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SMPTE 2012 Annual Technical Conference To Showcase Foundational Scientific, Technology, Standards Advances For Digital Media Ecosystem

Calling it one of the strongest class of submissions in recent history, the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the media, entertainment, communications, and technology industries, today previewed the presentation lineup for the SMPTE 2012 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition. From A/V-specific improvements in IP-based workflows and smart cloud migration strategies to critical advances in digital cinema, post production, online captioning, and surround-sound audio, they underscore the key scientific, technology, and standards efforts poised to fundamentally advance the state of today’s digital media ecosystem.

See more information, plus the link to register for the conference, here: www.smpte2012.org

Crisis slams Hollywood in Southern Europe: 3D fires up Germany; local fare boosts France, U.K.

[Chicago Tribune / Variety]

Hollywood may be buoyant in Germany and solid in France — but it’s hurting in southern Europe.

Drawing a distinct north-south divide, full year 2011 figures for most of Europe’s Big Five countries raise a clear question: Are U.S. 3D films, whose premium ticket prices are driving box office hikes in the north of the continent, too costly for cash-cautious families in the south?

German B.O. grew 3.8% in 2011 to $1.17 billion, thanks largely to 3D perfs of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2″ ($74.1 million) and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”($57 million), plus German comedy hit “Kokowaah” ($39.3 million). Eight out of Germany’s top 10 films were Hollywood fare.

France smashed all-time records in 2011. Tix sales rose 4.2% to 216 million, repping around $1.9 billion.

Goosed by a 2.5% rise in value added tax, 2011 UK BO is nearly 4% up on 2010 at around £1.1 billion ($1.7 billion).

In France and U.K., local fare — French comedies “Intouchables” ($138.7 million) and “Nothing to Declare” ($67 million); in Blighty “The Inbetweeners” ($73.4 million), “The King’s Speech” ($71.7 million) and U.K.-U.S. hybrid “Hallows, Part 2″ ($118.6 million) — largely explain B.O. spikes.

“U.K. cinema has had a really buoyant year,” said Film Distributors’ Assn. CEO Mark Batey. “Local product last year has just performed out of its skin. U.K. cinemagoing has proved to be resistant to the recession.”

Italy and Spain hardly invite such optimism, with Hollywood losing significant traction.

Italy is tracking for a 10% drop on 2010’s $947 million B.O. — U.S. movie market share has plummeted from 60% to 48% while local pics reached a whopping 40%.

Clunkers in Italy in 2011 included 3D movies “Tintin” ($4.7 million) and “The Lion King” release ($5.1 million).

Total Spanish B.O. fell 2.7% last year as Hollywood perf plunged. Three U.S. blockbusters grossed north of $26 million in 2010, none in 2011.

Driven by 3D pricing, average Spanish tix prices have risen 35% since 2004 to $8.70. This discourages family film attendance, said a source at Spain’s Acec cinema circuit.

Even in Germany, Cinemaxx’s Arne Schmidt said, “The market is already partly flooded with 3D. We had ‘The Smurfs,’ ‘Kung Fu Panda 2,’ ‘Cars 2′ and ‘Rio’ very close together. It was just too much.”

The lesson for 2012? 3D hasn’t morphed from B.O. panacea to poison but it may be proving too pricey for many cash-strapped Europeans.

Read the full story here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/sns-201201051659reedbusivarietynvr1118048144jan05,0,1654298.story

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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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