Getting your short film listed on IMDb (the Internet Movie Database) is an important step in establishing credibility as a filmmaker. With over 250 million unique monthly visitors, IMDb is the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV, and celebrity content. A listing on IMDb lends legitimacy to your project and helps expand its reach.
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about getting your short film on IMDb, from meeting initial requirements to submitting via IMDbPro and optimizing your page.
Why You Should Get Your Short Film on IMDb
Before we dive into the process, it’s worth underscoring why an IMDb listing is so valuable:
- Adds credibility – IMDb is selective about what gets listed, so inclusion shows you created a legitimate film project.
- Improves discoverability – Your film can be found by millions looking for content on IMDb and Amazon Prime Video channels.
- Looks great on your resume – An IMDb credit boosts your reputation as a filmmaker.
- Eligibility for festivals/awards – Some festivals require an IMDb listing to be considered for entry.
- Monetization opportunities – Your IMDb page provides a way to get paid gigs and sell your work.
- Helps gain industry attention – Producers, directors, and talent scouts actively look for promising creatives on IMDb.
Simply put, an IMDb credit gives your short film a level of validity that’s hard to achieve through other means. Let’s look at how to get it done.
IMDb Requirements for Short Film Submission
IMDb has some baseline requirements that your short film must meet to be considered for inclusion:
- The film must be publicly released – at a festival screening or made available online. Cannot be unreleased works.
- Minimum runtime of 40 minutes – Exceptions made for films with release at major festivals.
- Professional production quality – Films with poor-quality video/audio may be declined.
- English-language credits – All credit names must be submitted in English.
- Plot summary in English – For foreign language shorts, the plot outline must be in English.
Provided these requirements are met, most short films will be accepted by IMDb for listing. Specific exceptions can be made for shorts with a high-profile festival release under 40 minutes.
Step 1: Gather Required Information About Your Short Film
The IMDb submission process will ask you to provide a range of details about your film. Preparing this information ahead of time ensures the process goes smoothly. Here are the key details you’ll need:
Cast and Crew Credits
Compile a complete list of all cast and crew that worked on your film, including:
- Full names and functions/roles. IMDb standard roles include director, writer, producer, editor, cinematographer, composer, etc.
- Actor names along with character names.
- Country of release
- Release date (film festival or online)
- Running time
- A brief 1-2 paragraph plot summary of your film. Enough for readers to understand the storyline and characters.
- Production company (if applicable)
- Director name
- Names of any co-directors or co-producers
Having this information ready ahead of submission will speed up the process and prevent delays in verifying details with IMDb.
Step 2: Create an IMDbPro Account
To submit a short film (or any content) to IMDb, you need an IMDbPro account. IMDbPro provides expanded profile management features plus the ability to add films and credits.
Here are the key things to know about getting an IMDbPro account setup:
IMDbPro offers monthly and annual subscription plans:
- Monthly – $19.99/month
- Annually – $149.99/year
For most filmmakers looking to add a one-off short film, a 1-2 month subscription is sufficient. You can always extend it later as needed.
Compared to the free IMDb service, IMDbPro unlocks more profile customization tools and the coveted ability to submit new content.
Creating Your IMDbPro Account
Follow these steps to create your IMDbPro account:
- Go to www.imdbpro.com and click on “Start your 30-day free trial”
- Enter your email and choose a password
- Select your plan and enter payment details (will not be charged until the trial expires)
- Confirm your email to complete the signup
With your Pro account created, the next step is to set up your personal IMDb profile…
Setting Up Your IMDb Profile
Having an existing IMDb name page for yourself looks more professional when submitting your short film. Here’s how to create your profile:
- From your Account page, add your name and select “Actor” or “Producer/Director” as relevant.
- Go through the sections to fill out your bio, add a headshot, list credits, etc.
- Check the box to make your profile public when ready.
Now your IMDb profile is ready to link up to your short film submission.
Step 3: Submit the Request Via IMDbPro
With your account created and details gathered, it’s time to head to the IMDbPro Short Film Submission page and enter your film info.
Submitting your short film on IMDbPro is a multi-step process requiring different kinds of details:
The title section asks for:
- Original title
- English title (if different from original)
- Release year
- Country of release
Next, provide key technical details like:
- Runtime (in minutes)
- Aspect ratio
- Color type (color, black & white, etc.)
Plot Summary & Spoilers
Enter a brief 1-2 paragraph summary of the plot. Check the box if your summary contains spoilers.
List any festival or online release dates for the short film.
Cast & Crew
Time to enter the list of cast and crew credits you prepared earlier. IMDb has specific formatting for names:
First Last (short)
Provide the character name for the actors. Add a note if it’s narrated by an unseen narrator.
For crew members, choose the standard IMDb role that fits them best from the dropdown menu.
If you have a production company, list it here along with the producers’ names.
When submitting cast and credits, double-check that names are properly formatted and roles accurately assigned. This helps avoid delays in getting your page approved.
Proof of Release
The final step is providing proof that your short film meets IMDb’s release requirements. Options include:
- Film festival acceptance letter/email
- Screenshot showing the short film available online
- Physical screening invite or poster
At least one type of verification proof must be provided.
With all required information entered, finish by clicking “Submit Request”. Now your request goes to the IMDb team for review.
Step 4: Provide Additional Verification Details
After reviewing your new title request, IMDb may require some additional verification to corroborate the details submitted.
Common things they may request proof for include:
- Running time – Require a screenshot from the uploaded video file
- Release date – Ask for physical screening invites, festival letters, etc.
- Cast/crew details – Request sources to confirm professional roles
Respond promptly to any additional verification requests, providing documents, links, or screenshots that validate the information. The quicker you respond, the faster your title page can get approved.
Follow all IMDb guidelines for acceptable verification sources. Once your details are all confirmed, approval to create the full IMDb page will be granted.
Step 5: Check Status and Make Edits
It typically takes 2-4 weeks after submission for IMDb to finish reviewing and creating your dedicated title page. You’ll receive an email once approved and live on the site.
You can also regularly check the status under the Film Submission section of your IMDbPro account.
Once published, you gain access to edit the page. Add more cast, release dates, trivia, and other details. IMDbPro members can preview edits before they go fully live.
Optimize Your IMDb Listing
Here are some final tips for optimizing your shiny new IMDb title page:
- Add photos – Increase appeal by uploading production stills, behind-the-scenes shots, and posters.
- Fill out sections – Don’t leave sections like trivia, reviews, and recommendations empty.
- Monitor edits – Check incoming edits against your records to prevent incorrect changes.
- Link to official sites – Add links to the film website to drive traffic.
- Invite page updates – Ask cast and crew to update their own IMDb profiles for a fuller crew list.
By keeping your IMDb page fleshed out and updated, you’ll maximize the impact and visibility it provides your film.
Get Out There and Get Listed!
Gaining that coveted IMDb credit for your short film is a key step in building your reputation as a filmmaker. It not only brings legitimacy but creates new doors for distribution, festivals, awards, and industry opportunities.
Hopefully, this guide provided a comprehensive overview of how to get your short film on IMDb – from initial requirements to optimizing your finished page.
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge needed, it’s time to get your work listed on the world’s leading movie database. Just imagine how it will look on your next film festival application or funding proposal!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I add a short film to IMDb?
To add a short film to IMDb, you need to have an IMDbPro account. This paid account allows you to submit films for consideration through the title request form. Provide all required details like cast, crew credits, release date, runtime, etc. IMDb will review the request and add the title if it meets their criteria.
How do I get listed on IMDb?
The main ways to get listed as a cast or crew member on IMDb are 1) Be attached to a titled project submitted by a producer/director 2) Submit your own name for consideration via IMDbPro 3) Be added by someone else already listed on IMDb. Verifiable credits are required to stay listed.
How do I give credit to IMDb?
To credit IMDb as the source of any data displayed, use a text attribution like “Cast information courtesy of IMDb” or the IMDb logo which can be downloaded through their press room. Most non-commercial uses of IMDb data require attribution.
Who can contribute to IMDb?
Anyone with a free IMDb account can submit corrections and additional information for consideration. However, all additions and edits are reviewed by IMDb staff before going fully live on the site. IMDbPro members have more tools for directly editing listings.
How much does IMDbPro cost?
IMDbPro costs $149.99 per year for an annual membership. Monthly memberships are also available for $19.99 per month. A 30-day free trial is offered for new members to test it out.
Can I add a show to IMDb?
For TV series and other titles, only the registered owners and producers have permission to add the full title page via IMDbPro. Other users can submit the title request for consideration but cannot directly add it.
How long does it take to add a credit to IMDb?
It typically takes 2-4 weeks for submitted credits to be reviewed and added to an IMDb profile. The verification process means credits do not appear instantly. Patience is required for the vetting process.
Do actors add themselves to IMDb?
Actors cannot instantly add themselves. But they can submit name requests for consideration through an IMDbPro account. Supporting credits/documentation is required to be approved and listed.
Are IMDb credits reliable?
IMDb has a thorough process for verifying credits by requiring provable documentation like contracts, invoices, box office receipts etc. This makes the credits more reliable than user-generated databases without strict verification. However, some outdated or incorrect info can still slip through.