Monday, January 20, 2014

IMDB: 23 years of service, three years of taking money from actors pockets

As I tell my students your marketing decisions are your own. The tools are out there, you choose where to spend your money. 

 IMDB has become an essential tool for actors. But how and why? What is it used for? Truth is it is a place where industry people can find your headshots. They take your resume, demo reel (unless you have major credits on films and shows they know) with a very large grain of salt.

IMDB is cluttered with background claiming to have roles, small shorts shot just to gain IMDB credits and has shifted from a real service to the industry to a way to sell videos, posters, books and yet another way to get money from talent. 

Many in the industry say that all talent must list, since many (but not all) casting directors, agents and producers to check you IMDB page in the hiring process. 

Most coaches in the industry, and most agents, will tell you to wait to refer people to your site until you have credits that are considered "real" by those who read them, meaning major identifiable credits. Above all, develop your acting skills before heavily selling ourself through IMDB.

Meanwhile SAG-AFTRA and other agencies have had problems because IMDB required you to list your birth year, which limits your potential for roles. A court rules this does not violate federal employment law since IMBD, while used by employers, is not an "employer" itself. 

The article below is from November 2000..and worth a read.. - Art Lynch

Company looks back on its evolution.

If you are like me the redesign of IMDB is annoying, because much of what I would use is now subscription based "premium" or harder to find in the menu's. That aside the company, now a division of a major on-line retailer, has grown to be essential for those in the industry. Of course those who were pre-IMDB find it annoying for inaccuracies, omissions, missrepresentations and even missed listings of talent or projects. What the's big business afterall...


Today it has more than 100 million monthly users and is a ubiquitous tool for both fans and showbiz professionals. But when it began some 20 years ago, the Internet Movie Database wasn't even a website.

Col Needham founded IMDb, which celebrated its anniversary on Oct. 17, as a paper diary, eventually creating a simple software program that allowed users to search a limited catalog.
"There was no such thing as a website in 1990," says Needham, a movie buff who launched the software to help keep track of the movies he'd seen.
Occasional gripes about its accuracy and some frustration over its recent redesign notwithstanding, the site has become a go-to internet reference guide, scouting tool and marketplace. Many agents and talent managers use IMDb to check out potential clients. Filmmakers can track colleagues, or potential colleagues, by looking at their body of work.
IMDb's parent company, Amazon, uses the site to advertise DVDs and other merchandise it sells. The launch of IMDbPro, a more comprehensive subscription site aimed at bizzers, includes a Starmeter ranking tool and a resume feature that allows users to create an added reference for their body of work. Pro also offers contact information that helps users reach the reps of many industry professionals.

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