The Movie Time Machine Prototype Video on Vimeo.
The Movie Time Machine is an interactive movie database that lets people browse the most liked movie offerings of any time period and genre. This allows them to quickly find content they potentially like but have yet to experience. The game-like interaction with popping bubbles creates an engaging interaction that lets the user quickly eliminate any irrelevant information.
The Movie Time Machine was a team project including two digital interaction designers, two product designers and a computing student. Our task was to create an interactive visualization using a given dataset, and make it fit a specific publication; in our case, an online article of the Empire magazine.
Our dataset was a csv file of IMDB’s database of 5000 movies, which includes movie descriptions, ratings, promotional images and other relevant information. The dataset can be viewed here.
Along with the dataset, we researched people & movies: how people watch movies, what they expect from reviews, and what kind of movies they generally look for.
The core of the Movie Time Machine became to tackle the issue of repeated information — the various top lists have people scroll through movies many of them have already seen.
To be fit withing a browser article, we decided to make the interaction more playful and slightly randomised. First the user determines the filters: the time period and/or genre. If there are many popular movies from a time period the movies will appear in a top order first. When the user pops the bubbles and removes the movies they have already seen, the Movie Time Machine generates new bubbles to replace them with even more interesting movies.
We also ended up combining the IMDb data to the Rotten Tomatoes score of each movie to create a more comprehensive rating system. The combined mean of the ratings of the two most popular online movie databases gives a better estimate of what the actual best movies of all time are according to the viewers themselves. This also removes the need to browse between multiple sites for comparison.
We researched the Empire’s online magazine to mimic their design guidelines and have the feature fit their website seamlessly. The graphics of our feature have a retro-futurist look paying homage to the many sci-fi classics of the 80’s and 90’s. The colour palette in turn strictly follows the palette of the Empire website, and the feature is sized for their article layout.