IMDB Charging Actors/Actress for Pictures
April 22, 2001 12:17 PM   Subscribe

IMDB Charging Actors/Actress for Pictures The Internet Movie Data Base has provided an invaluable service to millions of Web users over the years. But now, the IMDB sees fit to charge actors and actresses to put a small 'headshot' pic on their pages.

What next? Will IMDB start charging studios to list their films? For an example of a page without a headshot, try the gorgeous Keira Knightley's page. Not so good without the pic, huh?
posted by wackybrit (16 comments total)
I noticed this today during one of my "six degrees"-like escapades through the IMDb. When they re-vamped their photo gallery section, I coudln't figure out why. But it makes more sense now, and I don't like it.

"GET THEIR ATTENTION with a headshot on your filmography and a photo gallery of your very own!"

So the same service as before, but now they're charging?
posted by pnevares at 12:37 PM on April 22, 2001

It never is the same if you have to pay for it . . .
posted by feelinglistless at 12:56 PM on April 22, 2001

How do you expect them to pay the bills, people?
posted by Spanktacular at 1:01 PM on April 22, 2001

Actors have money (if they're working), people love the site and it promotes movie sales and ticket purchases and gives actors more exposure, actors pay money to keep the site up so users (film fans) can continue using it for free. Where's the problem again?

It seems win-win to me (but then, I'm not an actor).
posted by mathowie at 1:10 PM on April 22, 2001

To be honest, this is no different from Yahoo charging $199 to be reviewed for an entry. It's just that IMDB has been a bit of a 'last bastion' against complete commercialism.

Sure, they can run their exclusive film ads, show trailers, pair up with ticket agencies.. but when they don't have a simple headshot of each semi-famous actor/actress, it's a bit of a let down for the visitors.

While Keira Knightley might not be quite Julia Roberts, she's had significant roles in two major films (Star Wars Ep1, The Hole).. and I can't really see small time actors/actresses like this forking out $70 just to appear on the IMDB. They aren't as well off as we'd think.
posted by wackybrit at 1:25 PM on April 22, 2001

.. but when they don't have a simple headshot of each semi-famous actor/actress, it's a bit of a let down for the visitors.

They've never had headshots for the semi-famous. Only the big stars, whose pix were easy to come across, ever had their photos on IMDB. This is much ado about nothing, wacky.
posted by jpoulos at 1:41 PM on April 22, 2001

Ahh, probably jp :-) But no-one has posted any new stick figure kung-fu sites for at least 6 hours now and I just wanted to find anything to whine about.
posted by wackybrit at 2:09 PM on April 22, 2001

Ohh, and the reason this whole topic came up was because I was gunna send IMDB a headshot pic of Keira. But there's no way I'm paying $70, besides.. it'd be against their terms and conditions it seems.
posted by wackybrit at 2:10 PM on April 22, 2001

I do not see any problem with this. in fact, I think it is a very good idea for the IMDB. The information is all there regardless of a head shot or not. The IMDB is just chanrging the most vain in our society for their own vanity.
posted by DragonBoy at 2:57 PM on April 22, 2001

I'm still waiting for my cut from the data I submitted before the sell-out...
posted by NortonDC at 2:58 PM on April 22, 2001

I remember when it was just The Actors List, posted monthly to rec.arts.movies ...

They've gone steadily more commercial, and I haven't considered them a last bastion of anything since the Amazon deal. A lot of the data they use is now supplied by studios or trade groups (like WGA). There was a time when I was a regular contributor of things like complete cast lists (all you had to do was sit at your computer, freeze frame the movie, and type away). I felt my contributions were valuable, but not valued. Frustrating.
posted by dhartung at 10:32 PM on April 22, 2001

I was just thinking last week how terrible it would be in the world of dot-com meltdowns if imdb went down. If they can get a few actors to help pay the light bill, more power to them.
posted by darren at 7:40 AM on April 23, 2001

First, it isn't that expensive. Second, if the actors are submitting their own shots, it frees IMDB from any copyright nastiness on the images. I really don't see a problem with these guys trying to make money in this way. It seems perfectly appropriate.
posted by frykitty at 8:37 AM on April 23, 2001

This is a helluva lot cheaper than head shots (depending on what level you pick), and certainly will get you seen by more eyeballs. Smart on IMDB's part.

Now how long do you think it will take for the pranks to start? I can't wait to send in a picture of a marmoset with a note reading, "Please post this in my bio. Sincerely, Haley Joel Osment."
posted by Skot at 10:48 AM on April 23, 2001

I think the crux of this goes back to the "free now pay later" business model. Yes, has people behind it who want to put food on the table for their families, and they have to pay for upkeep and bandwidth and God knows what else. They've been doing it for free up until now but someone has to pay for it. Advertisers was only a temporary fix. They're not gonna get you and me to pay for it. Consumers are too used to the Internet being free. I pay my ISP to get online. I don't want to pay for content on top of that. I think most people are like that.

So each major dotcom that has until now done the free now pay later business model have to 1) develop a service or good that a lot of Internet consumers find (if not indispensible) very valuable and worth returning to, 2) prove this to some other related organization or peoples (one with lots of cash), and 3) get them to pay for it.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:15 PM on April 23, 2001

2) prove this to some other related organization or peoples (one with lots of cash), and 3) get them to pay for it.

This month is the third anniversary of buying
posted by gluechunk at 1:27 PM on April 23, 2001

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