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Björn Hartmann’s SceneSkim on Engadget

BCNM’s Björn Hartmann was recently featured on Engadget for his research tool, SceneSkim, which allows researchers (and hardcore fans) looking through films to skim through films to quickly find certain sections.  Designed with fellow researchers Amy Pavel (UC Berkeley), Dan B Goldman (Adobe Research), and Maneesh Agrawala (Stanford), SceneSkim contains a search query function and uses synchronized summary, script, captions, and movie clips themselves to allow for a quick and detailed skimming of a film. The tool is intended for researchers looking for a variety of elements within a film who must currently resort to laboriously scouring through the whole film, scrubbing the video timeline, or rely upon somewhat arbitrary DVD chapters. Sceneskim allows for searches on several different levels with close caption to script alignment, and detalied summaries which can be used to quickly navigate through a film. Hartmann and his colleagues consulted with Film Studies Graduate Students for evaluation, with most expressing enthusiasm for the possible uses of this search tool in critical film research.

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