I’ve been building a celebrity blog and want to add a simple feature where readers can get the filmography and latest projects for movie stars like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. So what I want is to have pre-defined searches (on IMDB, preferably) for specified actors and actresses and also allow users to type in another name if they’d like. How do I do that??
Sounds like a great addition to a celebrity / movie star weblog, I have to say. It’s refreshing to hear from someone who sees their blog as a jumping-off point to the wealth of information on the Web rather than an isolated island!
Like you, I am also a big fan of the Internet Movie Database (aka “IMDB” or, to be more accurate, “IMDb”, but either is fine for our work here!) and use it frequently enough that I know I can simply type in a URL like “http://imdb.com/find?” followed by the word or words, separate with a plus sign, to get what I want and sidestep the search engines entirely. Try it: http://imdb.com/find?casablanca. 🙂
That doesn’t really help you too much, though it’ll work for fixed searches like “Angelina Jolie”, which can simply be encoded as http://www.imdb.com/find?angelina+jolie. In fact, using that basic pattern you should be able to nail all the actors on your short list.
If that doesn’t work, try doing a search, then right clicking on the matching entry in the search results. Like this:
Choose “Copy Link” and you’ll be able to just paste the resultant URL into your own blog template to have a direct link to their page. In this case, by the way, you can find lots of information about Brad Pitt here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000093/.
To build a search box, we could actually delve into the intricacies of the actual IMDb search engine, or we could just be lazy and notice that a search on the site produces a URL like “xx?q=pattern”. This means that we can just produce our own search box:
look for: <input type=”text” name=”q” />
<input type=”submit” value=”go!” />
Which, when we actually code it, looks like this:
That’s what you want. Done. Simple and quick!