Brad Tober /
Experimental Interface Lab

«Cinematic visualizations

Cinematic visualizations is an inquiry into the translation of several scenes from cinematic works into an alternative format. This project was inspired by new media theorist Lev Manovich's proposal, in The Language of New Media, that a digital (or digitized) film "can be defined as a function that, given the horizontal, vertical, and time location of each pixel, returns its color. [...] For a computer, a film is an abstract arrangement of colors changing in time, rather than something structured by 'shots,' 'narrative,' 'actors,' and so on." This interpretation of the digital moving image poses a particular question: if a digital film can be considered a visualization of a set of data, is it possible to reverse-engineer that visualization to arrive back at a set of data which can then be visualized in a different way?

These visualizations track the movement of "events"—key people, groups of people, and objects—within the image frame and through time in four long-take scenes from cinematic works. These scenes were chosen for their likelihood to produce interesting visualizations as a result of their extended uncut camera movement (or the appearance thereof). Each event is distinguished by a unique color, and time is represented through the use of size and opacity: the smallest and least opaque points occur earliest in the scene, while the largest and most opaque occur latest.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)House of Blue Leaves
Boogie Nights (1997)Opening
Touch of Evil (1958)Opening
Children of Men (2006)Car ambush