Trackinb Contest

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  • Re: Trackinb Contest

    Originally posted by jsay View Post
    The Nicholl is a non-profit that gets its big award money from a large donation made by the Nicholls, not from entry fees...
    If that's the case, then forget about the prize money thing. But still... $35 vs. $65... and I don't think TrackingB gets near the submissions that Nicholl does (I can't find a number for TB's entries last year so I can't swear to that.)

    So if it's $35 to support operating costs for Nicholl who gets 6,000 entries. And $65 to support costs for TB who gets (guesstimating) 3,000...

    The question still remains. There's a huge difference there. One that would benefit from transparency.

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    • Re: Trackinb Contest

      Originally posted by ATB View Post

      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?
      ATB: Nicholl had 6,700 entries last year whereas Trackingb had 1000. (Aspirant posted the numbers in another thread) Greg said the majority enter Nicholl last minute meaning they pay the higher $50 fee. So Nicholl has nearly 7xs the income than trackingb - and yes, they are funded by a huge organization as well...

      And they've been at it a lot longer than trackingb - perhaps in time trackingb will offer prize money when they become better known and get more entries.
      "Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." -[/SIZE] James R. Cook

      Comment


      • Re: Trackinb Contest

        Originally posted by JoJo View Post
        Alex, even contests with "transparency," who give details about the process can never really "police" their readers. A reader may be instructed to read an entire script but it's possible some readers just read a few pages and make their decision. They may be instructed to keep their personal preferences in check re: genre, but one reader, being human, might score an entry much lower than the script deserves because it's not their cup of tea.

        You don't know how much they're paying their readers, how many readers there are - what their genuine expenses are, how much they "pocket."

        If a contest promises X,Y and Z and delivers on X,Y, and Z, then they're legit - the ones that make promises and don't deliver on them (and I know there are ones out there) are scams.

        Every contest offers something different, and writers have no control over the process, transparent or not.
        Process matters which is why Nicholl and Page detail it ad nauseum, for them and us. There is a stark difference between issuing judging criteria and not: it sets the standard for the readers, and whether they choose to comply, at least they'll be evaluating scripts with that standard in mind. Otherwise, whoever their readers are may set their own criteria, and the judging process will be tainted with inconsistency and capriciousness.

        And though a contest can get its entrants repped, it cannot be legitimate without knowing its process, like a boxing match where you don't see the judges' score cards. We know about Nicholl and Page. Again, I'll ask: who are the readers, what is done with noncommercial scripts, and how many internal rounds (I'm not asking for the rounds to be published for our sake) are there? Without answers to these questions, 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.

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        • Re: Trackinb Contest

          Originally posted by JoJo View Post
          perhaps in time trackingb will offer prize money when they become better known and get more entries.
          It's not the prize money that's important.

          I don't think it matters. It's nice but it's only a bank account cushion unless we're talking about Nicholl.

          You said TrackingB has 1000 to Nicholl's 6700 entries. So Nicholl needs only $35 to get qualified industry pros to read their entries and TB needs $65 to get undisclosed individuals to read theirs. Why does TB need more money to cover less scripts?

          That still demands some transparency to me. There's no reason to deny it.

          FULL DISCLOSURE: I have never entered TrackingB and have no vendetta against them. I'm only echoing the voices of other writers on this thread.

          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.
            OK, since you're making such effort to be constructive about all this, I'll share my thoughts. (I still stand by the moniker of "who cares" tho. People seriously need to ask themselves what's valuable in this industry. Peanuts, or eyes on your script. The right eyes mean a paycheck and a potential launching point that could change your life.... I don't give a sh*t about 65$ bucks.)


            I can't tell you (nor can anyone, so stop asking) where your money goes. But I can imagine what your money's doing. You're paying for--

            --First and foremost, The Insider's network. Ya. his network of contacts developed over his career. Know anyone else slingin' sh*t to management companies? More specifically - someone who companies will listen to? I don't.
            I really want you to think about that for moment. It's his network.

            --you're paying for some help/readers i would imagine. Some kind of resource more than likely. That's a HUGE expense if you're contracting that work. An even BIGGER if you're getting people to do as +1 in their life.

            --you're paying for the tabs that go along with dinners and meetings he and his staff have with management companies. You don't take a dozen top managers out to taco bell. They wining and dining in class. Thousands of dollars class. (i've racked up 400 dollar bills with 5 friends in sh*tty joints, what do you think a dozen managers and a few staff will rack up in a classy joint in LA?)

            --you're paying to keep his lights on. Seriously, nobody rolls in hollywood without paying some major bills. I'm not talking your power and cable bills either. Think about that for a minute. What are his major sources of income? I don't know, maybe he's a producer who drops bombs all day. Maybe he's just a social dude plugged in who keeps a float being the "insider" for everyone involved.

            --you're paying more to weed out the sh*t. you're paying for exclusivity. Because 65$ isn't that much. But apparently it is. Only it isn't if you laying down quality IMO (What, I have to buy my own hammer - said the carpenter)

            --lastly, sh*t neither of us know or understand - cause we're not insiders.

            Comment


            • Re: Trackinb Contest

              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.
              twitter.com/leespatterson

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              • Re: Trackinb Contest

                Alex, aren't all these contest readers, for the most part, anonymous? Cause if I knew who they were I would so be sending them roses and chocolate.

                I think it all comes down to the luck of the draw - regardless of the contest's transparency -one reader may love a script - "commercial" or not - whereas another hates it - I guess that's why Nicholl went to a 2-reader system to give each script a more fair shot.
                "Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." -[/SIZE] James R. Cook

                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 is 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.
                  Correct.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Trackinb Contest

                    Let's not slip in that TrackingB hires professional readers into this discussion since it explicitly states on his/her website that the scripts are read by the staff.

                    Comment


                    • Re: Trackinb Contest

                      ATB: the majority pay $50 (now $52 I think) to enter Nicholl, so you're really comparing $52 to $65.
                      "Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." -[/SIZE] James R. Cook

                      Comment


                      • Re: Trackinb Contest

                        Originally posted by JoJo View Post
                        Alex, aren't all these contest readers, for the most part, anonymous? Cause if I knew who they were I would so be sending them roses and chocolate.

                        I think it all comes down to the luck of the draw - regardless of the contest's transparency -one reader may love a script - "commercial" or not - whereas another hates it - I guess that's why Nicholl went to a 2-reader system to give each script a more fair shot.
                        To a degree, yes, readers are anonymous. From the Nicholl and Page faqs, we do know about their backgrounds, however: they are writers, professional readers, filmmakers, assistants and at the latter stages, execs and representatives. TrackingB's readers, however, are his staff, who we don't know about.

                        Comment


                        • Re: Trackinb Contest

                          Paradis,

                          Thanks for being more thorough in your response. I do appreciate that. But let's be honest...

                          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.

                          I know The Insider helps newbs start making change as pros, but no... I don't think what you've listed is okay. (And I know it's not fact).

                          This is the whole point of asking for transparency... so we don't have to speculate like you just did (which is fine).

                          Show your entrants what they're paying for. They shouldn't have to guess.

                          You're not a non-profit, you're a business. Show your customers how you operate.

                          Comment


                          • Re: Trackinb Contest

                            Originally posted by JoJo View Post
                            ATB: the majority pay $50 (now $52 I think) to enter Nicholl, so you're really comparing $52 to $65.
                            Early entrants for Nicholl and TB are $35 and $65, respectively.

                            Regular deadline entrants are $52 and $80 (unless that's old), respectively.

                            So the difference stays the same the closer you get to the deadline.

                            Comment


                            • Re: Trackinb Contest

                              Originally posted by ATB View Post
                              Early entrants for Nicholl and TB are $35 and $65, respectively.

                              Regular deadline entrants are $52 and $80 (unless that's old), respectively.

                              So the difference stays the same the closer you get to the deadline.
                              It's still 1000 entries vs 6700 entries.

                              If 6000 of the 6700 Nicholl entries paid the higher fee - that's $312,000 plus $24,500 from the 700 early entries, and say TB gets 100 early entries - that's $6500 and 900 late entries-that's $72,000.

                              $336,500 vs. $78,500.
                              "Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." -[/SIZE] James R. Cook

                              Comment


                              • Re: Trackinb Contest

                                JoJo,

                                Nicholl is still having to pay readers to read 6,700 entries and TB is paying readers to read 1,000.

                                The costs are relative. It would be good to know if TB is using the money to pay for high-demand readers or pocketing the money to pay for expensive dinners to woo managers.

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