How Do You Get Your Name onto the IMDB?

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 who isn't listed, effectively does not exist.

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

First, you need to attached yourself to a project which is actually listed on the IMDB. This can 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. So, you have to get past their gatekeepers. You have to prove yourself worthy. The best way to prove the worth of your project is to enter it for competitions.

But how do you enter it for competitions? It's easy, though it does take a bit of time, and you may have to spend a little money. One of the quickest, simplest methods is to list your project at The site allows you to upload your film, fill in some (rather long) forms, and then - hey presto - you can enter film competitions all over the world. Withoutabox is free. As for competitions, the fees vary from nothing to quite a bit. It's up to you as to how many you want to enter. For a complete survey of how withoutabox works, check out this post.

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.

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.