‘Fifty Shades Darker’: Producers Guild Certifies Dana Brunetti in Reversal

Dave McNary
Variety

Dana Brunetti has received a “produced by” certification from the Producers Guild of America for Universal’s “Fifty Shades Darker” — a month after the PGA denied him the designation.

Brunetti had publicly blasted the PGA leadership on Oct. 20 over the denial, saying, “I am going to use this as a platform to rally against the Producers ‘Guild’ with a vengeance. This is the last straw with me of my guild screwing me over.”

The PGA also approved a certification mark for line producer Marcus Viscidi. The PGA had originally decided that its “produced by” credit for “Fifty Shades Darker” would only go to Michael De Luca and “Fifty Shades” author E.L. James.

“The Panel has determined, based upon the additional evidence obtained, that Dana Brunetti and Marcus Viscidi each performed a major portion of the producing functions on this film in a decision-making capacity, as is required for eligibility pursuant to Section B of the Rules,” the PGA said in its Nov. 18 letter to the producers, posted by Brunetti on his Facebook page.

“I’ve won the battle, but not the war. Hopefully more to come,” Brunetti said. “So why am I still ‘whining’ or ‘complaining’ as some have called it? It is clearer than ever their system is broken and needs to be fixed. This was never about me, but about an unfair system that has the potential to do harm to people’s careers and reputations.”

Brunetti also told Variety that no additional evidence had been submitted to the PGA. “We all submitted the exact same statement which provided no additional evidence,” he added.

Certified producers appear in the credits with a lower-case “p.g.a.” mark by their names and are the only producers considered for awards by the PGA, which performs certification used by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Brunetti received a “produced by” credit from the PGA for the original “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

“Fifty Shades Darker” opens Feb. 10 and stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. Brunetti is a longtime producing partner with Kevin Spacey through their production company Trigger Street, which was behind “The Social Network,” “Captain Phillips,” “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and the Netflix series “House of Cards.”

The PGA’s “produced by” certification came into being four years ago, when it was able to get the support of all the major Hollywood studios for its film credits certification process as a response to deal with the proliferation of producing credits. To receive it, a producer’s work must be vetted and certified through the PGA’s arbitration process.

The PGA’s code of credits spells out the qualifications for those eligible to receive the “produced by” credit for features and executive producer credit for TV. The code attaches specific weight to producer functions — 35% for development, 20% for pre-production, 20% for production, and 25% for post-production and marketing — and includes job descriptions, guidelines, and rules intended to help resolve credit disputes.

Brunetti became president of Relativity Media earlier this year.

The PGA has a policy of not commenting on arbitrations. PGA arbitrations are conducted by three active producers and receiving the certification does not require a PGA membership.

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