Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2021-11-29/WikiProject report

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Interview with contributors to WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers: From the silver screen to your computer screen


Hello again! Movies and films form an important component of our modern media culture. As actors and filmmakers try to capture and reflect ideas, emotions or events, here we interview WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers, a group of Wikipedia editors trying to capture and reflect (in an appropriately Wikipedian manner!) actors and filmmakers.

  1. What motivated you to become involved with WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers?
    • Teblick:...I became involved with the project indirectly. When I began editing on Wikipedia in 2014, my interest was in articles about old-time radio programs and people. As I worked on those, I discovered a lot of overlap with older films because many actors and actresses worked in both media. I gradually expanded my interests to include film actors from the past and (to a lesser extent) the present.
    • KyleJoan: ...Personal interest. I mainly edit in the area of biographies of living persons, which includes figures in entertainment.
    • HandsomeBoy: ...So I come from a country where the film industry and entertainment in general is quite huge, I believe Nollywood is considered the third biggest after Hollywood and Bollywood, so it was just logical that I would want to contribute in this area. But I saw that there was a gap in quality of articles, so my main motivation was for knowledge sharing. I wanted to tap into the existing knowledge base of the WikiProject. And since this is a collaborative project, it has been seamless and helpful.
  2. In what ways do editors on your WikiProject collaborate? Are there any goals that your WikiProject is working towards?
    • Teblick: ...I don't have an answer for those questions. I tend to work on my own without seeking collaboration.
    • HandsomeBoy: ...I will say talkpage discussions. I have asked a number of questions there, and I have always gotten a reply
  3. Why have a WikiProject on Actors and Filmmakers? How does this project relate to other WikiProjects (such as WikiProject Film) - is there much crossover?
    • Teblick: ...Films and people who appeared in them and made them compose a significant part of our historic culture. As we preserve more information about them, we enable people in the present and future to learn more about that aspect of the past.
    • HandsomeBoy: ...Honestly, I didn't know there was a WikiProject Film, until now. I will sign-up right away. But I think there should be crossover since filmmakers and actors are mainly notable for the films they appeared in.
  4. From passionate fans, undisclosed or conflict of interest editing, the influx of editing associated with new films and even I suppose geopolitical tensions, how does your WikiProject deal with these issues (and others) that affect articles within its scope?
    • Teblick: ... I have not been involved with that aspect of the project, so I cannot answer that question.
    • HandsomeBoy: ...I think I am very passionate about indigenous films/actors so I am probably in a good position to give an opinion on how it is treated. I will say we try to make such editors keep an open mind. Once you have been made to see things clearly with logical arguments and friendly explanations it gets easier to implement policies and guidelines.
  5. Has editing in this area changed your personal opinion or preference for films, or given you greater insight into acting or filmmaking or the societies that consume their films?
    • Teblick: ...I don't think it has changed my opinions or preferences. It has, however, given me a better understanding of actors, actresses, and the environment in which they worked and lived.
    • KyleJoan: ...It has not changed my opinions or preferences. That said, I'm now more aware of how sources highlight the profitability and critical reception surrounding actors and filmmakers.
    • HandsomeBoy: ...Sure. Before now, I only watched Nollywood, Ghollywood, Hollywood and Bollywood films. But right now, I am also interested in other African films. I have seen a number of South African, Kenyan, etc. films, and it was because of the broader conversations that was initiated on Wikipedia.
  6. What do you see as the greatest area of need for your WikiProject and its articles, and how can a new editor contribute?
    • Teblick: ...We need additional reliable documentation in many articles. Too many articles have too few citations, especially where actors of the past are concerned. That problem is not necessarily a reflection on editors. I sometimes grow frustrated doing research on actors because so little is available in the way of reliable, published sources. A related topic is use of unreliable sources such as IMDb, FilmReference, and Find a Grave, which make an article appear to a casual reader to be more reliably sourced than it actually is.
    • KyleJoan: ...Removing violations of the biographies of living persons policy. Since actors and filmmakers are often covered in sources of various reliability levels, many of their articles contain unencyclopedic material, such as gossip, based on subpar sourcing. It would benefit the project if new users could help articles abide by the policy by discarding inappropriate content and inspecting the reliability of sources in articles.
    • HandsomeBoy: ...I think there is a need for more reliable sources to cover historical filmakers, especially in the African region. I also think that we have many low quality articles that should be expanded. More coverage is also needed for non-English speaking films/actors/filmakers.
  7. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
    • Teblick: ...I can't think of anything else at the moment.
    • HandsomeBoy: ...More initiatives from the WikiProject. More synergy with other related WikiProjects will also help. Lastly, let me use this medium to encourage everyone to volunteer as a participant or a jury in the AfroCine Months of African Cinema.

That's it for this month; please feel free to suggest a WikiProject for an interview (or interview a WikiProject yourself!) here