For everything, I'll use Nolan as my example
Metric 1 - Points
8.4 The Prestige
8.4 The Dark Knight
8.2 The Dark Knight Rises
7.8 Batman Begins
unseen: Following, Insomnia
For each film I rate, it gets 0.5 points if it's rated 7.0 or above, 1 point if it's rated 7.6 or above, and 2 points if it's rated 8.4 or above. These ratings correspond to tiers 4, 8, and 10 on Criticker from about two years ago (my tiers have shifted a little since then due more ratings), and (the old) Tier 10 equals my favourites on icm. These points are cumulative, so a film rated 7.8 gets 1.5 points (0.5 + 1), and a film rated 8.6 gets 3.5 points (0.5 + 1 + 2). Point totals are then added up for all films from a director, to get the director's total points. In order to make my list, a director generally needs to accumulate at least 5 points across at least 4 films (with a few exceptions for directors I really love their work - example: I've seen all three of Sarah Polley's films and I love them all [average of 8.13 with 6.5 total points] so she gets added to my list even though she's below the 4-film cutoff).
Example: Based on my ratings, Nolan gets 22 points (3.5+3.5+3.5+3.5+3.5+1.5+1.5+1.5)
Metric 2 - Average Points
For each director, I also take the average number of points per film. I do this to counterbalance directors who I've seen a lot of their work, but nothing's really stood out. Eventually, I might establish a cutoff of 1.5 AvPts if my list starts to get too long.
Example: Nolan's average is 2.75
Metric 3 - Average Rating
For each director, I also include my average rating of their films. This causes some directors to be pulled down by films I disliked, but the reason that I use both average point and average rating is that I don't want to penalize those directors too much if they've directed some amazing films too (Kubrick is an example for me: his films range from 4.8 to 8.4, and there's a big difference between a 4.8 and a 7.4 [both of which get 0 points using my system] which I wanted to reflect somehow). Anything I rate 5.4 or below is marked as a dislike for me (since 5.5 is the midpoint between 1 and 10). I may establish a cutoff of 7.50 average rating in the future.
Example: My average rating for Nolan's films is 8.45
Metric 4 - Toro's Weighted Average
A few years ago Toro shared how he weights the average rating for directors based on the number of films he's seen by that director. I liked the idea a lot, and tweaked his formula for my own purposes, since on average I'd seen way less films by any given director than he had (until last year, I only had 2 directors with more than 10 films seen: Spielberg & Hitchcock). So I use
Code: Select all
which essentially says if I've seen 7+ films by the director, use the straight average; if I've seen fewer films, multiply the average by a modifier that decreases from 0.985 down to 0.685 based on the number of films seen. The serves to prevent prolific directors from being penalized simply because I've taken the time to explore more of their filmography (that may not always resonate with me), and to ensure that I don't stop seeking out films by a great director for fear that they will drop in my director ranking.
Example: My weighted average rating for Nolan is 8.45, since I've seen 8 of his films (above the 7 threshold). Sarah Polley, from above, had an average of 8.13 but a weighted average of only 6.91.
The final ranking
As mentioned above, to make the list most directors need to hit 5 points and 4 films seen. I then add any exceptional cases of directors where I've seen 3 films and really loved them, especially if they've only made 3 or 4 films. I did have 2-film directors on my list before, but I've taken them off for now. In future years, I may increase the cutoff for points and/films, but for now it works.
Then, I rank each director for each individual metric, and take an average rank.
Example: Right now, Nolan ranks 2nd for Points, 5th for Average Points, 3rd for Average Rating, and 1st for Toro's Weighted Average. This ends up with an average rank of 2.75, which is good enough for the top spot on my list.
Then, I sort my list based on the Average Rank. Last year I had 80 directors on my list I've added 11 more since then, and will probably have a few more join them before the month is over. Because of the way I set this up, directors can drop in rank even if I don't watch a film from them, simply by having new directors added to the list since adding a new director recalculates all of the rankings (i.e. I only include directors in this when calculating rankings, I don't use the list of all directors that I've seen a film from).
I then do a similar exercise for short films with similar cutoffs (and exceptions for directors already on my list) and do some calculations there. I may adjust some directors up based on their work in short films, and I'll add a few directors to the bottom of my list who do exclusively/primarily short films.
If anyone is interested, I can share the breakdown of my list (either now where it currently stands or at the end of the month after I've updated and submitted it) should you care to delve deeper into its construction.