News Stories

SCA Students Speak on the Future of Entertainment

The ETC welcomed a panel of nine undergraduate students from the USC School of Cinematic Art to give their own insights on the trajectory of interactive media at the December 13, 2018 All Members Meeting hosted by Fox Studios. The hour-long forum that covered topics from social media habits to storytelling strategy was condensed into a six-minute highlight reel on our YouTube channel below. The ETC is looking to produce these student panels on a quarterly basis this year — twice at our Executive Board Meetings and Read More

vETC 2018: The Grand Convergence

The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC hosted its fourth annual Virtual Conference (vETC) on June 27 & 28, 2018 at the Technicolor Experience Center in Los Angeles, CA. This year’s program highlighted talks in the AI, Immersive Experience and Adaptive Production sectors. Thought leaders and catalysts from the entertainment, and service industries presented an insider’s look into the emerging technologies disrupting everything from the creative process to business models and consumer behavior. Wednesday June 27th, 2018 Adaptive Production Machine Learning and AI   Thursday June 28th, 2018 XR/VR/Mixed Reality

Digital Town Square “Blockchain: What is it Good For?”

The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC is hosting its next Digital Town Square symposium, “Blockchain: What is it Good For?,” on Tuesday, July 10, in downtown Los Angeles. The event will bring together blockchain technology companies and apps developers with entertainment technology and business executives to explore whether blockchain is an optimal or even a viable solution for professional entertainment. Through panels, presentations and open discussion, the symposium will address blockchain’s potential to improve or even transform current methodologies and practices for workflows and supply chains; contracts and payments; funding and VOD Read More

ETC at NAB 2018

ETC once again participated at this year’s NABShow (April 7-12, Las Vegas Convention Center).  Directors Yves Bergquist (AI & Neuroscience in Media), Phil Lelyveld (Immersive Media), and Seth Levenson (Adaptive Production) programmed sessions for the Next-Generation Media Technologies education track, focusing on AI and Machine Learning, Immersive Media and Cloud technology.  Our sessions were Pushing Immersive Media to the Limit – Location Based Entertainment (Monday, April 9, 11:20am – 12:00pm), Audience Genomics: Neuroscience & Machine Learning Practices to “Hack” Audience Segmentation (Tuesday, April 10, 1:30pm – 1:45pm), Content Genomics: Neuroscience & Read More

USC Students Discuss M&E at ETC 2018

The ETC assembled a panel of seven USC undergraduate students studying various aspects of media to share their views on media at the March 22, 2018 ETC All Members Meeting.  Topics ranged from movies to TV / video, screens, and virtual reality.  Here is a 6 ½-minute highlight reel.   Panel: Porschia Adler, Sophomore Business Administration Kaitlyn Chu, Freshman Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation Caroline Kinley, Sophomore Acting Dominica Ruelas, Senior Film/TV Production Tara Shivkumar, Senior Writing for Screen and Television Nhi Trinh, Sophomore Computational Neuroscience Angela Wu, Sophomore Arts, Technology and the Business Read More

Digital Town Square

AI & Machine Learning Board the Production Team On March 7th, 2018, ETC had a half-day forum, produced by Rochelle Winters, examining how machine learning, deep learning, and AI technologies are being integrated into apps for content authoring, animation, visual effects and post production, including localization. Moving beyond the basics, thought leaders from technology and creative service companies and the studios shared their POCs and use studies, R&D and vision for the future.   Speakers: Lysa Banks, Head, Technical Strategy and Engineering, IBM Watson Video: applying neural Read More


The Storytelling Cipher: Mapping Precise Story and Character Mechanics to Box Office Returns

Our Data & Analytics Project held “The Storytelling Cipher: Mapping Stories & Characters to Box Office Revenue” Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

This study leverages the Dramatic taxonomy of film narrative to infer which scene-level character and story attributes generate more box office returns, by genre. We are extending this study to ads and movie trailers.

The project researchers used machine learning to map 70+ story attributes for 300 films to their box office returns to extract which story mechanics or character features in film generated the most revenue. This was the first time granular story and character mechanics have been used to predict box office returns, which opens up many avenues to make more data-driven creative and development decisions throughout the industry.

What’s a good story? The question has been hanging without a scientific answer since the dawn of man. It seems that a story’s lack of clear mathematical structure and universal taxonomy would relegate such classification of stories to the qualitative – and highly subjective- empire of critics and … people.

Until now.

The event presented results from the research, discussed applications for the development and creative process, and outlined next steps.

ETC Events

Adaptive Production – Kick Off Meeting
October 30, 2018

ETC Executive Board Meeting – Board Members Only
December 6, 2018

ETC All Members Meeting
Fox Studios
December 13, 2018

Industry Events