Dear Filmmakers, Get your Damned Movie Listed on IMDB, Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes and MRQE

Otherwise, your movie doesn’t exist. Otherwise, there’s no point in reviewing it.

Yes, this is a lecture on when it’s time for you to ask critics to review your film. Because a lot of you need to have that explained to you and I can’t keep interrupting my days to respond, question you and look up whether or not you’ve taken the steps you must take BEFORE asking for coverage.

Can people actually see your movie somewhere? The benchmark for most of us in the reviewing business used to be “Do you have distribution?” But that business model has changed, even though I always prioritize movies that have a studio backing them and not movies that every distributor you have approached had turned down.

Think about it. Maybe they’re telling you something. And as much as you want people to rent it on Amazon via your self distribution, the titles that are picked up by even the bottom feeders of film distribution are more likely to find an audience, an audience that might read my review before renting it.

I do not write reviews just for myself, any more than you make your movie just for yourself, no matter how cute you think that might be to say in an interview.

Conversely, writing reviews that no one will FIND unless they worked on the production, have a Google alert chasing their name or are your RELATIVE who is so so proud of you or put money in your movie, is useless to me and people like me.

I have spent a staggering amount of time these past couple of years instructing movie-makers who want to send me links, or get me to show up at screenings of their movie and review that movie. As more and more kids are pumped out by film schools, it’s become obvious that these very basic pre-marketing MARKETING efforts are not being covered in college.

If you haven’t done the most basic things to prove your film exists in the cinema cosmos, why should I or anybody else be bothered?

You haven’t gone on imdb to enter the title, its credits, a poster. Virtually anybody involved with a film can log it into IMDb (subject to the site’s approval). Many films never have anybody officially assigned to do this.

Here’s a tip. Getting distribution, even in the streaming Brave New World, is hard. Getting your movie acknowledged as something that actually exists by listing it on IMDB, a widely used, searchable website that is the repository for most things cinematic, is EASY.

If you haven’t let Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, know that you’ve spent all your money and other’s people’s money on getting a movie made, and more money on THE POSTER, you’re still invisible to the people who can shout your message (advertise it) to the World…via the worldwide web.

This basic internet profile work should be done BEFORE the film shows up at its first festival. No, making your own website doesn’t cut it. And that costs money. IMDb is free (unless you go for IMDb Pro, not a bad bit of money to spend). FIRST STEP,

Your film was accepted in a festival? NEXT STEP, get it on RT and Metacritic and MRQE.

The IMDB page you should get up there BEFORE that, while it’s IN PRODUCTION. It’s not difficult, but it does take a little time. It’s your movie, why should I be spending MY time doing this for you?

If you’ve spent money on a publicist, GET THEM TO DO IT. Specify this. “Do you know how to get my movie on IMDb, RT, Metacritic, MRQE?” If they don’t (it’s not hard, it just takes time), hire another publicist.

I have run into a couple of publicists this week who literally have no idea what that’s about. Fire them. Get somebody better.

It’s all part of the same ecosystem, and the end goal of all involved is the same — to get your movie noticed, get it an audience and by extension, get traffic to these aggregator websites and to review websites. Like this one — MovieNation.

I have helped and helped and helped and while it doesn’t take a whole lot of extra time to for me to get you on Metacritic and RT, that time adds up. This is your job, not mine. And I have NO time to do your IMDb placement for you.

BEFORE you send a movie to critics, somewhere around the time you build and pay for your “official site” (still useful, though not as useful as you might think, unless you have merch/downloads/DVDs/tickets for sale on it), for the love of Pete get it on IMDb and use that link to ask RT and Metacritic and MRQE to create pages for it. THEN send it to critics.

Carry on, then.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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1 Response to Dear Filmmakers, Get your Damned Movie Listed on IMDB, Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes and MRQE

  1. Keith says:

    Interesting stuff and good advice. Me, I’m still trying to get RT to see my reviews as “worthy”.

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