News Stories

EE Times quotes Phil and 3DTV study in article about 3DTV eye strain

Taking a small step forward, Panasonic recently contributed an undisclosed amount to the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at the University of Southern California to fund the first step toward a broad  study. “Our goal is to get scientifically and statistically valid data on the impact of viewing stereoscopic 3-D content among the general population,” said Phil Lelyveld, a program manager at the ETC.

The Panasonic money will fund two pilot studies to establish the design criteria for two large population studies that still lack funding. Essentially the group aims to provide eye tests to a few theaters full of consumers before and after watching 3-D movies.

“There is no real data today, it’s all anecdotal,” said Lelyveld.

In a marketing survey of 1,914 adults conducted in December by the ETC and the Consumer Electronics Association, 18 percent of the group expected they might have eye strain or headaches from seeing a stereo 3-D movie. Only 12 percent said they had the symptoms after watching one.

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Thoughts on the iPad

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Students have mixed feelings about Apple’s latest invention.


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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ETC Events

NAB Show –
April 7-12, 2018
Las Vegas, NV

Digital Hollywood Spring –
May 22-24, 2018
Los Angeles, CA

Cine Gear Expo –
May 31-June 3, 2018
Los Angeles, CA


SMPTE Entertainment Technology Conference – 
June 13-14, 2018
Sunnyvale, CA

Comic-Con International – 
July 18-22, 2018
San Diego, CA

August 12-16, 2018
Vancouver, Canada

IBC Conference & Exhibition –
September 13-18, 2018
Amsterdam, The Netherlands