View Full Version : Tracking Boards - Their Secrets Revealed

Winter in New York
07-25-2004, 06:54 PM
Here's an article on TRACKING BOARDS I saved from May 2003. It's from the excellent wired.com site, and is well worth a read.

Winter in New York

To Live and Die in L.A.
copyright www.wired.com
Issue 11.05 | May 2003

www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.05/hollywood.html (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.05/hollywood.html)

Note - Winter - it isn't permissable to post entire copyrighted articles on DD. Just give a link.

Bill M.

William Haskins
07-25-2004, 07:09 PM
sobering stuff, for sure. thanks for sharing this.

07-25-2004, 07:37 PM
I've been telling you all this for the longest...

See now why I am sooooo careful?

These boards can be the life of a screenwriter...

or his or her death/destruction. And we have seen
how it works with some of those that have come to
ours, and were quickly dismissed...

never to be seen or heard of again!

It's like their careers just "stopped."

Just always remember... it's a game and only the
best players are allowed to play.

So learn the rules (to make yourself the player they want) if you want in!

07-25-2004, 08:57 PM
the guy's a good journalist - because he's amping the drama

But here was the woman who signs the checks, confirming my paranoia.

If he thinks a DOD signs any checks but her rent check and the lease on her 325i, all he's confirmed is that he's a rube.

before the internet linked exectuives by computer, these same people shared this same information except they used a device called th telephone.

herd - yes; collusion - no

significance for 99% of us on this board - absolutely zero

07-25-2004, 11:32 PM
Ben Mezrich answered some questions on this board a while ago, particularly the story behind his option/sale to Triggerstreet for:

Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich

He was very nice and told us a little about his appearance on Good morning America, etc. etc.

Writepro - I can safely say you have never been tracked. I flat out guarantee it. Tracking has little/nothing in common with your other problem (which you created, escalated, and prolonged).


07-26-2004, 09:49 AM
This is getting as bad as the "we see" syndrome.

When your career has reached the point where a tracking board will have the slightest influence, you will already understand all you need to do about them.

If there is any worthy comment to be had, it's the same one you will hear again and again, regardless of it's purpose.

Garbage in, garbage out.

07-26-2004, 10:06 AM
...other than my first tries at screenwriting turnaround, I think I have done pretty well.

If you know something I don't let me know...
I believe I am, and the only reason nothing's been picked up at this point, is because (I think) they haven't seen anything yet on which they feel their money spent, could be recouped.
(also because I haven't been pushing myself this year as hard as I have been)

but I'm getting back on track since WB's over...

and with MIND'S EYE? We'll see...

about this guarantee? Send a pm and tell my why.

07-26-2004, 10:50 AM
In my unqualified opinion... Unrepped writers with scripts that are not placed with producers/reps are not getting tracked... You must make it past some of the gatekeepers before your work is deemed worthy of tracking.

I have read enough of your samples to politely suggest it's highly unlikely (read nigh impossible) anyone who belongs to a tracking board is going to be in possession of and read a 100+ pages WP script, let alone write a review to their peeps.

As a cluttered desk indicates a cluttered mind... A cluttered post indicates a cluttered script. Read your post, then compare it to Tao's or CE's or any number of other pros around here. You have yet to grasp simple, powerful wordplay.

Don't worry about selling or tracking; worry about writing. When the student is ready, the master will appear.


07-26-2004, 11:33 AM
Don't worry about selling or tracking; worry about writing. When the student is ready, the master will appear.

thank you! I believe that too.

but as far as reads and reviews, I've had a few and probably will again. BTW- No script of mine has yet to exceed 120. The longest came in a 117.

You must be talking that masterpiece I wrote when I got here that came in at 143 before rewriting, then 130, which still sits. (On these board - I write as I talk... in my scripts I try to let the characters)

I continue to learn and write and read some type of script or other everyday.
It will happen! As long as I keep studying and writing.

...and I don't care how long it takes.

added- ...and I am seeking representation again. This time I'm making sure they work for their money (to get a sale) instead of empty promises!

07-26-2004, 12:39 PM
I accept the reality.

Now. How does one know if he is on the tracking board? Can that occur without the writer's knowledge?

Dumbly yours,


Augie Kestrel
07-26-2004, 05:53 PM
"As a cluttered desk indicates a cluttered mind... A cluttered post indicates a cluttered script. Read your post, then compare it to Tao's or CE's or any number of other pros around here. You have yet to grasp simple, powerful wordplay."

Yep. I made that same point to WP almost two years ago. It didn't seem to get through to him then, either. :)

And so it goes.....

07-27-2004, 05:58 PM
You or your rep get a spec to a single studio, not wide, but rather a single studio. Would this somehow be tracked? I'm under the impression that tracked scripts are only the ones where the rep goes wide to numerous and various companies.

07-27-2004, 08:19 PM
Is Done Deal a tracking board? If so, my script is as good as sold.

07-28-2004, 11:13 AM
Oh, come on, unless you're sold and produced or your repped script is going wide, FOGRET ABOUT TRACKING BOARDS! You are way WAY below anyone's radar.

07-28-2004, 11:38 AM
Why the sarcasm, DevoGirl?

07-28-2004, 11:42 AM
I don't think it was sarcasm, it was frustration. I took it as a reaction to the perceived silliness of some new writers on this messageboard 'worrying' about tracking boards.

07-28-2004, 11:57 AM
I agree with the silliness of people worried and being overly paranoid about tracking, however my question was an easy one in asking does a script get tracked if it goes to one studio or does it have to go wide to be tracked.

07-28-2004, 12:03 PM
Nevermind. As usual, the newbie gets slapped in the face for asking a perfectly good question.

So, let's bring it back to the subject: i.e., tracking boards.

Is it possible for a producer who has a signed release from the spec's author to place that spec's title on the board, knowing there are others looking at it? Can the producer not see the interest that way? Or is that too far below the radar?

Someone who knows this information probably should answer that question.

07-28-2004, 12:09 PM
It can be tracked if it's sent to one studio. The person who read the script may or may not "track" the script(in other words, discuss the script) depending on the writer, the agent/manager/prod co behind the script, and if it's any good.

There isn't just one "tracking board". It's a network of development people who discuss properties online in private groups. If you (or your rep or the project) has a lot of heat, a lot of people will be talking about it. If not, then not many people will be talking about it.

07-28-2004, 12:15 PM
Thank you, Otis. That's what I thought.

So it isn't beneath the radar if one a couple or four studios are looking at specs they solicited? Right?

Again, thanks.


07-28-2004, 12:27 PM
A spec solicited from a query would most likely not be tracked (a studio, for the most part, isn't going to solicit any scripts).

I was referring to specs that came in through regular channels (agent, manager, prod co, etc). and are slipped to only one studio and not sent out wide.

07-28-2004, 12:29 PM
Wide tracking generally only occurs when you are at the point where you have an actual 'release date' on a spec. That is, when your agent sends to every House on the same morning and they scramble (hopefully) to get the offer out before anyone else can.

If no one else has seen it, there would be nothing to comment on, and if they are enthusiastic about a property, they would not seek to advertise it's existence.