It is, as you may have noticed, awards season and the Producers Guild of America is one of the various organisations that have annual ceremonies set to celebrate and reward great tradecraft in the business of film and television. Producers often get somewhat overlook as to their contributions to the finished works they help make since it’s so rarely understood just what exactly it is they do. Titles like Director and Writer and Actor are easy to understand because you can (generally) easily identify exactly what each person contributes. Producers tend to be a bit more vaguely defined in such terms, so their contributions are (again, generally) equally vague.
Frankly, this is all just preamble to what I’m actually going to talk about. I’ll simply say that a full list of the winners are below.
What I want to talk about is the effect that their award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture has had on the perceived race for the top prize at this year’s Oscars. The PGA Awards have been going since 1990, doling out twenty-four awards for Best Theatrical Motion Picture prior to this year’s ceremony. Now, since they began, the PGA Awards have managed to effectively predict the winner of the Oscar for Best Film eighteen times out of twenty-four. The only other awards to have a better hit rate is the Director’s Guild of America with nineteen matches over the same time period (although the award is for director, not film).
The Golden Globes technically has a higher hit rate, but only because they give out twice as many awards for film: one for drama; one for comedy/musical.
With regard to this year’s crop of Best Film contenders, despite the continuation of having more than five nominees (something started back in 2009, most people assume because of The Dark Knight snub), it has generally been considered a two-horse race between 12 Years a Slave (Best Drama at the Golden Globes and Best Film at the Critics’ Choice Awards) and American Hustle (Best Comedy/Musical at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Ensemble prize). Gravity, despite a lot of great press, massive success and numerous nominations, was often left in the cold for the big prizes.
What’s interesting is that this kind of makes things now officially too close to call in regard to the upcoming Oscars. Consider this: American Hustle has heavy media presence and two pretty big awards going for it; 12 Years a Slave also has heavy presence, three big awards, and a lot of good will; and Gravity now has more media presence and two big awards (one of which neither of the other two won – Best Director Golden Globe – and could serve as its own indicator of later success).
Good lord… this part of the Oscar race is open right here…
Anyways, here’s the full list of PGA winners, as promised.
The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Winner: Gravity and 12 Years A Slave (Tie)
Dallas Buyers Club
Saving Mr. Banks
The Wolf Of Wall Street
The Award For Outstanding Producer Of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Despicable Me 2
The Award For Outstanding Producer Of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Winner: We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks
A Place At The Table
Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story
Life According To Sam
Which Way Is The Front Line From Here? The Life And Time Of Tim Hetherington
The David L. Wolper Award For Outstanding Producer Of Long-Form Television:
Winner: Behind The Candelabra
American Horror Story: Asylum
Top Of The Lake
Winner: Breaking Bad
Game Of Thrones
House Of Cards
The Danny Thomas Award For Outstanding Producer Of Episodic Television, Comedy:
Winner: Modern Family
The Big Bank Theory
The Award For Outstanding Producer Of Non-Fiction Television:
Winner: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
30 For 30
Inside The Actors Studio
The Award For Outstanding Producer Of Live Entertainment And Talk Television:
Winner: The Colbert Report
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
The Award For Outstanding Producer Of Competition Television:
Winner: The Voice
The Amazing Race
Dancing With The Stars
The Award For Outstanding Sports Program:
Monday Night Football
Real Sports With Bryan Gumbel
The Award For Outstanding Children’s Program:
Winner: Sesame Street
Dora The Explorer
Phineas And Ferb
The Award For Outstanding Digital Series:
Winner: Wired: What’s Inside
Epic Rap Battles Of History
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Video Game High School