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There are some very famous directors, such as Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott, who have tags here. Effectively, when a question is asked of their films it is tagged with both the film title and the director.

Someone asked this question regarding a prop used in a film by a particular director. I edited the question to make the title more succinct, but they questioned the deletion of the director's name (Andrei Tarkovsky) as a tag. Although I don't know the director very well, I understand he was very influential and as such, as the OP felt knowing the director would be relevant to the question.

It seems overkill to consider adding it for every film, yet there are some directors who are influential enough (such as Kubrick/Spielberg/Hitchcock) that I would understand the need to add their tags.

So out of curiosity, what are the current guidelines or suggestions as to when a director tag should be added?

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    The overwhelming answer appears to be IDK LULZ – Tablemaker May 28 '14 at 4:13
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I'm adding my own thoughts to this, as whilst I appreciate @Ankit Sharma's answer, I don't agree with some of the examples!! (e.g. Why this character is eliminated? to me is just a movie question).

I would use it only if asking about a body of work about the director, as opposed to a single film.

For example, to me these are all film tags only:

"Why does Indiana Jones use a whip?"
"Is ET's home planet named?"
"What is the significance of the opera scene in Mulholland Drive?"

Whilst these are all director tags:

"Why is Orson Welles considered such a groundbreaking director?"
"Who or what is Alan Smithee?" - side note, really should add a question about this :)
Why is Kill Bill considered Tarantino's "fourth film"?

Obviously this is just my take on things, but it is interesting to get the discussion going. If director tags were used, I'd certainly have tags for people like Spielberg and Kubrick in my favourites, which would be easier than having all of their respective films in my favourites. Having said that, we don't generate the volume of questions (yet!) to warrant such drastic action.

Let's keep the discussion going. Any more answers/comments would be very welcome :)

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    I really like this interpretation. If the main gist of the question is about a film, the tags should relate to the film, regardless of who the director is. Director tags should be limited to questions that relate to directors specifically (as in the examples). – Catija Feb 8 '15 at 22:55
  • This should be the accepted answer and is pretty much what I was trying to say here, under name tags – user5603 May 6 '15 at 11:40
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    I think this is a valid take. But I'd disagree with it. The purpose of tags, IMHO, is the 'tangential' relationship. It allows me to explore topics in bigger buckets and lets me find things that I may not have been directly seeking, but are clearly on my 'interest radar' now that they've been tagged. – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 0:05
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I would use it only if asking about a body of work about the director, as opposed to a single film.

Mmm yes, though sometimes it's really not that black and white. The question may start off innocent but when the answers come in the original author might realise the film question he had was a unique work trait of the director (that's just an example).

"Why is Orson Welles considered such a groundbreaking director?" "Who or what is Alan Smithee?" - side note, really should add a question about this :) Why is Kill Bill considered Tarantino's "fourth film"?

The first and third questions are hecka opinionated but hey ¯_(ツ)_/¯

This is a better example

How much was Ridley Scott actually influenced on Alien?

Another

Why is the bride's name bleeped in Kill Bill Vol 1?

Here is a bad example

How was the whipping scene accomplished in Django Unchained?

Whipping scene will be a combination of many people on set not necessarily just Quentin Tarantino

They are about movies directed by Ridley Scott, but that doesn't make them questions about Ridley Scott. We haven't tagged them science-fiction, harrison-ford and hampton-fancher either.

This is a hard cut and dry way to put it :/

  • The Ridley Scott tag doesn't really increase/decrease the question content

  • There are currently 5 questions in total for the Ridley Scott tag, this question in no way detracts from whatever was intended to be content shared amongst those 5 questions

So those are my reasons for being neutral about the tag (thus why I never removed it when the editor put in after I answered https://movies.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/482)

Now to get to why it's good

  • search (duh)
  • content

Search, because well yeah. If I'm in Google I can type director + scene. Maybe the scene (not this one in particular) is known well because of the director's work and that's how users normally search for it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, I really don't see the need for such an overarching guideline.

Content, the accepted answer shows the intention set by Ridley,

Wired: It was never on paper that Deckard is a replicant. Scott:It was, actually. That's the whole point of Gaff, the guy who makes origami and leaves little matchstick figures around. He doesn't like Deckard, and we don't really know why. If you take for granted for a moment that, let's say, Deckard is a Nexus 7 -http://archive.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/magazine/15-10/ff_bladerunner?currentPage=all

Actually both answers mention Ridley for the direction he took. So overall the question and answer combined does in fact talk about Ridley Scott.

If you also watch the timeline

  • Question - Dec 2011
  • Answer 1 and 2 - Dec 2011
  • Suggested Edit tag - Jun 8 '12 at 19:12

It's clear the editor saw the two answers and figured it appropriate to tag the question [ridley-scott] to take in the fact that both answers mention the director's direction on Deckard's behaviour.


I actually didn't really want to write anything, but for the sake of Napoleon Wilson♦ and DA. to stop commenting on a question How do the differences between the replicants and Deckard evolve in Blade Runner? I wrote about 4 years ago way before this meta decision even existed (heck I didn't even tag my question with director tag, someone else did)

There are a couple meta things wrong here too

* How did this question get set as [faq] when the user who answered ended with

Let's keep the discussion going. Any more answers/comments would be very welcome :)

And some voters agreed with this comment

The overwhelming answer appears to be IDK LULZ

Which to me seems the vote is undecided.

* Where was the voting event for this question like others? Should plot-inconsistency be scrapped in favour of plot-explanation? [**VOTING CLOSED**] (I don't know if this community stopped that)

The list of issues go on past my time to invest in this currently. As a community you should resolve this though, this seems very draconian, I'd expect this in Stack Overflow but not a SE 2.0 site; passing a rule single handed.

Overall I don't care, I haven't been here in years, but some people who are invested in this community might.

  • "How did this question get set as faq when the user who answered ended" - It's still a FAQ, even if the discussion is open, though you could argue with +5 on the only answer after years, it is not open anymore (well, now it is, since people actually have noticed this policy, but well). There isn't much else to go by other than votes on answers and questions and at some point a decision has to be made, for which +5 seem absolutely enough. People not being aware of the policy and just ignoring the question with their valid arguments for years is a different problem, though. – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 11:43
  • Not everything can be decided by a poll-like voting event and such a discussion as this one is way better than the completely argument-less poll-questions we had. Sometimes a policy is nothing else than a highly-voted meta answer, that's the way how those sites work. How is it "draconian" and single-handed to enforce a policy that has been unanimously agreed upon by the community years ago? – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 11:47
  • But well, since the interest into this already decided matter has risen again recently, I agree that the discussion is going again and have revoked the faq tag for now. – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 11:52
  • @NapoleonWilson you keep using the phrase 'unanimously' on these meta threads. To me, unanimous means there was a large vote to begin with. Considering 5 people finding a meta tag and voting for it is perhaps consensus amongst those 5 particular people--and perhaps a good enough argument for enacting a policy--but calling it 'unanimous' is a bit misleading, IMHO. – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 17:07
  • @DA. After that much time? Sure, that is unanimous. Somehow we have to get some consensus out of the community and we have to adapt to low meta activity. It is meta activity that drives the site and it is meta activity that defines the community and its thoughts. To put it roughly, if you don't participate in the meta discussion, your vote is lost and you have lost your right to complain about the outcome. There is only meta activity to base any kind of policy on and in this case the decision definitely was (albeit not is anymore) unanimous in this regard. – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 17:26
  • @DA. How else would you define "unanimous" other than everyone who voiced his opinion agreeing? Where there is no voice raised against the proposal there, well, is no voice against it. – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 17:28
  • @NapoleonWilson I don't think the concept of 'unanimous' makes much sense in a low-activity meta post. Is a proposal of 5+ votes interpreted a lot differently than a proposal with 7+ votes and 2- votes? – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 17:40
  • Also, saying that if people don't participate in meta proposals they lose their right to complain seems very anti-SE in general. Meta is in constant churn and sites evolve. I think people should feel encouraged to speak up about any policy they agree or disagree with. Just because they didn't vote on something 3 years ago, doesn't mean they can't have a say today and the policy re-considered. – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 17:41
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    @DA. "saying that if people don't participate in meta proposals they lose their right to complain seems very anti-SE in general" - Well, it wasn't meant to say that any discussion is dead afterwards, which is not what happens here. As we can see the discussion can continue in a constructive way and might even evolve into a change of policy. All I was saying is that the decision on this thing was unanimous to me, given that everyone who voiced his opinion agreed with the proposal and I just don't know any other definition of "unanimous". If that's the wrong definition, well, might be. – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 17:49
  • @DA. "I think people should feel encouraged to speak up about any policy they agree or disagree with." - Sure, definitely. Maybe that "complain" thing was admittedly not that well-phrased from me. – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 17:50
  • @NapoleonWilson it's a semantic debate. If 5 people vote, and they all vote the same way, sure, that's unanimous. But when there are, say, 500 site users, I don't think saying the topic was unanimously agreed upon is an actual reflection of the community as a whole. The problem, as you state, is really low meta activity. Perhaps we can say (unanimous among META users--not necessarily unanimous among Movies & TV users). In the end, it's just a nit-pick. I didn't mean to make it a debate. Sorry for that. – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 17:55
  • @DA. "I didn't mean to make it a debate. Sorry for that." - Which you didn't, no need to apologize. Only talking about things can elighten us about them and if my views are supposedly wrong in some aspect, then call me out on it. – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 17:58
  • @NapoleonWilson and to be clear, I don't think your views are wrong. We just have different opinions. And, honestly, you're doing all the work here as a moderator, so thanks for that. :) – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 18:05
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In my opinion, it should be used whenever it makes sense to use it. For instance, the "ridley scott" tag was recently removed from a bunch of films by ridley scott such as this question about Blade Runner: How do the differences between the replicants and Deckard evolve in Blade Runner?

@NapoleonWilson explained:

They are about movies directed by Ridley Scott, but that doesn't make them questions about Ridley Scott. We haven't tagged them science-fiction, harrison-ford and hampton-fancher either.

I get that logic, but I don't actually think it applies to tags. The purpose of tags, IMHO, is that they are broad and allow me to find topics based on broad 'buckets' of categories rather than very specific bits. In otherwords, the very reason to use tags is that meta-connection between topics. Yes, it's not about ridley scott, but it's related, hence the tag.

In that the title says "Blade Runner" I could argue the tag blade runner is actually redundant in some ways.

In my opinion: As long as the tags are related to the question, the more the merrier. It gives users more ways to find more questions that are of interest to them.

I'd say ridley-scott, science-fiction, and even harrison-ford are all valid, applicable tags for that type of question.

UPDATE:

After the culling of this particular tag, it should be noted that there are now only about 6 questions tagged 'ridley scott':

https://movies.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/ridley-scott

I suppose we need to step back and ask ourselves what tagging is really for on this site.

To me (this is just my opinion), tagging is about making 'areas of interest' that I, as a user, can easily follow. If I have an interest in Ridley Scott, I am also interested in Ridley Scott's films. As such, I'd really like to be able to follow a tag that covers that. But we can't easily do that with this current policy. (Also along those lines, if I'm interested in Harrison Ford, I'm likely also interested in the films he's in)

On the flip side, I'd ask what is the harm in leaving the director tag on these questions? Does it interfere with other features on the site? Is the concern simply having too many tags on one question? Is having too many tags on one question an issue?

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    But they are not related to the question. In your example they would be merely classifying the movie, not the actual question. What tags then not to use from the whole of harrison-ford, hampton-fancher, sean-young, terry-rawlings... They're simply all equally irrelevant to the question at hand. – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 0:06
  • Should I be lucky you haven't discovered that thing yet? ;-) – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 0:09
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    @NapoleonWilson if I want to find a specific question, I use the title. That is what (at least should be) related directly to the question. If I want to find a collection of questions related to each other, that's what I use tags for. Titles should be specific, tags a bit less specific. IMHO. If we limit tags to merely being phrases within the title, it seems overly narrow and redundant. – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 0:09
  • "If we limit tags to merely being phrases within the title, it seems overly narrow and redundant." - Sure, that's why we don't do that. So what? – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 0:16
  • @NapoleonWilson we (or rather, you) seem to want to narrow the tags do they only focus on the individual question. That's one way to treat tagging. I'm suggestion tags should be 'meta' and reference broader tangential questions. It's a narrow vs. broad issue, I suppose. – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 0:21
  • Yeah, I'm merely saying that my approach isn't as narrow as your last sentence from the last comment makes it sound, even if narrower than yours. – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 0:24
  • @NapoleonWilson yes, it's not as narrow as the narrowness I was implying or...er...crap, now I'm confused. :) Maybe I need to draw a diagram. :) – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 0:28
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    We only get five tags per question. If you tag something with - director, main actor/s, title, and genre you don't have any room for the actual tags like plot explanation. More is not better when you only get five. – Catija Jun 14 '15 at 17:47
  • @Catija I trust (maybe naively) that people can prioritize their tags as they see fit. If you have room for director, add it. If not, no biggie. – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 17:51
  • @DA. Which then leads to completely inconsistent tagging, where some Harrison Ford movies are tagged with his name and some not. I see your point (even if not agree with it) of tags classifying the movie for whatever filter purpose, but that doesn't help when the tags are used completely inconsistently even for that purpose. – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 17:53
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    Which defeats the purpose of following the tag... If you want the tag to be used this way so that you can follow all questions involving the director, many questions would never get the tag, so you're back to square one. Honestly, if there were a way of sub-categorizing tags so that Matrix = Wachowski, Keanu Reeves, Sci-Fi that would be different, but it's not possible. – Catija Jun 14 '15 at 17:54
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    @NapoleonWilson well, maybe that's the big difference in how I see tagging. The only issue I ever have with tags is when there are redundant duplicates. Other than that, to me, tagging has always been a very loose way to handle a taxonomy. It's a democratized taxonomy of the users, by the users. I guess I'm not concerned about inconsistency at the tagging level. – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 17:58
  • @Catija no, I don't think you're back to square one. If I want to follow movie questions related to Ridley Scott, right now, I only have 6 to choose from. If there are 100 questions about Ridley Scott films and half of them are tagged with the director, I'd now have 56 questions to peruse through. Yes, that's not ALL of the questions, but I'd argue that a bucket of 56 questions is more interesting than one of 6. – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 18:00
  • @DA. And I guess that's where we fundamentally disagree. I'm concerned very much about consistency, otherwise the tagging will dissolve into an utter mess you can't make any sense out of (and there are sites where the tagging is a much bigger mess than here, even if therre are admittedly also ones where it's way better than here). I guess this is similar to the spoiler tag discussion in this regard. – Napoleon Wilson Jun 14 '15 at 18:00
  • Seems that maybe one of the fears is that if a tag can't be used across all questions in the same way, then we shouldn't use the tag. I see that POV. I just don't subscribe to that when talking about tags. Tags have always been a more free-form way of doing things on sites that use them. – DA. Jun 14 '15 at 18:01
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I think Director tag should be only used if the question directly concern about directorial decisions (Like Why this character is eliminated? Why this change is done in movie compare to book? Why casting changed? etc). Or it should be used when question is about directorial techniques and ways. Sometimes applicable to too but not always ( only when its about some distinct film technique adapted by refereed director, not applicable to generic film techniques).

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    Interestingly enough (and while I would generally support your approach), the examples you named, like "Why this character is eliminated? Why this change is done in movie compare to book? Why casting changed?", don't seem to be directorial decision so much at all rather than screenwriters' or producers' decisions. Often people forget that the director isn't responsible for everything, especially the story, and it's always annoying seeing plot questions with a director tag. – Napoleon Wilson May 28 '14 at 9:59
  • @NapoleonWilson this example can vary case to case. – Ankit Sharma May 28 '14 at 10:48

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