How To Get IMDb Credit For Your FilmSaturday, March 25, 2017
If it's not on the internet it didn't happen! While that modern adage might not be entirely true, there's no denying that the internet is usually the first place most people go to get more information about whatever subject they're interested in. It's definitely true for films, and just about the biggest resource on the web for learning more about your favorite films is IMDb.
IMDb (Internet Movie Database) is the world's largest free directory of information about films, TV shows, actors, and crew. Since its launch in 1990, IMDb has become the go-to resource for anyone that needs to know who was that actor? or what was the name of that film?. As of this year, IMDb has over 70 million registered users looking up information on any of the approximately 4.1 million titles or 7.7 million actors or crew listed in the database.
Because of its popularity and reliability as a source of information on everything film & television related, it's become pretty essential to get your film project listed with IMDb, and to make sure that you get IMDb credit for films you've worked on or acted in. Studios, producers, and investors often use IMDb before hiring a director or investing in a film project. It's used to verify that you've actually worked on the different film & TV projects listed on your resume, which is why it's important to keep your own IMDb listing up to date.
Casting directors also use IMDb's Pro account to help in their own casting process. “IMDbPro is probably the single most helpful tool in the tool box when I’m casting one of the leads in a movie,” said Richard Hicks, casting director (credits include Gravity, Zero Dark Thirty, Game Change) and President of The Casting Society of America. “There’s nothing better. It’s the encyclopedia of actors. It’s changed the way I do the job.” IMDb is used to find new talent behind the camera and in front of the camera every day. In fact, Robert Pattinson was discovered on IMDb for the role of Edward in the Twilight franchise!
How do you get listed on IMDb? It's usually pretty easy--and free!
First, you need to make sure that the film you worked on is eligible to be listed on IMDb. Not every single film project can be listed--to keep IMDb a professional-level database, they require that your film project be in the general public interest and be available to the public (or must have been available to the public in the past). What exactly denotes in the general public interest? Typically, it means the film must have been released in cinemas, shown on TV, screened at an eligible film festival, or is available for puchase from a major retailer. This means that the film you made that only your friends and family have seen is likely NOT eligible for IMDb credit. Likewise, most student film projects that are only screened for the rest of your class aren't eligible. You can get a list of the different types of IMDb-eligible films at http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?titleeligibility.
Even though your project may not start out as being eligible, it can become eligible by being accepted to and screened at an IMDb-qualifying festival. To qualify, the festival must be selective about which films they accept. Usually this means at least a 3:1 ratio of submitted films to accepted films. So a festival that accepts all or most films will NOT be an IMDb-qualifying festival. You can also get IMDb credit by submitting your project for an IMDb-qualifying festival through Withoutabox.
What does this mean for your 48HFP film? Since we screen ALL of the completed films, your 48HFP film isn't automatically eligible for IMDb credit. However, you can become eligible by submitting your 48HFP film to an IMDb-eligible festival by the means listed above.
Once you know your film is eligible, it's a pretty easy process to get it listed in IMDb. You can go to https://contribute.imdb.com/updates/guide/adding_new_title to add your project. Note that you can only add a project if it's not already listed--so if your title is already listed, you'll need to add your credit to the existing listing.
You'll be asked to provide some basic information about the new title, and most importantly, provide some verification that it is IMDb eligible. Accepted forms of verification is usually some sort of online evidence of at least several screenings theatrically, proof that it's listed with a major retailer, or online evidence from third party sites (not the show's website). Facebook pages and Wikipedia entries aren't acceptable forms of verification. You'll be asked to provide direct links to an article or listing of the film project.
Important to note is that all IMDb updates are verified by an actual human being. They'll review all of the information you've supplied and verify its authenticity, so making sure you provide plenty of direct, specific links can speed up the verification process. Plan on a wait of several days up to a week before most updates are verified, approved, and updated on IMDb.
Also important to keep in mind is that IMDb is usually for projects that are already completed--though there are some exceptions (get the specifics at http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?titlesinproduction). Projects in development or in production can sometimes be approved through IMDbPro, the paid version of IMDb that runs about $150 annually or $20 per month. IMDbPro allows you to enter (and view) more financial information about the film (budget, box office records, etc.) and can get you access to contact information for other IMDb users--useful if you're trying to use IMDb to make some connections with others working in the industry.
Did you work on a film already listed on IMDB? Add yourself at http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?resumeaddnewname to make sure you get proper credit. You must be credited in the final version of the film in order to be added, so if you're an actor and your scenes didn't make the final cut, you may have problems getting approved.
IMDb has an FAQ page at http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?eligibilitytopfaq that provides the answers to some of the most common questions. There are a lot of benefits to being listed on IMDb, so hopefully this guide can point you in the right direction so you can be a part of the world's largest database of film projects and the people that work on them.
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