Movie Galaxies: Tracing the Social Networks in Movies

You know those movie discussions you have with friends – the ones that last for hours, tracing the connections between characters from complex movies like the Godfather, Casino or Twin Peaks? Well, imagine if that conversation could be translated into a star chart like galaxy, drawing each social connection as a line between each character. What you’d have is something which looks a lot like the clever site MovieGalaxies.

Created by the dynamic trio of Jermain Kaminski, Michael Schober and Willy, the site uses an in house created parser to analyze movie scripts and transform them into the charts you see here. Each zoomable image shows the social networks at play within each movie script, displayed by who shows up in the same scene together and how often. The size of each characters dot thus represents their number of connections with the people who surround them socially; thus larger dots easily distinguish main characters.
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One thing that makes the visualizations especially interesting is the pattern its creators are witnessing. They propose an interesting question: is there a secret social network formula for a good movie?

“Yes and no. From our observations, there might be certain success metrics in the social network. While we are convinced that the “holy grail” of a good movie is very dependent upon the social network structure, we do not disclose these insights right now. However we are aware of the fact that the conversation layer of a movie is just one of many layers in a story.”

Perhaps the answer can be found in the entertainment value – and the long conversations one can have – after watching a socially complex movie with many interwoven stories. See your favorite movies and how they measure up socially at

Benjamin Starr

Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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