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Episode crew credits for TNG and DS9

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I will, in a few days time, have complete crew credit transcripts for TNG and DS9 - about 60 credits per episode, about 20,000 alltogether. Does that information warrant inclusion in this wiki? If yes, how?

  • Putting episode-specific credits on the "production staff" name pages seems quite straightforward.
  • Putting full listings on each episode page seems like a very bad idea, since it would bloat the page with information of no interest to the overwhelming majority of readers - although I do recall seeing an expand/collapse feature, so that might be an option.
  • Going further, one might consider creating a credit subpage for all episodes, to which the cast credits could then also be moved.

Well, anyway, I just wanted to hear some opinions and ideas for now... TeraBlight 18:40, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

"Appearances"-like lists on articles about the individual persons - definitely. :) Full listings on episode articles - perhaps, though those should really be hideable for those who aren't interested in it. Subpages - I don't like that idea. -- Cid Highwind 18:53, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Subpages bad. One question I have is... for the "production credits", how often are they identical from episode to episode? Are they pretty much the same for an entire season, or is there a lot of variation in them? -- Sulfur 18:56, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Usually the only differences in the end credits are from mid-season crew changes (for example, John Jones does a job for the first 13 episodes, and John Smith takes over for the next 13) or from a special situation -- like the one episode with a certain computer effect will be the only episode with some company credited for that effect. (example -- "New Ground" has a credit for the soliton wave effect studio that doesnt appear in other episodes that year) -- Captain M.K.B. 19:17, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I just had a look at the interactive tree script and that definitely looks like the way to go. Shouldn't that also be used for the "main/guest/co stars" sections on episode pages? Or does that conflict with the used template?

As to frequency of changes, it's about even thirds, I'd say. One third is an identical credit throughout the series, such as Westmore and Okuda. One third changes every once in a while, but not usually aligned with season changes, such as the different flavours of "producer" credits. And one third changes from episode to episode, mostly the hands-on jobs like visual effects crew and make-up artist. TeraBlight 19:22, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

A fourth option would be to create one huge page with the crew listings for an entire series, with subheadings for each episode, and then put a template on each episode page that simply links to the right subheading on that page. Bit messy though. TeraBlight 19:38, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I believe the script only works for appearances sections formatted as bullet point lists at the moment. Eventually ask User:Bp for other possibilities. Generally, I think this type of information belongs on individual crewperson articles (as a section similar to the "Appearances" section for characters) and on the episode articles (as an extended "Credits" section). Maybe you could add such a credits section to a handful of episode articles first, so that we can find the best way to place and format this? -- Cid Highwind 11:10, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Sure thing, once I'm ready I'll make a few samples and we can go from there. Thanks for the initial feedback :) TeraBlight 14:26, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Okay, data is assembled and on the way to being sorted. I made a sample page, have a look. Two basic questions:

  • How to best structure the information? I put three basic approaches on the sample page. Feel free to append more if you don't like either.
  • Do you want articles on the specific jobs (e.g. "Unit Production Manager"), or is that beyond the scope of this wiki? I'm not really knowledgeable enough to write those, but I guess could cobble together stubs. Alternatively, interwiki-links to wikipedia?

Anything else that needs discussing? -- TeraBlight 11:57, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

After some thought, I've come to the conclusion that articles on the specific jobs would be a good thing, because that's probably the best way to implement a complete credit listing in the first place. TNG has about 300 credited production staff, and a non-negligible portion of them have only worked on a handful of episodes - I'm not sure any more that making pages for each one is the way to go. However, listing the people who have done the same job on one page is a lot more managable because the number of jobs is pretty much constant between episodes. And the natural place to do that is on a page for that job. I've made one for "Unit Production Manager" and linked it from my sample page.

I'm still not sure which layout I prefer for the name pages - are readers going to be more interested in being able to tell at a glance "which Star Trek episodes did Livingston direct?" or "what did Livingston do on TNG?" ... that's basically the difference between the first and second approach.

Anyway, without you giving me feedback this isn't going to go anywhere, this is not something I'm prepared to decide for myself. -- TeraBlight 13:40, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Lets see what it looks like to list all the credits for an episode. --Bp 21:41, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Allright, third sample page is up. You can switch from one to the other (person/job/title) via the "header". Two approaches on this one, grouped and collapsible using bullet lists plus tree script, and tabulated in screen credit order. I applied the same formatting to the cast listing as well, just to get an idea of what it would look like. -- TeraBlight 00:00, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

a broader project Edit

There are several other things wrong with episode pages that we might try to fix all at once. There is a tremendous amount of inconsistency among them. Cid and I have worked on this a little via the {{sidebar episode}} and {{sidebar film}} templates, which are still in development. I'm glad that someone is working on the "bottom half" of the episode pages. One thing that needs attention is the inconsistent "Guest Star"/"Co-Star" bit. In my opinion, there should be the four categories: "Main Cast", "Guest Star", "Co-Star", and "Uncredited". With unknown AND (in the logical sense) uncredited actors getting the "An unknown actor as..." treatment that I started to introduce recently. This helps us track down these actors and get them credited, with the help of Jorg's inside man, as well as other sources. If you have a data set with all the credits for TNG and DS9, it would be nice to work on that set, and then merge it all into MA at once, using a bot or something. I have a database of all the sidebar data already, and it would be nice to compare it to the director/writer credits that you have, to look for any discrepancies.

About your test pages and suggestions: I think that this kind of information is what episode pages should be for, and it doesn't need to be hidden in any way. I think it would be fine to have straight lists, perhaps in two columns if it gets too long, although looking at it now I don't think it is. The format, as it currently exists, is good. Simply "==Guest Stars==, ==Co-Stars==,... ==Crew== * Somebody, Something..." ,or alternately "... * Something - Somebody... ".

Sulfur brought up another good point. Do things like "Created by Gene Roddenberry" need to be included on every episode page? We will need to analyze the data to get an idea of how many credits are constant throughout the whole series, and which ones only change once or twice, and consider whether they need to be included. Perhaps we can include every credit for completeness, I'm not sure what I think about this yet.

About the lists on people pages, I think the list/tree style that is used in appearances is the way to go for that.

So, TeraBlight:

  • What format do you have the data in right now?
  • How comfortable are you with mySQL and perl or python?
  • Are you interested in working on a broader "episode page data verification and format consistency" project?
  • Come to the memory-alpha IRC channel and talk about this. If you are interested, perhaps we can start a true "project" and create a page for it here on MA so that others can get involved. TF isn't really good for this.

--Bp 01:37, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

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