I’m currently working on the chapter in my new book about IMDB.
Speaking for myself, I have a love/hate relationship with it. On the positive side, it’s an invaluable resource that I use every day to look up actors, directors and producers who I’m working with. In fact to say it’s an “invaluable resource,” is an understatement. It’s more like the bible. I even look up my OWN credits sometimes to see what I’ve done.
On the other hand, it’s about as user-friendly as the Czech postal system on a very bad day, and it can’t with any certainty be relied on as an infallible source of accurate information, even though it wants to be.
I almost cried when I saw the completely inaccurate IMDB cast list for Child 44, a film which Nina Gold and I cast. It’s creepy too because the names they have up there are from an earlier version of a suggested cast list which we used in the process of casting. So that means that there was some IMDB spy who apparently snooped around in my office or peeked over my shoulder while we were working. Yuk! Do I really have to start being neurotic?
Some of you are probably thinking that I should just go ahead and correct the inaccuracies myself but I have made it a policy not to mess with other people’s credits. The reason is because I far too often have actors and agents asking me to add them and this just can’t become my job or there will be no end to it. I’d become a full time IMDB data contributor. The IMDB policy is to correct when the film print is released, so I’m waiting until after the release until I look again.
I know a number of actors who are quite cheesed off at IMDB for their own reasons. We don’t even have to mention the fact that it exposes our age in the spirit of sharing accurate information. Well NOT including our ages on the site would also be accurate. They don’t have our blood pressure readings, our star signs or our shoe listed either and that’s not considered lying. Why not just leave ages off to help protect actors who can play a broader age range?
The primary reason actors get frustrated is because they can’t remove credits that are potentially harmful. My friend, James Babson, has a great story for us:
One year back in the early oughties…
“I woke one morning to a comical email from my older brother stating ‘I guess I know what I'm getting mom for Christmas’…"
Attached was a screen capture from IMDB. There was a poster of two naked chicks from behind with whips in their hands, with the title "Lesbian Fleshpots". Beneath was the caption 'starring James Babson'
The impetus to work for North American Pictures in Prague was pretty simple. Do some cheesy B movies with your friends and make some money. The roles generally consisted of henchmen, gangsters and soldiers. Because it was such a small pool of American actors in Prague, very often we would be working with our friends, which just added to the fun. The scripts were terrible and it included a plethora of female nudity. None of us even considered this would be a bad move professionally simply because these movies were rarely seen by anybody and certainly not in America. It was mostly for the Japanese market. And most importantly it was super fun to shoot such goofy dialogue.
The titles were pretty hilarious: Cracker Jack, Cracker Jack II, Hell Mountain, Hot Heat etc.
Or so we thought…
I about fainted when I logged onto IMDB only to realize that the three movies I had done for North American Pictures have been retitled after we shot them. “Lash of the Whip” became” Lesbian Fleshpots” and “Hell Zone” became “Medieval Fleshpots 2: Hot Wenches.”I was MORTIFIED. I wrote IMDB constantly over the next two years begging for them to remove these titles stating that I had not agreed to these projects under those names. No luck
My manager in Los Angeles at the time called me and said 'James, ...Is there a reason you're doing porn in Prague?'”
Please share with me your IMDB stories both good and bad. Please join my group on Facebook: Nancy Bishop Coaching: https://www.facebook.com/groups/711694495541882/