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Walt Disney Studios is in the final stages of negotiations with the Producers Guild of America to adopt the Producers Mark, the PGA’s sign that a credited producer actually has done the work of producing a given movie.
The mark is represented by the lower case letters p.g.a. following a producer’s name. And the PGA has made winning studio approval of the practice one of its major initiatives. According to sources familiar with the discussions, Alan Horn, who took over as chairman of the studio in June 2012, has supported adopting the mark.
With Disney agreeing to use the mark, Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures are the remaining studios that have not yet adopted the practice, but talks with those studios are ongoing, and they are expected to eventually come on board.
The mark began appearing in film credits for the first time in the fall on such titles as The Weinstein Co.’s Lawless and Silver Linings Playbook. By November, several studios — Universal, Sony and Fox — had agreed to adopt the practice. DreamWorks Animation next came on board, and in early 2013, DreamWorks joined as well. While the companies involved have agreed to participate in the process, the mark itself is added to a film only when an individual producer voluntary requests it and offers evidence of his work.
The PGA, a trade organization representing more than 5,600 producers in film and TV, long has sought to raise the status of working producers by insisting that their contributions to a film receive proper credit. The mark was devised to distinguish working producers from others – like financiers or managers – who might contractually receive a producing credit on a film even though they did not actually perform the functions of a producer during preproduction, principal photography or post.
To receive the Producers Mark, during postproduction a studio or production company submits a film’s credits to the PGA, which then asks eligible producers to fill out a form describing their functions on the film. A PGA panel of established producers, using that information as well as third-party verification, then decides which producers rate a p.g.a. designation for their contributions to the film. The process was developed out of that used by the PGA to determine which producers are eligible for awards consideration for PGA Awards and Academy Awards.
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