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Toronto Star–David prominently featured in article about Avatar

David Wertheimer, CEO and executive director of the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California, said Cameron’s use of newly developed CGI and “stereoscopic” 3-D technologies is going to change audience expectations and spur other filmmakers to follow his lead.

“Whether or not this film does huge numbers at the box office or just okay numbers, Jim Cameron will have moved the industry forward in terms of a new track from an entertainment perspective and greatly accelerated the pace of change and the audience acceptance of 3-D,” Wertheimer said.

Since the 1950s, Wertheimer said, 3-D has largely been viewed by audiences and filmmakers as part novelty, part gimmick.

The technology had a resurgence of 3-D in the 1970s and 1980s and even a third wave in recent years, with movies like My Bloody
Valentine and Final Destination 4 along with a host of animated films aimed at younger audiences.

The latest wave of 3-D, led by Avatar, will guarantee the technology is not only here to stay but ready to reach a new level of respectability, Wertheimer predicted.

The “fundamental leap” in Avatar will be Cameron’s ability to meld the performances of actors against a highly realistic visual backdrop, he said.

Video games, for example, have been able to replicate the movement of human characters accurately. But giving those characters an emotional life – the flush in the cheeks, the glimmer in the eyes, for example – is what Wertheimer believes Cameron is set to achieve.

“When you look at (video game characters) up close, they don’t seem human to you because they don’t have that level of realism in the facial features and in the eyes.”

“It’s that emotional quality that Jim Cameron is really trying to capture in this movie that represents a quantum leap forward in terms of how he’s creating the 3-D characters and the 3-D world.”

Wertheimer said research done by his centre has already shown attitudes towards 3-D change dramatically once people see films using the latest technology. The future of 3-D will no longer be confined to horror movies or kids’ films.

“So Avatar will do something really dramatic from that perspective. It will expose a huge group of people to 3-D that have not seen the new 3-D and that will change the landscape,” Wertheimer said.

“It will also open up the floodgates in terms of filmmakers saying, `I want to make my next film in 3-D.'”

Link to coverage
Link to PDF Apple Tablet coverage mentions David

According to the analysts surveyed: Laura DiDio, principal analyst at ITIC; David Wertheimer, executive director of the University of Southern California’s Entertainment Technology Center; and Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with Yankee Group, the device is being prepared to fill the gap between the iPhone/iPod touch and a low-end Mac Book.

Link to PDF


Verizon Joins the Executive Board of the Entertainment Technology Center at USC

Verizon Enterprise Solutions will lend its technology expertise to the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) through a seat on ETC@USC’s executive board. Verizon’s global cloud, IP and wireless networks, managed security services, end-to-end digital content solutions and technology-related professional services are used by media and entertainment companies to create, transport, manage and deliver digital content around the world, on any platform,  anytime.

ETC@USC is a nonprofit, member-funded entertainment technology think tank and research center, affiliated with the USC School of Cinematic Arts. It brings together senior executives, innovators, thought leaders and catalysts in a neutral setting to explore issues related to the creation, distribution and consumption of entertainment content. Verizon’s participation on the executive board will provide media and entertainment companies with opportunities to learn how Verizon’s media-focused solutions, network and technology expertise can help the industry transform its future.

“The goal of the ETC@USC is to bring industry and technology experts together to develop the solutions that will propel us through the next 20 years,” said Kenneth Williams, CEO and executive director of the ETC@USC. “Verizon’s broad set of technologies and deep industry experience will provide a unique voice on the executive board. We look forward to their active participation.”

Scott Spector, global head of Verizon’s media and entertainment vertical, added: “Verizon is committed to the media and entertainment industry, and our participation with ETC@USC will allow us to support and potentially drive innovation in the industry. There’s a vast range of opportunities to integrate technology and improve everything from digital content production through digital distribution, creating an optimal experience for the industry.”

Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and help shape tomorrow’s biggest ideas. With industry-specific solutions provided over Verizon’s secure mobility, cloud, strategic networking and advanced communications platforms, Verizon helps open new opportunities around the world for innovation, investment and business transformation. Visit to learn more.

The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) is a think tank and research center within the USC School of Cinematic Arts that brings together senior executives, innovators, thought leaders, and catalysts from the entertainment, consumer electronics, technology, and services industries along with the academic resources of the University of Southern California to explore and to act upon topics and issues related to the creation, distribution, and consumption of entertainment content.  ETC@USC helps drive collaborative projects among its member companies and engages with next generation consumers to understand the impact of emerging technology on all aspects of the entertainment industry, especially technology development and implementation, the creative process, business models, and future trends. (

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq:  VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 108 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide. A Dow 30 company with more than $127 billion in 2014 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 177,300. For more information, visit

VERIZON ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS ONLINE NEWS CENTER: News releases, blog posts, media contacts and other information are available in Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ online News Center at News from Verizon Enterprise Solutions is also available through an RSS feed at

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