The archive footage attribute is used for footage that was shot for an earlier, usually unidentified, production, such as a newsreel, home movie, outtakes, etc., or for archival documentation and not the specific production it is used in.
Essentially, we allow or exclude archive footage credits based on the following guidelines (it's implied that we reserve the right to make exceptions for special cases as we see fit):
Note: The standard "two wrongs don't make a right" rule applies: just because we have credits that violate some of the above, doesn't mean that the rules are not valid (it just means that those credits were accepted before the rules were established, or we didn't know better, or we just made a mistake).
The "on screen credit" ruleIf someone's appearance is credited on screen it automatically qualifies as a valid archive footage credit, regardless of what type of archive footage it is. This supersedes any of the potential exclusions below.
The "movielink" ruleIf someone's appearance is uncredited and covered by a movielink entry (e.g., footage from a title is recycled as a "prologue" or flashback in a sequel or subsequent title in a series) it does not qualify as "archive footage."
The "Forrest Gump" ruleIf archive footage is an integral part of the title's narrative, it's eligible. Additional examples: scenes from Poor Cow creatively used as flashbacks in The Limey; President Clinton's appearance in Contact.
The "Bowling for Columbine" ruleIf the title is a documentary and the archive footage is an integral/essential part of the story/topic, it qualifies (which means that even if he didn't appear as himself towards the end of the title, Charlton Heston's NRA rally footage would be enough to qualify as a valid "archive footage" entry, while Willie Horton's brief clip from the old anti-Dukakis campaign ad probably wouldn't).
The "That's Entertainment" compilation ruleIf the title is a compilation/retrospective made up entirely or almost entirely of archive footage, then the people appearing in that footage qualify for archive footage credits.
The "no degrees of separation" ruleOnly "archive" footage that is used directly in the title is eligible. If an actor appears in a title shown as being watched on TV in a scene of another title, then the first title clip is not eligible as archive footage. In other words, James Stewart's footage from Vertigo shown in a scene in Twelve Monkeys where Bruce Willis' character goes to the movies is not eligible.
The "must be real footage" ruleIf someone's stock likeness appears as a photograph or as a poster on a wall, or on the cover of a magazine etc. in a scene of a title, it's not eligible.
You can now track the status of your Credit submission and if it has not been approved, we'll tell you the reason why.
If you are using the mobile apps, mobile website or desktop website you can access this feature via the 'Track your contribution' button, which has been added to the submission email receipt. Additionally, if you are using the desktop website, you can also use the 'Track Contribution' button now found in your contribution history page.
Clicking this button will take you to IMDb Contributor, our new contribution specific site where you will be shown the status of your request.