EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that a significant All-Boards meeting for the Producers Guild of America took place tonight. Sources tell me that the members voted on a series of amendments that qualify individuals as professional producers. More importantly, for the first time in the guild’s history, they voted on and ratified a new credit — that of the Transmedia Producer — which had been shepherded by such Hollywood names as Mark Gordon, Gael Anne Hurd, Jeff Gomez, Alison Savage, and Chris Pfaff.
This Guild-wide adoption is unprecedented as it will allow executives who expand storylines of franchises onto multiple platforms to receive official credit on these projects as “Transmedia Producers”. These producers develop cross platform storylines on Film, Television, Short Film, Broadband, Publishing, Comics, Animation, and Mobile — and now, they’ll be credited with an official title. I’m told this is a historic move for the PGA because the guild rarely backs new credits. “These amendments demonstrate how the guild supports producers making and changing the game,” a source told me tonight.
Word to me is one of the authors and driving forces behind the PGA’s New Media Council Transmedia Producer credit was Jeff Gomez, President and CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment and a member of the PGA East. He’s been a pioneer of Transmedia Storytelling and implemented these type of campaigns for projects including James Cameron’s Avatar, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean and Prince of Persia and Tron, as well as Transformers for Hasbro and Microsoft’s Halo.
Here is how the PGA defines a Transmedia Producer:
A Transmedia Narrative project or franchise must consist of three (or more) narrative storylines existing within the same fictional universe on any of the following platforms: Film, Television, Short Film, Broadband, Publishing, Comics, Animation, Mobile, Special Venues, DVD/Blu-ray/CD-ROM, Narrative Commercial and Marketing rollouts, and other technologies that may or may not currently exist. These narrative extensions are NOT the same as repurposing material from one platform to be cut or repurposed to different platforms.
A Transmedia Producer credit is given to the person(s) responsible for a significant portion of a project’s long-term planning, development, production, and/or maintenance of narrative continuity across multiple platforms, and creation of original storylines for new platforms. Transmedia producers also create and implement interactive endeavors to unite the audience of the property with the canonical narrative and this element should be considered as valid qualification for credit as long as they are related directly to the narrative presentation of a project.
Transmedia Producers may originate with a project or be brought in at any time during the long-term rollout of a project in order to analyze, create or facilitate the life of that project and may be responsible for all or only part of the content of the project. Transmedia Producers may also be hired by or partner with companies or entities, which develop software and other technologies and who wish to showcase these inventions with compelling, immersive, multi-platform content.
To qualify for this credit, a Transmedia Producer may or may not be publicly credited as part of a larger institution or company, but a titled employee of said institution must be able to confirm that the individual was an integral part of the production team for the project.