Research Session · Analysis 1.0

Accompanied by Dr. André Weinreich, Head of Research & Science from emolyzr/Humboldt University, I’ve run several sessions during the winter semester 2016/17. We now have a gathered some data for the movies which had have enough attendees.

The numerical data provides two main starting points: either analysing the questionaire or the plain heart rate data. We check several options to find some correlations between them. The first obvious result is the relation of mean heart rate and liking. At present we focus on cluster analyses from both “ends”: the average rating as well as the individual pulse.

These are the mean heart rates of each screened movie in alphabetical order. In this earlier post some reasons are given, why these films were chosen. Most movies have been screened in a lecture hall, some at a regular cinema, which clearly caused immersiveness at different levels.

Some clues to read the data:

  • Have a look which approx. mean heart rate the movie evokes
  • Watch for immediate changes (up or down)
  • Look for sections which continously differ from mean heart rate
  • The dynamic range, the film has caused in general, is an indicator as well
  • Can an overall trend be identified in individual sections or the entire film?

American Psycho

Mary Harron · 2000 · n=16 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

American Psycho Poster

American Psycho Graph


Awakenings

Penny Marshall · 1990 · n=16 (Lemgo), n=14 (Berlin) both Lecture Hall

Awakenings Poster

Awakenings Graph


Deadpool

Tim Miller · 2016 · n=16 (Lemgo, Lecture Hall)

Deadpool Poster

Deadpool Graph


Delicatessen

Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro · 1991 · n=14 (Lemgo), n=16 (Berlin) both Lecture Hall

Delicatessen Poster

Delicatessen graph HR mean


Doctor Strange

Scott Derrickson · 2016 · n=16 (Lemgo, Cinema)

Doctor Strange Poster

Dr Strange Graph


Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them

David Yates · 2016 · n=15 (Lemgo, Cinema)

Fantastic Beasts … Poster

Fantastic Beasts Graph


Gone Girl

David Fincer · 2014 · n=15 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

Gone Girl Poster

Gone Girl Graph


Heil

Dietrich Brüggemann · 2015 · n=16 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

Heil Poster

Heil Graph


Her

Spike Jonze · 2013 · n=15 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

Her Poster

Her Graph


Labor Day

Jason Reitman · 2013 · n=16 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

Labor Day Poster

Labor Day Graph


Legend

Brian Helgeland · 2015 · n=16 (Lemgo, Lecture Hall)

Legend Poster

Legend Graph


Passengers

Morten Tyldum · 2016 · n=14 (Lemgo, Cinema)

Passengers Poster

Passengers Graph


Robocop

José Padilha · 2014 · n=10 (Lemgo), n=16 (Berlin) both Lecture Hall

Robocop Poster

Robocop Graph


Schönefeld Boulevard

Sylke Enders · 2014 · n=15 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

Schönefeld Boulevard Poster

Schoenefeld Boulevard Graph


Stereo

Maximilian Erlenwein · 2014 · n=15 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

Stereo Poster

Stereo Graph


Zootopia

Byron Howard/Rich Moore · 2016 · n=14 (Lemgo, Lecture Hall)

Zootopia Poster

Zoomania Graph


The analysis’ goal is to find some structure in observing the heart rate of movie goers. One outcome might be the relation between the heart rate and the likness. Because we are still in the process of applying different approaches, we are not yet ready to publish the whole data.

If you are interested to get more details of this movie analysis study, it’s progress in analysis, or how Movie Pulse can be used for analyzing any feature length movie yourself, get in touch.

Version 1.5.1 · Good News

Simple and short: Movie Pulse version 1.5.1 comes with the goodies of 1.5 but without the ugly bug causing the improper graph. So enjoy, heart rate is sampled at a regular interval…

Graph with regular samples

A short reminder of the recent improvements:

  • Recording your heart rate while watching a movie will no longer affect your activity rings!
  • Individual records will now no longer be sent to the Watch multiple times.
  • Search with Open Movie Database (OMDb) requires this update.

Feel free to suggest features or report malfunctions under Support.

Activity rings are no longer affected!

Version 1.5 eliminates two bugs – but a new one showed up

Two bugs bothered myself for a long time:

Recording your heart rate with Movie Pulse will no longer affect your activity rings! Finally! It has been tricky but simple at the end. Thanks to the users who urged me to focus on this . It has been a malfunction which Apple Watch users don’t like: mess their workouts and calories. One sentence as an excuse: Many apps faced this problem and even Cardiogram just recently removed it with an update.

At second, records will now no longer be sent to the Watch multiple times. It has been thought as a security net, not to loose data, but … I implemented it the wrong way. Until now!

Besides this, implementing Open Movie Database required an update to get access to their movie entries (for which I pay a monthly donation btw.) So, all users of Movie Pulse must update to version 1.5 to specify their recorded movies via OMDb! Otherwise the search for a movie title will fail.

In case something else goes wrong, please leave a comment, send me a mail or use the bug report below.

Sadly enough: new bug found

While I am writing this post, it seems the update has not only eliminated bugs: a new one arrived. The recorded heart rate will now and then be sampled at an unpredictable frequency, causing hilarious curves. I’m afraid version 1.5 is somehow useless at present. Sorry, but I will do further investigation.

Example of wrong recorded heart rate: "Pirates of the Caribbean 5"
Wrong heart rate samples: “Pirates of the Caribbean 5”
Life Poster · Excerpt

Life 2017 · Brazil vs. Germany

The brazilian student G.N. has send me his first Movie Pulse result: “Life” of Daniel Espinosa. This movie has been a solid outer space science fiction to me, whose crew experience felt quite intense. I’ve literally been part of their crew.

I reject the “Alien-alike” bashing of this movie. It had a serious impact to me – encounter a life form of this aftermath combined with it’s inconspicuous appearance.

But this is it so far on discussing the (subjective) quality – I tend to show some nice similarities across oceans, borders and time. G.N. and me have had some strong identical reactions while watching this movie. I made again a simple image multiplication and only shifted the base line. The first two thirds are somewhat ok, but the reactions at the last 30/40 minutes are almost identical. Shifting the base line for each third would have unfold more similarities even within the first hour.

Two people of different origin and age watching "Life" · 2017 at different locations and dates.
The overlapping represents similar reactions of two people of different origin and age watching “Life” · 2017 at different locations and dates.

These are the original graphs drawn by Movie Pulse.

The brazilian record
The Brazilian record
The german (my) record
The German (my) record
Version 1.4 search improved

Version 1.4

Searching a movie in OMDb has become a change, therefore looking for a movie inside “Movie Pulse” will now be much easier:

  • select the release year of the movie you are looking for
  • pick from matches of movie titles

The improved and fine-tuned OMDb search will help finding the right movie – nevertheless it requires the knowledge of the year the movie went into cinema the first time! If in doubt I recommend checking the release year at IMDb. I also removed a bug which caused the reinstallation of the default movie while no internet connection is available.

Please always save not stored records before updating to a new version!

Message from OMDb

Movie search currently unavailable

The Open Movie Database (OMDb) is currently under fire by some honks. Therefore finding a movie with Movie Pulse after recording will fail at present. Please keep records at “Unsaved Records”, note the title & date and try again later. You can check the OMDb availability status here.

Message from OMDb
This is what Brian Fritz from OMDb ist telling (4th of February 2017)
3 screens of version 1.2

Version 1.2 available!

I’ve used the chance to not only eliminate the poster issue problem – I’ve changed the usability of the Apple Watch app itself:

No more unwanted pause/resume incidents.

What’s new in Version 1.2?

Improved usability for WatchOS, better save graph support and some bug fixes.

  • removed a bug which prevented posters from loading and displaying
  • multiple records will now be listed promptly after being received
  • recorded graph along with the poster can now simply be saved to your photo library
  • and finally: stop/pause on Apple Watch has been transferred to a force touch menu. This will help to prevent accidental use of stop/pause/resume.
Movie Pulse at the cinema

The 2016/17 Research Sessions

Accompanied by Dr. André Weinreich, Head of Research & Science from emolyzr/Humboldt University, I’ve run several sessions during the winter semester 2016/17. We had up to two groups each week – one at the University Ostwestfalen-Lippe in Lemgo, the second at Humboldt University, Berlin. André Weinreich is a psychologist and researcher of emotions. He instantly understood what I am after, to examine the recorded heart rate of movie goers and he urged me to collect data on a broad variation of movie genres. We have two more movies left, but I’d like to compile the list of the recent movies.

The data is about to be analyzed – which will keep us busy the next months.

We probably release some insights from time to time, but please be patient for the proven outcome. Nevertheless I am still working on Movie Pulse as a tool useful for movie maniacs. I have a certain feature in mind for the next major release, but you’re always welcome to send ideas, feature requests and of course report malfunctions.

Autumn/Winter 2016/17 · Research Sessions

  • The Tin Drum, Volker Schlöndorff · 1979
    n=14 (Lemgo)

This story is based on a novel which is freely inspired by historical events. I know this is the most controversy movie I show in my lessons, because students of several years told me. It has been chosen because it evokes disgust as well as sexual stimulation (among other other things, of course).

  • Awakenings · Penny Marshall · 1990
    n=16 (Lemgo), n=14 (Berlin) both Lecture Hall

A drama with the focus on the relationship of a doctor and one of his patients, based on real events. This has been the movie I cried the most in my whole life. It has been chosen because of it’s emotional power to evoke compassion as well as it comes with a particular humor.

  • Delicatessen, Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro · 1991
    n=14 (Lemgo), n=16 (Berlin) both Lecture Hall

A caretaker is threatened by the household. Although a bit outdated in terms of it’s fantastic and dystopian filmic universe, the movie is a classic and has been a boiler plate for a series of these kind of movies. It’s part of the screening because of a provocative story, an imminent bad ending and hilarious comedy.

  • Doctor Strange, Scott Derrickson · 2016
    n=16 (Lemgo, Cinema)

A mainstream movie, based on the Marvel comic universe with a favorable actor. Part of the list because of the absence of real human being living condition to identify with, as well as the presence of FX in visual and audio terms.

  • Legend, Brian Helgeland · 2015
    n=16 (Lemgo, Lecture Hall)

Based on the life of two real brothers, this movie brings two important things: an impressive performance of a famous actor (playing adult twins) along with an incredible story. Chosen because of it’s intensity of character presence, conflict and brutality.

  • Her, Spike Jonze · 2013
    n=15 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

An intellectual movie facing a near future we might have with our smart devices. The movie develops an relationship between the main character and a machine. The scale of emotional involvement of the audience in this artificial plot setup makes this movie interesting for the list.

  • Phantastic Beasts and where to Find Them, David Yates · 2016
    n=15 (Lemgo, Cinema)

A movie based on the proven success of an existing phantasmagorial filmic universe. It deals with conflicts of characters of a non-contemporary plot, fantastic creatures and audio-visual impression. It has been chosen because of the probably lesser character identification, but larger impact in visual and sound terms.

  • Gone Girl, David Fincer · 2014
    n=15 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

Based on a major conflict a couple has to deal with, the story heads towards classic changes in character judgement by the audience. This movie delivers a focus on the compassion the audience might have with the male or female – without being distracted by visual effects.

  • Robocop, José Padilha · 2014
    n=10 (Lemgo), n=16 (Berlin) both Lecture Hall

The dystopian Science Fiction settled on Earth in some near future re-interprets the successful original from 1987. The movie contains threatening cutting edge technology as well as the misfortune of a human being. Both made this movie useful for the list: the massive audiovisual impact of FX and the sympathy with the main character.

  • Deadpool, Tim Miller · 2016
    n=16 (Lemgo, Lecture Hall)

Based on another Marvel comic character, this movie provides a cynical, obscene and hilarious hero and a classic hero arc. This movie has been chosen because of it’s classical plot, hilarious comedy elements as well as it’s controversial character.

  • Schönefeld Boulevard, Sylke Enders · 2014
    n=15 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

A female misfit character reclaims her acceptance within her adolescence development. A movie dealing with down-to-earth real problems of a young woman in a contemporary time frame and a ordinary setting. The absence of larger than life plot construction (and production scale) makes this movie of use for the list. How will this affect the compassion ability of the audience?

  • Zootopia, Byron Howard/Rich Moore · 2016
    n=14 (Lemgo, Lecture Hall)

A weak character by definition (bunny) in a classical zero to hero (animation) movie. How will the animated characters move the emotions of the audience? Will the movie provide an immersive experience similar to non-animated movies? These are some main questions we might have analyzing it.

  • Stereo, Maximilian Erlenwein · 2014
    n=15 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

Preceding events of the life of the main character are affecting the love to a woman. The movie comes with a realistic setting along with a kind of psychedelic split-person threat. How does the audience deals with the psychic harassment as well as with the imminence through physical brutality will make this movie of use for us.

  • Heil, Dietrich Brüggemann · 2015
    n=16 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

Besides it’s humorous handling of (German) nationalism, the movie has an intellectual quality while offering jokes on all kind of institutions, social levels as well as media formats. The questions for the study can contain the following: How does the controversial topic, the hilarious exposure of quite all characters and the quick succession of jokes will affect the audience?

  • Labor Day, Jason Reitman · 2013
    n=16 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

A unpredictable character intrudes the life of a single mother with light force. A drama as well as a love story does the movie provide a strong quality of sympathy for all three main characters: intruder, mother and son. Besides the grade of identification with the personell will (presumably) the predictable and imminent end provide strong emotional response of the audience.

  • Passengers, Morten Tyldum · 2016
    n=14 (Lemgo, Cinema)

This science fiction with a fundamental optimistic belief in human expansion (technological and spacial) is an intimate theater on a space ship of sheer enormity. The lack of an alien threat helps to focus on the existential situation (mainly) two people are in. Therefore we can exploit how the audience involves with the development of the couple and how the the imminence both have to deal with affects visually and especially at the sound design.

  • American Psycho, Mary Harron · 2000
    n=16 (Berlin, Lecture Hall)

Summer 2016 · Research Sessions

We probably won’t be able to include the following movies, because of poor attendance and we had an essential change in questionnaire structure. We might be able to run additional sessions to increase the required number of test persons; the sessions are not necessarily bound to take place at the same location/at the same time. But, the lack of questionnaire quality does not recommend it.

Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn · 2014
n=8 (Lemgo)

Victoria, Sebastian Schipper · 2015
n=12 (Lemgo)

A Fish called Wanda, Charles Crichton/John Cleese · 1988
n=8 (Lemgo)

Fight Club, David Fincher · 1999
n=7 (Lemgo)

Martyrs, Pascal Laugier · 2008
n=7 (Lemgo)

Passengers Visit 1 and 2

“Passengers”

Wow, this has been a while. Silence means not inactivity. So I’d like to give you some updates right now. I will start with this great movie “Passengers” by the Norwegian Morten Tyldum (director) and Jon Spaihts (writer) from 2016. To my extend this is a new landmark for future design and an example of dedicated craftsmanship in script writing. A limited cast with a great dilemma in existential scale. It has been a pleasure to be a part time space (and time) traveller while watching this movie with its superior production design. Guy Hendrix Dyas work is nominated for the Oscar 2017. He better be!

I’ve been accompanied by 15 students of mine – they’ve been willing to give me their heart rate in exchange for the ticket. It was a kind of semester goodby as well. Their results are not yet evaluated. The raw data looks very mixed, as always.

Passengers Sessions in Movie Pulse
Some of the multiple recordings – raw and not yet synced

But because I’ve seen the movie twice, I’ve been curious to compare my first and second visit of the same movie. I felt very strong body reactions because of certain story incidents, as well as from the brillant sound. Did I mentioned the audio? Wow, terrific! I found an insight of the work of Will Files – one of the gifted audio folks involved.

A short look at both graphs made available through my app Movie Pulse obviously confirmed my presumption. But that even the high and low peaks at the end match 100% is definitely by chance. I combined both graphs for better comparison.

Passengers Visit 1 and 2
The impact after 1 hour has even been higher at the 2nd screening.

Since I do not yet have the movie available on DVD or Bluray I can only guess what happened after 1 hour. I am pretty sure that this has been caused by a simply two line dialogue, because at the 2nd screening I knew instantly that these en passant spoken words will have serious consequences. As I write these lines: what if not? Let’s see later, if the movie is available. Come on, it’s an assumption, can be proven wrong…

Jim: There’s no secrets between us.
Arthur: Is that the case?

Michael Sheen
Michael Sheen as “Arthur” the android barkeeper

Because I have access to the raw data of the recordings on my research devices (which is not [yet] available at the official app at iTunes, because of privacy rules), I can get my hands on the data curves. I made two graphs, comparing both recordings. As always the data is now basis 0 at the average heart rate and normalized.

Curves of both cinema visits
Both curves compared show areas of very similar reaction of the test person (me)
Conformity in red an green
Time line to compare both movie screenings: green areas depict similar reactions, red ones show the timespan which differentiates

There are a bunch of movies with a horseload of data waiting to be analyzed and evaluated. Among them the heart rates of 15 people watching this movie. Let’s see if I can find some more conformity comparing those, rather than my own visits. Dr. André Weinreich and me are almost done with the sessions in this semester. I will give you a follow up what happened the last months.