A lot of you guys write in asking me where I get my scripts, where I find out about new scripts, and where I get my information in general. Well first of all, I can read minds. So a typical afternoon finds me hanging outside CAA and just psychic-ly stealing information. When I’m too lazy to do that though, I get my info from the miracle of tracking boards.
Tracking boards are private online sites that provide insider industry information. They tell you which spec scripts are being sent around town, which specs are selling, which are failing to sell, which writers are picking up assignments, which scripts are getting heat, what studios they’re getting heat at, etc. etc. As a writer, this is really valuable information. Being able to track which genres and concepts are flooding the market, and where they ultimately end up (or don’t end up), is an essential component to choosing how you want to approach the market with your screenplay.
Tracking boards also update you on job openings (i.e. a personal assistant job for a producer, assistant at an agency), new project attachments, TV pilot happenings, festival info, private screenings, and a whole bunch of other info. What can you do with this information? It’s up to you. For example, it you’re a sci-fi writer and you’re getting ready to query some agents, it would be nice to know which agents are sending out a lot of sci-fi specs.
If you’re serious about the craft of screenwriting (or becoming an agent, manager, producer, etc), if you want to excel in not just the writing side of this business, but the selling side, it’s a good idea to join a tracking board. The one I live and die by is “The Tracking Board (www.tracking-board.com).” Now one of the great added benefits of this specific board is that besides all that other stuff, they also have over 12,000 scripts in their library. That’s about 30 times as many scripts as I’ve reviewed on the site. So if you can’t get enough reading like me, that alone is reason to join. The normal price to sign up is $59.00/yr. but I’ve reached out to these guys to get Scriptshadow readers a 25% discount for the months of May and June (via the button below). This is a super deal so I wouldn’t wait.
I promote It’s On The Grid with a healthy helping of jealousy because one of my goals with Scriptshadow was to develop an online screenplay database which allowed you to search through screenplays and writers so that if you, say, liked a script by Ben Ripley (writer of Source Code), you could find all the other scripts written by Ben Ripley. Well, Jason Scoggins at “It’s On The Grid” beat me to it, damn him. The site is similar to IMDB except IMDB doesn’t cover scripts that haven’t gone into official development. A writer may have 3 scripts on the Black List and worked on 5 assignments, yet none of those scripts are listed because they’re not in development. The Grid is the only database on the net that tracks that info. So again, if you’re a hardcore reader or an aspiring manager/agent/producer, this site is pretty much invaluable.
A one-year membership to It’s On the Grid is over $299. However, if you sign up for their Annual Pro Subscription you get both The Tracking Board and It’s On The Grid for $247, which is a really sweet deal. With both sites, you’ll have access to everything development execs and agents use on a daily basis. Like the above deal though, this goes through May and June only. So get to steppin’ via the button below.