Tuesday, June 30, 2009

IMDB hates screenwriters

UPDATE: Two days after posting this and contacting some WGA board members, IMDB has managed to see the error of their ways and change it back to the way it was.

IMDB has just *dumped* screenwriters from the main page for every movie. Director is listed, cast is listed... not screenwriter! We get dumped to the bottom of the page with the running time and Swedish Censor Board Rating and other "additional details". I looked up BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, and Charlie Kaufman has been pushed down there with the statistics - he's the only *person* down there! That's kind of a Charlie Kaufman script idea in the making.

Though the WGA should begin an anti-IMDB/Amazon campaign, while we are waiting for that to happen, why not write them? And spread this to any writer friends you have. If they get thousands of letters, they may read one of them.

IMDb.com, Inc.
P.O. Box 81226
Seattle, WA 98108-1226

I can't tell you how angry this makes me. We work our asses off, we get crapped on again and again, we only get mentioned in reviews when the critic hates the film and mentions all of the script defects caused by those crap notes we hated or the director's stupid idea or the star's rewrite, and now *this*? If there was an IMDB employee in this Starbucks I would kick them in the face - even though that is not one of my skills and I would land on my ass.

I don't understand the *purpose* for this change.

- Bill


ryanpaige said...

Is this something that's in the pipeline? Because when I go to IMDb, I still see the writer listed right under the director at the top of the page.

wcmartell said...

Wow - maybe it's only some movies so far... and I managed to click on only the ones that have changed.

- Bill

dkbrklyn said...

Thanks, Bill, for pointing this out.
Names like these now appear as "Additional Details" beneath the "MOVIEmeter" --
Julius J. Epstein
Philip G. Epstein
Howard Koch
Frank Nugent
Charles Brackett
Frances Goodrich
Charles Lederer
Horton Foote
Waldo Salt
Paddy Chayefsky
Alvin Sargent
David Webb Peoples

ryanpaige said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ryanpaige said...

As it turns out, when I look at a IMDb page in Firefox, it looks like it has for some time (with writers at the top right under the director). When I look at the same page in Internet Explorer, the layout is different, with the writers in the "Additional Details" section.


And a change I don't understand at all (especially since the WGA is the only performing arts union that shares its data with the IMDb to make sure it's correct).

rjschwarz said...

WGA should create an alternate IMDB that lists the screenwriters info as well as agent and or manager if the screenwriter wishes to divulge (like IMDB it could be imput by the end user and save time/money and increase accuracy). This could put a very small dent in the IMDB Pro cash stream.

Lastly a link to the Amazon version of the DVD (or BluRay) using the Amazon affiliate program might create a small cash stream for the WGA itself.

Such a beast would not be easy, or cheap, but might be enough to get IMDB to reconsider this stupid move.

dkbrklyn said...

@ryanpaige -- About not seeing the new IMDb, could be the Firefox cache, helping you too much (sometimes). Try clearing the cache (only) using "Tools | Clear Private Data," or overriding it on a reload using "Ctrl+F5" and/or "Ctrl+Shift+R" ... Ya never know ...

Jessie said...


When I look at IMDB with Firefox I see the writers in the same position they've always been.

But when I use Safari the writers appear under "additional details".

Somebody at IMDB must really know a lot about filmmaking. They have writers on movies? What for?

dkbrklyn said...

Update -- Looks like they put the writers back up at the top late yesterday.

wcmartell said...

Seems to be back to the old format, now. Thank you, IMDB.

- Bill

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