Skip to main content

How To Use Films On Demand: Home

How To Use Films On Demand

Films On Demand is a database of documentaries, educational videos and news footage. It does not contain movies. Highly desirable items include the works of Bill Moyers and Ken Burns as well as PBS programs, selected TED talks, CNBC political footage, the Biography Channel and films from the American Museum of Natural History.

Before You Begin

If you are unfamiliar with accessing the college's research databases or entering your college login, review How To Access Library Databases.

Search

If you know the title of the film or film segment that you are searching for, the search box at the top of the Films On Demand homepage is your best option.

  1. Put the title of the video or section that you're looking for in quotation marks in the search box, OR put the topic you are looking for in the search box.
  2. Hit enter or click the red button with the magnifying glass on it.
  3. To get to Advanced Search, click the Advanced Search link below the search box.

Screenshot of the Films On Demand homepage showing the top two sections. The first section has the menu and the search box. The second has the Browse Subjects menu.

Advanced Search

If you want to search for a film but you don't know its exact title, or you want to find a film on a particular topic, try Advanced Search. You can get to it by clicking the Advanced Search link under the search box on the Films On Demand homepage. Once at Advanced Search:

  1. Enter your keywords into the search box.
  2. Use the Word Matching pull-down menu to select All Words, Some Words, or Exact Phrase. 
    • If you are searching for something like space program or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, use Exact Phrase. If you do not get any search results using Exact Phrase, try All Words.
    • If you're searching for something like autism applied behavioral analysis ABA or large hadron collider god particle, use All Words. If you don't get any search results using All Words, try Some Words.
    • If you're searching for something like space shuttle Challenger explosion NASA or Ronald Reagan Star Wars missile defense program cold war, use Some Words. If you get too many off-topic search results using Some Words, try All Words.
  3. Optionally, select one or more subject areas in which to search.Screenshot of the Films On Demand Advanced Search window. There are multiple fields and other options: Keyword is a text field; Word Matching is a pull-down menu; Copyright Date is two pull-down menus, the first for before, in, and after and the second for the year; Producers is a pull-down menu, By Date Added is two text fields where you enter a start date and an end date; Search By is a pull-down menu; Filter By is a pull-down menu; and Sort By is a pull-down Menu. Subjects is a long list of check-boxes. Type is a list of check-boxes. Language is a list of check-boxes. Advanced Filters is a list of check-boxes. Then there is a Search button.
  4. Optionally, limit your search to videos copyrighted in a certain time period.
  5. Optionally, limit your search to videos that have closed-captions. 
  6. Click Search.
    This is a screenshot of the lower half of the Advanced Search page, which was already described in the previous image's alt tag.

Browse Subjects

Another way to find a video on your topic is to browse by subject area. To get to subject areas go to Browse Subjects, located below the search box. Select View All or scroll through the horizontal picture menu located below the search box.

Screenshot of top of the Films On Demand home page. The top section has the search box. The second section has the Browse Menu, which consists of scrolling images to click on. A better option is to select View All to get a complete list of all the Subjects.

When you click on one of the subject Collections, you get a search results list. The Narrow Results menu on the right side of the search results list lets you drill down to sub-topics. For the Music & Dance collection, some of the sub-topics are Dance, Music History, World Music, and Music Appreciation. Each of those sub-topics can be clicked on to expand even more specific sub-sub-topics.

Screenshot of a Films On Demand results list, which you get to by either Searching or Browsing. There is a Sorted By pull-down menu that is automatically set Newest to Oldest. The results list consists of a thumbnail of the video, which can be played by clicking it; the title of the video, which is a link to the video's information page; a pull-down menu to select a particular segment of the video; and icons to share the video or add it to favorites or a playlist. There is a Narrow Results menu for the entire list, and you can narrow by All Subjects or specific subjects and sub-topics of each subject, All Formats under which you can select Full Videos (which is default) or Segments; All Types, under which you can select Video (which is default) or types such as Documentary Film, Educational Video, Performance, etc.; All Featured Producers, under which you can select various video producers like ABC News or BBC.

Films On Demand Results List and Film Information Page

Results List

In your Films On Demand results list:

  1. Click on the thumbnail image of the film to open and begin playing it. 
  2. Use the pull-down menu Segments In This Video to see its table of contents. 
    • All Films On Demand videos are divided into segments, each of which can be linked to individually.
  3. Click Share to email a link to the film.
  4. Click Add To to add it to a playlist or your favorites. (These options require that you be signed into Films On Demand.)
  5. Click on the title of the film to view the film information page. 

Screenshot of a Films On Demand results list, which you get to by either Searching or Browsing. There is a Sorted By pull-down menu that is automatically set Newest to Oldest. The results list consists of a thumbnail of the video, which can be played by clicking it; the title of the video, which is a link to the video's information page; a pull-down menu to select a particular segment of the video; and icons to share the video or add it to favorites or a playlist. There is a Narrow Results menu for the entire list, and you can narrow by All Subjects or specific subjects and sub-topics of each subject, All Formats under which you can select Full Videos (which is default) or Segments; All Types, under which you can select Video (which is default) or types such as Documentary Film, Educational Video, Performance, etc.; All Featured Producers, under which you can select various video producers like ABC News or BBC. Film Information Page

  1. Click on the video to make it start playing.
  2. To the right of the video is a menu with tabs at the top. Show Transcript has the full-text of what is being said in the video.
  3. The Citation icon underneath the video lets you copy and paste a properly formatted citation of the video in MLA, APA, or Chicago Style.
  4. Below the box where the video plays, Record URL is the permalink to the video. Use this if you want to save a link so you can come back to it later, or share it with someone else.
  5. In the column to the right of the video, all the video segments are described and listed. Click on the title of a video segment to access it. Each segment has its own unique URL which displays below the box where the segment plays. Don't use the URL from the address bar of your browser!

Screenshot of the Films on Demand video information page. The default tab displays the video in a pane. Other tabs are Related, Share (as in email the video to someone), Add to (as in add it to a playlist or favorites), and Custom Segment. Record URL gives you the permalink for the video. There is text description of the video content. There is a Show Segments menu with clickable segments of the video - each taking you to its own segment information page. There is the Show Transcript tab which provides a text version of what is being said in the video. Playing a Video

To play a video, click on it. There are controls to pause, move forward and back, turn closed captions on and off, expand the video to fill the whole screen, and adjust the volume. There is also a time code that says how many minutes and seconds into the video you are, and how long the video is in total. 

Screenshot of the Films on Demand video information page. This screenshot shows the video controls like play/pause, increase/decrease volume, turn on/off closed captions, increase video to full screen, and advance/rewind the video by click and drag

Your Librarians

Sarah Morehouse's picture
Sarah Morehouse

Please note: If you need to request accommodations with content linked to on this guide, on the basis of a disability, please contact Disability Services by emailing them at Disability.Services@esc.edu.  Requests for accommodations should be submitted as early as possible to allow for sufficient planning. If you have questions, please visit the disability services website http://www.esc.edu/disabilityservices.

Contact:
(800) 847-3000 x2222

Hours of operation:
* Mon-Thu 9-9
* Fri 9-5
* Sun 1-9

Search our FAQ or email us a question