When Data Visualization of Art Becomes Art Itself

Usually data analysis means hundreds of numbers and powerpoint graphs, however Frederik Brodbeck offers us an interesting and visually captivating way to analyze movies. Or as he puts it:

“cinemetrics is about measuring and visualizing movie data, in order to reveal the characteristics of films and to create a visual “fingerprint” for them. Information such as the editing structure, color, speech or motion are extracted, analyzed and transformed into graphic representations so that movies can be seen as a whole and easily interpreted or compared side by side.”

cinemetrics from fb on Vimeo.

Since movies are a time based medium, and can only be seen one image at a time, Brodbeck took an innovative approach, where he takes a circular shape and divides it into fragments equivalent to 10 shots, thus representing the entire movie within this area, afterwards he creates within this area a color palette both for the entire film and one for each particular scene, finally motion represents the amount of motion at a particular part of the movie.  The result are captivating and incredibly useful.

How a Cinemetric is created.

How a Cinemetric is created.

Seeing these representations help us visualize and analyze a movie in its entirety simultaneously. Its usefulness is even more apparent when two movies (specially sequels, alternate versions or similar themes) are put side by side and allow us to see their similarities and diferences.

The end product is by itself a captivating and innovative way of analyzing film, and a piece of art on its own right. The motions are enthralling yet at the same time hold meaning beyond aesthetic reasons and the colors talk to us in both emotional and rational ways. A work of art that feeds on other works of art and at the same time enriches them by giving us a new way of seeing and interpreting them. Thus we can ask: Isn’t this the final aim of great art?

For more on Cinemetrics feel free to visit their homepage at: http://cinemetrics.fredericbrodbeck.de/

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