Norman Lear, Francis Ford Coppola to speak at Produced By Conference

Producers Guild's Produced By Conference features Norman Lear, Francis Ford Coppola, David Fincher

Norman Lear, Francis Ford Coppola and David Fincher are among the Hollywood luminaries who will light up a producers conference in Burbank this weekend.

They and other high-profile filmmakers and TV producers will be guests at the sixth annual Produced By Conference, organized by the Producers Guild of America.

"The quality and the influence of speakers that we've been able to secure for the conference is unprecedented," said Vance Van Petten, executive director of the Producers Guild of America.

The two-day event, which begins Saturday at Warner Bros., is expected to draw 1,500 participants and feature 23 panels and workshops designed to educate the guild's members on a variety of topics.

The panels will cover such subjects as courting female audiences, targeting Hispanic moviegoers and using social media to effectively market movies and TV shows. Other sessions will address the changing landscape of film incentives, new models for financing independent movies and growing ties between Hollywood and Broadway.

One of the themes this year is the growing convergence of film, television and new media and the blurring of lines between distribution platforms.

"When we started this six years ago, we felt compelled to make three distinct tracks for the sessions, for producers of new media, television and film," Van Petten said. "This year more than ever before, they are all morphing into each other."

The PGA also has added more "conversations" with a diverse group of producers from Seth Rogen to Joe Roth and Lear, the legendary TV producer behind the 1970s sitcoms "All in the Family," "Sanford and Son" and "The Jeffersons."

"In a time of such technological change, we need wisdom," said Gary Lucchesi, a co-chairman of the conference and president of Lakeshore Entertainment. "I love the fact that Norman Lear and Francis Ford Coppola are going to give us some of their perspectives."

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