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October 2007, Week 2


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
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Mon, 8 Oct 2007 17:12:33 -0500
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Shot Logger, an online system for cataloging frame captures and calculating
average shot lengths, has just been put into beta release.

For several years, I've been struggling to find a good way to keep track of
frame captures from film and television.  And I've been intrigued by the
statistical style analyses conducted by analysts such as Barry Salt, David
Bordwell, Warren Buckland, Charles O'Brien and Yuri Tsivian.

Recently, I created an online system that marries the frame-capturing
capability of VLC media player with an online image gallery (called
Gallery).  Essentially, the way it works is:  the analyst uses VLC to
capture frames that have their time code contained in their file names.
They then upload the frames to the Shot Logger Gallery.  Using the time-code
stamped file names, Shot Logger calculates the average length of shots in a
film or television program.

So far I've only entered data for 8 TV programs/films, but I hope they
illustrate how Shot Logger might be of use. Presently, I am limiting Shot
Logger to my own frame captures, but, if it seems useful, I plan to open it
up to other analysts' submissions.  Also, Shot Logger is based on free,
open-source software (VLC media player <> and
Gallery <>) and it, too, will be released as
open-source software (once its rough edges are smoothed).  This means that
anyone may use the Shot Logger software for their own projects.

My principal use of Shot Logger is for the analysis of visual style and
editing in television, but I can see other potential uses for it.  For
example, filmmakers might want to use it to create a visual log of their
projects.  Libraries might want to use it as a way to generate meta data
about videos in their collections.  Anyone who needs to track video material
might find a use for it.

There's still a lot of room for improvement and I'd love to hear any
comments/suggestions you might have. You'll find it at:

Let me know what you think!

Jeremy Butler

Professor - TCF Dept. - U Alabama

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
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