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Film & Television

Build the Open Shelves Classification

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Feb 23, 2009, 11:59am Top

Includes works about motion pictures and television programs, the film and television industries, screenplays. Place novelizations of motion pictures or television programs under FICTION.

Feb 23, 2009, 12:12pm Top

Does radio (as in books about radio programmes and the radio industry, and radioplays) belong here or with performing arts?

Edited: Feb 23, 2009, 12:15pm Top

Also from the Performing Arts topic
"Plays are considered drama and are placed under FICTION."

Yet screenplays are not placed under FICTION according to message 1. This doesn't seem to be very consistent.

Feb 23, 2009, 3:21pm Top

Yes, that is a weird choice.

Feb 23, 2009, 3:24pm Top

Yes, this whole scheme is beginning to look like a horse designed by a committee.

Edited: Feb 23, 2009, 4:01pm Top

>5 bertilak: I agree, and probably will until I see a few kinks worked out. For example, I still think art history books about architecture is still a bit iffy (are they about art history or about architecture?).

Edited to elaborate on agreement.

Feb 25, 2009, 12:52pm Top

I just posted in "Things That Don't Fit in the Current Top-Level Model" regarding the question of journalism and where it belongs:

"Sorry (but only slightly) for bringing in criticism of the top level categories, but wouldn't broadening the "film & television" category to something like "media" solve the journalism problem? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't found a single post anywhere defending "film & television" as it is."

I would really love to find out that I just missed the argument about this category. Does it make sense to anyone?

Feb 25, 2009, 2:05pm Top

To me, television and radio are more closely related than tv and film. And aren't film and drama pretty closely related (certainly a history of famous actors from the '70s say would have to talk about their work in both stage and screen)? What is the basis of the current split in these subjects?

Feb 25, 2009, 4:45pm Top

Television and radio fit together because they are both forms of broadcasting.

However, in a popular sense, film and television fit together because they can both include entertaining fictional stories with actors and, at least from a US perspective, both are produced by the quote unquote "Hollywood."

Film and drama fit together in that most films involve some actors acting, but there are fundamental differences in the nature of the two arts. Basically, plays are performed, films are assembled. Drama naturally fits with the performing arts. Film does not.

I'm not sure what conclusions I'm trying to get to with all this.

One thing we need to consider is where will the eventual books to be written about the art and critical history of internet video go. Probably here in the "film and television" category.

Feb 25, 2009, 5:00pm Top

I see more similarities than differences between theatrical plays, radio plays, film, and internet video.

Feb 25, 2009, 6:16pm Top

Yes, if you limit it to plays. But there is a lot of radio and television that has nothing to do with those. And not all films and (internet) videos are drama stuff either.

Feb 25, 2009, 7:52pm Top

Yes, I can see that, but why is radio being excluded? Where should a book on old radio shows or radio personalities go.

Feb 26, 2009, 4:20am Top

You're right about that. Not a clue at this stage.

Feb 26, 2009, 4:29am Top

It also makes a book on this history of the BBC hard to classify. If it covers both TV and radio in about equal measure where would it go if radio wasn't associated with TV?

I would agree with mattsya about internet video - definitely should go with film & tv.

Edited: Mar 2, 2009, 10:30am Top

So something like:

x. History of Radio Programming
x. The Radio Industry
x. Radio Drama Scripts
x. Radio Criticism
     x. Radio Theory
x. History of Film
x. The Film Industry
x. Screenplays
x. Film Criticism
     x. Film Theory
x. History of Television
x. The Television Industry
x. Screenplays
x. Television Criticism
     x. TV Theory
x. History of Internet Video
x. The Internet Video Industry
x. Screenplays
x. Internet Video Criticism
     x. Internet Theory

Or we can have History of Media, Media Industries, Media Criticism, etc. as secondary-level categories, and then distinguish between tv and film on a tertiary level.

Feb 26, 2009, 5:27am Top

That would not solve Andyl's example of the book about the BBC.

Maybe something like this:

> Media
>> History of Media
>> &c
> Press
>> History of Press
>> &c
> Radio
>> History of Radio
>> &c
> Film
>> History of Film
>> &c
> Television
>> History of Television
>> &c
> Internet
>> History of Internet
>> &c

(If we are going to include Media here, I really don't think we can limit ourselves to just the Video side of internet - or exclude press)

Feb 26, 2009, 5:47am Top

Yeah, having a catch-all category for those that span more than one group would be a good idea.

Feb 28, 2009, 9:17am Top

The catch-all should just be the top level itself.

Edited: Feb 28, 2009, 9:38am Top

I do see your point, but if you want to subdivide the general stuff along the same lines as the individual sub-categories that is going to look very weird.

It would be something like:

Film & Television (maybe "Media" would be better)
>History of Media
>Media Theory
>>History of Film

&c. Anyway, putting history and theory of Media in general on a different system level than same for the individual Media...

p.s.: obviously I only mean "Media" might be better if we agree that the other media should go here as well.

Mar 2, 2009, 7:43am Top

You bring up an interesting point. In Dewey and the LC subject headings there are the free floating subdivisions that handle these situations (ie. add .092 onto any number to indicate it's biographical).

As far as I know we haven't created a similar mechanism here yet.

Mar 2, 2009, 10:39am Top

Switching the secondary and tertiary levels could solve the problem:

     x. General History
     x. History of Radio
     x. History of Film
     x. History of Television
     x. History of Internet
     x. General Theory
     x. Radio Theory
     x. Film Theory
     x. TV Theory
     x. Internet Theory
     x. General Industry
     x. The Radio Industry
     x. The Film Industry
     x. The Television Insdustry
     x. The Internet Video Industry
x. SCREENPLAYS & TRANSCRIPTS (if we can decide as a group to change this category from Film&TV to Media, can we decide as a group to just move this category to fiction, perhaps with an exception for those works which are primarily intended as cultural artifacts? I really want this category out)
     x. Radio Drama Scripts
     x. Film Screenplays
     x. Television Screenplays
     x. Internet Screenplays
     x. Radio Criticism
     x. Film Criticism
     x. Television Criticism
     x. Internet Video Criticism

Mar 20, 2009, 10:53am Top

Please check out this thread (http://www.librarything.com/topic/60594) for a link to the new OSC blog and a call for specific volunteer involvement. Thanks!

Mar 25, 2009, 12:38pm Top

Hi, I’ve volunteered to monitor this discussion. So I guess its time to get to monitorin’

First, I want to sum up what has been discussed so far and the issues that need to be resolved.

It basically boils down to two issues, scope and organization.

Scope: Should radio be included? Journalism? Internet/digital video? Do screenplays belong here or in fiction (where plays are currently found?)

Second, Organization:
Alixitii has proposed two different approaches to the sub-levels. One is divided by discipline: Film, Television, Radio, etc. The other is divided by the book’s approach:
History, theory, industry, criticism. See messages 15 and 21. Which is the better way to divide?

My thoughts on this will be in my next post.
Please add yours, too.

Edited: Mar 25, 2009, 12:48pm Top

My thoughts:

On scope:

Radio, yes, journalism no. Radio and television are siblings: They share technology (radio waves) they share controlling bodies (BBC, for example) and they share personalities. Really, television is radio with pictures. So, yes, radio belongs here. It’s natural Journalism, on the other hand…the only thing it really shares with broadcasting is that sometimes radio and television are used to convey the news. It would be sort of like placing music in the radio category, because sometimes music is heard on the radio.

Internet/digital video: Yes. Broadcast television, and film made on actual film may be on their way out, but video itself won’t be going away anytime soon. Regardless of how a video is distributed (film, television, internet), it is video. It’s natural to include internet video under the same umbrella as film and television.

Screenplays: I disagree that plays should be shelved with fiction, but even if they are, I don’t think screenplays belong there as well. Drama fits with fiction much more than screenplays. Screenplays, unlike, say, Shakespeare’s plays are rarely, if ever, read as an end in and of themselves. A screenplay is one piece of a much larger structure. Published screenplays are read by other screenwriters and students to study. These folks would be much better served by having published screenplays next to other books about film.

Organization: I think organizing by discipline is a much better and more natural approach. One is more likely to think “I want books about television,” than “I want a book of criticism—doesn’t matter if it’s about film, radio, or television, I just need criticism.”)

All top-level categories should probably be divided in similar fashions, so we should also keep an eye on how other top-discussions are going.

Right now, this top level category is nicely analogous to Dewey.

791.43 Film
791.44 Radio (If we agree to include it)
791.45 Television
(By the way, 791.3 is circuses, 791.5 is puppets. Dewey puts the entire realm of film and broadcast on the same level as circuses and puppet shows.)

If we add digital/internet video, then that brings in 778.59.

I want to encourage everyone interested in this top-level to go to a public library and browse through these call numbers to get an idea of what types of books about these subjects libraries have. If your library’s catalog lets you browse by call #, you can do this at home, too.

Mar 26, 2009, 7:54am Top

>24 mattsya:: Radio, yes, journalism no.


Published screenplays are read by other screenwriters and students to study.

I'm not sure I think this is true. Do I approach the published screenplays I own as a student or a reader? I'm not so sure.

One is more likely to think “I want books about television,” than “I want a book of criticism—doesn’t matter if it’s about film, radio, or television, I just need criticism.”

This is a good point, I think. I can think of counterexamples, but I think they tend toward the academic side, while your example is the type most likely to be common in a public library I think.

Mar 26, 2009, 8:14am Top

>24 mattsya:: Radio, yes, journalism no.

In principle yes, I agree. Including journalism would only make sense if this category would be broadened to include all media.

Though I could build a case to do just that, the mere fact that other media and journalism don't have a clear place in this classification system (yet) doesn't necessarily mean we have to solve that problem here.

Drama fits with fiction much more than screenplays. Screenplays, unlike, say, Shakespeare’s plays are rarely, if ever, read as an end in and of themselves.

Yeah, but much the same can be said for most modern theater plays. The point is rather, imho, that you shouldn't make library users look all over to find a text. If this system puts drama (theater plays) under "fiction" instead of under "performing arts", then it gets confusing if radioplays and screenplays end up here.

Edited: Mar 26, 2009, 11:40am Top

My problem with 'Media' is that the term usually includes TV, radio and newspapers - ...channels...through which information, etc. is transmitted to the public as Chambers Dictionary has it. The inclusion of newspapers biases content towards news and current affairs rather than drama and entertainment.

I have a number of books written by writers who would describe themselves as journalists and which could be put under a heading of 'Reportage'. I wouldn't like to see these sharing a 'Media' heading with TV, radio and film. There must be discussions elsewhere over classification of current affairs/essays/reportage/journalism but I am sure they don't belong here.

Mar 26, 2009, 12:02pm Top

I have a broader take on media (after all, a term like "entertainment media" is also well established). For me it would also include subjects like publishing, magazines, etc. But I do see your point.

Anyway, like I tried to say earlier, it's not necessarily the best choice to try to solve the 'problem' of where to put other media here.

Mar 26, 2009, 12:53pm Top

So it looks like we're leaning towards this idea:
It is a problem that OSC currently does not have a good place for journalism. But we're not going to solve that problem in this top-level.

Sounds good to me.

Apr 6, 2009, 12:02pm Top

This thread has been quiet for a couple of weeks. Time to jump start things again.

Using what we've discussed so far, does anyone want to take another shot at creating the secondary levels? Maybe something based on the Alixtii's list in #15?

Apr 10, 2009, 4:28pm Top

Any objection to including animation in this top level as well?
It came up in the performing arts thread that animation belongs here, and I think its only an oversight that it wasn't clearly included.

Apr 10, 2009, 5:19pm Top

It seems redundant. Is there any animation that isn't for film, televison or the internet?

Apr 10, 2009, 5:26pm Top

All aspects of animation? It seems to me that at the actual level of doing the animation it is akin to drawing. But the aspects of developing a story is like film or television, but also like developing a book. Business aspects I suspect are like film and television.

Apr 14, 2009, 10:27am Top

Is there any animation that isn't for film, televison or the internet?

Yes, there is - there are the so-called "flipbooks" (make a drawing on each page and run the pages through your fingers). And in a way some 19th century optical toys were animation, but you could call those "prehistory" of film. Anyway, it's all very marginal.

It seems to me that at the actual level of doing the animation it is akin to drawing.

Not all animation relies on drawing. Think Aardman's "Wallace & Gromit" for example.

Anyway, yes I do think animation should go in this top level category - but then I was the one to suggest so in the other thread.

Edited: Apr 14, 2009, 12:19pm Top

Animation is a distinct discipline. While it is most often seen on film, television, and video, it does have its own tradition and body of writing. And as BarkingMatt (I'm the non-barking Matt) pointed out, not all animation is drawing.

Big Tim mentioned in the Religion thread that the goal of this project is to put books where library patrons expect them to be. I would assume that most people looking for books about animation would want to see them together, and not split up into separate areas depending on if it was animation in film or television. So I think Animation should get its own subheading along with Television, Film, Digital video, and Radio in this top level.

The other option would be to put animation in with the Art top level as it could be considered a distinct discipline of art. But I think it is a more natural fit here.

But, of course, it's really hard to know accurately where people "expect" things to be.

Edited to un-split an infinitive.

Edited: Apr 17, 2009, 4:56am Top

I recommend that this top level category be renamed. You want a classification that will move forward, not one looking backwards. Television & Film? That's dated. In all honesty, as technologies converge, the idea that something is tangibly "internet video" will be a hard case to make. Are you sure it's internet video? Isn't it just a short film, published on the internet first?

What makes something "not film" or "not television"? We're right at the edge of this, isn't it more sensible to fix it now?

I like #21's "Audiovisual Media" better than the current, though even that doesn't look great.

Perhaps : Other Video Media and Other Audio Media are more appropriate than "Internet"

Apr 17, 2009, 5:19am Top

I don't quite agree you wouldn't want the classification to also look backwards. But yes, we do run the risk here of focusing too much on existing media.

Apr 17, 2009, 12:53pm Top

>36 BalthCat: you are quite right that the distinction between the different media will become academic (if it hasn't already.) We watch television programs over the internet; many films now are shot digitally, edited digitally, then projected digitally--no actual film involved at all.

But then as 37 suggested, just because the terms are becoming dated, that doesn't mean those terms are useless. There are a lot of existing works about film and television.

The top level could be named something like "Broadcast and Video."

The goal of this project is to be naturally intuitive, and "Film and Television" is relatively intuitive title. "Broadcast and Video" is a little obtuse. I don't know. Maybe it should be "'Film' and 'Television'"--always pronounced with finger quotes.

Apr 17, 2009, 1:36pm Top

I don't think scare quotes are necessary; people have sense enough to know that "film and television" refers to what they think of as "film and television," not some technical analysis of the terms. If you watch a TV show online, you're still watching a TV show. If you make and broadcast a video purely digitally and online, it can still be referred to as a "film," the same way that if you watch a Pixar movie on DVD, you could still say "I saw the film" even though you didn't literally see something that was filmed or projected by a film strip.

I agree that "film and television" isn't an ideal label; it doesn't include radio, and it's not intuitively obvious if it includes internet content, and it's likely to be outdated in the near future (but we're hardly going to predict what terms replace it here), but I don't think any of us have been able to come up with anything better.

"Audiovisual media" sounds to me like a category about the technology, rather than about the programs and industries. "Broadcast and Video" sounds like it excludes film and includes journalism.

Apr 17, 2009, 1:41pm Top

Also, technology is taking the direction of internet video streaming on your television rather than on your computer monitor, so I don't think "television" is likely to be an obsolete term any time soon. On the contrary, I think it's likely that shows "broadcast" purely online will be thought of as television programs.


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