I cannot imagine anyone with a daily dose of internet who hasn’t heard about IMDb. The Internet Movie Database (abbreviated IMDb) is currently the most popular online database for information related to films, television programs, and video games, including cast, production crew, fictional characters, biographies, plot summaries, trivia and reviews.
IMDb is now almost 25 years old, in 1998, the website became a part of Amazon.com when they were using it as an advertising tool to sell DVDs.
IMDb allows us to sign up for a free account. The only thing you need to provide is (of course) a valid email address. You can also become a member using Facebook, Google or Amazon. But what are the advantages of being a registered member of IMDb? Mostly it gives you some space for customization. In fact, you can put your thoughts and ideas out there. You will be able to rate movies, submit reviews, use a feature called Watchlist (it allows you to keep track of the entertainment industry products that you like) and do a little bit of correction/updates.
There is usually a lot of interesting stuff happening on IMDb. Another exciting feature of the website that helps this is the Message Board. The IMDb message boards have two types: the general topic boards and the name and title-specific boards. These give us the chance to, once again, express our ideas on different topics such as trivia, movie genre, TV, etc.
Everything that I have said so far was kind of limited to normal people, who are generally passionate about what entertainment industry has to provide. But there is a next level with IMDb and it is called IMDbPro, a service added on January 15, 2002 which was later announced and launched at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. It provides lots of new features, helping active people in the industry step into a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities. Sure, there are a lot of websites out there that let you submit yourself for a role but IMDbPro is more of a research tool. It provides information about preproduction and ongoing projects. It introduces casting directors and agencies. It even gives out details about their clients and of course, when you can add so much detail about yourself on such platform you are significantly increasing your chances and improving your relationships.
In March 2014, IMDb announced the launch of its Pro Casting service and potential actors have since been able to browse the listings for relevant auditions and roles. IMDb then started charging for $19.99 and $149.99 for monthly and annual subscriptions respectively.
But please let me stop you if you’re thinking this service is only contributing to actors and actresses! Screenwriters are another group of people can take advantage of the services available on IMDbPro. Novice screenwriters can easily search through similar projects to theirs and approach related producers when their works are ready to get out there. Also, filmmakers and studio executives can use IMDbPro to see their credits or how the films have performed. Journalists use IMDbPro to check with the production staff if a rumor is true or not. Nobody likes to give out information about a project when it is in the development phase because it might ruin the whole thing. But producers always make updates on the site to make sure the industry has true and useful information about upcoming products.
One of the bold features IMDbPro has is IMDb Resume. Basically it puts the members in the spotlight, providing you with:
- An IMDb name page (if you don’t already have one)
- Your own resume
- A photo gallery with 100 photos: one primary photo for your IMDb name page and resume as well as more photos for your photo gallery.
- A custom IMDb URL to use on your business cards and websites
- A way to build your audiences by adding Twitter and blog feeds to your name page
- The ability to control the display of personal details like your age/birthdate, height, salary, etc. on your Name Main Details page on IMDbPro
I think I should mention the fact that awesome people (they say it includes key industry decision makers) will be able to contact you once you sign up for IMDbPro and you will not be charged again for updating your profile. Also, they have an option for a free trial of 30 days.
If you are way too busy with your schedule, you can leave the work with your IMDbPro profile to your agent, publicist, parent, or even a friend. However, all the resumes go through a review before going live on the site which takes up to 24 hours or in some cases 72 hours.
IMDb says members have the permission to videos too; this is under two conditions: if you own the full rights to the movie and they’re really really high quality. You might want to take this seriously if you intend to upload a video.
“IMDbPro is a unique and powerful tool for actors,” says Jack Bernstein, head of IMDbPro. “Pro members can enhance the effectiveness of their IMDb page by adding a résumé, headshots, and up to five demo reels. This level of detailed information about an actor’s skill set and experience will help attract the attention of casting directors who use Pro daily to discover new talent. For example, Robert Pattinson was discovered on IMDbPro for the role of Edward in the ‘Twilight’ franchise. Our mission is to help people get jobs. Actors can search our more than 12,000 In Production and In Development titles to see what’s being cast, and they can use our unrivaled contact and representation information to connect with more than 200,000 industry professionals and more than 50,000 companies, including talent and casting agencies. Finally, actors can monitor Pro’s STARmeter rankings to gauge their popularity — and everyone else’s. Our STARmeter rankings show which actors are most popular, as well as which emerging actors are breaking out. This data is widely used by casting agents and studio executives when making hiring decisions.”