The Perks of a Producers Guild of America (PGA) Membership
If you’re new to the entertainment industry as an employer or an employee, you might feel overwhelmed by the numerous acronyms you have to get accustomed to.
This blogpost is dedicated to making you one acronym wiser by decoding what the PGA is. Starting off, it stands for Producer’s Guild of America.
Below, we’ll discuss what a PGA membership entails, its benefits, and how you can score one.
Let’s get started.
What is the Producer’s Guild of America?
Thousands of people work in the entertainment industry in the United States in different capacities.
This huge employment rate by the industry has led to the implementation of labor laws and the creation of unions and guilds to protect the rights of their workers.
Actors, crew members, directors, and other artists are all protected by their respective associations.
The Producer’s Guild of America is a nonprofit organization that especially caters to the interests of those working in the production capacity.
It represents film, television, and new media producers and has over 7000 members across the globe.
A PGA membership ensures the overall professional well-being of producers by promoting fair and sustainable workplace practices. It offers health insurance, pension benefits, and looks into fair awarding of production credits.
Moreover, the PGA is responsible for offering career-building opportunities like job trainings and seminars.
Benefits of joining the Producer’s Guild of America
The PGA aims on keeping its members employed. So, a PGA membership provides numerous opportunities for producers to flourish professionally.
Members get access to staffing resources and job postings. Moreover, PGA hosts three annual job forums covering employment opportunities in episodic, non-fiction, and long-form television.
The PGA members also enjoy exclusive learning opportunities including a multi-tiered and shadow mentoring program.
The entertainment industry thrives on word of mouth and connections that are made during professional events.
To make sure that its members are well informed, well socialized, and build relevant industry connections, the PGA allows easy access to several professional events.
These include free or cheaper entrance tickets to seminars held in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Such seminars feature advice from industry gurus in television, film, and new media.
Furthermore, a PGA membership affords a discounted registration for the semi-annual ‘Produced By’ Conference and a discounted entrance to the celebrated Producers Guild Awards.
Through this status, you also get voting privileges for the Producers Guild Awards.
A Producer’s Guild membership allows you to be one of the first to view pre-release studio and independent features. These are screened throughout the year in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
You can also enjoy free passes to theatre screenings and DVD screeners of films being considered for awards.
Moreover, you’re allowed entrance to special movie screenings during the Oscars.
As a PGA member, you can get your hands on exclusive content like videos covering PGA events, interviews, etc., weekly email newsletters with event info, job listings, and general industry/guild announcements.
It also includes a subscription to the PGA’s official quarterly Produced By magazine.
In addition to that, you get a place on the online PGA membership roster and availability lists.
Perhaps the most important PGA membership benefits are health-related.
Producers are eligible for employer-paid health coverage with some terms and conditions.
Although the eligibility criteria for employer-paid health benefits are quite strict, the PGA encourages those who qualify to make full use of the conveniences.
Under the Non-Affiliate Agreement, between the IATSE, the AMPTP, and the Producers Guild, producers can receive health coverage through the Motion Picture Industry Plan.
For the members who are ineligible for employer-paid coverage, the PGA offers a self-paid health coverage plan. You can read the in-depth eligibility criteria here.
Among other PGA privileges are discounts while traveling on both the east and west coast for hotels, car rentals, events, and amusement parks.
How to get a Producer’s Guild Membership
There are several checkboxes you need to tick for acquiring the PGA membership.
1. Professional experience
You must have a certain amount of production credits to apply for the Producer’s Guild membership. Additionally, you must have performed the job functions under these credits.
The production credits must have been acquired within the last seven years for feature films or in the last five years for other formats.
Credit-based PGA membership works for the following formats:
- Feature films
- Short films
- Long-form TV
- Episodic TV
- Non-episodic TV
- New media (Broadband)
For in-depth eligibility specificities of each format, click here.
A total of three applicant referrals are required for a successful Producer’s Guild membership.
These include a reference from a sponsor who’s also a current member of the guild and two from industry personnel who have worked with and can assure the applicant’s production experience.
Additional supplementary materials include a resume and/or bio. These documents let you exhibit your skills and experience in ways that the application might lack.
Expressing yourself authentically in these documents will help the PGA committee in deciding about your membership.
3. Additional eligibility criteria
Having the Producer’s Mark qualifies you for the PGA membership. It is depicted as ‘p.g.a’ after a producer’s name in film credit.
Producers must apply for the Producer’s Mark and provide supporting evidence of their work. Their application is then judged according to the Producer’s Code of Credits.
The Producer’s Mark signifies that an individual had the primary production responsibility for the length of a particular project.
Moreover, the producers who have been nominated for the Producers Guild Awards or the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences can acquire a PGA membership if they apply within two years of the nomination. However, this is subject to the type of nomination.
In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria and providing all required documents, applicants also need to pay a $50 application fee, an initiation fee, and annual dues.
The initiation fee and annual dues are subject to where the producer lies in the PGA membership structure.
That was your quick rundown of how the Producer’s Guild membership works and its benefits.
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