Blood

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