Trackinb Contest

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  • Re: Trackinb Contest

    Originally posted by AlexNoa View Post
    it is impossible to put TrackingB in the top trinity of contests. It should stay in the second tier along with other contests with good track records like Scriptapalooza and Final Draft.
    Based on my experience in two of these contests mentioned. Both from the same year - Top 40 Finalist in final draft - 2 reads, Honorable Mention in Trackingb - 40+ reads...

    2nd tier... ? Depends what you're looking for I guess...

    Comment


    • Re: Trackinb Contest

      Originally posted by ATB View Post
      I'm not arguing, honest, but I didn't ask that question. I knew that already.

      I didn't enter any contests this year because I was trying to smooth out a script and finish another.

      But if I did, I would've gone for Nicholl and skipped TrackingB (that does not mean I think winning trackingb isn't a great accomplishment).

      That being said, that isn't the point.

      We're talking about money practices. And particularly about transparency (I think?).

      Here's what I don't get:

      Nicholl charges $35 for a feature entry.

      TrackingB charges $65. That's nearly double.

      Nicholl offers up to $150,000 back to its winners/fellows.

      TrackingB offers $0.00

      So let's assume both contests have the same operating costs. Same salaries. Same expenses.

      Where's the equivalent of TrackingB's fellowship money going?

      I know that TrackingB hustles their asses off to get its winners representation and that Nicholl makes a point to not do that, but Nicholl doesn't need to with its clout. Reps come to Nicholl, not the other way around (or, rather, to Nicholl's winners).

      So is it really justified to charge nearly double what Nicholl does?

      That's what some people are wondering. And it's why they're asking for more transparency.
      It doesn't matter where the money goes. It's none of your business. And by "your" I mean anyone not involved with the competition. It could go on costs, it could go in their pocket, the point is the result is a golden chance, provided by a trusted insider, and who Hollywood takes seriously.

      Paradis is right, it doesn't matter where the money goes. All that matters is they are legit and have a proven and consistent track record. When you go for a mortgage or buy a train ticket or whatever, you have no right to demand where that money goes or how it's spent or how much is taken as profit. It's none of your business, simple. You either pay the fee for representation or you don't. And you deal with that whatever answer you come to.

      $65 for the chance of representation by one of the most prestigious sources??? Sign me up! That's nothing. TrackingB isn't your repping from some 3rd tier agent in LA. It's repping that gets you to the big guns. Nicholl is cheaper, sure, but winning, and with an artistic script rather than a commerical one, doesn't mean you're going to get snapped up.

      And does anyone really thinks some turgid 120 page script is going to be read to the end by readers in any competition? As soon as they realise it's not getting their vote for the next round, it's dropped, so questioning how much is read is also absurd IMO.

      And here's the thing that seems to have been missed - whatever their judging critieria, it works. They may ditch scripts after 5 pages, they may vote titles to the next round based solely on the writing and not the story, or the story and not so much the writing behind it, it may be based on instinct and nothing regimented. But whatever the process - it works - and those still standing at the end are being snapped up by Hollywood.


      As Emily and Paradis have said, people quibbling over this are not ready to go pro.

      Comment


      • Re: Trackinb Contest

        Originally posted by -XL- View Post
        Jesus, this is a headache-inducing thread. Perhaps it's all the crack being smoked.

        You cannot compare trackingb and Nicholl in that manner.

        Nicholl is not a money-making venture -- is says so right there in their FAQ. Their entrance fees barely cover the cost of their readers/admin. The fellowship money (or the majority of it) comes from another source. I believe it's a trust that was set up by Don and Gee, but I might be remembering wrong. It's been a few years since I won.

        Trackingb, on the other hand, *is* a money making venture. Their entrance fees aren't much more than the cost per script to hire a professional reader. Unlike Nicholl, they don't seem to be searching for the "best" writers to champion, regardless of marketability etc. They seem to be searching for people/scripts that are market-ready -- ready to have representation/to be put up for work. And you cannot argue with their results. Think of it as an extension of the business. There's no prize money, no quarter finalist pat on the back, nothing except the implied promise that, if you're ready, they can give you a hand climbing up that first step -- and, judging by the experiences of people who have done well in the competition (and I know more than a few), they more than live up to that promise.

        In my opinion, Nicholl and trackingb are the only two competitions you are *required* to enter if you're seriously pursuing a career as a screenwriter. There are others -- Austin/Page etc -- that *might* be worth entering, but Nicholl and trackingb's consistent results speak for themselves. Nicholl is, and will continue to be, the gold standard. But ignoring trackingb means you're missing out on a huge opportunity.
        I'm quoting this again 'cause I think some of you missed it. Oh, look, I even put in bold the most important part.

        HH

        Comment


        • Re: Trackinb Contest

          Originally posted by ATB View Post
          Dude's making bank.

          It is not justified to expect your entrants to pay for your extravagant meals or your general high cost of living.
          Crazy. Sheer crazy. The guy has connections and is legit. So yeah, he can charge whatever he wants, for whatever he wants, just for the privelige. As others have said - and as you know - he gets you to the top level people - so even if he said, "guys, this is gold, rare as rocking horse s**t, you know it, so it's gonna cost you. It's gonna cost $65 a pop 'cause I reckon my time, rep and contacts are worth thousands and I reckon $65 is low enough to get the money I deserve. I'll pass on the top 10 that are truly quality enough. But be warned, I'm not passing on any crud, that s**t will kill my rep", then that would be fair enough.



          You're not a non-profit, you're a business. Show your customers how you operate.
          Crazy. Again. And as said, he doesn't have to. Microsoft don't have to justify to you why the console that costs them 70 cents costs you two hundred bucks.



          Originally posted by ATB View Post
          It doesn't all go to readers. And it sure doesn't go to the winners. So, then... where?

          I can only conclude that it's pocketed.

          And if that's the case, I'd much rather spend my money on Nicholl... where I know what I'm paying for and who's getting my money.
          Again, it's irrelevant. And IMO crazy. So what if it's pocketed? For a measly $65 - not even the cost of a meal for 2 at a restaurant, you're getting the chance to bypass the gatekeepers and filters.

          Comment


          • Re: Trackinb Contest

            Well, Sundown, maybe that's what this thread is really all about. For the rich kids in town $65 is such a paltry amount that it doesn't matter whether you hand it out for something or nothing. So you simply can't understand what all the fuss is about. And if you have money to burn, why not burn it on TrackingB? I entirely agree.

            Still, there is a bottom line with all this. Unless you're so rich that Daddy can finance your movie, you have to write an exceptional script to get it made. And if your script is exceptional, you don't need TrackingB. Exceptional scripts will find an agent without TrackingB. If you aren't writing exceptional scripts (and you aren't rich enough to treat money like dirt) then spend your money getting feedback which will improve your script and improve your writing - and enter Nicholl to find out if this improvement has done any good.

            And, by the way, there is no such thing as a "nearly pro". Either you write great scripts, or you carry on trying until you do (or give up). And, hopefully, you will remain a "learner" until you either write better than Shakespeare or die - professional or not.

            Comment


            • Re: Trackinb Contest

              I just have to chime in here... for those that think receiving notes or feedback is a measure of the quality of the contest (and I'm not talking about Nicholls or TrackingB here)...

              Sometime ago, I responded to two ads looking for contest readers...

              One contest that provides "notes" as part of the entry fee, pays their readers $10 for the notes and a "scorecard" on each script... I passed... but it really opened MY eyes...

              The other contest paid $25... still not enough to make me consider the job... and with this particular contest you paid for notes in addition to the entry fee.

              How much time do you think a "reader" is spending analyzing, critiquing, or even reading your SP when they're only getting $10 (or even $25)?

              How knowledgeable do you think the readers are who are willing to work for that $10?

              Comment


              • Re: Trackinb Contest

                Since comparisons have been made about entry fees, I'll offer a guess about the average fee paid by TrackingB and Nicholl entrants.

                TrackingB has a three-tiered fee system - $70, $80 and $95. There is also an option of guaranteed representation at a management company for an additional $25 fee. Given the way entries arrive at Nicholl and at other competitions and figuring that about 1/3 of entrants select the extra fee, my estimate is that the average TrackingB entry fee would be close to $95.

                Nicholl has a two-tiered fee system - $35 and $52 in 2012. Based on prior years, my estimate is that the average Nicholl entry fee will be close to $47.

                (As Nicholl expenses were mentioned earlier, I wanted to provide a clarification. My estimate is that the average $47 entry fee will not cover our 2012 reading costs. Fellowships awards (now $35,000 each), travel, hotel and awards ceremony, administration and staff, database and website development and support - all of this will be above the entry fee revenue. Essentially, the endowment provided by the Mrs. Nicholl covers the fellowship awards; the Academy covers all other expenses.)

                Comment


                • Re: Trackinb Contest

                  Originally posted by Mintclub View Post
                  Based on my experience in two of these contests mentioned. Both from the same year - Top 40 Finalist in final draft - 2 reads, Honorable Mention in Trackingb - 40+ reads...

                  2nd tier... ? Depends what you're looking for I guess...
                  Let's be honest. Top 40 and top 10 are two very different things.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Trackinb Contest

                    Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post

                    And here's the thing that seems to have been missed - whatever their judging critieria, it works. They may ditch scripts after 5 pages, they may vote titles to the next round based solely on the writing and not the story, or the story and not so much the writing behind it, it may be based on instinct and nothing regimented. But whatever the process - it works - and those still standing at the end are being snapped up by Hollywood.
                    That's a lot of assumptions, especially that your script will fall on the right side of the nonspecific judging process. Is your logline or first page that fantastic? Do you have faith that your reader will even like your genre or subgenre? Is your script right in the "sweet spot" of 100-110 pages? How do you have such belief without knowing? And how many scripts from the contest have you read?

                    Comment


                    • Re: Trackinb Contest

                      Originally posted by AlexNoa View Post
                      That's a lot of assumptions, especially that your script will fall on the right side of the nonspecific judging process. Is your logline or first page that fantastic? Do you have faith that your reader will even like your genre or subgenre? Is your script right in the "sweet spot" of 100-110 pages? How do you have such belief without knowing? And how many scripts from the contest have you read?
                      What do you think happens when you query a management company directly?

                      Look at the advanced script pages forum right here at DDP. You can assess someone's skill set pretty fast.

                      Put aside $2.50 a week starting right now and you'll have the money to enter trackingb. If your script isn't great, don't enter.

                      Comment


                      • Re: Trackinb Contest

                        Originally posted by justin View Post
                        Well, Sundown, maybe that's what this thread is really all about. For the rich kids in town $65 is such a paltry amount that it doesn't matter whether you hand it out for something or nothing.
                        In what world is $65 a lot of money? let alone for the chance - if it's good enough - to get past the gatekeepers and in to the hands of people who really make a difference?


                        And if your script is exceptional, you don't need TrackingB. Exceptional scripts will find an agent without TrackingB.
                        What? You think every good script makes it? Really? There's a ton of great scripts out there right now that haven't been readbecause the inundated agent/prodco/studio got snowed under with a ton of queries and missed it, or they read the logline on a day when they were pre occupied/in a bad mood/sick, or they read it at a time when they weren't interested in that kid of stuff and yet 3 years later, they are interested.

                        And even if, by soem strange happenstance, all great scripts made it to the top, paying a lousy $65 to cut out 10 years of grind is well worth it.

                        Unless you're from some tiny island where $65 is a year's wage, I do not understand where you are coming from.


                        If you aren't writing exceptional scripts (and you aren't rich enough to treat money like dirt)
                        LOL - how can you reason with anybody who sees $65 as a lot of money and who thinks spending it on a chance for representation by the big guns is treating money like dirt????


                        then spend your money getting feedback which will improve your script and improve your writing - and enter Nicholl to find out if this improvement has done any good.
                        Now I kow you're joking! You think getting feedback is worth it? As SBScript said somewhere (maybe this thread) it's hilarious how people gladly fork out for some nobody to give out development notes and yet balk at paying for TrackingB!

                        Feedback services have ruined scripts that were just fine but they felt qulaified to comment and who also felt they had to give developmentnotes in order to justify the money you dropped. Let me run this by you again: you are quite happy to pay someone - usually with no influence or credentials - for notes and end up with your script no firther down the line but you are reluctant to pay that same amountof money to someone who, if they like your work, will hand you over to the big boys in Hollywood.

                        Most of all - if you feel your work needs development notes then what the hell are you doing entering TrackingB, Nicholl or any other top tier competition?!?!?!? You just invalidated your entire stance by saying this!



                        Originally posted by AlexNoa View Post
                        That's a lot of assumptions, especially that your script will fall on the right side of the nonspecific judging process. Is your logline or first page that fantastic? Do you have faith that your reader will even like your genre or subgenre? Is your script right in the "sweet spot" of 100-110 pages? How do you have such belief without knowing? And how many scripts from the contest have you read?
                        No assumptions at all. Reread my post. I am happy to pay $65 - a Friday night on the town - for the chance. I don't give a hoot about reader preference or logline. I just see the inherent value in the contest. it's like a wannabe singer paying for the chance to be signed by Simon Cowell, or a band paying for the chance to be signed by David Geffen, or an entrepreneaur paying for the chance to get angel investment from Donald Trump.

                        I don't know what anyone likes - nor do these guys when they send in their demos to the music labels. And you are being both preposterous and crazy to want to know the exact details. Even if they listed the judges, how do you knwo which one reads your script? or what mood he was in when he read it? Did he get a great BJ that morning or did she stop just at the crucial moment? You can't over analyse this stuff and the fact that you are is proof (to me, anyway) that you clearly aren't ready. You have to believe that your script rocks and is pro quality, regardless of genre, regardless of reader, regardless of whether he got a great BJ that morning or not.

                        If you are that good of a singer or a band and you think you can rock the music industry then you won't care which professional A&R guy listens to your stuff. You won't care at all. You'll just *know* you're better than 99.9% of the competition and that the industry is crying out for better than 99.9% of what's out there, trying to make it.
                        Last edited by SundownInRetreat; 02-21-2012, 08:18 AM.

                        Comment


                        • Re: Trackinb Contest

                          Originally posted by iggy View Post
                          What do you think happens when you query a management company directly?

                          Look at the advanced script pages forum right here at DDP. You can assess someone's skill set pretty fast.

                          Put aside $2.50 a week starting right now and you'll have the money to enter trackingb. If your script isn't great, don't enter.
                          Like I said, it's not about the money. By your logic, every one of the 1000+ entrants last year thought their script was great. Some probably were. What makes you think yours is without knowing if it meets the nonspecific judging criteria? You and others are taking a plunge believing some rep will catch you, without knowing where to jump and what the reqs are for the rep to catch you. What's worse is you're trying to silence reasonable questions for those who'd like to know before they jump.

                          Comment


                          • Re: Trackinb Contest

                            Originally posted by AlexNoa View Post
                            Do you have faith that your reader will even like your genre or subgenre? Is your script right in the "sweet spot" of 100-110 pages? How do you have such belief without knowing?
                            Dude. Welcome to Hollywood. That's every agent, producer, and motherfcker you send it to. It's like talking to teenagers in here sometimes.

                            Originally posted by justin View Post
                            Well, Sundown, maybe that's what this thread is really all about. For the rich kids in town $65 is such a paltry amount that it doesn't matter whether you hand it out for something or nothing. So you simply can't understand what all the fuss is about. And if you have money to burn, why not burn it on TrackingB? I entirely agree.

                            Still, there is a bottom line with all this. Unless you're so rich that Daddy can finance your movie, you have to write an exceptional script to get it made. And if your script is exceptional, you don't need TrackingB. Exceptional scripts will find an agent without TrackingB. If you aren't writing exceptional scripts (and you aren't rich enough to treat money like dirt) then spend your money getting feedback which will improve your script and improve your writing - and enter Nicholl to find out if this improvement has done any good.

                            And, by the way, there is no such thing as a "nearly pro". Either you write great scripts, or you carry on trying until you do (or give up). And, hopefully, you will remain a "learner" until you either write better than Shakespeare or die - professional or not.
                            Man, I'm sorry but there's just so much wrong in here. If 65$ is alot of money to you, better yet, if investing 65$ into your career is enough to have you using phrases like "rich daddy"....


                            I can't do this thread anymore.

                            Comment


                            • Re: Trackinb Contest

                              Originally posted by Paradis View Post
                              Dude. Welcome to Hollywood. That's every agent, producer, and motherfcker you send it to. It's like talking to teenagers in here sometimes.
                              The difference here is you're paying a fee to enter. It is not a cold query. What's the problem with a more transparent process and why are you against it?

                              Comment


                              • Re: Trackinb Contest

                                Originally posted by AlexNoa View Post
                                Let's be honest. Top 40 and top 10 are two very different things.
                                Really? Top 40 out of 4000/ top 8 out of 1000. Hmm, I'm no mathematician but they seem statistically pretty close to me...

                                Comment

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