Did you know that Producers Guild membership stands at more than 8,500 people?
For over the last 70 years, the Producers Guild of America has been an advocate for entertainment professionals with tremendous benefits for those who join it.
In this post, we’ll explain what the PGA is, who can join – and most importantly – what those tremendous benefits are. And if you think PGA membership is out of reach just because you’re not a producer, think again!
Membership is open to many different parts of a producing team, so read on to see if you too might be eligible.
The Producers Guild of America, or PGA, is a trade association comprising those working in a producing capacity in film, television and new media.
Jennifer Lynne Jorgenson was invited to the PGA after working on the hit show Top Chef. Listen to her experience of working as a production assistant for three days before snagging an associate producer role.
This industry body serves to protect its members’ interests, including but not limited to job training and placement, working conditions, producing credits, health benefits, and general welfare.
Naturally, those with the title of “producer” are eligible for Producers Guild membership. However, they are just a segment of the individuals eligible for Producers Guild membership, as many projects require extensive producing teams that guide them from concept to delivery.
Of course, eligibility to the Producers Guild does require varying degrees of experience. Here is a list of positions that qualify for PGA membership:
The landscape of the entertainment industry is continually evolving. If you are part of a producing team but do not see your position listed above, it’s worth reaching out to the PGA to see if you may still be eligible for Producers Guild of America membership.
For the most up-to-date criteria, please visit: https://producersguild.org/membership-requirements/
Now that we’ve established who can receive Producers Guild membership, let’s discuss how to get into the Producers Guild of America.
PGA membership is partially contingent on the credits a person has earned while working on various productions. We’ll take a deeper dive momentarily into the details of those productions that can qualify a person for the Producers Guild. The following, however, gives a general overview of the types of projects that can help qualify someone for membership:
There are five main considerations to joining the Producers Guild of America. These are: professional experience, references, additional application materials, other eligibility factors and payment.
As mentioned, the type of productions a person has worked on help determine PGA membership eligibility. Below is a detailed breakdown by medium of the credits an applicant must have to be considered for Producers Guild membership.
Keep in mind that for feature films, these credits must have been received within seven (7) years of applying for Producers Guild membership. For all other mediums, the credits must have been received within five (5) years.
(Note: Short-form content is not the same as short films)
*Used for considering emerging formats that did not exist at the time criteria was drafted (e.g. XR)
The inclusion of references is a mandatory part of the Producers Guild membership application. Applicants must submit a total of three (3) references. References must have direct knowledge of the applicant’s production experience and should have worked with or supervised the applicant, or have a significant professional relationship with them in the past.
References are not limited to peers within the producing profession. Applicants can use other "high level" personnel from the production (e.g. director, editor, etc.) to provide verification of work performed. Listing references that can comment on your experience and your production work significantly speeds up the application process.
Any individual serving in a representative capacity or is employed by the applicant, cannot serve as a reference (e.g. agent, manager, entertainment attorney, etc.).
Other required components of the Producers Guild membership application are the applicant’s resume and biography. These documents allow individuals to communicate any aspect about their work not covered in other areas of their application and will assist the Guild in arriving at a determination.
In short, applicants should not overlook the importance of these materials.
Under certain circumstances, some individuals may automatically qualify for Producers Guild membership.
Should they apply within two (2) years of it, those who have received a nomination in certain producing categories for the Oscars or the Producers Guild Awards can receive automatic membership. However, ahead of applying for Producers Guild membership, interested individuals should contact the PGA to confirm that their specific nomination qualifies them.
The Producers Mark can also provide automatic qualification for Producers Guild membership. Indicated by the lowercase letters “p.g.a.” after an individual’s name in the screen credits of a film,“the Mark” is a certification granted to those who perform a majority of the producing functions on a specific feature film.
To receive the Producers Mark, potentially eligible producers must request it through a formal submission process and offer supporting evidence of their work.
Any producer with Producers Marks on at least two (2) films with qualifying distribution automatically qualifies for Producers Guild Membership.
The final part of the Producers Guild membership application process is payment, which consists of the application fee ($50), initiation fee ($600), and annual dues ($400).
While the process of getting Producers Guild of America membership can be extensive, the benefits are worth it–and we’re not just talking about screeners! (Although those are pretty great.)
One of the Producers Guild’s main objectives is to get and keep its members working. As such, it provides access to:
Outside of employment opportunities, Producers Guild benefits also include access to health insurance options, including employer-paid medical and dental coverage through the Motion Picture and Television Industry Plan for those who are eligible.
Producers Guild membership provides general benefits as well, including:
Between initial fees, ongoing dues, and time spent on the application process, joining the Producers Guild of America may feel like a big investment. So make sure to utilize these benefits as much as possible once you become a member.
So that it can continue to provide Producers Guild benefits, the PGA does have yearly Producers Guild of America membership dues.
Dues are $400 for all members.
Member or not, all individuals wanting to contact the PGA can reach out through the main Producers Guild of America phone number: 310-358-9020.
With their Producers Guild login, members may also look up their profile information and access other Producers Guild benefits not available through the general public part of the website. Those interested in becoming a Producers Guild of America volunteer may also call the above number or reach the PGA via email for more information.
Having a Producers Guild membership is a great way to reap the benefits for years of hard work. But whether you're already a member or hope to be one soon, take advantage of other resources in the here and now. Check out our producer’s guides to managing film payroll and best practices for managing your team.
Or try out our new Production Incentive Center. It has simple tools to help you find and take advantage of all the incentives your project qualifies for.
At Wrapbook, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding free resources to producers and their crews, but this post is for informational purposes only as of the date above. The content on our website is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for legal, accounting, or tax advice. You should consult with your own legal, accounting, or tax advisors to determine how this general information may apply to your specific circumstances.