Why did you become an IMDbPro member and how have you used IMDbPro to help you in your career?
IMDb has been an extremely useful tool in getting information about prospective colleagues and their past experience. I actually keep it open during meetings to get a quick sense of who people are and what they have done or to track actors I want to work with. I also know that it is important to have a presence there myself, so people can look through my past experience and see what I've done too. It is a great tool for connecting with my fellow filmmakers.
How should industry professionals utilize IMDbPro to help them navigate their careers? What other advice would you share with them
People at every level of the industry should make sure their profiles are current and up to date. Make sure it reflects everything you've done and what your role was. I would say that no role is too small- you never know where people will recognize a point of commonality in your experience! It is such a small world, especially in this industry, so you will find a lot of overlap and connections with people at every level. My son Adam Niemann is just starting out as an actor and I help manage his career and make sure his profile is up to date as well.
Why did you join your current guild?
I joined my current guild (DGA) after my first film. I am very proud to be a member and feel very protected by them.
Do you have any mentors? How did you meet them and what have they taught you?
Michelle Sattar at Sundance has been very supportive of my career from the very early stages. I participated in a regional Sundance lab (RAWI) prior to my first film, and they were instrumental in helping me connect with my producers and put in a good word for me. I'm very grateful for her support, and to Sundance Institute, and strongly encourage up-and-coming professionals to explore their labs and workshops.
Tell us about a time when IMDbPro helped with a specific project you’re working on
I was just using it at meeting at my agency discussing potential actors for an upcoming project and we were all using it for reference to help with the discussion. Sometimes I think I am familiar with someone, then I will look at their page and see that they have done so much more than I was aware of! It is so useful, I don't know how we survived without it!
Please share any upcoming projects you’re currently working on.
I have all sorts of things in the works! I have been working on a lot of amazing TV series lately, most recently Tales of the Walking Dead, but I have several of my own projects in the works: an 'elevated horror' film, an adaptation of a YA book series, a documentary about female underground artist Shawn Kerri, a foreign language film, and an animated feature about a camel that wants to be a beauty queen!