Separate background actors/extras from regular cast on movies

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  • Updated 6 years ago
I find the addition of extras/background actors to IMDb increasingly distracting. During the production phase most of them do not even add an "uncredited" but try to sneak in as normal cast member, even though they know they will not get a credit - and while doing so totally clutter up the cast list, making it incredibly hard to figure out who is actually ~in~ the movie.

And when the cast list gets checked at release time, they get demoted to "uncredited" only but are still listed. This totally dilutes the "uncredited" attribution in my opinion, and still clutters up the cast listing with people who have about the same value as the set deco (and nobody lists the furniture on IMDb, right?). Not to talk about the fact, that there is not even any verification if that person a) has even worked as an extra on the movie and b) is shown (versus got cut during editing).

I'm absolutely certain, that there are several "actors" on IMDb whose filmography is entirely fictional. People who add themselves during production and then get either an "uncredited" credit in the end, or sometimes even a real credit (in cases where movies get released without any IMDb or producers staff checking cast/crew lists against actual credits like this happens often with small indies). I know I've seen a few in the past which I was sure were entirely fake, and I have not even been looking for them.

My request: please create a separate section or page for background/extras, so they don't get mixed up with real cast at least; I mean, right from the beginning so there is never any question if they are speaking cast or extras. It should also reduce the temptation to add fake credits and help IMDb staff to identify actors who try to cheat with their credits when those people add themselves to regular cast but repeatedly don't show up in the actual movie credits. It might even help with unknown/little known actors who are trying to boost their filmography that way in order to manipulate their starmeter. Or, update your policies to make clear that extras are not allowed be added and remove them during a credits update entirely (instead of just updating their listing to "uncredited" which happens without any verification if that person actually was in the movie). I would prefer the latter but if not possible I think it would be very helpful for everyone to put them at least separate from the cast to avoid confusion.

Thanks.
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nightvision

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Posted 6 years ago

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nightvision

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Now that IMDbPro Labs has added a new sorting option for cast, I think this is even more important.

Have you tried sorting by name? The list is now a mixed collection of actual cast and tons of extras - and you can't immediately see that they are extras, esp in the time until a movie is officially released most extras don't even have that uncredited attribute.

I think the way IMDb allows the use of uncredited right now, is devaluating the database. In its own guidelines it says "A typical example is when a famous actor has an unbilled cameo appearance in a film." - that's the right use.

But not for every single extra, who may or may not be seen in the movie. The submission guidelines even say, "For cast/acting appearances, you must be identifiable and featured on-screen in the final released cut of the film. In other words, it's not enough to have worked on a production: your scenes must be included in the final cut and it must be possible to easily identify your appearance.." but they get ignored. For one, almost all extras submit their credit WITHOUT the uncredited attribute initially (just check studio movies in post-production.... 90%+ are listed as full cast members). But secondly, no one checks if they are actually in the movie (and the extras can't even know if they make the final cut when they submit their credit during production in most cases).

And because of the unheeding allowance of extras (and the lack of verification on all projects so uncredited roles slip through as credited), there are TONS of really dubious IMDb pages consisting only of extra work (some even credited because they slip through) and being audience member in talkshows.

In my opinion, IMDb really needs to so something about the misuse of credits for non-credited work, and separating the extras out from the cast into a dedicated section would be at least a small step forward.
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Peter, Champion

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I think your criticisms are well stated and your suggestion interesting. I want to mention that extras have also in the past been accepted in the Other Crew section. I recently had problems adding extra credits in that section and asked about it at the Contributors Help board, and a staff member said they would have a discussion about their policies. I posted a link there to your post here.
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nightvision

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Thanks for that. Perhaps I should check out the Contributors Help board as well.
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DavidAH_Ca, Champion

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What they really need to do at once is enforce the current regulations. One of these states that the Character Name should identify the particular artist. Names like 'Extra' are specifically excluded, but still show up on the pages.

Characters like 'Man in Bar' is hardly helpful if the scene involves a crowded bar, or if the film has four or five bar scenes with different actors in each one.

If IMDb made an explicit policy that Contributors should submit deletes for (uncredited) cast credits that cannot be easily identified I think the problem would be significantly reduced.
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nightvision

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I think strictly enforcing the existing policies would be a good way too. I just would love for IMDb do something because it is becoming a real mess imo. Most extras give themselves a descriptive credit and some even a character name but they are still extras without any credit and I just don't think this is what the 'uncredited' attribute is intended for.

My suggestion of moving them into a separate section was mostly an idea how to deal with them if you can't eliminate them (which would be better).
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vhavnal

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I have found that irritating too and most of these end up being manipulators who add fake credits to MAJOR titles and until it can be verified (after the film releases), they remain in the lead cast role section for many months during the filming...and the longer they stay there, the better their starmeter rankings are..

sleepingbeauty , you hit the nail on the head..that is true..they do. IMDb has no way of policing these "con people"..the thing is, when you are able to get your starmeter that high, sometimes your name will appear ahead of the MAIN LEADS of the movie, it has happened many times. e.g, this guy (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2252255/) , he is a NOBODY background extra but his starmeter is high due to manipulation which means he will appear in the top 3 section of a major title until the film is released and verified and credit order added...

most don't even add the "uncredited" tag because they are using that movie to get more roles in others as they want their casting director to find their names on IMDb under a big banner/budget movie.
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Falcon

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If you go to St Vincent de Van Nuys, here - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2170593/?ref_=rvi_tt, Alyssa Ruland - Student, is credited WAY above the lead, Jaeden Lieberher (who was pushed to the second page), but she was only an extra coming out of the school.  Ditto for her "roles" in Spiderman and Royal Pains -- where she is listed as uncredited.  Still ... to have the poster for Spiderman under her "Known For" section is misleading.  She is know Known For anything!  This chick has even been on local TV masquerading as a "Hollywood Star" - and the news people, who are too lazy to drill into her actual work get an easy news story out it it.  It's very frustrating for real actors and IMDB should set a higher bar for getting into the cast list.   

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Emperor, Champion

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On that title, the order is incomplete - the first three people are given the order: 3, 6, 10. Then nothing. The fix is to go to that page, edit the cast and crew, then add the whole order in - this should then put everyone in their right place. It doesn't look like this is anything the actress did wrong, it is the mess left behind my incomplete credit adding.
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Emperor, Champion

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See this more recent discussion:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...
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Emperor, Champion

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Also Peter has linked over here, so it makes sense to link back:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/n...

I'm juggling the same problem, but won't put the time in until this issue is resolved (and it might require a new thread here or there to deal with the specific issues):

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/n...
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Emperor, Champion

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And this has now been resolved:

Extras are now, and have always been, listed as cast. Any previous
advice that they should go anywhere else was wrong and we've not been
accepting them in "other crew" (though I suspect some have slipped
through).


http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/nest/216327092?d=221816361#221816361