[Air-l] Script Tracking Boards

Art McGee amcgee at virtualidentity.org
Fri Apr 11 12:47:38 PDT 2003

Story Number 1:

Wired Magazine

May 2003 (Issue 11.05)

To Live and Die in L.A.

I've been tipped to the network of semisecret cyberhallways,
called tracking boards, that are open only to the most elite
power players in the industry. In simplest terms, these
boards are sophisticated chat rooms and BBSes where high-level
executives at various studios trade information about potential

They may seem innocuous at first glance, but the boards are
where a writer meets his fate. Before a script goes out, it
either gets deep-sixed or hyped up. Often, it's said, execs
will go online and leak privileged information or even lie
about projects in order to drive prices up - or down. If the
rumors are true, it means that the fix is in: major collusions
between studios, arbitrary blackballing, a system that mocks
any standard of fair play. It's not just scripts - books,
directors, even actors are tracked.

Full Story:



Story Number 2:

Online Journalism Review

October 30, 2002

Hollywood's Hidden Digital Ether

Within a year, thanks to this and parallel efforts,
virtually all of young Hollywood was wired together in
a guerrilla network so complete, that people on the film
industry's bottom rung seemed suddenly to know everything
worth knowing about a crucial commodity, hot scripts, while
their older bosses, who weren't invited to the party,
remained shut out.

Thus was the "tracking monster" born - and with it,
according to some, came new values that altered not just
the film business, but film itself, as the race for material
changed from a competition among Jeffrey Katzenberg-inspired
"Golden Retrievers" to an intricately wired swarm in which
young gatekeepers, sharing identical information, go thumbs
up or thumbs down on new scripts, en masse, in a nanosecond.

"I think its the major reason films have gotten worse, and
scripts have been having a tough time selling," said David
Warden, whose Warden, White & Associates is one of the
entertainment industry's best known boutique writers agencies.

Full Story:



Story Number 3:

Online Journalism Review

October 30, 2002

Where the Network is Today

Today, most professional script tracking boards are set
up as private, password-only networks hosted by commercial
operations like Hollywood Media Corp's Filmtracker. After
paying a subscription fee, users either create their own
groups or request placement with an appropriate one. A new
subscriber working for a producer with a Sony deal might get
plugged into a group missing Sony representation, for example.

Full Story:



Art McGee
Principal Consultant
Virtual Identity

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