What are the best computerized films

digital humanities in German-speaking countries

1. AG name

Working group film and video

2. Working focus of the working group

  • Merging of existing activities in computer-aided film studies
  • Cooperation with and inclusion of actors from professional societies and networks of young researchers
  • Cooperation with similar international initiatives such as the DARIAH-EU WG Digital Video Annotation, the ADHO SIG Audiovisual Material in the Digital Humanities and others.
  • Evaluation of computer-aided methodologies from other specialist disciplines against the background of questions and problems related to film studies
  • Profiling of computer-aided methods for questions and problems related to film studies
  • Evaluation of existing software, services and digital offers for the processing of questions and problems related to film studies
  • Evaluation of licensing issues for the use, publication and archiving of film data in a scientific context
  • Promotion, communication and discussion of computer-aided methods in film studies through the organization of and participation in film studies events
  • Development of both short, medium and long-term new research projects based on the collaborations that have arisen
  • Maintenance of a Zotero bibliography on the subject of computer-aided film studies
  • Regular participation in DHd conferences with its own panel and relevant contributions
  • Creation of prototypes for the exploratory analysis of films and carrying out case studies to explore the limits and possibilities of computer-aided film analysis

3. AG goals

In the last few years, the German-speaking digital humanities have been increasingly occupied with the subject of film, albeit up to now rather disparate, and this is to be given a central forum in the Film and Video working group. The primary goal of the working group is to network projects and actors who use or want to use computer-aided processes in film research or working with video resources. In addition to film and media studies, areas of cultural studies should also be addressed in which films are important as a source, object or medium of research.

Computer-aided methods have so far only been used sporadically in German and international film studies. This is not least because computational research on films faces a number of challenges. Such research tends to have a high demand for resources, both in terms of storage and processing of film material. In addition, films are medially complex objects that make it difficult to begin the analysis immediately, and the multitude of methodological approaches that can be used when working with films is reflected in the technically demanding handling of digital film data and formats. Computer vision or audio signal analysis are rather difficult to learn areas of computer science. Therefore, the computer-aided analysis of films requires either statistical and IT know-how, which should not be underestimated, or sophisticated software. In view of the many possible approaches to film and the challenges mentioned, the latter in particular is not yet available to the same extent as is the case for other areas of computer-aided research.

Despite the circumstances mentioned, research has already been carried out - mostly in individual projects - in the context of computer-aided research on individual film science issues and aspects such as editing rhythm, color structures, role distribution, plot structures or the global circulation of films. Most of these approaches, however, come from the Anglo-Saxon region. In order to better evaluate, discuss and, where promising, further develop and convey the computer-aided analysis of films in German-speaking countries as well, the working group tries to collate and systematize existing approaches, to make the results publicly available, to work towards the dissemination of the topic and identify key problem areas. In the course of this, new activities should also be initiated and supported.

4. AG URL (external)


5. WG publications / working papers

Currently in progress.

6. AG contact / convenor


Dr. Gernot Howanitz
Institute for Slavic Studies
University of Innsbruck
Innrain 52
A-6020 Innsbruck
Email: [email protected]
Tel. +43 (0) 512 507 4239

Convenor 5 / 2016-3 / 2019: Niels-Oliver Walkowski

Deputy Convenor 5 / 2016-3 / 2019: Johannes Pause