••• METRICS

CINEMETRICS

Cinemetrics is one of the less obvious metrics around. Yuri Tsivian, credited as one of the founders of the field in the study of film and culture, has defined 'Cinemetrics' as ‘an open-access interactive website designed to collect, store, and process digital data related to film editing’. The main focus here will be on the statistical analysis of data so collected..

The source of many ideas involved in such statistical analysis can be traced to Barry Salt's seminal 1974 paper in Film Quarterly, on the Statistical Syle Analysis of Motion Pictures. Salt's books, Film Style & Analysis: History and Technology, 3rd edition (2009) and Moving Into Pictures (2006) include several chapters/essays on statistical analysis (and much more), including research undertaken at a comparatively early date but not previously readily available.

Salt was, in several ways, ahead of his time. The data collection is time consuming enough, if eased with developments in technology since the 1970s. Given the data, what you can and might wish to do with it wasn't necessarily easy or even possible then. With the development of computing power and modern statistical software this has changed. The initiation of the Cinemetrics website in 2005 is a reflection of this, as are some of the statistical approaches that have been brought to bear on cinemetric data since then.

The literature on the subject is quite scattered. The Cinemetrics site has a usful collection of articles if you want to get an initial feel for what has been attempted, as well as a discussion board from which you may (correctly) form the impression that unanimity about how data analysis is best approached - even when it comes to the use of fairly simple statistics - is lacking. A forum for more structured debate on matters statistical has recently been established. A bibliography of relevant publications is listed here. A pdf document is also available, which some may find more convenient.

A reasonably substantial body of notes on Cinemetrics Data Analysis that I put together in 2012 is available as a collection of pdf files on this site. This has been revised and updated as 'Notes on Cinemetrics Data Analysis', so is now essentially a 'book' complete with index and all, currently also available as a pdf file on my academia.edu site. I will, at some point replace the earlier notes on this site with the latest text so that the sections are available on an individual basis, but am letting the two versions co-exist for the moment (January 2014).

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