There’s no shortage of creative ways to visualize a film’s changing hues, tempo or other specific aspects. Brendan Dawes tried to create a visual fingerprint of a given movie by sampling frames at regular intervals. The Moviebarcode project turns films into living room decoration by focussing on their color variations. Visual artist Jason Salavon did something similar (reducing every frame of an exceptionally successful movie to one particular dominant hue). Some of these endeavours are content to generate arresting visuals rather than provide (theoretical) insights.


Frederic Brodbeck‘s bachelor graduation project, the aptly named Cinemetrics, combines the best of both worlds: his visualisations of movies are insightful and aesthetically pleasing. Brodbeck wrote scripts to automatically disassemble movies and tally certain key aspects (their average shot length, the amount of motion in a scene, changing color palettes). The resulting visuals are pulsating circles that are mesmerizing in their own right, but also give a sense of a movie’s character (and how it differs from or is similar to related movies). Cinemetrics offers insights that are produced by an aesthetic experience: this is thinking through art.