Dewey Decimal Classification
Re: Made-for-television vs. theatrical release films
We are reviewing the current distinctions between film and television presentations in 791 Public performances to provide better groupings of related materials and to accommodate emerging technologies. Edition 22 distinguishes between motion pictures at 791.43 and television at 791.45. Individual films and works about the films are classed in 791.4372. Individual television programs and works about the programs are classed in 791.4572. Made-for-television movies and video recordings of motion pictures are classed in 791.45.
Listed below is a short discussion of each production type followed by our recommendation. The exhibit also includes three appendixes with background materials.
Appendix A contains selected definitions from the Moving Image Genre-Form Guide. Appendix B lists some relevant rules on the eligibility of films for Academy Awards.
Appendix C lists the Internet Movie Database’s distinctions among production types.
Should made-for-television movies continue to be classed in television or should all movies be classed in the same number? If made-for-television movies should continue to be classed in television, is it easy to tell them from “regular” movies? Some people argue that the media used to first show the movie determines if it is a motion picture or a television program. Is this a useful distinction to continue in Dewey?
We recommend changing this practice and classing made-for-television films with motion pictures instead of television. Video recordings of motion pictures and television programs
There is no problem with video recordings of the television programs, since the recordings and the original programs are classed in the same number. For example, the Star Trek series and the DVDs of the series are classed with two or more television programs at 791.4575. However, there is a problem with video recordings of motion pictures. For example, The Lion King on film (both the regular and IMAX versions) would be classed in 791.4372, while the VHS, laserdisc, and DVD version of The Lion King would be classed in 791.4572. The separation by format has been made partly because transferring a film to video usually involves some significant changes, including adapting from the wide screen to the full TV screen (the full-screen version), adding deleted scenes from the theatrical release, producing a version with commentaries by the director or actors. This separation is similar to that for the various formats for a play. The text of a play is classed in 800 (Literature), but the production script of the same play is classed with the type of theatrical production in 791 or 792 (Stage presentation). In addition, the televised production of the stage presentation of the play is classed with television, not stage presentation. But, at the same time, when the play is translated, the translation is classed with the original version, and not with literature in the language of the translation.
Should video recordings of motion pictures be classed with motion pictures or with television? Application practice in WorldCat and informal feedback from Dewey users at various conferences indicate that we should reconsider the practice of classing video recordings of motion pictures with television.
We recommend classing video recordings of motion pictures with motion pictures. Direct-to-video releases
Direct-to-video movie releases on DVDs are similar to video recordings of motion pictures. For example, DVDs of The Lion King 1½ and The Lion King 2 contain both the movie and commentary. The main difference is that direct-to-video releases have bypassed the theatrical release step.
We recommend classing direct-to-video releases of motion pictures with motion pictures. Mini-series, extended pilots, etc.
If all movies should be classed in 791.43, how does one distinguish between the made-for-television movies from the pilots of television series or mini-series? For example, the pilot of the television series Babylon 5, Babylon 5: The Gathering, was 89 minutes long. Is the 2000 version of Dune, which was three two-hour segments over three nights on the SciFi Channel, a movie or a mini-series? The SciFi Channel labeled it as a movie, but the Internet Movie Database categorizes it as a mini-series. The 1995 British television version of Pride and Prejudice is considered a drama serial that is divided into six episodes, each of which is 58 minutes long. The Internet Movie Database also categorizes it as a mini-series.
We tentatively recommend continuing to treat mini-series, extended pilots, etc., as television programs. If sources disagree on the nature of the work, we recommend using the category assigned to the production in the Internet Movie Database (or a similar online source) as a guide to choice of number, with the if-in-doubt number the motion picture one.
Some movies and television shows are released only on the Internet, e.g., the episodes of Star Trek: New Voyages. Some services, e.g., the Watch Instantly feature of Netflix, allow subscribers to stream near-DVD quality movies and television shows instantly on the computer. Because the method of viewing is via the computer, should a new 791.4 number be created? If the new number is created, will it be easy to distinguish between what should be classed with television and what should be classed with computers? If direct-to-video movie releases on DVDs are not to be classed in 791.43 Motion pictures, would the new number be a better location than in 791.45 Television?
We do not recommend developing a new number for movies and television shows transmitted over the Internet. We recommend continuing the distinction we have proposed above between films and television programs and classing works distributed via the Internet accordingly in one of the two developments. In the case of television-like programs developed originally for Internet transmission, we recommend using the television development. We also recommend the addition of a scope note under 791.43 Motion pictures, 791.44 Radio, and 791.45 Television: Regardless of distribution medium or method.
Individual fictional work (often called "Made for TV movie") presented on television, usually running from 90 minutes to three hours in length (which may include commercials), and is not part of a regular series or mini-series.
Note: Do not use for a Television special, which is usually less than 90 minutes in length. A Television feature may be originally shown on television in some countries while originally released theatrically in other countries (such as THE FOUR FEATHERS  or CASANOVA ). In such cases, classify the work according to how the copy in hand was released. Also, work originally shown on television is occasionally subsequently released theatrically in the same country (such as a number of episodes of Walt Disney's 1957-59 television series ZORRO repackaged as two 1960 features, THE SIGN OF ZORRO and ZORRO THE AVENGER); classify depending on whether the item in hand is from the original television program, or the feature version.
Multi-episode program of limited duration, shown on a daily or weekly schedule, usually lasting fifteen hours or less in total running time.
Examples: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION (1994) (with Documentary); EYES ON THE PRIZE (with Ethnic (Nonfiction)); SHOGUN (with Adventure; Adaptation); THE THORN BIRDS (with Romance; Adaptation); THE WINDS OF WAR (with War; Adaptation)
Television movie see Television feature
Initial episode of a possible series, designed to showcase the show's possibilities for audiences and sponsors.
A multi-episode program originally conceived with an indefinite duration, shown on a regular schedule (daily, weekly, monthly) or irregular basis (such as TALKING WITH DAVID FROST or NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY SPECIALS). Episodes of a television series are usually related by subject matter, hosts, or, in the case of fictional programs, continuing characters in a predictable milieu.
A single television program shown on a specific occasion, such as a Variety show (BOB HOPE'S HIGH FLYING BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA); a pageant (TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE), contest (MISS AMERICA), or award presentation (AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS); shown in conjunction with specific holidays (A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS; AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS); on shown on an annual or less than annual basis (such as a political convention); or to report on news, such as a royal wedding, an assassination, or a military event. Usually an entertainment special has a length of less than 90 minutes (and most typically 30 or 60 minutes), although news coverage can be of any length.
Note: Do not use for a Television feature, which is usually 90 mins. to three hours in length.
Appendix B Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences (http://www.oscars.org/)
The following are the first three rules used by the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences on eligibility of films for Academy Awards:
Eligibility for Academy Awards consideration is subject to Rules Two and Three, and to those special rules approved by the Board of Governors that follow.
All eligible motion pictures, unless otherwise noted (see Paragraph 9, below), must be:
a) feature length (defined as over 40 minutes),
b) publicly exhibited by means of 35mm or 70mm film, or in a 24- or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format with a minimum projector resolution of 2048 x 1080 pixels, source image format conforming to SMPTE 428-1-2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Image Characteristics; image compression (if used) conforming to ISO/IEC 15444-1 (JPEG 2000), and image and sound file formats suitable for exhibition in commercial Digital Cinema sites,
c) for paid admission in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County,
d) for a run of at least seven consecutive days,
e) advertised and exploited during their Los Angeles run in a manner considered normal and customary to the industry, and
f) within the awards year deadlines specified in Rule Three.
Films that, in any version, receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release will not be eligible for Academy Awards in any category. (This includes broadcast and cable television as well as home video marketing and Internet transmission.) However, ten minutes or ten percent of the running time of a film, whichever is shorter, is allowed to be shown in a nontheatrical medium prior to the film’s theatrical release.
For example, The Croupier is a British made-for-television movie that was shown in the United States in a limited form on television and later in theaters. Because The Croupier was originally a British made-for-television movie, it was not eligible for the 1999 Academy Awards.
Appendix C Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com/)
How do you decide if a title is a film, a TV movie or a Miniseries? The short answer is: if it's made for TV, it's a TV production; if it was made to be released in theaters, it's a theatrical film.
However, sometimes it's not so easy to categorize titles: there are films that were intended for theatrical release but ended up debuting on cable TV instead; some made-for-TV movies are distributed theatrically in certain territories, or go directly to home video. And it's often not so easy to decide whether a big TV production that is airs on two or more separate evenings should be considered a "mini series" or a multi-part TV movie or something else.
The following table includes the criteria that are normally used to determine whether a production should be listed in the database as a theatrical feature or a TV movie, miniseries or series.
Please note that these are only broad guidelines: as per our general eligibility rules we reserve the right to change and adapt our rules as required by circumstances and may decide to make exceptions for certain special cases or when we lack sufficient evidence