News Stories

San Jose Mercury News Quotes David about Apple’s Foray in Digital Publishing

“I think this will ultimately hurt Apple,” said David Wertheimer, executive director of the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California. “They created all this hope and promise with the iPad as the future of digital-publishing incarnate. Now, they’ve knocked it down with these restrictive rules, and I think that’s somewhat short-sighted.”

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Internet Evolution quotes Bryan Gonzalez in an article about Why Web TV May Not Be Apple’s Niche

“This is real and it has Hollywood talking,” says Bryan Gonzalez, a project specialist with the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California. “Apple has learned a lot in its dealings with record labels, and it is taking its approach to television.”

But don’t think all this means that Apple is speeding down a deadend street to nowhere. At USC’s Entertainment Technology Center, Gonzalez has a prime perch overlooking the TV industry’s thinking, and, he says, between the Apple 99-cent rumors and continued chatter about Google’s television ambitions, “This has opened the eyes of a lot of people in the industry to the possibilities of digital distribution.” Up until very recently, “digital” in Hollywood meant piracy, period, end of discussion.

“Now “Internet TV is beginning to look real to studio executives,” says Gonzalez.

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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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