The log-normal distribution is not an appropriate parametric model for shot length distributions of Hollywood films

Nick Redfern

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    We examine the assertion that the two-parameter log-normal distribution is an
    appropriate parametric model for the shot length distributions of Hollywood
    films. A review of the claims made in favour of assuming log-normality for
    shot length distributions finds them to be lacking in methodological detail and
    statistical rigour. We find there is no supporting evidence to justify the assumption
    of log-normality in general for shot length distributions. In order to test this
    assumption, we examined a total of 134 Hollywood films from 1935 to 2005,
    inclusive, to determine goodness-of-fit of a normal distribution to
    log-transformed shot lengths of these films using four separate measures: the
    ratio of the geometric mean to the median; the ratio of the shape factor to
    the estimator * ¼ ˇ(2 ln (x/M)); the Shapiro–Francia test; and the Jarque–
    Bera test. Normal probability plots were also used for visual inspection of the
    data. The results show that, while a small number of films are well modelled by a
    log-normal distribution, this is not the case for the overwhelming majority of
    films tested (125 out of 134). Therefore, we conclude there is no justification for
    claiming the log-normal distribution is an adequate parametric model of shot
    length data for Hollywood films and recommend the use of robust statistics that
    do not require underlying parametric models for the analysis of film style.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-151
    Number of pages15
    JournalDigital Scholarship in the Humanities
    Volume30
    Issue number1
    Early online date13 Dec 2012
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'The log-normal distribution is not an appropriate parametric model for shot length distributions of Hollywood films'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this