Formulating Film Tempo

The Computational Media Aesthetics Methodology in Practice
  • Brett Adams
  • Chitra Dorai
  • Svetha Venkatesh
Part of the The Springer International Series in Video Computing book series (VICO, volume 4)


This chapter constitutes a detailed example of Computational Media Aesthetics at work. A short history of approaches to the problems posed by automatic content management in its broadest context is presented, cast in the light of their ability to obtain the much needed semantic grid with which to interpret their object. Our consideration is then further narrowed to the video medium, where we identify two common categories of solution to the problem, the kitchen sink and the brittle mapping, note their relative weaknesses, and show them to be directly attributable to the nature of the semantic grid chosen, or lack thereof. Focusing on our domain of Film, we argue that the best semantic grid for its interpretation is that within which its creators work; namely film grammar. In order to demonstrate this, we develop a measure for the extraction of a fundamental aspect of film, Tempo. From definition, to formulation, and even its exploitation resulting in the location of high-level filmic components such as dramatic occurrences, the process is guided by film grammar at every step. Example results are provided from the movie, The Matrix.


Computational Media Aesthetics video archive content management systems content-based search and annotation semantic gap motion pictures film grammar expressive elements tempo film pace subjective time dramatic sections events 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brett Adams
    • 1
  • Chitra Dorai
    • 2
  • Svetha Venkatesh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceCurtin University of TechnologyPerthAustralia
  2. 2.IBM Thomas J. Watson Research CenterYorktown HeightsUSA

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