DISCUSSION TOPIC
"VISUALIZING MOVIE CHARACTERISTICS"

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Posted by: Frederic Brodbeck Date: 2011-04-19

Hi everyone,

I am a graphic design student at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague (the Netherlands). I'm currently working on a project about movie data visualization.
The idea for this project came after noticing that movies by director Wes Anderson always seem to have very warm (brown / red / orange / yellowish) colors. Of course, that can't be a coincidence, so I started thinking about what else makes a movie characteristic, and how these characteristics could possibly be measured and visualized ...

This ultimately led to what I am busy with at the moment. Here you can find a description of the project and the first results: http://cinemetrics.fredericbrodbeck.de/
It's a work in progress, so things are still not complete and / or changing.

However I would like to invite you all to have a look and encourage you to comment / criticize / discuss. I appreciate any sort of input.

A word about the title: Of course I needed to come up with a title for my project, so I thought: "it's about movies and about measuring stuff, let's simply call it cinemetrics!" -- googling that brought me to this website and I have to admit that I was quite surprised that that term actually exists and that there are indeed people who are collecting and using this sort of movie data. The point I'm trying to make: I did not intentionally steal the title. I might even change it once the projects is done, we'll see.

best,

Frederic

Replied by:Yuri Tsivian Date:2011-04-22

Welcome aboard, Frederic. What you are doing is truly cinemetric, kep the name is you so prefer, by now it has grown general and generic.

 

 

Replied by:Frederic Brodbeck Date:2011-04-27

yuri, can you elaborate a bit? -- why do you think it is general / generic?

I know the scientific use of the project is probably only limited to the analysis phase. but even there you have to decrease the amount of information (by smoothing, filtering, etc) and look for the right visual representation in order to find and highlight certain characteristics -- think of a shot length diagram with and without a moving average.
if you ask me, that is exactly what information graphics and data visualization is all about: making things look simple / less complex (to make them easily comprehensible). but simple things aren't necessarily generic. it's a matter of finding the right level of abstraction for a certain purpose, which is an important part of my work.

Replied by:Barry Salt Date:2011-05-15

Interesting and colourful. And very sporting of you to open-source your analytical programs.

It would also be interesting to know how accurate your shot transition program is. Have you checked its accuracy? All automatic shot detection programs (including the DaVinci program mentioned on another thread) fail to identify fades and wipes accurately, or at all. The Shining has a lot of slow fades in it, so it is a good test.

Replied by:Yuri Tsivian Date:2011-05-28

Frederic, what I meant by saying that in the 6 years of its existence the term "cinemetrics" has grow "generic" is simply that I hear more and more people use the former term referring to any kind of statistical analysis of films, not the specific kind provided by this website. An example of brandnames going generic: to "xerox", or, closer to our field: Lumieres' Cinematgraphe growing to cover all moving pictures in the 1910s and shirnking again to "cinematography" used to refer to camerawork.

Replied by:Frederic Brodbeck Date:2011-10-03

hi,

I totally forgot to keep you guys up to date: I have graduated in July -- have a look at the project site (http://cinemetrics.fredericbrodbeck.de/) to see the final outcome.