Films vs physical media

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Films vs physical media

Postby sitenoise » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:55 pm

I'm aware that this is idiosyncratic, and USA-centric, of me, but I'm tossing it out there anyway. And this really pertains to only the movie section of Doghouse, I suppose.

I use dvdpedia to (research and) catalog films, not DVDs or Blu-rays or ...

So I don't understand the utility of, for example, these seven entries in Doghouse for the Zhang Yimou film "Hero":

http://doghouse.bruji.com/movie/12565 (Writer: Paul Whittington) ?
http://doghouse.bruji.com/movie/270 (Dustin Hoffman as Bernard 'Bernie' Laplante) ??
http://doghouse.bruji.com/movie/97369
http://doghouse.bruji.com/movie/67185 (pretty empty entry)
http://doghouse.bruji.com/movie/903
http://doghouse.bruji.com/movie/41471
http://doghouse.bruji.com/movie/79329

There is no "Features" section that distinguishes these releases from one another. There are runtimes of 95, 96, and 99 minutes, and release years of 2001, 2002, and 2004, but who knows where that information came from? A Bar scan from the physical media? If I were to want to buy the uncut version of this film, I would like to know which one to get but I can't confidently glean that information by comparing all these entries.

I understand that Doghouse is crowd-sourced and moderated by volunteers, but wonder if quality control might be eased and improved by restricting entries to one per FILM if it isn't able to make that kind of information available.

I presume our friends in Italy would like to know if a title is available in their language, but does this entry http://doghouse.bruji.com/movie/41471 add much to the database? I don't even know what this one is: http://doghouse.bruji.com/movie/67185.

Again, I'm aware that I have a peculiar, niche area of interest here, and for example, only want to know what language a film was originally shot in.

I was going to suggest restricting entries to one per film with some kind of portal that might allow for users to add physical media release information but ... I'm aware, for example, IMDb used to track DVD releases but has eliminated that section from their website. Probably for a good reason.

True lovers of certain films do want to know about differences in various releases of the films they love. "Does this one have Director's commentary"? "Is it subbed, or dubbed"? "Are there any special features like a 'Making of' Documentary"? I'm just not sure that the Doghouse open policy is providing this information, and isn't in fact creating more chaos than control.

Sorry that I keep forgetting that for 99% of your users these programs ARE about physical media. I just can't seem to get my head around that. :D I'll bet that a large percentage of your users, if not the vast majority, don't care about IMDb, so restricting entries to one per IMDb ID would be silly. Doghouse was inspired to get around Amazon's new policies so that's a no-go. I don't know what to suggest. I've been trying for years to find, and/or help create, an authoritative, reliable source of information on film. I think it's impossible.
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Re: Films vs physical media

Postby sjk » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:02 pm

Wow, I really appreciate your more thoroughly elaborating this topic that I started toying with at the end of my recent post… before seeing yours now. We must have tuned into the same wavelength around that time. :)

I'd like my DVDpedia database usage to remain film/title-specific most of the time, while occasionally checking product/media-specific details without having to create unique entries (containing large amounts of redundant and unmerged data) for the latter. Using your "Hero" or my "Monsters, Inc." example from Doghouse, I'd prefer they be unified to use as the source for a single corresponding DVDpedia entry that could encapsulate all the related information of interest. Similar to what you considered suggesting:

I was going to suggest restricting entries to one per film with some kind of portal that might allow for users to add physical media release information but ... I'm aware, for example, IMDb used to track DVD releases but has eliminated that section from their website. Probably for a good reason.

Maybe because "Buy it at Amazon" links became the generally satisfactory and reliable source for DVD, etc. release information?

A mix of Amazon and IMDb data is fine for most of my DVDpedia entries, but it can be tediously laborious to obtain the most desirable combination from each source and Doghouse, as a single source alternative, currently doesn't help resolve that issue.

It's been suggested that 'pedia software have the ability to conveniently obtain and update entry data from multiple sources. Even if Doghouse could better serve as a "portal" resource for doing that it's a daunting goal while only being "crowd-sourced and moderated by volunteers".

Without organizing my thoughts on this more clearly that's all I want to spit out about it now. :)
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Re: Films vs physical media

Postby sitenoise » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:29 pm

sjk wrote:Maybe because "Buy it at Amazon" links became the generally satisfactory and reliable source for DVD, etc. release information?


Hero http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0299977/
Buy it at Amazon http://www.imdb.com/r/50703000000040a0904747032393939373730000001036a03046674600000010d6a02055350000001037a0104700000010f5
Showing 1 - 12 of 5,708 Results

:D

ya think?

At least I see now how Dustin Hoffman got listed as an actor in the movie.

All kidding aside, do you remember the DVD Release section IMDb used to have? It was awesome. Only remnants of it are left in the "Alternative Versions" section now, but it's seldom up-to-date. IMDb is crowd-sourced too ... somebody has to take the initiative to want to try and input correct information there and then get a blood sample from three actors in the movie and a note from the Director's mother excusing them from class in order to actually get it posted.

Speaking of the "Alternative Versions" version section, I'd like to see that as a field in my dvdpedia InfoView. Presently, I have my 'Duration' Field hyperlinked to it, which is fine. But again, it's mostly film-centric more than product specific.
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Re: Films vs physical media

Postby FineWine » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:31 am

sitenoise wrote:Speaking of the "Alternative Versions" version section, I'd like to see that as a field in my dvdpedia InfoView. Presently, I have my 'Duration' Field hyperlinked to it, which is fine. But again, it's mostly film-centric more than product specific.

You know you can set up your "Custom" fields in Preferences > Fields, for this, but I do like the idea of a new and dedicated field, especially with all the "remakes" these days and borrowed ideas (Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa & Magnificence Seven by John Sturges). You could hyperlink the original internally to your own database and/or/plus to IMDb - multiple links, or for the internal links, add a 'filter'.
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Re: Films vs physical media

Postby sitenoise » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:15 pm

FineWine wrote:You know you can set up your "Custom" fields in Preferences > Fields, for this, but I do like the idea of a new and dedicated field, especially with all the "remakes" these days and borrowed ideas (Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa & Magnificence Seven by John Sturges). You could hyperlink the original internally to your own database and/or/plus to IMDb - multiple links, or for the internal links, add a 'filter'.

This would require manual entry, correct? I do add information about remakes and the like in my comments field, sometimes cross linking titles. But I was more interested in "alternative" versions of the same film, like Director's cut and stuff like that. I was hoping that Conor would overhear this conversation and say "Yeah, 'alternateversions' is part of the API", etc. :D

Unfortunately, the section appears to be dying a slow death at IMDb anyway, so it probably won't happen/wouldn't matter. Consider the Film "Hero" mentioned at the top of this thread ... there is a pretty storied trail concerning all the versions of that film that got released with nothing at IMDb about it.
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Re: Films vs physical media

Postby FineWine » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:43 pm

Sorry, I follow you now. I have 3 versions of Close Encounters of Third Kind - original release, extended and directors cut. You could still use one or both of the Custom Text fields and still hyperlink them.
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Re: Films vs physical media

Postby sitenoise » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:41 pm

FineWine wrote:Sorry, I follow you now. I have 3 versions of Close Encounters of Third Kind - original release, extended and directors cut. You could still use one or both of the Custom Text fields and still hyperlink them.


OK, well, hey! This sort of vectors into the film vs product conversation sjk and I are bandying about. Do I understand that you have three separate entries in dvdpedia for Close Encounters? I'm not gonna say "I think that's whack, explain yourself!" ... but ...

I just have to come to terms with this reality, I guess. :D

Because I'm a different human being with different projects and concerns, I think the way to handle this is to have ONE entry for the FILM with Fields for different run-times, ASIN numbers maybe, posters maybe! ... things that differentiate the products. But I do understand that, for the majority of people, the way you are doing it is the way to do it. This way you get an accurate count as to how many products you have, and maybe it's important to you that you get to see the different artwork that accompanied each of them. All these things matter.

My question, tho, are the entries in Doghouse, the way they are structured now, of value to you? Would you be happier or unhappier if there was only one entry that gave you Cast, Director, Stars, etc?
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Re: Films vs physical media

Postby adamhh » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:01 am

Hero is problematic film to date in terms of release. Miramax owned the rights in the US and famously (in the industry at least) sat on the film for 2 years while deciding what to do with it. One might argue this delay was design i.e. they knew Kill Bill was in production and wanted to piggy-back the two releases -however they kept changing their mind throughout that period - so it was probably just Miramax being non-committal. Therefore the film was released in HK in 2002, but in the US in 2004 and in other territories inbetween.

Re: durations - NTSC runs at a different rate to PAL & SECAM, therefore there is always a different running time between the US and Europe DVD releases. Thus NTSC to PAL gets pinched by about 2 minutes in every hour or stretched in PAL to NTSC by the same amount. In playback, this is mostly imperceptible to most viewers. In addition however, distributors in different territories make cuts for various reasons to suit their perceived audience tastes, morality and aesthetic expectations. All this exists before director's cuts and special editions, which of course themselves get modified. The idea of an original cut or print in movies is for the most part mythical, even in theatrical release.

In both instances what is entered in the database has to be down to user preferences. Those that care will change dates and durations, those that don't won't. Doghouse, however, could be more streamlined while maintaining multiple releases. It could be closer to Discogs, with one entry per release with branching sub-entries for different countries' releases. However, this would require a great deal of moderation/management.
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