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Week 2: Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut
09-04-2014, 10:23 AM (This post was last modified: 09-04-2014 10:29 AM by Nitin Yadav.)
Post: #1
Week 2: Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut


Visualization source: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/...ilers.html

[Image: visualization1.png]

My visualization-hunt lead me to a very interesting visualization published in The New York Times on February 19, 2013. It's called "Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut". The visualization picks five movies out of the nine Best Picture nominees in Oscars 2013, and shows how the scenes in the movies were assembled in their trailers.

The vertical axis in the chart represents the time-line of the movie, beginning from the top of the axis. The horizontal axis represents the time-line of the trailer, beginning from the left of the axis. The points in the line-graph represent the scenes from the movie which have been picked for the trailer (user can also hover the mouse over a point to see a snapshot of the scene). The graph is shown using three different colors. Orange for the scenes from beginning of the film, Red for the middle part of the film and Purple for the end.

I think the visualization aims at finding out if the trailer follows the order of the movie itself, and it does it quite well. The visualization clearly shows the pattern which the trailer follows in showing the scenes from the movie, largely due to the use of a combination of colors and a line-graph.

To me this visualization seems very effective, because of the following reasons:
  • Using different colors to identify scenes from different parts (beginning, middle or end) of the movie.
  • Using an appropriate scale for both horizontal and vertical axis: Even though the horizontal axis (that represents trailer time-line) covers a smaller time-line than the vertical axis, it is shown on a larger scale.
  • Using a line-graph (just imagine how it would have looked if it was a scattered plot).
  • Separating out the scenes which are not in the movie, and showing them at the bottom: This way we get a better picture of the points in the trailer at which the fillers are shown instead of the scenes from the movie.
  • Giving extra information about some scenes by using a light-colored arrow on the graph.

There are very few things that could have been improved in this visualization, such as:
  • Color choice: One of the Red or Orange color could be replaced by a different looking color, such as green. This would also change the background color in the graph for beginning and middle sections in the graph.
  • The horizontal dashed lines can be removed since different colors are already used for the identification.

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09-04-2014, 02:33 PM
Post: #2
RE: Week 2: Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut
I agree that for this visualization accomplishes its goal. Even though the line connecting the colored segments is thin and light gray I think it helped guide my eye along from one segment to the next. Connecting related things with a line is one of the Gestalt principles. I also found the length of the segments helpful in comparing how two trailers are put together. Especially if the trailers for Argo and Amour are viewed together. One can get a good sense of how different those two trailers are in terms of cut length.

I could be the only one that did this but I found my self scanning the "not in film" row to find trailer segments that were not in the film that were also not titles, logos, or credits. This isn't the goal of the visualization so it's not that I had to to scan entire rows to answer this question.

I wonder how they got this data set...
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09-04-2014, 10:22 PM (This post was last modified: 09-07-2014 01:11 PM by IVIunTaseR.)
Post: #3
RE: Week 2: Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut
This visualization showed a great difference and simplified the way the trailers were created, where I noticed in the movie Amour how long the scenes compared to the other trailers, and how short the clip is! The movie is foreign and its the only one that made it to the best picture nominees. Which made me wonder if the other foreign movies would follow a similar technique ? or will do something like the other trailers, the technique I mean is (start from the beginning, slowly move the trailer to the middle, then finally couple scenes from the end, moreover, most of the trailers took over 2 minutes, but not Amour, also most of these trailers dropped very exciting scenes from the end/middle to the beginning part of the trailer or the opposite as we can see).

The above paragraph shows you how this visualization made it easier for me to understand and realize the way these trailers were made, then question a unique representation and data which is in this case is the movie Amour. Meaning this visualization overall is good for me, that I understood it in a short period of time, analyzed it, then I came up with my own point of interest about this visualization (mentioned in the paragraph above).

Aspects I liked about the visualization are, the way its represented, where the numbers of the timeline are in top, and the beginning starts from the top, its different and beautiful that it doesn't follow what we are used to! If its me I would probably make it as usual and make the line starts from the bottom to the top, and same for the numbers to be represented just like how we do in simple graphs. The gray line connecting the scenes is really helpful to follow the scenes where its tiny and the color for the line is good where your eye will follow it but not really get into the details or how it was done it simply does the job as mtbkapp mentioned, imagine the line isn't there? Not connecting in film scenes also helped make the visualization organized. Finally, the seconds shown in the time line that appears when your mouse go over a scene and the highlight thats provided is pretty great and it shows how clear this visualization is toward time.

Some of the things that bugged me were, the font is pretty tiny, and I had to get closer to the screen to see the words, and the gray with a white background made it even harder to read. Also, the sentences under Not in film, they were long, tiny, and not really important as they seem like to be. The sentences got my attention, and when I read them, they weren't anything special.
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09-06-2014, 02:04 PM
Post: #4
RE: Week 2: Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut
The visualization serves its purpose. The gray line used to connect is not irritating and guides the eye properly in connecting the points.(If it wasn't there, I think I wouldn't have noticed the beginning of the trailer "1st purple point"). The trailer seems mostly continuous following the flow of the movie. The choice of colors is good relative to the background. The graph shows the points in variable sizes representing the continuity/ discontinuity of scenes in the trailer. The very small sizes make it difficult to to distinguish among the colors but the y-axis comes to the rescue since the representation is done top-down with proper partitioning and coloring. The description in gray appears separately (visually).
The gray color I felt, was initialized for "not in the film" but it is also used to explain some scenes in the film & trailer. I think they should have maintained the color representation (using matching font color).
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09-07-2014, 10:27 AM
Post: #5
Video RE: Week 2: Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut
I would say this is a very good visualization image, simple and well-understandable. I agree with Nitin that the background color for "Beginning of film" and "Middle" should be changed slightly to show a clearer difference between them, and this way the dashed grey lines between every two sections could be eliminated. And, if possible, showing time points at the y axis is also helpful. I don't know how long this movie is, and is the author strictly dividing the movie into three parts using time? Showing time points at the y axis would be very helpful. Another thing about this chart is, there are some explanations at the bottom showing why those particular shots are out of order or not in the movie, but what happened to other similar shots that are not explained? Maybe those information are not important, but still this difference makes me feel a little uncomfortable.
Enough with the critique. Overall this is a good chart that roughly shows us how the trailer is grouped together from the movie. I like it, especially that in the original chart from the link Nitin shows us, when moving mouse through the dots on the chart, there will be information about how long this shot is and the image in the trailer also changed correspondingly. Now I want to watch this movie!
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09-07-2014, 12:11 PM (This post was last modified: 09-07-2014 12:13 PM by zhiminl.)
Post: #6
RE: Week 2: Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut
There is not doubt that this visualization is an awesome tool show the pattern that the trailer. In the original webpage, the author post 5 samples and each of them gives us a pretty clear picture of how the trailers are reassembled. I agree with Nitin’s opinion that use a line-graph instead of a scatter plot help user a lot. If there are anything that I would do to improve this visualization, I will add light-color arrow in horizontal axis with the specific time in this movie or may be pull down the each section(begin, middle, end) and give more detail information about the timeline of movie. I think this will give a more accurate information about where each scenes in this movie. The reason is because when I try to describe one patter of trailer, I realize that most of the word I use is middle of the movie or in the 2/3 in the middle section. However, for each movie MIDDLE have different meaning. if a movie is 3 hours then the middle section is about one hour, but if a movie is 2 hours then the middle is 40 minutes. I think this will make people confuse.
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09-07-2014, 04:16 PM
Post: #7
RE: Week 2: Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut
I think this visualization is great and I agree with this critique for most the part. It is easier to identify which scenes of a trailer come from which parts of the movie. The designer used four colors to present scenes from different parts of the movie, even for a part that is not presented in a film. It uses dashed lines and different background colors to separate different parts (beginning, middle, end, or not in film) of the movie. I think it makes the graph clear and viewer is able to understand time line of the movie easily. That works good for me. I also agree that using a line-graph improves readability.

I was confused by grey color explanation at the bottom since it is explaining some scenes are similar to other shots or why they are not in the movie. Although these provide extra information about some scenes, I don't think these explanations are important here and I may suggest to remove them. And, adding time points at the y axis would improve some readability too.
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09-07-2014, 07:12 PM (This post was last modified: 09-07-2014 09:37 PM by shreya.)
Post: #8
RE: Week 2: Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut
This visualization serves its purpose in explaining how scenes from the movies were reassembled to promote the films. In the main articles there were 5 movies with 5 different visualization, because they were of different genres.

I really liked the hover effect, where the clip from the movie is shown when you linger over a point on the graph. This was very useful in understanding of the graph as it saved the time of viewing the trailer again and again.

I agree with Nitin that the color choice could have been better. Red and orange are quite similar, contrasting color would have been more effective. The not in film part is shown in grey and also the sentences below, which makes you think it is a part of the not in film section, however these sentences are pointing to the points belonging to the end section of the movie.

Also I felt that grey dashed line were useful and shouldn’t be removed as suggested by Nitin, because they show a slow transition from one section to another and given the color that have been used(red and orange) it might have been difficult to understand that to which section the point really belonged. Like in the section from 75 seconds to 90 seconds the points are almost on the edges, so the grey line helps in demarcating the sections.
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09-07-2014, 11:27 PM
Post: #9
RE: Week 2: Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut
The Visualization did a good job in explaining how different movie parts are assembled to create a trailer. However looking at the visualization it seems that designer is trying to convey something more. Some trailer shots have been annotated with comments. The purpose of these comments was not very clear to me from the visualization.

The visualization did a good job in relating the chronological order of the movie scenes to that of the trailer.
I liked how the downwards slope of the graph indicates we are going deeper into the trailer.
The grey lines are good as they just want to indicate the continuous nature of the trailer. If they would have been brighter they could have been slightly distracting.

The hovering effect was in my view an overkill. It was of use only when trying to make sense of the comments and as I have indicated earlier I did not get the purpose of the comments in the first place itself.
It took me some time to get the fact that the points in the visualization represent the trailer scenes rather than the movie scenes.
Lastly the color combination could have been better. The visualization kind of seems dull. The background needs to have brighter shading effect.
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09-08-2014, 03:45 PM
Post: #10
RE: Week 2: Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut
This visualization worked very well for me. I was able to grasp the overall message that it was trying to convey, dissecting the bits of the trailer to promote the movies.
Love the hovering effect created here, the images from the movie is shown when you hover over the line graph.
Dividing the timeline as Beginning,middle and end is neat.
This is a very interesting dataset to visualize.
Better color coding would probably work well and they could get rid of the grid lines.
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