News
Jun 9, 2024

2024 Annual Produced By Conference Returns to FOX Backlot

The Producers Guild of America’s (PGA) Produced By Conference was back for another year filled with insightful and thought provoking dialogue as top producers and entertainment executives reunited at the one-day conference on the FOX Studio Lot. 

The 14th Annual Produced By Conference returned with fresh energy. The industry’s leading creative voices shared their thoughts about how to navigate and thrive in the ever-changing landscape of the industry. Panelists shared their expertise about elevating projects, pivoting to achieve success, and navigating the post-strike, post-pandemic, evolving world. Industry insiders spoke about some of the unique challenges facing producers in a rapidly changing entertainment landscape, and the strategies needed to adapt and succeed. Top TV buyers shared how projects went from pitch to screen, while leading producers described how to incorporate AI into their productions.

Some of the conference highlight included:

  • From Pitch to Screen :
    • HBO|Max executives and leading producers from four shows participated in conversations on the processes and pathways that led to each trailblazing HBO Original series. Jeff Schaffer (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and John Wilson (How To with John Wilson) joined Amy Gravitt, Executive Vice President and Head of HBO and Max Original Comedy Programming, where Schaffer and Wilson discussed their experiences pitching television shows, with Schaffer and Wilson both sharing the importance of conveying the comedic tone/direction of the series within the pitch. Afterward, Sarah Aubrey, Head of Max Original Programming, invited J.T. Rogers and Alan Poul to the stage for a discussion on the development of the breakout Max Original series Tokyo Vice. They discussed shooting the series in Japan, one of the most difficult places in the world to film. Aubrey was then joined by Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky of Hacks, where they discussed the show’s changing character dynamics on the heels of the critically acclaimed Season 3 finale. They discussed the process of casting the series’ many notable guest stars, with Statsky sharing that “casting is one of our great joys of making this show.”
  • The State of Producing :
    • Moderated by the President of the Producers Guild of America, Stephanie Allain, The State of Producing panel dove into the critical challenges currently facing producers. Panelists Mike Farah (@fter Midnight), Lynette Howell Taylor (A Star is Born), Tommy Oliver (Founder & CEO, Confluential Films) and Brad Simpson (Partner, Color Force) discussed industry challenges and strategies for adapting to the constantly evolving landscape. The panelists discussed how they remain focused and successful within an amorphous profession, emphasizing the importance of finding compelling stories and surrounding themselves with aligned partnerships. Allain concluded the session by asking each of the panelists what their “one tip” to other producers is.

  • AI: What Every Producer Needs To Know:
    • Lori McCreary (CEO, Revelations Entertainment), Renard T. Jenkins (President, I2A2 Technologies, Labs & Studio) and Ghaith Mahmood (Partner, Latham & Watkins) joined Senior Entertainment Technology & Crafts Editor at Variety Carolyn Giardina for a conversation on the practical, legal and ethical considerations producers face when using and including AI in their projects. The panelists provided insights into how AI is currently being used and some of the most important considerations that creatives must take into account. The conversation spanned across topics from practical uses like dubbing to the implications for training the next generation of producers.

  • The Future of Producing:
    • Moderated by Donald De Line, President of the Producers Guild of America, the Future of Producing Panel discussed how producers continue to innovate across the rapidly evolving film and television landscape while sharing their insights on a way forward. Panelists Roxanne Avent Taylor (CEO/Producer, Hidden Empire Film Group)Greg Berlanti (Founder, Berlanti Productions) andCharles Roven (Oppenheimer, The Dark Knight Trilogy) discussed emerging trends within the industry. They touched on current opportunities, such as connecting with audiences more directly, the increasing demand for content rooted in real stories and the emergence of new technologies. Speaking to the audience, Roven said “people want content and they can’t make it without producers. The world needs us.”

  •  Elevating Your Project Using AI:
    • Jake Aust (Chief Innovation Officer, AGBO)Souki Mansoor (Creator Community Specialist, OpenAI)and Joe Penna (VP of Applied ML, Stability AI) convened for a conversation with moderator Joanna Popper (Breonna’s GardenFight Back) on elevating projects with AI as a tool. The panel discussed how producers are using AI to add value and make an impact across their productions. From indies through the majors, producers can maximize their use of the current tools across development and production. The panelists discussed the practical uses of AI models to add to the creative process, helping producers visualize and execute their vision.

  • From Pitch to Screen Highlight:
    • The showrunner and executive producer of the hit FOX crime anthology series AccusedHoward Gordon, President of FOX Television Network Michael Thorn and Head of Creative at Sony Pictures Television Studios Lauren Stein joined moderator Stacey Wilson Hunt (Contributing Editor, The Hollywood Reporter) in a discussion about the exciting process of creating the hit show, which features a fresh storyline with an all-new cast each week for broadcast television. They discussed the development process, and why Gordon’s personalization of his pitch convinced Thorn that he was the right person to tell this story. Stein and Thorn also shared tips for landing a pitch, and focused on the importance of having a great idea and knowing how to execute it and the direction that the series will go in.

  • Body of Mine VR Experience:
    • The Producers Guild of America (PGA) hosted the winner of the 2024 PGA Innovation Award, Body of Mine, for attendees to experience the award-winning VR experience that allows you to step into the body of another gender and discover the stories of transgender individuals. Through this experience, attendees got to hear, discover, and experience stories of gender dysphoria and euphoria. 

In addition to host sponsor FOX Studio Lot, conference sponsors include Astek, BENlabs, Box, Cadillac, Clark Street, Coca-Cola, Cuties Mandarins, Deanna’s Delights Cookies, Delta Air Lines, Don Francisco Coffee, FOX, Glenfiddich Scotch Whisky, HBO|Max, Heineken, Honolulu Film Office, Justin’s, Massachusetts Film Office, National Geographic, Oklahoma Film + Music,  Quixote, Rosenthal Wine Bar and Patio, SmartSource, Sunset Studios, Universal Production Services, and Wrapbook.

To check out the full speaker list from this year and watch videos of the panels visit the Producer’s Guild Youtube page.