News Stories

ETC@USC Immersive Media Challenge

Sign up below to get information about the Immersive Media Challenge   The Entertainment Technology Center at USC invites students and recent grads to participate in an Immersive Media Challenge. The ETC@USC is funded by the major Hollywood studios and Tech companies to help them recognize and prepare for “the ‘next‘ next new thing”. Your challenge is to come up with a pitch for an engaging experience that should be buildable in 3-5 years. Experiences should fit into one or more of these four broadly stated area; city Read More

ETC at NAB – Adaptive Production and AI

Adaptive Production and AI were front and center for The Entertainment Technology Center@USC at this year’s NAB Show on April 10th.  Under the NXT Tech Symposium, 3 sessions programmed by our Adaptive Production director, Seth Levenson, discussed current state, findings, and perspectives. Preservation in the Cloud 9:00 AM – 10:20 AM The cloud allows for revolutionary gains in speed, flexibility, and collaboration, but the supposed benefit of “weightless” and “floating” data poses a challenge of preservation. When the infrastructure is no longer under your control, how can you Read More

USC Students Speak on the Future of Entertainment

The ETC welcomed a panel of eight students from several USC schools to give their own insights on the trajectory of interactive media at the March 7, 2019 Executive Board Meeting. The hour-long forum that covered topics from social media habits to storytelling strategy was condensed into a seven-minute highlight reel on our YouTube channel below. The ETC is producing these student panels on a quarterly basis this year — twice at our Executive Board Meetings and twice at our All Members Meetings. We highly encourage our Read More

ETC@USC Immersive Media Challenge

On February 7th, 2019, 17 member company representatives and USC SCA faculty gathered at Disney to develop the plan for an ETC@USC Immersive Media Challenge. The two-fold goal of the IM Challenge is to challenge students to come up with new defendable concepts for engaging experiences that could be buildable in 3-5 years, and for ETC member company reps to have a structured opportunity to interact with students who are preparing to be the next generation of creatives. Why judge submissions in the 3-5 year timeframe?  If an Read More

ETC’s Upcoming Digital Town Square to Discuss 5G

The Entertainment Technology Center at USC will be hosting a half-day forum on 5G as the next wave of media transformation. The symposium will take place on March 28, 2019, 1:00 PM – 5:30 PM, in Downtown Los Angeles. The advent of 5G technologies is poised to transform entertainment supply chain, workflows, Hollywood enterprise relationships, and the very nature of the content itself. The goal, through explorative talks, panels, and presentations, is to define the 5G system of technologies, its transformative prospects for content creation, distribution, and Read More


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

Adaptive Production – VFX Standards
March 20. 2019

ETC All Members Meeting
March 21, 2019

Adaptive Production – Blockchain
March 27. 2019

DTS 5G:  The Next Wave in Media Transformation – By Invitation Only
March 28, 2019

Adaptive Production – Archiving
April 3, 2019

ETC Nex Gen Tech Symposium @ NAB Show
LVCC – N257
April 10, 2019

ETC Executive Board Meeting – Board Members Only
June 6, 2019

ETC All Members Meeting 
June 20, 2019

ETC Studio Technology Leaders Dinner – By Invitation Only
USC Town & Gown
June 26, 2019


Industry Events