This weekend, more than 1,000 producers and film industry professionals will converge on the Century City lot of 20th Century Fox Studios for the fifth annual Produced by Conference. Hosted by the Producers Guild of America, the two-day event is billed as a educational, networking and career building forum for producers who work in film, television and new media industries.
The Times spoke with co-Chair Gary Lucchesi, producer of "Million Dollar Baby" and "The Lincoln Lawyer," about the conference.
So what's new this year?
The conference is adjusting to the market so it's a touch more centered on television than in the past and that's a reflection of how the business has changed.
In what way?
We've got huge showrunners involved -- we've got J.J. Abrams and Jerry Bruckheimer. Part of the goal of the conference is to help producers put projects together and it would be remiss for us to do that without talking about the world of television. The big question is whether or not features are the pinnacle of the art form as opposed to television. It's a question that was almost unthinkable in my lifetime.
What will be some of the key topics and themes of the panels?
On the TV side, it's going to be about creating content and [explaining] how showrunners do it, what they think about when they sell a project, and how they finance and capitalize it. On the film side, it's going to be about independent films, which are still prevalent, and how to finance them.
What else is on the schedule?
We have some new media panels, including a big panel on Hulu, and one on reality TV. [Mark Burnett, producer of "The Voice" and History Channel's "The Bible" will be a guest speaker.] We also came up with a panel on research that talks about who the audience is and what they want to see.
This is the fifth year for conference. How has it evolved?
It has been demystified to a certain degree. In the first year we were terrified we wouldn't sell enough tickets, but we put together a heck of a show. This year's show is sold out. We're very, very proud of what we've achieved.
Why do producers need a conference like this?
The interesting thing about producers is that you can't rest on your laurels. You really are only as good as your last movie, and we're constantly striving to maintain a level of quality and create content that influences and impacts the world.