FAQ for PowerGrid Pro
Who should sign up for PowerGrid Pro?
We designed PowerGrid Pro with four distinct audiences in mind:
- MP Lit Agents and Managers. If you’re an agent or manager (or one of their assistants), you’re going to love PowerGrid Pro. Not only will you have at your fingertips a web-enabled, constantly-updated, searchable and sortable version of the Spec, OWA and ODA grids you use (or want to use) on a daily basis, you can attach your own private notes to every Project, Person and Company record in the database. Enter your client submissions and meetings once, and every time you make a follow up call your notes are just a few keystrokes away. (If a Project, Person or Company isn’t already in the database, let us know — we’ll add it to the grid for you.) Say goodbye to all those wasteful hard copies and cumbersome spreadsheets.
- Professional filmmakers and screenwriters. For working writers and directors, always-on access to a constantly-updated OWA and ODA grid could be a game-changer. Sure, some of you have reps who are the exception to the rule — you’re her number one client, she hunts and kills for you on a daily basis, you’ve got offers coming out of your ears, yadda yadda. Even so, knowing the history of a given project (plus everything else that exec or producer is working on) before you go in is always helpful. But for most of you? The grid will be a critical tool to help you agent your agents and managers and get in those rooms.
- Producers and development executives. Like agents and managers, if you’re a producer or development executive you’re going to love the site. Whether you’re keeping track of your thoughts on the specs and samples that flow across your desk every day, researching competitive projects across town or keeping an eye on what the production company across the lot is bringing in to the studio, PowerGrid Pro will become as indispensable to you as the Creative Directory and The Studio System. And if you’re an assistant working for one of these people, you’ll want your own PowerGrid Pro account — information is currency in Hollywood, after all. (You’ve seen “Swimming With Sharks,” right?)
- Aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters. If you’re serious about breaking into the film industry, you need to know as much as you can about what’s in development around town, not to mention who’s where and what they’re working on or who they represent. The grid represents a window into the world of feature film development that has been all but unavailable to outsiders until now. In addition, the system will be an important tool in your quest to achieve that most elusive of prizes: Access. Among other benefits, with a few clicks of the mouse, you’ll be able to figure out which managers and agents would be most receptive to your material (and thus increase the chances of being asked to submit your script for consideration for representation).
ONE IMPORTANT CAVEAT for you tyros, however: As helpful as the grid will be to you, with extraordinarily rare exceptions it will not be a direct route to your first job as a writer or director. In fact, THE LAST THING YOU SHOULD DO is use the grid to submit your material directly for a given open assignment. Gatekeepers are built into the system for a reason; go around them at your own peril.
What can I do with PowerGrid Pro?
We’re working on a public section of the site to show off its various features and functionality. Until its ready, you’ll just have to imagine the splendor that is the site’s searchable, sortable database. There are three different layouts for search results:
- A simple list with basic information, depending on the kind of search you’re doing;
- A thumbnail of each record within the search results themselves, so you can see additional details without having to navigate away from the search results; and
- A detail page for each record that presents all the information for that project, person or company in an easy-to-read and -print layout
In addition, you can store your own private notes for every Project, Person and Company in the database. So whether you’re a rep keeping track of who you’ve submitted for a project, a writer keeping notes on each of your generals or a creative executive keeping track of your response to specific writers and material, we’ve got you covered.
By the way, aside from the OWA and ODA data in our system, the above features are PowerGrid Pro’s biggest differentiator. No other site makes its information available in a structured, searchable format like this one, and none provides its subscribers with the ability to tie private notes to the public record.
That sounds really cool, but just how private are my private notes?
Really, really private. No one but you will have access to your account (even our system administrators can’t see your password), so unless you give out your username and password (and our Subscription Agreement expressly prohibits you from doing so), no one will ever have access to your notes or any other private data.
What should I not do with PowerGrid Pro?
To be honest, this isn’t really a frequently asked question. We just wanted to emphasize the caveat we included above: If you’re not already working in the entertainment business, don’t use the grid as a shortcut to getting in touch with or submitting your material to producers and executives. Again, gatekeepers are built into the system for a reason. Most production companies and studios will return or destroy your unsolicited submissions unread anyway; bombarding them with calls and emails will only irritate them and make them disinclined to meet you. Ever. If you want to get the most out of the grid as an aspiring filmmaker or writer, use it to educate yourself about how the business works, to help you decide what specs to write, and as a way to be prepared when opportunity knocks.
Where does the information on PowerGrid Pro come from?
We gather spec and in development market information organically on a daily basis from multiple sources within the entertainment industry. The big difference between PowerGrid Pro’s spec data is its format: No other spec tracking service presents its data in a structured, searchable format like this one. As for the OWA, ODA and other development data, we gather it just like the big agencies do: We each cover a couple of territories and make it part of our daily routine to stay on top of what’s going on at a particular studio, production company or other buyer.
We top it all off by keeping an eye on the trades and other sources for reports of new projects and updates on existing projects that had previously stayed below the radar. We don’t pretend to be able to get ahead of the big agencies, but we won’t ever be far behind.
I can’t believe you’re making all this information publicly available. Aren’t you worried about…
In a word, no. There will no doubt be a few people and companies who resent changes to the status quo, but we’re less concerned about their feelings than those of the thousands of people like ourselves and our clients who will benefit from this project. To paraphrase the great Dr. Rick Marshall, those guys can suck it.