OK, so most of the regulars here know I have been around for a while now and appreciate that I love to submit TV shows and various other bits of odd media when I can.

As we grow and with probably with more S.P.I.N. pledges around the corner, I would like to bring up an idea that I have been thinking about that might benefit the way the database works.

As it currently stands we use the Film form for:
- feature films
- tv films
- tv series
- tv episodes
- promotional video
- music videos
- film shorts

I totally agree that this form is to be used for all types of 'filmed' media and that just because it says 'Add Film' it is not constrained to just hollywood blockbusters. However I often see new comers confused (rightly so) when they see the various other types of film media being added as films.

To overcome with, without too much complication I would suggest a drop-down of film types. IMDb employ this logic as items will show up as Movie (for feature films), TV Film (for TV films) etc etc.

What this could then allow is filtering/grouping on credit pages. So for example the page for Hank Azaria who has a lot of credits for his voice work in The Simpsons would be easier to navigate and filter out.

This field would appear below the title and would be a required field - of course this would mean going back over the nearly 25,000 film entries already added - but would help for the future.

I suggest the following types:

Feature Film (or) Movie
A item of film with a running time of at least 40 minutes (as per AFI and BFI rules) which "could be considered the principal or sole film to fill a program".
Example: https://www.filmo.gs/film/55053-scream

TV Film
An item of film which was made for television. This film type follows the same rules as a Feature Film/Movie but was not shown in traditional theatres and instead premiered on a Television network/channel.
Example: https://www.filmo.gs/film/72652-high-school-musical

TV Show/Series [TV Show appears to be the international nomenclature)
An item of film which is made up of parts (episodes) that come together to form series/seasons/volumes. This item type is more of a container but cannot be simply replaced by a series credit for the following reasons:
- a lot of people will search for a TV show by its name not by a specific episode (for example, The Simpsons instead of A Streetcar Named Marge)
- the TV show entry will usually contain credits for the majority cast, isolating one-time/cameo appearances which would be credited upon the episode pages
- some releases exist which contain a string of clips from episodes re-edited into a feature-length presentation that are often regarded to as 'Best of'. These releases do not contain any episodes in full and so could not be credited to their individual episodes (without some sort of notation system being employed). It is easier for this releases to be simply (and only) linked to their respective TV shows.
Example: https://www.filmo.gs/film/40364-the-simpsons

TV Episode
An item of film which is part of a group of other episodes, to formulate a series or season of a TV show. This item type works in the same was as a Feature Film type in that it will have a premiere date and full cast. However it will likely share it's genre (and at times) sub-genre with that of its counterparts. TV episodes are linked to releases when they appear in their full format. Clips from a TV episode appearing on a release (such as a compilation/Best Of) would not qualify to be linked, the suggestion would to be to link to the TV Show overall.
Example: https://www.filmo.gs/film/40389-a-streetcar-named-marge

Promotional Video
An item of film which was produced with the intention of promoting a specific product or service but has a longer run-time than that of a commercial/advertisement. This type could also be used to categorise filmed media that is included with another product. This type doesn't mean that if the release states it is a promotional item it must be of promotional video type.

This type could do with having a different name or stricter rules on what classifies as Promotional Video.

Example: https://www.filmo.gs/release/57540-gymate-introductory-exercise-programme-complete-training-workout
(or something like the Disney World resort promotional videos)

Music Video
An item of film that is "a short film that integrates a song with imagery, and is produced for promotional or artistic purposes."

Example: https://www.filmo.gs/film/179201-britney-spears-baby-one-more-time

Short Film
An item of film that "is any motion picture not long enough to be considered a feature film. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as "an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits"".

Example: https://www.filmo.gs/film/37186-tin-toy


Possible issues/other types required:
- Documentary

Documentaries are odd in that some of them are classed as feature films (https://www.filmo.gs/film/68660-la-marche-de-lempereur), some of them are broadcast on television as stand-alone items [TV Film] (https://www.filmo.gs/film/222378-westminster-abbey-a-house-of-kings), some of them are broadcast on television as part of a series [TV Show/Episode] (https://www.filmo.gs/film/66850-planet-earth) and some of them are produced as pure home-video content such as https://www.filmo.gs/film/38769-houses-great-and-small. The issue is that for the last example there there is currently no type suitable.

  • Direct to Home Media

I really don't like this type but it may be a requirement. The issue is that it could be abused/misused when a better film type is suitable. However this then provides us with a type that we can store items that were not released in theatre, not shown on TV in any capacity, are not promoting a product or service. From what I gather IMDb currently treat these items as 'TV Film' type but I think this is incorrect.

  • Public Service Media / Educational Media

Some of the more eclectic of us like to dig out and collect items of film (on any medium) that were not sold to the general public, but have since found their way onto online marketplaces, flea markets, thrift stores and eventually our hands. These items usually are less than 40 minutes in run time and so could be considered 'Short Films' but some have the run-time of a normal feature film (for example this https://www.filmo.gs/release/3777-carol-vordermans-video-class-national-curriculum-maths-level-6-13-14-yrs with a run-time of 90 minutes!). I'm not sure what the solution is here - possibly classification on a case-by-case basis

  • A Catch All/Miscellaneous/WTF/Experimental Film

I hate this section when trying to classify items. Purely because most people who are too lazy (like me at times) will simply file items under this banner when they don't really fit into any other category. Examples that don't fit in any other category are things like: https://www.filmo.gs/release/211630-the-call-of-hawaii (film entry pending on my part) which is 30 minutes of shots accompanied by music. I know there are some rave-inspired VHS tapes which just play a series of groovy images to pumping techno which can have run-times of over 1 hour. Again I don't know the solution to this current problem.


Let me know what you think.

Are there any other film types that we could consider?
Are there any potential widespread issues of mis-classification/categorisation (that go beyond the odd mistake)?
How many film types should we consider before it becomes too difficult to maintain/difficult to understand?
Does anyone else have any ideas of how we can split/organize the growing films section of the database?

To expand, here are some film entries which I think could prove difficult to classify:


Educational film on road safety created by car manufacturer Renault distributed to selected schools in the UK; never sold to the public, not shown on TV, not given a theatrical release, cannot be regarded as public information video, short enough to be classed as a film short, promotes the safety of Renault motor vehicles through the thin veil of teaching road safety

Educational film for pre-school children teaching them basic numerical skills (mostly counting). Too long to be considered a short, sold to the general public but produced as a direct to video item, isn't promoting any products or services, was never broadcast on television or premiered in a theatre, isn't a documentuary

A film item that are a series of images of waterfalls in Ireland accompanied by music, too long to be a short film, doesn't really have the qualities (aside from run-time) to be a film, was never given a theatrical release, was never broadcast on television, does not promote any services or products, doesn't serve an educational purpose.

If there was a FILM TYPE field, I think people would confuse that with Genres. However, I agree that there should be a less confusing way to denote films from TV shows and episodes, etc.

I think some of your examples are genres rather than types - as you defined at beginning of thread.

Library of Congress has a listing of genres (and sub-genres). pdf file is large.

I think the 'add film' can cause confusion in itself. I just added a concert dvd, and found myself wondering if its content should be added as a film. (I decided it did.)

However, a problem of definition multiplies with a dropdown menu. For example what defines a 'feature film' as opposed to a 'short film' differs from nation to nation. Plus as SAV mentions above. Some people seem to think documentary can't be a feature (when actually 'feature' only refers to duration). Some fools on IMdB still tag films 'TV movies', just because they were made by a TV channel, regardless of whether they had a theatrical release, or not.

I think a catch all term for definable content might indeed be best for an international database, and perhaps 'film' suffices - as long as it is suitably defined as a flexible catch-all in the submission notes.

My opinion - attempting to classify the CONTENT of a home video release - for this particular site - is overextending. I understand, and agree with, the idea of having an easy way to find all releases with specific content. However, I think it should be limited to FILMS and TELEVISION SHOWS.

Filmogs should have a strong foundation of RELEASES - quality above quantity and a solid, well thought out database. Then add and expand the scope of the site. Focusing on FILMS entries is almost like trying to redo what tons of other sites already have. Indexing home video RELEASES is unique and something I have never seen on this sort of level.

I like the idea, but like EK_ said, there can be some confusion between genre and film types. I’m not sure there should be a separate entry for tv film though, also I think documentary is a genre on its own, but also a film type.

I’d like to add Concert Film as a film type. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concert_film

For simplicity, I think two general categories - Film and TV show

There could then be types or genres that fall under either category.

Doesn't solve all problems, but just an idea.

I think that idea is good.

I agree with a lot of the points made here - I fear that we would forever be in lengthy discussion of what film fits in what box.

I think this is a great idea, thanks a lot sound.and.vision for starting this conversation and for providing such a clear overview of how it could be implemented. Starting with Film and TV shows is a great jumping off point.
Stay tuned, hopefully we'll have something for this shortly

I've been thinking this is needed for some time, i'm glad sound.and.vision put the thought and effort in to articulating it. Feature films, TV shows and music videos are probably the most necessary and urgent categories. I think we need to be able to distinguish these. It would be good if we could somehow solve the TV series-> TV episode problem this way also.

Short films and TV movies is maybe less necessary, and I guess the distinctions are kinda arbitrary, but I still think it would be worthwhile, IMDb doesn't seem to struggle with it.

Documentary is a genre I believe. As you've said, a doco can be a feature film, TV series, short film etc.

Also good categories:
Public service/ Educational

Maybe a 'Performance' category for concerts and dance recitals and art installations etc.?

That just about covers all film types, bar a few odd ones like those sound.and.vision describes, but i'm sure that problem could be solved.

It seems like there is a concern that this will be confusing but personally I think adding 'Film Types' can only remove confusion and it will make the site much easier to navigate.

I agree with some of the comments about the original idea being too diverse but ti is a great idea.

My thoughts:
- I think Film is fine as a catch all for all films, features, TV, Short, they are all films.
- Documentary is not suitable for this field, it is fine in genre and would make things more confusing, all docos should fit into film, tv episode or possible other options.
- Do we want 'TV Show' as an option when really it is desired that individual episodes be entered?
- Music Video should definitely get an addition.

I think just splitting it to TV and Film is too little. I have been browsing the Films section, and would've actually appreciated the possibility to weed out certain type of films (mostly music videos and tv episodes), or the possibility to browse only films.

Also, there might be some overlap between genres and types, but IIRC the genre/subgenre section has been used for these because we had no other choice. It would be nice if the genres were just for genres, and adding a 'type' field would ensure that.

I would support having at least:
Short Film
TV Show
TV Episode
Music Video
Promotional Video

I'm not convinced we need to separate theatrical/TV/Direct-to-video films, but if it's seen necessary, I'm not going to oppose it.

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