The spacious 20th Century Fox lot was the home this weekend for the 5th annual Produced By Conference. After having the gratis Don Francisco Coffee and the Kind snacks offered, I hurried on down to the Zanack theatre where I had the pleasure of hearing the ever funny producer Mark Gordon moderate the first session "The Real Deal: Producers who Direct and Directors Who Produce." On the panel were Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Roland Emmerich (White House Down) who taught us that a producer/director is a power unto themselves. "It's an unusual person that can do both, but you both have to be on the same page visually to have a successful film." It depends if you are doing TV or film on where you fall in the power scale. "It's all about power and who calls the shots."
One of the more popular sessions was the one "Hit the Ground Showrunning" featuring Marshall Herskovitz (Blood Diamond) as moderator, Darlene Hunt (Big C), Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) Beau Williams (House of Cards) and Jason Katims (Parenthood.) There we learned that alternative channels exist for shows and that venues, like Netflix, are looking for content. Showrunning is probably the most demanding job there is of all producing because you are not only liaison with the network, but you are in charge of the casting actors, choosing and being in line with the director, making sure the story runs smoothly and with proper character arcs and sometimes, you have to deal with sponsors, as well.
Three very popular sessions were the conversations with JJ Abrams, Mark Burnett, and Jerry Bruckheimer. All three were packed. Reginald Hudlin moderated with JJ, who told us that film was not dead and he preferred shooting in film to working with digital. National Executive Director of the PGA, Vance Van Petten moderated Mark Burnett who were learned is now getting into scripted, as well. His Bible series was one of the most popular programs ever seen. Pete Hammond from Deadline Hollywood spoke with Jerry who showed us clips for the exciting forthcoming Lone Ranger and talked about how hard it was, at times, to deal with studios. "Producing looks so easy , but it's much more difficult than you know. You're working all the time, making what you do matter." At times, it has taken him four years and more to bring a project to the screen, whereas TV is quicker, but also can get cut down just as quickly.
An educational forum conducted by award winning producers, the goal of the weekend was to educate the upcoming producers. With more than 25 different conference sessions, mentoring round tables, and social events, it was a hard choice on what to attend but all were designed to give important career tools assisting producers to compete in a very competitive market.
Sponsors and Digital Exhibitors include 20th Century Fox, Delta Airlines, GMC - General Motors Company, PRG - Production Resource Group, ARRI, Quebec Film and Television Council, EP Financial Solutions, MPG worldwide motion picture group, Technicolor, Kodak motion picture film, Microsoft, KOCCA - Korea Creative Content Agency, Honolulu Film Office, Prime Focus, Hulu, Starbreeze Studio , Kawaski, Steeltown Entertainment Project, Piksik - Film Production in Alaska, Abu Dhabi Film Commission, Film In Florida, Adobe, CES - Global State for Innovation, Anchorage Film Commission, Film Victoria Australia, SIM Digital, SAG/INDIE. TODD/SOUNDELUX, SAG-AFTRA ONE UNION , Sony Electronics, Sony Media Cloud Services, Film LA.Inc, Illinois Film Office, Method Studios, Film Ventura, California, Background Images, Smart Source, CRE Rentals, Les Duex Chats, Duke of Bourbon, Heineken,Coca-Cola, Don Franciso's Coffee, Blagden, Kind Healthy Snacks, Kira's Kiss Desserts, Inception, Arizona Ice Teas, Keever Vineyars and Zaca Mesa Winery and Vineyards.
Media Partners included Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Deadline Hollywood, The Wrap, Infolist, AWD - Alliance of Women Directors, SAG-AFTRA. Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, ICG Magazine, Creative Handbook, Box Office, Playback, LA 411, New Filmmakers, P3 Update, Indiewire, WIF - Women in Film, Women in Film and Television Vancouver, Production HUB, NYWIFT - New York Women in Film and Television, Tubefilter, Markee 2.0, Dances With Films, and AFCI - Association of Film Commisioners International.
The PGA (Producers Guild of America), a non-profit trade group, protects, promotes and safeguards the interests of the producing team in film television and now new media. Working together, the PGA provides it's members with employment opportunities, health benefits , education, advocacy and sustaining fair practice trade.