chao chen, research librarian  

by Chao Chen, Research Librarian | 617.627.2057 | Home
Tisch Library, Tufts University

CMS Senior Colloquium--Film & Television Topics

Research Sources & Tips



Use Libraries Catalogs to find Monographs & Essays

1. Tufts Libraries Catalog

2. BLC WorldCat (libraries worldwide)

Use the Subject Databases to find Journal Articles of Criticism

1 & 2. JSTOR and Project Muse

JSTOR is a favorite with its full texts in core journals of all disciplines. Project Muse does not include exactly the same JSTOR journals, but it has more recent and current articles on many topics.

3. Academic OneFile

All subjects; a convenient quick start with some full texts.

4. Film & Television Literature Index

Film criticism from scholarly journals as well as movie reviews from popular press and trade publications.

5. FIAF international index to film periodicals plus

6. From Other Perspectives

Communication & Mass Media Complete  

Sociological Abstracts (Culture, Media, etc.)

Women's Studies International

Literature (MLA)

America: History and Life

History (non-U.S. History & Culture)


**When use GoogleScholar, set your Library Links to access Tufts full texts.


Use the Popular Press for Reviews

1. Current

LexisNexis Academic

Factiva (many more foreign language sources)

2. Historical

Times Digital Archive (1785 - 1985)

Readers' Guide Retrospective (1890-1982)

American Periodicals (1740-1940)


Some of the oldest continuously published magazines in America, including American Spectator, Commentary, Commonweal, Dissent, Harpers Magazine, NACLA, The Nation, The National Review, The New Republic, New York Review, and The New Yorker.


British Periodicals (1680s - 1930s)

British Humanities Index (1962- )


3. Ethnic, Alternative and Independent Press:


Ethnic NewsWatch 1960 -


A Few Film Studies Journals

Camera Obscura

Cinema Journal


Film & History

Film History

Film Quarterly


Journal of Film and Video

The Movie Image

PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art


Quarterly Review of Film and Video


The Velvet Light Trap

Wide Angle


Catalog Searching Tips

(Note the search pattern; modify to your own needs.)

1. By Country


motion pictures Iran

2. Regional and Geopolitical


Motion pictures Arab (a region)

Motion pictures -- Developing countries. (geopolitical)

Motion pictures -- Middle East.

3. Filmmaker


Bunuel Luis

4. A Movement


New Wave Films

5. Plots and Themes


motion pictures plots themes

6. Genres

film genres

fantasy films

documentary films

Documentary-style films

animated films

biographical films

historical films

film adaptations

road films

and more .


Television Programs

Television Programs -- History.


Tip: find your movie in the Catalog, and learn the special language for their genres / themes.

7. Topics


love in motion pictures

Intercultural communication in motion pictures

Emigration and immigration in motion pictures.


Asian Americans on television

Hispanic Americans on television


8. Advance Keyword Search

On the topic of diaspora/exile and cinema:

Material Type:

Click here to see search results

Tips: 1. Or and ( ) to search any or all of the words; 2. film* searches film, films, etc.


Use Libraries Catalogs to find Books

1. Tufts Libraries Catalog

2. BLC WorldCat (libraries worldwide)

A Few Useful Search Patterns


(modify to your own needs)

History and How-to Books:

motion picture authorship

motion picture plays technique

Television Authorship


Actural screen scripts

motion picture plays

screenplay and "All quiet on the western front"

More Sources

The Internet Movie Script Database

Published radio, television, and film scripts: a bibliography. Ref. Z7223.S3 P68 (only up to 1975)

The Drama Scholars' Index to Plays and Filmscripts. Ref. Z5781 .S17 (1974-1980 only.)

Search Play Index for radio and television plays.

A Few Titles at Tisch to Get You Started


Alternative Scriptwriting: Successfully Breaking the Rules.

Global Scriptwriting.

Analysing the Screenplay.

Crafting Short Screenplays that Connect.

Writing Short Scripts.

The Art of the Storyboard: a Filmmaker's Introduction.

The Dramatic Writer's Companion: Tools to Develop Characters, Cause Scenes, and Build Stories.

Filmmaking: Narrative & Structural Techniques.

Real screenwriting: Strategies and Stories from the Trenches.

Understanding Screenwriting: Learning from Good, Not-quite-so-Good, and Bad Screenplaysl.

Laughing out Loud: Writing the Comedy-Centered Screenplay.

Me and You and Memento and Fargo: How Independent Screenplays Work.

Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique.



Inside the TV Writer's room: Practical Advice for Succeeding in Television.

Inside the Writers' Room: Conversations with American TV Writers.

Vale's Technique of Screen and Television Writing.   

Write to TV  Out of Your Head and Onto the Screen.   

Critical Dictionary of Film and Television Theory.

Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture.

Reality Television, Affect and Intimacy: Reality Matters.

Understanding Reality Television.

Television and Criticism.

The Television Studies Reader.

Reading Television.


Research Examples

Sample Project Idea


"I am writing a screenplay in the naturalist/neo-realist style so any material regarding these genres would be helpful. It is about tourists traveling through India so perhaps material on tourism in Nepal and India would be useful. Also just general guidelines on writing scripts."

Research Suggestions


1. First, define, in your own words, "naturalist/neo-realist" style in your specific case.


Try out searches in the Catalogs and Databases:

(neo-realism or neorealism or naturalism) and films

You will see related themes/genres such as

"Realism in motion pictures"


Documentary films

--Cinéma Vérité

--Actualities (Motion pictures)

--Travelogues (Motion pictures)

--Ethnographic films

A possible title?

Virtual Voyages: Cinema and Travel / Jeffrey Ruoff, editor.

2. Research on Tourism in Nepal or India in the Catalog:

s:(Nepal or India) and s:tourism

(s: search for subject terms)


Explore further from various perspectives in these databases:

Anthropology Plus

Bibliography of Asian Studies

Film & Television Literature Index

History (non-U.S. History & Culture)

Literature (MLA)

Sociological Abstracts


A Few How-to Titles at Tisch

Film Remakes. PN1995.9.R45 V47 2005

Dead Ringers: the Remake in Theory and Practice. PN1995.9.R45 D43 2002

Play it Again, Sam: Retakes on Remakes. PN1995.9.R45 P58 1998


Research Examples

Previous Project

From Foreignness to Foreignness: 21st Century Hollywood Remakes of Foreign Films (Research)


Use Libraries Catalogs to find Books

1. Tufts Libraries Catalog

2. BLC WorldCat (libraries worldwide)

A Few Useful Search Patterns

(modify to your own needs)

History & Criticism


Film Adaptations -- History And Criticism

Motion pictures and literature.

Focus on a particular work


"film adaptations" and Hamlet (limit to books)

Focus on a particular literary writer's works


"film adaptations" and Shakespeare (limit to books)

Focus on a particular genre


Fairy tales in motion pictures.

Fairy tales -- film adaptations

(See also the page, Fairy Tales and Film in the Modern World)

the Larger context of a country and the genre


English drama -- Film adaptations.

A Few Titles at Tisch

Literature and Film: a Guide to the Theory and Practice of Film Adaptation.
edited by Robert Stam Alessandra Raengo. PN1997.85 .L515 2005

Narrative in Fiction and Film: an introduction / Jakob Lothe. PN3355 .L6713 2000

Literature through Film: Realism, Magic, and the Art of Adaptation. PN1997.85 .S76 2005

Rethinking the Novel/Film Debate. / Kamilla Elliott. PN1997.85 .E44 2003

Writing and Cinema. / edited by Jonathan Bignell PN1995.3 W72 1999

Now a Major Motion Picture: Film Adaptations of Literature and Drama.
Christine Geraghty. PN1993.5.G3 H28 2008

Enser's Filmed Books and Plays. (1928-2001). Ref. PN1997.85 .B385 2003

International Guide to Literature on Film. / edited by Tom Costello. PN1997.85 .I67 1994

The Encyclopedia of Novels into Film. PN1997.85 .T54 2005

The Classic Novel from Page to Screen. PN1997.85 .C53 2000


Research Examples

Sample Project Idea


"I am writing either a screenplay or a PBS Frontline type documentary based off the novel Confessions of an Economic Hitman. I would like help with types of resources and the best ways of finding them."

Search Suggestions


1. Find the novel in the Catalog (or in other databases). Note the subject terms used in describing the issues/themes of the novel. Apply these words/concepts in your literature review research.

Author Perkins, John, 1945-
Title Confessions of an Economic Hitman
Publisher New York: Pocket Star, 2005.
Subject Perkins, John, 1945-
United States. National Security Agency -- Biography.
Economists -- United States -- Biography.
Energy consultants -- United States -- Biography.
Intelligence officers -- United States -- Biography.
Chas. T. Main, Inc.
World Bank -- Developing countries.
Corporations, American -- Foreign countries.
Corporations, American -- Corrupt practices.
Imperialism -- History -- 20th century.
Imperialism -- History -- 21st century.


2. Find a similar novel-into-film. For example "The Constant Gardner" by John Le Carré. Note the film genre.

Uniform Title Constant gardener (Motion picture)
Title The constant gardener [videorecording] / Focus Features presents in association with the UK Film Council; a Potboiler Production in association with Scion Films; produced by Simon Channing-Williams; screenplay by Jeffrey Caine; directed by Fernando Meirelles.
Publication Info Universal City, CA: Distributed by Universal Studios Home Entertainment, c2006.
Note Based on the novel of the same title by John Le Carré.
Subject Le Carré, John, 1931- -- Film adaptations.
Pharmaceutical industry -- Drama.
Human rights workers -- Kenya -- Drama.
Murder victims -- Kenya -- Drama.
Widowers -- Drama.
Genre Action and adventure films.
Film adaptations.


Use Libraries Catalogs to find Books

1. Tufts Libraries Catalog

2. BLC WorldCat (libraries worldwide)

A Few Useful Search Patterns

(modify to your own needs)

documentary films

Documentary-style films

A Few Titles at Tisch

Documentary Film: a Very Short Introduction PN1995.9.D6 A94 2007

Introduction to Documentary / Bill Nichols. PN1995.9.D6 N539 2010

Crafting Truth: Documentary Form and Meaning / Louise Spence and Vinicius Navarro. PN1995.9.D6 S5955 2011

Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film / Ian Aitken, editor. PN1995.9.D6 E53 2005

The Documentary Handbook / Peter Lee-Wright." PN1995.9.D6 L384 2010

The Shut up and Shoot Documentary Guide: a Down & Dirty DV Production / Anthony Q. Artis.

Studies in Documentary Film


Research Examples

Documentary Films from Previous Semesters

“Know Your Roots: Eat Local”.

"Best Burritos in Boston"

Linhas: Rosane Volchan O'Conor, An Artist Profile

College, Class, and the Economy

Jumbo's Women: Female Athletics at Tufts


Streaming Video

Asian film online

an online streaming video collection of more than 1,000 narrative feature films, documentaries, and shorts. The works explore a wide variety of cinematic styles and techniques relevant to the study of film, literature, and the visual and performing arts.

Filmakers Library Online

Filmakers Library Online provides award-winning documentaries in a single, easy-to search, multidisciplinary collection of streaming video designed specifically to meet the needs of researchers and teaching faculty.


Ethnographic Video Online

Ethnographic Video Online is a comprehensive online resource containing classic and contemporary documentaries for the visual study of human culture and behavior.


A Few Titles at Tisch

Bluescreen Compositing: a practical guide for video & moviemaking

Fine Cuts: the art of European film editing / Roger Crittenden.

The Cutting Edge: the magic of movie editing

Film editing: the Art of the Expressive  Oversize: TR899 .O77 2003

The Technique of Film and Video Editing History, Theory, and Practice / Ken Dancyger.

The Film Editing Room Handbook: How to Tame the Chaos of the Editing Room / Norman Hollyn.

The Thames and Hudson Manual of Film Editing / Oversize: TR899 .C7 1981

The Art of film. Volume 2, The edited image [videorecording] / writers, producers and directors, Saul J. Turell and Jeff Lieberman.


Audio Postproduction for Film and Video. / by Jay Rose.

Designing Sound for Animation. / Robin Beauchamp.

Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures: a Guide to the Invisible Art. / John Purcell; forward by Dominick Tavella.

Lowering the Boom: Critical Studies in Film Sound. / edited by Jay Beck and Tony Grajeda.

Sound and Music in Film and Visual Media: an Overview / editor, Graeme Harpe ; film editor, Ruth Doughty ; music editor, Jochen Eisentraut.


Use Libraries Catalogs to find Books

1. Tufts Libraries Catalog

2. BLC WorldCat (libraries worldwide)

Useful Subject Browses in the Catalog


(modify to your own needs)

motion pictures -- editing

sound motion pictures (film sound, film music,dialogue editing, etc.)


Search the Databases

Film Industry Data

Tips: use such keywords as "Statistics", "box office"

Film & Television Literature Index  

Academic OneFile

ABI/Inform Complete




Web Sites
  1. BFI Statistics on film and television
    UK film production, academy awards, box office, etc.
  1. The Hollywood Reporter: Charts
    Movie sales, box office, production budgets, etc.
  1. KORDA
    Database on public funding for the film and audiovisual sector in Europe.
  1. Lumiere
    Database on admissions for films released in Europe.
    Database on legal information relevant to the audiovisual Sector in Europe.
  1. Nielsen EDI
    A Web based system that allows our clients to instantly access real-time film performance on a global, nationwide, regional, local or theatre level.
  1. The Numbers
    The largest freely available database of movie industry information on the Web.
  1. World Wide Box Office
    Current international box office numbers.
  1. Zap2it
    Provides access to daily, weekly and season Nielsen TV Rating charts.
  2. America Time Use Survey: Leisure & Sports
    From Bureau of Labor Statistics this survey measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities. Includes some tv viewing statistics.


Production Support at Tisch


Camcorder, Flip Camera, and Digital Audio Recorder

  • Undergraduate and graduate students actively enrolled in a Tufts University degree program can borrow circulating portable equipment, digital camcorders and digital audio recorders, for 3 days to use outside the Tisch Media Center.   


More on equipment and support on this  page:

Digital Design Studio (DDS)


-- a Citation Management Tool

Use RefWorks to

*create, in a style of your choice, bibliographies and reference lists for your research papers

*store references (both those you have imported from online catalogs and databases or have created from scratch)

*insert in-text references or footnotes (using Write-N-Cite) in documents

To sign up for an account

*the first time you import citations from a database search you will be prompted to sign up for an account OR

*go to the Login Page.  Click “Sign up for an Individual Account” underneath the phase “New to RefWorks?” Once you have created your account, you can begin using RefWorks.

Help using RefWorks

*RefWorks Quick Start Guide, Tutorial and Complete Manual

*Tufts RefWorks Guide


Finding Full Texts

1. Click on the findIt@tufts button button in your search results screen to a window of three sequential options:

a. link to the digital full text when available;

b. link to a Library Catalog search for the print journal;

c. link to ILliad for requesting the article when the above two options are negative.

2. Search for a journal directly here:

a. Tufts Library Catalog (including e-journals)

b. Electronic journals list

c. Use ILliad to request your article, if Tufts does not have your journal.


Set up for your ILliad account

Use ILLiad, our Interlibrary Loan Service, to request articles, books and other materials that are not available at Tufts.

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last updated: 10/4/2012