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Six degrees of IMDb founder Col Needham

14/05/2013 18:12

This man has seen 8,524 movies. How does he know? Because he invented the Internet Movie Database – the indispensable cinema encyclopaedia – and put Bristol on Hollywood's map.
Col Needham is 46 and lives in Frampton Cotterell, a small village eight miles outside Bristol. He is bright-eyed, wears glasses and has the face of a beaming baby. Despite nearly three decades of living in the West Country, he still sounds Mancs. Every Tuesday lunchtime, he and his wife Karen go on a date to their local Odeon. At the pub, he has a small glass of white and goes easy on the nuts. He laughs a little more than average – every fourth or fifth statement is broken by a big giggle – but other than that, he is not an obvious headturner.
Needham is also the most powerful Brit in Hollywood – by miles, by millions. He is our Harvey Weinstein. More than that, he's our Mark Zuckerberg, too: the Steve Jobs of south Glos. That's because, 23 years ago, Needham created the Internet Movie Database – a compendium of film and TV credits, connections, goofs and trivia. At first it was a cottage hobby: run from his semi in Stoke Gifford (four miles from Frampton) while he was working for Hewlett Packard and the internet was still in its infancy. But as the web grew, the potential of a site whose raison d'etre was connectivity became plain. IMDb quickly became the market leader in its field. It still is: when it comes to online film coverage, no one can touch IMDb. The site is now among the 50 most popular websites in the world, with 160 million monthly unique users.

Source: https://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/may/12/six-degrees-col-needham-imdb

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