Travel Adventure Documentary Magazine
Travel Adventure Documentary magazine
where filmmakers and exhibitors meet

Cutting Room Floor for TRACS?

Hal McClure Posted by Hal McClure in Features September 2nd, 2011

Whether the Travel Adventure Cinema Society—TRACS—will survive or follow earlier travelogue organizations on the cutting room floor may well be decided when members hold their annual Travel FilmFest this month in Chicago.

Historically, the travel film field had been comprised of separate sponsor, filmmaker and agent groups before TRACS arrived to shelter all under its organizational umbrella.

TRACS was inaugurated in Palm Springs in the fall of 1999 with Presenter George Veach its first president.

Much has changed in the intervening 12 years: As our older audiences vacated their seats, the usual succeeding generation was, for the most part, a “no show.” (Baby Boomers would rather eat dirt than watch a dreaded travelogue.)

This has prompted a vast reduction in nationwide venues—and, ergo, fewer Producers.

Today’s TRACS president, filmmaker Monty Brown, laid it out for us asking:

Should we evolve or dissolve?

*Many of our original members no longer find a need to rejoin TRACS

  • We seem to have two opposing (coastal?) sides, rather than a unified group.
  • The economy has all of us cautious about spending unproductive dollars.
  • Unless someone comes up with a blockbuster plan for rejuvenation, our business is gradually fading away.

Monty summed up what would happen if TRACS were dissolved: “There would be no central point of contact, no website, annual meeting.”

He wondered if there is “some kind of middle ground,” and added:

“I’d like to open this subject to discussion amongst any and all interested parties. I suggest that we share all ideas now so that during convention we can make a decision on how best to go forward.

“Please send all thoughts, comments, and ideas to me at montymarsh@att.net by Tuesday, September 6th.”

Ralph Franklin, publisher of Travel Adventure Cinema, in urging members to answer Monty, added: “I would be negligent if I did not remind all of you that regardless of what happens, TAC will be there and continues to work for the travel film industry. We have been doing it for 38 years, in good times and bad.”