Disney, Warner Brothers, and Paramount have signed onto the Producer's Guild of America's guidelines, thus meaning all of Hollywood's major studios are now signed on.
Now you're probably sitting at your computer, furrowing your brow in a feeble attempt to understand what I'm talking about, so I'll do a little explaining.
The title "producer" is the most heavily abused bit of vocational nomenclature in the movie business. There are many different kinds of producer, and the definition of the title is vague enough to drop on people like confetti at a parade.
You see a director is traditionally thought of as the person who makes a film, however, it is the producer who gets the film made.
You see while the director is off directing, it is the job of the producers to arrange the financing, they make sure that the budgets and schedules are kept to, and that all the resources needed to make a film are available and ready to use.
However, that's what a real producer does.
But not all producers are created equal because it's really easy to get a producer's credit whether you actually do any producing or not.
|Artist's conception of a Producer at work|
A producer could be an investor, someone who introduced the studio to investors, a movie star's manager who gets a credit as part of the star's contract, or is the nephew of the studio boss because his sister's bugging him to help the kid get something on his resume other than "surfer dude."
Now this is a real hindrance when it comes to dispensing royalties, and awards. When a movie wins Best Picture at the Oscars you can see up to seventeen people all claiming to be the producer.
That's where these new guidelines come in.
Basically, if you're the real producer who did all the work, you will get a little "p.g.a." next to your name, whether you are a member of the guild or not. It just means that you meet their guidelines for being a real producer and not just a name in the credits.
Personally, I hope this works.
Clearing up the mishegaas over producers and producing might be the first baby step the industry needs to start acting like a real business.
I'm not saying that there isn't a way to screw it up, Hollywood is great at finding them, I'm just going to wish them lots of luck on making it work.