Wednesday, 9 December 2015

How Do Students Get Their Name Listed at the IMDB?

Your Name Here
The Internet Movie Database, or IMDB, is the principal portal for finding people who work in film and broadcast media. It's where you go to look people up.

Gone are the days when you had to dig through back copies of Variety to find out someone's track record - knowledge is now just a click away.  Being listed is important.  Anyone in the movie business who isn't listed, needs to be.

But how do you get onto it? Specifically, as a recent graduate, trying to building yourself a reputation in the industry and an online presence, how do you get your name included in the IMDB database? Here's how the system works:

Getting Listed at IMDB
The simplest way to create a profile of your own at the IMDB is to attach yourself to a project which is already listed on the IMDB.  This could be a student film, or a short project which is deemed worthy of inclusion.  IMDB don't list every project that gets made - there are simply too many.

The Utility of Independent Projects
The secret of getting your film past the IMDB gatekeepers is to to prove yourself worthy. The best way to prove the worth of your own personal project or short film is to enter it for competitions.

Withoutabox
But how do you enter your film for competitions? After all, there are so many!  One of the quickest, simplest methods is to list your project at withoutabox.com. The site allows you to upload your film, fill in some (rather long) forms, and then - hey presto - you can easily enter film competitions all over the world. Withoutabox is free.

What does it cost to enter competitions?
The fees vary immensely - from nothing to quite a lot. First, enter your project for the free ones, then take a hard look at your budget.  In the end, it's up to you as to how many festivals you want to enter. For a complete survey of how withoutabox works, check out this post at FLiP.

Once you have your project listed at withoutabox, an IMDB listing is more or less automatic. Why? Because IMDB will now assume that you are serious about making and promoting your film to as wide an audience as possible.

Updating your details at IMDB
Your next job is to add the names of yourself and your cast and crew to the database. You do this through the IMDB tab marked "update" or "edit page". Again, it takes a little while, and the interface is a bit fiddly. But once you get the hang of it, it works great.


Submission of names is not automatic, so be patient. IMDB will review your submissions and, assuming all is well, post them around a week later. Now, with any luck, your name and those of your colleagues are listed online. Now you can start editing your profile, to add your CV, your demo reel, links to your website, your agent or lawyer if you have one - anything else to help make your profile as "real" as possible. Remember, your goal is to create an online space for yourself as an industry professional.

Sometimes you will see a project at IMDB that should have your name on it, but doesn't. Don't feel aggrieved - it's not personal. All you have to do is go to the project page and update it by adding your name. The system runs on the honesty principle, and it works pretty well overall.

Of course, getting on the IMDB won't get you a job in itself. But it will make clients and employers feel more confident, seeing that you already have a track record and an industry profile.

---Alex

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt starting in September 2016, follow this link.   To apply, visit the offical page here.

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