A Creative Data Ontology for the Moving Image Industry

Christos Dexiades

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The moving image industry produces an extremely large amount of data and associated metadata for each media creation project, often in the range of terabytes. The current methods used to organise, track, and retrieve the metadata are inadequate, with metadata often being hard to find. The aim of this thesis is to explore whether there is a practical use case for using ontologies to manage metadata in the moving image industry and to determine whether an ontology can be designed for such a purpose and can be used to manage metadata more efficiently to improve workflows. It presents a domain ontology, hereby referred to as the Creative Data Ontology, engineered around a set of metadata fields provided by Evolutions, Double Negative (DNEG), and Pinewood Studios, and four use cases. The Creative Data Ontology is then evaluated using both quantitative methods and qualitative methods (via interviews) with domain and ontology experts.

Our findings suggest that there is a practical use case for an ontology-based metadata management solution in the moving image industry. However, it would need to be presented carefully to non-technical users, such as domain experts, as they are likely to experience a steep learning curve. The Creative Data Ontology itself meets the criteria for a high-quality ontology for the sub-sectors of the moving image industry domain that it provides coverage for (i.e. scripted film and television, visual effects, and unscripted television) and it provides a good foundation for expanding into other sub-sectors of the industry, although it cannot yet be considered a ``standard'' ontology. Finally, the thesis presents the methodological process taken to develop the Creative Data Ontology and the lessons learned during the ontology engineering process which can be valuable guidance for designers and developers of future metadata ontologies. We believe such guidance could be transferable across many domains where an ontology of metadata is required, which are unrelated to the moving image industry. Future research may focus on assisting non-technical users to overcome the learning curve, which may also also applicable to other domains that may choose to use ontologies in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Ellis, John, Supervisor
  • Koutsoukos, Georgios, Supervisor
  • Heath, Claude, Supervisor
  • Matos, Carlos, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date1 Oct 2023
Publication statusUnpublished - 2023


  • Ontology
  • Semantic Web
  • Moving Image
  • Film
  • Television
  • Visual Effects
  • Metadata

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