Saturday, February 28, 2009

You're only as good (or bad) as your last credit

According to I was the location manager on DANTE’S PEAK. This is news to me. I didn’t even see DANTE’S PEAK. Yet imdb has it listed and my agent is still pressing me for his commission. Nor was I the Environmental Production Advisor on FLIPPER although I was brought in to punch up his dialogue, and I was not the Location Manager on JURASSIC PARK even though I still write off Hawaiian trips and use Spielberg as a reference. I don’t know where imdb gets this information (I suspect my mother) but I’ve tried several times to get them to correct it but they won’t. So now when I get calls from other Location Managers (which I do) I just recommend our backyard for whatever they need. I’ve made a tidy sum on production rentals.

Worse are some credits they list that ARE true. How many directing assignments have I missed out on because potential employers saw I did multiple episodes of ASK HARRIET? Someone once said you’re only as good as your worst credit. We have shared credit on MANNEQUIN 2 for godsakes!

And then there are the credits imdb omitted that I am proud of. David and I created and produced a show on CBS in ’93 called BIG WAVE DAVE’S starring Adam Arkin. (Cancelled because they had to make room for the Faye Dunaway comedy and the Peter Scolari comedy. No, I’m not bitter). We wrote on the TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW, the TORTELLIS (okay, they were kind to skip that one), and we wrote and “guest starred” in episodes of OPEN ALL NIGHT THE MARSHALL CHRONICLES.

In the MARSHALL CHRONICLES (created by the brilliant Richard Rosenstock), my writing partner David and I played two gay guys at a wedding. This is a series that someone needs to find and put on YouTube.

OPEN ALL NIGHT was created by Tom Patchett & Jay Tarses (who did the BOB NEWHART SHOW and BUFFALO BILL). They asked us to write an episode. We saw that Jay was also going to be one of the series regulars so we asked if we could be in the show. They said, “Sure, what do we care?” So we wrote ourselves two fabulous parts. We were Sean & Evan, two swinging lawyers trying to pick up female mud wrestlers at a mace class. Tom & Jay didn’t change a word of our dialogue. All they did was add one little sentence in the stage direction:


For the entire week of production we were getting thrown around all over the stage. Landing on our backs, landing on our heads. We were black and blue with multiple concussions. I still have a bruise. Finally, after the dress rehearsal just before the filming, Jay came to us and said, “Uh listen boys, we’re going to cut the stunt”.

Not only do I want to see that credit on imdb, I want it listed FIRST!


Rob said...

I remember Open All Night, primarily because of the theme song, which is quite sad, now that I think about it.

votertu... "You vote" in Spanish.

Kate said...

"I didn’t even see DANTE’S PEAK."

Don't. It's crap. Plus the grandma getting her legs burned off in an acid lake gave me nightmares for months.

Lexx said...

I loved Big Wave Dave's - though I have only seen the opening episode.

Are you telling us IMDB gives incorrect information?!!! Rats - with that and Wickipedia my vast knowledge is now very suspect!

Anonymous said...

That'll teach you writers, thinking you can act!
So grandma gets her legs burned off in an acid lake? Well, now I GOTTA see that!

Cap'n Bob said...

What's with imdb? I've looked up dozens of well-known actors and invariably they say PHOTO NOT AVAILABLE. They can get them on line.

John Trumbull said...

I loved THE MARSHALL CHRONICLES! I only saw maybe 3 episodes before it was cancelled, but I can still remember the theme song & the opening credits. That was a great series.

Oooga Booga!

TCinLA said...

I'd like to sue that worthless PoS who runs imdb. There's a good reason why writers might take their name off a picgure, and it's in their contract that they have the right to do so and that no one else is supposed to "out" them. It's in the WGA Minimum Basic Agreement, and god help the producer who breaks that. Yet these little scumballs at imdb do so regularly, and if you complain to them the little asswipes reply that "the movie-going public has a right to know." To sue the little bastard successfully, you have to do so in Great Britain, where he's based, and you have to prove you lost something to demonstrate their "interference with the right of contract."

I would be very happy if some good hacker managed to take that place down PERMANENTLY and I am definitely not the only person I know who thinks like this.

Bloody little wankers!

Anonymous said...

Ken, sorry about that. The credits have simply been confused with another Ken Levine. A clean-up has been submitted on your behalf and those credits will be moved. If you think you've got it bad, take a look at this:

at least you can still use your name!

TCinLA, sorry you feel that way, however, writers credits on IMDb *are* already subject to WGA rules, please see:

if you have a counterexample, let us know via and we will take a look (please reference this post in your message).

Col Needham
Founder & Managing Director,

LYNX said...

I have all of the episodes of The Marshall Chronicles if you want them - let me know!
It is my favorite show that no one has ever seen.

By Ken Levine said...


I would KILL to get copies of the MARSHALL CHRONICLES. Email me.



Brian Scully said...

To Col Needham,

How about making the process of correcting and/or adding current credits a lot easier? You have made it unnecessarily difficult. It is precisely because of that and the fact that emails to your "help" desk only generate form letter replies that people like me no longer subscribe to your pay service.

Anonymous said...

My imdb credits, skimpy as they are, used to include stuntwork on the movie Cop and a Half. I almost let it stand, but didn't think it was fair to the other Jay Bryant who actually risked his neck by appearing in that movie (the stunts may have been dangerous too).

There also used to be a photo of the beautiful young actress Joy Bryant on my page, but I reluctantly had that removed as well. No need to confuse any former classmates who might've stumbled upon my credits (I was not voted 'Most Likely to Become a Transgendered African-American').

Jay Stern said...

Multiple people having the same name is a problem which imdb just can't work through. I'm a director and producer with the same name of a much more famous producer, and he has been given several of my credits, even for credits which I personally submitted to imdb. I have been unable to get them moved to my listing, although I did get credit for shooting a short documentary I made, although the other Jay Stern is still listed as the director. PLUS - the way imdb accepts listings for short movies appears to be very arbitrary. Listing for films of mine which have played in multiple festivals are often rejected, while others are not. I suspect if you pay to join imdb pro you can get this taken care of. Certainly none of my imdb problems have ever been solved through contacting customer service.

Brian Scully said...

Actually, my advice would be to NOT pay for the IMDB "pro" service. I found it to be a total waste of money. If you are in the business, there is nothing on there that you can't find out just by calling your agent... and if you're not in the business, there is nothing there that is going to help you get INTO the business. Save your money.

Anonymous said...

The Marshall Chronicles is the reason Seinfeld was renamed after The Seinfeld Chronicles pilot. Good show, though.