ImdbPro

  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    Hi,

    Can anyone tell me what you get from being a member of IMDB Pro?

    Thankyou

    • 13th Feb 2011
    • 5190
    • 14
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I joined last year and it shows you what projects are in pre-production, who is involved, who is casting etc. It's seen as a way of possibly getting in on the ground floor of something by contacting the people involved at a very early stage.I got my agent to chase up a few jobs I found out about through it. Didn't work ( not yet anyway).

    • 11th Feb 2011
    • 1
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    If you are looking at matters from the point of view of how you promote your own screen career (most significant to those who are genuinely working in film on a regular basis), then holding an IMDBPro account can be seen as beneficial, because it allows you to add more detail, portfolio photographs etc. to your resumes and contacts listings, and, should you consider these things important, it allows you to track why your popularity within the marketplace is held to wax and wane. With this said, I believe IMDB offer an intermediate service where you can pay to get a decent credits listing and a headshot put up, without having to invest in the full package. And this may, realistically, outside of Hollywood, be all that's needed to up your presence on the site. And, even then, many names don't bother to include a picture etc. etc. (naturally, they *are* names and don't really have to - but this all proves that you can still be taken seriously on IMDB without all the paraphernalia attached to your profile). At the end of the day, though, the more information you can submit, the more likely it may be to make your face/details known, which is never a bad thing.

    With all this said, IMDB, while taken seriously by the industry, is really a listings site that grew to take on the properties of a trade directory. It shouldn't necessarily be thought of as a marketplace tool, which producers automatically utilise as a brokering point for making deals and castings. What it can serve as is a useful checking tool when producers, directors etc. want to confirm your credits, rankings and so on when they are *already* considering casting you (or when you, or your agent, have made overtures to them).

    • 11th Feb 2011
    • 2
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I don't really know much about the site, but on reading the last post, this comes to mind:- If they people on it are the ones responsible for inputting their own credits in their page, how can anyone confirm that the information on it is correct by just checking the IMDB page. Please clarify.

    • 11th Feb 2011
    • 3
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    I hate it with a vengance Someone put loads of rubbish on my listing. IMDB do not let you change any thing that other people write on your profile.

    • 11th Feb 2011
    • 4
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    Mark makes a very good point, which is that IMDB is, to some extent, user created, which does mean that changes can be made by virtually anyone - although, by and large, mistakes and inaccuracies are propagated more because the admin at IMDB seem reluctant to alter material once its uploaded than anything else!

    With that said, I will clarify the distinction that is made between the listings and the hosting of resumes. The resumes (or CV's, as the Brits call them) *are* user created - there is no obvious way of checking whether the details listed on them are true or not, in much the same way that there is no way of determining whether the credits on your CV are honest or not when you walk through the door for an audition; the panel have to make the assumption that you have not wilfully lied to them, and that their intuition would be able to pick up on false information being fed to them. Moreover, if the credits are of small account, anyway, they may be more interested in what you have to deliver there and then in the audition room than in what is written on the CV. But I digress. As I said, the IMDB resume service is primarily designed to appeal to the *actor* (not the casters) and IMDB charge accordingly for the privilege of hosting it, because they have recognised that most actors like to promote their wares at any given opportunity. So, its a hosting site, in that sense, just as CCP is a hosting site, but less easy to change details on.

    The listings are different. The listings have some degree of integrity because they are mediated by the production companies who create the films that you, the actor, are appearing in. IMDB will only accept listings for films that can prove they are to be broadcast to an outside audience (i.e. they will not list student films that never make it to Festival screenings, or Youtube only projects, or whatever). It is true that a user can add their credit to the listing for a film if the production company have not seen fit to include it on the original page (this can sometimes happen in a big film when there is a desire for the company to create a page and promote the main stars attached, but they cannot initially be bothered to fill out the entire cast list).

    IMDB appear to have some arcane process (I have never quite understood what they actually do) whereby they can check, if you apply for listing, that you are genuinely involved in a given project, and can confirm (or remove) your participation accordingly. This is not a perfect system - extras frequently imply they are entitled to credits that are not actually listed in the end credits of the film - when IMDB can identify this, the caption may still be listed with (uncredited) added afterwards. Rumoured castings are often rife, but tend to be taken off the listing once IMDB are alerted a casting has been finalised. And sometimes people with the same names are wrongly credited with the achievements of another person (though IMDB does try to operate a numbers system whereby Bob Jones I - Cinematographer is distinct from Bob Jones II - Actor/Presenter). IMDB hosts not just actor details, but the details of everyone involved in every production, so all listed crew, directors, writers etc. all get their credits and rankings, too.

    IMDB ranking/rating, on the so-called 'Starometer' (or whatever they call it) is an unusual thing, also. Everyone actor who has been credited with at least one film on IMDB is given a ranking in relation to all the many thousands of actors listed on the site. This ranking is then reappraised approximately once a week, and either rises or falls by percentage points, in relation to the ranking of everyone else. No-one, except the IMDB admins, seems quite certain what it is that affects change in ranking, but it is a complicated set of reckonings based, essentially, on things like how well the films you have featured in are doing that week, how well the other actors you have worked alongside are considered to be doing etc. On IMDBPro, if you are that way inclined, you can study where your ranking is on graphs etc. in more detail in an attempt to better work out why it has risen, fallen or stayed the same. To some extent, amongst some casters (especially in the US), where you rank on IMDB is considered to be a measure of your 'bankability' and, naturally, those who fall into the highests ranking category are generally the biggest and wealthiest stars.

    By and large, the information in the film *listings* on IMDB is considered fairly trustworthy, although there is a peculiarity on the site whereby the order that names are listed in shifts up and down the scale, dependent on the ratings of all the cast relative to all other members of the cast, unless this function is locked off specifically by the production company. This is decidedly odd, because, whilst it is safe to assume that, in the film you starred in as a one line cameo with Harrison Ford, his rating is likely to remain much higher than yours, when actor ratings actually start at a similar initial level, but remain quite variable from week to week (as they tend to do on, say, low budget features), the listing can end up in the peculiar position of promoting someone who is a bit part near the top, and the main stars somewhere near the bottom of the listing. This is surely not what the production team wanted to reflect, and often the only way of sidestepping it is for the production company to ensure that the cast is listed in alphabetical order, which negates the ordering in terms of rating. I am not sure there is even a function whereby the listing can be reworked into order of appearance!

    All this tends to mean that IMDB is taken both seriously and non-seriously. I have been reliably informed by Stateside colleagues that, especially in the US, the ranking system *is* considered extremely valuable and important, and that the film listings, within reason, are a good resource. Personal resume listing is assumed to be of less interest, and most rumours or suggestions made on IMDB that have 'yet to be confirmed' are widely assumed to be nonsense. There are certainly better listing resources for this kind of thing in the US, such as 'Actor Access', which are also more actor friendly, although we, in the UK, suffer from a paucity of such resources (CCP is one of the few sites that offers a decent version of this sort of service beyond the monopoly confines of Spotlight - and Spotlight is very hard to personalise).

    So, IMDB as a whole is quite a complex resource. It *is* worth pointing out, however, that you do not have to hold a resume on the site to be listed on it, provided a production company you worked with either lists your credit, or is prepared to confirm it. It is also the credit listing that places you into the ranking if that is something you are interested in as an actor. None of this requires that you have a resume hosted on site, or are signed up to IMDBPro, which is offered as an extra service to the actor.

    • 11th Feb 2011
    • 5
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Thank you Lee. I believe that you have answered my question. I don't like it when people 'imply' that they're in a film directed by a very respected director, when they are not actually there in an actor's capacity.

    • 11th Feb 2011
    • 6
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I completely agree Lennie! That's a real pet hate of mine.

    • 11th Feb 2011
    • 7
  • Mark Joseph

    Actor

    I've seen people with IMDB pages that are CHOCK FULL of credits that shouldn't be there. Nothing IMDB can do to stop them, but it will bite them on the arse when a CD asks them questions.

    • 12th Feb 2011
    • 8
  • Charles Delaney

    Actor

    IMDB!

    A resource service really;Not actor friendly in my opinion.

    • 12th Feb 2011
    • 9
  • Rebecca Todd

    Actor

    Hey there!

    Very interested reading about this thread.

    An american actor friend of mine says that IMDb Pro is used heavily over there, as it's one of the primary ways of searching for actors in the US - similar to our Spotlight by the sound of it. Knowing how here in the UK we generally (rightly or wrongly) follow the US a few years behind I wouldn't be surprised if it gets more popular over here too although I don't think in quite the same way as here simply as Spotlight is the benchmark and I don't think that will change. However I do know that a lot of Casting Directors over here use it as they can check everyone from actors, directors, producers, agents etc etc etc....... it is one of the many different tools (alongside Linkedin etc) that is used to trace people; an invaluable recourse for the type of person who has to contact anyone within any discipline in the industry.

    As far as actors making up credits is concerned - I think sadly that happens everywhere. I'm sure there's a large number CV's that have been padded out somewhat. A service like Spotlight doesn't check it, so we can't be too surprised that IMDb doesn't either.

    It is very true what a lot of people were saying too about IMDb being very slow to change things. They are. It started out as a fan site, and is now owned by Amazon and is being used by the industry - I don't think personally they have the infrastructure or the interest to deal with it's change of use.

    What I will say though, is that I was compelled to get an IMDb Pro account, more as a way of controlling my name and image, then for sheer publicity. It won't get you attention it's it own right - no-one is going to start contacting you for work off it, but it will be in your control which I think is quite important.

    A friend had a small role in a major film from a few years back, and realised that some random bloke had hijacked his profile and put up his own photo and CV to piggyback on my friends success. As the role was small it wasn't going to get noticed - or so he thought. IMDb corrected it within 48 hours as I do think they take genuine fraud like that seriously - the only thing is that the complaints procedure is such a faff! I now have my own photo and CV up against my work, as a way of keeping my profile just that - MINE!

    Equity are aware that there is a bit of a problem with control of identity, and issues of the wrong credits being put up against someones name - they are looking into it as part of a wider investigation into actors control over their images in new media and social networking - and if anyone has problems that IMDb are not resolving, I would say it might be worth getting in touch with them. Even if they can't help in the first instance, it will form part of a file of members who have had issues and can help things for the future.......

    As for how I use IMDb. The casting notice boards are an utter waste of time I think, and some of the stuff is wildly out of date. However I have made a couple of contacts just through tracing people through the site, and I also can see what the rumours are. I think someone else on this thread has mentioned that it's useful to know what's out there. Definitely. Knowledge is power. I don't believe everything I read on there, but it's all stuff to be investigated further. As with all these things it's how you use it that will either make it a success or a waste of money.

    • 12th Feb 2011
    • 10
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    Pole's comment is pretty much right - which is that IMDB is resource led, and not especially actor friendly. Though it's my belief, as I said earlier, that aspects like the introduction of resume options are IMDB's way of capitalising monetarily on the fact that they are now well aware of the ever growing number of actors who wish to use IMDB as a surrogate hosting service. The peculiar status of IMDB *does* seem to lie in the fact that it started as an extensive fan site that has gradually metamorphosed into a trade directory of sorts, but has not necessarily initiated a variety of improvements in order to balance that fact. People have been commenting on a pet peeve being the tendency for those who don't hold credited roles (or even those who falsely claim credits altogether) to be allowed to add their names to credit lists, but, as I said, I find even more incomprehensible the tendency for IMDB listings to weight the order of credit listing in accordance with, I assume, Starmeter rankings. In theory, this seems uncontestable - as surely the biggest stars have highest rankings and would, logically, play the most significant parts in a film. But for small films this can, in fact, make a total mockery of the listing - have you never been in a low budget where a famous name is brought in to cameo for a minute and a half, whilst the star is actually a new find with no credits to their name? It's not just the implied frustration this may have for the actor - if you are the lead in something, it may be pretty galling to realise you appear near the bottom of an IMDB listing below people who have bigger rankings than you but are in the film for considerably less time - it also makes a mockery of what the production company intended through their casting! Naturally, from the point of view of being a *fan site*, this weighting is perfectly valid, it gives an indication of who is most 'hot' right now, and who is 'not'. But I've no idea what casting directors make of it, when they're trying to confirm if you had a prestigious part in a film or not. And, in many ways, now that IMDB seems to be selling itself as more trade directory than fan site, this is really the sort of thing it should seek to rectify, for the sake of accuracy, if nothing else!

    • 12th Feb 2011
    • 11
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Here's what I think:

    - if you are not on imdbpro then you most likely are not working on films and TV.

    - if you do not have a picture on your imdb page (provided that you have a page); then really why not?! It's free with your imdbpro account and everyone who works on film and TV is on it all the time. If they stumble onto your page, don't you want them to see your headshot? If you haven't put your agent's details, again, why not?! Don't you want them to know how to contact you if they like your headshot?

    - CDs in the US upload our audition onto something called "cast-it" that sends the auditions to the producers, your audition is automatically linked to your imdb page which appears on the right side of your auditions. This allows the producers to know how much experience you have and to check easily if you've worked with someone they know etc...

    I don't know if spotlight offers the same on the CD's side; if not, I'm sure most of them will put your name on imdb to check you out.

    -I consult imdbpro every day because on it is essential knowledge (what films are currently in development, what director is attached to which film, what is this casting director currently casting, what their contact details are etc....)

    I also check it out every time I watch a movie or tv show to learn the names of the actors, producers, directors; see what else they've done, I check the career of the actors who are getting the roles I want, etc, etc, etc....

    It is so useful and the only database as comprehensive.

    Sure it's not perfect, yes it's a pain to update; but still it is the best film and TV resource currently available.

    But again, this is only for film and TV. Useless for theater.

    • 13th Feb 2011
    • 12
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi Fuzz,

    I couldn't find an imdb page for you under Farah Sardar, but you've got a few tv credits on your CV; were you credited under a different name?

    You should look into updating the TV shows you were in by adding your name. You don't have to be an imdb pro member to do this.

    • 13th Feb 2011
    • 13
  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    Thank you everyone. Sometimes nly other actors understand. If I said to the average person 'I want to be a movie star' they would automatically think I was joking.

    It's not easy being a creative nutcase. x

    • 13th Feb 2011
    • 14