The Movie Database Support

When listing a movie's credits, crew doesn't have an "order" property the way cast does. Are these given in a deterministic order anyway? For instance, with Fight Club ( the page lists the screenwriter (Jim Uhls) before the novelist (Chuck Palahniuk). In the crew array, Uhls is also listed before Palahniuk. Is this by design, or coincidence? It's traditional (and obvious) to list the screenplay credit before the original material, so that would make sense, but I didn't want to take it for granted.

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Hi Dov,

I would say that no, these are not returned in any particular order. We don't order them on our side so they are just returned in whatever order they are returned ;)

Would it be possible to update the schema so that crew is ordered within each department? Billing order does matter for writers (and directors and other departments), also. For now, I'm falling back on sorting by name client-side, but that's not a great solution (especially when I can't sort by last name, only first, as the name field isn't broken up).

I just wanted to check in and see if you had a chance to take a look at my request.

Hi Dov,

I don't have any plans for this at the moment but I did go ahead and create a ticket for it here. No guarantees with anything but at least now it is tracked.


Awesome, thanks. What's required for someone from the community (like myself) to get involved in implementing something like this?

Hi Dov,

TMDb is closed source so nothing at this time ;) Thanks for offering though!

I found this a bit confusing because the first time I looked at tmdb data it was a static dump on kaggle and had an order column for crew (which looked superficially meaningful - directors/writers at the top). Now that I'm looking at data from the API it still looks like the order is non-random.

Here's (below) a breakdown by department and order (0,1,2,3...). Yes, some of this is non-random differences in who gets listed if there's only two crew (which is also significant), but not all.

Obviously, "billing order" is interesting in and of itself - but I was using it as a means of getting a comparable sample of the crew and cast independent of cast/crew size (e.g. take the "top 5" of each for each movie, then look at the gender breakdown)

crew_df.groupby("department").apply(lambda x: x["order"].mean()).sort_values()

department Directing 2.419028 Writing 2.853830 Actors 10.906250 Editing 12.973353 Production 13.633486 Camera 18.047841 Art 21.400705 Sound 21.962885 Costume & Make-Up 26.037991 Crew 40.371170 Lighting 55.928413 Visual Effects 90.545627

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