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CODE4LIB  December 2010

CODE4LIB December 2010

Subject:

Re: Announcing OLAC's prototype FRBR-inspired moving image discovery interface

From:

Kelley McGrath <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 11 Dec 2010 13:58:43 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (219 lines)

 We called it "FRBR-inspired" since it probably wouldn't pass muster as 
 an orthodox FRBR interpretation. We were looking to experiment with a 
 practical approach that we thought would make it much easier for patrons 
 to discover moving images in libraries and archives. If you haven't read 
 it, the "about" page gives a general overview of our approach at 
 http://blazing-sunset-24.heroku.com/page/about

 Our top level is a combination of FRBR work information and information 
 about what we are calling the "primary expression." We haven't made any 
 internal distinction between these two types of information. This 
 enables us to record together the data that we think people expect to 
 see about the generic moving image and reflects the sort of information 
 that is given in IMDb, the All Movie Guide, and film and TV reference 
 sources. This is also the data that we would want to re-use in every 
 MARC record for a manifestation of a given movie.

 This also allowed us to get around some of the areas of more orthodox 
 FRBR modeling that we found unhelpful. For example, FRBR doesn't allow 
 language at the Work level, but we think it is important to record the 
 original language of a moving image at the top level. In addition, RDA 
 has mapped a number of functions, such as art director, costume designer 
 and performer, to the expression level. We would prefer to present these 
 at the top level. It is hard to imagine a version of Gone With the Wind 
 with a different costume designer or cast that would still be the same 
 work. So all the Seven Samurai data you listed above belongs either to 
 the work or the primary expression.

 We mingle expression, manifestation and item information in the version 
 facets on the right. We don't show any explicit expression records. In 
 this demonstration we are not actually identifying any unique 
 expressions, although in the future we will probably want to do this for 
 what I think of as "named expressions." Since this is a demo, we are 
 working with a limited number of attributes and the only 
 expression-level facets we provide are soundtrack and subtitle 
 languages.

 In this sense, our approach is similar to the near manifestation idea 
 that Simon mentioned. We are not trying to assert that we have 
 identified particular expressions. Rather, we are trying to provide a 
 mechanism for the user to identify the set of items that meet their 
 needs. It is not clear to me that libraries are always in a position to 
 accurately identify expressions.

 Rather than providing a hierarchical view where the user selects a 
 work, then an expression, and so on, as is common in FRBR presentations, 
 we permit the user to begin at any FRBR level. The user is invited to 
 limit by as many characteristics as they desire to delineate the set of 
 things that they are interested in. They only need to select as many 
 attributes as are important to them and no more. This may not meet the 
 needs of all scholars, but we hope that it will meet the vast majority 
 of general purpose user needs.

 It's a bit of a different approach than I have seen elsewhere, but I 
 think it works particularly well for moving images. One of the main 
 reasons I think this is because of the types of expressions that 
 predominate in commercial moving images. I will try to explain some of 
 my thoughts on types of expressions below.

 1. Expressions that can be reduced to controlled vocabulary options

 These are the most common types of commercial  moving image 
 expressions, especially in the DVD era. They are distinguished by 
 characteristics that such as

   Soundtrack language(s)
   Subtitle language(s)
   Accessibility options (captioning, SDH, and audio description)
   Aspect ratio (although in this era of widescreen TVs, full screen 
 modifications are less common)
   Colorization
   Soundtracks for silent films

 These can be full described based on standardized data (although for 
 the silent film soundtracks, this would involve multiple pieces of 
 information, i.e., musical work, composer, conductor, performer(s), 
 etc.)

 DVD often contain what essentially are multiple expressions in that 
 they offer multiple soundtrack and subtitle options and may offer 
 multiple aspect ratios. A silent film on DVD may come with alternate 
 soundtracks. All of these can be combined in various ways by the viewer, 
 which can make for a large number of expressions contained in a single 
 manifestation.

 2. Named expressions

 These are versions that are different in moving image content due to 
 have been edited differently. Examples include

   Theatrical release
   Director's cut
   Unrated version

 Although Martha Yee found a strong correlation between differences in 
 duration and the likelihood that two things represented two different 
 expressions, this doesn't always work. The archetypical example of Blade 
 Runner was released on DVD with five different versions 
 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Versions_of_Blade_Runner), all of which 
 had run times within a few minutes of each other. These types of 
 expressions would benefit from their own identifier and some sort of 
 separate display. In public and academic libraries, this type of moving 
 image expression is far less common than the first type. There are no 
 examples of this type of expression in our sample data.

 Many more subtle expressions of this type cannot practically be 
 identified by the individual library cataloger because the publishers do 
 not provide the necessary information. Many films released on DVD have 
 been remastered or restored or modified in some way, but it is not clear 
 how to usefully or consistently record this information even when it is 
 provided in some form. For example, it sometimes seems like every 
 release of the Star Wars films must be slightly different, but the 
 videos don't come labeled in any way that's useful for identifying them. 
 There is a page at Wikipedia tracking some changes 
 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_changes_in_Star_Wars_re-releases) 
 and an enormous thread on the release of the original theatrical 
 versions (http://sideshowcollectors.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12157).


 3. Manifestations with additional content

 Many manifestation could be considered to be new expressions because of 
 the presence of additional content. These types of expression don't 
 affect the content of the moving image work itself. These additions 
 could be potentially treated in a couple ways and the decisions of 
 individual cataloging agencies are likely to vary.

 a) Additional content recognized as a work in its own right

 Any additional content is theoretically a work in its own right, but 
 there is a cost-benefit analysis involved in deciding to treat it that 
 way. In some cases, DVDs come with bonus features that contain content 
 that the library might potentially have bought (or has already bought) 
 independently. These would benefit from being described as separate 
 works. There are a couple examples of this in our data set. If you do a 
 search for Citizen Kane, you'll get the movie plus a TV documentary 
 called The Battle Over Citizen Kane. Both of these have been issued 
 separately, but the manifestation listed as " DVD (2001)" under both 
 titles represents the same manifestation, which includes the TV 
 documentary as supplementary content. Whether it is necessary to inform 
 users in some way that these are on the same disc at this point or not, 
 I am not sure.

 b) Undifferentiated additional content listed with the manifestation

 DVDs often come with an abundance of special features, most of which 
 are probably not worth the time it would take to describe them as 
 separate works. We have not included any of this type of information in 
 the demo, but one possibility would just be to list the content with 
 each manifestation.


 Merging the expression and manifestation facets gave us a simpler 
 interface and we don't think it harms most viewer's ability to find what 
 they want. The four levels of FRBR make a lot of sense from a 
 theoretical perspective (although it is easy to see that there often are 
 multiple layers of expressions and that works have many recursive 
 relationships). For moving images, in many cases, users care more about 
 the manifestation format (DVD vs. VHS vs. Blu-ray vs. streaming) than 
 about expression characteristics.

 There is also not always a hard and fast line between what goes in a 
 record as expression and manifestation information. For example, 
 Criterion Collection is generally recorded as a publisher. However, for 
 many users, it likely serves as a proxy for expression since Criterion 
 is known for the quality of its videos. According to their website, 
 "Every time we start work on a film, we track down the best available 
 film elements in the world, use state-of-the-art telecine equipment and 
 a select few colorists capable of meeting our rigorous standards, then 
 take time during the film-to-video digital transfer to create the most 
 pristine possible image and sound. Whenever possible, we work with 
 directors and cinematographers to ensure that the look of our releases 
 does justice to their intentions." (http://www.criterion.com/about_us)

 Well, that was a bit of a long-winded reply and didn't really answer 
 your question, but I hope it was helpful in framing what we're trying to 
 do. This is still very much an experiment and there are a number of data 
 modeling problems that I glossed over in order to make the demo work, 
 but which would have to be resolved for a larger-scale application.

 Kelley


 Karen Coyle wrote:
>
> Kelley,
>
> do you have somewhere documentation on which properties/attributes 
> are
> associated with each FRBR entity? I ask this in part out of my
> ignorance of moving image cataloging, and therefore I am having
> trouble translating from the FRBR documentation to what appears in
> your prototype. I did my usual search on "seven samurai" and the
> display (which I assume represents the Work) reads (in part):
>
> Alternate Title:
>    Seven Samurai
> Director:
>    Kurosawa, Akira, 1910-1998
> Genres:
>    Feature; Fiction; Drama;
> Language:
>    Japanese
> Country:
>    Japan
> Original Aspect:
>    Full screen ( 1.37:1 )
> Run Time:
>    206
> Color:
>    B&W
> Sound:
>    Sound
>
> I'm curious as to which are Work attributes and which are Expression
> attributes. Also, is there an example that shows one work and 
> multiple
> expressions?
>
> kc

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