News Stories


The Entertainment Technology Center at The University of Southern California (ETC) will produce “vETC 2018 | The GRAND CONVERGENCE,” its 4th annual virtual conference (formerly vNAB), June 27 & 28, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA, highlighting significant presentations of emerging technologies and their impact on the M&E industry.  The presentations will be recorded and posted to our YouTube channel.

The Initial Expression of Interest speakers and topics is open through Friday, May 18.  Specific areas of concentration include AI, Machine Learning, Adaptive Production, Blockchain, AR/MR/XR (Immersive Media).  We welcome additional topics.

Speakers will present concepts, workflows, business models, case studies, etc.  Please NO SALES PITCHES!

If you are interested in consideration, click here for more information.

Digital Town Square “Blockchain: What is it Good For?”

The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC is hosting its next Digital Town Square symposium, “Blockchain: What is it Good For?,” on Tuesday, July 10, in downtown Los Angeles. The event will bring together blockchain technology companies and apps developers with entertainment technology and business executives to explore whether blockchain is an optimal or even a viable solution for professional entertainment. Through panels, presentations and open discussion, the symposium will address blockchain’s potential to improve or even transform current methodologies and practices for workflows and supply chains; contracts and payments; funding and VOD distribution; DRM and security; and theme parks and interactive content. 

“Blockchain: What is it Good For?” is designed for senior technology and business executives working at motion picture, TV and XR content creation and distribution companies and distribution service providers; contract and IP attorneys; independent executive producers and producers; and computer scientists developing blockchain technology and apps.

As always, attendance to the Digital Town Square is free and by invitation only.  The event is safe harbor – closed door, no media.


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