Voting Cycles & Finalists


Fang here. Man, I've gotta tell you all about the delicious new sauce I used on my desert rat this morning....

Just kidding.

I started this blog so that you guys can have some idea of what I'm doing to fix our beloved site. I'll be posting my plans for you to critique throughout the entire renovation process. (Don't expect any changes to the site's theme, though—I'll have to do that when we switch to Ning 3.0.)

I want to start by talking about some of the changes I want to make concerning Voting Cycles and Finalists. Please let me know what you think.

1. Voting Cycles. We had too many of them. When you guys told me that a Voting Cycle a month was too long to wait, I overcompensated—and the result sucked. We ended up having so many Voting Cycles that they, along with the Finalist titles, became devalued. It was also particularly easy to blow off signing up when there was another one right around the corner.

So here's what I'm thinking: I'd like to hold two Voting Cycles per year for each of our nine—yes, NINE—book to film adaptations. Those adaptations would, for logistical reasons, be grouped into sets. Our Voting Cycle schedule would look something like this*:

  • January: Max Ride, M14, Uglies (BTFA Set #1)
  • February: Voting Cycle Prep, Other Contests & Events
  • March: GONE, TBA, TBA (BTFA Set #2)
  • April: Voting Cycle Prep, Other Contests & Events
  • May: TBA, TBA, TBA (BTFA Set #3)
  • June: Voting Cycle Prep, Other Contests & Events
  • July: Max Ride, M14, Uglies (BTFA Set #1)
  • August: Voting Cycle Prep, Other Contests & Events
  • September: GONE, TBA, TBA (BTFA Set #2)
  • October: Voting Cycle Prep, Other Contests & Events
  • November: The Infernal Devices, TBA, TBA (BTFA Set #3)
  • December: Voting Cycle Prep, Other Contests & Events

*Note that voting would run simultaneously for all adaptations in a given set.

For an explanation regarding the sets, see #2.

I still haven't decided on the ideal duration—I'm thinking seven days—so please let me know for how long you feel voting should stay open.

2. Finalists. Your titles were devalued and the rewards weren't high enough to make re-filming and trying worth your time.

Because we'd only have two Voting Cycles per book per year, your titles would regain their former significance. Huzzah!

But that's not all. Do you see how I grouped our BTFAs into sets in the Voting Cycle schedule?

  • Set #1: Max Ride, Uglies, M14 (January, July)
  • Set #2: GONE, TBA, TBA (March, September)
  • Set #3: The Infernal Devices, TBA, TBA (May, November)

The method to my madness is to pair a hugely popular adaptation with two lesser-known adaptations. I have two reasons for doing this:

  • A stipulation of this new schedule would be that members can only become a Finalist for one adaptation per set. This means that it will not be possible for any one member to ever hold more than three Finalist titles.
  • Because of my pairing strategy, you won't be denied the chance to audition for our most popular titles (Max Ride, GONE, TID) just because you received a Finalist title in a previous set.

I believe that this method will allow everyone a reasonably fair opportunity to become a Finalist for our most popular adaptations while giving up-and-coming members a better chance at becoming Finalist titles for our lesser known adaptations.

If you are a Finalist for multiple characters within the same set, I will contact you privately and ask you to choose the character for which you would prefer to be the Finalist. You will be ranked second for the character you didn't choose, and the member who ranked just below you will become the new Finalist. (If you think the member should instead be dropped from the Top Five entirely, please let me know!)

I also plan to promote and pamper the hell out of our Finalists. Since the Finalists for any given adaptation will change just twice a year, that stability will allow me to organize cool stuff like Finalist interviews, cool "group" edits, scene name it. (I'll talk about this  in more detail some other time!)

3. Re-Filming. The solution to this one is easy: re-film your Required Monologues before every Voting Cycle. That's it!

4. Required Monologues: There will be fewer of them. They will also change every six months. (You're welcome!)

I have so much more to talk about, but I don't want to overwhelm. Please leave a comment if you have any comments about my proposed changes. Thanks for reading and here's to a better UBC!


  1. I think this is a great idea and would work really well!! I think it would definitely make more incentive for finalists and for people to be more active and work harder for the titles. I think 7 days would be long enough for the voting, but 2 weeks could be considered maybe? See how it works out. I think if finalists win two titles, the second one they should be second for and not dropped off the list. Because otherwise it would probably encourage people to only go for one btfa in each group, if they know if they win more than one they won't be ranked in another, and as there will be 9 btfa's, I think there will be enough characters and space to be able to still allow them to be ranked in other btfa's. This is really exciting :D I think this could all work out really well, it sounds great!!!

  2. I love all the ideas you have! I agree with having the finalist who gets two titles be second place because he or she should still be recognized as someone who auditioned for the character and placed well. Also, I definitely think two weeks for a cycle should be considered because since there will be 3 voting cycles going on at once people will need more time to view the videos.

  3. I love most of this, but honestly, I disagree with a finalist who takes more than one title being given a lower title. I personally believe that each actor should be recognized for what they received, don't put it out in public that someone who doesn't deserve the title ranked higher than someone who did. A casting director wouldn't take the actress that is best for the part and say, 'Well, she's had a ton of other jobs, so I should be fair and give it to someone who hasn't worked as much.' I think if you earned the titles you should receive and be recognized for them.

    1. I definitely think that should be the case in the real world—however, please consider that if we have members who are Finalists for more than half of our available adaptations, it's going to reflect badly on the site. I've had potential members tell me that they decided not to join after seeing that the same members kept dominating the leading roles, and I can imagine a Casting Director would similarly be puzzled by the lack of variety. (This is also one of the top complaints I've received from our current members about the site; they feel like they're never going to be noticed.) The goal of the website is to put a wide array of talent out there, so allowing members to potentially receive NINE Finalist titles just doesn't feel right.

      Think of it this way: would Casting Directors really cast you for 3+ lead roles in YA adaptations that are being released around the same time?

      It took an incredible amount of fine-tuning to come up with a policy that would allow everyone to participate in every voting cycle—that being said, I will of course reconsider the three-limit rule if enough of you tell me that you think it is unfair.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I love everything that you came up with!

    I agree with Veronica and Gabby about doing the first idea you suggested about placing second. It doesn't seem fair to get knocked completely off the list if you place 1st.

    For what Emma said, casting directors definitely don't pass on you because you have too much of a resume, but I kind of see it as having to choose between two movies that are filming at the same time. You get cast as both but you have to choose one to actually play. I personally don't mind at all if someone got nine titles because that means they probably worked really hard for it, but I also agree that it reflects badly on the site. You want to show that we have a ton of talented people, not a bunch of mediocre actors and one star, which is how it may look if there's only one or two people winning everything.

    I love the way you set the voting cycles up. It will definitely make it a bigger deal to win a title. The pampering also makes it seem like a bigger deal, something to really work for.

    I love your idea of having fewer required monologues because I really want to record all of the required monologues but I know I won't have time to finish them (the fewer times a year will help with that also!)

    You're incredible. You are one of the most hard working, dedicated, innovative thinker, and creative person I have ever met. Don't ever doubt yourself. <3

    1. I personally don't mind at all if someone got nine titles because that means they probably worked really hard for it, but I also agree that it reflects badly on the site. You want to show that we have a ton of talented people, not a bunch of mediocre actors and one star, which is how it may look if there's only one or two people winning everything.

      Couldn't have said it better myself.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I don't have much to say other than that I agree with everyone above and am really happy about this. This (and you) is all great!

  8. I like the idea of more focused voting cycles, which should lead to more refined videos and, from that, a stronger image for UBC. Requiring a nice, simple slate for final cuts would potentially aid casting directors a lot, as well as keep things organized and professional. The question about two-title winners is a tough one. I think it would be best to, as Kat suggested, let the person choose which title they would like to hold. As much as I would love for someone who worked really hard to get all the recognition and titles, Raina has a very good point. It won't paint us in the light we want and honestly need.

    Okay, back to piles of research papers and questions about rocks. Peace.

  9. I agree with Raina.

    1. Well, I guess I mean, I agree with Raina, Kat, Veronica and Gabby. We should have variety among OFs, especially with 9 adaptations.

  10. Wow, um so I usually type out really long responses to these type of things, but I don't have loads to say except I really love all of these ideas. I think they'd really help keep up site activity, and keep things running more smoothly.

    Also, the way things are going I guess we're looking to gain some new members? As wary as I am about our community growing, I'm excited as well! I think this would be a great setup, and it makes sense, so yay.

  11. These are great ideas. VERY improved compared to the old UBC. (Not that I didn't like the old UBC, but this is even better.) You're seriously a genius. I can't wait to return to the site when all these changes are made!

  12. Hey, Bridie here...I showed up about 9 months ago and then disappeared...I REALLY like that you are upping the importance of re-filming monologues, and that the scripts will change, and that the schedule allows people to focus on things between cycles if they only really care about one of them. It is nice to know that you are re-vamping the site and trying to make it more uniform.