Do you know what an IMDb credit is? And just how do you get one when you are working in the microbudget film scene? We take a look.
What Is An IMDb Credit?
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) collects information about feature films, TV productions, short films, web series, and video games. The production company registers the title on IMDb, plus information about the cast, crew and plot summary. Other parties add links to reviews and associated trivia later.
Now commonly known as IMDb, the Internet Movie Database is owned by IMDB.com Inc, which is a subsidiary of Amazon.
Anyone can interrogate IMDb, including audiences at home wondering why they recognise a particular actor on their TV screen. They can find the actor, and look up the previous projects that the actor has worked on.
So an IMDB credit means an actor or crew member is named on IMDb for their work on a listed filmed production.
If the performer or crew member has paid for IMDb membership, they will usually have added a picture and short biography to their dedicated IMDb page.
Will I Find All Productions Listed On IMDb?
The production company, or someone working on their behalf, will register the production. This is routine for projects with decent budgets. However, the project must meet a number of stringent requirements. A microbudget project which has little chance of being made or shown will not be accepted, for example.
For those hoping their short films will have film festival success or raising their profile as a serious filmmaker, the registration hoops are worth jumping through.
Frequently amateur filmmakers do not see the point of registering their production, or their project does not meet IMDb requirements. Furthermore, student filmmakers can lack confidence in the application process and undervalue an IMDb credit. As a result, many low and zero budget projects will never receive a listing on IMDb.
How Do I Get An IMDb Credit?
Firstly, the project you work on must be registered with and listed on, IMDb. You will not be able to register the production yourself unless you have been part of the filmmaking team.
Second, your listing depends on your role in the production. There are certain contributing areas which are not supposed to be listed, with the most notable example being extras or supporting artists.
Usually, the production company will add your credit, especially for a paid professional contribution. There will not normally be a credit for extras unless they did something notable as a featured extra.
It is also possible to add yourself to a production’s listing. There is a simple IMDb form to complete. Follow the instructions on the IMDb page to find out more.
Can An Extra Receive An IMDb credit?
Extras are increasingly being listed on IMDb, even though they are not supposed to be.
This sometimes happens because the low budget filmmakers offer an IMDb credit in exchange for people who are willing to appear without payment or even reimbursement of expenses. Some of the volunteer extras travel a long way and all of them give up their own time. They often provide their own food and can stand for hours in the cold and rain. The scenes would simply not work without them, and the unfinanced filmmaker needs to find a cheap way to thank them.
Other people, particularly those who work on a range of exciting high profile films, like to create their own IMDb credit without the production team’s involvement. Aspiring actors try to link their name to a successful project. But in reality casting directors do not take extra work into account when casting an acting role.
Working actors usually need training, experience, and skill to land a speaking role in a production. Awarding IMDb credits to extras who formed moving background scenery raises objections.
On the other hand, look at the IMDb listing for Bryce Dallas. Daughter of Apollo 13 film director Ron Howard, she is now a hugely successful leading lady in the Jurassic World film series. Yet her IMDb credits include “ Redheaded Audience Girl” in Parenthood (1989); “Girl In Yellow Dress” in Apollo 13 (1995); and “Harvard Student” in A Beautiful Mind (2001).
So if Lasco Atkins chooses to include a huge range of extra work within his 137 “actor” credits, he’s in good company. After all, who doesn’t want to shout about being in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them?
Maybe in the future, we will see the IMDb Cast and Crew lists include a section for Extras. That way everyone will be happy.