IMDb- Internet Movie Database, is the top search engine for Hollywood. The first place we go to validate someone’s credentials and experience is IMDb. Whether you are an actor, director, writer, producer, grip, makeup artist, cinematographer, or editor- more than likely you have a profile on the site with your resume. However, the main website only goes so far, and so deep.
The membership component of IMDb Pro gives you access to more proprietary information that is not known to the general public. Beyond agents and managers, you can find talent’s publicists and entertainment lawyers, their production companies. This includes addresses, phone numbers, names, and email addresses. A treasure trove of information, but how do you use this correctly? How can you connect the dots to bring you closer to whatever goal you’re trying to attain? Keep reading to find out.
In the center of the homepage, the top news of the day is listed in the most trending 5 headlines. Then you can scroll the latest news through the venerable sources we all know: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, The Wrap, Box Office Mojo, ScreenDaily, TV Guide, The Playlist, SydneysBuzz, Shadow and Act, Vulture, Thompson on Hollywood, and IndieWire. Plus about 3 dozen more outlets.
If you need to find something specific, you can filter the searches into categories; from awards and events, business, development and production, interviews, releases/premieres, ratings/box office, and reviews. For someone who may not have the financial resources or the time to subscribe to every single publication, this is a great place to get summaries of the news you need to know.
You can also go to Production Listings, and browse titles In Development, Pre-Production, and In Production. If you’re interested in working a certain title then you can place a tracker on the title to follow it through the various phrases.
In-Development will be the time to alert your agents and managers to look for casting notices or pitch producers. Pre-Production will be the time to send out resumes for crew positions. Even if you’re at the background extra or stand-in level, you can track the project in pre-production, gather clues to which extras casting will be used, and be proactive in self-submitting.
Finally, when the movie is about to start production, you’ll continuously see the cast and crew “attached” to the project. Utilize this information to contact your network to find possible work opportunities.
Utilize IMDb pro to target potential reps, agents, and agencies are listed on IMDb, and when you click on their profile, you see their entire client list. Does this agent or agency have doppelgängers of you? Does this agent or agency have actors already in your “type” (age, race/ethnicity, body frame, skin tone)?
Too many of these can hurt chances of going out on significant auditions, especially if one or more of the actors in your category is consistently working. Also, see which casting directors future agents have the best relationship with, how?
Check out the guest star and co-star roles on your favorite shows and movies. This especially will be pertinent for location-based projects (Atlanta, New Orleans, Chicago, etc), see if there is a pattern with the healthy amount or majority of roles coming from the same agency? Coincidence? Perhaps. Dig deeper to look at several projects from the same casting director, does the pattern continue?
The listings here usually post from self-submission websites like Casting Networks, Direct Submit, and Mandy. A lot of non-union commercials, indie films, industrials, and background can be found here.
The good thing here is the aggregate of information, instead of going to three separate websites. I did not, however, see the ever-popular Actors Access.
A streaming service of a number of series and popular titles. Great for those who don’t subscribe to Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, or a host of others. The downside is that it is almost always older titles. 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago. However, if doing some actor research can involve finding one of those titles, then it will be worth the trouble.
IMDb Pro is available for $19.99/mo or $149/year.
Once you have your list of people to connect with - there is no better place than right here on Stage 32! With over 650,000 members worldwide, millions of connections have been made between film, tv, and digital creatives and professionals. If you are not a member of Stage 32, you can create a free profile at stage32.com and start making career-changing connections today.
Kevin Marshall Pinkney is the founder of The Actors Suite, a website providing resources to emerging actors on their way up. Check out www.theactorssuite.com for the latest e-books, and consulting services for relocation for actors, online course creation, and business development
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