Producers Guild Membership: How to Join | Wrapbook

Producers Guild Membership: How to Join

27 May 2020 | Anna Keizer

Did you know that Producers Guild membership stands at more than 7,000 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.

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What is the Producers Guild of America?

The Producers Guild of America, or PGA, is a trade association comprising those working in a producing capacity in film, television and new media.

The 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.

What positions are eligible for Producers Guild membership?

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. However, what follows is a list of positions for which the PGA allows Producers Guide membership, according to medium and pending individual eligibility.

Motion Picture & Television

  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • Co-Executive Producer (Television Only)
  • Co-Producer
  • Line Producer
  • Supervising Producer
  • Production Supervisor
  • Production Manager
  • Production Coordinator
  • Associate Producer
  • Segment Producer
  • Field Producer
  • Senior Story Producer
  • Story Producer
  • Post-Production Producer
  • Post-Production Supervisor
  • Post-Production Manager
  • Post-Production Coordinator
  • Visual Effects Producer
  • Visual Effects Coordinator

New Media

  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • Co-Producer
  • Line Producer
  • Supervising Producer
  • Associate Producer
  • Senior Producer
  • Animation Producer
  • Visual Effects Producer
  • Visual Effects Co-Producer
  • Executive Producer of Visual Effects

PGA-Recognized Platforms

The types of new media platforms seem to grow by the day, which is why those working in this medium must know which ones are approved for potential Producers Guild membership:

  • Animation
  • Broadband
  • Digital VFX
  • DVD/Blu-ray (BD Live)
  • Interactive/Enhanced TV
  • Mobile
  • Special venue
  • Transmedia
  • Video Games

The landscape of the entertainment industry is continually evolving. If you are part of a producing team but do not see your position or platform listed above, it’s worth reaching out to the PGA to see if you may still be eligible for Producers Guild of America membership.

Now that we’ve established who can receive Producers Guild membership, let’s discuss how to get into the Producers Guild of America.

What types of productions can qualify a person for Producers Guild membership?

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 can qualify a person for the Producers Guild, but the following gives a general overview of the types of projects that can help qualify someone for membership:

  • Feature Films
  • Short Films
  • Episodic Television
  • Non-Episodic Television
  • Long-Form Television
  • New Media

How do you join the Producers Guild of America?

How to get into the Producers Guild of America can be broken down by several criteria: professional experience, references, additional application materials, other eligibility factors and payment.

1. Professional Experience

We mentioned that the type of productions a person has worked on can help to 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.

Feature Films

Applicants must have at least two (2) feature films that qualify according to these stipulations:

An exclusive U.S. theatrical run in at least two (2) cities, one of which with a population of more than one-million people; or Video on Demand (VOD) distribution by a major cable or satellite television provider; or wide commercial DVD/Blu-ray release; or online streaming through an approved digital portal. Films may also screen as an official selection in a major film festival.

Short Films

Applicants must have at least five (5) short films that qualify according to these stipulations:

Broad theatrical release; or national distribution through streaming video; or national distribution through DVD/Blu-Ray; or the win of a qualifying award at a competitive film festival.

Short films are defined as 40 minutes or less in their entirety.

Episodic Television

Applicants must have at least thirteen (13) episodes of episodic television that qualify according to these stipulations:

Broad airing in the U.S. domestic territory; or airing on a major channel with at least one-million verified viewers; or streaming through a major streaming service with at least one-million paid subscribers.

Episodic television includes scripted series or major reality, documentary and non-fiction shows.

Non-Episodic Television

Applicants must have at least one-hundred (100) episodes of non-episodic television that qualify according to these stipulations:

Broad airing in the U.S. domestic territory; or airing on a major channel with at least one-million verified viewers; or streaming through a major streaming service with at least one-million paid subscribers.

Non-episodic television includes clip, countdown, game, infotainment, news magazine and talk shows.

Long-Form Television

Applicants must have at least two (2) long-form television programs that qualify according to these stipulations:

Broad airing in the U.S. domestic territory; or airing on a major channel with at least one-million verified viewers; or streaming through a major streaming service with at least one-million paid subscribers.

Long-form television includes major specials, miniseries and movies-of-the-week.

New Media (Broadband Only)

Broad distribution via the broadband extension of a major media network of at least seventy-five (75) short form broadband episodes with a running time between 30 seconds and 19 minutes each; or online distribution via major video-sharing websites and/or curated broadband channels of at least three (3) hours of broadband content consisting of at least two (2) unique programs; or online distribution via major video-sharing websites and/or curated broadband channels of at least two (2) live-streaming/singular events with a running time of at least three (3) hours each; or broad distribution via the broadband extension of a major media network, major video-sharing websites and/or curated broadband channels of at least five (5) broadband projects.

Other New Media

Applicants must have at least two (2) new media projects that qualify according to these stipulations:

Distribution through DVD/Blu-ray, game console/PC or mobile phone/tablet/wireless device of branded content, branded entertainment productions, digitally-enabled interactive storytelling productions, special venue productions, transmedia productions or video game productions.

2. References

The inclusion of references is a mandatory part of the Producers Guild membership application. Applicants must submit a total of three (3) references; one must come from a current PGA member who acts as the applicant’s sponsor and two from other industry references who can testify to the applicant’s production expertise.

3. Application Materials

Other required components of the Producers Guild membership application are the applicant’s resume and biography. While fairly standard materials, the resume and bio can be highly instrumental in providing the PGA’s Membership Committee with more detailed information about the applicant and help to more easily determine Producers Guild membership.

In short, applicants should not overlook the importance of these materials.

4. Additional Eligibility Criteria

Under certain circumstances, some individuals may qualify for automatic Producers Guild membership.

Should they apply within two (2) years of it, those who have received a producer nomination from either the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences 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. The Producers Mark is typically indicated as “p.g.a.” after an individual’s name in the credits of a film. What that mark demonstrates is that according to the standards of the Producers Guild of America, that person held primary producing responsibilities for the entirety of that project.

The Producers Mark was first introduced in 2012 as a means to acknowledge the individuals who have guided a film through development, production, post-production and beyond. To receive the Producers Mark, potentially eligible producers must request it and offer supporting evidence of their work that’s then evaluated against the PGA’s Producers Code of Credits.

Along with qualifying distribution for the film, any producer with Producers Marks on at least two (2) films can gain automatic Producers Guild Membership.

5. Payment

The final part of the Producers Guild membership application process is payment, which consists of the application fee, initiation fee, and annual dues.

While the application is a flat $50 for all applicants, the initiation fee and annual dues are dependent on how the member is categorized in the PGA membership structure, which is explained in depth below. For individuals who place into the Producers Council, the initiation fee is $725 and annual dues are $425. For those who place into either the Associate Producers Council or New Media Council, the initiation fee is $350 and annual dues are $250.

Are there options for someone who is not yet PGA-eligible?

If the above information indicates that you may not be ready or eligible for a Producers Guild membership, there’s always the opportunity to become a Producers Guild of America volunteer.

A volunteer position can provide qualified individuals with the chance to network, have access to various PGA events and better understand the benefits of the Producers Guild of America until the time comes when membership is attainable.

What is the PGA membership structure?

With Producers Guild membership, individuals are placed into one of three councils: the Producers Council, the Associate Producers Council (AP Council) or the New Media Council (NMC). Think of the councils as PGA sub-groups.

Placement into this PGA membership structure is determined by three (3) factors: member title, the member’s career experience or career intentions and the recommendation of the Membership Committee.

Producers Council

For placement into the Producers Council, individuals must have primary producing responsibilities for the entirety of a project. Positions that typically are part of the Producers Council include:

  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • Co-Producer
  • Co-Executive Producer
  • Line Producer
  • Supervising Producer

Associate Producers Council

PGA members normally placed in the AP Council are individuals with the following positions:

  • Associate Producer/Producer Supervisor/Production Manager
  • Production Coordinator
  • Segment/Field/Story Producer
  • Post Production Producer/Supervisor/Manager/Coordinator
  • VFX Producer/Coordinator

New Media Council

Like those placed in the Producers Councils, PGA members who are part of the New Media Council must have primary producing responsibilities for the entirety of a project.

However, as with Producers Guild membership eligibility, placement in the NMC is likewise dependent upon the new media platform. The following details both the positions and corresponding platforms that determine New Media Council placement:

  • Producer—Animation; DVD/Blu-ray; ITV; Mobile; Special Venue; Transmedia; Video Games
  • Executive Producer—Broadband; Animation; DVD/Blu-ray; ITV; Mobile; Special Venue; Video Games
  • Co-Producer—Animation; DVD/Blu-ray; ITV; Mobile
  • Line Producer—Animation; DVD/Blu-ray; Mobile
  • Supervising Producer—Broadband
  • Associate Producer—Video Games
  • Senior Producer—Video Games
  • Animation Producer—Animation
  • Visual Effects Producer—Visual Effects
  • Visual Effects Co-Producer—Visual Effects
  • Executive Producer of Visual Effects—Visual Effects

What are the Producers Guild benefits?

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!

One of the Producers Guild’s main objectives is to get and keep its members working. As such, it provides access to:

  • Staffing resources and employment opportunities, along with three annual job forums: episodic television, non-fiction television and motion picture/long-form television.
  • A members-only multi-tiered mentoring program.
  • A members-only shadow mentoring program.
  • Free and/or discounted seminars in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco with motion picture, television and new media professionals offering industry and career advice.
  • Discounted registration for the semi-annual Produced By Conference.
  • Weekly email newsletters listing job postings, event info and general announcements.
  • Member-only videos covering PGA events, seminars, interviews, etc.
  • Networking opportunities for all members in film, television and new media.
  • The online PGA membership roster and availability lists.

Outside of employment opportunities, Producers Guild benefits also include access to health insurance. Pending individual eligibility, members can (1) receive employer-paid medical and dental coverage in the Motion Picture and Television Industry Plan or (2) group discount rates for the self-pay Producers Health insurance plan.

Producers Guild membership provides general benefits as well, including:

  • Complimentary entry to theaters in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco for screenings of films under awards consideration.
  • Complimentary DVD screeners for titles under awards consideration.
  • Voting privileges for the prestigious Producers Guild Awards and discount tickets to the event.
  • Year-round screenings and Q&A programs in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, featuring studio and independent films before their commercial release.
  • Discounts on both coasts for car rentals, hotels, amusement parks, events, etc.
  • Subscription to the PGA’s official quarterly Produced By magazine.

Are there Producers Guild of America membership dues?

So that it can continue to provide Producers Guild benefits, the PGA does have yearly Producers Guild of America membership dues.

For members belonging to the Producers Council, it is a $425 annual fee.

For those belonging to either the AP Council or New Media Council, the Producers Guild of America membership dues are $250. Members should note their individual initiation date upon gaining membership, as it will serve as the date when their Producers Guild of America membership dues must be paid.

How can you get in touch with the Producers Guild of America?

Member or not, all individuals wanting to contact the PGA can reach its Los Angeles office 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 at info@producersguild.org for more information.

Wrapping Up

Joining the Producers Guild membership is a great way to gain benefits for years of hardwork. If you’re looking for more indepth guides about producing, sign up to the Wrapbook newsletter below.

Anna Keizer

Anna Keizer originally hails from the Chicagoland area. After receiving her B.A. in Film/Video from Columbia College Chicago, she moved to California and finished her M.A. in Film Studies from Chapman University. She has also graduated from UCLA’s Writing for Television Professional Program and is currently in post-production on the short She Had It Coming, which she wrote and is executive producing.

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