News Stories

Disney Announces Opening Dates for New Star Tours Ride

Mark your calendars, “Star Wars” fans. Disney has announced opening dates for the new Star Tours attraction. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will open May 20, 2011, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, and June 3, 2011, at Disneyland in Anaheim.

In production since 2005, the Star Tours revamp will feature high-definition video in 3D, updated flight simulator technology and new special effects. Guests will board a Starspeeder 1000 for a tour of several planets in the “Star Wars” galaxy. Though Disney has remained mum on which planets will appear, a new trailer shows scenes on Bespin, Coruscant, and Alderaan. By combining the planets with other ride experiences, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will offer 54 unique journeys.

Disney’s new Star Tours ride takes place between the two “Star Wars” trilogies, happening after Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith but before Star Wars: A New Hope.

Story by Karen WymanYahoo! Contributor Network

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LG Brings Cinema 3D To The Stars

Santa Monica, Calif. – LG Electronics used Oscar weekend to send movie lovers the message that its Cinema 3D LCD TVs will give viewers a more cinema-like 3D experience in the home.

In the past two weeks, LG has taken that message to both the fashion industry and Hollywood as it prepares to deliver the first sets to retail shelves. Its passive-glasses single-lens 3D LCoS projector was used topresent fashion designer Marc Bouwer’s 2011 fall collection in New York two weeks ago, and then the manufacturer sponsored the Film Independent Spirit Awards after-party Saturday night.

Every year, Film Independent gives awards for independent films, with a wide range of budgets from paper thin to big enough for 3D production.

The bash drew a gaggle of movie stars, including Jason Ritter, Gerard Butler and Hillary Swank, who were joined by industry producers, writers and even a handful of CE retailers (guests of LG), all of whom had an opportunity to hear about LG’s forthcoming Cinema 3D passive-glasses 3DTVs.

Tim Alessi, LG home electronics product development director, attempted to give the chatty crowd a brief education on the benefits of passive-glasses technology, including the absence of image cross-talk that sometimes appears in active-shutter technologies, and greater comfort to the glasses wearer.

Although LG continues to offer 3DTVs with active-glasses technology in both high-end LCD TVs and plasma sets, its messaging at the FISA event was laser-focused on the passive-glasses technology. LG will be one of the biggest set makers to introduce the capability this year.
“It’s a better experience overall. More like you get in the cinema,” said James Fishler, LG go-to-market operations senior VP. “What’s great about Cinema 3D is that they are inexpensive glasses. You can use them from the theater and get a bunch of them for your friends to use. We will also be able to demonstrate Cinema 3D to a wider audience without having some of issues of active shutter glasses — like charging the batteries.”

LG is reserving active-shutter glasses for its top-performing models and plasma sets, where the picture quality is better optimized to the technology and purchasers are less troubled by the added expense of the glasses.

During the event, Wayne Park, LG Electronics U.S. president, told TWICE the company is expecting a “very tough year” ahead for the CE industry, and Cinema 3D presents a big opportunity for LG to better its competitors.

“We think we can take advantage of — at least in 3DTV — the leadership position for the whole industry,” Park said. “With our distinguishing 3D technology, we can bring a much more affordable and enjoyable experience to the consumer, so that our 3DTVs can leap ahead of the industry.”

Park said he believes passive-glasses technologies will ultimately win out over active-shutter systems due to the many benefits that resonate with consumers.

“We are working with most of the major retail partners that we have on the launch of Cinema 3D, and we will be taking advantage of our NCAA March Madness Promotion,” Park said.

By Greg Tarr — TWICE, 2/28/2011

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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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