I’ve talked before about Coordinators 411, which – as you know – is a Google group that includes all of the production coordinators, APOCs, secretaries, and eager PAs working in Hollywood today. It’s a great resource when you need to find an animal trainer before tomorrow morning’s 7am call time or need to unload all of the excess office supplies at the end of your show or hire a PA to drive your labradoodle to Bryce Canyon, Utah.
Recently, the honchos at Coordinators 411 realized that they were sitting on a cash cow, so they attempted to monetize the group by migrating it to a web site, which they had the good sense to name “Production Yak.”
Oh boy. There is so much wrong with this new web site. First of all, I haven’t heard the word “yak” since the second grade, when the nuns at my elementary school chided me for being a “yakking chatterbox.”
Secondly, the Production Yak web site looks like a GeoCities page, circa 1994. The buttons at the top of the page aren’t intuitive. “Yak Live,” “Yak 411,” and “I Need It Now” feel like different ways of saying the same thing. Side question: When the hell in a production office do we NOT need something now, this very moment? That might as well be the only button on the page.
Thirdly, the rank and file production office peeps aren’t too happy about the fact that somebody’s making money off the advertising. If Coordinators 411 was a non-profit, hippie-dippie local grocery store, then Production Yak is its Wal-Mart counterpart.
Finally – AND MOST IMPORTANTLY – Production Yak is… different. It requires change. It requires learning an entirely new system. And, as I’ve mentioned before, nothing meets greater resistance in a production office than trying to change things. If they could still get away with faxing everything, they would.