Template talk:Infobox film/Archive 19

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Archive 15 Archive 17 Archive 18 Archive 19 Archive 20 Archive 21 Archive 25

Standardize margin

This is a small thing, under the realm of aesthetics—but why doesn't the default size for an infobox image actually line up with the infobox content? This appears to be an issue with the /film implementation of {{Infobox}}, as that template's testcases show the infobox images aligned perfectly with the "info" portion, while the film version has roughly a 5-6px discrepancy with either side. Like I said, nothing major, but just minor prettiness :) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 16:09, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

I believe the issue is that the box width is given in "em" font units, while the image width is in px units. A simple fix would be to set the box width using "px" units, but then the width wouldn't change with changes in the font. Another issue is that the default "thumb" size can vary depending on user preferences (default is 220 px). Plastikspork ―Œ(talk) 05:57, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Yet another option would be to just add "upright=1.1" to the image definition, which would scale the thumb up by 10 percent, and probably match better. Plastikspork ―Œ(talk) 05:59, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Italicization of film titles that include parentheses

I just noticed that the infobox now automatically italicizes the article title, which is cool. However, I noticed it takes into account that many film titles are disambiguated, so does not italicize the parenthetical disambiguation.

...which made me wonder: what happens to films that have actual parentheses in their title, such as I Am Curious (Yellow)? Yep, the wrong "right thing" happens, and the article title displays as I am Curious (Yellow).

I don't believe there are all that many film titles this will apply to, but would it be worth at least mentioning this in the documentation?

There's a simple workaround, which I applied to the above film -- add the appropriate {{DISPLAYTITLE}} incantation after the infobox.--NapoliRoma (talk) 21:35, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

I would say to go for it. I just used it for Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque). BOVINEBOY2008 21:40, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
NapoliRoma, there is documentation at MOS:FILM#Article italics. It includes mention of DISPLAYTITLE. Erik (talk | contribs) 21:45, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Excellent -- wasn't aware of MOS:FILM. Thanks, Erik.--NapoliRoma (talk) 01:03, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
I also managed to miss the informative note at the top of this template's doc that points out it automatically italicizes the title--I jumped right to the description of the various parameters.--NapoliRoma (talk) 05:49, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
And, one more thing I've learned from MOS:FILM#Article italics. To italicize the entire article title, parentheses and all, add italic title = force to the infobox. That's the missing bit from the documentation here.--NapoliRoma (talk) 06:37, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Nationality

I thought I'd make mention of the recent article in the NY Times that touched on the film/country issue. Tony Scott's piece mentions the following criteria for determining a film's nationality:

  1. the citizenship of the director,
  2. the nationality of the financing (although this is itself ambiguous),
  3. the legal authority under which it was made (perhaps),
  4. the location of the shoot
  5. the citizenships of the cast.

"For some reason, the Academy insists on a one-film-per-country rule, which places a large part of the decision-making process in the hands of film industries at least as corrupt and agenda-driven as our own. Why should “Of Gods and Men” have been France’s only shot? And what determines the nationality of a film in any case? Why is Rachid Bouchareb’s “Outside the Law” an Algerian rather than a French film, given that its director is a French citizen and that it was made with mostly French financing and therefore within that country’s extensive legal statutes governing cinematic production? And what makes “Biutiful,” shot in Barcelona with a Spanish cast, a Mexican film?" from A O Scott in the Times

He doesn't mention the home country of the production company at all. Perhaps this is a good time to correct this. --Ring Cinema (talk) 17:19, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Actually that's not what the guidelines say anymore. They say that if the nationality is ambiguous and causes problems, it's best to leave the field blank, just like we don't slap on a nationality in the opening sentence if it's ambiguous. It's an interesting discussion, but I think an encyclopedia should treat movies primarily as productions, and not, I don't know, cultural manifestations; and then I can't see why the field should reflect anything other than the industry that produced it. I.e. investors/production companies, not something fuzzy like which national sensibility it represents or whatever. See for example Certified Copy, it's a film set in Italy by an Iranian writer/director, so you can't really say which national culture it's an example of. But no matter what it is made by within the French film industry, and therefore a French production. Smetanahue (talk) 18:17, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to be bold here and suggest that this might a field that we could cut. Several other infoboxes for creative works (albums, video games, and works of art) seem to do fine without it. Books uses it, but it's based solely on the country of the publisher. Simply naming a country doesn't really tell you anything about the film. As a reader, looking at an infobox for a film that just says "Country: France", I don't really know what that means. Is the film set in France? Filmed in France? Is it in French? Is the director French? Is a French story? Just saying "Country = whatever" doesn't really tell me anything about the nature of the film. I know we're using it to mean "nationality", but that's not how it reads. Particularly with regard to films whose production crosses national boundaries (as in the examples given in the NYT article above), perhaps nationality isn't the kind of information that lends itself to infobox presentation and is best left to the lead and article body, where the context can be given. Or at the very least we might consider renaming the field to "Nationality" rather than "Country". --IllaZilla (talk) 18:34, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm on board with eliminating the field, except for this: a film's "country of origin" is mentioned under Release in the guidelines for this template and under Reception in MOS:Film. Now, do we leave that up to the editors to parse or do we make changes there too? I would advocate the former but opinions may differ. --Ring Cinema (talk) 16:37, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
As an advocate for removal of this item in previous discussions my opinion has not changed. It is unlikely that a final consensus on the criteria for this field can ever be reached. I fear that a switch to "nationality" would have its own problems. For example the unending "British v Scottish v Irish v Welsh v everything else" troubles in various articles here at WikiP. MarnetteD | Talk 17:12, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I definitely think we should keep it in some form. The problem cases aren't really that many, and quick identification is very helpful when browsing through the filmography of an international director, like someone who's made a lot of movies both in Europe and Hollywood. But I guess we could be more restrictive and leave it out more often when it's not entirely clear. The criterion I've been advocating in the past is that the country field should represent only the nationality/nationalities of the company/companies in the studio field, as this could be a good way to avoid the long lists of countries for extensive co-productions. But nobody seemed to think that was a good idea the last time this was discussed. A similar solution could be to merge the studio and country fields and in some way include the nationality of each company. Smetanahue (talk) 17:41, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
We scrapped the studio criteria because it is only one aspect of a film's origin, and selecting just one aspect of a film's origin and using it to denote the nationality would be original research — just because a film is made through a German production company to take advantage of German tax shelters doesn't make the film German in many people's eyes, so it is wrong for Wikipedia to adopt a stance on that. If you want to state the nationality of the production companies then just list the production companies (which are already in the infobox) with their nationalities so readers can at least understand the context of that information. The only criteria Wikipedia could possibly use would be to use the nationality of the company that owns the copyright; even this can be counter-intuitive though, since the British based Hemdale Productions owned 50% of the copyright (Gale Anne Hurd owned the other half independently) in The Terminator and most people would blink if you told them The Terminator was half British. Similarly with the Bond films, they were British owned and British made up until Licence to Kill, but since the legal dispute of the early 90s they are still British made but the Bond rights are jointly owned with MGM/UA now. If we are going to retain the field (and I have always supported dropping it on the grounds it is not apparent on what basis nationality is set i.e. production country/filming country/Academy rules) then a criteria that is consistent with WP:V is the only way to go i.e. if you want to say a film is French, then find a source that says the film is French (and at least readers can check the source and understand on what basis the film is considered French) because anything else would violate WP:NOR. I personally think we could get rid of the field and list the countries next to the production companies, and possibly list which company holds the copyright, since at least then the countries would be tied to explicit production information. Any other nationality claims can just be addressed in the main text. Basically all nationality information either has to be sourced, or explicitly linked to the appropriate part of the production we are getting it from. Just taking a company's nationality or a director's, and then saying that is the film's nationality just isn't on. Betty Logan (talk) 18:17, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think we should be honest about the fact that the overwhelming majority of editors here have expressed their agreement that the field should be removed. That consensus was ignored without explanation. --Ring Cinema (talk) 18:32, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

I think the problem last time was that only half a dozen editors expressed an opinion and it probably wasn't enough to push through a decision. I have noticed on several projects there has been criticism (and Film is no exception) that consensus is sometimes "pushed" through by a handful of people, and it doesn't really reflect the overall view of people who edit the articles. You could set up a straw poll like we have for the sequel parameters and see if that goes anywhere. I suspect more editors would be prepared to vote than discuss it. Betty Logan (talk) 18:43, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

What would be a good potential format for nationalities in the studio field? A parentheses and small font size? A comma followed by the country? Country codes? Smetanahue (talk) 18:48, 29 January 2011 (UTC) Also, this discussion should be held at the main WP Film talk page, since it's not just about the infobox, but about whether we at all should categorise films by nationality. A change would be very radical for the whole project. Smetanahue (talk) 19:03, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

I think we have to be careful not to equate categories with content—they are primarily an organizational structure; that said, categories could (and arguably should) be made as specific as possible so tehre is no ambiguity in their interpretation: instead of "American action film" etc, I'd prefer to see categories like "action film set in the United States"/"action film produced in the United States"/"action film produced by an American company"/"action film funded by an American company" and have explicit transparent categories. I recall one dispute on Avatar where it was debated whether the British funding classified it a British co-production. It was clearly made by an American company and part funded by a British company, so it's probably just easier to reflect the facts as they are rather than trying to reinterpret the facts for a pre-existing (maybe archaic) model. Whichever way the Film Project goes on this issue, it might be best to treat funding as explicitly separate from production because multi-national funding has become the norm now, and I'm not convinced a financial backer is the same thing as a production partner. Betty Logan (talk) 21:37, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
The categories are a reflection of the article's content, if we can't establish a nationality in the article we can't do it in the categories either. I still can't help to think that the best solution is to just establish that "French film" (for example) refers to a French film production, and that "country" refers to a country of production. That's the standard used in every other encyclopedia or film database I'm familiar with, and that's how films are presented at festivals. Film by Pathé are listed as French films and films by Pixar are listed as American, regardless of setting, minor backing or the nationality of anyone in the crew. I really can't see how it's original research to follow this standard, a film is its production just as much as it is the finished work. Award shows tend to have their own definitions but that's because their scopes vary. In the case of the foreign language Oscars they seem to pretty much only disqualify submissions for having too much spoken English.
You're right that modern film productions can be very complicated, but there is usually an easily recognisable majority producer. And I don't see how anyone ever would use a Category:Films by British minor co-producers, so problems like the one you had at Avatar are easily avoided by putting back into the guidelines that we should go only by the main producer(s). Smetanahue (talk) 22:57, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The idea that a film's nationality is closely tied to the nationality of the production company seems to be contradicted by common sense and the passage with which I opened this discussion. I am pretty sure that Wikipedia defers to reliable sources, and A O Scott is one. He mentions five criteria for nationality and doesn't list production company nationality at all. Again, they are:

  1. the citizenship of the director,
  2. the nationality of the financing (although this is itself ambiguous),
  3. the legal authority under which it was made (perhaps),
  4. the location of the shoot
  5. the citizenships of the cast.

That is a very sensible list. --Ring Cinema (talk) 23:55, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

It's clearly not a universal standard. If there were a universal standard there wouldn't be so much debate over what constitutes the nationality of a film within the printed press, and festivals wouldn't have to come up with special rules. If what you are saying is that the company that made it is British/American then just say that, it is not necessary to present the information in another way to readers, especially if it makes it ambiguous. Betty Logan (talk) 02:48, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Of course I agree with you because that's very sensible. Mainly I'm saying that we routinely defer to authority in the form of reliable sources, so let's follow our usual practice. Scott's list is a good one. We are trying to square ordinary usage with a certain rigor. It's perfectly natural to say that the movies made by people in Japan, say, constitute the Japanese cinema. When Hollywood invests in films made outside America it's simply not accurate that those films are considered American. But as you point out, why try to square all these circles? Just say it the way it is or say nothing at all. --Ring Cinema (talk) 04:43, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
My reply was actually to smetanahue, Ring, but the same reasoning applies to your criteria too in that it arbitrarily sets criteria. If reliable sources apply your criteria to a particular film in calling it an American film, or French or whatever then we can just source the application of the criteria since that's how Wikipedia works. Similarly if the New York Times calls a film American on the basis that it was made by an American company then that's legitimate too, since we are just sourcing the claim, we are not judging the basis for that claim since that is not our role as editors. By taking Scott's criteria and applying it to films that the sources don't apply it to is probably synthesis because we are using a source to come to new conclusions that are not stated by the source. The other side of the coin is if we did have criteria and someone sources verifiable claims that are at odds with our criteria do we discard reliable sourced and verifiable claims because it doesn't match our own arbitrarily set criteria? By adopting just one set of criteria and ignoring others we also violate WP:NPOV. I honestly don't see how we can have criteria without violating Wikipedia policy. I actually believe we over-think this problem when Wikipedia takes care of it; a claim of nationality is just like any other claim you could find on Wikipedia, and should be dealt with in the same way: through verifiable reliable sources for that claim. WP:NOR effectively prohibits us from setting our own criteria, WP:SYNTHESIS prevents us from taking sourced criteria and applying it to new cases not explicitly stated by the source, and WP:NPOV compels us to not select just one nationality claim according to one set of criteria, but all of them. Both sets of criteria are viable methods of determining a film's nationality and yet draw to different conclusions, but these are not conclusions editors should be making and if they exist in secondary sources we shouldn't be selecting our favorite we should be including them all. Betty Logan (talk) 05:12, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Is the problem only really semantic? The BFI database lists nationality explicitly under the headline "Production countries". Is the problem solved if we start doing the same instead of simply "Country"? Smetanahue (talk) 12:23, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Betty's last comment was really spot on and I have to agree her argument is stronger than mine. Scott's criteria and BFI's are each just one way to look at it. As she rightly points out, when other criteria are used, those criteria are valid for that case. Given the diversity of cases, why privilege any particular method? --Ring Cinema (talk) 14:29, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it matters too much what we call the field i.e. Country/Production country/nationality — it still has to serve the same function in relation to the article. The purpose of the infobox is to summarise the information in the article, so the countries listed in the country field should match up with the claims in the main text. A reader should be able to read the article and find out exactly what each piece of information means and where it comes from.Betty Logan (talk) 20:24, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean here. A well developed article has a production section where the country of production is covered and sourced. Stubs usually lack that coverage, but they lack coverage of most other things in the infobox as well, so I don't see why a production country parameter would be different. Smetanahue (talk) 21:14, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
What I'm saying is that we shouldn't have or need separate criteria for the country field. It just summarises a claim in the article which is sourced in the same way as all claims on all articles. Betty Logan (talk) 21:42, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
How does that diverge from what I'm arguing for? The production countries are sourced in all developed film articles, so where's the problem in having them in the infobox as well? Smetanahue (talk) 21:59, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The country of production is not the correct criterion for a film's nationality. Look at Scott's criteria again. As expected, he focuses on the director's nationality first, which would be the single criterion if we were limited to one. --Ring Cinema (talk) 22:15, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

You were arguing for one particular criteria at the expense of others; your argument focused entirely on the nationality of production companies at the expense of other factors some people often defer too. Also, just a list of countries isn't the same as a claim of nationality; if the IMDB (as an example) lists the country as "United States" that is not the same as claiming that the film is an "American film", because what the information is really saying is that "the film is produced by American companies". It's quite a step from qualifying the nationality of the producers to making a claim about the film. The crux of this is to present information as it is presented to us and not put our own spin on it. Like I said earlier, if you think it is important to document the nationality of the production companies then it's probably best just to include the nationality of the company with its listing in the studio field. Betty Logan (talk) 22:24, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

But then we're back at that the only problem is the name of the parameter. I do think it's highly relevant to document the country of production in a prominent place, just like IMDb, BFI and others do, because it's one of the most fundamental aspects in the identification of a movie. Exectly how it's done is less relevant, as long as it isn't ambiguous, which is easy to avoid by giving the parameter a suitable name. So what is the problem if the name of the parameter is "Production country" and not "Country"? I think that solution would be much more grateful to implement than having to update all articles with countries in the studio field. Smetanahue (talk) 22:40, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Because "production country" isn't necessarily unambiguous, and could still be equated with nationality. "Production company countries" would be more explicit, but if that's all you want to say I don't see why we need a field for that since the studio field can accommodate that information. If you are going to list the nationalities of companies it actually makes more sense to keep the company and nationality together; splitting them just makes it unclear which company is of which nationality. Betty Logan (talk) 22:49, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
The thing is that we already have a country field on tens of thousands of articles, moving all that info to the studio field would be hell. Production country, or country of production, is a term in film production, it's always the country of the production company. You know what it means and there is no ambiguity for anyone who's as familiar with film terminology as you get by, say, checking a single entry at the BFI database or reading a decent Wikipedia article. But I'm open for other suggestions. Smetanahue (talk) 23:07, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
What is the purpose of splitting the information in two? I can't think of a good reason, so perhaps you can offer some. --Ring Cinema (talk) 23:32, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Currency?

For the budget, the currency isn't specified so people do not know what currency it is. Should I specify the currency at the documentation, or what? ~~Awsome EBE123~~(talk | Contribs) 12:42, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't quite get what you are saying. Are you saying the documentation should specify a currency? The budget should be recorded in whatever currency it was issued in — if it's issued in US dollars then it should be noted in dollars, if it was financed in euros then it should record the euro amount. Betty Logan (talk) 12:51, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Depends on which dollar. :) I think the Australian dollar is AUS$ where the United States dollar is US$. Sometimes the distinction needs to be made if there's any kind of overlap. If we were to add anything, we should add the national currency if possible. (Of course, that depends on the so-called nationality of the production.) If not, we should add what is available. Erik (talk | contribs) 14:12, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
I think MOS:CURRENCY may cover this. --IllaZilla (talk) 14:19, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
On the War and Peace article I added the budget it in both currencies. Personally I think it's important that the original budget is recorded in the currency it is issued (since the exchange rate fluctuates the converted dollar amount will too so we need a base amount), but the dollar conversion helps to put the amount into context because who the hell knows what a ruble is worth? I think the dollar sign should be taken as the US dollar, and if the Canadian or Australina dollar is in use then it should be made clarified. Betty Logan (talk) 14:43, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Producers and writers

To what level should producers be listed? I'm of the belief only those credited as producer should be, not executive or co-producer as it is the producer who has the most influence and input while the others are generally token titles given to people for various reasons. Of course I may be misinformed. And with writers, if they are uncredited, they should be mentioned under writing sections but in the infobox? If they are uncredited then they shouldn't really be listed in the infobox as it implies a greater input. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 14:33, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

I've always taken it to be the actual credited "producer"; otherwise you could end up with a list as long as your arm with executive producers, associate producers, line producers and co-producers. With the exception of a line-producer some of these roles can ultimately have very little do with actually making the films, and are sometimes just credited if they co-own the film rights or soemthing. If someone insisted on adding them I probably wouldn't challenge it, but generally I think it's best to stick to the main producer. In the case of uncredited writers, it's best to use your judgment; a lot of writers that were blacklisted in the 50s often went uncredited and really should be included where known, so it really comes down to how prominent they were in the writing process. Something like The Flintstones had about 30 writers (I think) so it's probably best to stick with credited ones in a case like that. A good rule of thumb I think is include an uncredited writer if they were the "main" writer, otherwise just stick to the official credits. Betty Logan (talk) 14:45, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Betty on all accounts. As far as writers go, if you know how much they contributed to the final script then you can make a judgment on whether they should be in the infobox as well (listed as "uncredited").  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 14:51, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Well the problem I'm having is mainly the Marvel movies such as Captain America: The First Avenger where David Self and Joss Whedon are uncredited writers but in the article it says Whedon just developed connections to lead into The Avengers and for Self it just says he was hired to write the script, no further detail, so it seems strange he was uncredited. Personally with the information provided, I wouldn't list Whedon for instance, talk about him in the article sure but he shouldn't be credited as a writer on the articles infobox as it implies a lot more input than it is saying he had. I asked about it on the article talk page but haven't had a response yet. Thanks for the quick response guys. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 14:59, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
That David Self reference is dated to 2006; that's getting on for five years, so if he isn't credited it's highly likely his material wasn't used, or very little of it was. The Whedon reference says that the extent of his "polish" is unknown, so you can make the case either way for that. Generally I wouldn't add an uncredited writer unless it was known for sure they had made a significant contribution, but Whedon is a prominent writer so his involvement is notable. On that basis I probably wouldn't add his name, but I wouldn't remove him either. Betty Logan (talk) 15:25, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I concur again. I had a similar issue with Friday the 13th, where the only credited writer is Victor Miller. Ron Kurz wrote almost half of the screenplay, as attributed by him and some producers, but because he was not a member of the WAG he did not get any credit. Now, Miller contends that it was not that high a percentage, but regardless, I have reliable sources that say one of the reasons he wasn't credited was because he was not a member of the Writer's Guild at that time. So, because of that I would include him in the infobox. So, if you can gather how much Whedon actually contributed to the script, and if it was a significant amount (I don't believe that it must be 50/50, but more than just a couple of scenes) then he should be included. If you can't, or it wasn't that much of a contribution, then he only needs mentioning in the body of the article.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 16:54, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Many script doctors accept no credit as a matter of their contract. We are not bound by those agreements. Perhaps the quality of the source should be taken into account here. If it's reliable, we should be accurate. --Ring Cinema (talk) 19:34, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I should've put this page on watch. As Betty points out and I hadn't noticed, the source that credits Self is like 5 years old and there isn't a source since used in the article to credit him. The source is used 3 times and this is the extent of information in the article " Scribe David Self ("Road to Perdition") is at the keyboard crafting the story surrounding the alter ego of Steve Rogers". Quite literally that is all there is. I agree that if there is reasonable involvement that can eb backed up then a writer should be credited, obviously you get scenarios where they provide the basic structure then it is given to someone else to rewrite, using much of that old material. Most sources I can find on Self credit Wikipedia. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 20:54, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Well I think if they are uncredited they shouldn't be in the infobox. Like on Scream 4, Ehren Kruger and to some extent Wes Craven did re-writes, but they are not credited. I think you have to do so much according to the WGA screenwriting credit system to be credited. The infobox is already bloated, we should just leave uncredited roles out and place them in prose. For producers, I thought if the EP were 'notable' then it was OK to add them in the infobox? I guess the same logic applies, they could also be included in prose. —Mike Allen 23:27, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I think executive producer and co-producer are almost always token titles given out for minor involvement, as a reward or just for people who want to have their name in the picture. Kruger rewrote parts of the Scream 4 script and ended up as an executive producer, the Weinstein brothers company name is on it yet they're credited as executive producers. I mean there may be a reason but it's likely they just wanted their name on the posters and in the credits. So I agree that unless notable information is presented that signifies a large involvement such as, mentioned above, people who wrote a film but were blacklisted, then I think (uncredited) shouldn't be included.Darkwarriorblake (talk) 23:54, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Writers and producers are not the same case so it's misleading to combine them. There is no contractual system for producer credits and there is an elaborate system for writers. In the interests of accuracy, we should be mindful that the screen credits, while presumptively correct, also contain errors. I think we should put accuracy first, which perhaps is the essence of this discussion. --Ring Cinema (talk) 01:35, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying Ring, that the WGA list is really just one "point of view" and Wikipedia has a duty to present all points of view, so we shouldn't get too caught up in what's 'official' or not. While everyone who is mentioned in relation to the writing process should be mentioned in the prose, sometimes the size limitations of the infobox requires us to be selective. Just like how we limit the cast list to the most prominent cast members, I think the writing field should be limited to the writers who were integral to the writing process. For the singular purpose of choosing what goes in the box I would make a distinction between "scriptwriters" and "scriptdoctors". Betty Logan (talk) 02:22, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, a good point. There is something of an irony in the fact that screen credits routinely list the guy who brought the bagels but could be forbidden from mentioning a writer who wrote the bulk of the script. For the purposes of the box, however, a good default. --Ring Cinema (talk) 05:55, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

adding audiography and sound mixing

I want to add audiography and sound mixing in my project. Please add those in Infobox Film. Thank you. -- Raghith 09:16, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your request. First. consensus has to be reached for any new lines to go into the infobox. Next what is audiography - I have been reading film credits for over 45 years and I have never read that one. Next, while most film goers have no idea that only a small amount of the sounds that they hear were actually recorded while the camera was turning the inclusion of these would add to infobox bloat which we are trying to avoid. These items will go much better in the production section of film articles as long as WP:RSs can be provided to back up their WP:NOTABILITY. At this time I would not support their inclusion in the infobox. MarnetteD | Talk 01:08, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Starring

Should the list of Starring actors be based on the actual credits on the poster (i.e. text), or is it kosher to include actors pictured on the poster? Thanks for your help. Doniago (talk) 14:25, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

We've generally kept it to who was credited on the poster, because it's the best way to be objective. Sometimes high profile actors who really only have small roles/cameos will appear on the poster itself to help sell the film. It's rare, but it's happened. It's always best practice to stick to what they credit.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 14:27, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt response. That was what I thought, and I was sure I'd seen consensus on this previously, but was unable to locate it. Doniago (talk) 14:52, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Are editors obliged to adhere to the infobox guidelines?

The infobox guidelines are explicit that the "gross" field should hold the worldwide gross, and the box office from other regions should only be added when that information is unavailable. There is a dispute on the Pulp Fiction article on how much "authority" the guidelines carry. Some of the article editors are adding the domestic box office as well as the worldwide box office, based on the argument infobox edits are not held to account by the guidelines: [1]]. My question is, should infobox guidelines be adhered to or are editors free to disregard them at will? Betty Logan (talk) 20:57, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Isn't the whole point of the guidelines that we have some official consensus on how things should be? To quote Barbossa "They're more guidelines than rules", so no they don't hAVE to follow them but it doesn't make their decision the right thing to do and means that it will keep being changed to worldwide only because that is how it meant to be. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 21:03, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Difficulties with the italic title

Hey everyone, is there a way to also change the display title to something else besides making it italic, e.g. adding underscores. I've noted that this is actually required at Cry Wolf (2005 film), but couldn't succeed at changing it. Thanks, --The Evil IP address (talk) 18:41, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Tried the DISPLAYTITLE template, but it didn't seem to work. Oh well. Lugnuts (talk) 18:45, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
The template needs to be placed after the infobox. If it's first, then the infobox's built-in formatting will be next and take precedent. Erik (talk | contribs) 19:00, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Executive producer

Is the "producer" field also meant to include executive producers? We have separate articles for film producer and executive producer so I'm not clear on this. I've got an editor adding executive producers into the field with "(executive)" next to them, and I don't care for the way it looks. I'm not a fan of parentheticals in infoboxes: If it needs clarification or explanation, it shouldn't be there. Infobox details should be straightforward. --IllaZilla (talk) 01:57, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

This is briefly discussed in the section above this one (in case you haven't noticed it). Betty Logan (talk) 02:09, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure of the guidelines, but I don't think Executive Producers belong in the infobox under Producer. ExP currently seems to indicate the money. Producers put the movie together, which is an important daily job. The ambiguity is partially intentional, I believe, to manage egos. Caveat: practices vary, particularly by period. --Ring Cinema (talk) 04:19, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I've rarely included the executive producer in the field, but I am okay with it when the executive producer is a big deal (like Spielberg for Transformers). I think that the number of executive producers can be excessive and too irrelevant. For example, 300 has eight executive producers. No problem with discussing executive producers in the body if there is coverage of their roles (which I think is rare). Erik (talk | contribs) 13:31, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm suspicious. It's a little like including a famous acting coach in the cast...? --Ring Cinema (talk) 20:50, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

There should be an Executive Producer addition to the WP template, as the title has become so common in the industry. You almost never see a film released anymore without it. Until then, the parenthetical "(executive)" seems to be the best way to handle it. I agree, however, that you don't have room to clutter up the infobox with everyone who managed to win some kind of producer title. But it's not uncommon now for the line producer to get "produced by" while the one who initiated and developed the project takes EXP credit. These people should be listed - and some of them currently are. Gordon Carroll, David Giler and Walter Hill, who produced Alien, were exec producers on Aliens. Only Gale Anne Hurd actually had the "produced by" title on that film, yet all four are listed on WP. George Lucas never takes "produced by." He gives that to his line producer. He's been exec producer on every film he's done since More American Graffiti. Would you delete him from the producer column for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi? He'd have no credit then other than writer. Gothicfilm (talk) 01:41, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Again, that falls into what Eric was talking about with regard to significant executive producer roles (ala Steven Spielberg). This isn't a "you almost never see a film without it anymore" because it's a title that has been around for a very long time and most films have always had it filled. Given that in most situations this role goes to either the head of the studio, or someone who had a stake in the source material of the film (e.g.,Stan Lee created many comic book characters, that is why he is an EP on all the Marvel character based films). It isn't because they necessarily have any creative input into the film itself. Now, there are times when that is occuring, but not typically and why all EPs should be judged on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise, why stop there. Why not line, supervising, associate, etc. producers?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 01:49, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Gothicfilm, the infobox can only hold so many names. If there are certain executive producers that had notable roles (as in their actions were reported by others), then they can be discussed in the article body. The infobox highlights certain positions but not all. Even in a film full of impressive costumes, the costume designer won't be named there, but if the designer won awards, then the costume design and the person responsible will certainly be discussed in the body. There will always be instances like these where a position not in the infobox will be prominent, but if we provide parameters for these positions for all infoboxes, they will be filled out for all films and thus be indiscriminate. The infobox is just an overview, and a good article will explain in the body all prominent figures' roles. Erik (talk | contribs) 03:51, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
It's not accurate to refer to the Exec Producer as the person who initiated and developed the project. Usually it's not the case, but could be at times. Generally speaking, they represent the financiers. If an EP played a significant role on a film, Erik's approach seems the best way to include it. However, including the EP with Producers is likely to mix apples and oranges; the job is not the same. When Spielberg finances a project with his own money and serves as his own representative, he doesn't do the job of the producer. Executive Producer and Producer are different roles, just like a saddle is different from saddle soap. --174.53.154.73 (talk) 05:46, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
One example is Bob Weinstein who had creative control over Scream 4. —Mike Allen 06:22, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
What is that an example of? "Creative control" might mean final cut approval or supervision of the Producer, which still does not mean Weinstein did the job of Producer. And if he did that job, then he's the Producer. --Ring Cinema (talk) 19:17, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Going by interviews, it was him that had the most input. Him and his brother was the one that pushed for a Scream 4. He had final say over the scripts, scenes, etc. But he's credited as executive producer. —Mike Allen 21:12, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
"Final say over the scripts". So he represented the money by making sure the scripts were good. Perhaps he had approval on final cut, too. It seems like he was probably billed correctly. --Ring Cinema (talk) 00:05, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I guess.. —Mike Allen 04:05, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I see no harm in adding a executive producer parameter. If the film industry creates a title, who are we to question it? FYI, Infobox television has an executive producer parameter. When some films are produced by an organisation rather than a person, the project needs an 'executive producer' to oversee the funds. For example, National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC), a government agency to promote films in India, gives out funds, but does not perform the day-to-day tasks required of a producer. Then the person responsible is called the executive producer and the Corporation is called the producer. Please correct me if you think otherwise. Cheers, --Siddhant (talk) 20:24, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
The film industry creates lots of titles, but there isn't enough room to add them all. The position of director, editor etc is pretty well defined, but the function of executive producer varies from film to film. Adding it to the infobox doesn't really tell us what the person actually did. Betty Logan (talk) 21:06, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you to some extent. However, what do you think of the NFDC example? For such films, isn't the 'executive' producer worth mentioning in the infobox? I'm not saying that each infobox of each film should have it's executive producer(s) listed, but what about special cases. I suggest we add the parameter and mark it as 'not to be used' by default, and requiring proper justification each time it is used.--Siddhant (talk) 07:37, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
The problem with having rules for using the infobox is that no-one actually bothers reading them, editors see the parameters in use on articles so just add them to other articles, which is why film editors have become increasingly reluctant to add further parameters. They sometimes get invoked to settle disputes but they generally have to be pointed out. Anyway, I would have thought that if the NFDC partly funded the films it would be listed under "studio", which is the parameter often used for production companies and financiers? Betty Logan (talk) 07:57, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Betty that new fields are abused. When we added the "studio" field to make a distinction from the "distributor" field, it led to some editors filling out that field with all the production companies that IMDb listed. I don't think the infobox is the place to list any more credits, but I would not be opposed to having them in the article body. For example, there is W.E (film)#Production credits, which is unconventional but not a problem with me. It lists more names than can fit in the infobox and can link to some of them at last, such as the production designer and the costume designer. Erik (talk | contribs) 10:52, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree too that some optional fields are used by rash editors as if they are mandatory, but I personally think that editor behaviour should never dictate which information is added and which is not in an infobox, rather the infobox guidelines should dictate its proper use. Anyways, for now, using parentheses seems to be the best way to add notable 'executive producers'. I have done so in infobox for Samar (film)--Siddhant (talk) 14:49, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Sound Editor / Composer

"Music by" is imprecise (does that mean the artists whose songs appear in the film? I don't think that's what we mean). It seems there should be a field for "Sound" or "Sound Editor" and another for "Composer". Perhaps we can use the Oscar categories as a guide. There is no Oscar for "Best Music". --Ring Cinema (talk) 16:40, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

It's not particularly imprecise when the film generally says in the credits "Music By" Darkwarriorblake (talk) 17:10, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that if we want to echo the film credits we can do that, but the guideline apparently allows the inclusion of the artists whose music is played in the film at any point. I assume that's not what we want to include. IMDb covers this with "Original Music by", for example. --Ring Cinema (talk) 17:43, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't follow. The guideline says list composers of original music for the film. Hans Zimmer may have help on The Dark Knight but he is the person credited and he is the person who will receive any awards. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 17:47, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
The guidelines don't say that, so maybe on that point there is agreement. It actually doesn't restrict entries to the composer of music for the film, which presumably is the intention. I assume we don't want to include the artists for all the music heard in the film, which is something else. 'Composer' is more precise, as I mentioned. --Ring Cinema (talk) 01:59, 17 June :2011 (UTC)
The guidelines say exactly that. "Insert the name(s) of the composer(s) of original music. Separate multiple entries with a line break. In addition, link each composer to his/her appropriate article if possible."
Then we skip over to the credits of The Dark Knight for example and: Music by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer.Darkwarriorblake (talk) 11:30, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
So you see the difference. You were right to add the words "for the film". When you wanted to be clear, you added those words to the guideline. That makes it precise, like I was saying. --Ring Cinema (talk) 12:12, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Tightening up the budget field guidelines?

Generally the budget field only takes the production budget, but in recent times I have noticed more and more editors also adding in marketing costs and 3D conversion (as opposed to filming in 3D) costs. I suppose this is due to the recent trend of media outlets trying to shock readers with super high figures i.e. Avatar's $500 million figure which factored in the marketing costs and development of the 3D cameras. Anyway, to try and maintain some consistency with older articles, I think we should make it explicitly clear the budget field should only take the production budget, which is generally what is meant by "budget".

If editors think this is a bad idea, or overly prescriptive, then I think we should at least ask for clarification of the costs, so that it's clear the figure includes marketing/conversion costs as opposed to the historically acknowledged "production budget" i.e. the actual lump of cash that is used to make the film. Betty Logan (talk) 04:52, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Consistency suffers from trying to include moneys spent on marketing and distribution, since these expenses can continue to mount for decades. And marketing costs are a well-guarded secret. In the case of 3D conversion, is it a tricky area when film processing is normally in the production budget? --Ring Cinema (talk) 00:12, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm very much of the opinion that budget is budget and the cost of marketing and whatever other stuff should be discussed in the appropriate sections. What they spent trying to salvage the bomb that is Green Lantern has nothing to do with what it cost to make and that is the important information. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 00:19, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I think 3D conversion is largely subjective, but it is generally covered separately in sources, apart from cases where it was filmed in 3D and the cost is inseparable from the budget. I'm not opposed to including it, but if a source says the budget is $150m for example, with 15 mil for conversion then I think that's how we should probably present it. It doesn't sit well with me to say the budget is $165 mil. Another issue is that if you are watching the 2D version, you are watching a $150 mil film, so in that way the 3D conversion is probably closer to a distribution cost, like the cost of prints. Another way it could be presented is to have two figures, like $150m for the 2D version and $165m for the 3D version. Anyway, this is goign to become more af an issue so I am interested in hearing opinions, since I'm not 100% sure how I think it should be approached. This can all be clarified in the prose obviously, it's just a case of making the infobox figure clear. Betty Logan (talk) 00:38, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Seems to me you're exactly right. Do you think we should do anything about it? Rename the field "Production Budget"? --Ring Cinema (talk) 01:11, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
2-ish ¢...
I agree that "marketing" should be outside the scope of the parameter for the infobox. Especially since this is an ongoing cost. But I'm not sure if excluding monies added to complete filming after a "change of concept" is wrong in the infobox. A film can be announced to have an initial budget of $X but see that change to $Y depending on cast, crew, location, even weather. Having it change to $Z due to changes in post-production requirements is not that different. If there does need to be clarification - and there are sources to cite for breakdowns - that is the purpose of a "Budget" section in the article. If needs be, an option can be added here to turn the "Budget" header in the 'box into a link to the"Budget" section of the article. - J Greb (talk) 03:26, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I can see this viewpoint J Greb. Although people watching a 2D version of a film get a product that technically cost $15 million less, the reality is that the studio still spent $15 million more on the production of 3D visuals for the film. It would be the same as saying a studio gives $30 million for production, but after editing the film only $22 million of that money actually makes it to the final cut of the film of what an audience sees. The studio still spent that money on the production of the film regardless of whether some people see those extra scenes or not.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 04:11, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Judging the 2d and 3d versions separately is just going to cause issues. If they film it entirely in 3D, ala Piranha 3DD, but offer a 2D version, we wouldn't deduct money from the budget. We should just go off whatever is given as $budget where no disambiguation is offered. Sources often say $whatever is the budget, in the case of Green Lantern, the source saying $300 million clearly says that a big bulk of it is additional marketing costs and not originally included in the budget. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 12:56, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
In context of the infobox, I agree: budget is budget and marketing is marketing. The infobox should always try to default to sourced info for the final budget - all the bells and whistles crammed into the making of the film as initially released. (I don't even want to think about how to address the Star Wars "Special Editions" and upcoming 3D-ifications.) Period. If there is sourced info that gives a breakdown such as Initial, overrun, re-shoots, post production changes, adding 3D, etc, those are grist for the body of the article either in the "Production" section, one specifically called "Budget", or an {{Anchor}}ed passage. - J Greb (talk) 21:26, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Seems very sensible. The article can bring in all the miscellany. --Ring Cinema (talk) 21:46, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
If it is filmed in 3D it is an intrinsic part of making the film so the cost is not separable, such as in the case of Avatar and Transformers 3; it's the bottom line cost of filming it—making the 2D version doesn't cost any less than the 3D version. We all seem to agree marketing is not part of the budget, but the question is whether 3D conversion is also part of the production process? I would say not, it's a distribution cost for its medium, just like the costs of prints as opposed to digital projection. When Star Wars 3D and Titanic 3D come out, I would be against altering the production budget in the infobox to take account of that. Is there anyone here who thinks the 3D conversion cost for Titanic should be added to the budget in the infobox? If not, then is it really consistent to add the costs together in the cases where the 2D and 3D versions are released simultaneously? It seems to me it all boils down to one question: if a film is filmed in 2D, and then converted to 3D should the cost of the conversion process be added to the budget? Betty Logan (talk) 21:49, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
It'd probably be hard to differentiate that. Like Clash of teh Titans, they seemed to be intent on converting it to 3D before it was completed so assumedly that was considered in their budget and the conversion would have happened during post production. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 22:08, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
A question and an observation:
As a non-cinemaphile (I think that's the right term) I tend to operate under the assumption that "budget" is the cost of making the film as first released. Up to and including striking prints for the various theaters. I'm also under the impression that through the history of cinema, there are periods where multiple formats for the prints were needed for the "opening week". Have I got that right?
As for the observation... I'd be loathed to add costs associated with re-working the film after initial release. Hence my comment about Star Wars.
- J Greb (talk) 23:58, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Yeah I'd never agree to including the costs of developing the Special Editions, budget should refer only to the earliest form of release, kind of how we only list the earliest release date and the US one if it is later. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 00:14, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Maybe we are coalescing around a rule of thumb that we include expenses for production of the film that makes the first theatrical run. Examples: there's no new shooting for a conversion, but it includes Avatar's 3D budget. A transfer is included ("blow-ups") since that makes theatrical distribution possible. Star Wars conversion is not reshot, so it's not included. --Ring Cinema (talk) 01:27, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
  • It seems the 3D processing costs probably need more discussion before a consensus is arrived at, but we all seem to be of the same mind when it comes to straightforward marketings costs. Should we update the guidelines to explicitly state that the budget refers to the production budget, and that marketing/promotional costs are excluded from this figure? Betty Logan (talk) 08:05, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
    I've gone ahead and updated the guidelines since that seemed to be the consensus and no-one has voiced an objection. I haven't mentioned 3D at all since there were conflicting opinions. The revision can be viewed here; I've also taken the liberty to ask editors not to cherrypick numbers from their preferred source too, but if anyone disagrees feel free to revert. Betty Logan (talk) 16:35, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Based on

A user is adding "Based on Transformers action figures by Hasbro" to all the Transformer films articles. Is this an appropriate use of the Based On parameter? I changed it to "based on Transformers by Hasbro" because saying it is based on action figures and not the games, series' and films is stupid. But as I read the article here, it seems like its intended more for adaptations from books and such. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 01:46, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

I read the guidelines like you but it's not an open and shut case since the action figures are characters, and characters can form the basis of a screenplay. But consider for analogy the film Ghandi, which is based on the life of Ghandi. I don't think a biopic infobox would mention its subject as the basis of the film. Or, to draw an example from fiction, Welles's Chimes at Midnight is a synthesis of Shakespeare's Falstaff material, borrowed from more than one play. Again, this is not a case where the infobox should read "Based on Falstaff by Shakespeare". Other examples: Wayne's World, Crocodile Dundee, A Night at the Roxbury, The Blues Brothers. We wouldn't say "Based on [character name] by [corporate originator]". That's so bogus, dude. --Ring Cinema (talk) 12:33, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Well what would your opinion be on this particular case? In your example of Ghandi for instance I agree that we wouldn't say "Based on the life of Ghandi". I guess it depends on if we differentiate on Adaptation vs Based on. Transformers (the film) is, IMO, an adaptation of the previous franchise since it differs greatly from those in tone, plot, characterisation, character appearance and names and the abilities of the Transformers themselves. When I first started working on the Scream articles they were listed as "Based on the Gainesville Ripper and Halloween". They were inspired by but they're hardly based entirely upon those two things. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 13:54, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you. Transformers movie articles shouldn't put the action figures or Hasbro in the infobox. --Ring Cinema (talk) 14:07, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Is it worth pointing to the franchise in general? Or is it too broad to matter? The article's Transformers. Erik (talk | contribs) 14:09, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Well for T3 at least that is what I have done. I don't really remember the action figures but I don't believe that the films would be considered based solely upon them rather than the tv series' and films which have had their own cultural impact AND the games and comics. I assume there are characters introduced only in the other media for instance. But the user changed that one back to "Based on the action figures", which I reverted. But wanted an idea on whether my version was better or if it should be there at all before I bother fighting over it across 3 articles.Darkwarriorblake (talk) 14:11, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
That makes the case substantially weaker to me. The existence of the TV series -- if it was the basis of the movie in some identifiable fashion -- is closer to what Transformers movies are based on, and that too seems to overstretch the category. We wouldn't say that a movie remake was based on the original. (Would it be wise to explicitly restrict "Based on..." to predecessors or progenitors or antecedents that are written?) --Ring Cinema (talk) 14:29, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
It's certainly something that could do with defining, I always thought Based On was meant for films converted from books, not the movie version of Happy Days. On the poster, I've just checked, it says "Based on Hasbro's Transformers action figures" but that seems like more of a 'giving credit' thing since it says it on all 3 posters.Darkwarriorblake (talk) 14:32, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind the explicit restriction, but in some cases, it seems easy to define the relationship. For example, Dark Shadows (film) is indisputably based on the TV series and uses the "Based on" field to that effect. In contrast, an article like Batman Begins uses the field to say "Characters by Bob Kane / Bill Finger", which is like Blake said, more of a "giving credit" deal than a pertinent link (or links). Maybe some kind of criteria that the source material should be singular, may it be a book or a TV show? Although "Based on" for remakes does make it tricky... Erik (talk | contribs) 14:42, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
It is confusing. Obviously if you're familiar with Batman for instance, the character created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane is very unlike what appears in the films but they got a credit because they created the character. The film Maverick has a Based On for the TV show Maverick. I guess we need a definition of what Based On means. Does it just mean it uses names and characters or should it lifting plot heavily as you would get in say Fight Club from the book of the same name.Darkwarriorblake (talk) 14:46, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I like the idea of the plot-lifting connection. Superhero films and franchise films like Transformers don't really lift plots, so with that criteria, we can address a lot of clumsy uses. What do you think, Ring Cinema? Still too broad? It does make it unclear if the element in the "Based on" field is a book, a TV show, or the original film, so I can still see a case for written works only. Erik (talk | contribs) 15:04, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
It's a difficult question. Is this a principle that we can enunciate or a practice that we know by doing? One way to think of it is from the point of view of the screenplay. Was the script written in an effort to repeat some kind of story material for the screen? Those are the cases that Based On was made for, it seems to me. But then why not remakes? Consider the films Let the Right One In and Let Me In. Definitely the second one is made to repeat the special story sense of the first. Is it based on it? Yes. So maybe if there's a new screenplay credit, we can comfortably say Based On and if it's the same script credit we don't. Perhaps the WGA has criteria they use that we could consider. --Ring Cinema (talk) 15:38, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
The "based on" credit was originally conceived as an extension of the "writing" credit to account for authored material (i.e. books, screenplays for remakes, sequels featuring the same characters etc) where the author didn't have direct input into the screenplay i.e. Screenplay by John Smith based on The Bestseller by Jane Doe. The script clearly isn't based on the toy because the toy isn't authored material in any way shape or form (they probably influenced the production design on the film but that's way beyond the scope of the script). I'd drop the field altogther personally (in this particulare instance). Betty Logan (talk) 17:23, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the input Betty.Darkwarriorblake (talk) 18:05, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

WGA has the same questions: http://johnaugust.com/2009/based-on-an-idea-by. --Ring Cinema (talk) 18:14, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

"For example, “a movie about the Civil War” is an idea. Gone With The Wind is a story. For them to have rough equivalence is absurd." See I'd consider that they probably said "Hey, a movie about Transformers" as an idea. To be honest I think in the case of TF it doesn't warrant a Based On. Silent Hill (film) doesn't have a based on and it doesn't feel incomplete as a result. Plus it is an amalgamation of different parts of several games. In the same way, my memory of TF is limited but I don't think the films have directly adapted anything from the comic/game/tv/film/action figures apart from character names and even then they've taken liberties. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 18:39, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
That is yet another important distinction. Betty's formulation seems right. Apparently the Writer's Guild is uncertain if a "Story by" credit should go to the screenwriter of a movie that is remade with a new screenplay. Maybe that's just one of those exceptions we can be explicit about: "Based On" has to be in a different medium and it's a writing credit for a writer from before the screenplay. --Ring Cinema (talk) 21:16, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Everything used to be bundled into "Written by", but there was some discontent about listing authors alongside screenwriters. "Scriptwriter" seems to be a very specific and credited position, so the "screenplay by" and "based on" parameters were added to make tha.t distinction. I think we should only use the parameters when the distinction is clear, and in the case of remakes or anything that isn't clear we can stick to just using the "written by" parameter. Betty Logan (talk) 21:35, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
For our purposes, do you think "Based on" should include the writer of an original screenplay that is later remade with a different script even if that writer goes uncredited? (e.g. The Magnificent Seven and The Seven Samurai.) --Ring Cinema (talk) 22:40, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
The thing with remakes is that the older script may just provide a notional story or it may supply extensive dialogue and scene descriptions, so at what point does an original script cease to being source material, and the writer become a contributor to the new screenplay? There certainly isn't a simple solution or the WGA would have thought of it. The solution may present itself in certain cases so it's probably best left to be addressed case by case, but in non-obvious cases it might just be easier to not make the distinction, and list the original and remake writers all under "writer" and add a parenthesised note next to the original writers i.e. Joe Bloggs, Jane Doe (Seven Samurai). That way we're saying they are contributors to the script, but only by virtue of the original screenplay. Betty Logan (talk) 23:55, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
The best approach is the credits on WP should be the same as on the film, which are also usually listed on the poster. The WGA has full control of the "Written by", "Screenplay by" and "Story by" credits, on remakes as well as originals. They should not be changed. Sometimes the WGA even lists the original writer under "Screenplay" on the remake even though he may have died years earlier, when the scripts are very similar. It seems they don't have control over the "Based on" credit, but I think we should usually just follow whatever is used in the film there as well. In the case of Transformers and the Hasbro credit, I would not object to just leaving that off. But we should not make up a new "Based on" that doesn't exist in the film's credits.Gothicfilm (talk) 00:31, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
The problem here is that Wikipedia is compelled to present all notable points of view as per the WP:NPOV policy, not just the WGA view. For a start the WGA doesn't have jurisdiction over films outside of the United States where there may be different criteria, and if reliable sources report authorship by uncredited writers then Wikipedia is obliged to include those as a notable point of view. There are lots of films—especially from the 50s/early 60s—where writers were blacklisted, so the film credit went to some studio lackey. The official credits shouldn't be omitted under any circumstances, and are the starting point, but sometimes we have to look beyond them. Betty Logan (talk) 00:45, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Um I did this, but not on all the articles, just the Dark Moon. I was just updating the infobox to match the poster and the film poster says "Based on Transformers action figures by Hasbro". Shouldn't we go by what the poster credits say though, instead of trying to figure out "What is the film based on" when that answer is right in our faces?  :-\ —Mike Allen 01:26, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Aww *hugs* I'm sorry we're bullying you Mike. It wasn't you though, it was a different user changing it. In this particular discussion we're considering whether it is applicable since hte film clearly isn't just based on action figures and it is loosely based at that. The poster credit, as it appears in each film, seems to just be giving credit rather than any official thing and as such I personally consider that it isn't an appropriate use of Based On. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 01:32, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Well I admit I'm not really into the Transformers franchise. I enjoy the movies but not really into the background. I figured the toys came out first and without the toys there would be no TV show or films. But I did trim that starring field which listed, I think, ever actor who voiced a character. Which leads me to a new section...—Mike Allen 03:13, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Betty, I don't quite see a problem as you mentioned above. You seem to imply that "Based on" requires a substantive, demonstrated similarity between the source and the movie. I don't think that's necessarily so. For example, To Catch a Thief is based on a story by the same name, yet very little of the original plot made it into the film. Personally, I think that's a fine use of the Based On field. The point is to let the reader know what was the source material. Similarly, in the case of the remake, I don't think we need to do a lot of soul-searching about how much was changed. The first movie is the source for the remake. Period. Now, should we do an exclusion for all movies based on movies? To put it another way, should the guidelines say that movies based on movies don't call for use of the Based On field? That's another question, and, after some reflection, I don't think that makes sense for us. --Ring Cinema (talk) 04:59, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm happy for the original script-writers to go in the based on field, and that is what it was partly conceived for. I got the impression that you were objecting to its use in this manner because the WGA had clear rules for it. Basically all we have to do is clearly identify the author of the source material, and the "based on" credit serves that purpose. However, if someone contests that and wants to list them as a "writer" then I don't object to that (IMDB for instance identifies John Carpenter and Debra Hill as writers on the Halloween remake but parenthesises their roles as "1978 screenplay"). There are a couple of ways to handle it, I just think we should insist on the roles of the authorship being clear, but leave it up to editors how they implement that. Whichever format we use, then I think all writing/based on credits should go to authored material, so I still think we can pull the field from the Transformers article. Betty Logan (talk) 10:09, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

AKA title, Alternate title

How to document the alternate titles under which a film is released has been the subject of brief discussions here since at least 2005 (see also archive 6 and archive 17, for other examples). If there's a common practice to follow, I'd like to suggest that someone update {{infobox film/doc}} to reflect that practice. {{Film date}} doesn't support the inclusion of a title, yet in cases where alternate release dates are notable, it would seem notable to document the title of the film if it differs. I'm not saying an alternate title should or shouldn't be in the infobox, I'm saying that the alternate title can be notable and if it is, it would be useful to document best practices. Thanks. P.S. This isn't an issue just for non-English language films like The Seventh Seal...Kansas City Confidential was released as The Secret Four in the U.K. 72.244.206.189 (talk) 05:11, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I dealt with this on The Boat That Rocked (Pirate Radio in the US). I think the standard is to use the original (home country) title in the infobox and as the article title, and explain other titles in the lead, bolding them as you would the titular subject. Are you simply saying we should note this in the infobox documentation, so that people aren't trying to cram multiple titles into the infobox? --IllaZilla (talk) 05:45, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I think only the aricle title should go in the infobox. Allowing alternative titles to go in there just seems like a greenlight for edit wars. I don't see any potential gain in it. Betty Logan (talk) 05:59, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree with IllaZilla and Betty. It may be that alternate titles are not mentioned in the infobox documentation because the expectance is to mention them in the article body, where we have room for context. MOS:FILM#Lead section mentions how to present foreign-language titles in parentheses. We could mention something, but I'm not sure if a couple of additional sentences in the guidelines will even cover the small number of cases that can vary in circumstance. Seems more of a case-by-case discussion to me. Erik (talk | contribs) 11:11, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Some observations:
  • English language films with multiple English titles seems to be the primary issue here. It seems clunky/ill advised to emulate the IMDb practice of listing all the titles in the 'box. Use the first "home" title in the 'box and mention the others as needed and supported in the body of the article. As for the article title... that may run into conflict with WP:COMMONNAME is, say, a British film is better known by an American title.
  • English language films with foreign language titles seem clear cut - not in the 'box and not in the body text unless there is a notable, sourcable variation - the the dropping of "Captain America" from the Russian, Ukrainian, and South Korean releases of Captain America: The First Avenger comes to mind as a good example.
  • Foreign language films with English titles and the an original language title depends on the article title, which may hit WP:COMMONNAME and WP:USEENGLISH. Setting up the title of the 'box to provide both the original title and the common English title would be desirable. The ordering though would depend on the article title.
  • Foreign language films without English titles would just be using the original "home" title. This might be sticky with languages that don't use the Roman alphabet.
- J Greb (talk) 15:48, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

"image_size" questions...

OK... I've been looking at this for a while and I've got a few questions.

  1. If the intent is to have the reader defined default image size set the size, why does this parameter exist? That seems to invite abuse.
  2. Is it really desirable to have the poster swimming in white space if the reader default is below 220px? The 'box will not thin below that so the image seems to float as an afterthought.
  3. Is it also desirable to have the 'box balloon if the setting is above 220px?

I've cobbled together code that sets an upper and lower limit to the image size without instilling a frame. See here for the code snippit and here for the output.

Should we integrate this and come up with a range for the images?

- J Greb (talk) 19:19, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

I thought this parameter had become obsolete and should be removed from all articles? Lugnuts (talk) 19:26, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Still in place and still having image of 250+ width being specified.
I can see how knocking it out and replacing with "frameless" is a step in the right direction. However, that still leaves the issues of the 'box inflating if a reader has a default greater than 220 and the image looking odd if the default is less than ~200.
- J Greb (talk) 20:23, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Preceded By/Followed By

{{editrequest}} Again this comes up. Have we come up with a viable definition for "series" when it comes to identifying the films in a "series" that need to be listed in the infobox. "Series" is broad. James Bond has a "series" of films, but none share any sequel status with exception to the most recent 2 (that's 2 our of 20+ films), yet they all connect to each other in the infobox and imply a connectedness. That said, there's just as much of a connection between Batman & Robin (film) and Batman Begins as there is Die Another Day and Casino Royale (2006 film), but the former two are not connected in the infobox because somehow they are a separate "series". This seems to treat "series" in the sense of "continuity" and not simply "film series produced by the same company". Since there seems to be uneven application of this, I really think we need specific wording as to what constitutes "series" once and for all. I've requested this in the past, but we haven't gotten anywhere. It's so inconsistent across articles that it often causes stupid edit wars for something rather inconsequential.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:54, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I think the best solution is to ask for a reference in the disputed cases. Box Office Mojo and Allmovie both have franchise/series indexes; if both those sources agree that something is part of a series of films then it should be included in my view. Using independent sources keeps it clean; I'm against coming up with our own criteria since it would probably violate WP:NOR. Betty Logan (talk) 03:28, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
So, just so I'm clear. You're saying that since say Allmovie says Batman & Robin "precedes" Batman Begins (see here), and that Box Office Mojo keeps them as part of one giant series when comparing them (see here)...then B&R needs to be placed in the infobox for Batman Begins? And if that's the case for everyone, shouldn't we at least state that in the section so that it's clear that is how we define it?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 03:44, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Both Allmovie and BOM seem to consider the original films and the reboot films as one big series, so I'm happy to go along with that. I can understand the reasons why editors don't want to link Batman & Robin with Batman Begins because of the break in narrative, but by the same token you can also make the case they are a single production series so it just depends on how you look at it, and we need a simple and effective way to settle these sorts of disputes, and this is the simplest method I can think of. Two independent sources bundle them together so let's just go with that. Betty Logan (talk) 03:56, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Further to that, I think the guideline should emphasize that production order is used, not continuity order since sometimes the order gets mixed up when there are prequels. Betty Logan (talk) 04:01, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I definitely agree with specifying that it's for production order, not story order, but I disagree that we need to come up with rules about what constitutes a series/franchise. There will never be a one-size-fits-all answer to that. The James Bond films are treated as 1 continuing franchise by the company that makes them, despite the lack of continuity inherent in such a long series and Casino Royale being a reboot of the character/story (ie. Die Another Day was the 20th film in the franchise & marked the franchise's 40th anniversary, & was marketed as such & certain plot elements played to this aspect, despite there having been much change of actors & story in the franchise over the years). By contrast, Batman Begins was intended and declared to be completely separate from the 4 Batman films of the '80s/'90s, and isn't related to them in any way (or marketed as being related to them) other than by the mere fact of being a Batman film, whereas Superman Returns was meant & declared to be a sequel/continuation of the Christopher Reeve Superman films. I guess what I'm saying is that this is a case-by-case thing and we really can't solve it by trying to make the infobox documentation the authority on the matter. --IllaZilla (talk) 06:09, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
This field really needs to be removed from the infobox, now that most film series use navigation footers. Lugnuts (talk) 13:46, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
To Illa: Even the Batman films are paired together when discussion the Batman film series. Batman Begins was declared to be completely separate continuity, not a completely series film series. There's only one film series. Nolan's films just have no story connection to the previous films. Otherwise, you could argue that every horror remake has no connection to the previous dozen films that came before it, just as Batman Begins did not....yet they are always kept together both here at Wikipedia and any other website that tracks film statistics. Batman Begins is kept with every other feature released Batman film.
To Lug: I'm ok with removing the section completely. I think that just puts another contradiction in place. The nav boxes don't separate films out by continuity, they keep them all together. If we did away with the infobox "prec/foll" section it doesn't actually harm anything because there is a box that lists all of the films at the end.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 14:17, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I would be okay with removing these parameters too. The navigation template is sufficient for me, but we could also discuss how we could cover preceding and succeeding films in the lead section, if at all. Erik (talk | contribs) 14:34, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I think the catch is that we use the term "series", and it brings images of "continuity" be default even when we are saying that continuity has no play in the matter. On the Batman Begins page itself, Nolan talks about reinventing the "Batman film franchise". So, even he considers Batman Begins part of the overall film franchise. The question is are we identifying films (whether in the lead, in the infobox, or anywhere else) by where they are in their film franchise---which really seems to be how we handle James Bond---or where they fall in their specific series of films, which to me implies we are caring about overall storyline connection.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 14:36, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
It might be worth thinking about revamping these fields so that they resemble the chronology fields of {{Infobox album}}. Having a header that says "Batman film chronology" might clarify that this is simply a chronological list of Batman films rather than a reference to series continuity. Just a thought. --IllaZilla (talk) 15:17, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'd say, either a complete removal or Illa's suggestion of modeling it after the album infobox would be best, as current practice is too vague as to what it's supposed to represent which leads to inconsistent usage across pages.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 15:38, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

'Series' is a family concept, so we should accept some inconsistency in usage. Betty's suggestion to source it if in dispute seems very sensible. Illa, were you objecting to that idea or objecting to the idea of developing our own definition? I'm not clear what you were saying. --Ring Cinema (talk) 15:56, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I was objecting to the idea of developing our own definition. I didn't think that would go over well. --IllaZilla (talk) 16:04, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I support settling this once and for all. The easiest thing to do would be to remove the field altogether, as of course that would make this a non-issue. However, if the field is to be kept, I would support changing it to a "film chronology" field as suggested above. That would avoid the whole reboot issue. Before that happens though, I think there should be some research about what films and film series would be affected so that the transition would be seamless. I have in mind the Hulk and Punisher films, which aren't connected to each other right now but would be under the new criteria. A list of films which would be affected by this change would be great to have beforehand.-5- (talk) 14:51, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

On second thought, I fully support removing the field. I think there may be a lot of trouble regarding multiple adaptations of a particular source material. This just feels like it's going to become too murky and become too much trouble to me, so just remove it.-5- (talk) 14:55, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
I think if we change it to "film chronology" as Illa suggests, then this would really only affect film pages that are not already linked in the infobox, as I think Illa's suggestion is to remove the idea of a "series" or "continuity" and just encompass it all. Where this could cause changes are for film franchise that have a mix of live-action and animated feature films. Batman is one. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles another. I think the Riddick series and The Matrix had direct-to-dvd animated features, but I could be wrong...I'm not familiar with those animated films. Regardless of those suggestions, most films already link to their "next of kin", it's really the higher profile franchises like Batman, Spider-Man, etc. that are consistently linking/not linking to the next film because of continuity.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 14:59, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
I think we could do without the field, since for one thing it seems bloated to list e.g. every Bond film in the infobox of each Bond film. Surely we can link to the article on the series. 'Film chronology' might lead to a new set of difficulties as then we are not using the terminology of our best sources. --Ring Cinema (talk) 15:37, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  • I certainly think that the field is redundant on articles that have a series/franchise template at the bottom. For instance, the James Bond film template accommodates the non-EON films as well. I support the removal of the parameters as well, but this idea has been mooted on several occasions and always fallen through, so obviously there are editors that oppose their removal. I think the guidelines should be updated to indicate that the parameters shouldn't be used if there is a franchise/series template present on the article. The argument for phasing them out where they are unnecessary is much stronger. Betty Logan (talk) 15:55, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
I also concur that the field can be completely removed without feeling that we're losing essential material from the infobox. That seems to be the consensus and maybe it's time that we go ahead and remove those parameters completely. Below, I've set up a straw poll so that we can more clearly organize the yeas and nays and bring this issue to a resolution. If anyone considers the poll inappropriate, please feel free to remove it. Big Bird (talkcontribs) 17:23, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Whoa there, I think it's a bit early for a straw poll seeing as the discussion has only been up for a day, and the original proposal wasn't even to remove the parameters. The way I read the above we have 4 basic proposals on the table:
  1. Define "series" in the template documentation as it applies to the "preceded by" and "followed by" fields.
    • Reasons: Inconsistent application, lame edit wars.
  2. Don't set a definition, but call for sources in the case of ambiguity or disputes.
    • Reasons: Aligns with V & NPOV, allows for case-by-case resolution rather than blanket "rules".
  3. Revamp the fields to resemble the chronology used in {{Infobox album}}.
    • Reasons: Removes the confusion of continuity by making it clearly a chronological succession of like films.
  4. Remove the "preceded by" and "followed by" fields altogether.
    • Reasons: Redundant to navboxes.
That's the way I read the discussion above at this point. Feel free to correct me if I've misinterpreted anything. --IllaZilla (talk) 17:57, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
I'd suggest that if the straw poll shows overwhelming support for removing the parameters altogether then the other options become irrelevant... Editors can view the discussion before casting a ballot. Doniago (talk) 18:01, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
The straw poll has been up for 40 minutes and has 4 responses. To suggest that it shows "overwhelming support" for anything straight off the bat like this is jumping the gun, don't you think? --IllaZilla (talk) 18:06, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't saying the straw poll -currently- shows overwhelming support. Doniago (talk) 19:25, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, overlooked the "if" in your previous comment. I was just worried that a decision was being rushed when I believe there are nuances to consider. I'm going to drop a note on the films project talk page just to notify of this discussion. --IllaZilla (talk) 20:19, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
NP, and I agree that we shouldn't rush this type of overhaul. Doniago (talk) 20:36, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

How useful are the navboxes vs. the field for people who read the site but don't edit it? I ask becuase I never even noticed the navboxes on articles until I started editing on the site. Usually I scrolled until I hit the info I wanted, possibly clicked through to a reference but almost never have I ever read all the way to the bottom of a page until I started editing them. SO I never saw all of the categories and navboxes at the bottom. I don't know if my behavior was the norm but it's something to consider. If y'all see what angle I'm coming at this from. I know the infobox fields have caused confusion; I had a discussion with someone once about it in regards to the Batman films specifically. But if the site on the whole is an encyclopedia (as a goal), then I think it would be prudent to consider how people who only come here looking for information (as opposed to those of us who add, correct, or tweak information) use the site. Just throwing that out there. I can't entirely decide on the straw poll yet. Millahnna (talk) 22:20, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Just to play Devil's Advocate, and no other reason than that, people also come here for random trivia about a film (continuity errors, anecdotes, etc.) but we don't include that stuff anymore. One could also argue that any average reader probably reads at least the opening paragraphs and knows the blue links go to other articles. As such, franchise films usually have comments about the "franchise" and one-off sequels are usually directly identified.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 23:46, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Heh... Devil's advocate is sort of why I threw out the thought to begin with. I think I'm leaning towards killing the fields in the infobox (I had a passing idea about a franchise field but ditched it and I don't remember why). But when I face these weird situations I tend to try and remind myself that not everyone who comes here edits and I find using the site easier now that I've done some (not terribly comprehensive) editing. So I like to try and remember the folks who don't edit when I can't make up my mind. It seems like it helps maintain the best interest of the wiki project at large for me. Millahnna (talk) 23:56, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Straw poll

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the . Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result was Agree.

Do you agree with the removal of the "Preceded by" and "Followed by" parameters from Template:Infobox film?

Agree

  1. Big Bird (talkcontribs) 17:23, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  2. Betty Logan (talk) 17:43, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  3. Doniago (talk) 17:43, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  4. Smetanahue (talk) 18:14, 27 January 2011 (UTC) Useless & provoke fanboy edit wars
  5. Lugnuts (talk) 18:53, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  6. Erik (talk | contribs) 19:17, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  7.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 19:19, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  8. BOVINEBOY2008 19:23, 27 January 2011 (UTC). Content is not necessary for an infobox, it is better explained in the article body anyways.
  9. Ring Cinema (talk) 19:52, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  10. MarnetteD | Talk 19:55, 27 January 2011 (UTC) The fields are fraught with too much confusion and this would prevent us from going through this time and time again.
  11. Mike Allen 22:10, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  12. -5- (talk) 12:25, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
  13. Millahnna (talk) As I watch this problem starting up again on the Batman films I feel like it would be a better option to make sure the links are provided within the article in some other fashion. A franchise field, a link to (in that specific case) the Batman in film article, anything. This beast just causes edit warring. Millahnna (talk) 14:26, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
  14. JJ98 (Talk) 20:23, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
  15. Darth Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 22:01, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Disagree

  1. The primary rationale given for this so far is that the fields are redundant to navboxes, and I just can't get behind that as a reason. Album articles generally have navboxes for their respective artists, yet {{Infobox album}} still has a useful chronology field. A navbox is (supposed to be) just a list of links; a chronology serves a different purpose more akin to a timeline, displaying dates and the way in which different items relate to each other chronologically. Yes, in their current form "preceded by" and "followed by" can be seen as redundant to navboxes, because they're just linked titles, but that's why I would rather see this area of the infobox revamped into an actual chronology rather than simply ditched. --IllaZilla (talk) 18:03, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
    I can see the usefulness of it for albums, as most bands/artists have a natural chronology of their work. For most of the 70,000+ film articles, they simply don't fall into a series. IE, it's not so much being made redundant by other navigational uses (such as footers), but there simply isn't a need to have this field that might only be used in 1-5% of all film articles. Lugnuts (talk) 18:55, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
    I would not argue about excluding fields because the majority of articles won't use them. I think the "narrator" field can be useful for documentaries. It has more to do with not being able to explain the film that came before or the film that came after. In the lead section, we can do this and often do, mentioning the preceding film or the overall set of films. Erik (talk | contribs) 19:51, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
    I agree with Erik that the "most film articles don't use it" argument isn't really relevant. Obviously these parameters were created for use with films that are part of a series/franchise. I'm also not very convinced by the argument that preceding/following films are generally mentioned in the lead. Many of the items covered in the infobox are also mentioned in the lead (writer, director, source material, studio, starring actors, release date), yet we agree there is value to summarizing this data in the infobox as well. The argument of utility is more convincing, but I believe the fields can be revamped to give them both clarity and better utility. I'll take a crack at a demo version later and withold further comment until then, though I see I'm in the clear minority here :) --IllaZilla (talk) 20:19, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
    What about the fact that the "preceded by/followed by" sections have no bearing on the film page you're reading. For example, Batman Begins does not tell me anything about The Dark Knight. It doesn't even tell me that The Dark Knight is a sequel to it, because TDK isn't called BB Part 2. For all I know, it's just another stand alone Batman film that has no connection to any of the other films, ala James Bond. The lead will explain that it is in fact a direct sequel to Batman Begins. Everything else in the infobox is solely about that film, and not about its potential relationship to any other film. Thus, in my opinion it's an easy thing to lose because it's only real purpose seems to be for ease of navigation between articles. We have a nav box for franchises, and if there is merely a single sequel/prequel then the lead typically identifies that anyway.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 20:54, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
  2. This seems to be a proposal to remove a useful and helpful navigation feature, just because there are a few hard cases. Personally I think this is mistake, because I very often find these links handy; but then my primary interest in these articles is as a reader/user rather than so far much of a contibutor. Jheald (talk) 00:27, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
    I think your concerns are natural concerns. We had the same concerns from editors/readers when we proposed the removal of the external links (official website, IMDB, etc.) from the infobox as well. To this day, I still find myself missing the ease of being able to click the IMDb link right at the top of the page, but I had to remind myself that we were for one promoting an unreliable source more heavily than any other, and two by having it right at the top like that it was the fastest way of sending readers away from Wikipedia instead of trying to sell our own pages first. For me, what we lose with the extinguishment of those fields is more easy navigation to another page and nothing else really. Those other pages have no bearing on the ones we're reading, and they're typically already identified in the opening paragraphs to begin with.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 01:52, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
    Jheald's point deserves some attention. Franchise or series articles are needed for films listed reliably as forming a series. If that doesn't happen, perhaps we're not serving the readers. --Ring Cinema (talk) 16:11, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
  3. Keep They are useful but stronger dissemination of their purpose is required. What about a seperate infobox for film series? Ktlynch (talk) 18:34, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Going forward

So now we've had the token straw-poll, what now? Removal? Lugnuts (talk) 09:53, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

I've got no problem letting this run a couple more weeks. Maybe giving a bump notification on the required pages just to make sure everyone is aware. It's not going to hurt anything to let them stay a couple more weeks as we make sure everyone has had time to provide their opinion.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 14:14, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I've added a reminder on the talkpage of the film project with a request for more input. Thanks. Lugnuts (talk) 14:24, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

With no further traction on this discussion, I'm requesting for an admin to edit the template to remove these parameters. To that admin, please let us know if the consensus is strong enough or not for removal. Thanks, Erik (talk | contribs) 15:11, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

I believe the consensus is clear enough and have removed the parameters from the template. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:18, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Brace for the inevitable backlash... --IllaZilla (talk) 23:45, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Post-removal comments

Missed the straw poll, but I saw the removal; for what it's worth, I agree with the removal. EVula // talk // // 00:27, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I was wondering why this had disappeared from all of the film infoboxes. I realise this poll has ended but I for one want my opinion included here. I strongly disagree with the removal of this field. I do agree as far as the Batman movies, Batman & Robin definetely not a direct predecessor of Batman Begins, but we have an article already differentiating the film series (Batman in Film) so we could easily put this back for the first few 90's films, with no sucessor for Batman and Robin, Then for the Batman Begins series have no predecessor for Batman Begins. Someone edits this down the road, we revert and refer to the Batman in Film article and sight the difference. This affects other movie series with clear cut predecessors/successors too. Take the Back to the Future movies for instance. Obviously, Part II is a sucessor to the first movie and a predecessor of Part III. Another example is the H.B. Halicki films. Gone in 60 Seconds is suceeded by The Junkman which is suceeded by Deadline Auto Theft (Although it was a re-edited version of Gone). TBird100636 (talk) 18:17, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
The parameters' removal does not mean we should avoid mentioning the predecessors and successors in the article body. For example, at The Junkman, the lead section mentions both of the other films. The film's placement in a series should be explained in the lead section, anyway, and that is where we can identify it in its proper context, such as being a reboot, a prequel, and so forth. Erik (talk | contribs) 18:28, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Missed this whole discussion, but am delighted to see the parameter removed. The alternative would have been for a stricter and more precise definition of "preceded by" or "followed by". IMO, Psycho IV is NOT followed by the remake of Psycho, and Superman II is NOT followed by Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, but perhaps the best thing is to just scratch the parameter. Any effort to restore it should be accompanied by stricter definition of what it means. On the whole, the film series boxes at the bottoms of articles give enough info.--WickerGuy (talk) 20:38, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, bullshit. People will be that much less impressed by having to piece together franchises themselves. What a pathetic excuse for "progression".DarthBotto talkcont 01:28, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Explain how seeing two films in an infobox allows you to "piece together a franchise" anyway?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:47, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

"Brace for the inevitable backlash..."
Sign me up for the backlash. What's the benefit of removing this? Few movies are in series, but for those that are, it's exactly the sort of thing that belongs in an infobox summary. —WWoods (talk) 03:41, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

The question is what were the benefits of including it, especially when different editors consistently interpreted it in different manners and the fields didn't provide any information that can't be included (and with clarification) in prose. Doniago (talk) 17:10, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
And with such a small percentage of films actually in a "series". Lugnuts (talk) 18:50, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

I realy sorry about what I'm gonna say, but what a people voted for removal of this??? Impractical, pseudo-intellectual amateurs? I remember, when I came at the Wikipedia articles about films first time, I discovered this feature. This damn good feature and this realy, realy only one thing, because I used Wikipedia to browse films and not any of film sites, IMDB or RT. --Charly says (talk) 05:30, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Try the nav box at the bottom of the film series page, it'll have a link to any film in that series. If there's only 1 other film, it'll probably be identified and linked right in the lead paragraph (which is closer to the first thing you read than the infobox anyway).  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 05:28, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Maybe you should have voiced your concerns two weeks earlier. Lugnuts (talk) 07:57, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Editors sometimes miss these things if they don't visit the project page, but given the huge support for removing them I don't think it would have made much difference. Betty Logan (talk) 08:06, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
"pseudo-intellectual amateurs" — to be fair we're all here working on a DIY encyclopedia, so it's a label that probably fits most of us. Betty Logan (talk) 08:09, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
We are amateurs, but I hope we are also empiricists. This is a good time to try to take note of the effects of our actions. Do we have any way to measure our success or failure? If we learn of unintended consequences, let's be open-minded about reversing field. --Ring Cinema (talk) 13:06, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
The only consequence is that some editors lose a convience for navigating to the "next" film listed in the infobox. That's the only consequence. I do not believe, and I would challenge anyone that would argue such, that we'll actually lose editors to the project (or Wikipedia as a whole) simply because of a removed category in the infobox. Again, it was a convience that caused more problems then it's removal ever will. If there is a film series, then there is a navigation box (and probably a link to the film series page in the lead). If there is just one other film, it's most likely (and definitely should be if not) mentioned in the lead. So there really isn't any loss except for the removal of something the was redundantly cited in the article.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 14:04, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not talking about the editors, I'm talking about the readers. The jury is out on the effects, isn't it? No one knows and I'm interested in evidence to support any assertion. --Ring Cinema (talk) 14:18, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
It's place the same stipulations on readers. Any reader that comes here just looking to click a link in the infobox is probably not actually using our site to begin with. I would wager whatever amount of money you want that within a year it won't even be remembered. How often are you coming across people complaining that there are no more external links in the infobox? Since the initial backlack when we took them out, I haven't experienced a single debate regarding it because people either got used to it not being there or they came in without any preconceived notions that it should be there.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 14:44, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
What kind of evidence would affirm or contradict anyone's view? The absence of complaints might signal a loss of readers, so that's suspect. --Ring Cinema (talk) 17:12, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Then, since you cannot prove a negative then you have no reason to assert that there is real dissention over its removal and thus, no reason to put it back.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 22:07, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

No one was trying to prove a negative (which, by the way, is not inherently unprovable so maybe we can retire that fallacy). So to get back on track, let's keep our eyes peeled for evidence about how well it's working to remove the predecessor/successor field from the infobox. Maybe it was a good idea, maybe not. We've already had some responses, and not all were negative. What do the readers think? That's harder to figure out. Any brilliant suggestions? --Ring Cinema (talk) 23:31, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Suggestion #1 - Move on to improving articles and if someone complains point them to the discussion we had where it was decided those items would get removed.
 :D (P.S. The idea that you "can" prove a negative is based on ones ability to play the semantics card and word something in such a way that it's provable while also being negative. That logicians philosophy doesn't say that any negative can be proven, just that the concept of "you cannot prove a negative" is inherently false simply because you can twist something into a negative and prove it that way).  BIGNOLE  (Contact me)
For the record, BigNole, you don't know what you're talking about and I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't pretend I'm playing semantic games or something when you just made a mistake. Thanks. --Ring Cinema (talk) 04:26, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Please do not presume to know me or what I am knowledgeable about. I'm not about to get into a debate about the semantics involved with the idea of "proof of concept" or "proof of a no concept" here. Leave it as, the semantics is involved in the idea of arguing what is "proof" (e.g., it would be like arguing causation over correlation). Regardless, we're getting distracted over what this topic is all about. So, we'll leave it as this: Given that the consensus was to remove those items, if significant evidence can be provided that their removal is in some way damaging film articles that utilize those categories (damaging can be defined as anything related to problems arising for editors or readers) then I would gladly support reinstatement. Since you represent the dissenting view, the onus would be on you to devise a research model that could chart such reactivity. It it is not us to create this model, because we're not the ones believing that it creates an issue in the first place.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 05:00, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
In fact, I come out in favor of removal. Since there are good reasons on both sides, we should continue to monitor if we made the right decision. Those of us who acted to remove the field are every bit as responsible for verifying the utility of the decision -- maybe more so. I don't think the burden falls on the naysayers. Unexpected consequences are inevitable and keeping an open mind is free. --Ring Cinema (talk) 16:43, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Many edit wars have been prevented thanks to this consensus. Lives have been saved--that's a positive. —Mike Allen 02:25, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
You are probably right, Mike, but is there any evidence of any kind? --Ring Cinema (talk) 03:52, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Not off the top of my head, though talk page archives and article histories would be a great place to look. —Mike Allen 04:57, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
  • You can't justify the addition or removal of the parameters from a reader's POV simply because there is no way to assess that aspect. It's best just to accept that what goes in the infobox is clearly down to editorial discretion. We know the parameter had caused some conflicts due to how it should be interpreted, and I guess on the whole editorial discretion didn't consider it worth the hassle. My view on the infobox is that every field should be intuitive and unambiguous and that's the position I adopted in voting for its removal. If enough editors object to their removal to the extent there is a clear preference to retain the parameters the decision can be revisited, but its pointless to pretend there is a criteria beyond subjective editorial judgment that we can apply. Betty Logan (talk) 05:43, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Should we consider deleting the parameters from other infobox film articles (i.e. Template:Infobox Japanese film) as well? Darth Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 20:00, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

It would seem more prudent to ask the question at the Talk pages for the pertinent templates, perhaps linking back to the discussion here. Just a suggestion. Doniago (talk) 20:06, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I missed this entire discussion, but I just wanted to say that the deletion of this field was silly and unnecessary. I await its inevitable restoration. --TorsodogTalk 07:19, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

I would not hold my breath, as the longer it is since we removed them the less and less we have someone new actually inquiring about them. Most people have already forgotten about it, and all new editors never realized it was there.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:27, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Please. All it takes is another outspoken editor on the other side of the issue and a different batch of editors around while the discussion is taking place. This is Wikipedia, things change. It will happen, as it's a field that should be there. --TorsodogTalk 02:53, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
I can understand your position, but these were the same things said when the links to IMDb and other external locations were removed from the infobox as well. That htey "should be there" and that "they'll be put back". Major changes to the infobox happen over time, and usually take quite some time if they ever return to the way they were before the change. The idea behind "things change" usually don't as easily apply to infobox changes in any medium because with time new editors come in and they never know that those items were ever there. Thus, they don't argue that they should be because they never experienced pages with them. Time will tell, and I don't believe that it'll say that those items need to be returned.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 03:01, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

I discovered this feature removal after the fact. While I understand the reasons for suppressing display of the information, they are insufficient, as a reasonable workaround does not exist. It used to be that a regular user could simply edit the infobox. Simple. But now, it appears that an entirely new film franchise page needs to be created (I refuse to create new pages, due to past experience with Wikipedia's power-mad editors) if one did not exist before. That seems overkill for a film having just one sequel (consider Hollow Man or Vacancy (film)). So, you've not only suppressed a lot of basic information that used to be visible at a glance, and which people will now have to hop over to IMDb to get, but you've also made it even more difficult or impossible to add that to Wikipedia. 24.57.239.43 (talk) 07:46, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Well, not really, but thanks anyway. Lugnuts (talk) 08:01, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Please elaborate. 24.57.239.43 (talk) 08:06, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
To continue my previous comment by adding something constructive, a better path would have been to grandfather the old fields, while adding a set of clearer fields, such as "previous release"/"next release" to cover the chronological order of releases (e.g. James Bond) and "previous in story"/"next in story" to cover the story order (e.g. Star Wars). There could be other ways of doing it, but that's the idea. Pages using the old fields could have a note displayed to correct the infobox to the new fields. It's about treating your users with respect, instead of bulldozing their contributions away. 24.57.239.43 (talk) 08:02, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
It is at least as meaningful, if not moreso, to discuss any previous/next release information in prose, and based on prior discussions has less potential to confuse readers. Doniago (talk) 13:34, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Post-removal comments cont'd

I discovered multiple movie pages were not displaying info about others in the series, eventually tracked it down to this deliberate deletion. You have screwed up untold numbers of pages with this. It's an optional parameter. Let the editors of the relevant pages decide whether to use it or not. It's useful field when there are two or three movies in a series -- not everything comes in multiple Roman numbered "franchises". I just wasted 10 minutes findnig and linking a sequel page only to find it already in the infobox, but not displayed thanks to this high handed action. You will be getting a lot of very unhappy people here until you replace this. Barsoomian (talk) 06:36, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

If you can make a compelling arguement to keep it, please do so. Lugnuts (talk) 06:51, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
We're not starting from scratch designing a new template. We're maintaining an existing template that thousands of pages use. Changing it WITHOUT NOTICE TO ALL AFFECTED has broken a lot of pages. I don't see any of the people who voted for this going around checking every page that used the parameters and making sure the information is in the article text. As I found, it's simply now invisible. I don't care what the rationale was for removing it; nothing makes up for the loss of information and wasted time this has caused and will continue to cause. I can't see how any consensus was declared. Very few of the people who work on a few movie pages ever visit the project page, let alone a template discussion page. Most people affected by this won't even be able to work out why their pages suddenly don't work. Now it has cost me 30 minutes, just to sort out one page and track down the problem. Multiply that by a few hundred and that's the cost of this. Benefit? Barsoomian (talk) 07:08, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)It's been 3 months since the change, so I would think if all these "people" were unhappy it would have been brought up then. I guess the question is now, can consensus be changed back? Maybe, but doubt it, unless some compelling arguments come to light. Anyway, you may be interested in this proposal. :-) —Mike Allen 07:11, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I knew you would just blow me off. This bites people who don't edit films regularly, who use templates by copy and paste (as I mostly do). Just because they don't come here and complain, don't say no one cares, they just don't what's wrong or who to blame. You're safely hidden here and can ignore everyone you've messed with by indirectly editing their pages. But I repeat: Are you and the others who perpetrated this making any attempts to 1) make people aware of this policy you've imposed and 2) doing anything to repair the damage by checking every page that uses these parameters? Or are you just happy to let multiple pages be broken?Barsoomian (talk) 07:38, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
How are pages broken? —Mike Allen 08:05, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Having information just disappear isn't "broken"? I did consider stronger words, but then I'd get whacked for not assuming good faith. For example trying to fix :[2] is what alerted me. You (collectively) broke it. I fixed it. You wasted my time. This is why I'm unhappy. Barsoomian (talk) 08:21, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Anyone can go to a film article's talk page, click the WikiProject Film link, jump to the "Guidelines" section, click Infobox Film and see that the succession field is no longer in the template. I have simplified this by adding it to the Template:WPFILM Announcements. Also for the film you linked, the prequel was already on the page.. at the bottom in the director's template. And you may want to use the Template:Infobox Japanese film. —Mike Allen 08:53, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Anybody COULD do that. I've been editing for three years, I never thought to. Most users have only a vague idea of what a template or project is. They just edit the page and expect them to be self-explanatory. You broke the pages in a way that most users affected will never work out. Pages that were fine last year have now silently had information removed. You've done nothing to assess the damage or find the pages that use the parameters you've deleted and fix them. As for "the prequel was already on the page". The title of the film was in the footer, no indication that it was part of a series (though yes, you might guess from the title). This is one of the most important facts about the film, yet it was removed from the visible text by your change. Thus, "broken".Barsoomian (talk) 09:31, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
No it's not "broken". Faulty code being added to a page which breaks the page is a broken page; removing an optional parameter from a template is not breaking a page. It was there for convenience, but after years of disagreements and confusion on if the fields meant film continuity or film chronology -- it was done away with. You can add it to the lead section, which should probably be there in the first place. —Mike Allen 09:45, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
It's not broken now, because I spent (wasted) my time to fix it. I didn't create the page. The person who did didn't do it perfectly. But it worked till you changed the template. So you're happy to let all such pages just be screwed up because they used a parameter that you thought was a bad idea. You made this problem, and won't do anything about the consequences of your change except blame people for not knowing you were going to get rid of it. Barsoomian (talk) 09:59, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
And I had a look at the "debate" above. All the deleters seemed to be talking about problems with "franchises", like Batman, and were bored with arguments over their order. So they decided to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The parameters are useful for film where you have one or two sequels, and it would be silly to create a "franchise" article or a special template just for two films, instead of just one line in the infobox. As in the Japanese film I mentioned above. If these didn't already exist in uncounted articles you could say it should be in the prose. But it was and was used. And I'm very, very pissed off at how this was done with no consideration for the existing articles, no attempt to explain this issue to those who need to know about it and no attempt to repair the issues created by this action. Barsoomian (talk) 13:39, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Without sounding harsh - tough. You missed an opportunity to particpate in the original conversation. There was plenty of chance to do so. Films with sequals aren't really that common, compared to the total number of films on WP. Lugnuts (talk) 13:56, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Bullshit. I'm supposed to monitor every talk page of every template in Wikipedia in case some cabal is planning to screw it up? You got away with it because the changes you made were silent: if anyone was watching any particular film page they would get no notification that they had been changed. If a normal vandal had deleted the text from a page it could have been seen in a history diff and repaired. You DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO CHECK OR REPAIR THE PAGES YOU DAMAGED. All because if some silly tiff about Batman movies, so you sneaked this through on this obscure page to preempt discussion. "Films with sequals aren't really that common," Duh. Yeah, if it doesn't affect an article you care about it doesn't matter. Well, probably quixotic to think I can reverse this but I'll give it a try. Barsoomian (talk) 00:42, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
No, you just need to look at the film project talkpage every few days. The discussion was posted there for all to see. Shame you missed it. Lugnuts (talk) 07:03, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't think accusing people of a conspiracy is going to help your arguement. This isn't the illuminati over here and the page is quite public and hardly obscure, it's the page for the very template that concerns you. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 00:53, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
"Look at the film project talk page every few days"? I don't edit films "every few days". It's people who don't edit films much, who only ever look at a template page after they have a problem, if then, who got bitten by this. I know templates can evolve. But I expect that all the "old" features will still work in some manner. Not just silently stop displaying. And "conspiracy"? I said "cabal". Aside from the slightly negative connotation, which I hope you're not going to make an issue about (if so: I'll apologise now) I was implying that you do not have the consensus of the thousands of people who edit film pages. Of them maybe a few dozen concern themselves with niceties of wiki formatting. That's what I meant by "cabal". There's a reason DOS programs still work under Windows: you don't arbitrarily break an existing codebase, no matter how crufty you think it is, you break compatibility only when there is a overriding necessity, not just an aesthetic preference. Barsoomian (talk) 09:28, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Without sounding harsh - that "Without sounding harsh" paragraph above is specious, hollow, and arrogant. If there's so few sequels, and that's the standard you go by, why do you care if those few pages have handy info in their infobox that you find objectionable? I agree with Barsoomian - and I too had wondered what happened to those links. When I first started using WP I found them surprisingly useful and simple. You could go to the preceding or following film with one quick click and you knew where to go in the infobox to do it. Now you have to go hunting for the link you want which may or may not be on the top of the page, or scroll down to the bottom, click to open the franchise box, find the link you want, then click on it.

To just go and remove these tools because you have some issues with some franchises is ridiculous. They should be in the order the films were released - if someone wants to know the "story order" they can go to the franchise page. I have little problem with the infobox saying Batman & Robin was followed by Batman Begins, because it really was. Not by story, but in the history of the franchise. And besides, in most cases, the franchise and story order are the same.

So congratulations - you and your cohorts took something that was useful and beneficial and trashed it - and to those of us who weren't active WP editors at the time - "Tough." Gothicfilm (talk) 01:10, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

I'd like to thank Barsoomian et al for bringing this here. I think as a group we are not wise if we don't pay attention to the results of our actions. We made the best decision we could in good faith but it would be foolish not to observe the unanticipated consequences. Clearly the objections raised this week are valid. At the time we made the change, we felt the infobox was cluttered and were looking to pare it down. We polled our contributors, we didn't get a consensus. The objection that the change went undocumented is a very good one. We're not set up for that at all, and it's not good. I don't agree that everyone who edits a film article should be required to click through to this discussion -- almost unimaginably unnavigable -- to figure out why that field doesn't work any more. That's just not reasonable. So, because we can always be certain that there will be unforeseen consequences of changes we make to the infobox, we should be attentive to what they are and listen with some humility. Maybe we got it right, maybe not. --Ring Cinema (talk) 03:50, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Well I did add it on the film announcement template. Perhaps too late. I don't agree with all the uncivilness and personal attacks.. over.. a .. template. It's crazy and people should be able to express their opinions without resorting to that. I didn't even change the template.. yet I'm getting chastised for it. —Mike Allen 04:35, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
The incivility went both ways. If people feel strongly, I assume it's a sign of the seriousness with which they take their contribution. All to the good. Those who edit in good faith naturally don't want to see their work disrespected by an unceremonious trashing. That's a normal reaction and one we all can honor, I think. --Ring Cinema (talk) 04:56, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
It went both ways.. really? —Mike Allen 05:17, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it went both ways. You're taking everything too personally. Many participants here. --Ring Cinema (talk) 05:28, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Navboxes as a substitute

It did not go both ways in equal proportions. Consensus removed it, in part, due to the constant edit warring over what was and was not a sequel. Another solid reason for the fields deactivation is to avoid infobox bloat. Film series often get a mention in the lead and at other points in the article which is more useful to a reader who is going beyond the "USA Today" I only look at the graphs (ie infoboxes) to get all I want to know. I would make the following observation to those that think that the two pieces of info in those deactivated fields is important. About five years ago succession boxes were all the rage for film and actor articles. They were mostly used for "XXXX year before-XXXX year-XXXX year after" awards. I think they were popular, at least in part, because they were fun to make. They contained a about half a dozen links covering three years worth of items that a reader might use. Then, a couple of years ago, navboxes came along. They expanded the succession box info to cover at least a decades worth of information. Thus, they gave a reader many more links to explore from a given article. I would suggest that those of you who want to give emphasis to a given film series put your efforts into creating navboxes for them. They have a far greater scope for allowing for variation (such as is Never Say Never Again a sequel to On Her Majesty's... and if it isn't this is why it isn't) and will reduce edit warring for a film series than the two lines that were in the infobox could ever allow for. I know that those of you who are married to the old fields will disagree but I just feel that navboxes will give you a greater scope for your talents. MarnetteD | Talk 03:49, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, that's not what I was saying went both ways. What went both ways was the incivility in the recent discussion. However, the rest of your post I don't want to comment on. --Ring Cinema (talk) 06:07, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I still don't see how I was being uncivil. Sorry for not typing in all caps. —Mike Allen 07:25, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Then it must have been someone else. Good job. --Ring Cinema (talk) 13:28, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I have to take issue with MarnetteD. I found the infobox links useful long before I did any WP editing. I object to their removal because of their usefulness to READERS. Of course Navboxes are great and should be there as well. (Most infobox info is redundant if the article is complete.) But infoboxes are good for quick reference and links, and there they should be kept simple. They should be in the order the films were released, as I explain above.
In my casual browsing I have come across dozens of film pages that now have no links to the preceding or following films - for example Shaft's Big Score, which was the 2nd of three films between 1971 and 73. Right now there is no link to the other two ANYWHERE on the 2nd film's page. Of course they are listed in the infobox, but now those links are invisible. And no I didn't take the time to fix it. I believe you who were so for this change should go and put links to those films in all the hundreds of film articles you have now removed this information from. Or better yet, just reactivate the links in the infobox. Gothicfilm (talk) 00:21, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't see why there is any urgency to that. Even if they're there they aren't impacting the layout of the article, they're invisibleDarkwarriorblake (talk) 00:24, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

"That"? What's that? "They're there"? What's where? --Ring Cinema (talk) 07:43, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
It was in response to GothicFilm's 2nd to last comment above but everyone kept posting above instead of below. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 11:44, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
still difficult to parse and you're not nailing it down --Ring Cinema (talk) 15:43, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Nothing should be in the infobox that isn't already in the prose—the infobox is supposed to be a summary of the article. If the links are missing that's a problem with the article rather than the infobox. In theory we should be able to remove the infobox entirely without losing information from the article. The idea of the infobox is to summarise pertinent information about the film, not to provide Wikipedia navigation. Betty Logan (talk) 00:43, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
In theory, you have a point, but I'm talking about how WP actually works. There are now many articles without any links to other films that should be there, usually with lesser known, older films. And of course I should be able to use the infobox for quick Wikipedia navigation - why else have any links in it? Gothicfilm (talk) 01:06, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Both points are good ones. Some people think of the infobox as the basic information that an article should cover all in one place (Gothicfilm, perhaps), while others think the article is the baseline and the infobox is like a convenient distillation (BettyLogan). Neither view is superior intrinsically and for this project, which is something new, we should be open to uses and benefits that we didn't foresee. Gothicfilm's point that the readers define our purposes is a good one. The removal of this field was done because of editor problems: too much warring over difficult cases. We as a group don't know how to measure the volume of conflict, and anecdotal evidence is not always the best evidence. Are we serving our readers? How do we know? --Ring Cinema (talk) 15:43, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
We're really only in a position to offer opinions as editors, so the decision was primarily an editorial one. If we are going to evaluate the decision on usefulness to the reader, then an objective measure would be to see if there is a discernable difference in page accesses on sequel articles over the six month period following the removal of the parameter. If there is a clear drop then we should review the decision on that basis, if not then it's moot point. Betty Logan (talk) 15:59, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
First let me say I appreciate Ring Cinema's attempt to bring peace and civility to this discussion. Some of what's been said on here makes it hard to remain civil. The infobox links should be reactivated now, because the resultant harm is being done now. Articles are missing info because of this. I see no one who voted for this change has gone in to fix the damage done to Shaft's Big Score, which I described above. All of 15 people voted for this, but none of them will address the issues they caused. I can't believe that because so few people knew about or paid attention to this template talk page (myself included until this month), a mere 15 people were able to take something away that unknown hundreds or more found useful, however briefly. Gothicfilm (talk) 23:30, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────You may want to read WP:CONSENSUS The guideline states that they prefer small numbers of people to be involved in these decisions and 15 is actually a fair sized number in my six+ years experience. Next harm is too strong of a word next you will be using the "What about the children" argument. The alleged damage to SBS could easily be fixed by your being WP:BOLD and adding the film series info in the body the article or by creating a navbox as suggested earlier. Asking us to return to the edit wars of the past is counterproductive. MarnetteD | Talk 23:42, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Seems to me that policy leaves something to be desired if it results in decisions like this. I want someone who caused this to repair their damage - I don't have the time to put in now-missing links to no doubt hundreds of lesser-known film articles. I'm disappointed by your casual dismissal of the real harm that has been done here - if you don't believe in the value of linking film articles together, or in this case preserving those links when they previously were there - well then, we have a disagreement on how WP should be maintained. And I am not asking you "to return to the edit wars of the past." As I said before, those infobox links should be in the order the films were released - if someone wants to know the "story order" they can read further into the article or go to the franchise page. I have little problem with the infobox saying Batman & Robin was followed by Batman Begins, because it really was. Not by story, but in the history of the franchise. And besides, in most cases, the franchise and story order are the same. Gothicfilm (talk) 00:24, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Actually I think the "harm" brought up in this discussion is an argument for the removal. It seems like the infobox parameters, when it comes to stub articles, have made editors refrain from doing the proper thing and add info about sequels to the article body, and let the infobox be enough. Notable is also that this problem pretty much is exclusive for stub articles, which lack almost all other info as well. Personally I think such parameters could have been justifiable if this was a movie database, but not when it is an encyclopedia. They lack any significant encyclopedic value. Smetanahue (talk) 00:02, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Smetanahue, I'm wondering why you think stubs are the problem. Forgive me, but it seems anecdotal on your part. Secondly, I am not clear what's the failing of navboxes. Can we get one of those smart bots to find the infoboxes that used this field and make a list or convert them to navboxes? --Ring Cinema (talk) 01:56, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
"Nothing should be in the infobox that isn't already in the prose—the infobox is supposed to be a summary of the article." With the exception of epic films (Cecil B. DeMille, et al) and some experimental films (Empire), find me a film article that mentions the runtime anywhere other than the infobox. Lugnuts (talk) 14:52, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
That's a third use of the infobox: a place for the details that may not find a place in the article. I'm not sure if that helps us with choosing between navboxes and a successor field. I believe, Lugnuts, that you are implying that the field could offer something the article won't if the series doesn't get a mention there. For myself, I would not be an editor who would get into a film's place in a series because I don't really know which section it would be right to include it. Am I alone in that? --Ring Cinema (talk) 19:10, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Info about past entries usually belongs in the production section (eg, the production company decided to make another because the last one went well, or whatever). Sequels sometimes get their own section at the bottom, if it's not enough to just mention in the prod and lead that the film is an entry in a larger series. The "See also" section can of course also be used.
I don't think all technical info necessarily needs to be mentioned in prose (though I can't resist to accept Lugnuts' challenge: Enter the Void), but one thing I think we should be able to agree on, is that the infobox is a genuine, full-fledged part of the actual encyclopedic article. As such I do not think it is appropriate to use as a navigation tool. There is a reason that navboxes at the bottom don't show up when you click the "printable version" button: those links are only relevant while you use Wikipedia as a website. And although that's how we use it most of the time, we still have to remember that it is an encyclopedia, not a database or a collection of links. Smetanahue (talk) 19:41, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I think the reason navboxes don't turn up on the print version is that the implicit information (the link destination) isn't there, but I don't take it to mean that they are navigation tools only. The destinations are part of the information of the article. WP is not a simulacrum of a paper encyclopedia; this is its own thing that works in its own way to fulfill the function even better. I agree that infoboxes are not parasitic of their articles but that is separate from their use for navigation. Perhaps you could explain why they're not good for navigation, since that seems totally cool to me. This is what I mean when I say that we shouldn't prejudge the uses that might be found by readers. We are trying to offer something useful and the more useful the better. --Ring Cinema (talk) 21:05, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Infoboxes are not for navigation because their purpose is to provide a condensed breakdown of basic info about the article's subject. Many things about a movie have a higher encyclopedic value than which came before and which came after, if the movie happens to be an installment of a series. Perhaps a franchise parameter could work as a compromise, as it would provide less arbitrary information. But even regardless of the often diffuse definition of what constitutes a series, the fundamental reason that I oppose this is that I really can't see why serialised cinema should be held in special regard. Movies with sequels are movies just like all others, even if their fans have invested emotionally in a whole arch of movies. Smetanahue (talk) 22:30, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Information about related movies is some kind of illicit elevation? No, my friend, that doesn't stand up to scrutiny: it's just information that might be useful to readers. Similarly, there's no need to rank the information value of different facts. In fact, it would be POV, no?
So, what is the reason that navboxes don't work just as well as an infobox field? Anyone want to weigh in on that? There is the matter of precedent and the pre-existence of the infobox field on successors, but is that the main reason? Are they harder to set up? Thanks. --Ring Cinema (talk) 06:06, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Do you mean that all entries of a whole film series should be included in the infobox? I don't see how dropping 1-2 entries of a potential large franchise is more acute info than, for example, production designers or choreographers (I don't think those fields should be added either). Or why sequels should be treated differently than other things we also have navboxes for, ie director filmographies, production company filmographies and major awards. It would be unsustainable to include all of it in the infobox, even if we renamed it to something without the preposition "info", and then I can't see why just sequels should be considered so much more important than everything else.
The real reasons behind this that I can see are 1. Industrialised franchises are regarded as the norm; and while they may have prominent box-office results, they are a clear minority within the larger scope of films, and 2., which I assume is the main reason, that franchises build dedicated fanbases, who want their favourite movies to be presented on Wikipedia as something beyond the ordinary, despite that they as film productions really are just like any typical movie. Smetanahue (talk) 10:59, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I see what you're saying. You mean that we have to exercise judgement about what to include in the box. Okay. For what it's worth, I don't want to say that the most important stuff goes in the box and the less important is only in the article (cf. running time). (Personally, I would be happy if genre was in that category, too: in the box and optional in the article.)
So what about your last point, which is more controversial. Does no POV mean e.g. ignoring Shakespeare lovers who think the First Folio is the sine qua non of culture or do we rather simply present Shakespeare as the giant of literature some would like us to accept? Or, is the Bible just another book, albeit a collection, or something with the ultimate provenance? What I'm trying to say is that while I share your view that marketing drives commercial acceptance, perception, reputation, etc., that's the world we live in. A world with infoboxes. --Ring Cinema (talk) 13:23, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Jesus, you guys, I can't believe you abolished these:
preceded_by = Another Thin Man |
followed_by = The Thin Man Goes Home |
They're "redundant". Oh, boo hoo. So what?
Other languages of WP do not routinely nuke useful features in the way that English does ... all ... the ... time.
You go and work in a different language for a while, then come back here and all hell has broken loose.
Varlaam (talk) 16:10, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Is there a reason that the navboxes can't be at least as good in the same role? --Ring Cinema (talk) 16:47, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
As I said before, the infobox links were most useful and simple. You could go to the preceding or following film with one quick click and you knew where to go in the infobox to do it. Now you have to go hunting for the link you want which may or may not be on the top of the page, or scroll down to the bottom, click to open the franchise box, find the link you want, then click on it.
Some of the editors on here seem to really resent the idea that a reader be able to find a link they want with one quick glance. One even made it sound like it's a sin to use the infobox for WP navigation. I find this incredible, and I don't think I'm alone. Looking at the debate above, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that too many of the 15 contributors who voted for this change are far too concerned with how WP functions as an instrument they can edit, but couldn't care less about what's most useful for readers who simply come here to get information.Gothicfilm (talk) 20:11, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't see what all the fuss is about to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click a link there. You're making it seem like it's torturous to do this. In the links in the infobox only account for a maximum of 2 other films. If there are more than that in a series, then the links only serve a limited purpose. If there is only one other film in the series, then again it should be noted on original film's page to begin with. If it's not, then it should be added. It's as simple as that. You seem to be making a mountain out of a mole hill.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 20:19, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I see something of value in both your responses. There is not a reader representative in the discussion and we seriously have no idea how our decision affected traffic or the utility of the articles. I agree that there is something a little strange about complaining that a navigation tool is used for navigation. On the other hand, navboxes offer an alternative, even if slightly clumsy to some. However, our putative goal of avoiding edit wars appears to me, on reflection, not one we will achieve this way, for a very simple reason: the alternative to infobox wars is navbox wars. If there isn't agreement on how to use the infobox, why will there magically be agreement on navboxes? So if the only reason we can defend the change is by offering navboxes, we owe it to ourselves and our readers to reconsider. --Ring Cinema (talk) 22:36, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
What exactly would the navbox war be? The infobox war was about what films to include in the infobox because of "different continuity". Navboxes contain all the films in the series, so that argument becomes irrelevant. If someone wants to separate continuities, then that's a stylistic issue and would be a case-by-case discussion. It has no bearing on the overall issue unless someone said, "You can't put that in this navbox because it's part of a different series". I haven't actually come across people wanted to separate out navboxes by continuity, but more separate sections out within the same navbox. So, I think you're taking a strawman approach here when there has not been any evidence to suggest that the "wars" would transition to navboxes.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 00:05, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, yes, you make a point, but everything about how to use navboxes isn't crystalline. The issue of which film is next is not there to war over, but the other disputes remain (e.g. which films are part of the same series). So, no, I don't want to bring in any straw man. There was discussion about more problems than simply ordering the list. And it's true, isn't it, that assembling a complete list of films to make a correct group is a much bigger project than simply linking to the next or the previous? A list of the Bond films, if none existed, is a major undertaking. The films based on Shakespeare would be massive. Can we agree that, for better or worse, the infobox breaks the job into parts in a way that navboxes don't? --Ring Cinema (talk) 15:30, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Please reactivate these parameters

As an occasional editor of, and frequent reader of, the film articles, I'm requesting that "preceded by" and "followed by" be reactivated. I found these links to be incredibly helpful, for navigating between articles and, even more than that, for general information purposes. I understand that the definition of a series of moves is sometimes a bit vague, and that there could be disagreements about this between editors, but I really think that this can be taken care of by having a clear definition in the infobox documentation, and by handling individual cases in the talk pages of articles. If album infoboxes can have a "genre" field, which is way more of a gray area, it seems to me that as editors we should be able to handle a little ambiguity, for the sake of making the infoboxes way more helpful. Mudwater (Talk) 13:45, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Just thought I'd bump this thread to encourage further discussion, or better yet, the reactivation of the "preceded by" and "followed by" parameters. As an example, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was preceded by Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and it was followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Speaking as a reader of the film articles, this utterly straightforward and concise information would be extremely helpful if included in the infoboxes. It makes it a lot easier to see at a glance where a film fits into a series. Mudwater (Talk) 23:37, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
So, you mean you're not reading the first sentence in the article that says "Dead Man's Chest is the second film in the Pirates film series"?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 23:46, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Also, all the info about film order for this series and more is available in the navbox {{POTC}} which is a fine example of why they are more useful then the old parameters. MarnetteD | Talk 23:51, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, the lead sentence says that it's the second film, and says which one it follows. A close reading of the second paragraph also reveals which film is next. That's good. But this key information should also be available at a glance in the infobox, as it was before. As far as navboxes, they're nice too, but there are a ton of films that have sequels, or that are sequels, or that are part of a short series, that don't have navboxes. Also as others have pointed out in this discussion, the navboxes are a lot less obvious to a typical reader. At any rate, it's more a matter of providing the key information in the infobox. Actually navigating between the articles is also important, but less so than showing the info at a glance. Mudwater (Talk) 00:08, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Why? It provides little actual information about the film in question. First, you don't actually know where it falls in a series. You may know the titles of the films around it, but last time I checked it didn't give you a hint as to where it falls in a series. Almost every film that has at least 2 sequels has a nav box. If it doesn't have 2 sequels, then the solo sequel should be mentioned right there in the lead paragraph. There is nothing "key" about that information. It's ancillary. It tells you virturally nothing about the film page you're on. All it does is tell you what came before this film and what came after, if anything. And if the page is doing its job, then it should tell you that aleady. People said a lot of the same things when the links to IMDb and the official website were removed. I still look for the IMDb link in the infobox to this day. But, it added nothing relevant to the infobox itself (which is really supposed to focus on the film in question, not the other films in the series).  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 00:36, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
The argument that listing the preceding and following films in the infobox provides little information about the film in question is not at all compelling, in my view. "Previous" and "next" do in fact show where the film falls in the sequence, which is very much about the film in question. As a reader, I've often consulted Wikipedia to quickly figure out that information, knowing that I could just look at the infobox and have the answer right away. Also, a lot of the previous discussion was about how it's sometimes hard to define exactly what constitutes "previous" and "next", and how there are sometimes arguments among editors about that. I think that should be our problem to solve as editors -- based on talk page discussions -- not the readers' problem. Mudwater (Talk) 00:50, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Really, it tells you where it falls in the series? So the infobox tells you that Dead Man's Chest is the second Pirates film? Last time I checked it didn't. It told you that it came after Black Pearl and before ATE, but if you don't know how many films are in the series then that tells you very little, because you don't know at one point in the series that actually is. In my view, "it's key information" isn't that compelling. To me, it's not key information. Key information should be information that should be detrimental to a reader should it not be presented. Knowing where a film falls in a series (well, really just knowing what films may come around it) isn't so important that it's absence is somehow now negatively effecting readers. Can you actually show that article traffic is down because readers can no longer "navigate" between pages using the infobox?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 01:04, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
In hindsight, my previous statement might have been a bit unclear. I agree that listing the previous and next films does not tell you what number in the series the current film is. It just tells you what the previous and next films are. When I said that it tells you where the film falls in the series, that's what I meant. As someone who often reads and refers to Wikipedia articles about films, I feel quite strongly that this change has negatively affected me as a reader, and I'm guessing that many other readers feel the same way. No, I can't show that article traffic is down. I'm just saying what I think about the change to the infobox. Mudwater (Talk) 01:14, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well, allow me. Since we first implemented these changes in February, let's look at Dead Man's Chest. March (118 views), April (178), May (500) <--It should be noted that Stranger Tides came out this month, June (239), July (188) (And this month isn't even over). Now, before we removed those parameters, we have December (135), January (125), February (108). Even if I go back to the same time last year, June 2009 (67). I don't think articles are actually losing any traffic because of this, thus I would argue that readers are not being discouraged from finding the pages. They just have to actually read the pages they're on in order to find the links they want.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 01:46, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't think the page hits tell us whether or not this change is a good one. There are too many other factors that influence the number of hits. In the meantime I don't see any big disadvantages to listing the previous and next films, and, as I've explained in my other posts, I believe they add valuable and appropriate information to the infobox. Mudwater (Talk) 02:46, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
You also cannot see whether the change is a bad one either. The argument works both ways. One disadvantage is the cluttering of the infobox. There is still discussion about removing more fields because the infobox is so long already. I don't see a real advantage for having them beyond navigation purposes, and we have other options on the page for that. You don't learn anything other than what other films are around this particular film, and that's pretty neglible as far as information importance goes.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:50, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
No, no, no, no, no. You had your chance to chip in for the initial discussion. They're gone and aren't coming back, so tough. Lugnuts (talk) 07:06, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
We can change it back. That's within our power and discretion. It would be hopeless to think that every change we make is a good one, so the wise course is to evaluate which changes are good and which are not. I think the navboxes do not offer the same ease of use as the infobox, and I don't really accept the dogma that readers should be required to wade through our text to ferret out the information they want on film series'. There is a reason we use tables, graphs, charts, and even infoboxes: it organizes information in useful forms. --Ring Cinema (talk) 16:28, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
There still does not seem to be a public outcry over this. A few random people coming in to voice their complaints after 5 months of it being gone. We had a bigger outcry over IMDb being removed.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 17:02, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
We're creatures of habit, some readers and editors truly used those links often and now they miss them that they're not there. But same as adding content to an article, adding a parameter to an infobox places the burden of proof on the editor adding the material—not the person removing it—to prove why it improves a reader's experience. The infobox was created without these particular parameters, they were added later and then removed again because they were deemed not helpful enough to justify the increase in size and complexity of the infobox. The rationale "put it back because I remember it being there and using it" shifts the burden to the users who decided to remove the parameters after meaningful discussion. The above rationale will not change my mind that we did the right thing when we removed it because it proves only that the parameters were used but it does little to prove that they were used for any reason other than "they were there". I've yet to see an editor and/or reader new to the project say "You know what I think might help? Placing in the infobox a link to the next film in the series because it would <insert well-thought out rationale>." If we start seeing those types of rationales from people who have never seen the parameters in question, I'd give more thought to bringing them back because that might make me think that a need for them actually exists. Big Bird (talkcontribs) 00:54, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

The Bigs (heh) have pretty much covered my thoughts. I do want to add, though, that something we weren't very careful about was making sure that articles were edited to include franchise and/or sequel links in lesser known film articles as the fields were removed. The big name, everyone goes to see it, big budget productions were well covered to assure a smooth transition. But I know I found a few low budget horror flicks that had some problems in that regard. That said, I don't know if there was a way we could have watched for that more carefully. Is it possible to search for every film article with and instance of that field still present (because the code is there for most of them even though the content isn't showing) so that we can verify that the articles have appropriate links? Millahnna (talk) 01:07, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Wow, I'm dense sometimes! It took me like a full minute to figure out why the plural with "Bigs." Bah!
It's a good point, it would be nice if we could locate those articles. I don't know if it was ever raised during pre-removal discussion but I think, and especially in smaller articles of lesser known films, that having the parameters in the infobox did nothing to encourage addition of relevant series/franchise material to the prose and that's why so many are missing it. I always felt (and I feel my hypothesis is verified by many of the above comments asking for reinstatement of the parameters) that it encouraged the attitude of "The link is already there in the infobox. Why waste time writing about it in the article when I know that I myself never go past the infobox when looking for the link?" Big Bird (talkcontribs) 01:24, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, it is a frequent problem with infoboxes that editors plug the information in there but fail to discuss (much less source) it in the prose. As far as the specific parameters, I'm forced to concur that those arguing for their inclusion haven't made a strong argument yet, especially when the information captured in the infobox can already be provided in a navbox. Doniago (talk) 01:49, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm perfectly ready to recognize good points when they're offered, but the Big's don't seem to cut it. Mostly they offer non sequiturs. This issue has to do with a careful comparison of navboxes and infoboxes. If you're not interested in the nuances of that, you're not on point. I'm pretty sure there is no evidence that Big Bird would accept as "proof" so there's no content to his call for proofs. I take it as a mental shortcut. And for anyone to be definite in their conclusions about something that is clearly not at all definite is a case of something apart from insight. This forum doesn't do nuance, and the editors are responsible for that. --Ring Cinema (talk) 03:14, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Non-sequiters is too nice a term. I've stayed away from this when I realized the majority here did not share my values for WP - what's most useful for the readers? Barsoomian made very good points last May, and no one backed him up. Instead he got a bunch of illogical condescension. I discovered this board a bit later, made my good points, and got the same. Mudwater politely made very good points on July 3, and got ignored, then shot down. Now I'm glad to see Ring Cinema apparently go from voting for this policy, to neutrality, to finally seeing and expressing the real issue. The only reason I'm wasting my time here again is so he doesn't seem to be all alone, as the three of us were before.
I first used the infoboxes to quickly compare the grosses on the three Lord of the Rings films. It worked very well and I was impressed by whoever thought to put it there. If someone wants to compare who the cameraman was or what the grosses were for the James Bond or Harry Potter films, or a much less well-known series (whose infobox links were too often the only ones that existed), they shouldn't have to go hunting for the link they want which may or may not be on the top of the page, or scroll down to the bottom, click to open the franchise box, find the desired link, then finally click on it. Not when a much quicker option is available. That's just common sense. If there was a way to poll film people who are not WP editors (which I was myself until April), I've no doubt which side they'd come down on.
As I said before, some of the editors on here seem to really resent the idea that a reader be able to find a link they want with one quick glance. One even made it sound like it's a sin to use the infobox for WP navigation. I find this incredible, and I don't think I'm alone. Looking at the debate above, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that too many of the 15 contributors who voted for this change are far too concerned with how WP functions as an instrument they can edit, but couldn't care less about what's most useful for readers who simply come here to get information. Gothicfilm (talk) 06:16, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I first used the infoboxes to quickly compare the grosses on the three Lord of the Rings films.
  • If someone wants to compare who the cameraman was or what the grosses were for the James Bond or Harry Potter films
These needs are met by The Lord of the Rings film trilogy#Box office, James Bond (film series)#Films, and Harry Potter (film series)#Box office (except the cameraman thing, but we don't usually list those kind of crew members anyway so this isn't something you could find out through WP, and even if we did list them they wouldn't be in the infobox, they'd be in a Crew section, which you'd have to go into the article proper to find anyway, so if you're going that far how much harder is it to scroll to the navbox at the bottom?). --IllaZilla (talk) 06:28, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I can't believe you -- you've been editing the Alien pages for how long, and never noticed their infoboxes all list the cameraman? As well as the editor and the composer? True, I had to add that info myself on a couple of the sequels, but it's there in the template, and is used on most contemporary films, and many older ones. And what about the many lesser known film sequels that don't have franchise pages? Gothicfilm (talk) 06:40, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I didn't realize you meant Cinematographer (my mistake). In any case you're still talking purely about being able to jump from one article to another (navigation), which is a function served by the navbox, and the only argument in that respect seems to be that you don't want to be bothered to scroll to the bottom of the page. I think that's a rather pedantic argument, frankly. It takes me all of 1 second to grab the scroll bar on the right of the screen and reach the navbox. --IllaZilla (talk) 06:46, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
The average reader won't know they should scroll to the bottom. Especially since even if they happen to see the bottom, they won't know the navbox is there, as it's usually hidden. (Which is why it often takes longer than 1 second to get to the link you want.) And you didn't answer my question - what about the many lesser known film sequels that don't have franchise pages? And all the other good points the others I named above made? Gothicfilm (talk) 07:35, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I haven't been heavily involved in the conversation, and I'm not re-reading the whole thing to find peoples' past points, but I will say this: I was initially against removing the fields (I made a comment to that regard in the straw poll), but having not had them now for several months I can honestly say I don't miss them, and my ability to navigate between articles or find things I may be looking for hasn't been hampered by their removal. Maybe that's because I'm an experienced WP user: I know what navboxes are, where to look for them, and how to use them; I know that most series of 3 or more films have some sort of central "franchise" article that I can go to; I know how to use the search bar; I generally read past the infobox and into the article body before I find the need to bounce to another article; when I want to compare articles, I open them in separate browser tabs so I can easily flip back & forth. So for me, removing the fields hasn't had a negative impact either as a reader or an editor, partly due to their being multiple other ways for me to navigate between articles of a set.
As for the "lesser known film sequels that don't have franchise pages", I believe it's been mentioned before (again, I'm not rereading the whole convo to check) that most series of 3 or more films have a franchise page, a navbox, or both. If they don't, then these pages can be started rather easily. If there are only 2 films in question, then they ought to link to each other right in their lead paragraphs.
As for "The average reader won't know they should scroll to the bottom", I should hope that we're still expecting (or at least hoping for) our readers to read the articles, meaning that either (A) they'll reach the bottom naturally and discover the navbox, and from then on be familiar with what they are and where to look for them (this is certainly how I learned my way around Wikipedia, by reading articles and exploring their features), or (B) come across links to the preceding and/or following films somewhere in the article body, and click on them if they're interested in reading about them. Your prior statements come off to me as if a reader's main purpose in viewing an article is to navigate to a different article, and that just doesn't make any sense to me. If I want to get to the Revenge of the Sith article, I wouldn't go to A New Hope and then bounce my way through 6 articles to get there. I'd type "Revenge of the Sith" into the search box, or if I couldn't remember the title I'd type "Star Wars" and go from there.
So I'm sorry, but I just don't see where removing the fields is a net negative. There are plenty of other ways to facilitate inter-article navigation, and I'm glad to see the infobox a little shorter. --IllaZilla (talk) 08:49, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
More non-sequiters and straw men. You just prove my point. I do everything you mention myself, but I don't expect the average WP reader to do so. You want the reader to behave as you think they should, even though you don't know why they're here. Maybe they just want to compare info quickly from succeeding films. Maybe they even read the article earlier, and don't want to have to search through the thing to just find the one link they want. The customer here is the reader - not the editor. Gothicfilm (talk) 09:31, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
It's not fair to dismiss opposing arguments as invalid by fiat. I believe there are valid arguments for the parameters but the opposing arguments, which are equally valid, are espoused by more editors at this point.
However, the issue of impeded navigation, valid of an argument as it may be, is one that I find to be artificially exaggerated. It's neither a) crucial to be able to get to the next/previous film article in the series immediately upon getting to the article of any other film in the same series, nor b) difficult to get there if one wanted to do so. If it really is so important to be able to navigate through a film series, why are only the preceding and following films so crucial? Why would there not be a link in the infobox to each film in the Star Wars series and a link to the film series article itself? I ask that without an ounce of sarcasm, I want to know why it is that we assume that a reader at Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones would not equally like to be able to get to the film that spawned the franchise as easily as possible. Big Bird (talkcontribs) 13:26, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't see arguments dismissed by fiat. That sounds facile and unfortunately self-referential.
Point (a): you seem to imply that others say it's "crucial" when the gist of the argument is that it's a useful convenience. After all, this is a comparison of navboxes and infoboxes, in which the "No to the Parameter" side says the navboxes are just as good. So both sides seem to hold in one way or another that navigating between related films is something we will facilitate, crucial or trivial.
Point (b): this is a good question, and the answer seems to be that readers know where to look for those links in each article in the series when it's in the infobox and therefore they can easily navigate. A case could be made that all links to all films in each series should be included in every article. Maybe that would be worthwhile.
(c): This suggests to me another good argument on the "Yes to the Parameter" side: the uniformity in the links is an aid to navigation. Point C: Every film of a series chains to every other film without wading through the articles to figure out where this particular editor put the link to the previous film. To me, that's a convenience. But perhaps the No side will defend navboxes on that issue...? I still have an open mind. --Ring Cinema (talk) 14:04, 22 July 2011 (UTC)