Pafia Welcomes all to a Producer Panel

By: Jalia Moody

Tap and Kitchen hosted PaFIA’s lively producer’s panel March 29 in the heart of Center City Philadelphia. The panel consisted of Philadelphia’s own George Roach (producer/photojournalist at Fox News, WTXF), Robert Drake (Producer of Kids Corner, XPN), Jason Loftus (independent film producer and partner of Heery-Loftus Casting), and Chayne Gregg (producer/co-founder of FreshFly). The producer’s panel had 70 in attendance including 8 new members and 3 renewals and was hosted by Assistant Director and Producer, John Rusk.

Old and new members feasted on Tap and Kitchen’s fried pickles, fried calamari and buffalo wings with a spread of shredded carrots and celery. The panel discussion quickly commenced with Diane Heery taking the microphone and emphasizing one of PaFIA’s main goals: “… to fill the film industry in Pennsylvania.” Diane explained that PaFIA’s continuous goal is to grow its membership. She further explained PaFIA’s instrumental presence in rewriting the child labor laws in the state of Pennsylvania. PaFIA focuses on other issues besides the film tax credit.  Diane added that PaFIA is an organization that brings together the film production crew and people in the industry.

The panel of producers started the conversation with an overview of their current projects and role in the industry. The next line of questioning: managerial vs. creative, a producer’s role on projects.  Every producer on the panel represented his own medium of the industry: Roach (TV); Drake (radio); Loftus and Greg (film). Each producer later explained how his role changed and where each saw his role in the future.

John Rusk opened the floor to questions and answers. Though one question represented what many people want to know: how do you successfully get funding for a film? The questions ranged from finding a foundation that match the topic of your story to try cold calling a key number of money people to the well-said “be honest” and make investors believe in you and your project. One producer explained to make your deal one-sided when speaking with an investor: only the investor will be profiting from the investment. It’s in your deal that no one gets in front of the investors.

Facebook posts confirmed how PaFIA events like this one reunited Philadelphia’s own local talent of crew members. Moments of dialogue among film production crew and people in the industry are needed. As Diane mentioned, Hollywood shops and we must maintain the best deal to do production work in the state Pennsylvania. Why? We are state with cities like no other—from Philadelphia to Harrisburg— that contain stories of history, character, and noteworthy landmarks that attract tourists. We have to make it a priority for productions to be excited and honored to film in a state like ours!

To see photos from this event, click here!