Who is the director of this movie? Shot analysis of art films

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We show how low-level formal features, such as shot duration, meant as length of camera takes, and shot scale, i.e. the distance between the camera and the subject, are distinctive of a director's style in art movies. So far such features were thought of not having enough varieties to become distinctive of an author. However our investigation on the full filmographies of six different authors (Scorsese, Godard, Tarr, Fellini, Antonioni, and Bergman) for a total number of 120 movies analysed second by second, confirms that these shot-related features do not appear as random patterns in movies from the same director. For feature extraction we adopt methods based on both conventional and deep learning techniques. Our findings suggest that feature sequential patterns, i.e. how features evolve in time, are at least as important as the related feature distributions. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study dealing with automatic attribution of movie authorship, which opens up interesting lines of cross-disciplinary research on the impact of style on the aesthetic and emotional effects on the viewers.

Arxiv article: https://arxiv.org/abs/1807.09560

Shot Scale distributions
Shot Scale transitions
Shot durations
t-SNE visualizations