Recent articles on the Film Data Blog

Each week I look at a different topic around the film industry, focusing on the data and statistics which reveal what's going on.

How has the average Hollywood movie crew changed?

In the past, I’ve looked at how big a movie crew can get, for both UK films and Hollywood movies. But I was recently asked by a reader how the composition of such crews has changed over time. Which departments are getting larger? Which jobs are on the rise and which are waning?

To answer this, I looked at the credits of the top 200 US-grossing movies of each of the past 20 years (1997-2016), giving me a dataset of 4,000 movies.

The big picture

In the past two decades, the number of crew members on a top-grossing movie has grown by 77%, from 350 in 1997 to 620 in 2016. If we group those crew credits into stages of production, we …

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What do Oscar-winning short films have in common?

A week ago, British filmmakers Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton achieved the dream of so many short filmmakers – their names were read out at the Oscars and they scooped the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for  The Silent Child.

So I thought it was a good moment to take a look back and what types of short films have been nominated and victorious at the Academy Awards.

A short history of short films at the Oscars

The Oscars are the annual awards given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  The Academy Awards began in 1929 and by 1934 they were already being called ‘the Oscars’.  The moniker’s origin is disputed, coming either from Walt Disney, from Bette Davis’ husband or …

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How MoviePass could revolutionise the cinema business

The film business has changed more in the past few decades than in any time since its inception.  Technological innovations have massively affected almost every area of the film lifecycle, including:

  • Pre-production. Computer-based scheduling, email communication with cast and crew, virtual casting tapes / Skype casting, mobile phones on set, etc.
  • Production. Digital cameras have made it cheaper and easier to shoot, watch back rushes, test digital effects on-set, etc.
  • Post-production. Probably the biggest area of technical change.  Most of us will think about the boom in Visual Effects but there have been big changes behind the scenes, too. Computer-based editing has shrunk the cost and scale of picture editing, allowing for greater collaboration between people (either in the same location or apart) and …
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How the genre of film production changes around the world

Last week, I shared the results of a research project I conducted into the genre of global film production.

Today, I’m drilling into those numbers to look at how filmmaking tastes change between different countries.

This comes from my dataset of every movie I could find that was produced over the past twenty years – that’s over 117,000 movies from in 151 countries, shot between 1998 to 2017, inclusive.

Let’s start by breaking down the movies into continent of origin and then later we’ll zoom into the individual nations.

Which continent’s filmmakers lead each genre

The chart below shows which continent movies of each genre come from, over the twenty-year period I studied. For example, 50% of all Historical movies made over that time came from European nations.  …

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