Creating Root Abstraction Records

Overview of Abstraction Records in EIDR

The registration practices for Movies, Shorts, one-time-only TV or Radio programs (when not part of a Series), and Web are essentially the same so the following practices apply to all. Interactive, Supplemental, and Music Videos differ, and have their own recommended best practices.

  • Movie: A work that appeared first in theatrical release was released directly to home entertainment. This Referent type is intended for feature films and other long-form motion pictures (> 40 minutes duration) and applies equally to scripted fiction, documentary, reality, animation, etc.
  • Short: Identical to a Movie, except ≤ 40 minutes duration.
  • TV: Stand-alone or one-time-only (OTO) content first presented on television (free-to-air broadcast, cable, satellite, Internet streaming, etc.), including TV specials and made-for-TV movies. Unlike Movies, there is no duration requirement for TV, so short TV programs are still TV.
  • Radio: Identical to TV, but presented via radio (audio-only) broadcast.
  • Web: Identical to TV, but presented via the Internet.[1]
  • Supplemental: A work that is produced to support or promote another work. Often short, but may be of any length. See Best Practices for EIDR Supplemental Records.
  • Music Video: A video presentation synchronized to a single song. Generally < 10 minutes duration. See EIDR: Best Practice – Music Performance Videos.
  • Interactive: A non-linear program where the viewer controls the sequence of play. See EIDR: Best Practice – Interactive Records.

See DATA Fields Reference for more information on the unique nature of each Referent Type.

EIDR Abstraction records exist within the EIDR Registry as part of a family of records, including Edits, Clips, Manifestations, and Compilations. This document focuses on the best practices for creating Abstraction records (shown in blue, below). The other record types (shown in green) are discussed in detail elsewhere.

See EIDR Required Data Fields for Abstractions, Episodics, and Edits for a quick summary of the Required, Conditionally Required, and Optional but Recommended fields in an Abstraction record.

Base Object Metadata

The first step in registering[2] an Abstraction record is to create a base object (<BaseObjectData> in EIDR XML). The base object will have the following fields and values:

StructuralTypeRequired. “Abstraction”.
ModeRequired. This will be “AudioVisual” except for silent films, which will be “Visual” and Radio, which will be “Audio”. AudioVisual works are rare before 1927.
ReferentTypeRequired. “Movie”, “TV”, “Short”, or “Web”.
ResourceNameRequired. This is the official title of the work in its domestic home market. For example: “Rocky III” not “Rocky 3”“The Women” not “Women, The” “The Dark Knight” not “Batman: The Dark Knight”“Y Tu Mamá También” not “Y Tu Mama Tambien”“卧虎藏龙” not “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”   This field has the following attributes: lang: Required. The BCP 47 language code for the title string (not the language of the work). So “Y Tu Mamá También” would have lang=”es”. See EIDR Language Code Best Practice.titleClass: Optional. Include when known. For example, titleClass=”release”. See EIDR Data Fields Reference.
Alternate ResourceNameOptional. Include as many as are known. These are quite valuable in de-duplication, particularly when a film is known by different names in different territories or distribution channels. Alternate names can include things such as franchise names (“Batman: The Dark Knight”), working titles (titleClass=”working”), and short-lived release titles (such as “Revenge of the Jedi” with titleClass=“FKA” for Formerly Known As). May be repeated 128 times.   This field has the following attributes: lang: Required. See “ResourceName” above.titleClass: Optional. See “ResourceName” above.
OriginalLanguageRequired. This is the primary language that was used by the actors during the filming. Multi-lingual works (such as Babel) will have more than one value. Do not include incidental languages (such as Russian in The Hunt for Red October). Use “und” if the original language is not known or cannot be determined. Use “zxx” for a film without dialogue or subtitles (typically before 1901). See EIDR Language Code Best Practice. May be repeated 32 times.   This field has the following attributes: mode: Required. Usually “Audio” for modern works. “Visual” for a silent film.type: Optional. See EIDR Data Fields Reference.
VersionLanguageNot allowed for Abstraction records. Only valid for Edit and Manifestation records.
AssociatedOrgConditionally Required. See “Participants” above. The companies associated with the work. For Abstraction records, these are ideally the production companies and commissioning broadcasters. If you identify an Associated Org with an EIDR Party ID, then you do not need to provide a Display Name. May be repeated 16 times.   This field has the following attributes: idType: Required if there is an organizationID. Use “EIDRPartyID”.organizationID: Required if there is an idType or there is no DisplayName. Use the EIDR Party ID of the Associated Org.role: Required. The function performed by the company, such as “producer”. See EIDR Data Fields Reference.   This field has the following sub-elements: DisplayName: Required if there is no organizationID. The primary name by which the company is known.AlternateName: Optional. Additional names by which the company is known. May be repeated 32 times.
ReleaseDateRequired. This is the date of original domestic release in the work’s home territory. Festival dates (such as Cannes) should not be used for major films, but might be used for independent films that have not received general distribution. Ideally, this should be a full date in the format yyyy-mm-dd (XML xs:date). If the full date is not known, provide just the year in the format yyyy.   NOTE: Do not use January 1 as a placeholder for an uncertain date. Just use the year.
CountryOfOriginRequired. The home territory of the Associated Org acting as producer, not the country where the work was filmed. May be repeated 32 times.   NOTE: If this is not known, use “XX”.
StatusRequired. Use “valid”. Consult with EIDR Operations before using any other value.
ApproximateLengthRequired. The approximate running time.[3] The generic format is “PnYnMnDTnHnMnS” (XML xs:duration), or “PT1H30M” for 90 minutes). See EIDR Data Fields Reference. For Abstraction records, the value is approximate based on the first release version (or expected, for works that are not yet released). Do not include seconds for Abstractions except for very short works such as actualities.
AlternateIDOptional. An ID by which the work is known in another system. Abstraction records may have IDs such as ISAN,[4] IMDb, studio house ID, etc. Version and product identifiers, such as V-ISAN, UPC, and SKU, do not normally apply to Abstraction records. May be repeated an unlimited number of times.   This field has the following attributes: type: Required. The general type of the Alternate ID. Selected from the provided list, including IMDB, ISAN, etc. See EIDR Data Fields Reference. Use Proprietary[5] with a qualifying Domain for any ID type that is not in the provided list.domain: Required if Type is Proprietary, otherwise not valid. Generally, the primary Internet domain of the organization that issued the ID, with optional qualifiers if the same organization has more than one type of ID: e.g., “”.relation: Optional. The relationship between the object identified by the EIDR ID and the object identified by the Alternate ID. Selected from the provided list, including IsSameAs, ContainsAllOf, HasCueSheet, etc. See EIDR Data Fields Reference. Most relationships are IsSameAs, even when not specified.
RegistrantRequired. The Party ID of the entity that created the record.
CreditsConditionally Required. See “Participants” above. Strongly recommended for both discovery and de-duplication. May include up to 2 directors and 4 actors, selected in first billed order.   This field has the following sub-elements: Director: May be repeated 2 times.Actor: May be repeated 4 times.   NOTE: The Director and Actor names are recorded in a single DisplayName sub-element within the repeating Director and Actor elements.
DescriptionOptional. A note regarding the nature of the work that might assist in future human discovery or de-duplication. For example, it could provide insight into the creation history of the work: e.g., “Originally planned as a television series pilot but released theatrically instead.” See “Descriptions” above.   NOTE: This is not a plot synopsis.   This field has the following attribute: lang: Required. See “ResourceName” above.

XML Example

Below is a sample EIDR Title record in its native XML format, structured to submit to the Registry for creation:[6]

<Basic xmlns="" xmlns:md="">
    <ResourceName lang="en" titleClass="release">Santa Claus Conquers the Martians</ResourceName>
    <AlternateResourceName lang="fr" titleClass="regional">Le père Noël contre les martiens</AlternateResourceName>
    <AlternateResourceName lang="es" titleClass="regional">Santa Clos conquista los marcianos</AlternateResourceName>
    <OriginalLanguage mode="Audio" type="primary">en</OriginalLanguage>
    <AssociatedOrg idType="EIDRPartyID" organizationID="10.5237/868F-61AA" role="distributor">
      <md:DisplayName>embassy pictures corporation</md:DisplayName>
      <md:AlternateName>embassy pictures</md:AlternateName>
      <md:AlternateName>embassy films associates</md:AlternateName>
      <md:AlternateName>embassy films</md:AlternateName>
    <AssociatedOrg idType="EIDRPartyID" organizationID="10.5237/5B03-53E2" role="producer">
      <md:DisplayName>Jalor Productions</md:DisplayName>
    <AlternateID relation="IsSameAs" xsi:type="IMDB">tt0058548</AlternateID>
    <AlternateID domain="" xsi:type="Proprietary">157945968</AlternateID>
    <AlternateID domain="" xsi:type="Proprietary">411414</AlternateID>
    <AlternateID domain="" xsi:type="Proprietary">455</AlternateID>
    <AlternateID xsi:type="ISAN">0000-0000-61B3-0000-O-0000-0000-2</AlternateID>
    <AlternateID domain="" xsi:type="Proprietary">E0089786000</AlternateID>
    <AlternateID domain="" xsi:type="Proprietary">277809</AlternateID>
        <md:DisplayName>Nicholas Webster</md:DisplayName>
        <md:DisplayName>Leonard Hicks</md:DisplayName>
        <md:DisplayName>John Call</md:DisplayName>
        <md:DisplayName>Vincent Beck</md:DisplayName>
        <md:DisplayName>Pia Zadora</md:DisplayName>

[1] The bright line that used to separate TV from Web has now dimmed considerably.

[2] Every registration is preceded by a match. This may be a separate process (e.g., as recommended for bulk or catalog work). Even if the user does not perform a separate match before submitting the registration, the Registry automatically begins every register with a match. Either way, if the record already exists, the current EIDR ID will be returned. Otherwise, a new EIDR ID will be issued.

[3] For television programs, if the actual running time is not known, then the timeslot duration may be used.

[4] V-ISANs are not valid for Title (Level 1) records. They apply to Edit and Manifestation records.

[5] In this context, “Proprietary” is a term of art from the standards community and means any ID that is not part of an international standard. It does not imply that the ID itself is in any way confidential or proprietary in the intellectual property sense.

[6] The wrapping <Basic> tag is used only during record creation.

Updated on April 9, 2021

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles