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It takes a lot to get a feature on to the big screen and those behind the camera deserve just as much credit as those in front of it. Often forgotten, producers are responsible for making sure a story comes full circle, from the creator’s head and into celluloid. That is why this weekend the Producers Guild of America celebrated its 24th annual awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.
While the winners weren’t exactly shockers, it is nice to see quality producers get their due. The award itself is rather tricky to gauge. All the nominees this year are quality productions but some of the more complex features seemed to get overlooked.
Homeland, whose producers won the Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television- Drama, is a great show that deserves a lot of praise but can’t be nearly as hard to produce as some of the other nominees like Mad Men, Game of Thrones, or Downtown Abbey. The award winners seem to be chosen more out of popular opinion than the level of skill that goes into creating a production. This point was furthered by the committee’s choice for The Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of a Theatrical Motion Picture for Argo. It is a fantastic movie that is beautifully done but must have been far easier to make than it’s competitors Django Unchained, Lincoln, or even Moonrise Kingdom. However, the level of detail throughout all of those films elevates them and the important thing to remember is that none of that would be possible without great producers.
Some of the night’s other top winners included the producers behind Searching for Sugarman in the documentary category, Game Change for long-form television, and Modern Family for episodic comedy. One thing to note about the Producer’s Guild Awards is that it includes a variety of content currently on the market right now- giving out separate awards for digital series, children’s programming, and sports programs. Not many other award shows delve that deep.
In addition to the competitive awards, the PGA recognized several producers with honorary awards including Bob and Harvey Weinstein (Milestone Award), Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures), J.J. Abrams (Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television), Russell Simmons (Visionary Award), and BULLY (Stanley Kramer Award).
While the nominees for the Producers Guild Awards seem to closely mirror the Oscars and the Emmys, it seems like the criteria for wining as a producer should be a little different. With so much quality television and film being made by the industry right now it is time those working hardest behind the camera had their due. One cannot help but shake just how political such an awards ceremony continues to be. But each year brings new talent and another chance to shine.
For the full list of winners at the 24th Annual Producers Guild of America Awards, please visit ProducersGuild.org.