The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) was founded in 1990 by Col Needham; the database was given a web presence in 1993. Since then, IMDB has been acquired by Amazon.com and has developed into a premier website for accessing entertainment industry information and data. Entertainment fans and industry professionals alike check IMDB for production information, news and photographs.
IMDB lists the credits for television shows and films produced in the U.S. and internationally. IMDB lists everyone credited on a production. This includes the talent, directors, editors, camera operators, set designers, make-up artists, production assistants and anyone else listed in a film’s credits. IMDB excludes credits for commercial advertising and non-professional work such as student and amateur films and home videos.
IMDB’s extensive database is based on submissions made by site users and production personnel. Even though anyone with an IMDB account can submit credits, not everything submitted is incorporated into the database. A film or individual must meet certain qualification standards to be listed on IMDB. For a film to qualify, it must be considered of interest to the general public and not solely of interest the filmmakers' family and friends. For individuals to be listed on IMDB, they must be specifically credited in the film's end credits and not listed under a company or organization name. Database administrators may remove listings that fail to meet the requirements, even after initial posting on the site.
Film industry professionals commonly use IMDB to verify another individual’s resume or credentials. By looking up credits in the database, it is possible to verify whether or not someone actually worked on a film. Additionally, researching someone on IMDB offers insight into past work history, including the types of jobs and departments an individual has worked in and how long they have worked in the business. An IMDB listing is viewed as an important credential when building a career in entertainment. For this reason, independent filmmakers are very interested in getting credits on IMDB, as it demonstrates work of professional caliber.
IMDB does not credit every individual who worked on a film. Rather, they list only the individuals named in a film’s end credits. On rare occasions, you may see “(uncredited)” next to an individual’s information. This means that although they were excluded from the film’s credits, they are considered an individual with a high enough profile to warrant database inclusion.
Independent filmmakers sometimes view the database as biased, stating that IMDB favors big budget, studio productions and sometimes refuses to include professional independent films in its credit listings.