Eventually, even the most revolutionary technology
is taken for granted. Few people who drive to work ponder the wonders of the internal combustion engine.
Hardly anyone watching a film gets distracted by the alchemy involved in capturing reality on a strip of celluloid.
Likewise, few users of IMDb take time out to wonder at what a marvel it is.
To say that the IMDb has revolutionised the film industry is no understatement. In the past, specialist bureaus used to supply Hollywood types with credits information on request.
“If a film exec was sat there going, ‘So, what else has this Steven Spielberg guy done?’ they had to phone up a company and request a list and pay $80 a time for the privilege,” explains Needham. “It was prime business information.”
In the film industry, people talk a lot about “credits” - for a good reason. Your past work is always worth something; it has a currency.
IMDb is the place where that currency can be measured. It has become an important industry resource – particularly the subscription-only IMDb Pro launched in 2002 – for industry professionals, from agents to producers to actors.
“People base their whole careers on what they’ve done already and IMDb gives us a quick way to check that,” says Leo Barraclough, the London News Editor of Variety.
“It acts as a bond within the industry to let us get a sense of what people are doing and it’s extremely useful as a point of reference to check on who’s done what.”