Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tracking Boards

Hollywood Assistants like tracking boards. For the layfolk, tracking boards are listservs, comprised of Hollywood assistants, whose primary purpose is to facilitate the spreading of information. The reasons to like – nay, love – tracking boards are obvious. Immediate access to network ratings, new specs, pilot/series pickups, and casting announcements before they show up in tomorrow’s Hollywood Reporter. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to present your boss with an elusive script (“Dollhouse? I found it in like, two seconds. And what, Whedon?!”) or insider gossip (“Marc Korman is totally leaving UTA for Endeavor!”). Need to find the best desk drawer maker who works primarily with pinewood and can ship to a remote cabin in Tahoe in 24 hours’ notice? Ask the tracking board. You may not get an answer, but you may discover someone who sympathizes with such an absurd request, thus vindicating the timesuck you’ve found yourself in.

Tracking boards make even the biggest slackers among us appear smart, well connected, and resourceful - which, in turn, brings us one step closer to the elusive thing we're all chasing: a promotion. Of course, if you'd rather jump ship from the chains weighing you down in your current cube, tracking boards are also supremely useful in helping you find the latest UTA list, job opening, or even your replacement.

Like all good things, though, tracking boards can be flawed. When your daily to-do list rivals the Dead Sea Scroll, the last thing your inbox needs is a chain 45 e-mails long dissecting the intricacies of a Youtube video that showcases some British baby named Charlie with a propensity for biting fingers (or, for that matter, someone asking you about a pinewood specialist – how the f*ck do you know?).

Nor do you want to read about someone “graciously” giving up their front row tickets to that sold out concert at the Hollywood Bowl / 8pm dinner reservation at Mozza / VIP access to the premiere party in Westwood. We get it – you have connections, you have a social calendar. Good for you. We don’t need your leftovers. And, let’s be honest: we really don’t care about your “I’m getting laid” announcement thinly veiled as a search for “a great restaurant in West Hollywood for a date.”

So herein lay the secret reason Hollywood assistants like tracking boards - whether it be witty banter, an inside joke, or a self-referential anecdote, we love to give our proverbial two cents, we love to self-promote, and, above all, we love to talk about ourselves. Why else do we have a blog?

WHERE: Hollywood
COST: Your soul.

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