The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) is a think tank and research center 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. As an organization within the USC School of Cinematic Arts, ETC 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. ETC acts as a convener and accelerator for entertainment technology and commerce through: Research, Publications, Events, Collaborative Projects and Shared Exploratory Labs and Demonstrations.
ETC@USC was founded with the help of George Lucas in 1993 with the goal of bringing technology and entertainment visionaries together to collaborate on the future of entertainment technology. Along with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, our Sponsoring participants comprise the major studios: Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros. Entertainment, DTS, Lucasfilm Ltd, and TATA Consultancy Services. ETC was established with the mission to be a neutral research organization devoted to identifying pivotal, emerging entertainment technologies and creating programs to analyze and test them. ETC first distinguished itself with its Digital Cinema Lab, which created an accelerator and a neutral home for the discussions that led to the creation of the Digital Cinema specification (by DCI) and the worldwide rollout of Digital Cinema. The Digital Cinema Lab’s success provided a template for the creation of ETC’s other industry-shaping laboratories: the Anytime/Anywhere Content Lab and the Consumer 3D Experience Lab.
For more information on what we do to move entertainment technology forward, visit our activities page. For a more in-depth description of the center, download the ETC Overview here
NEUTRAL SETTING: the ETC does not endorse technologies, products, services, or vendors. Participation in ETC activities is not an explicit or implicit endorsement of any technology, product, service, or vendor.
As VP Advanced Technology at The Walt Disney Company, Dennis was responsible for building an enterprise technology culture and social network by bringing Disney’s innovators together to facilitate shared learning experiences, enable new business opportunities, and build a digital media infrastructur…View Full Profile
Rob is a media consultant, freelance writer, and communication professor currently based on the east coast. He joined the ETC in 2008 for our live reporting from the Consumer Electronics Show and has since been involved with a number of ETC initiatives including our ETCentric publication, annual CES…View Full Profile
Erik Weaver is a specialist focused on the intersection of Cloud and the Media and Entertainment Industry, currently running “Production in the Cloud” for ETC.
The project unites senior leaders from the six major studios to develop next generation Cloud standards, support Hollywood organizations …View Full Profile
Tim is a communications and technology specialist, whose work at the ETC focuses on providing oversight and support to the Center’s technological systems. A trainer engineer, Tim has long been a consultant to many of the nation’s top universities, and has worked in a diverse number of fields, includ…View Full Profile
Kenneth W. Williams
Executive Director & CEO
Ken is a longtime entertainment and media professional including an almost 20-year career at Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures, where he founded the Digital Studios Division and co-founded Sony Pictures Imageworks, the Academy Award winning visual effects, animation and multimedia company. For the…View Full Profile
Chief Administrative Officer/Program Manager
Edie has been a part of the Entertainment Technology Center since 1994 where she oversees the center’s day-to-day operations, including sponsor memberships, events, budget, contracts, program management and staff/student supervision for ETC projects and initiatives. Before moving to California, Ed…View Full Profile
Phil is an entertainment technology strategy consultant who manages projects and guides the strategy of the ETC. He is currently running the “4K Project;” a market research study of what aspects of next generation displays consumers will value (ex. higher resolution, greater contrast ratio, wider c…View Full Profile
Following his experience as a technical director in dance and repertory theater, George moved to Los Angeles for LAOOC’s Olympics Arts Festival. In 1987 he joined Walt Disney Pictures where he managed the legendary Ink and Paint department at Feature Animation at the beginning of their transition …View Full Profile
Don Levy is a creative consult living at the intersection of entertainment and technology. After 17 years in senior marketing and communications positions at Sony Pictures, he now consults to the ETC@USC, serves on the faculty of Boston University’s Los Angeles Program, holds a visiting scholar po…View Full Profile