Upcoming Events ETC Studio Technology Leader Dinner (By Invitation Only)

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.

ETC Events

ETC Executive Board Meeting – Board Members Only
June 7, 2018

ETC All Members Meeting – By Invitation Only
USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA 465)
June 20, 2018


ETC Events

NAB Show – www.nabshow.com
April 7-12, 2018
Las Vegas, NV

Digital Hollywood Spring – www.digitalhollywood.com
May 22-24, 2018
Los Angeles, CA

Cine Gear Expo – www.cinegearexpo.com
May 31-June 3, 2018
Los Angeles, CA


SMPTE Entertainment Technology Conference –www.smpte.org 
June 13-14, 2018
Sunnyvale, CA

Comic-Con International –www.comic-con.org 
July 18-22, 2018
San Diego, CA

SIGGRAPH 2018 –www.siggraph.org
August 12-16, 2018
Vancouver, Canada

IBC Conference & Exhibition –www.show.ibc.org
September 13-18, 2018
Amsterdam, The Netherlands