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224 Messages


11.4K Points

Wed, Jun 17, 2020 1:48 PM

Issues with submission guides

Various issues to address here...

Links from the Submissions Guide A-Z for Casting Department and Casting Directors both link to the same page (in both places where these two links appear). There used to be two separate guides for this, as seen via Casting Department and Casting Directors.

The current guide seems to be mostly the old Casting Directors guide, but badly edited (note the stray closing parenthesis in the first sentence, for example).

While there was a fair bit of duplication between the two old guides, the current version fails to keep the distinction between the two sections clear. It also refers to "Casting Credits" as if that's a specific section of the database, when in fact "Casting Department" is the term used on the submission form and on name and title pages.

Either the former separate guides need to be reinstated, or the combined guide needs to be updated to properly reflect the two sections it's covering and make the distinction between them clearer. If you're updating it, you'll also want to remove the reference to TV Series in the last point on the page: that was out of date and irrelevant years before this page was transferred to the 'new' help system.

Back on the Submissions Guide A-Z, in the Crew Members section:
  • There are two links to "Set Decorators"; but the second leads to an odd "Sign in with Midway" page, not to the guide.
  • A link to the Script Department is missing from this section (although a link does appear further down the page in the full alphabetical listing).

Under the Company/Business Credits section of the A-Z page, the links for Company Details, Miscellaneous Companies, Production Companies, Sales Agents, and Special Effects Companies all lead to exactly the same page. If you think this duplication is helpful, then at the very least the latter four links should be modified to link to the relevant part of that page, rather than linking to the top of the page as they currently do.

Continuing my scroll down the A-Z page, I come to a section titled Help. Quite possibly the least useful section title imaginable when it appears half way down a page entirely dedicated to listing help guides.

Further down the A-Z page, in the alphabetical listing:
  •   The links for the five Companies sections suffer the same issue I've mentioned above.
  •   Links for Casting Directors/Department here may need updating depending on how you address my comments on this above.
  •   Costume Designers is wrongly linked to the guide for Costume Department instead of the correct guide.
  •   Perhaps the guide for Other Crew could benefit from also being linked under the title Miscellaneous Crew since it's often referred to that way.
  •   The guide for TV Episodes could likewise benefit from an additional link as Episodes, for anyone looking for it under 'E' in the alphabetical list.
  •   The link to Where Are They Now? should be removed, since neither the feature nor the help for it exist any more.

While I'm asking for updates to the guides, perhaps you could also get this issue properly included in the guides. Will apparently "cut a ticket" for this last September, but there's still no sign of anything actually being done.

Still reading? Maybe you'll also be interested in my suggestion for an additional guide covering the basics that apply to all departments.

And finally, I know I'm asking way too much now, but I think there would be a lot of benefit to a complete overhaul and refresh of all the help guides. Obviously, this would be an absolutely massive job and I'm really not expecting it to happen, but there's no harm in asking, right?

The problem is that most, if not all, of the guides have been edited, tweaked, and added to over the years (or even decades) as policy and systems have changed, but this has been done inconsistently and some parts of some guides are now out of date, some parts are worded awkwardly as a result of multiple rewrites as policy changes, and some policies are only noted in odd hard-to-find places in the guides. Often changes have only been reflected in the most directly-affected individual guides, not considering other guides that might also mention the elements that have changed.

Adjusting individual guides here and there as issues are noticed can only go so far; there's also a need to ensure that the full collection of guides as a whole is clear, consistent, correct, and most importantly, useful for anyone trying to understand policy or looking for information.





8.6K Messages


222.4K Points

3 months ago

Hi Phil G -

Thanks for all the above call outs regarding this submission guide, rest assured that I have alerted the appropriate editor and filed a ticket in the backlog.  Once there are any updates on the status I will be sure to notify you here.


148 Messages


6.3K Points

2 months ago

I thank you for all that info, Phil G. I searched for Casting Department guide problems but didn't come up with your post. Yes, I had the same problems. If I were IMDb I would contract you out to overhaul the guide! It would be an easy fix for them.