Behind the Scenes: Choosing Movies

Time for another quick peek “behind the scenes” here…
 
The question is: How does Lurch choose the movies to show each week?
 
Here’s the short version: Weights.
 
Here’s the slightly longer version: By using weighted values attached to each movie.
 
Here’s the slightly longer, more technical version: We tell Lurch “Give us x movies to run next week.” So Lurch checks the database and sees 643 movies total.
 
Then he removes any movies that have been sent to the farm, and any movies that were aired in the last 30 days.
 
With that slightly shorter list, he takes each movie and attaches a “weight” to it.
 
That “weight” is actually a number based on two things: 1, the number of votes (if any) the movie has received in any weekly poll, and 2, the inverse of the “viewer impression” number given to us by Vimeo (that tells us how many people watched a specific movie, and how long the average viewer watched it). If it’s a movie we haven’t aired before, and we have no data for it, Lurch is clever enough to check overall ratings, like on IMDB, for the same titles.
 
Basically, if a movie received votes in a weekly poll, that makes the movie heavier. If it had a higher impression number, that makes it lighter.
 
Then, he drives all the movies out to the old fishing hole up near the farm, and tosses them all in. Some of them bob happily on the surface, and others start to sink (don’t worry, he takes them all out and dries them off, eventually). The first x movies that swim back to him end up on that week’s list, while the rest get placed back in storage for next time.
 
So by voting off movies you don’t care for, even if they don’t get sent to the farm for a long time, they still “weigh” more and don’t get selected as often.
 
The longer we run, the “smarter” Lurch gets when he chooses movies. So eventually, you’ll get exactly the movies you like best, even if you didn’t know about them!