For film buffs, there’s no authority like IMDB — the Internet Movie Database. It’s the motion picture business’s gold-standard resource, and for good reason: its comprehensiveness and accuracy are second to none.
Getting your name on IMDB can do wonders for your career, not least thanks the platform’s impressive visibility in organic search results. The best part: you don’t have to be a card-carrying actor to qualify. These six common off-camera roles and role categories are enough to earn you an IMDB credit, even if you don’t see a lick of screen time.
1. Producer (Various)
Don’t put the cart before the horse — you’re not going to get an executive producer credit on your first project. But even star producers like Jerry Bruckheimer have to get their starts somewhere. Producer and production-related titles typically include, but aren’t limited to:
- Production assistant
- Makeup production assistant
- Line producer
- Post-production producer
- Associate producer
- Assistant producer
- Executive producer
2. Production Counsel
We’re not quite done with “production” titles yet. There’s room for professional guild members, such as lawyers and accountants, in on-set or set-adjacent duties. For instance, Los Angeles based attorney Helen Yu — now a prolific entertainment lawyer who’s represented members of The Black Eyed Peas, among other stars — notched together a handful of production counsel credits early in her career.
Film editors make raw footage legible, sensible, magical. They’re the unsung heroes of any film production — the folks that higher-profile staffers, including directors and producers, have to thank (or deride) for the film’s critical reception and award-season performance. If you have an eye for detail and a strong aesthetic sensibility, you’d do well to look into a career as a film editor.
4. Art Director
Art directors are responsible for realizing the creative team’s vision — for allocating the art department’s budget for maximum effect, and for leading (or helping to lead) the design, construction, and disposal of various set pieces.
5. Costume Designer
The costume designer is among the best-known of the behind-the-scenes stars. He or she leads a team responsible for — quite literally — clothing the on-screen talent. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just period pieces and historical dramas that require competent costume designers; even romps set in the present day demand sartorial expertise.
6. Camera and Electrical (Various)
Sure, you could make a good living as a residential electrician or newsroom cameraperson. But why would you when you could use the same skill set in the service of a far more entertaining occupation?
You Don’t Have to Be a Star to Reach for the Stars
Or, if you prefer: you don’t have to be a star to rub shoulders with the stars, online and off. Just as working on the set of a major motion picture earns you the chance to meet (or at least glimpse) your favorite A-listers, your IMDB-worthy off-camera role is a chance to get your name in (digital) lights next to those high-wattage stars.
What does it all mean for your career? There’s only one way to find out.