Cool Pick Hotel
Film and Television
Written by Wesley Tatters
While some forms of media - like newspapers and magazines - continue to actively resist the move towards World Wide Web interactivity, the Film and Television industry appears to have adopted the Internet as a soul mate.
Over the course of the last twelve months, production companies, network television stations, movie reviewers, and even program guides have begun to proliferate across the Internet. In addition, with the increased level of multimedia support now being offered by programs such as Netscape, this trend is likely to increase. Already, many sites are providing access to movie trailers and audio clips, and it is highly likely that in the future you will be able to watch your favorite movies and television programs via the Internet.
But enough of the stargazing. For the time being, lets examine what is available now. To give you a fix on the coolest entertainment sites around, this edition of Cool Pick Hotel takes a look a some of the best Film and Television sites currently available.
SITE OF THE WEEK
If you want to find out anything about the world of Television, be it the e-mail addresses of network executives, what's happening on Melrose, or the latest gossip on your favorite star, then TV Net is the place to start.
TVNet is a one stop link to every known Television related World Wide Web site, Newsgroup, IRC channel and FAQ. It contains links to all of the major Network TV sites and the thousands of WWW pages devoted to television programs. To help you navigate your way around these sites the developers of TVNet have created an interactive directory system which is organized by program category.
This site is also well know for its coverage of International television sites and directories. Not content with catering to just the US market, TVNet also contains an extensive list of links to many international television networks. Depending on the site, this information may contain information about, programs, WWW pages, contact information and in many cases a list of E- mail address.
Another unique feature of TV Net is the services provided to people working in the Television industry. These include: an industry mailing list, equipment trading posts and links to employment brokers and an international directory of television professionals.
One of the unique features that sets the Internet apart from many other electronic endeavors, is the amount of time and effort people are willing to put into making it a success. What is even more amazing is the fact that for the most part, many of these people do so freely, never expecting any form of remuneration for their efforts. (except maybe the praise and adulation of their peers.)
To find an excellent example of this type of devotion, you cannot go far past the Internet Movie Database. Known formerly (and incorrectly) as the Cardiff Movie Database, the Internet Movie Database is the most extensive repository of movie information available on the Internet.
The World Wide Web site which hosts this service is based around an interactive database that contains: movie titles, synopsis, reviews and cast/crew credit lists. By selecting from the search options provided you can locate detailed information about thousands of movies, both old and new, and examine bibliographies of Actors, Directors, Producers, Cinematographers and a variety of other production staff.
Some people argue that you can obtain this sort of information from Movie books and CD-ROMs, but in both of these cases, unless you purchased the book or CD-ROM yesterday, it is already out of date. The Internet Movie Database on the other hand is continually being updated. In addition, the extensive cross listing of entries which link actors to movies, producers to actors, directors to producers . . . you get the idea, make the World Wide Web the ideal platform for such a service.
CineMedia is to the film world, what TV Net is to Television. Maintained by the Digital Media Research Unit and the School of Film and Media at Griffith University, in my home town of Brisbane, Australia, CineMedia currently contains over 2,900 links to media related WWW Sites.
For film buffs there is an extensive directory of WWW pages published both by production companies and private individuals, which feature a wide variety of information about the movies and their stars. Many of the sites listed in this directory also contain video clips, sound bites and still images from the movies they deal with, and in some cases you will also find trailers for unreleased movies.
Apart from the movie directory, CineMedia also contains directories that deal with subjects such as production techniques, new media, television sites, lists of film and televisions schools or colleges, plus a variety of study and educational resources.
Being an International site, for users
outside of Australia there is a mirror of the
CineMedia site operated by the America
Film Institute. To visit this site instead of
the home site use:
The award for the most novel use of the World Wide Web, this week, goes to the MOVIE CRITIC.
This site claims to be able to predict which movies you will "most likely" enjoy watching, based on your ranking of other movies. MOVIE CRITIC uses an artificial intelligence system whose knowledge base consists of ratings given by people to a selection of different movies.
The first time you visit MOVIE CRITIC, you will be asked to rate 10 movies on a scale of Poor to Excellent. As you rate each movie, your responses are compared with all of the previous responses made by other people. This enables the system to come up with profile of your movie tastes, which in turn is used to create a list of similar movies which you might enjoy.
Like many AI-based systems, the results are only as good as the information you provide and the accuracy of previous entries, however, after experimenting with the system for a while, I found that it did manage to select a number of movie titles which were of interest to me.
Also, as an added bonus, when you click on most of the movie links listed by MOVIE CRITIC, the corresponding Internet Movie Database entry, or failing that, a WWW page with information about the movie is displayed. Some entries also contain links to QuickTime or MPEG clips of movies which can be downloaded, however, unless you have a fairly high speed link, the plus 6 meg sizes of these files do tend to make downloads prohibitive.
Want a sneak preview of all the latest movies? If you do, then MOVIEWEB is the site for you. While other movie sites claim links to thousands of WWW pages or the inside track on all of the juiciest Hollywood gossip, MOVIEWEB has just one simple aim in life.
Due to the unique relationship this site has developed with the major movie distributors, the moment a new movie is announced, you will find a wealth of information about it on MOVIEWEB. There are movies from Universal, Tristar, United Artists, New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers, Metro Goldwyn Meyer and Disney listed on MOVIEWEB, listed in order of their expected release date.
Apart from a synopsis of the movie itself, most pages include links to information about the movie's stars and often the Director or Producer as well. (These links are usually found on the Internet Movie Database discussed previously.) You can also download QuickTime teasers or trailers for most movies, and in some cases stills as well.
This site also contains a directory that lists all of the movie companies that maintain a site on the World Wide Web. And for those of you who want to know what's hot, the latest box office figures for all major releases are published on MOVIEWEB at the beginning of each week, along with a list of the top 50 all time box office hits.
Judging by the number of X-File related sites and the number of sites that contain links to this X-Files page, many netsurfers seem to have a special affinity with agent Fox Mulder (or is it Agent Scully?)
Of all the X-File sites on the World Wide
Web, the directory operated at the Rutgers
site is the most comprehensive and according
to Lycos, which rates the site in its top 250
Web Sites List, it is also one of the most
popular. In fact the only other television
series that approaches the X-Files popularity
on the Net, is the Star Trek The Next
Generation site at:
So what sort of X-Files information is
available online? For starters, you can
download the theme music for the show
along with a wide variety of sound clips from
various episodes. A complete guide to each
episode can be found at:
Delphi also gets into the act by providing
an Official X-Files Site at:
Finally, Cool Pick Hotel is looking for your input. While we spend many hours each week combing the World Wide Web looking for cool sites, with thousands on new pages begin added each day, there may be sites that you may have encountered which deserve our attention.
If you have located such a site, or maybe have an idea for a Cool Pick Hotel feature topic, why not drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. To make sure that your message catches my attention, place the worlds COOL PICK HOTEL in the subject.
Copyright (C) 1994 - 1997 by Virtual Press/Global Internet Solutions. Internet Daily News and its respective columns are trademarks of Virtual Press /Global Internet Solutions.