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The Catalog of Indian Films “Somindram”

Industry

Entertainment

Region

USA, India

Year

2024

Services
Backend
Design
Frontend
Technologies
JavaScript
Laravel
PHP
Complexity
Somindran cover
Development time

15 months until the demo release

Team

1 PM, 4 Design, 2 Frontend, 2 Backend, 1 QA

Project status

The project continues to evolve and scale

About the client

The client is a businessman from the USA who is a fan of Bollywood movies and wants to show the world that good films are made not only in Hollywood. To achieve this, a website will be created, where the most comprehensive collection of all Indian films will be gathered, allowing fans to rate them and share their opinions in the comments.

The target audience of the project consists of fans of Bollywood and Indian films, as well as professional film critics.

The Situation

The client approached us with a request to develop a catalog of Indian films, the likes of which have not been seen in the USA or other countries. There are many websites on the internet that feature films from around the world, but there is not a single one that offers a comprehensive collection of only Bollywood films with the capability for flexible rating.

Task
The client tasked us with developing a comprehensive film catalog with various rating systems that will attract fans and film critics from around the world. To achieve this goal, the following tasks needed to be accomplished:
  1. Create a modern design that is also familiar to Indian users and moviegoers;
  2. Plan the structure of the catalog and each page to accommodate the complex functionality described later;
  3. Implement the functionality for rating and reviewing films;
  4. Select and configure a web framework to ensure the project’s scalability, allowing it to grow and evolve with the increasing number of users and films in the catalog.
Somindram banner

Solution

During the preparation stage, it was decided to create a multifunctional film catalog using the PHP framework Laravel, which allows for easy project scaling while ensuring stability and security. The website’s design was adapted to modern web standards and incorporated familiar elements of Indian culture.

The structure of the film catalog is intuitive thanks to the division into categories and genres. Additionally, the site provides a feature to find a list of all films featuring a particular actor. The film rating and reviewing system consists of three parts: before a film’s release, users can make Predictions about its box office success and overall quality. After the release, they can use one or all of the following rating methods:

  1. Composite Rating: Users can rate each of the 13 criteria, as well as each actor and song (including the performer, lyricist, and composer) on a scale from 0 to 10.
  2. Rankings: Users can select one of three reactions — Best, Ho-Hum, Worst. These ratings can also be applied to the 13 criteria and individual actors and songs.
  3. Flat Rating: Users can give the film an overall rating from 0 to 10.

This comprehensive rating system is designed to attract various types of fans — from newcomers who prefer giving overall ratings to more advanced movie enthusiasts and critics who are willing to evaluate each aspect of a film separately.

Anastasia Lobova PM
Anastasia Lobova
Project manager

The project turned out to be truly interesting and extensive. It all started with creating a single film page template and a few auxiliary pages where the main information about the film, collected from Wikipedia and other specialized sites using parsers, would be placed. Over time, however, each film ended up with at least eight page templates designed for detailed rating, adding predictions about the film’s future success and potential box office earnings, as well as for simplified rating and other purposes.

One of the main challenges we faced was the client’s lack of a clear vision of the desired outcome. This led to multiple revisions of the future work plan and shifting release deadlines. Nevertheless, the site eventually reached its users and continues to improve and evolve to become better and more engaging.

Another challenge was the cultural and user habit differences, which made some of our design solutions ineffective for the Indian audience. Fortunately, the client was well-acquainted with the culture and guided us in the right direction.

Implemented functionality

Catalog Somindram

Catalog Somindram

The Most Comprehensive Catalog of Bollywood films

To update and expand it, we developed several parsers that collect information from Wikipedia, Bollywood Hungama, and other specialized resources. The parsers operate automatically and run in the background at set intervals. The admin also has the ability to manually add and edit films. In addition to the main information about the film, the parsers also collect data on actors and musical compositions featured in the films. This makes the site the most extensive in terms of the number of Hindi films, covering the period from the 1930s to the present.

Home Page Somindram

Site’s Home Page

Homepage

The first thing users see when they land on the site is the homepage. The top portion features the trailer of the latest released film. Below that is the Movie Title Bar (MTB), which includes the film’s title, cast, director, release date, duration, a video review block, and a rating or user predictions block (depending on the film’s release date). Further down, users encounter a set of sections featuring new films, upcoming releases, as well as top comedies, romantic dramas, and action movies. The admin has the flexibility to customize the set of sections according to their preferences.

Somindram Movie Page

Individual Movie Page

Film Page

The film page contains the most comprehensive information about the movie. It includes a block detailing the film’s production history, box office ratings, budget, a list of shooting locations, and other data that are of interest to true film enthusiasts.

Rating Page Somindram

Movie Rating Page

Rating Page with Highly Flexible and Detailed Rating System

Each film has a minimum of 30 criteria that a critic can evaluate. These criteria cover various aspects such as the storyline, director’s work, cinematography, production history, musical score, action sequences, choreography, and much more. According to the site’s creator, this approach allows for the most objective and precise assessment of the film.

Somindram Forecast Page

Somindram Forecast Page

Predictions Page

This page is of interest to users who enjoy making predictions and speculating on how successful a film will be after its release. Here, users can speculate on the film’s potential success as a percentage and attempt to predict its box office earnings.

Somindram Rating Page

Somindram Rating Page

Rating Page

This section will appeal to users who prefer not to think about exact ratings but simply want to share their opinion on how good or bad a particular film was. Fans or critics can rate each of the criteria presented on the page as Best, Ho-Hum, or Worst. This can be considered a simplified version of the Rating Page for novice fans.

Somindram Actor Page

Actor/Musician Page

Actor / Musician Page

No film is complete without its actors, so we have provided separate pages for each actor and singer whose musical creations are a hallmark of all Bollywood films. On the page, you can find information about the actor/singer, their awards, and their works: films in which the actor appeared and tracks used in various films.

Somindram Comments Page

Comments Page

Comments Page

On almost every page, there is a section where any registered user can leave a comment. To make it convenient for users, we have gathered all comments in one place — on the Comments page, which exists for every film. There is also a tab where all reviews by critics and fans for that film are posted. Users can rate the comments and reviews, as well as engage in discussions.

Somindram User Profile

User Page

User Profile Page

The user profile page displays essential information such as password, login, and nickname, as well as statistics on rated films. Contributors and moderators also have additional sections with information on the suggestions (contributions) they have made.

Stages of work

01.

Design

During the design development, we relied on the client’s sketches/prototypes and took into account their knowledge of Indian culture. This helped create a design concept that aligns with the tastes and preferences of users from South Asia. It’s worth noting that the design is constantly refined and evolving.

02.

Layout

The layout was implemented using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Special attention was paid to the functionality of jingles — these are small musical snippets that users can upload to the site and allow other users to listen to and rate.

Users can also find and listen to specific songs, and the administrator can create a playlist that will be available to all users.

03.

Backend

During the backend development phase, developers wrote several parsers, devised a complex data storage structure, and developed a system for users to contribute changes to the site’s content. Any user with the role of “Contributor” can suggest changes to the image or text on a film page, and other users can rate this proposal. The most liked suggestion is then posted on the page.

04.

Testing

During the project, only manual testing was applied, but currently, automated tests are being developed to help expedite and streamline the process of verifying the functionality of the main features on the site.

Results

1. The project was launched in demo mode, and the client enlisted acquaintances and friends to evaluate the quality of the resulting product;

2. We received initial feedback from real users and began addressing any issues;

3. The project continues to evolve and prepare for a surge in the number of users who will appreciate the various rating systems for their favorite films.

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