Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thank You Producers Guild of America

I'm not in the Producers Guild of America yet but I want to thank them for their efforts to certify producer credits. All too often inexperienced people or those wanting the credit without doing the work want to lay claim to the full Producer credit. It's not fair and actually puts the picture at risk.

A producer credit tells the world this person has the know-how to make proper decisions on a project. If that isn't the case, he or she could be leading the project down a very dangerous path. It also implies that everyone with the credit contributed equally and when that isn't the case, it is extremely discouraging and unfair for the producer who did the most of the work. Why should a producer feel discouraged and be treated unfairly? It doesn't need to happen.

Here's a good article from the Hollywood Reporter, highlighting the PGA efforts: "The Producer Guild of America Moves to Certify Films' Producing Credits."

I think it's great that people with something to offer a film want to be part of a project but that doesn't automatically entitle them to a producer credit. I don't ask for a directing or writing credit for helping to develop the story and offer creative suggestions, nor do I ask for an acting credit because my relationship with the actor or manager resulted in the actor's commitment to the project.

Therefore, why should a director or writer secure a full producer credit for periodically supporting the producing process and why should an actor get a full producer credit because his or her involvement helped trigger the financing? There are a few other producing credits that could acknowledge these efforts.

I can guarantee that the producer will help the director and actor do his or her job better just as a director and actor can help make a producer's job easier. I don't see why the full producer credit should be an option as a "thank you" to anyone who helped the producing process. It should be deserved by equal efforts.

Personally, I love producing partners. I want the help. I want someone else to lean on. But I also want them to do as much as me if they are getting the same credit. Makes sense, right?

Producing is a 24/7, day-to-day responsibility that involves a million tasks. If a director or actor or investor is truly part of this 24/7 producing process then they should absolutely get a producing credit. If they aren't then they should be happy with their own credit and perhaps get a different kind of producer credit (like associate, co- or executive) and let the producer(s) get the recognition they truly deserve with the full producer credit.

Producing is a TON of work and having those efforts diluted by those not contributing to the same degree is just plain wrong. So thanks PGA!