News Stories

Cable360 mention of ETC and Hallmark Channel Life Stages Study

Most successful companies rarely make a move without listening to their customers. One of the people at Hallmark who deploys the listening tools and analyzes the data is Jess Aguirre, a 20-year vet of the family friendly network. And speaking of families, Jess recently aligned Hallmark with the Entertainment Technology Center at USC so the two could study how life stages influence emerging media choices. The study also seeks to spot key consumer trends and how they could influence future entertainment offerings. Jess is a member of several industry associations and is on the board of the Media Ratings Council.

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PBS Blog quotes K.C. on eReader market

As I mentioned Tuesday, the growing e-reader market and the new Barnes & Noble “Nook” had me shook.

After all, I’m a book lover and was worried that the ability to share electronic books would mean that traditional books would go the way of newspapers, records and CDs.

Not quite, says KC Blake of USC’s Entertainment Technology Center. “I don’t think any e-reader is ever going to fully replace the feeling of turning physical pages,” Blake says.

You can say that again, buddy.

Blake points out that the Nook’s ability to share electronic books is significant because consumers are used to sharing their media.

“If there’s an ability to share your e-books with your friends,” Blake says, “that’s going to be viewed as a competitive advantage for sure.” But while sharing a book is important, so is a book’s “collector appeal,” Blake adds.

“A book is viewed as educational and there’s some intrinsic value in just having this knowledge sitting on a shelf,” Blake
says.

So does this mean that I will still be able to go to the library and bookstore to borrow and buy real books in the near
future?

“I don’t think books are going away anytime soon,” Blake says. “I’m not sure that books will ever go away.”

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Data & Analytics Project

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.

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VRLA Expo 2017 – www.virtualrealityla.com
April 14-15, 2017

SMPTE/NAB Future of Cinema Conference – www.smpte.org
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April 22-27, 2017

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SMPTE Entertainment Tech in the Connected Age – www.smpte.org 
May 8-9, 2017

Cine Gear Expo – www.cinegearexpo.com 
June 1-4, 2017

Comic-Con Internationalwww.comin-con.org/cci 
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September 14-19, 2017