To be a working actor, you need multiple tools in your online arsenal—and that list should include IMDb. The website, which has been around for more than three decades, is the premier location to learn who worked on what and with whom as it relates to the entertainment industry. Having an IMDb page allows actors to share their names, résumé, and brand with casting directors, producers, and other industry professionals.
You might know what IMDb is, but the site’s paid subscription tier, IMDbPro, is where the action really happens. IMDbPro gives actors the ability to customize their profiles, add credits, and edit the content they want creatives to see.
So how do you create the perfect IMDb actor page? How can you use the site to get auditions, network, and connect with casting? Keep reading for an in-depth guide to using IMDb as an actor.
- What does IMDb stand for (and how does it work)?
- Can you edit your IMDb page?
- How to claim an existing IMDb page
- How to create your own IMDb page
- How to edit your IMDbPro page
- How to fill out your IMDb profile and credentials
- What personal details should be on your IMDb page?
- How to add a credit to your IMDb page
- Can you network on IMDb?
- Can you find an agent or manager on IMDb?
- What makes a good IMDb page?
Col Needham, founder and CEO of IMDb Credit: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock
IMDb stands for Internet Movie Database. It’s a searchable directory for every aspect of the entertainment industry. Users can find reviews for new releases, plot summaries, cast lists, and production crew info for any project.
Let’s say you just starred in an indie film that did well at SXSW. A casting director saw your stellar performance, noted your name, and now wants to know more about your career. Cue an IMDb search.
Since the entertainment business is all about marketing, it is imperative for an actor to have an IMDb page. The online resource is often the first stop industry folks make to get all the info on a performer, film, or TV show. Whether you’re a new actor or a seasoned professional, IMDb makes it easier for casting professionals and reps to discover your headshots, biography, acting credits, special skills and contact information.
Bokeh Blur Background/Shutterstock
Maximizing your presence on the site requires updating your bio, adding credits, and uploading your own images and video—however, IMDb doesn’t give actors those options for free. You’ll need to sign up for an IMDbPro account. The paid version of IMDb offers the same features as the original platform, while also granting you the ability to customize all aspects of your page, track productions, and connect with talent representation.
How much does IMDbPro cost?
The service offers a free 30-day trial membership and then three different pricing plans to choose from:
- Individual Monthly: $19.99 (billed monthly)
- Individual Annual: $149.99 (billed annually, equivalent to $12.50 per month saving a total of 37%)
- Group Plan Monthly: $79.99 (billed monthly, up to five members)
If you’re looking to build your actor page on IMDb but find that it’s already claimed, there are a couple ways this could have happened, and ways to get it back.
How it happened:
- Your talent agent or manager claimed the page.
- A family member may have created the actor page. This especially applies to minors whose parents or legal guardians help run their career.
- IMDb claimed the actor page automatically after a creative involved in a project—usually the writer or director—entered the actor’s credit into the database.
To claim your page, make sure you are logged into your IMDbPro account from your computer or through the IMDbPro app, then follow these steps:
- Click on the icon next to your name in the top-right corner of the homepage.
- Pick the category that best describes you (Actor, Producer, Writer, etc.) and click “Continue.” If you cannot find your primary profession, or if you choose to leave this blank, click “Skip this step.”
- Your professional name will prompt the site to search for your IMDb page, if one exists. If your professional name differs from your account name, you can fix that by selecting “Change Name.” Enter the name as it appears on IMDb, hit “Search,” and you’ll find all the pages that match the name you entered.
- If an IMDb page already exists under your name, select the “Claim Page” button to the right of the page, in the search results. You’ll need to have already paid for an IMDbPro account to finish this step, and the site has a team dedicated to vetting claims.
If you are unable to find an IMDb page assigned to your name, click the “Create New Page” button to the right of “Claim Page.” In order to qualify for an IMDb actor page, you must have at least one onscreen credit from work performed on a feature film, short movie, TV show, video game, or web series that is already listed in IMDb’s extensive database. If the project you worked on is listed on the site, but your onscreen credit is not yet listed, actors are welcome to submit their credit for inclusion on the title.
Double check that you’re not already featured on IMDb under a different spelling of your name. This will ensure that duplicate IMDb actor pages don’t exist for your credits.
Merging multiple pages
If you discover multiple profiles listed under your name, follow these steps to merge the duplicate actor pages:
- Open the two IMDb pages you want to merge in separate tabs.
- In the tab of the page you want to disappear from IMDb, click the “Edit Page” button.
- Use the drop-down menu to the right of “Name Correction or Merge” and select “Add Correction.” Then, hit “Continue.”
- Under “Name Correction or Merge,” add the unique name of the page you want to remain on the site.
- Type a detailed explanation for the merge request. Note: If the names are spelled differently on each page, you’ll want to “Preserve Previous Name on Existing Credits” to make sure any credits on the page you’re removing appear on the page you wish to keep.
- Click “Check These Updates” at the bottom of the page for the site to verify your request. You will receive a warning confirming your request on the following page. Make sure everything is accurate and, when you’re ready to proceed, click the box that reads, “Warning understood, go ahead anyway.”
- Click to “Re-Check These Updates.”
- The box will turn green if the request is approved by IMDb. Hit the “Submit” button and wait for IMDb’s team of editors to review.
Be patient as this request can take a day or two to complete. Credits and other information may temporarily vanish from your account as the updates are implemented.
It’s imperative to keep the information on your IMDbPro page accurate and up-to-date. Casting directors, producers, and directors are constantly searching the site for talent to potentially call in for roles. If you misrepresent yourself, you could be missing out on some exciting opportunities to get in the room. If you grew a beard, shaved your head, or gained 20 pounds of muscle, those details need to be reflected on your page as they would be on your headshots, résumé, and other identifying information.
To make edits to your IMDbPro page, log in and click the blue “Edit Your Page” button in the top-right portion of your profile. Using the drop-down menu, customize your page by clicking through the following sections.
Contact info and representation
Select the “Direct Contact Details” button and enter your personal email address and phone number to give casting associates a way to reach out. If you have a talent agent or manager, click the “Add Representation” button to include your agent or manager’s info on your page. There are drop-down menus offering different types of representation, company names, and your representative’s name. The more specific you get, the more accurate the contact information will be on your profile.
If you have experience on a production that is not acting—writer, producer, wardrobe, lighting, etc.—add those details here. You have two options: “Use Your Choices” lets you manually input your past work, while “Let IMDb Decide” fills this section in based on your credits.
Here is where you’ll add all of the projects you’ve appeared in as an actor. In this section, you can edit three separate parts of your page:
- Credits: This section allows you to edit any information on your existing performance credits or add a new credit to your résumé. The types of credits IMDb accepts are movies, TV shows, short films, web series, video games, and commercials. On occasion, you may need to provide supplementary details for IMDb’s data editing team to verify the new credits. If you are unable to provide this information, the credit may be rejected. Here’s how:
- Click on the “Provide an explanation to assist in processing this submission” box at the bottom of the contribution form. This can include a link to a third party website where your performance is located to confirm the credit.
- Upload and submit a file to validate your credit. After clicking the “Provide an explanation to assist in processing this submission” box on the contribution form, click the “Upload evidence” link. This action opens the file upload page (for security purposes, you may be required to log in again). Find the file you wish to upload and click “Upload.” From there, copy the reference number (which will appear as a long string of letters and numbers) and paste it into the explanation field. Upon clicking “Submit,” IMDb’s site editors will review the addition appropriately and reach out if further information is needed.
The type of verification you can provide will vary depending on if the role is “credited” or “uncredited.”
- Credited: This means a person was involved in a title’s production and was listed in the closing credit roll.
- Uncredited: This means a person was involved in the title’s production but was not listed in the closing credit roll.
- Known for: The “Known For” section appears under your bio and lists your four most high-profile credits. You can add these titles yourself or choose “Let IMDb Decide.”
- Additional credits: Any performance credit that doesn’t fall under the umbrella of TV or film—such as commercials, theater, and modeling—can still be listed here, but IMDb does not verify this section.
Images and videos
Once you upload your most recent headshot, you’ll be prompted to set a primary image, add captions, credit the photographer, and enter any relevant copyright information. Your IMDb page can also include a gallery of six images, where behind-the-scenes stills, set photos, and red carpet images can help further your branding.
In the video section of your profile, always include performance reels, scene clips, and self-tapes.
Vanity URL and other external websites
This section lets you create a distinct URL that’s easier to share and shorter than the string of letters and numbers created by IMDb. You can also add links to your social media pages, as well as the official sites and sound clips of any production you worked on.
IMDbPro is not just a database of industry professionals—it can also act as a powerful networking tool for actors. Considering the amount of time casting directors spend on IMDb looking for talent, it’s imperative for actors to keep the information on their IMDb page as accurate and up to date as possible. For example, if you just joined the union and that change isn’t reflected on your page, you may end up not being considered for an audition that you would, in other circumstances, qualify for.
Simply put, if an actor isn’t correctly representing their brand—from union status to physical appearance to unique performance skills—they may fall through the cracks when an industry professional does an IMDb search for talent matching those keywords.
- Guild affiliations: IMDbPro has an extensive list of guilds to choose from, from SAG-AFTRA to WGA, but obviously only check them if you’re a member. If you’re just starting out, there is an option for “Nonunion,” as well as “SAG Eligible” for those who have the requirements but haven’t officially joined.
- Physical attributes: Describe your build and features, such as height, weight, hair color, eye color, and the age range you perform in.
- Ethnic appearance: This section offers the following options: African American, Asian, Caribbean, Eastern European, Indian/South Asian, Latin/Hispanic, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Mixed, Native American, and Pacific Islander.
- Voice type: If you are a voiceover actor or singer, help market yourself by choosing the specific descriptor of your voice such as alto, bass, or tenor.
- Unique traits: The options IMDb gives you are “twin” and “triplet,” but you can use the “Add Unique Trait” option to add any of your distinct features or abilities.
- Performer skills: This section lets you highlight your abilities, which makes you easier to find in filtered results. There’s a ton of options to choose from, including “comedian,” “contortionist,” “juggling,” “magic,” “martial arts,” “pilot,” and “voiceover.”
- Athletic skills: If you excel at a specific sport such as baseball or hockey, note that here.
- Accents: Select which accent (other than your regular speaking voice) you excel in. Options include Australian, British, Midwest, New England, and New York.
- Spoken languages: If you are fluent in languages other than English, this is where you select them.
- Musical instruments: Select any instrument you can play proficiently.
- Dance: Select any dance style you are trained in.
- Awards: Add any accolades you (or a project you worked on) won. Make sure to include the event, the award’s title, and the year you received it.
- Education and training: List any schools you attended for your craft and/or classes you took for any specific skill set, such as improv or scene study.
Edit your personal details as they’d appear on your actor page. Make sure you are logged into your IMDbPro page and click the blue “Edit Your Page” button in the top-right portion of your profile. Select the “Personal Details” prompt from the pop-up list.
The “Personal Details” feature is currently in beta mode, meaning the developers at IMDb are testing it out to see if the option is worth keeping on the site. Since these details are of a personal nature, it is up to the individual actor to decide if they wish to divulge this information on their page. The information entered here will only display on your IMDbPro page and not on IMDb.
The four selections are:
- Gender/Gender Identity
If a recent role in a movie or TV series has yet to appear on your page, follow these steps to add the credit.
- Find the project by name in the search bar at the top of IMDbPro’s main directory.
- Scroll to the top of the Cast section of the project page and click “+Add Cast.”
- On the project’s Update page, select how many credits you want to add from the drop-down menu to the right and click “Continue.” The site gives the option to add up to 90 credits.
- Add your name, the character you played, and the order you want this to appear if you are adding more than one credit. Click “Check These Updates.”
- If the information is accurate on the next page, click “Submit These Updates” at the bottom of the screen. You will receive a contribution confirmation number and your request will be processed.
IMDbPro is also a useful networking tool for actors. Casting directors, producers, directors, and other industry professionals are always using the site to find an actor’s information and hunt for new talent. You can use IMDbPro to connect with industry professionals, as well.
- Track the people and projects you’re interested in. If you click the “Track” button at the top of a person’s page, IMDb will notify you when that person has a new credit on their profile, or when they’re in the news. Actors can use these details to stay connected, offer congratulations, and cultivate and maintain relationships.
- Create a list. If there are multiple creatives you wish to connect with, you can add them to a list on IMDb by clicking the “Add to List” button when visiting their page. Create multiple lists for different purposes, such as agents you’re interested in networking with, actors whose work you want to remain updated on, and projects you’d love to be a part of.
To ensure you’re also findable for casting directors, always have your employment details up-to-date. This is the professional résumé portion of your page. Navigate to “Edit Page,” scroll to the “Performer Profile and Credentials” tab, and under “Employment Details,” fill out these four prompts:
- Job categories: Check the box next to any job categories you have experience with. The options range from acting and camera operation to special effects and stunts.
- Work history: Check the box next to any work history options that apply: commercial, film, industrial, internet, music video, radio, television, theater, and voiceover.
- Previous job titles: You can add up to three job titles in this section.
- Work information: This area gives potential employers a better idea of the type of work you are open to. You will be required to answer the following four questions, each with its own easy-to-use drop-down menu:
- Are you willing to work unpaid?
- Are you authorized to work in the United States?
- Do you have a valid passport?
- Where is your primary citizenship?
From commercial and theatrical talent agents to talent managers, the website contains a thorough directory of all types of representation located in all the major U.S. markets.
There are multiple ways you can search for new representation on IMDbPro.
- Utilize your unique skills. You can use any unique skill listed on your IMDb page to target agents and managers specifically interested in clients with your abilities. Go to the site’s Discover page and look for your special skill in the left sidebar. That item will reveal all the other actors on IMDb who share your special skill. This is a fantastic starting point; look for other actors who share a skill and research who their reps are.
- Use the STARmeter. This is the ranking system of every person in IMDb’s database that is only viewable on IMDbPro. Updated weekly, the STARmeter measures the public’s awareness of and interest in any person on IMDb.
Find an actor whose work you appreciate and whose STARmeter is a bit better than yours. Look at who their agent is. Make sure they represent actors with a similar ranking as yours and that they’re located in your region before reaching out. This unique strategy’s goal is to find representation who feature performers on their roster at a level a bit higher than you. In turn, the proverbial rising tide may lift you up as well if you find a good fit.
Following these simple steps will keep your IMDb page in tip-top shape and give casting directors something worth clicking on.
- Use your best branded headshot in the featured profile image spot.
- Make sure your acting credits are listed accurately and are up-to-date.
- Include behind-the-scenes production stills and red carpet photos (if you have them) to round out your branding and add further context to your listed credits.
- Add video clips or demo reels to your profile to showcase your talent.
- Make sure your talent representation’s information is up-to-date and accurate. And if you don’t have an agent or manager, include your correct personal contact information.