Nick Redfern

My page can be found here.


I graduated from the University of Kent in 1998 with a degree in Film Studies and History, and was awarded an MA by the same institution in 2002. I received my PhD from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2006 for a thesis titled ‘Regionalism and the Cinema in the United Kingdom, 1992 to 2002.’ I have taught Film Studies, Media Studies, Communication Studies, and History at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Central Lancashire.

From 2013 I am teaching film studies at Leeds Trinity University.

Research interests

The Theory of National Cinemas: defining the national in the cinema; the relationship between the national and globalisation; and the relationship between the national and other forms of identity.

Regional Film Cultures in the United Kingdom: the relationship between cinema and geography; regional film policy in the UK; and the representation of the regions.

Perception and Cognition in the Cinema: the nature of communication in the cinema; the production of meaning; and the perception of motion.

Narrative cinema: the formal structure of films; and the organisation and presentation of narrative information.

Paranoia in American Popular Culture: anxiety, narrative, and emotion; politics and Hollywood cinema; and surveillance and society.

Cinemetrics: shot length distributions; shot scales; authorship.


“Leading them down the garden path:” Another look at Hitchcock’s Psycho, Entertext 1 (3) 2001: 48-63.

Abjection and Evolution in The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Wellsian: The Journal of the H.G. Wells Society 27 2004: 37-47. [Reprinted as Abjection and Evolution in The Island of Dr. Moreau, in John S. Partington (ed.) H.G. Wells’s Fin-de-Siècle: Twenty-first Century Reflections on the Early H.G. Wells. Frankfurt-am-Main: Peter Lang, 2007: 17-25].

Communication and Meaning in the Cinema, Constructivism in the Human Sciences 9 (2) 2004: 39-48 [Download as a PDF file: Redfern2004 – Communication and meaning in the cinema].

Information and Entropy: The Disorganisation of Narrative in Cronenberg’s Videodrome, Entertext 4 (3) 2004: 6-24.

Film in the English Regions, International Journal of Regional and Local Studies 1 (2) 2005: 52-64.

“We Do Things Differently Here:” Manchester as a Cultural Region in 24 Hour Party People, Entertext 5 (2) 2005: 286-306.

Space and Hybridity in Contemporary British Cinema, International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics 2 (1) 2006: 97-103.

Realism, Radical Constructivism, and Film History, Essays in Philosophy 7 (2) 2006:

London Spaces in Contemporary British Cinema: Notting Hill and South West 9, Literary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London 4 (2) 2006:

Making Wales Possible: Regional Identity and the Geographical Imagination in The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain, Cyfrwng: Media Wales Journal 4 2007: 57-70. [The pdf of this article can be accessed here: Nick Redfern – Making Wales Possible]

Defining British Cinema: Transnational and Territorial Film Policy in the United Kingdom, Journal of British Cinema and Television 4 (1) 2007: 150-164. DOI 10.3366/JBCTV.2007.4.1.150. [The pdf of this article can be accessed here: Nick Redfern – Defining British Cinema]

Constructing Movement in the Cinema, New Review of Film and Television Studies 5 (2) 2007: 173-189. DOI: 10.1080/17400300701432860. [The pdf of this article can be accessed here: Nick Redfern – Constructing Movement in the Cinema]

Employability and Oral Assessment, Journal of Employability and the Humanities 1 2007:

Connecting the Regional and the Global in the UK Film Industry, Transnational Cinemas 1 (2) 2010: 145-160. DOI: 10.1386/trac.1.2.145_1.

Northern Ireland and the Problem of Identity in Divorcing Jack (1998) and Wild About Harry (2000), Journal of European Popular Culture 1 (2) 2010: 135-149. DOI: 10.1386/jpec.1.2.135_1.

Shot Length Distributions in the Short Films of Laurel and Hardy, 1927 to 1933, Cine Forum 14 2012: 37-71.

Research Blogging in Film Studies, Frames 1 2012:

Genre Trends at the US box office, 1991 to 2010, European Journal of American Culture 31 (2) 2012: 145-167. DOI: 10.1386/ejac.31.2.145_1.

Correspondence Analysis of Genre Preferences in UK Film Audiences, Participations 9 (2) 2012: 45-55.

The Log-normal Distribution is not an Appropriate Parametric Model for Shot Length Distributions of Hollywood Films, Literary and Linguistic Computing, Advance Access published December 13, 2012, doi:10.1093/llc/fqs066.

The Impact of Sound Technology on the Distribution of Shot Lengths in Hollywood Cinema, 1920 to 1933, CINEJ 2 (1) 2012: 77-94. DOI 10.5195/cinej.2012.50.

Film Studies and Statistical Literacy, Media Education Research Journal 4 (1) 2013: 58-71.

Film Style and Narration in Rashomon, Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema 5 (1-2) 2013: 21-36. DOI: 10.1386/jjkc.5.1-2.21_1.

The Structure of ITV News Bulletins, International Journal of Communication 8 2014: 1557-1578.

Comparing the Shot Length Distributions of Motion Pictures using Dominance Statistics, Empirical Studies of the Arts 32 (2) 2014: 257-273. DOI: 10.2190/EM.32.2.g.

Robust estimation of the mAR index of high grossing films at the US box office, 1935 to 2005, Journal of Data Science 12 (2) 2014: 277-291.  [The pdf of this article can be accessed here: 4.JDS-1181_final-1].

Age, Gender, and Television in the UK, Journal of Popular Television 3 (1) 2015: 57-73. DOI: 10.1386/jptv.3.1.57_1.

Conference Papers, Presentations

London Spaces in Contemporary British Cinema: Notting Hill and South West 9, Literary London 2006: Representations of London in Literature: An Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Greenwich, 13-14 July 2006.

“Land of Hope and Bloody Glory:” Region and Nation in Brassed Off, Crash Cinema 6, Bradford International Film Festival/University of Bradford, National Media Museum, Bradford, 21 March 2007.

Locational Non-substitutability and Regional Film Policy in the United Kingdom, Regions and Regionalism in and beyond Europe, Institute of Advanced Studies, Lancaster University, 17-19 September 2007.

Emotion, Genre, and the Hollywood Paranoid Film, New Nightmares: Issues and Themes in Contemporary Horror Cinema, Manchester Metropolitan University, 3-4 April 2008.

Introduction to Brighton Rock, The Mitchell and Kenyon Cinema, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, 16 April 2008.

Introduction to Hell is a City, The Mitchell and Kenyon Cinema, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, 28 April 2008.

‘It’s chaos out there …:’ Northern Ireland and the Problem of Identity in Divorcing Jack (1998) and Wild About Harry (2000), Projecting the Regions: People, Identity, Place, Manchester Metropolitan University, 17 September 2009.

An Empirical Approach to Film Audiences, BFI Media Studies Conference, BFI Southbank, London, 7-9 July 2010.

The Romance Film at the Box Office in Five European Countries, 2006 to 2010, International Association for the Study of Popular Romance, York University, 27-29 September 2012.

The Transformation of Genre in Early Cold War Westerns, Current Thinking on the Western, University of Leeds, 18 June 2014.

  1. Nick,

    Thank you for continuing to contribute to your blog. I too lament the fact that scholars don’t use statistical analysis correctly, or worse, write off statistical analysis, or even worse, eschew data altogether. I love following your blog, and it helps keep my own analysis sharp.


  2. I came upon your website strictly by accident after coming across your reference to me. It is so impressive, even thought I had to admit I don’t understand it all. I love the section on paintings of cinemas. I am sure there are so many more; for example, in my papers at USC is an original painting of the Princess Hall Cinema, Hull. David Samuelson has some paintings of cinemas in his home in London, including what is supposedly the first painting — by Walter Sickert — to depict the cinema (the interior of a theatre during a Bioscope presentation). An area that fascinates me and which it seems virtually impossible to research is why for decades filmgoers would enter a cinema in the middle of a film and exit when it got to the point where they came in. Critic James Agate wrote a great piece about this in the 1930s, but I have never seen it addressed in a scholarly way. Did filmmakers demand scripts that included some form of summation as to what had taken place so far to help audiences who arrived late? Did filmmakers object to this behavior. I know that D.W. Griffith did and commented upon it a number of times, but I have never come across any other director who discussed the matter. Anyway, thanks and congratulations on a great website.
    Anthony Slide

  3. Nick:

    In the course of updating my CV I was browsing Google Scholar when I came across your research using the time series analysis procedure I’ve been developing over the last 10 years. Never thought it would be applied outside of climatology, but as a lifelong film-o-phile I was pleasantly surprised (gobsmacked, actually) to see that you have found it useful.

    Keep up the good work, etc.
    Steve Mauget

    • I’m still working through all the details so I can apply the method more generally (and more skilfully), but it does seem to be really useful when trying to describe film style.

      One interesting thing that I have noticed is that the problems with doing time series on shot length tend to be similar ones to those encountered in climatology, hyrdology, and ecology. So when I am trying to learn useful statistical metehods I find my self reading journals form these areas: the paper describing the order structure matrix is from Ecological Modelling, for example. I have no idea why this might the case.

  4. Nick – I found your site when attempting to find studies of revenue by media and territory over the last decade. I haven’t dived into the site as much as I will. But my initial reaction is that It is an extraordinary resource.

    I represent independent producers and distributors in the US. I am told that the revenue for local distributors in European markets has shifted from DVD to theatrical. As a percentage, the revenue anticipated from a US$ 30M picture will be about 70-80% theatrical, 10% DVD and 10-20% TV/PPV. Of course, these percentages will vary by territory. I must admit these figures sound off to me. I am attempting to find empirical data (or as close as we come in our industry).

    Do you have thoughts and/or sources to which you could point me?

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Sallie Weaver

    • Given that DVD sales are in long term decline the fact that the proportion of gross has shifted back to theatrical isn’t that surprising, but this may reflect only the decline in DVD and not any growth in sales from other areas. There’s very little VOD in Europe at present.

      There are many sources of data. In Europe the national film agencies produce statistical summaries of the industry (e.g. the BFI Statistical Yearbook), but the coverage varies from one country to another. There also EU surveys produced by various central bodies and these give more of an overview. Perhaps most usefully they provide links to other reports and this makes it quicker than searching every country one by one.

      A recent position paper was published by UNIC looking at the online distribution of video works and this is a good place to start since it provides a summary of the distribution sector in Europe. It can be accessed at

  5. Hi Nick,

    I’m from a small Himalayan country called Bhutan sandwiched between India to the south and China to the north.

    I’m very glad to have come across your blog which is invaluable for film research. I’m trying to pursue a PhD on film studies. I’m trying to develop my dissertation around this concept: “The relationship between viewer’s choice and cultural framework: Exploring cognitivism in Bhutanese films”. I would appreciate if you could help me streamline my research concept and draw the indicators to these research variables.



  6. I’ve very much enjoyed reading your posts on statistical style analysis. I am not a trained statistician, but I have dabbled in statistical analysis of television style in recent years. In fact, inspired by Cinemetrics, I have developed my own relatively primitive online system for semi-automatically measuring shot lengths ( I’ve used Shot Logger data as the basis for an SCMS conference paper and am currently trying to work up a more robust analysis for a journal article.

    To that end, your posts have been very illuminating and educational! They’ve inspired me to experiment with statistical methods I had never heard of before (e.g., the ECDF) and I know my article will benefit from them.

    Would you have any interest in collaborative or consulting work on US television? If so, I could use your advice on a current project involving the US comedy HAPPY DAYS. It would be something along the lines of work I started in the book, TELEVISION STYLE. If your interest is piqued, please send me an email. (I assume you can see it through WordPress’ backend.)

    In any event, thank you for your blog! It is an invaluable resource.


  7. Nick, your blog posts is a wonderful resource! Are you planning to publish the paper “Exploratory data analysis and film form”?

    I have been arguing for importance of exploratory data analysis approach for digital humanities for a few years (but did not publish about it yet). We developed a number of visualization techniques and tools specifically for exploring large image collections, and films:

    Your article should be known to the digital humanities community – its very important for the progress of empirical studies of all arts.

    Dr. Lev Manovich
    Professor, CUNY Graduate Center

    • That paper is currently under review at Scientific Study of Literature.

      It has already been rejected by Journal of Aesthetics and Arts Criticism on the grounds that it ‘does not examine debates over the kinds of philosophical or theoretical ideas that are the main focus of discussion for JAAC.’

      It was also rejected by Horror Studies, because

      the readers found unconvincing and unhelpful the methodology of EDA on the grounds that it rejects a priori all the assumptions that our readers bring to films, and that it does so without sufficient justification. In the words of the vettor, “The “scientific” dimension of this is purely imaginary and really comes down to denying any influence, subjective or historical, in the choice of data. What the author is looking for is the complete and definitive elimination of any factor that cannot be reduced to data, such as desire, politics, aesthetics, history and subjectivity.

      This represents a profound ignorance of the scientific method, a fundamental lack of understanding of the purposes and practices of exploratory data analysis, and also reflects a good deal of carelessness in reading my article.

      I don’t have a high opinion of the peer reviews process in film studies, and I’ll put up a longer post about this in a few weeks. But there can be no progress in the empirical studies of the cinema until levels of competency among film scholars are greatly improved.

  8. Dear Nick, I would like to thank you for your articles about the Academy Awards, they’ve been of massive help in my schoolresearch on the effects of winning an Oscar for Best Picture. So, both as a student and as a massive cinemaphile, thank you very much!

  9. Nick, I am a student at Penn State University reviewing a study titled “A Cross Cultural Comparison of Gender Roles in Film”. An interesting result that was found in the original study was that the frequency of female lead roles was higher in Asian countries than in the US and that female characters in South Korean movies were rated as having more ability to self actualize than female leading characters in movies here in US. I am looking for any information or resources that may be able to help explain, support or dispute this information and was hoping you may be able to provide some direction. Thanks and I love your blog!


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