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By Phil Hall | January 2, 2008

For the past five months, I have been attemtping to get the IMDB to list a short documentary about me.  The film is called “A Writer Named Phil Hall” — it runs 24 minutes and it was originally released in July 2007.

However, the IMDB has repeatedly refused to list the film in its database.  This is odd, since the film clearly meets most of its criteria: commercial availability (on DVD for non-theatrical audiences), availability to the general public (the film is online in its entirety), reviews (four, more coming), acknowledgement by a major database (Rotten Tomatoes) and even a pending festival listing.

In my conversations with other filmmakers, I am finding the IMDB to be a major obstacle for indie filmmakers who have to fight endlessly to get the IMDB to pay attention to their work.

Are you a filmmaker who has been or is at war with the IMDB?  If so, please contact me via private message at Film Threat and tell me your story.  I am writing an article about the IMDB and I want to hear from people who have been fighting (often in vain) to get the IMDB to pay attention to them.


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  1. Phil Hall says:

    Whatever you do, do NOT go to the Contributors Help section of the IMDB asking for assistance. I received absolutely no help whatsoever — just a lot of name calling and demeaning comments by painfully stupid people who have no idea what the IMDB’s listed criteria is all about.

  2. RyanB says:

    Not that I have much to complain about… the comment was more about how I have seen the system change over time to a point that it has a very high bar of entry now, and that I can appreciate how much trouble you are having.

  3. RyanB says:

    Back in the day, I was listed on IMDB having participated in the filming of Courage Under Fire. They required some cadets from Texas A&M and some of the other ROTC programs at other nearby schools. At one point, I didn’t have enough “credit” in the IMDB system to even change my own and now out of date profile. Today you can’t even find me in the system if you search.

  4. Dave Lawler says:

    They’ve listed two of my movies – one played on TV, the other is on DVD, but they refused to list my documentary American Punk on the basis that it hadn’t been “released”. That was their explanation, and it was a form explanation at that. I don’t understand it either.

  5. Phil Hall says:

    From my experience, I am finding the IMDB to be highly capricious. It makes demands on some indie films, such as festival playdates and commercial DVD releases, but others get a free pass. There are also plenty of imaginary films listed — movies that are either in “pre-production” that will never get anywhere near actual shooting and (from historic perspective) films that never existed. I also had problem getting IMDB to change biographical info on a friend of mine who was listed as dead!

  6. Don says:

    The IMDB runs on a strange system based on its own weird set of criteria. Some people have more luck than others. My account has been submitting information for a while and I can get films added (my mine and others that have slipped through the cracks) fairly easily, but strange little things updates will be completely ignored…

  7. Don Lewis says:

    I just think they’re SUPER backed up since they have to verify everything. I mean, think about all the film submissions we get and try to get through…they must get all those and MORE wanting an IMDB credit…

  8. Phil Hall says:

    I was less concerned about IMDB’s editorial content (basically, it is just wire reports) and more concerned about filmmakers who have problems getting their movies listed within the database. I am finding double and even triple standards regarding the inclusion of films in the database.

  9. Felix Vasquez Jr. says:

    I remember Movie of the Day. They got so lazy.

  10. IMDB is an empty shell of what it used to be, nothing but stupid Celebrity news and studio briefings. No “movie of the day” or the fun, “geeky” stuff that used to be there.

  11. Felix Vasquez Jr. says:

    Phil, another great idea.

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