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Viewers' Advisory slideshow (2012)


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Originally created as a resource for librarians, this Enoch Pratt Free Library/Sights & Sounds Department PowerPoint presentation is designed to help professionals improve their viewer's advisory capabilities.

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Viewers' Advisory slideshow (2012)

  1. 1. Viewers’ Advisory in the Digital Age October 2012 1
  2. 2. presented by Tom Warner Librarian Sights & Sounds DepartmentEnoch Pratt Free Library/Central Library Baltimore, Maryland 2
  3. 3. The hardest question you can ask a librarian is very often: Oh no! “What’s good?” 3
  4. 4. …which is a query that puzzled even Aristotle… What is the nature of “goodness ” ??? 4
  5. 5. …or better yet:“What do YOU recommend?” 5
  6. 6. Patron ProfilingGeneral questions like this can be difficult because, unlikea specific request (e,g., “Do you have Twilight? Do youhave any vampire movies?”), they require that youdetermine each individual’s tastes and viewing habits. 6
  7. 7. And as we all know, when it comes to taste, one person’s prime rib is another’s Hamburger Helper… vs. 7
  8. 8. Defining what is “good” for individual patrons requires you toask questions about their viewing habits and likes/dislikes,which leads us to…The Viewer’s Advisory Interview • What kind of movies do you like? (Classics, Horror, British, Costume Dramas, Blockbusters, Action, etc.) • What was the last good movie you saw? • Do you have a favorite actor or director? • What kind of movie are you in the mood for today (Chick flick? Date movie? Action movie?) 8
  9. 9. Viewer’s Advisory Interview (cont.) • What movies have you seen recently that you did not enjoy? • Why do you dislike that movie? • Are violence or sexuality an issue? • Are ratings or age level important? 9
  10. 10. Make sure you’re speaking the same language as the patron. • To avoid wasting time, throw the question back at the patron to determine, what’s “good,” “old,” or a “movie” mean to you? • “It’s an old movie.” The classic! To some people, old is something made before 2000. • Movie vs. documentary. Educational vs. entertainment. • Actors vs. Real people. (The real Moses or Charlton Heston playing Moses?) Tower of Babel • Titles vs. concepts 10
  11. 11. Appeal FactorsIn other words…what factors make a movie or TV show appealing (orunappealing) to a patron? Many Readers’ Advisory appeal factorsalso apply to Viewer’s Advisory:• Genre • Mood• Characters (actors) • Relationships• Author (director) • Ideas/themes• Plot • Authenticity• Setting/place • Sexuality/Violence• • Audience/age Language (English or foreign/subtitled?) appropriateness• Time period (adult, young adult, children)• Pacing • Series, remakes 11
  12. 12. Readers’ vs. Viewers’ Appeal Factors• Patrons’ appeal factors can apply to both books and films• A discussion of book interests can help determine movies of interest (especially if the book spawned a movie: Stephen King, Alan Moore, Ludlum, Grisham, Dan Brown, etc.)• Movie interests can also affect what books a patron may enjoy (i.e., you saw the movie, now read the book) 12
  13. 13. Appeal Factors in DetailGenre: Like books, films and TV shows are classified into genres.There is no definitive list, but generally they reflect those of a “videorental store” – a term destined to become archaic in the digital age. • Action/War/Adventure • Martial Arts • Westerns • Drama • Comedy Sci-Fi • Horror • Crime/Gangsters • Epics/Historical Films • Musicals • Children’s • Documentary feature films • Instructional (“How To”) videos/DVDs 13
  14. 14. Appeal Factors: Ratings Ohmigod! Showgirls has bare-breasted women gyrating in G-strings? 14
  15. 15. If ratings are important:The industry standard is FILMRATINGS.COM: • ) This MPAA*-approved site enables you to search by title for the official rating of any film released since 1968. It is part of the Classification & Rating Administration (CARA) website.* Motion Picture Association of America 15
  16. 16. Film Enter title here MPAA rating displays here 16
  17. 17. If age appropriateness is important:Parental Advisory Sources• Kids-in-Mind ( Provides parents and other adults with objective and complete information about a films content so that they can decide, based on their own value system, whether they should watch a movie with or without their kids.” Incredibly detailed breakdowns in 3 categories: SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE /GORE, PROFANITY. See sample: The Aristocrats.• Movie Mom ( In this easy to use web site, you can search by genre and age group as well as by movie title.• Parent Previews (• Parents Television Council ( The PTCs states that its mission is “to promote and restore responsibility and decency to the entertainment industry in answer to Americas demand for positive, family-oriented television programming.” Mainly of interest to those parents that want to control their children’s viewing habits by referring to the PTC’s Family Guide To Prime Time Television, which enables you to look up TV shows and movies and determine their appropriateness according to a traffic-light rating system of red (unsuitable for children: contains gratuitous sex, explicit language, or violence), yellow (may be inappropriate for children: contains adult-oriented themes and dialogue) and green (family-friendly show “promoting responsible themes and traditional values”). 17
  18. 18. Kids-in-Mind’s mission statement: • Kids-in-Mind enables adults to determine whether a movie is appropriate for them or their children, according to their own criteria. • Unlike the MPAA, they do not assign an inscrutable rating based on age but on 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE & PROFANITY, on a scale of 0 to 10, and explain in detail why a film rates high or low in a specific category • They also include instances of SUBSTANCE USE, a thorough list of DISCUSSION TOPICS that may elicit questions from children, and the MESSAGE the film conveys. 18
  19. 19. Kids-in-Mind rates “The Aristocrats” SEX=10 VIOLENCE=6 PROFANITY=10 Detailed description of each category 19
  20. 20. Also, IMDB has added a user-generated “Parents Guide” link for film titles, where applicable, in addition to MPAA rating.MPAA rating &Parent’s Guide Parent’s Guide 20
  21. 21. Movie Lists The “What do you recommend?” query can be answered either by your personal experience or by referring to the opinions of leading film critics and their essentials or genre lists – of which there is no shortage of print and online resources – as well as award- winners lists! 21
  22. 22. The criticsMovie Lists - Online say…A sampling of the innumerable lists…• Academy Award Winners (• AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies ( )• New York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made (• Tim Dirks’ 100 Greatest Films (• National Film Registry ( 1989-2008, searchable by year or title 22
  23. 23. Movie Lists - BooksInnumerable movie list books have been written – probably too many(see bibliography handouts)… • 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Stephen Jay Schneider, editor. Barron’s, 5th edition, 2008. • 501 Movie Directors. Stephen Jay Schneider, editor. Barron’s, 2007. • The Great Movies. Roger Ebert, 2002. • The Great Movies II. Roger Ebert, 2005. • Have You Seen…?: A Personal Introduction “How utterly fascinating!” to 1,000 Films. David Thomson, 2008. • Rough Guide to Anime, Gangster, Independent, Kids, Noir, Sci-Fi Movies, etc. 23
  24. 24. Following are some of the best print and online resourcesyou can use to keep pace with the never-ending onslaught of information, blogs, tweets, databases, web sites, and epinions about films and television shows in the Digital Age. Use them to help a patron find what they want - or what leading critics think they should see. 24
  25. 25. Film Resources - Books 1001 Movies You Must See Before Y Steven Jay Schneider, editor (Barron’s Educational Series, 5th edition, 2008) Where other anthology-type books simply summarize the plot details and list the actors, 1001 Movies tells you specifically why each film belongs in your must- see list. Good general guide for patrons who want to see what the experts think are the film essentials.• Films are listed chronologically by year of release, from 1902’s A Trip To the Moon to 2007’s Atonement.• Includes indices for Genre, Title and Director.• Lists country of origin, language & major creative contributors (director, producer, screenplay, director of photography, etc.)• Lists all Hollywood and film festival nominations/awards. 25
  26. 26. Film Resources - Books VideoHound’s Golden Movie Retriever Jim Craddock, editor online @ An A/V Librarian’s best friend, the Hound is bred to answer the question, “What should I watch next?”• Hound is renowned for its comprehensive Movie Lists and Category Indices, from Abortion to Zombies, with cleverly snarky subcategories like Eat Me (characters who end up as food) or Renegade Body Parts (see also Killer Brains).• Includes indices for Cast, Composers, Cinematographers, Writers, Directors, Video Sources, Awards (Academy, British, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit, Raspberries).• Includes “Kibbles and Series” index listing movie adaptation sources (literary, theatrical, cartoon, TV), as well as Recurring Characters (James Bond, Indiana Jones), notable Screen Partnerships (Abbott & Costello, Martin & Lewis) and behind-the-scenes people. 26
  27. 27. The VideoHound’s Litter • VideoHound’s Cult Flicks & Trash Pics • VideoHound’s Dragon: Asian Action & Cult Flicks • VideoHound’s Family Video Guide • VideoHound’s Groovy Movies • VideoHound’s Horror Show • VideoHound’s Independent Film Guide • VideoHound’s Sci-Fi Experience • VideoHound’s Vampires on Video 27
  28. 28. Magazine Resources• Sight & Sound ( ) This is the British Film Institute’s monthly magazine, which is international in scope and is also available online. Besides featuring topical and retrospective articles, coverage of all major festivals and film events, and interviews with leading directors, it provides extrensive reviews of all new theatrical and DVD releases, as well as book reviews, arranged in easy to read alphabetical order. More so than other magazines, SaS includes detailed credits in its film reviews. Sets the standard for film reviews.• Variety ( ) Recognized and respected through out the world of show business, Variety is the premier source of entertainment news. Since 1905, the most influential leaders in the industry have turned to Variety for timely, credible and straight forward news and analysis - information vital to their professions. Also available online. Renowned for its timely reviews of all new film, TV, and music releases, as well as “legit” (legitimate) theatrical productions on and off Broadway.• Video Librarian ( ) Video Librarian is a video review magazine for public, school, academic, and special libraries, as well as video fans who are interested in a wider variety of titles than whats found in the average video store. Written by staff, librarians, teachers, and film critics, Video Librarian offers over 225 critical reviews per issue, alerting readers to upcoming new releases of special-interest, documentary, and video movie titles. In addition, they inform their subscribers of video bargains (and free videos) and track technological trends. 28
  29. 29. Video Librarian has helpful columns & categories • New videos and newsbriefs • Books into movies • Mixed media (video games/TV series on DVD) • Video movies • Classic films/TV…plus reviews by genreVideo Reviews by Genre:• Children’s • Health & Fitness• Psych/Self-Help • Food & Spirits• Teen Issues • Sports, Games & Recreation• Religion/Philosophy • Travel & Geography• Education • Seasonal• Language Arts • Music/Dance• Nature, Math & Science • Social & Political Issues 29
  30. 30. Web - “watch what you wish for” viewers advisory resource for movies and TV based on title, genre,plot, mood, structure and other factors. • Search in your own words • Enter plots, moods, title, people • Get recommendations from the Movie Genome 30
  31. 31. Make sure you type - not! also provides “Viewers Advisory” – but of a much more graphic nature! (Yes, I have made this mistake. Oh, the horror!) 31
  32. 32. A sample Jinni search:For example, let’s say a patron liked the Stephenie MeyerTwilight series books or movies. Using In the Find field, type “Twilight”. 32
  33. 33. Sample Jinni search:2. Select Twilight (2007) from the search results.3. Then select the More Like It tab. 33
  34. 34. Sample Jinni search:4. Jenni’s Movie Genome suggests 22 vampire movies matching Twilight. 34
  35. 35. 1. Position the mouse over a film (e.g., Blood and Chocolate).2. Click “Why is it like Twilight”? To see its relevancy. 35
  36. 36. A pop-up window for the film lists the attributesthat make it relevant to Twilight. 36
  37. 37. Web Resources VideoHound’s Golden Movie Retriever is also online @ A search there for “Twilight” lets users vote on the film (love it or hate it) so there is viewer feedback. In addition, the Hound lists: • Its VideoHound bone rating (0-4) • A listing of more movies by director Catherine Hardwicke • A listing of more movies starring Kristen Stewart • Member reviews • Related movie news about Twilight 37
  38. 38. Internet Movie Database ( The most extensive film database on the Internet covers over 150,000 movies with over 2,425,000 filmography entries. The IMDb provides links to reviews by leading critics (Roger Ebert is usually first), images, credits, and other pertinent information, as well as to for purchase information. (IMDB was bought byA personal fave! Amazon in 1998.) Allows title, name, keyword, and advanced searching. Though not infallible, IMDb is my first choice for: • Accurate filmographies (director, year of release, country of origin, language, running time, studio) • External reviews by leading critics • Finding out if a movie is still “in print” – because IMDB is a subsidiary of Amazon, if the Amazon link isn’t highlighted, you can bet it’s unavailable. • Linking to IMDb Pro (if you subscribe) for distributor, agent, industry info (also useful for finding determining film clearances for programming/screenings) 38
  39. 39. IMDB – TV tabIMDb’s TV tab provides access to its new TV Blog, TV program listings,TV episodes & clips, and Fall TV Preview. New! 40
  40. 40. IMDb’s TV Listings GridA good resource if Comcast’s cable schedule drives you crazy! 41
  41. 41. Web Resources - Reviews• Metacritic Film & Music Reviews ( provides a cross-section of reviews by respected critics and assigns a “metascore” (a weighted average of all reviews, from 0 to 100) to show a critical consensus (e.g., Twilight Saga: New Moon received a 45 score, reflecting mixed or average reviews from 31 national critics.) There is also a user’s score reflecting online reader’s comments.• Green scores are generally favorable, yellow are mixed, red are unfavorable.• also provides a cross-section of reviews by respected critics of popular television series from 2005 to the present. 42
  42. 42. IMDB now links to 43
  43. 43. – Sample “Metascore” 44
  44. 44. Metacritic.comSample reviews (top down, highest to lowest) of The Road. 45
  45. 45. More Web Resources - Reviews• DVD Verdict ( Very detailed reviews by a panel of film “judges” who give a thumbs up (innocent) or thumbs down (guilty!) review of over 18,000 titles available on DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-Ray. The review archives include lists for “Top 100 Rated Films,” “Top 100 rated Discs,” “Bottom 100 Worst Rated Discs,” and “HD DVD and Blu-Ray Reviews.” The site also features Cinema Verdict (for movies playing in theaters), TV Verdict, and Pixel Verdict (for games), as well as an extensive list of Upcoming DVD Releases.• Midnight Eye ( The best English-language resource for reviews of contemporary Japanese cinema. The site also features interviews, feature articles, book reviews, a calendar of events, and DVD release information. Founder Tom Mes also co-wrote (with Jasper Sharp) the comprehensive guide The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Cinema (2004). 46
  46. 46. DVD Verdict assesses: Showgirls. 47
  47. 47. Best sites for Plot Synopses Warnin g: Spoiler s!Besides IMDB (, try these sites for detailed plots.• AFI Catalog of Feature Films ( The most authoritative filmographic database on the web, the American Film Institute’s site includes entries on nearly 60,000 American feature-length and 17,000 short films produced from 1893-2011.• TCM Movie Database ( Detailed summaries and other exclusive material from the vaults of Turner Classic Movies. After entering a title in the Search field, select Full Synopsis from the Main Links menu in the far-left column. 48
  48. 48. Best sites for Spoilers:•Movie Spoilers ( by Title or Genre (from Action to Western) for full synopsis and spoilers of any movie. Seesample synopsis for: Aliens (1986).•The Movie Spoiler (“Because it ain’t always the damn Butler who did it!” This site features viewer-generateddetailed plot synopses and spoilers for over 1,000 titles. Users can enter a title or select from analphabetical list. • Ruined Endings ( Choose titles from an A-Z browser, with options to see “just endings” or a full plot summary. Also features The Movie Timeline, a work-in-progress devoted to steadily mapping out the entirety of history according to movies. • Amuse Yourself – Movie Spoilers ( Choose titles A-Z and get snarky fortune cookie-brief descriptions like “The Usual Suspects: Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze” or “The Empire Strikes Back: Darth Vader is Lukes father. Like you havent heard this one a thousand times already.” 49
  49. 49. Best TV Resources• ( This site contains a vast, searchable archive of episode guides for over 4,800 television series past and present. You can search by show title, episode title, main characters, and main actor names. You can also search by categories like US Dramas, UK Comedies, Canadian shows, and Australian shows. The link for additionally lets you search by plot summaries, guest stars, writers, and directors. For best results, put multiple words or people’s names in quotes, as well as any hypehnated words like “x-files.”• Locate TV ( This site lets you find TV shows, movies, people on TV, on DVD, and online. A valuable resource for movies and TV shows that are not available on video/DVD or online because it will tell you the next time your title will screen on TV and what channel it is on, if available. However, it will only look for titles airing in the next two weeks. By registering online, users can set up a “personalized TV schedule” of their favorite movies and TV shows and be notified when they air. 50
  50. 50. Locate TV can be used to:• To see find out when movies are on TV or available on DVD• Check a network/cable /satellite TV channel’s schedule by date (for 2 weeks)• Check for new TV shows starting this week• Check for new episodes of your favorite series airing the next 2 weeks• Check current/upcoming sports broadcasts; you can also bookmark your favorite team so that you will get reminders when they play next over the next 2 weeks• Follow your favorite TV/movie stars and see which of their series/movies are airing the next 2 weeks• Sign up for weekly reminders of when your series, movie, or sport is airing on TV. 51
  51. 51. Locate TV lists all Bored to Death episodes airing over a 2-week span– in all delivery formats (on TV, on DVD, online). 52
  52. 52. Locate TV lists all Champions League soccer broadcasts for the next 2 weeks. 53
  53. 53. Best TV Resources (cont.)• Parents Television Council ( ) The PTCs states that its mission is “to promote and restore responsibility and decency to the entertainment industry in answer to Americas demand for positive, family-oriented television programming.” Mainly of interest to those parents that want to control their children’s viewing habits by referring to the PTC’s Family Guide To Prime Time Television, which enables you to look up TV shows and movies and determine their appropriateness according to a traffic-light rating system of red (unsuitable for children: contains gratuitous sex, explicit language, or violence), yellow (may be inappropriate for children: contains adult-oriented themes and dialogue) and green (family-friendly show “promoting responsible themes and traditional values”). 54
  54. 54. Best DVD Release Date Resources • VideoETA ( This is a handy source for finding the release dates of upcoming theatrical films, games and DVDs. 55
  55. 55. Video Release Format Chain of Command 56
  56. 56. The “Judging a Movie by Its Cover” approach to Viewer’s Advisory. As a last resort, you can always use the “Judging a Movie by Its Cover” approach to Viewer’s Advisory. Though we’re told that “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” judging a DVD by its cover art is often an fairly accurate guide to what kind of movie is contained within. The folks at the web site “Oh No They Didn’t” ( came up with a satirical guide to “13 movie poster trends and what they say about their movies.” Their guide is an effective on-the-spot Viewer’s Advisory when trying to find titles for patrons with general viewing interests (Action, Romantic Comedies, Horror, etc.) – especially when you are unfamiliar with a specific title or genre. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words… 57
  57. 57. #1. Tiny People on the Beach. Giant heads in the Clouds. Question: •What sort of movie do you think this is? •To whom would you recommend it? 58
  58. 58. These movies are always sappy dramas. • Do not be mislead by the trailer or calibre of the people involved into thinking otherwise. • The protagonist/his little brother/father and/or love interest is very likely to end up dead. You probably should keep your tissues handy because youll cry tears of sorrow, tears of joy, tears because you just wasted money on this movie. • This sort of cover is inevitably used for anything that involves Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, Dear John, A Walk in the Clouds). 59
  59. 59. #2. Man and woman standing back-to-back. Question: •What sort of movie do you think this is? •To whom would you recommend it? 60
  60. 60. These are rom-coms that lean more on the comedy side of things. You shall not go into these with high expectations - especially if you already spied Kate Hudson or Reese Witherspoon on the cover! 61
  61. 61. #3. Sexy Back (Most Likely to Contain Weaponry). Question: •What sort of movie do you think this is? •To whom would you recommend it? 62
  62. 62. These movies will feature a lot of action with a thin veneer of pretentiousintellectual posturing. (Unless it’s a biopic about Johnny Cash.) 63
  63. 63. #4.The Bed Question: •What sort of movie do you think this is? •To whom would you recommend it? 64
  64. 64. The ultimate in false advertising! These movies will feature very little sex and a lot of talking. Also: •Two men in bed usually = gay bent. •Two women in bed usually = lesbian bent. •Threesomes = Euro arthouse (Jules and Jim). •Foursomes = swinging couples (Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice) •Man, woman & dog = don’t go there! 65
  65. 65. #5. Got My Eye On You. Question: •What sort of movie do you think this is? •To whom would you recommend it? 66
  66. 66. There is a 98% chance that these films will behorror. One way or the other. • Candyman • The Eye • Chucky • Ju-on • The Grudge. • Grudge 2. • Grudge 3. • Etc. • Etc. • Etc. • Etc. • Etc. • Etc. • Etc. • Etc. 67
  67. 67. #6. Nature is Blue. 68
  68. 68. Using blue or a picture of planet Earth for nature-themed movies is apparentlymandatory. Theyll kick you out of the entertainment business if you use anyother color. 69
  69. 69. #7. Black/Orange. Black/Orange usually indicates action movies because Black is cool and Orange is the color of fires and explosions. (Just in case you forgot: there will be explosions!) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo used black/orange to emphasize sex/violence quotient. 70
  70. 70. #8. Run for Your Life! Apparently all action heroes run through the same blue-lit, narrow alleyway when trying to escape/catch the bad guys. Its also possible that graphic designers just re-use the same stock image of the running guy over and over again. The movies themselves are pretty similar to the Black/Orange ones except that all the explosions have been replaced with angst. 71
  71. 71. #9. Legs Wide Spread. Blatant Sex Appeal. Unlike the Bed cover trend, not so much false advertising here. However of the 42 movies on display here, only one has any sort of critical acclaim. You do the math. 72
  72. 72. #10. Is That Your Face or Are the Drugs Kicking In? This cover trend is a mixed bag, so you’ll have to tread carefully. But it usually indicates that the filmmakers think they’re brilliant and original, regardless of reality. 73
  73. 73. #11. The Sexy Red Dress Never Goes Out of Fashion. An easy one. Women in red dresses are sexy and are going to sell tickets. Its an enduring trend. These movies will feature women in prominent roles. (Guys: deal with it.) 74
  74. 74. #12. The Rip-Off. These are supposed to either remind you of another (and much better) movie or outright trick you into believing youre actually getting this other movie at the videostore. 75
  75. 75. Where do we go from here? 76
  76. 76. Where do we go from here? “Goodbye, DVD. Hello, Future.” by Dave Kehr (New York Times) Great article predicting the cultural shift we can expect thanks to ever-changing technology 77
  77. 77. Like stand-up comedy, watching movies nowadays is all about the delivery.Perhaps more than any other medium, movie watching is approaching acultural shift. The days of the digital disc as a factory-pressed & packagedobject of mass consumption may be coming to an end. • Blu-Rays (pumped-up DVDs w/superior picture & storage; introduced in 2006) • Cable On Demand • Internet Video Streaming and Digital Downloads (Netflix “Watch Instantly,” Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, Warner Archive) • Netflix may eventually phase out DVD mailings • Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, Roku as devices • Manufactured On Demand/Made-to-Order DVD-Rs ( Warner Archive, Sony’s Screen Classics By Request, MGM’s Limited Edition Collection) • Harder to find VHS titles for video hold-outs 78
  78. 78. Video Streaming: The new kid in town • Netflix – Watch Instantly ( • Hulu ( – free; founded by NBC; first website to legally offer a wide array of free TV shows; videos can be purchased and downloaded • Warner Archive downloads (stream or buy) • Amazon Instant Video downloads “Dude, DVDs are like so 5 (5,000+ titles) minutes ago! I streamed Scott Pilgrim Vs. The • “Digital copy” DVDs World through my PS3!” 79
  79. 79. Watch Movies, TV Shows and More Online for Free The old ways of watching movies and television (DVDs, movie theaters, network TV) are being challenged by the Internet and video streaming technology at the same time that long-form, episodic television series (Downton Abbey, Boardwalk Empire, etc.) are challenging the Hollywood feature film in popularity and critical esteem. Following are some of the top resources for viewing movies, TV shows and more for free - anytime and anywhere. All you need is a computer, TV or mobile device with an Internet connection. 80
  80. 80. Check out Pratt’s guide to the top places towatch popular movies, TV shows and more online for free:RESEARCH HELP / RESEARCH TOOLS / FILM, TV & THEATER/ 81
  81. 81. Popular Movies and TV Shows • Crackle Crackles partnership with Sony Pictures enables them to provide hundreds of free, full-length streaming movies, TV shows and original programming, uncut and unedited. You may have to sit through a few commercials, but they are short and infrequent. • Hulu Hulu enables users to watch popular network and cable TV shows, popular and classic movies (including many Criterion Collection arthouse films, anime and foreign movies) and award-winning documentaries with limited commercial interruptions. Some titles require Hulu Plus (a pay service), but many are offered free and uncut. • YouTube YouTube is no longer just a place to watch cute cat videos and movie trailers. There are a number of free movies, classic TV shows and documentaries that you can watch in their entirety online. You can also search YouTube Channels to find free and public domain movies; OpenFlix, Mrfilmschatten (specializing in classic and cult movies) and Video Cellars Classic Movies are three of the best. 82
  82. 82. • Legal Movies Online Watch virus-free legal movies and popular television shows online with limited commercial interruptions. R-rated films require a birth date verification. They also provide links to other recommended sites for viewing Legal Movies and Legal TV Shows online.• Indie Movies Online Just because you havent heard of these free movies doesnt mean theyre bad; theyre just not widely distributed. In addition to full-length movies in all genres, youll also find indie documentaries and short films.• Open Culture This site offers over 500 free movies, including links to free Oscar Winners, Hitchcock, and Chaplin films; it also provides a useful list of other free movie sites. 83
  83. 83. • Babelgum Babelgum lets you watch free full-length movies, documentaries and shorts online; you can also download the Babelgum Go app to view videos on your mobile device.• Retrovision Visit Retrovision to watch classic TV shows and movies, including rare sci-fi and horror movies and vintage cartoons.• UbuWebUbuWebs film and video archive is the largest collection of avant-garde and outsider art works available to watch for free online. 84
  84. 84. Watch Free Public Domain Movies Online A number of classic films have entered the public domain, meaning they are completely legal to download or watch online for free. Following are some of the best resources for accessing these films… 85
  85. 85. Internet Archive – Moving Image Archive( • This is the best site for downloading or watching free movies online that fall under the public domain. • It contains thousands of digital movies uploaded by Archive users which range from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to cartoons and concerts. Many of these videos are available for free download. • You can search by title or browse genres (e.g., Feature Films, Kino French Films, Shorts, etc.). 86
  86. 86. More Internet Archive guides • 10 Little Known Classics You Need To Watch This list from the blog links directly to films available for viewing at Internet Archive. • Top 40 Best Free Legal Movies You Can Download Right Now This link provides a helpful guide to 40 of the best public domain movies you can legally watch online or download from the Internet Archives "Community Video" section. The list is divided into the following genres: Drama, Family, Mystery/Thrillers and Sci-Fi/Horror. • Top 40 Best Free Legal Comedies You Can Download Right Now This link provides a helpful guide to 40 of the best public domain comedies you can watch online or download from the Internet Archives "Community Video" section. 87
  87. 87. More Public Domain sites • Uncle Earls Classic Television Channel All of these classic television shows and movies are in the public domain. Over 4,200 titles are organized by categories such as Kids Shows, Sci-Fi/Fantasty/Horror (where you can watch The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Alfred Hitchcock Presents), TV Detectives and Crime Dramas, Feature Films, etc. • Video Cellar Collection Video Cellar is dedicated to preserving high-quality video masters of many lost and forgotten films. Their eclectic collection of narrative, documentary and educational videos are available for free viewing through their web collections at the Internet Archive and YouTubes "Video Cellars Classic Movies" channel. • FMO Free Movies Online features a large selection of public domain films. • This site lets you watch or legally download hundreds of full-length films that are in the public domain. 88
  88. 88. Watch Free Documentaries Online Documentary DVDs can be expensive acquisitions for some school departments and individuals. The following links address this problem by enabling anyone (teachers, students and other interested parties) to watch high quality educational documentaries online for free. All you need is a computer, television or mobile device with an Internet connection. •Documentary Heaven This free site offers over 1,600 documents found across the Internet in a variety of subject areas. •Documentary Tube This site doesnt host videos, but displays embedded full- length documentaries that can by searched by subject and playlists. •Documentary Z This site provides hundreds of documentaries organized into two dozen categories (e.g., Environment, Health, Science). 89
  89. 89. More Free Documentary Sites • This site specializes in videos exploring the work of non-profit organizations around the world and is organized by running time (from 3 minutes to feature-length) and subject. • PBS Video PBS lets users view a number of high quality documentaries online, including many American Experience, Nova, POV and Nature programs. • SnagFilms offers over 2,5000 free independent movies and documentaries (e.g., SuperSize Me) to watch online or share with others. Besides the usual subject genres, Snagfilms offers its Filmanthropy collection (films that specifically address social issues) and Snag Learning, which offers access to hundreds of educational documentaries searchable by grade level and subject. 90
  90. 90. More Free Documentary Sites • Through online streaming, offers viewers access to a national archive of hard-to- find independent documentary films about American folk culture and arts from different regions and communities. Some films include transcripts, teaching guides or additional background information. • YouTube Documentaries This site is not affiliated with, but provides links (updated almost daily and which can be browsed by subject categories) to the best free documentaries available online. You can also sign up to receive email notifications of new documentary releases and listings . 91
  91. 91. Where do we go from here?“Still Loading. AV Spotlight on Streaming Video.” By Ben Malczewski (Library Journal) As the format wars progress, discs still dominate while streaming searches for a delivery mode. 92
  92. 92. “Manufactured on Demand” (MOD) DVDs“Made to order” DVDs pioneered by the Warner Archive Collection( and adapted by others like Sony’s Screen Classics byRequest and MGM’s Limited Edition Collection. • Burned on computers. • Produced in limited quantities with generic covers. • Generally devoid of extras like elaborate menus, supplementary material, or restoration work. • Allow niche marketing of movies that don’t have wide commercial appeal of recent theatrical releases. 93
  93. 93. Closing thoughts…• Like Readers Advisory, collection/resources knowledge is the key in Viewers’ Advisory.• If you have cable, watch TCM, Sundance Channel or IFC for programming ideas• Keep up to date by checking print and online reviews.• If possible, augment your research and anticipate trends by attending film festivals (like the local Maryland Film Festival, AFI SilverDocs, Rehoboth Beach Film Fest, etc.)• Keep watching! 94
  94. 94. View this slideshow onlineThis entire slide show presentation may be viewed at any time by accessing the“Viewer’s Advisory Slideshow” link on the Viewers’ Advisory Resources page of theSLRC/Sights & Sounds Department web page or by directly accessing the “Viewers’Advisory slideshow (2012)” link on 95
  95. 95. Viewer’s Advisory BibliographyFor your convenience, we have compiled a bibliography of helpful print andonline resources that can be viewed at any time by accessing the “Viewer’sAdvisory Bibliography” link on the Viewers’ Advisory Resources page ofthe SLRC/Sights & Sounds Department web page or directly by clicking onthe link below: 96
  96. 96. Questions??? 97
  97. 97. Contact Information Tom Warner Sights & Sounds Department Enoch Pratt Central Library 400 Cathedral Street Baltimore, MD 21201 (410) 396-4616 “Keeping it reel!” 98