What does a producer do again? He or she produces. Okay, so producers aren't always that easy to define, but they are very important and they deserve their countless accolades as much as anyone else in Hollywood. I used to think of the producer being more important on big studio pictures, the kind with a for-hire type director. However, producers on indie films (or "specialty division" films) are potentially more important these days. That could be why the Producers Guild of America is predominantly recognizing these "independent" producers for the second year in a row.

Last year the PGA nominated a few films from studio specialty divisions, including Brokeback Mountain, which won the main prize (well, technically its producers, Diana Ossana and James Schamus, won the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award). This year three of the films nominated for that prize are also from specialty divisions: Little Miss Sunshine, from Fox Searchlight; The Queen, from Miramax; Babel, from Paramount Vantage. The other two nominees are studio product, The Departedand Dreamgirls.