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IMDB removes link to featured user reviews


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#1 George Ebersole

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 02:07 AM

The IMDB has removed the link to user reviews on film entries.  Amazon, who owns the IMDB, has removed the old format where you can see a user's reviews and how many people thought it was helpful.

 

It's my personal opinion that now that Amazon is in the content provider business that they don't want to risk negative press from their consumers reviewing their products.

 

Removing the forums last year was a major blow to people like me.  Hardly anyone uses "alternate forums" to discuss movies.  This forum is more pro-technical oriented, so discussion of films doesn't skew to themes, stories, and other creative factors beyond stock, lens, and camera selection.  

 

Facebook is not a good forum for discussing films.  Nor is twitter.  

 

Well, the IMDB is a private company owned by another private company, but there was a time when the IMDB was just a fan site.  And I guess when fan sites become commercially viable you get this kind of thing.

 

I'm thinking that if I get any of my project completed, that I won't be listing them on the IMDB, and if listed there, I'll issue a letter drafted by my lawyer to remove said information.  

 

Typically I'm not a big 1st amendment guy, but my adopted family fought under Washington to found this nation, and I take things like this to heart.

 

Multimedia is gamed enough as it is.  In retrospect this was inevitable, but it would be nice if on occasion a private company that relies on interaction could treat some of their services as a public trust.  That's probably too much to ask.

 

Thanks for reading.


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#2 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 09:11 AM

IMDB is hardly a "user friendly" site to begin with.  The biggest complaint most people have is that you can't manually control the movie posters that show up above your credits as what you're known for.   Even celebrities have no control over this.  IMDB's response to industry frustration over this has been quite dismissive.  IMDB claims that even they have no control over it.  It's all an algorithm that changes due to the popularity and relevance of certain titles over others.

 

Really? They have no control?  I would think a simple code injection could allow for anyone to go into their profile and select the posters they want under their name.  I'm not surprised that Amazon wouldn't accomodate this in spite of how popular a request it is.  Nor am I surprised about them dropping user participation in general in the form of reviews.  Year by year tech somehow gets less and less friendly.


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#3 George Ebersole

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:32 AM

I bought a pro subscription some time back when I was making a real earnest effort to get back doing camera ops again, but it's like for all the stuff I've ever worked on in years past, I only got one feature credit to my name.  Well, okay, once I start working again regularly (not going to happen now) I can develop a portfoliio again and update my profile.  But it's like now I'm almost at the point where I want my entry removed because that site is so bad now.

 

Here's the thing I don't get.  They kept expanding the forums, over the last five to six years.  And then they shut them down?  Just yesterday I heard that Amazon and other retailers state in a KCBS news piece that they want more consumer participation in terms of reviews, but now they effectively blank out the reviews unless you hunt around for them.  

 

I shrug my shoulders at it now.  I probably won't be buying a hell of a lot more off of Amazon anymore.  And I'll probably cancel my IMDB pro account in the coming months ... depending on how things go.  I'm just one guy in a sea of hundreds of millions.  But if other people are as frustrated as I am, then maybe they'll just shut down that aspect of the business, or revert back to the way it was.  

 

Whatever.  I'm sorry I invested so much time and energy into a forum held by a private company driven by the desire and need to make more cash.  I love business and free markets, but I think there's a time when you need to recognize your public duties.


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 05:03 PM

IMDB has been shit for years. Now it's all just a place to advertise for the big movies. They make the small people pay to put themselves on there, but the studio's have contacts with them for THEIR employees, so they don't pay a dime. So again, like the entire casting agency scam, the whole IMDB thing is just a way to make money off "want a bees".

If you're in the industry, you don't need IMDB PRO because you can pick up the phone and get all the info you need in 20 seconds from the actual source. If you're in the industry, your assistant will take care of posting shit on IMDB for you through their studio connections. If you're in the industry, you don't need IMDB because your assistant will give you all the info you need because they know it all, otherwise they wouldn't be your assistant.

IMDB started going down hill around 8 years ago, when they killed the "technical" sections, which allowed movie owners like myself, to see what movies were on what formats (VHS, LD, DVD, etc). Then they made an all-new bubbly site, that doesn't work at all on a mobile device. In fact, 90% of the time, I can't find the info I'm looking for on IMDB mobile without going to the "full web version" which is a pain to navigate on a small screen.

Anyway, I could go on all day about how worthless/useless IMDB is, but it's currently the only resource sponsored by the studio's. Nobody cares if the info is accurate, nobody cares if it's real, it's all such bullshit and now people don't even bother filling in tech specs anymore. What a fucking scham!
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#5 George Ebersole

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 09:24 PM

Don't hold back Tyler.  Tell us how you really feel.

 

I guess I'm a "wannabe".  Features are and were rare in the Bay Area, so most of the work up here is corporate video.  There was and still is a strong indy presence, with "rock" videos ranking second in terms of non-industrial work.  But I can't post all the industrials and commercials I worked on back in the 90s on my profile, and, like you say, if you're working, then you don't need this website.

 

But as a film fan I liked the forums for discussing the creative and artistic aspects, and just discussing films themselves.  But now you can't even do that.  And the pro site puts on the pretense of providing box office numbers and contact information, but like you say, you don't need it.  

 

I know it's not the 90s anymore, but when the net was first building itself beyond universities there did seem to be an unwritten ethic of being honest and upfront with information, and explaining loopholes and lack of data for whatever the subject was.

 

That's all gone now.  There's always been junk online, ever since my friends and I Were cruising pre-net BBS in the early 80s, but now it's like 80% or more of the net is garbage.  And now this happens.  I'm pretty angry about it.


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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 11:04 PM

I don't think I've ever had to pay for a credit on IMDB and many of them are TINY things; but I think that's because many folks submit through withoutabox which is the same company.

I had a Pro Trial; and then eh?

I do have an account and when a film I did is put up there i try to make sure it's all right; and normally my edits go through in less than a day.


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#7 George Ebersole

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 03:23 AM

Well, let's see, early in my career I helped setup the SFX shop for Look Who's Talking, I interned on "Midnight Caller", I did some PA work on "Eat a Bowl of Tea", cleaned up Spielberg's "Innerspace" apartment set (drove it to the dump in Colma) ... a few other feature related things here and there, but I can't remember them all, and I've never gotten a credit for any of it.

 

So ... BFD.  Especially since IMDB's decided that keeping a positive product spin on Amazon studio products is more valuable than providing a place where people can go look up details on films.  

 

I think MS had a movie site at one time ... I wonder if their forums are still up.


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#8 George Ebersole

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 01:39 PM

Not to beat a dead horse, but Amazon also got rid of its product discussion forums as well.  Wow.  Either forum activity is hurting sales, or they're getting threatened with law suits by various parties, or maintaining the forum is cutting into costs.

 

But, again, the film discussion that did take place there is all gone, unless you want to comment on someone's review.  And even then, like I say, you have to hunt around for those now.

 

Maybe I shouldn't be venting here, but again back in the day information and opinion was free flowing.  I remember when Amazon was still just an online bookstore, and an independent owner run operation where the founder packaged books for shipping to customers.  I remember those days.  And being an indy book store owner had values regarding sharing knowledge with all people.  That's what good indy bookstores are all about, aside from just being a simple business.  And I guess that's what really has me both outraged and shrugging my shoulders.

 

I'm going to write that SOB a letter.


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#9 aapo lettinen

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 03:44 AM

the "Known For" section is really stupid indeed. 

 

For me it only shows the old cheap ass low budget indie productions I have been in and NEVER any of the "mainstream" 2 - 4 million budget feature films I have worked in.

 

Every now and then I think if I should remove those low end productions from my imdb page completely as "incorrect information" because they give an impression that I would only do shoestring indie stuff :unsure:

One of the reasons I don't do much indie films nowadays is that they "flood the imdb page" and are thus bad resume even if the films themselves would be good  :(


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#10 George Ebersole

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 11:17 AM

Why would that be a bad resume?  Most work is through referrals, not by people cruising your IMDB entry.


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#11 aapo lettinen

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 04:38 AM

Why would that be a bad resume?  Most work is through referrals, not by people cruising your IMDB entry.

 

this screenshot from my imdb page sums it up pretty accurately. 

they have NEVER shown any of those "real budget" 120 k€ - 4million€ projects in the "Known For" section and are instead showing the low budget indie stuff from 1k to 30k range  <_<

 

39336572182_2982c242b3_b.jpg


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#12 George Ebersole

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 05:57 AM

Well, has it effected the quality of projects you've been hired for?


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#13 aapo lettinen

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 10:15 AM

Well, has it effected the quality of projects you've been hired for?

 

it does not affect the professional well-paid work but it may affect quite much the "higher budget" non-paid indie stuff, low-pay music video and stock footage work, etc. where google is more important than referrals.

and it has serious effect in how the general public + friends etc. view one's work because they don't look or analyze the whole page, just quickly glimpse the "known for" section and the first one or two credits on the list. 

 

so, it clearly affects the projects but it does not affect the paycheck generally (because it generally has no effect on the pro projects, just the low pay stuff) though it may have some impact on the shorter low-pay projects like music videos etc.  


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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 11:22 AM

I am pretty sure the algorithm deals with how many awards the film has under it's nominations/wins, as well as how many "reviews" and "votes" it has. If you click on those films on your IMDB I bet they have the most wins/nominations and//or the highest "vote rating."

IMDB doesn't know what's an "indie" is, so it just kinda goes off of whichever page has the better "metrics."

Yeah it's annoying I have some films on my known for I'd rather move, but is what it is.


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