Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Film

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The following is a manual of style for film-related articles under WikiProject Film. The majority of the guidelines focus on writing articles about individual films. Sections under "Primary content" are content that is expected in articles about film on a regular basis. Sections under "Secondary content" are content that may be uncommon. There is no defined order of the sections; please see WikiProject Film's Good Articles and Featured Articles for examples of appropriate layouts. Since the page is a set of guidelines, it is subject to change depending on Wikipedia policies or participant consensus. For other guidelines, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style.

Notability guidelines

The notability guideline for film-related articles is a standard for deciding if a film-related topic can have its own article. The guideline, which is specific to the subject of film, takes into consideration the general notability guidelines and other core Wikipedia policies and guidelines as they apply to film. This guideline also has subject-specific criteria for evaluating film-related topics.

Naming conventions

  • If a non-film article already exists with the name of the film that you are trying to create an article for, disambiguate and use (film) in the title: Film Title (film).
  • If a film article already exists with the name of the film that you are trying to create an article for, use (YEAR film) in the title: Film Title (YEAR film). Rename the already existing article's title and change it to Film Title (YEAR film) also.

Previously, both Film Title (film) and Film Title (movie) were accepted as film article names; this has since changed due to a talk page consensus in early July 2005. The correct title format is Film Title (film).

If the film title itself is in doubt, such as whether the word "The" should appear, it can be resolved as follows:

Article italics

In running text, the film's title should be italicized per Wikipedia's Manual of Style on italic type.

Per Wikipedia's policy on article titles, the title of a film's article should use italics, just as the film's title would be italicized in running text. The template {{Infobox film}} includes coding to italicize the article title automatically. If a film article does not have an infobox, editors are encouraged to add one, which will italicize the article title and provide overview information about the film. If there is a reason not to add an infobox, the {{Italic title}} template can be added instead.

If a film article's title exceeds 50 characters, it will not be italicized automatically. To force the title to be italicized, add the parameter italic title=force to the infobox.

Similarly, if an article title includes brackets (parentheses), that portion and any following it will not be italicized, since it is assumed to be a disambiguating term such as "(film)", not part of the film title itself. If it is actually part of the title, as in I Am Curious (Yellow), the italic title=force parameter will override this behavior and cause the entire title to be italicized.

If the infobox is used in an article with a title other than the film's title, italicization can be suppressed by adding the parameter italic title=no to the infobox.

If an article's title includes both a film title and additional wording that should not be italicized (e.g., List of accolades received by American Beauty), the magic word DISPLAYTITLE can be used. For the given example, the following is included in the list article: {{DISPLAYTITLE:List of accolades received by ''American Beauty''}}.

If both the {{infobox film}} template and the DISPLAYTITLE magic word are used, they should be placed in that order, so that DISPLAYTITLE formatting overrides the infobox's built-in italics coding.

Primary content

The article should aim to cover the following areas. Since many films have widely varying release patterns, the structuring and ordering of the sections—with the exception of the lead—is left to editorial judgment, and should be chosen to best suit the needs of the article.

Lead section

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The lead section should introduce the film and provide a summary of the most important aspects of the film from the article body. At minimum, the opening sentence should identify the title of the film, the year of its public release, and the primary genre or sub-genre under which it is verifiably classified. For presentation of foreign-language titles, see the naming conventions for foreign-language films. If the film's nationality is singularly defined by reliable sources (e.g., being called an American film), it should be identified in the opening sentence. If the nationality is not singular, cover the different national interests later in the lead section. The first paragraph of the lead section should also identify the director and the star or stars of the film. If any writers or producers are well-known, they can also be identified in the paragraph. If the film is based on source material, that source material and its creators should be identified. If possible, convey the general premise of the film in the paragraph and identify actors' roles in the premise.

Succeeding paragraphs in the lead section should cover important aspects of the film detailed in the article body and not mentioned already in the first paragraph. These include milestones or major events in the film's production, prominent themes, reception of the film by critics and audiences, box office grosses and milestones, controversies, summary of awards and honors, spin-offs (e.g., sequels, remakes, other media), and any significant impact the film has made in society. Avoid using "award-winning" and similar phrases in the opening sentence to maintain a neutral point of view and summarize the awards in the proper context in a later paragraph of the lead section.

References to the film should be in the present tense since, even though no longer in theaters, the film presumably still exists.

Plot

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Plot summaries are self-contained sections ("Plot", "Plot summary") in film articles that complement wider coverage about the films' production, reception, themes, and other real-world aspects, per Wikipedia's policy on writing about fiction. Since films are primary sources in their articles, basic descriptions of their plots are acceptable without reference to an outside source. As Wikipedia's policy on primary sources says, "...a primary source may be used only to make descriptive claims, the accuracy of which is verifiable by a reasonable, educated person without specialist knowledge... Do not make analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims about information found in a primary source." Since the film is the primary source and the infobox provides details about the film, citing the film explicitly in the plot summary's section is not necessary. Exceptions to the rule include upcoming films and "lost" films (which are not available to the public to verify), for which editors should use secondary sources.

Plot summaries for feature films should be between 400 and 700 words. The summary should not exceed the range unless the film's structure is unconventional, such as Pulp Fiction's non-linear storyline, or unless the plot is too complicated to summarize in this range. (Discuss with other editors to determine if a summary cannot be contained within the proper range.) Complicated plots may occasionally require clarifications from secondary sources, so cite these sources in the section. If there are differing perspectives of a film's events from secondary sources, simply describe the events on screen as basically as possible in the plot summary and report interpretations in another section of the article. Lastly, events in the film do not have to be written in the order in which they appear on screen. If necessary, reorder the film's events to improve understanding of the plot. See how to write a plot summary and copyediting essentials for more in-depth suggestions.

The plot summary is an overview of the film's main events, so avoid minutiae like dialogue, scene-by-scene breakdowns, individual jokes, and technical detail.

The plot section describes the events of the original general release. Alternate versions on home media or theatrical re-release may be described in other sections if appropriately sourced.

Spoilers

Per Wikipedia's content disclaimer and guideline on spoilers, all of the film's important events should be outlined without censoring details considered spoilers and without using disclaimers or warnings in the article. In short, Wikipedia contains spoilers; please respect this policy.

Cast

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Actors and their roles can be presented and discussed in different forms in film articles depending on three key elements: 1) the prominence of the cast in the film, 2) the amount of real-world context for each cast member or the cast as a whole, and 3) the structure of the article. Editors are encouraged to lay out such content in a way that best serves readers for the given topic. If necessary, build toward a consensus. The key elements are discussed in detail:

  1. A film's cast may vary in size and in importance. A film may have an ensemble cast, or it may only have a handful of actors. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, so it is encouraged to name the most relevant actors and roles with the most appropriate rule of thumb for the given film: billing, speaking roles, named roles, cast lists in reliable sources, blue links (in some cases), etc. If there are many cast members worth identifying, there are two recommended options: the names may be listed in two or three columns, or the names may be grouped in prose.
  2. The real-world context about actors and their roles may vary by film. Real-world context may be about how the role was written, how the actor came to be cast for the role, and what preparations were necessary for filming. Development of a film article means a basic cast list may evolve into a bulleted list with several sentences devoted to each person. In other cases, a list may be maintained and be accompanied by prose that discusses only a handful of cast members.
  3. The structure of the article may also influence form. A basic cast list in a "Cast" section is appropriate for the majority of Stub-class articles. When the article is in an advanced stage of development, information about the cast can be presented in other ways. A "Cast" section may be maintained but with more detailed bulleted entries, or a table or infobox grouping actors and their roles may be placed in the plot summary or in the "Casting" subsection of a "Production" section. Use tables with care due to their complexity; they are most appropriate for developed, stable articles. (Tables are also recommended to display different casts, such as a Japanese-language voice cast and an English-language voice cast in a Japanese animated film.)

If roles are described outside of the plot summary, keep such descriptions concise. Interpretations in the form of labels (e.g. protagonist, villain, main character) should be avoided. A well-written plot summary should convey such roles. Also, per Wikipedia's Manual of Style on boldface, please limit boldface to table headers and captions. Actors and roles should not be bolded.

Themes

Themes are unifying or dominant ideas and motifs in a film's elements (such as plot, dialogue, photography, and sound) conveying a position or message about life, society, and human nature. Most themes are implied rather than explicitly stated, regardless of whether their presence is the conscious intent of the producer, writer, or director. Inclusion of a treatment of a film's themes – well-sourced and cited to avoid original research – is encouraged since an article's value to a reader and its real-world context will be enhanced. A separate section is not required if it is more appropriate to place the material in the Production or Reception sections.

Production

The "Production" section can be organized into four parts, coinciding with the chronology of a film's creation (see the Filmmaking article):

  • development: development of the concept and script, as well as the securing of financing and producers
  • pre-production: recruitment of the most important artists (cast and crew) and shooting preparations
  • production or filming: actual filming – dates and places, important artistic decisions, and noteworthy events (delays, reshoots, financial problems, etc.)
  • post-production: completion of special effects, musical scoring and sound, and editing

This section should be structured to fit the available content: for example, if there is sufficient material about each topic, the section could be organized into subsections (such as "Development" and "Filming"); some topics may be interlinked, for instance, to handle situations when a film has different writers attached throughout its development. Thoughts from the cast and crew can be interwoven into this section, but such content should be substantive and avoid a promotional tone (especially during a film's marketing campaign).

Release

A key part of the film's Wikipedia article should be about its release and how it was received. Coverage will vary by film, and editors can structure the content in a way that serves readers best. Details about a film's release can include noteworthy screenings at film festivals and elsewhere, theatrical distribution and related business, setups (e.g. digital, IMAX), and significant release date changes, with sourced commentary where appropriate. Do not include information on the film's release in every territory (see here). Presentation of content about a film's release and reception can range from a simple "Release" section to several sections with their own subsections within.

Critical response

The overall critical response to a film should be supported by attributions to reliable sources. Avoid weasel words. If any form of paraphrasing is disputed, quote the source directly. Detailed commentary from reliable sources of the critics' consensus (or lack thereof) for a film is encouraged. Individual critics can also be referenced to detail various aspects of the film. Sources that are regarded as reliable are professional film critics, though notable persons or experts connected to the topics covered by the film may also be cited. The use of print reviews is encouraged. These will be more reliable in retrospect; closer to the release, review aggregation websites such as Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic are citable for statistics pertaining to the ratio of positive to negative reviews. (Caution: reliable review statistics may not be available for older films. Appraise the sample size in conjunction with other reliable sources, using best judgment to determine consensus.) To maintain a neutral point of view, it is recommended to quote a reasonable balance of these reviews. This may not always be possible or desirable (e.g. films that have been almost universally acclaimed or panned), and best judgment should again be used.

Reviews from the film's country of origin are recommended (i.e., Chinese reviews for a Chinese film, French reviews for a French film), though evaluations from several English-speaking territories are desirable.1 In the case of films not in the English language, the section should contain quotes translated into English from non-English reviews. For older films, seek reviews from the period of the film's release and the present to determine if a film's initial critical reception varies from the reputation it has today.

Rotten Tomatoes Top Critics

There is a consensus against using the "Top Critics" scores at Rotten Tomatoes based on several concerns:

  1. "Top Critics" scores are dependent on the region of the reader, meaning that readers across the world see different scores for the same citation, leading to confusion that the data is incorrect. Readers are automatically redirected to a "local" version of the site based on where they are, and since the region-dependent URLs are masked it makes if difficult to cite a specific set of scores.
  2. The selection of which "Top Critics" data set to use also complicates matters due to each "local" version of the site having its own data. There is no reason to select the scores from one country over another, so arbitrarily selecting a data set risks violating WP:NPOV, while listing all the scores would be WP:INDISCRIMINATE.
  3. Sample sizes for "Top Critics" may not be statistically significant, due to being typically much smaller than the sample size for the "All Critic" scores.
  4. "Top Critics" scores are inconsistent with the aims of aggregator scores on Wikipedia. The purpose behind using aggregators is to provide readers with an overview of how a film was critically received, and focusing on an exclusive subset of the available criticism may not reflect the prevalent view.
  5. "Top Critics" scores may not be notable. The general "All Critics" score is more widely reported than the "Top Critics" score, and is the statistic for which Rotten Tomatoes is generally notable.

Audience response

Do not quote comments from members of the general public (e.g., user comments from Amazon.com, the Internet Movie Database or personal blogs), as they are self-published and have no proven expertise or credibility in the field. Polls of the public carried out by a reliable source in an accredited manner, such as CinemaScore, may be used. Do not include user ratings submitted to websites such as the Internet Movie Database or Rotten Tomatoes, as they are vulnerable to vote stacking and demographic skew.

Box office

Provide a summary of the film's commercial performance (box office grosses), denominated in the film's national currency, if possible. Avoid indexical terminology such as "domestic". For example, Box Office Mojo reports box office figures from the territories U.S. and Canada as "domestic" and figures from the rest of the other territories as "international", but these terms will vary in meaning among Wikipedia readers. Instead, specify the territory or territories or indicate additional figures as outside the primary territory.

This information can be included under the Reception section, or if sufficient coverage exists, it is recommended that this information is placed in a "Box office" or "Theatrical run" section. In addition to worldwide box office statistics, this section may detail specific results of opening weekends, results from different English-speaking territories, the number of theaters the film was released into, and audience demographics. Coverage of a notable opening in a country not of the film's origin may be included (e.g., an article on an American film set in China may include discussion of the film's performance in that country). Box office statistics can be sourced from dedicated tracking websites such as Box Office Mojo or print publications such as Variety or The Hollywood Reporter. Determine a consensus from objective (retrospective if possible) sources about how a film performed and why, but editors should avoid drawing their own conclusions about the success or failure of the film.

Accolades

Accolades that a film receives can be covered in their own section. Accolades include award wins and nominations, recognition from film critics' circles, and presence on lists of critically acclaimed films (e.g., AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies). The number of accolades a film has received and any related background information can help determine how to present them. If a film has only a handful of accolades, then a paragraph may be sufficient identifying them, and not necessarily be in its own section. On the other hand, if the film is critically acclaimed and has many accolades, they can be listed in a wikitable. Column names for the table are typically Award, Category, Name (of persons), and Outcome. If a table overwhelms the rest of the film article, it can be split into a list article focusing on the accolades (e.g., List of accolades received by Up in the Air). The "Accolades" section can also mix prose and list. The section can list accolades and also use prose to provide context for some accolades, such as a general overview or a summary of controversy behind a given accolade.

Home media

If available, provide information on the film's release on home media, such as release dates, revenues, and other appropriate third-party coverage. The section may contain a summary of the extras included with the release, though excessive detail is to be avoided. If supported by filmmaker or third-party analysis, descriptions of deleted scenes included with the release should be placed in the "Production" section; the reason for the footage's removal is the relevant element, not the medium.

The image in the film article's infobox serves as cover art and identifies the topic. With this significant identification already in place, the inclusion of additional cover art must be rationalized with a non-identification purpose. Additions can be used to illustrate secondary sources' coverage of the appearance of cover art and packaging.

References

Readers should be able to verify information about films, so cite sources that are reliable. Visit the pages below for help on citing sources. If an article already uses an established approach to referencing, respect the existing approach and only change to another approach if there is consensus to do so. For examples of film articles that reference well, visit the Good and Featured Articles listed on the spotlight page.

If web pages are referenced in the article body, include in the citation the date it was last accessed. Sometimes web pages will no longer be accessible online, so retrieve an archived URL of the page using the Wayback Machine and include it in the citation along with the original URL.

External links

Wikipedia's guidelines for external links say to consider each link on its merits, so review what should be linked, links to be considered, and links to normally avoid. For film articles, include in the "External links" section the official site, if one exists. Wikipedia is not a mere collection of external links, so whenever possible, external links should be converted into references for the article body. Some external links may benefit readers in a way that the Wikipedia article cannot accommodate. For example, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic can provide listings of more reviews than sampled in the article body. They can be included as external links instead of links to individual reviews. Other useful external links include the Internet Movie Database, which provides community interaction, and Box Office Mojo, which provides box office statistics that may be too indiscriminate for the article. Templates for these useful external links are listed below, but judge each external link on its own merits. For example, a film may not be well-known enough to have multiple reviews listed at Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, or it may be too old to have in-depth box office statistics at Box Office Mojo. Alternately, the TCM Movie Database may be a useful external link mainly for classic films, where they would not add anything for most newer films. Avoid linking to fansites unless they are written by a recognized authority. Be aware that including external links to promote a website is considered to be spam.

Secondary content

Documentaries

Documentary films require a modified approach for their articles. Instead of a plot summary, a documentary article should have a synopsis that serves as an overview of the documentary. The synopsis should describe the on-screen events of the film without interpretation, following the same guidelines that apply to a plot summary (see WP:FILMPLOT). Since a documentary deals with real-life topics and figures, provide wikilinks to them wherever useful. See the guidelines on link clarity and specificity, and link to terms that match the topic precisely if not closely. If coverage from secondary sources focuses on a specific aspect of the documentary, that aspect can be elaborated to provide context for the coverage. For example, the documentary may mention some statistics, and there is coverage from secondary sources analyzing these statistics, which are not detailed in the synopsis. An "Analysis" section can be written to detail the statistics from the documentary and to report the analytical coverage from secondary sources. Also, sometimes a documentary will be reviewed not just by film critics, but by authorities in the topic that the documentary covers; their reviews can be referenced. For topics that may be controversial, such as documentaries about politicized issues, please see the "Controversies" section.

Controversies

For a controversial film, or a controversy stemming from a particular aspect of an otherwise uncontroversial film, editors should closely review Wikipedia's policy on editing from a neutral point of view. If there is contentious editing over a controversial topic, please follow Wikipedia's procedural policy of dispute resolution. Key applications of the NPOV policy include article structure and due weight. Content should not be split by the apparent POV. Policy says, "Try to achieve a more neutral text by folding debates into the narrative, rather than isolating them into sections that ignore or fight against each other." For example, a film that is based on historical events and has elicited contrary views may warrant a neutrally titled "Historical accuracy" section with sources that survey the filmmakers' intent or historians' differing assessments (positive or negative) of the film's historical accuracy.

Due weight means: "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint." Wikipedia aims to describe disputes, so controversial topics should already be covered by reliable, published sources. Policy states, "Discussion of isolated events, criticisms, or news reports about a subject may be verifiable and neutral, but still be disproportionate to their overall significance to the article topic." If a film is considered controversial as a whole, then that kind of coverage may make up a large portion of the article. In contrast, isolated criticisms may be briefly summarized. For example, complaints about a horror film's poster being too gory could be reported in passing in the article's "Release" section.

Soundtrack

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A soundtrack may refer to the film score or a collection of prerecorded songs compiled for the film. If the film score is a key aspect of production, it can be covered in a "Music" subsection of the article's "Production" section. Otherwise, a "Soundtrack" section can be used to provide a summary background about the film score or the collection of prerecorded songs. The template {{Infobox album}} can be used for the score or the collection, although WikiProject Film consensus is against having cover images in the album infoboxes in the film article. The poster image in the film infobox is sufficient for identification of the topic, and having cover images in the film article's album infoboxes is considered extraneous. If an album is notable enough for a stand-alone article (see notability guidelines for albums), one should be created, and an album infobox with a cover image can exist in the new article. For collections of prerecorded songs, a track listing can be presented to identify the songs and their artists. The {{Track listing}} template can be used for this presentation. Track listings for film scores are generally discouraged since the score is usually composed by one person and the score's tracks are generic descriptions of scenes from the film. Noteworthy tracks from the film score can be identified and discussed in prose.

Adaptation from source material

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A significant number of films are adapted from other works of fiction, including literature, plays, musicals, and even other films. When filmmakers adapt the source material for their films, they make changes for creative and conventional reasons. Details from secondary sources about such changes, such as why they took place, how they affected production, and how outside parties reacted to them, can be included in the respective sections of the article body. Writing about changes between a film and its source material without real-world context is discouraged. Creating a section that merely lists the differences is especially discouraged. While articles in the early stage of development (or about newly released films) may contain information which does not easily fit elsewhere, the material should either be moved to the relevant section or removed entirely when the article matures.

Historical and scientific accuracies

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Films are mainly works of fiction, and filmmakers sometimes use history or science as the basis of their films. They incorporate these topics in their films in a way that suits their storytelling and filmmaking abilities. Their approaches to incorporating these topics or others' reactions to their approaches can be interwoven in the film article's article body in sections such as the "Production" section and the "Reception" section, respectively. If ample coverage from secondary sources exist about a film's historical or scientific accuracy, editors can pursue a sub-topic sharing such coverage in a section titled "Historical accuracy" or "Scientific accuracy" ("accuracy" being applied as neutral terminology).

Since Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, policy states, "To provide encyclopedic value, data should be put in context with explanations referenced to independent sources." In addition, Wikipedia's policy of "no original research" states about synthesizing, "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources." For films based on history or science, analysis should be introduced by reliable published secondary sources that compare the film with history or with science. If analysis is limited, links should be provided to historical or scientific articles so readers can read about topics based in reality after reading about the work of fiction that uses these topics with dramatic license.

Marketing

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A film's marketing campaign may be detailed in its Wikipedia article if reliable sources exist. Details may be contained in a "Release" section, a "Marketing" subsection within it, or a stand-alone "Marketing" section, depending on the amount of coverage available. Since films are treated as commercial products, care must be taken to provide a neutral point of view.

Topics that can be covered include target demographics, test screenings, release dates, scale of release (limited vs. wide), merchandising, marketing controversies, and contending for awards. Do not merely identify and describe the content of customary marketing methods such as trailers, TV spots, radio ads, and posters. Instead, use reliable sources to provide useful commentary about a method, such as a trailer's intended effect or the audience's reported reaction to it. For example, the viral marketing campaign for Cloverfield began with an untitled teaser trailer that generated strong hype. For merchandising and other tie-ins, cite reliable sources to demonstrate relevance outside a studio's website(s) or shopping websites. Commentary about product placement, since it is not actual marketing of the film itself, should go elsewhere in the article; for example, it may go in the "Production" section to show how it lowered production costs.

Further reading

A film article can provide a reader with additional reading material in a "Further reading" section at the end of the article. The material should not appear elsewhere in the article, so well-developed articles that use many references will not necessarily need this section. An article that is not well-developed and not expected to be anytime soon can provide a "Further reading" section so readers can pursue more about the topic beyond Wikipedia's limited coverage.

Non-prose components

Images

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Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia, so free images are preferred in its articles. Since the majority of films are copyrighted, it may be necessary to use non-free images in Wikipedia articles about films. These images need to meet Wikipedia's non-free content criteria and acceptable uses. The requirements are summarized below in the context of WikiProject Films.

Non-free images used in film articles must meet Wikipedia's non-free content criteria. While all ten non-free content criteria must be met, three are the most pertinent to WikiProject Films: (1) No free equivalent, (3) Minimal usage and minimal extent of use, and (8) Significance. The content guidelines also list acceptable uses for non-free images, including two that are most relevant to WikiProject Films. Film and television screen shots are for critical commentary and discussion of the cinema and television. Promotional material such as posters, programs, billboards, ads are also for critical commentary.

Critical commentary and discussion of the film must come from reliable sources and not original research from the editors themselves. Critical commentary should be embedded in the body of the film article. A non-free image can be used to illustrate the target element of the critical commentary only if it cannot adequately be substituted by a free equivalent image or descriptive text. The non-free image should be significant in increasing the readers' understanding of the topic. Non-free images can illustrate technical or thematic aspects of the film. Examples include, but are not limited to: production design, makeup, costume design, camera technique, visual effects, lighting, and iconic shots.

Since a film article's "Plot" section contains descriptive claims about the information found in the primary source (the film) and not information found in reliable sources regarding the film, the section is not considered critical commentary or discussion of film. Thus, non-free images need to belong in other sections in which they can be supported by critical commentary.

Free licence images

Free licence images can include filming locations, on-set photos, and photos of the cast and crew. Some older films may be in the public domain, and screenshots can be used in articles without fair use constraints. Older films still in copyright may have trailers in the public domain, and screenshots from these trailers can be freely used.

For filming locations, free images of a specific and mostly unchanged location in the film can illustrate the places used in a film's production. On-set photos showing production in process may be used if they are evidenced to have been released under an appropriate licence. The cast and crew can be photographed at the various premieres of the resulting film as well as any components of production on display (such as costumes or vehicles). If marketing materials are captured in freely released photos, caution must be exercised to ensure that they are not derivative works.

Tables

Needs expansion; start discussion here

Templates

Infobox

The film infobox is a template that allows summary information of a film to be presented to readers in the upper right corner of an article. The infobox contains parameters to fill out, and the template's documentation page outlines how to determine the input.

Navigation

Navigation templates can be included at the bottom of film articles to link to related articles. Articles should be substantially related to the subject of the navigation template. If the subject is a director, his or her films can be displayed in the template. If the subject is a film series, the films in the series can be displayed in the template. The number of blue links to related articles should be substantial enough to warrant a navigation template. For example, if a director has only made two films, each film article instead can have a "See also" section linking to the other film article. WikiProject consensus is against including actor templates since not all actors have substantial appearances in all their films and since multiple actors in a film would overpopulate the bottom of a film article with actor templates regardless of role prominence.

Avoid using succession boxes that identify when a film ranked first at the box office and what films preceded and succeeded it at the box office. Instead, include detailed information about the film's box office performance in the article body. (Related discussion: Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2009 August 3‎#Box office succession boxes)

Note: While Wikipedia:Navigation templates is only an essay, it can help provide guidance.

Categories

The article should include categories at the bottom. At a minimum, year, country, language and genre categories should be included. It is best to keep them in alphabetical order for easier browsing. The generic categories, among others, are listed below for browsing. If the article title begins with "The" or "A", use {{DEFAULTSORT}} at the top of the list of categories in the article.

For films that have yet to be released to the public, add Category:Upcoming films.

For example, you would add the following to the bottom of a page titled "The Movie" for an English-language American comedy film that came out in 2008:

{{DEFAULTSORT:Movie, The}}
[[Category:2008 films]]
[[Category:2000s comedy films]]
[[Category:American films]]
[[Category:English-language films]]

Guidelines for related topics

Lists

Once an article has been created for a film, it can be entered into a number of lists to allow easier browsing for viewers. All films should be included in the Lists of films. Each film can be included in lists based on the alphabet, year, language, genre, location, etc. that a film can be included in.

Film genres and topics in film

Needs expansion; start discussion here

Filmmaking technology

Needs expansion; start discussion here

Film awards and festivals

Needs expansion; start discussion here

Film studios and distributors

Needs expansion; start discussion here

Film series

Needs expansion; start discussion here

Film characters

Needs expansion; start discussion here

Clean-up

Date formatting

  • Following WP:EGG, dates should be linked only to articles about the linked date, and they should be linked only when the date's article provides important information or context specifically related to the film.
  • Following WP:SEASON, avoid using season names in film articles. If a term like "summer film" needs to be used, provide additional context for global comprehension.

Trivia

Trivia may be a useful section in a film article, as it can serve as a "Miscellaneous" area for important facts (not just fan facts) that may not yet fit easily elsewhere. This is especially true for articles in early stages of development or about new releases. As the article matures, as per the Trivia sections style guideline, these items should be either moved to other sections of the article—preferably written using prose, not bullet points or lists—or removed entirely. Remember to include citations to reliable sources for any facts included in this section; otherwise they can be deleted.

Popular culture

Many editors like to create Popular Culture sections in articles which list a number of films or other works of fiction which reference the main subject. These references should be kept to a bare minimum and should not go into great detail about the plot of the story, although a brief synopsis may be appropriate. They should be supported by third party sources that place the reference into context.

Taglines

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In the past, film articles have sometimes displayed taglines in the lead or standalone sections. Since taglines are generally a small part of a film's marketing campaign, they are usually too indiscriminate to belong in what is intended to be a concise overview of the film article or to belong in sections without context. Exceptions may include famous taglines such as Jaws 2's "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..." so use reliable sources to back claims to fame. If the tagline is not very famous but still considered relevant to a film's marketing, it can belong in the appropriate section of the article body.

Ratings

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Ratings given to individual films by motion picture rating systems will vary by territories in accordance to their cultures and their types of governance. In film articles, avoid indiscriminate identification of ratings and instead focus on ratings for which there is substantial coverage from reliable sources. Coverage of ratings can include how a film is produced to target specific audiences, the late editing of a film to acquire a specific rating, or controversy over whether or not a film's rating was appropriately assigned. Since this is the English-language Wikipedia and not the American Wikipedia, avoid mere identification of ratings issued by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to counter systemic bias (see Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias for more information). Provide global coverage of how different territories rate individual films if substantial coverage exists. Retrospective coverage is also welcomed to evaluate how films were rated in their time period, such as the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy being X-rated initially by the MPAA. Rating coverage generally belong in the "Release" section, though coverage can be elsewhere. For instance, the "Production" section can detail the filmmakers' goal to achieve a specific rating in making the film, or a stand-alone section can cover controversy surrounding a rating if enough detail exists.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ For an experimental list of sites that can be used to obtain aggregate ratings and link to reviews from non-English-speaking countries see Wikipedia:WikiProject_Films/Resources#Non-English resources.







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