The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced that its second annual Produced by Conference, held June 4–6, 2010 at 20th Century Fox Studios, attracted more than 1,100 attendees.
The groundbreaking event included panel sessions, roundtable discussions, workshops and exhibits with participation from film, television and new media producers and entertainment industry professionals. In addition to the Conference's invaluable educational resources and endless networking opportunities, the featured speakers were the main attraction as there were over 100 industry veterans participating, such as Jon Landau, Ted Turner, Mark Cuban, Larry Gordon, Bruce Cohen, James L. Brooks, Paula Wagner, Marshall Herskovitz and Mark Gordon.
"The Golden Age of Scripted Television" session provided insight from high-end television producers on how television programs are changing. It was reported that audiences are steering away from traditional network television and moving towards social networking sites and the Internet in general as a result of demands for more immediate content. "It's like a monster that can't be fed quick enough," said Producer Alan Ball. "It's so different than it used to be, and we have to migrate to where the audience is going. It's a new and exciting playground."
The "Conversation" session with Ted Turner drew a big crowd as Turner conveyed the message that we're spending too much money on war and weapons when it needs to be redirected to education and welfare. When asked what he would do if he were to start a company today with all his knowledge, Turner responded, "If I was going to go into business now, I would do what I'm doing now: create alternative energy." He further explained his efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons and bombs, and how we should focus on taking care of the environment in regards to global warming, clean air and more. "Life may be hard, but it's not bad," he said. "If we blow the world up, then we're really going to be sorry. Good planets are hard to find."
A panel discussion on "Technotainment: Producing and Delivering Digital Content" covered digital content and original programming issues. "There are no rules; it's a new frontier," said Jeffrey Frost, executive VP of business affairs at Sony Pictures Television. It was also reported that the future is in digital and all networks are gravitating towards involvement, and there will be great oppor tunities for people who embrace this new medium. "There are big oppor tunities in the digital space right now," added Chris M. Williams, general manager at The Walt Disney Company's T180 Studios. When asked about shooting for digital distribution, Williams replied, "You know you're going to shoot it in HD."
The session on "3D Stereoscopic Storytelling" included discussions on the migration to 3D, since most television sets and even mobile devices will soon be 3D-compatible. "I think we are going to see all our content in 3D — from cell phones to TV," said Producer Jon Landau. "It's a window into a world and another creative tool for us to work with."
PGA leaders hosted "Breakfast with the Film Commissioners," which was co-sponsored by Cast & Crew Entertainment Services. Film offices participating in the Conference included Florida, Kentucky, U.S. Virgin Islands, West Virginia, Wyoming, Québec Film and Television Council, Irish Film Board, Film Victoria Australia, Film Nova Scotia, Honolulu Film Office, Screen NSW, Oklahoma Film & Music Office and FilmL.A., Inc., to name a few.
A variety of companies –– from location services to equipment manufacturers to legal services –– exhibited at the Conference this year, and all gave rave reviews. Baseline, Inc. Account Executive Anthony Pinga explained the wide array of business intelligence services that are offered by the company, which is a part of the New York Times Company. Services range from the Studio System designed to minimize long hours of research by providing access to up-to-date industry intelligence to box-office and financial information, scouting services and much more. And Breakdown Services, Ltd. Is helping Hollywood to go green with Eco-Cast, a new innovative online technology that offers groundbreaking services to the industry while helping to save the environment.
"We really found it to be a wonderful weekend and a great oppor tunity to meet face to face with so many of our clients," said Ron Cogan of Entertainment Partners (EP). "We sponsored a lively Production Incentives panel in the Fox commissary on Saturday morning, moderated by our renowned incentives expert Joe Chianese and featuring some of the industry's most knowledgeable professionals in the field, [including] Stonehenge Capital Company, LLC President Thomas Adamek; RKO Pictures President Andrew Matthews; Vice President of Overture Films Bryan Yaconelli; [and] Director of Physical Production [at] Mandate Pictures Jennie Yamaki.
"Our Saturday afternoon workshop, 'Pragmatic Budgeting,' was a big hit with PGA's fall 2009 Featured Producer, UPM Stephen Marinaccio, and our Manager of Product Sales Caitlin Bogert offering insightful, practical budgeting tips," reported Cogan. "This sent a number of attendees over to our exhibitor booth to learn more about our latest Movie Magic release, Movie Magic Budgeting 7.0, which tied the weekend together with its new emphasis on production incentives and its 'apply credit' features." According to Cogan, there was much interest in the new Movie Magic Scheduling 5.0 as well, and everyone was very enthusiastic about their return to the Movie Magic banner.
"Overall, whether it was through our EP Payroll and Residuals processing, Central Casting, the Movie Magic brand of software or our EP Incentives Solutions, we were delighted to see how many members of the entertainment community who partner with us to get their jobs done braved a blazing L.A. sun to come say hello," Cogan added, "although, the assorted swag and homemade chocolate chip cookies at our booth probably didn't hurt either."
Over at the Sweetwater Digital Productions booth, which promoted a 53-foot HD truck and a variety of digital video products, Michael Fellner of Fellpro Productions, a full-production resource for television, said he was very happy with the outcome of the Conference. And Jim Robertson of Doddle, created by Mobile Imagination, LLC, hosted the company's booth with products that include a handy iPhone app to help you better communicate and manage while scouting for locations and working in the field.
Technicolor Creative Services division, headed by Joe Berchtold, was on hand to exhibit its long list of services, including film services, film processing, release and trailer format printing, international versioning and subtitling, anti-piracy and security services, on-location postproduction services, dailies, digital intermediates, sound post, feature mastering and encoding, digital cinema, distribution of 3D glasses, and much more.
Rob Runge of RUNGE International, LLC proudly explained how his company is an Air Charter Broker that offers extensive experience in the Aviation Charter Industry. As an Aviation Charter Broker, they're not limited to just their own fleet of aircraft and have access to an extensive network of airlines of all types and sizes throughout the world.
At the OSRAM SYLVANIA booth, Marketing Communications Manager Christine Buckley promoted material on the company's lighting products. The OSRAM KREIOS (a registered trademark of OSRAM GmbH) LED Lighting System offers a powerful light source for the entertainment/studio industry. The company claims the latest advancements in high brightness LEDs, in combination with Remote Phosphor Technology, provide a tungsten and daylight while light solution for existing or new entertainment fixtures.
The Tactical Media Group booth was by far the most entertaining at the Conference. "The Produced By Conference was a fantastic experience for us on two fronts: One, it gave us a chance to interface with some of the biggest and brightest in the industry who may not have known about us before," said Tactical Media Group CEO/Owner Jon Barton. "And two, we had a great time watching everyone play with all the guns we brought! [It was] truly a unique opportunity and we were glad to be part of it this year!" With its team of military and stunt professionals (outfitted in full-combat gear), the group of entertainment industry professionals are dedicated to the production, completion and technical accuracy of the next generation of military and tactical action projects. "I'm hopeful that we were able to shed some light on the effectiveness of Tactical Media Group and the quality that we are able to bring to any production," said Tactical Media Group Director/Writer/Producer Brett Lynch. "Just being invited to the Produced By Conference has to show some credit to our growing relationship with some of the industry's biggest players."
With a collaboration of producers, educational panels and companies exhibiting products, services and locations, there's no question that this Produced By Conference has made its mark on the entertainment industry for years to come.