Immersive Media Challenge Details – Fall 2019

September 5th kick-off event

September 12th initial submission deadline

What is the Immersive Media Challenge?

  • Come up with a concept for an engaging experience that should be buildable in 3-5 years.
  • Explain what needs to happen that will make building it possible.
  • It can be — a world, a tool, a game, a platform, a product, a service, a _____, …
  • Think about what happens when tech catches up to an idea that resonates with people –
    • e.g., Facebook, Fortnite, Minecraft, global K-Pop, esports/Twitch, smart speakers, Bird/Lime, Airbnb, ….
  • Think about what happens when an idea out of the blue is suddenly possible –
    • e.g., iPhone, Uber, digital influencers (Miquela)…

Your idea should be related to any one of these four broadly stated topics

  • City Play –city as location-based entertainment, gov’t function better, retail, …
  • For Good – social good, education, …
  • For Fun – dramatic but with a twist that advances the art-form, plotless but engaging, …
  • For Health – medical resource for doctor or patient, life-style improvement, …

Format for IM Challenge initial ‘paper pitch’ submissions due September 12th

Answer a 6-question sequence:

  1. Idea Title (evocative logo)
  2. What is the experience?
    • Describe it in detail.
    • What is it like to engage in the experience?
      • This can include memorable moments in the experience.
  3. What are you trying to achieve, create, or build?
    • Why is it a worthwhile thing to build?
    • Where is the fun or social benefit?
    • How does it address one or more of the challenge categories?
      • City Play
      • For Fun
      • For Good
      • For Health
  4. Why will your intended audience love it?
    • What about it will capture their imagination and hold their interest?
  5. What is unique about it?
    • Why is it different from other experiences that are available?
  6. What about it is not practical to create today, but will likely be create-able in 3-5 years
    • What needs to happen in 3-5 years to make that possible?
    • Why do you think your assumptions are reasonable?
      • Why is it Tomorrowland, and not Fantasyland?

Next step, if industry executive Mentors select your idea — Due October 3rd:

  1. Expand on your answers to the 6 questions
  2. Create the elevator pitch video.This should be the last thing that you create as you answer the 6 questions, but you should be thinking about it from the beginning. It should contain the key points from your comments above. The video should be no longer than 3 minutes.
    • We are looking for ‘a great idea well-told.’ Narrative excellence is valued in the challenge


    • Develop first-pass answers to questions 1-6
  • September 12th is the DEADLINE for submitting your first-pass answers to questions 1-6 to  PLELYVELD@ETCENTER.ORG
    • Executives will review them and return with questions and comments
    • 1 or 2 rounds of this before the judging (by email, phone, or meeting)
  • October 3rd JUDGING BEGINS
    • 3-minute elevator pitch video and final answers to 6 questions due
    • 3-5 ideas selected for funding for the production of a previz/vertical slice
  • October 8th thru January Aug 16th 
    • Owner of the selected idea will form a (virtual) team to construct the previz/vertical slice
    • Sponsoring companies will support this effort
    • October 22nd team meeting with advisors and mentors to plan the project
    • Work continues over Winter Break
  • January 16th  PRESENTATION of the previz / vertical slice
    • KICK-OFF the of the SPRING 2020 semester IM Challenge competition

Throughout this process, sponsor companies may individually decide to independently fund further project development of an idea

Why would you want to participate in this Challenge?

  • It is an interesting exercise
  • Working executives will provide you with feedback
  • Casual structured way to interact with executives
  • The 3-5 best ideas will get funding for you to create a pre-viz over the Winter Break and present in the Spring
  • Some submitters will be sponsored to speak at conferences and festivals
  • Sponsoring companies may independently fund your idea!

We hope you will accept the challenge!

Phil Lelyveld, Immersive Media Experience, director
Entertainment Technology Center @ USC

Spring 2020 Immersive Media Challenge

Spring 2020 Immersive Media Challenge Begins Jan. 29th

The Entertainment Technology Center at USC (ETC@USC) invites students and recent grads to participate in our third Immersive Media Challenge.

What is the Immersive Media Challenge?

  • Come up with a concept for an engaging experience that should be buildable in 3-5 years.
  • Explain what needs to happen that will make building it possible.

You are invited to attend the Spring 2020 Immersive Media Challenge kick-off Q&A event, with catered food, on Wednesday, January 29th at 6:00pm in the Spielberg Bldg, Lobby Gallery, School of Cinematic Arts.

At this event we will present:
  • why you should participate
  • the submission format
  • the challenge timeline

Click here to sign up for the kick-off Q&A event and to receive more information about the Spring 2020 Immersive Media Challenge. You do not need to attend the kick-off event to enter the Challenge.

ETC Events

DTS 5G:  Planning & Piloting First M&E Services 
December 10, 2019

ETC All Members Meeting
December 12, 2019

ETC Executive Board Meeting – Board Members Only
March 5, 2020

ETC All Members Meeting 
June 4, 2020


Industry Events

January 7-10, 2020
Las Vegas, NV

HPA Tech Retreat –
February 17-21, 2020
Rancho Mirage, CA

March 30 – April 2, 2020
Las Vegas, NV

NAB Show –
April 18-22, 2020
Las Vegas, NV

July 19-23, 2020
Washington, DC

IBC Conference & Exhibition – 
September 11-15, 2020
Amsterdam, Netherlands

SMPTE Technical Conference – 
October 19-22, 2020
Los Angeles, CA