The Producers Guild of America will introduce a new mentoring and networking component called the Producers Mashup at its 9th annual Produced by Conference, which is set to take place June 10-11 at the Fox studio lot in Century City.
The new program, which will be held June 11, will allow small groups of participants to meet with established producers and studio and network executives. The event, open to those attending the conference, will be organized around four tracks - Feature Film, Scripted Television, Unscripted Television and Digital Media - and adopt a speed-dating format: The 700 attendees who are expected to take part will be seated at tables of 10. Thirty to 40 producers and development execs will circulate among six to nine different tables each, spending 15-20 minutes at each table, answering any questions those attending the conference want to ask. Only one topic will be off-limits: Attendees will not be allowed to pitch projects during the conversations.
Describing the Producers Mashup as "a new, bold experiment," PGA national executive director and COO Vance Van Petten explained: "When we debriefed last year's show, we found our members love the speakers and content, but they wanted more face-to-face mentoring time with established producers." And, he said, when the idea was proposed to established producers they immediately signed on to participate. "When I made the outcalls," he said, "I got some very quick yeses. They all recognize the importance of mentoring and giving back to the creative community. We'll have a mix of really good producer mentors and the execs who really buy product, not assistants and interns. We have high hopes for it and think it will be unique."
The current lineup of participating mentors includes, in alphabetical order: Karen Bailey, senior vp, original programming, Starz; Fred Baron, executive vp feature production, 20th Century Fox; Ian Bryce, producer (Transformers, Saving Private Ryan); John Canning, vp interactive experiences, NBC Entertainment Digital; Stacey Carr, manager, programming & development, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network; Dustin Davis, head of current series/scripted development, YouTube Red Originals; Justin Falvey, co-president, Amblin Television; Lucy Fisher, producer (The Great Gatsby, the Divergent series); David Friendly, producer (Little Miss Sunshine, Queen of the South); Mackenzie Gabriel-Vaught, vp current programming, Chuck Lorre Productions; Tim Gibbons, producer (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Return of the Mac); and Richard Gladstein, producer (The Hateful Eight, Cider House Rules).
Additionally, the list of mentors includes John Hadity, executive vp, EP Financial Solutions; Mark Johnson, producer (Breaking Bad, Cider House Rules); Barry Josephson, producer (Bones, Enchanted); Courtney A. Kemp, producer (Power, The Good Wife); Chris Moore, producer (Manchester by the Sea, Project Greenlight); Jonathan Murray, producer (Born This Way, The Real World); Nadine Rajabi, producer (Below Deck, The Shahs Come Clean With Nadine); Michael Seitzman, producer (Code Black, Intelligence); and Chris Thomes, vp, Digital Media Studio, Disney/ABC Television Group.
While the Producers Mashup will give participants a new way to interact with the established players appearing at the conference, it is not replacing the existing Mentoring Roundtables, which will be held June 10, and which allow participants, for an additional fee, to meet at tables with some of the speakers in an hourlong format.
The PGA recently announced the 2017 Produced By Conference's headlining panels, including sessions with Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Ava DuVernay (the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time), Shawn Levy and his company 21 Laps Entertainment (Arrival, Stranger Things), Jordan Peele (Get Out, Key and Peele), Netflix's Ted Sarandos and Oprah Winfrey.
Early-bird registration at a discounted rate is currently available at ProducedByConference.com and ends Saturday.