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Old 05-08-2016, 11:37 AM   #1
finalact4
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Default Internal Tracking Boards vs Paid Public Tracking Boards

Hi everyone:
I think I had a misconception regarding "pay for" tracking boards. Years ago I subscribed to an on line tracking board to stay on top of the "pulse of the industry." But since becoming represented last fall I asked my manager, "will I be on the tracking boards?" And he said, yes, of course.

Can I just tell you, I was really excited. I thought, "name up in lights." Yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds now, but it's truly how I felt.

But when I asked him about not showing up on my tracking board, he said those aren't the same as internal tracking boards that the studios and prodcos use for themselves, it occurred to me that I had made some assumptions that may not be true.

I contacted a tracking board and asked who sends the announcement out? And they said, send us an email with the details and we'll post your announcement on the site. It was as simple as that.

My manager said, if you want me to send an announcement in, I can, but the industry tracks their scripts internally. I told him not to submit it, because I was being read by the studios and prodcos that could potentially get my spec made.

So, as a steward of my own career that as yet has to produce my first dollar , what is the benefit of using "pay for" tracking boards. Who determines when there's "heat" and how much "heat" there is?

Does the industry who is "reading" the spec actually submit comments? Or is it a result of what the writer's team is providing? I could see how this might benefit a spec that a lot of potential buyers might jump on board and contact the writer's reps to get a chance to read too.

But in the same respect, if you and your rep have a strategy to limit who it goes out to, I can't see that the "announcement" would help if you're getting read by the targeted people.

I used to think that getting on the boards was like a milestone Do people in the industry use these boards to keep track of who else the project is in to?

I'm looking to better understand the tools at my disposal and when they would be in my interest to use them-- that, and I hate being an ignorant fool if I can help it.

Looking for some honest opinions.

Thanks,
FA4
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:17 AM   #2
ducky1288
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Default Re: Internal Tracking Boards vs Paid Public Tracking Boards

Tracking Boards you pay for are generally for writers and those who don't work directly inside the industry, because as your manager mentioned, they have their own "secret" or internal tracking boards that only execs/reps can be a part of. They secretly talk about what specs they are enjoying and that's sometimes how things get "hot" because it's a word of mouth spreading type situation.

Things that get "hot" on tracking boards open to anyone who pays can be tricky because you don't know where the source of the heat is or if it's faux hype from someone chummy with the the person who runs the board or them trying to get ahead of the game by saying something is "hot" when that's not really the case.

I'm not sure a lot of industry people pay attention to the paid tracking boards.
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Old 05-09-2016, 05:58 AM   #3
finalact4
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Default Re: Internal Tracking Boards vs Paid Public Tracking Boards

Quote:
Originally Posted by ducky1288 View Post
Tracking Boards you pay for are generally for writers and those who don't work directly inside the industry, because as your manager mentioned, they have their own "secret" or internal tracking boards that only execs/reps can be a part of. They secretly talk about what specs they are enjoying and that's sometimes how things get "hot" because it's a word of mouth spreading type situation.

Things that get "hot" on tracking boards open to anyone who pays can be tricky because you don't know where the source of the heat is or if it's faux hype from someone chummy with the the person who runs the board or them trying to get ahead of the game by saying something is "hot" when that's not really the case.

I'm not sure a lot of industry people pay attention to the paid tracking boards.
Thanks, Ducky, I made the right decision by not having my work listed, then, imo-- not trying to impress other writers, just want to be read.

Ciao-
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Internal Tracking Boards vs Paid Public Tracking Boards

I've worked at places that had subscriptions to some of these places, like Studiosystem. But I don't think anyone really used the logins much. Certainly not on any kind of religious basis to keep up with all the goings ons. Generally speaking, if somebody wants to know something, they'll call somebody and ask.

For what it's worth, Tracking-Board has job postings, but they're 100% useless because they consistently get the postings a week after they've initially been posted somewhere else. I don't think it's much of a logical leap to infer that much of their other information is stale.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Internal Tracking Boards vs Paid Public Tracking Boards

OK-- I have some experience with both the paid public and industry boards (usually google groups)... it's sorta like the difference between going wide with a spec (usually an unknown writer or a genre play) and going tactical (established writer or exceptional spec).

Savvy reps strive to control the market by 'leaking' a spec to active members of the industry boards knowing that if the spec is deemed amazing ('Consider' or in very rare cases 'Recommend') it will organically and rapidly generate buzz-- there is typically no need for public postings until territories are assigned to first look producers and/or ratcheting up the heat by listing talent that has read and would be willing to attach if the spec gets set up. Keep in mind that only one producer/prodco is traditionally assigned the territory of a specific studio (their first look partner), but if their studio passes then they can shop it elsewhere.

When I have gone wide followed by listings on the paid boards (after assigning at least a couple territories) we will get a few top producers that request from that, but many industry insiders may consider the script over-exposed at that point.

Everyone loves an exclusive and to have access to the best material first is the goal. The real purpose of the public announcements is to close deals and escalate/accelerate bidding/attachments.

Hope that helps a bit.

Mark
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Internal Tracking Boards vs Paid Public Tracking Boards

Yeah.

I agree.

Last edited by Dustin Taylor : 05-11-2016 at 03:12 AM.
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