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Friday, January 21st, 2022 4:36 PM

Introducing: Subgenre & Plot Timeframe Keywords

Introducing: Subgenre & Plot Timeframe Keywords

 

 

We’d like to announce an update to our Keywords help article, which now defines specific formats for Subgenres and Plot Timeframes. This is part of an effort to make our keywords more standardized and structured, in order to aid title discovery.


In short, Subgenre keywords specify which subgenres apply to the title, and are suffixed with the corresponding genre (e.g. “jungle-adventure”). For example, most of the plot in The Jungle Book (1967) involves an adventure in the jungle, so this title should have the subgenre "jungle-adventure".


Plot Timeframe keywords specify what timeframe the title’s plot is set in and are prefixed with “timeframe-”. For example, Fences (2016) is set in the 1950s, so this title should have the keyword “timeframe-1950s” but can also have the keyword “timeframe-20th-century”.

 

Thanks as always for all your feedback – please feel free to post your questions and comments to this thread.

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2 years ago

I recommend adding the word "sample" to the help article language regarding subgenres, as shown in bold below:

See here for sample accepted values

Otherwise, there is an implication that the listed values are the only values that will be accepted. That would be wrong, because there are easily dozens, if not hundreds, of acceptable subgenres that are not included on the list. 

Just taking horror subgenres, for example, the list does not currently include acceptable subgenre keywords like gothic-horror, body-horror, eco-horror, war-horror, retro-horror, erotic-horrorredneck-horror, giallovideo-nasty, etc. 

Then there are numerous subgenres that can cross genres, for example creature-feature, teensploitation, nunsploitation, bikersploitation, social-guidance, drug-scare, etc.

(edited)

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2 years ago

"biographical-documentary"

All 64 titles currently with this unnecessary/repeative keyword have both Biography and Documentary as genres.

I have submitted deletions for this erroneous keyword on ALL 64 titles, and the staff HAS NOT ACCEPTED them.

Note: This comment was created from a merged conversation originally titled So... here's another genre-infused keyword that needs to be deleted:

Champion

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This is one of the subgenre keywords that IMDb has added and listed in the keyword guidelines.

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Unnecessary duplication, and a further denigration of genres.

There must be hundreds of other titles that have both Biography and Documentary as genres, but do not have this unnecessary keyword.

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When I do a search with the keyword "singer" and add the Biography and Documentary genres, there are 363 titles.  Subtracting the only 8 titles that currently have the questionable "biographical-documentary" keyword, that leaves 355 titles without this questionable keyword! 

And that is just one example.  I speculate that there are hundreds of titles with the Biography and Documentary genres that do not have the "biographical-documentary" keyword, making such searches invalid and useless.

Please, delete the "biographical-documentary" keyword in lieu of the Biography and Documentary genres.

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Bump.  How about some staff action on this?

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Again, bump...

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@ IMDB staff:

Since this thread involves "accepted" subgenre keywords, the thread should be merged here: https://community-imdb.sprinklr.com/conversations/data-issues-policy-discussions/introducing-subgenre-plot-timeframe-keywords/61eae11f08dc6165edbd2086

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keyword_expert​ PLEASE DO NT MERGE.  I GET BETTER RESPONSE FROM THE STAFF WHEN IT IS NOT MERGED.

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2 years ago

Is the list of accepted values for timeframe keywords intended to be a complete list? I was wondering why so many others have been created that aren't listed as accepted values.

Currently some 160 keywords versus 25 in the list in the help page.

https://www.imdb.com/find?s=kw&q=timeframe+

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It seems to be difficult to edit even timeframe keywords that are not in the list of accepted values.

I tried to delete timeframe-1700s because the story is set in the 18th century but not 1700-1710, and the listed, standardized value for the 18th century is timeframe-18th-century.

#220329-130858-876000

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@Peter_pbn​ Yes, the "timeframe-" prefix is "protected" in existing keywords.

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2 years ago

"war-horror" is a bad subgenre since it combines two genres that could be more effectively listed unter genres.  Keywords that just combine genres were supposedly outlawed, weren't they?

P.S. Still waiting for "war-romance" to be deleted.

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ At least 3 of the 4 instances of the "war-horror" keyword were intended to be "horrors-of-war," anyway. I went ahead and made those changes.

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2 years ago

The list of subgenres continues to astound me.

First, the subgenres that combine two genres should be removed. IMDb's own guidelines prohibits them:

"Repeating genres - For example, we have the genres Romance and Drama so you can submit these as genres to the title rather than submitting the keyword romantic-drama. For an exceptional genre on an episode that does not relate to the overall series, please see the -episode special keywords below."

This outlaws:  biographical-documentary, crime-documentary, history-documentary, music-documentary, sports-documentary, tragedy-drama, sports-talk-show, crime-reality-show, comedy-talk-show and any other "bad" keyword that might combine genres.  All should be deleted from this list., 

Second, some are just superfluous and redundant:  sitcom-comedy (which should probably be situation-comedy), docudrama-drama, costume-drama-history (duh?), etc.

Third, many are just plain silly:  psychological-drama, psychological-horror, psychological-thriller (Are none of the other genres "psychological"?). suspense-mystery (Isn't every mystery suspenseful?). 

I could go on and on, but... whoever created this list needs to go to college and take a course in dramatic theory so they understand the difference between "genres"and "subgenres." As an ex-college professor, I taught such a class, and a student who came up with such an extenuated and repetitive list would surely fail.

Why, this list does not even include valid subgenres like farce, high-comedy, low-comedy, screwball-comedy, neo-screwball-comedy, melodrama, slapstick-comedy, neo-noir (for God's sake!).

I see most of these fanciful and indulgent subgenre keywords just "cluttering up" the keyword lists, with rampant inconsistencies and subjective judgements (whims?) that just invalidate any usefulness as a research tool.  Most could easily be searched by entering the keyword, and then the genre.  You are making research more difficult.

And, for any of these to be valid, you will need to define everyone and then go through the millions of title on IMDb to see where they might be applicable.  Good luck!

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ Although many of these keywords are poorly formatted (like "sitcom-comedy"), most of the keywords are good and will facilitate rather than hinder research. Some users aren't aware that genres can be combined with a keyword search. Allowing subgenres (and genre-combination keywords) to be included in the keywords makes it easier to incorporate these concepts into keyword searches. For that reason I endorse the basic concept of allowing these types of keywords.

The problem has been in the execution (e.g., poorly formatted keywords, the seemingly random nature of the list, the implication that the list is exclusive when it is not, etc.).

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@bradley_kent​ "

Third, many are just plain silly:  psychological-drama, psychological-horror, psychological-thriller (Are none of the other genres "psychological"?). suspense-mystery (Isn't every mystery suspenseful?). "

Psychological drama, horror and thriller are well known subgenre terms to be fair.

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2 years ago

May I ask: Why?

Why turn perfectly satisfactory existing keywords redundant while forcing such unwieldy looking and sounding keywords down our throats? A simple keyword like "1980s" is enough to denote that the film is set in, and is in some way representative of, that decade. We don't need an additional word like "timeframe" to know that it denotes a time frame - it is self-explanatory in itself!

Worse thing is, I cannot even delete or correct these timeframe keywords. They are like those sticky posts on a forum.

Note: This comment was created from a merged conversation originally titled The "timeframe" tag added to all the decade related plot keywords

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2 years ago

I see on the keywords tool that IMDB makes reference to a number of accepted drama subgenres, they are:

drama coming-of-age-drama
drama cop-drama
drama disaster-drama
drama docudrama-drama
drama domestic-drama
drama dramedy-drama
drama epic-drama
drama historical-drama
drama legal-drama
drama medical-drama
drama period-drama
drama political-drama
drama prison-drama
drama psychological-drama
drama soap-opera-drama
drama supernatural-drama
drama teen-drama
drama tragedy-drama

These are all fine, although I know of other terms that can be used that I may wish to add:

Healing drama (a term closely associated with psychological dramas and romantic fiction, where the characters undergoing psychological healing from trauma across the series or movie)

I'd also like to propose distinctions between a theme and a specific thing that happens within a narrative. So I looked up "friendship" as a keyword, and found lots of examples of settings that have in them, well, friendships (I'm going to use TV as my term of reference): The Walking Dead, ER, Riverdale, The 100 etc. These all have characters in them that become friends across the series. That's fine. But the shows aren't specifically about friendships., and have more relevant plot keywords to primarily describe them.

To contrast, consider Gilmore Girls, or My Brilliant Friend, or Hap and Leonard. These are shows specifically about the friendship between two or sometimes more (a small group of) characters. To distinguish them I would propose a "friendship drama" keyword, of which there are none currently. Would this even be accepted?

I would make the same argument for related concepts too: relationship drama, rural drama (or small town drama), college drama. I'd also propose a "personal drama" or "life drama" for settings that primarily follow a single character and how they develop. Would all of these things be accepted?

Note: This comment was created from a merged conversation originally titled Drama subgenres

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2 years ago

The list of subgenres in the guide has apparently been changed recently. Comparison with a version from last week:

Removed:

river-adventure

forest-adventure

superhero-adventure

observational-comedy

sitcom-comedy

sketch-comedy

stand-up-comedy

art-and-entertainment-documentary

dramedy-drama

historical-drama

soap-opera-drama

alternate-history

operetta-musical

cozy-mystery

locked-room-mystery

cricket-sport

e-sport

golf-sport

gymnastics-sport

hockey-sport

horse-sport

hunting-and-fishing-sport

rugby-sport

swimming-sport

tennis-sport

volleyball-sport

all entries with -music

all entries with -news

all entries with -reality-tv

all entries with -talk-show

Edited:

caper-crime (from caper-mystery)

winter-sport (from winter-sports-sport)

Added:

team-action

car-action

island-adventure

live-action-animation

body-swap-comedy

raunchy-comedy

showbiz-comedy

slapstick-comedy

drug-crime

buddy-cop-crime

art-documentary 

entertainment-documentary

environmental-documentary

academia-drama

costume-drama

showbiz-drama

animals-family

kids-family

body-horror

interdimensional-sci-fi

other-sport

racket-sport

Examples and descriptions have also been added.

(edited)

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@Peter_pbn​ Some of these are weird subgenres that don't really have any community usage "interdimensional-sci-fi" whereas "observational comedy" does

Also "cozy mystery", "locked-room mystery" are well known subgenres

(edited)

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Most of these subgenres are absolutely ridiculous --- subjective, repetitious  and contradictory.  Such "topics" could mostly be duplicated in a search by simply combining a keyword with a genre.

You are risking the integrity of the keyword section of IMDb by corrupting it with unnecessary "stuff."

It seems as if someone(s) on the IMDb staff is/are "riding hard on an ego trip" by proposing gratuitous, redundant and superfluous "garbage."

What a waste of the staff's time and energy.

(edited)

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@bradley_kent​ All subgenres are subjective to an extent, but many of the terms IMDB are using here are used terminology in communities.

I don't agree with genre + genre fusions though, I agree. Like "romantic comedy" is very much a genre, but we don't need it as a keyword because we can combine Romance + Comedy. Same with "dramedy". What makes this especially odd though is that IMDB are cloning these terms by doing this, as we have the original term and then the IMDB approved variant with "-drama" or "-fantasy" or whatever it is put at the end. 

But there is no specific way, other than keywords to represent many different types of subgenres. Cyberpunk is very much a well understood genre, but obviously at its borders what constitutes 'cyberpunk' can get fluffy. But it's also well understood as "cyberpunk". We don't need "cyberpunk" + "cyberpunk sci-fi"

(edited)

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@Peter_pbn​ 

Interesting. 

I have been watching the emergence of the keyword "body-swap-comedy" over the past couple months. Now I know why that keyword emerged: an IMDb staffer must have been populating it with titles in preparation for this big unveil.

One problem with this keyword is that whomever is using it is not distinguishing between "body swaps" and "body switching." The former is when two characters swap bodies with each other, and the latter is when a character switches into a new body. Even @Michelle herself brought up this distinction a while back.

Whomever has been using the keyword "body-swap-comedy" has been applying it to titles that involve body switching without body swaps. An example is Switch (1991).

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@keyword_expert​ Also, looking at the TV series for "body-swap comedy" we've got a bunch of shows that appear to have nothing to do with the concept.

I can assume that perhaps the trope occurs in particular episodes, but those shows are not chiefly known and understood as a 'body swap comedy', and we fall into the problem of distinguishing between something that happens in a show or film, and something that can be chiefly described as being about it.

(edited)

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Thanks a bunch @Peter_pbn. A pity they didn't add a new update date at the top of the page.

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@Peter_pbn​ I just noticed this addition to the genre definitions to refer to the awkwardly worded "dramedy-drama" subgenre keyword (see bolded sentence below). This was likely added around the time of the update to the list of "accepted" subgenre keywords that you posted about three weeks ago.

Comedy Virtually all scenes should contain characters participating in humorous or comedic experiences. The comedy can be exclusively for the viewer, at the expense of the characters in the title, or be shared with them. Please submit qualifying keywords to better describe the humor (i.e. spoof, parody, irony, slapstick, satire, dark-comedy, comedic-scene, etc.). If the title does not conform to the 'virtually all scenes' guideline then please do not add the comedy genre; instead, submit the same keyword variations described above to signify the comedic elements of the title. The subgenre keyword "dramedy-drama" can also be used to categorize titles with comedic undertones that qualify for the Drama genre but not necessarily the Comedy genre. Subjective.

Examples: Some Like it Hot (1959) |When Harry Met Sally... (1989) | Bridesmaids (2011)

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@Peter_pbn​ 

I have to say, "other-sport" is just about one of the dumbest keywords ever on IMDb. It is such a bad keyword that when I first saw it emerge on IMDb (before it was officially listed as an "accepted" subgenre keyword), I recorded it in my private notes for a future post asking staff to delete and block the keyword. And I actually did include "other-sport" in this recent list, until it hit me 90 minutes later that I should check the official list again to see if "other-sport" is now listed as "accepted." And sure enough, it is in there (as first reported by you a month ago). 

I can't imagine how "other-sport" will have any real-world value for anyone. What a dumb keyword. It is so vague and poorly formatted as to be useless. And imagine if we also had keywords like "other-documentary," "other-history," "other-romance," "other-horror," "other-war," etc. Hopefully those examples illustrate why "other-sport" is a really bad keyword. 

(edited)

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2 years ago

Please add "pov-documentary" for titles like "9:11: I Was There".  This subgenre was documented "live" from a first-person perspective and often without narration.  Other subgenres re-document mostly from a third-person perspective with lots of narration.

(edited)

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@rootsmusic

Does the use of the "pov" or "point-of-view" term within this keyword imply that, in order to qualify for this subgenre, all the camera angles in the film are of a character's-point-of-view-camera-shot?

(edited)

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@keyword_expert​, I'd require at least a majority and even prefer more (not necessarily "all") camera angles be from the first-person's point-of-view to qualify as a "pov-documentary".  If a title has some but not a majority of camera angles from the first-person's point-of-view, then it can be described by other keywords.

(edited)

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2 years ago

The list of subgenres has been changed again. There are now two lists, one for movies and one for series.

https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/titles/keywords/GXQ22G5Y72TH8MJ5#subgenres

The movie list so far seems to be the same as the previous list.

The series list omits many of the entries, including everything in action, adventure, musical, sport, thriller and war.

Entries have been added in game-show, reality-tv and talk-show.

These have been added to the series list:

sketch-comedy

sitcom-comedy

observational-comedy

alternate-history

(edited)

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@Peter_pbn​ Yes, "alternate history" is back under "History".. in contradiction to how IMDB defines "History".

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@Peter_pbn​ Thanks for the update.

I still wish that IMDb would clarify this guideline to explain that by using the word "accepted," they are not implying that this list of "accepted" subgenre keywords is exclusive. A lot of perfectly valid subgenres are still not included on the "accepted" list. I will copy and paste my prior statement below on this topic. 

I recommend adding the word "sample" to the help article language regarding subgenres, as shown in bold below:

See here for sample accepted values

Otherwise, there is an implication that the listed values are the only values that will be accepted. That would be wrong, because there are easily dozens, if not hundreds, of acceptable subgenres that are not included on the list. 

Just taking horror subgenres, for example, the list does not currently include acceptable subgenre keywords like gothic-horror, body-horror, eco-horror, war-horror, retro-horror, erotic-horrorredneck-horror, giallovideo-nasty, etc. 

Then there are numerous subgenres that can cross genres, for example creature-feature, teensploitation, nunsploitation, bikersploitation, social-guidance, drug-scare, etc.

From my prior list, only "body-horror" has since been added to the "accepted" list, while I personally modified all the "war-horror" entries to "horrors-of-war." 

All other keywords that I previously listed (and many others that I did not list) remain perfectly valid subgenre keywords that have been in use for many years, yet they are not identified as "accepted" by IMDb. That could and should be rectified by modifying the guideline to clarify that the "accepted" list is not intended to be exclusive.

(edited)

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I just noticed that sitcom-comedy is back in the new series list, so maybe Mr. Kent could join us to repeat his previous posts too. (Ah, there he is!)

To comment on the update in question, I struggle to make sense of it. Why would so many entries, like prison-drama, soccer-sport or political-thriller, not be relevant for series? Why would alternate-history be more relevant for series than movies?

But I guess it won't be the last update, so perhaps it isn't worth dissecting something that is still in process.

(edited)

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@Peter_pbn​ Also some of their TV examples are a bit dodgy

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2 years ago

I am trying to Iive with the new subgenres, although most still seem very subjective and superfluous.  The "understanding" of their definitions and distinctions do not seem universal, but only specific and exacting to one or a few particular contributors.

They open up the floodgates to a deluge of additional keywords, particularly to older titles that often seem to be neglected in keyword discussions.  

I still adamately believe that:

One, subgenres should not just combine two or more genres;

and,

Two, regarding tv series, subgenres should be listed ONLY at the series level, unless, of course, if it is an anthology series, when the keyword should be subgenre-episode.

Besides these two points, I, personally, plan to avoid auditing/editing these subjective subgenre keywords for most (any? all?) titles.  I'll leave that to others.

Similarly, I have not added, corrected nor deleted any "timeframe" keywords because I have found so many mistakes, particularly those that confuse the "setting" content of a title with its release date year.  I'll leave those to the rest of you, too.

The "horde" of subjective subgenre-keywords wait on the mountaintop, ready to invade and inundate the keyword database.  There are millions and millions that need to be added.  Go for it!

 

(edited)

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There is no sign this thread is being monitored by staff, which is why I'm using it to post updates that are not directed to staff. You would probably be better off posting in one of your own previous threads.

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@Peter_pbn​ I did think about that, but ruled it out for now.

I have posted the suggestion in at least a couple different threads including this one, and have tagged @Michelle at least once, so I believe they saw my suggestion long ago.

As you have pointed out, this policy area is still very much in flux. I am willing to patiently wait a while longer. Eventually I may start a new thread specifically on this topic (whether or not the "accepted" list is exclusive).

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2 years ago

In my opinion, the keyword "classical-western," which is listed on the "accepted" list of subgenre keywords, should instead be "classic-western." The latter term is much more commonly used -- about ten times more often according to Google searches. 

On the same note, it seems that the "classical-western" keyword is also being over-applied and/or is ill-defined. IMDb defines this subgenre keyword as "A western produced during the golden age of the genre, subsequently defining the genre." When exactly was that golden age? This keyword is currently applied to titles released from 1935 to 2017, and everywhere in between. That's a pretty lengthy golden age.

https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword/?keywords=classical-western&ref_=fn_kw_kw_2&sort=release_date,asc&mode=detail&page=1