THE MOVING IMAGE GENRE-FORM GUIDE
Contents | Introduction | Examples | Bibliography | Genres
Appendices: Experimental | Animation | Advertising
Work which promotes a product, service, candidate or company. Include
work for consumer products and services shown in theaters.
Used for Promotional.
Note: A list of subdivisions of advertising is offered in Appendix
C for the use of specialized collections.
See also Television commercial and Trailer.
Work created for private, not commercial use, such as "home movies," designed
to be shown primarily to family and friends, and usually made by
people not professionally connected with the film-video industry.
Used for Home.
Note: Do not include work by amateurs intended for public exhibition,
or by independent filmmakers; such work should be treated the same
as other theatrical product.
Examples: [GEORGE STEVENS WORLD WAR II COLOR FOOTAGE]; [ZAPRUDER
FILM] (with Unedited)
Work created by recording a series of still images, such as drawings,
objects, or posed people; when played back, the static images combine
to simulate motion, creating the impression of movement.
Note: For a "cartoon," use Animation in conjunction with the form
Short as a second form subfield. A list of Animation subdivisions
is offered in Appendix B for the use of specialized collections.
see also Puppet.
Work, most commonly a television series (although occasionally
a feature), without continuing characters, often linked by host,
genre, original source, or reappearing star. Also use for work
containing multiple, diverse segments that cover a wide range of
topics and genres.
Note: When single segments of an anthology belong to a specific
genre, but are not applicable to the series or feature as a whole,
use the genre without the form in addition to a broad genre for
the entire work (for example, TWILIGHT ZONE: AN OCCURRENCE AT OWL
CREEK BRIDGE would use "Fantasy--Anthology--Television Series" and
the additional genres Adaptaion, Historical and War for that particular
Used for Omnibus.
Feature examples: FACE TO FACE (1952) (with Adaptation); FLESH
AND FANTASY (1943); NEW YORK STORIES; QUARTET (1949) (with Adaptation);
TALES OF MANHATTAN; TALES OF TERROR (with Horror; Adaptation);
TRIO (with Adaptation); TWICE-TOLD TALES (with Horror; Adaptation);
TWILIGHT ZONE--THE MOVIE
TV examples: ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS (with Thriller); DICK POWELL'S
ZANE GREY THEATER (with Western); HALLMARK HALL OF FAME; KRAFT
TELEVISION THEATER; OMNIBUS; OUTER LIMITS (with Science fiction);
SCREEN DIRECTOR'S PLAYHOUSE; TWILIGHT ZONE
Work designed to demonstrate a performer's aptitude or to try
a scene in a proposed major work. Includes screen tests created
for studios or television networks and moving image "resume" work
submitted by performers.
Used for Test.
Cartoon see Animation (with the form Short)
Clip see Excerpt
Commercial (Theatrical) see Advertising
Commercial (Television) see Television commercial
Dailies see Unedited
Portion, usually of a few minutes duration or less, of a longer,
fully edited complete work. The material is too brief to be considered
an incomplete copy of the work. Typical excerpt material is a title
sequence, musical number, or special effects highlight.
Used for Clip.
Note: Do not use for Unedited material or stock shots. For an
excerpt not utilized in the final cut of a film, use Outtake.
Work, usually originally released theatrically or direct to video,
with an original length of at least forty minutes (or four or more
35 mm. reels).
Note: Feature length work originally presented on television usually
has a longer running time, from 90 minutes to three hours in length
(including commercials); use the term Television feature when such
a work is not part of a regular television series or mini-series,
and is not a special. For a work derived from a television series,
but re-edited as a feature for theatrical release, use the form
feature (such as the features DAVY CROCKETT--KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER
and DAVY CROCKETT AND THE RIVER PIRATES from the Walt Disney television
mini-series DAVY CROCKETT). For a work originally presented on
television in some countries while first released theatrically
in other countries, use the term appropriate to the copy in hand.
Home see Amateur
Infomercial see Advertising (Appendix C)
Made for TV movie see Television feature
Marionette see Puppet
Omnibus see Anthology
Material shot for a longer work but not used in the final cut.
Nonfiction work documenting a performance, event, or concert of
dance, music, opera, operetta, theatrical stage productions, magic,
circus, stand-up comedy, burlesque, or other vaudeville or variety
stage acts. Although the work being performed may be fictional,
as with a stage play, the intent of the work in hand is documentation
of that performance rather than a fictional narrative about it.
Note: If applicable, use the form Performance in conjunction with
the appropriate genre(s) and other form(s), such as Television
special. see also Unedited.
Film examples: GRAND CONCERT (with Music; Opera; Dance); MILLER
AND LYLES IN THEY KNOW THEIR GROCERIES (with Comedy); SOLLY WARD
AT THE PARTY (with Comedy); SPANUTH'S ORIGINAL VOD-A-VIL MOVIES;
SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA; TRAPEZE DISROBING ACT (with Erotic)
TV examples: BARYSHNIKOV ON BROADWAY (with Dance); LIVE FROM LINCOLN
CENTER; THE MAGIC OF DAVID COPPERFIELD
Political spot see Advertising--Political commercial (form)
Promotional see Advertising
Work that photographs puppets in a manner sometimes related to,
but distinct from, animation, since it uses a three-dimensional
rather than two-dimensional perspective. Puppet work may be presented
in an abstract or realistic manner, with the puppets controlled
by hand and photographed through stop-motion, or photographed in
live-action, with strings or electronic mechanisms to operate their
limbs and expressions.
Used for Marionette.
Film examples: ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1948) (with Fantasy); THE
ANIMAL KINGDOM (1956) (with Nature); THE HAND (1965); JASPER GOES
HUNTING (1944); KOTLERS MARIONETN (with Fantasy); MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S
DREAM (1959) (with Adaptations); THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
(with Fantasy); ON PARADE (1936); LA PETITE PARADE / THE SMALL
TV examples: THE MUPPET SHOW (with Children's); THUNDERBIRDS (with
Rushes see Unedited
Screen test see Audition
A multi-episode film chronicling the thrilling, action-filled
exploits of characters, lasting a certain number of chapters, usually
around fifteen episodes, of about twenty minutes duration apiece.
Typically uses the "cliffhanger" ending to lure audiences to the
next chapter of the work. Most often utilizes such genres as Western,
Science fiction, Jungle, Adventure, Espionage, and Crime, and frequently
loosely combines aspects of many formulas in a free- flowing manner
endemic to the serial form.
Note: For feature-length condensations of serials, use the term
Feature. For television work with the serial form, see Television
Examples: ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL (with Fantasy); THE ADVENTURES
OF SIR GALAHAD (with Adventure); FLASH GORDON CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE
(with Science fiction); HOLT OF THE SECRET SERVICE (with Crime);
THE JUNGLE MYSTERY (with Jungle); RIDING WITH BUFFALO BILL (with
A planned group of works of set length and subject matter, each
related to the other, such as an educational series.
Note: see also Television series and Television mini-series.
Work, usually originally released theatrically or direct to video,
with an original length less than forty minutes (or three or fewer
35 mm. reels).
Note: Do not include a condensed or shortened version of a work
originally of feature length.
Miscellaneous footage organized around a theme, event, or subject,
usually used as a resource in gathering visual material for a documentary.
Work originally broadcast over the medium of the "small screen."
see also Television commercial, Television feature, Television
mini-series, Television pilot, Television series, and Television
Short work (usually running from ten seconds to one minute in
length) typically promoting consumer products and services.
Note: For collections needing specialized treatment, see the terms
for Advertising in Appendix C.
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.
Used for Made for TV movie; Television movie.
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 televsion 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
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.
Test see Audition
Short work promoting a new motion picture and usually containing
scenes from it.
Footage recording a live event, such as a Congressional hearing
or floor debate (such as broadcast on C-SPAN), a funeral of a famous
person (such as FDR, JFK, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa), or a
scientific experiment. Such footage is generally unedited beyond
necessary changes in camera angles, and the shots are in the original
sequence in which the events took place, without subsequent editing.
Note: Unedited does not apply to works derived from or including
footage from such a source, such as a Documentary or Television
special. Coverage of an event with commentary would be placed under
such categories as the form Television specials. Unedited could
include sports coverage that is comprised of uninterrupted footage
without commentary or commercials; see Sports (Nonfiction).
see also Lecture and Performance.
Used for Dailies; Rushes.