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HPA Honors Mark Schubin

During the Tech Retreat, HPA took time out from the conference to roast for Mark Schubin (pictured, left), who chaired the event program. This included song (lyrics below) from the “Schubin Choir” (right). Some familiar faces?

IMG_7125IMG_7162Mark’s been working on the Opera
Like a bearded elf
Mark’s been working on an Emmy
Just to fill his trophy shelf

Donʼt ya hear the alarm clock ringing
Rise up for roundtables soon
Don’t you hear Mark’s horn shrieking
Time to go into the room!

Speaker start your speech
Speaker start your speech
Speaker start your speech on ti yi yime
Speaker start your speech
Speaker start your speed
Speaker start your speech on time
Markʼs been working on the Quizzes
Digging up weird history
Markʼs been polishing up the quizzes
He’s so full of obscurity!

Canʼt you feel the answers coming?
And just when it hurt your head
Canʼt you just see Gary Demos?
Answer them all instead!

Speaker end your speech
Speaker end your speech
Speaker end your speech right now ow ow
Speaker end your speech
Speaker end your speech
Speaker end your speech RIGHT NOW!

A Pending Spectrum War?

There might be a pending spectrum war, warned Jim Burger of Washington law firm Dow Lohnes.
At the HPA Tech Retreat, he reported that the wireless industry has urged the FCC to identify 800MHz of spectrum for mobile broadcasting.
Where will it come from?, Burger asked, pointing out that terrestrial broadcasting just transitioned to DTV.
He reported that the Stimulus Bill requires the FCC to submit a “National Broadband Plan” to Congress in March.
Getting chuckles from the HPA audience, he added that an FCC spokesperson said spectrum reallocation would be “voluntary.”

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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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