Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pony Stats - Screen Time



Full image: http://i.imgur.com/P4ZHZ.gif
UPDATE: Individual ponies with trendlines: http://imgur.com/a/lNQFQ

This is intended to be a rundown of the amount of screen time each of the main (mane?) characters get on My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. Why do this? Who knows. But here you go! Main chart is above, with a line for each pony intending to show what percentage of each given episode a pony appears in (i.e. Applejack is in "Friendship is Magic Part 1" for 126 seconds of 1255 runtime, for 10.8%).

Some info:

The average percentage of episodes coverage, from highest to lowest:
1) Twilight - 45.6%
2) Applejack - 29.5%
3) Rarity - 29.0%
4) Fluttershy - 28.4%
5) Pinkie Pie - 27.7%
6) Rainbow Dash - 26.8%
In real terms, this amounts to Twilight getting 236 more seconds of screen time per episode than Rainbow Dash; or to discount her, Applejack gets about 34 more seconds of screen time per episode than Rainbow Dash.
UPDATE
A-ha, but that isn't the whole story, is it? While that's the average, the median seconds per episode is actually notably different. Big ups to Stefan for thinking of this, and boo to me for not thinking of it.
1) Twilight Sparkle - 558
2) Applejack - 364
3) Rarity - 328.5
4) Rainbow Dash - 289.5
4) Fluttershy - 289.5
6) Pinkie Pie - 260.5
Why the big change? Well, the top three are pretty stable and on point with their rankings for average. However, Fluttershy and Pinkie notably drop, and Rainbow drops a bit as well. I think the explanation is that Fluttershy and Pinkie tend to have highly centric episodes (i.e. Party of One, Stare Master) which brings up their average but are outliers to the general amount of screen time; meanwhile, Applejack fairly consistently gets a decent amount of screen time (even if she gets less-centric episodes).

Episode classifications:
Character-Centric Episodes (>60%): Character is more or less the central focus of the episode. Asterisk indicates it's their most-centric episode.
Twilight Sparkle (8) - Friendship is Magic (Part 1), Ticket Master, Dragonshy, Bridle Gossip, Swarm of the Century, Winter Wrap Up, Feeling Pinkie Keen*, Owls Well That Ends Well
Fluttershy (4) - Dragonshy, Stare Master, Green Isn't Your Color, A Bird in the Hoof*
Rarity (4) - Look Before You Sleep*, Suited for Success, A Dog and Pony Show, Green Isn't Your Color
Applejack (3) - Applebuck Season, Look Before You Sleep*, Fall Weather Friends
Pinkie Pie (3) - Griffon the Brush-off, Feeling Pinkie Keen, Party of One*
Rainbow Dash (2) - Fall Weather Friends*, Sonic Rainboom

Despite the name, Feeling Pinkie Keen follows Twilight for basically the entirety of the episode. Sonic Rainboom is brought down a bit by a few Dash-less sequences, and she's therefore in Fall Weather Friends more. Same for "Applebuck Season", "Suited for Success" and Applejack and Rarity's joint top episode of "Look Before You Sleep".

Major Involvement (>45%-60%): Character is involved in main storyline but falls a bit short of being able to say episode is entirely about a character; used to separate some anomalies that don't fit under what "Character-Centric" classification should mean
Fluttershy (3) - Friendship is Magic (Part 2), Bridle Gossip, Sonic Rainboom
Rainbow Dash (3) - Friendship is Magic (Part 2), Griffon the Brush-off, Dragonshy
Rarity (3) - Friendship is Magic (Part 2), Swarm of the Century, Sonic Rainboom
Pinkie Pie (2) - Friendship is Magic (Part 2), Bridle Gossip
Applejack (1) - Friendship is Magic (Part 2)
Twilight Sparkle (4) - Applebuck Season, Boast Busters, Look Before You Sleep, Green Isn't Your Color

Medium Involvement (>25%-45%): Fits for the remainder of "group" episodes, characters usually involved directly the plotline in some way
Applejack (12) - Ticket Master, Dragonshy, Bridle Gossip, Swarm of the Century, Winter Wrap Up, Suited for Success, Feeling Pinkie Keen, Sonic Rainboom, A Dog and Pony Show, Over a Barrel, Party of One, The Best Night Ever
Rainbow Dash (8) - Ticket Master, Bridle Gossip, Swarm of the Century, Suited for Success, A Dog and Pony Show, Over a Barrel, Party of One, The Best Night Ever
Twilight Sparkle (8) - Fall Weather Friends, Suited for Success, Sonic Rainboom, A Dog and Pony Show, Over a Barrel, A Bird in the Hoof, Party of One, The Best Night Ever
Pinkie Pie (7) - Dragonshy, Swarm of the Century, Suited for Success, Sonic Rainboom, A Dog and Pony Show, Over a Barrel, The Best Night Ever
Rarity (6) - Ticket Master, Dragonshy, Bridle Gossip, Stare Master, Party of One, The Best Night Ever
Fluttershy (5) - Swarm of the Century, Suited for Success, A Dog and Pony Show, Party of One, The Best Night Ever

Minor Involvement (>5%-25%): Usually means character had a specific scene or that a good portion of the episode was done in a 'group'
Pinkie Pie (10) - Friendship is Magic (Part 1), Ticket Master, Applebuck Season, Winter Wrap Up, Call of the Cutie, Fall Weather Friends, Green Isn't Your Color, A Bird in the Hoof, Cutie Mark Chronicles, Owls Well That Ends Well
Rarity (9) - Friendship is Magic (Part 1), Applebuck Season, Griffon the Brush-off, Boast Busters, Winter Wrap Up, A Bird in the Hoof, Over A Barrel, Cutie Mark Chronicles, Owls Well That Ends Well
Applejack (8) - Friendship is Magic (Part 1), Griffon the Brush-off, Boast Busters, Call of the Cutie, The Show Stoppers, A Bird in the Hoof, Cutie Mark Chronicles, Owls Well That Ends Well
Fluttershy (8) - Friendship is Magic (Part 1), Ticket Master, Applebuck Season, Griffon the Brush-off, Winter Wrap Up, Feeling Pinkie Keen, Over a Barrel, Cutie Mark Chronicles, Owls Well That Ends Well
Rainbow Dash (8) - Friendship is Magic (Part 1), Applebuck Season, Boast Busters, Winter Wrap Up, Call of the Cutie, A Bird in the Hoof, Cutie Mark Chronicles, Owls Well That Ends Well
Twilight (5) - Griffon the Brush-off, Call of the Cutie, Stare Master, The Show Stoppers, Cutie Mark Chronicles

Essentially Absent (>0%-5%): Were either used as background characters or very briefly (usually no more than a line or two)
Fluttershy (2) - Boast Busters, Fall Weather Friends
Rainbow Dash (2) - The Show Stoppers, Green Isn't Your Color
Rarity (2) - Fall Weather Friends, The Show Stoppers
Applejack (1) - Green Isn't Your Color
Pinkie Pie (1) - Boast Busters
Twilight Sparkle (0)

Complete Absences (0%): Were not in the episode at all
Fluttershy (3) - Look Before You Sleep, Call of the Cutie, The Show Stoppers
Pinkie Pie (3) - Look Before You Sleep, Stare Master, The Show Stoppers
Rainbow Dash (3) - Look Before You Sleep, Feeling Pinkie Keen, Stare Master
Rarity - Call of the Cutie, Feeling Pinkie Keen
Applejack (1) - Stare Master
Twilight Sparkle (0)

Largest percentage of screen time:
1. Twilight Sparkle - "Feeling Pinkie Keen" - 91.4%
2. Pinkie Pie - "Party of One" - 89.9%
3. Rarity - "Look Before You Sleep" - 89.7%

Biggest discrepancies between 1st and 2nd most screen time (most tilted towards one character) (CMC episodes removed):
1. Friendship is Magic, Part 1 (Twilight vs. Fluttershy), 69.2 percentage point difference
2. Party of One (Pinkie Pie vs. Rainbow Dash), 52.6 point difference
3. Stare Master (Fluttershy vs. Rarity, 47.8 point difference
Since this could be seen as a CMC episode...
Owls Well That Ends Well (Twilight vs. Pinkie Pie), 46.3 point difference
Since that could be seen as a "Spike" episode...
Ticket Master (Twilight vs. Applejack), 41.8 point difference

Smallest discrepancies between first and last in screen time (most balanced episodes) (CMC episodes removed):
1. The Best Night Ever (Pinkie Pie vs. Twilight), 8.8 percentage point difference
2. The Cutie Mark Chronicles (Fluttershy vs. Rarity), 10.3 point difference (I find this hard to qualify as a CMC episode)
3. Friendship is Magic Part 2 (Twilight vs. Fluttershy), 15.4 point difference

Number of episodes dominated by pony is similarly evenly split:
1. Twilight - 12
2. Rarity - 3
2. Rainbow - 3
2. Pinkie Pie - 3
2. Fluttershy - 3
6. Applejack - 2

With Twilight removed:
1) Fluttershy - 6
1) Pinkie Pie - 6
3) Applejack - 5
3) Rainbow Dash - 5
5) Rarity - 4

Other notes:
- "Screen time" can be an arguable thing unless you literally go by "amount of time character is on screen". This didn't seem appropriate, so I did my best to show the real amount of time spent on a given pony - general rule of thumb was to differentiate between being in the background of a scene (in which the strict "on screen" standard was used), and actually being involved in a scene  (for example, if Dash and Fluttershy are having a conversation and the shot goes to just Dash for 3 seconds, I didn't count that against Fluttershy; general rule of thumb was 15 seconds of being completely inactive (not talking or seen) in a scene means the time is counted ). I also included the rare occasions of only audio, such as Twilight narrating something or Pinkie singing the Pony Pokey.
- The episode times are remarkably consistent. The shortest episodes are Owls Well That Ends Well and Party of One, at 21:59, and Over a Barrel is the longest, at 22:04.
- The episode with the most pure pony screenage is "Sonic Rainboom", likely due to the large amount of group shots. The Show Stoppers barely features the main cast.
- I'll probably add considerations of Spike/the CMC at some point.
- Per the trendlines (which admittedly can be a bit deceiving), the show decreases the Twilight focus as the season goes on, same for Rainbow Dash and Applejack to a lesser extent. Rarity stays remarkably even, Pinkie Pie increases somewhat and Fluttershy increases notably as the season goes on.
- Time for the credit sequence, the opening sequence, and (for one episode) any recaps are not counted in the analysis for determining percentages.

The point is this is a bit subjective and other people might disagree with the numbers, so view it as a general guide.

UPDATE:
Raw data - per request - https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AugNN9x0Jd23dDFPZkJfY2Zfc1hGYU11MGxrRTFUN2c&hl=en_US#gid=2
Including notes to myself!

13 comments:

  1. you spent WAY too much time on this. Especially if it was to find out how neglected Rainbow Dash is >.o

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  2. Good job!
    It seems fairly obvious from the pilot that the producers would try to center the show around Twilight for the most part. Still,it's nice to see that all the other cast members are getting equal representation among themselves.

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  3. Do you have raw data that people can play with?

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  4. That's some research. Respect.

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  5. Interesting.
    I would like to play with the raw data as well, if you don't mind publishing it.
    For example, the median is almost as interesting as the average value of screen time.

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  6. Wow, nice response on EqD. Cool.

    "you spent WAY too much time on this."
    Probably. Though honestly it's not as horrible as some have implied. It really depends on the episode (you can basically get good times on the CMC episodes even going on double speed, while something like "Over A Barrel" takes forever).
    Just fire up VLC, get a notepad document and an Excel, and it isn't that bad.

    "Interesting.
    I would like to play with the raw data as well, if you don't mind publishing it.
    For example, the median is almost as interesting as the average value of screen time. "

    Link to raw data added.

    And that median point is so obvious I feel like an idiot for not thinking of it before. Not only that but it changes the ranking in a notable way. That's added to the analysis.

    As people have noted, I was trying to do "scene involvement" as opposed to literally "how much time they're literally on screen", which is subjective and a bit tricky. If anyone wants to question my numbers or whatever, go right ahead.

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  7. Oh and some people didn't care for the huge-ass line chart so I added a link to a bunch of individual charts.

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  8. Awesome, thanks for the raw data update.

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  9. Cool shit bro.

    Rarity needs more character-centric episodes that don't involve being abused by dogs or being ignored.

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  10. Just by curiosity, do you plan to do the same thing with season 2?

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  11. Just want you to know that your work here is very much appreciated. Was actually looking for this info, thanks!

    Now if only I could find the data for minor characters...

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