Researchers have used a database named TVTropes, which includes more than 25,000 clichés associated with 10,766 movies.
A team of scientists from the Spanish universities of Granada (UGR) and Cádiz (UCA) has designed the first computer system to help screenwriters write movie scripts that will do better at the box office, a model that makes use of artificial intelligence techniques to analyze the most successful clichés or tropes.
To do so, they’ve relied on tropes, which are the narrative resources and conventions that allow movie directors to communicate a situation that can be easily recognized by the viewer, a kind of cliché that is common, predictable, and even necessary to tell a story.
Tropes are ideas that are repeated in different movies or series, and that’s why it’s often said that almost every storyline has already appeared on “The Simpsons”, the animated television series to which the study refers.
Its creators, Pablo García-Sánchez and Juan Julián Melero, from the Department of Computer Architecture and Technology at UGR, and Antonio Vélez and Manuel Jesús Cobo, from the Department of Computer Engineering at the University of Cádiz, have utilized this series and others as an example of how these clichés work.
“Some examples of tropes would be the inevitable villain that the heroes face in Marvel movies; the detective handing in his badge and gun; or the hero’s journey, which has been around for thousands of years in works like Homer’s Odyssey, but also in movies such as Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter,” García-Sánchez pointed out.
In this project, the researchers have devised a methodology to visualize how tropes are related, understand them, and above all, infer which combinations would be successful or not for creative processes, a way of analyzing plot twists that may or may not lead to blockbusters.
The researchers have used a database named TVTropes, which includes more than 25,000 tropes associated with 10,766 movies, a platform that’s constantly updated.
Network analysis has been performed on these tropes with algorithms programmed to discover what the relationship is between movies that share similar tropes. It can therefore measure the popularity of clichés, whether they’re mainstream or very specific, and whether they’re on the rise or on the decline.
“This research can help screenwriters and film directors during the creative process because, although our system doesn’t do the writing for you, it does offer resources to find out what combination of ideas might work,” said Pablo García in a statement. (EFE)