Bob Gold and Associates at HITS Spring

May 17, 2018 Bob Gold 0
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M&E Daily- HITS Spring Kicks Off with a Message for Hollywood: Embrace Risk
By Chris Tribbey M&E Daily May 17, 2018

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — To kick off the annual HITS Spring: The Hollywood Innovation & Technology Summit, a collection of technology experts and studio reps looked at the state of productions embracing — or shunning — new, advanced technologies.

And the panelists all agreed: the deployment of digital technologies for productions has been slow, despite the obvious benefits.

“Risk is the 900-pound gorilla in our industry,” said Yves Bergquist, director of the Project on AI and Neuroscience in Media, at the Entertainment Technology Center at USC (ETC@USC).

He shared how ETC@USC is working on using AI to build a map of the “emotional journeys” of thousands of characters in TV shows and films, and then cross-referencing that data with social media reactions from viewers. The endeavor — and others like it — has the potential of opening up an amazing avenue of new storytelling, Bergquist said.

“The spectrum of possible stories is very, very narrow,” he said. “We’re sitting on the cusp of creativity in Hollywood.”

Still, Bob Gold, founder and CEO of Bob Gold & Associates, said he sees the embracement of new technologies in the century-old business of making movies as a slow drip, with those dictating how things are done from the top continuously cautious. “[It’s] risk averse people taking more risk by way of technology,” he noted.

But the benefits are showing: Computer-aided script writing. More direct digital marketing to consumers. Cloud and workflow technologies that allow for instant, worldwide collaboration on productions. All are recent — and game-changing — introductions into how productions are done.

In a way, the key to embracing any new technology into productions revolves around one question, according to Patrick Baca, CTO of Entertainment Partners: “Not only does it work, [does] it provides value to the people using it?”

“You have to be comfortable with change,” he added. “It’s here and it’s not going away. If you’re not comfortable with it, you risk being stagnant.”

And on a larger scale, Bergquist sees things turning a corner when it comes to traditionalists in the entertainment industry changing their minds: “The studios are tired of saying no all the time.”

HITS Spring was produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) and the Hollywood IT Society (HITS), in association with Women in Technology: Hollywood (WiTH); the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) and the Smart Content Council. The event is being presented by Entertainment Partners, with sponsorship by Expert System, LiveTiles, Microsoft Azure, Ooyala, Veritone, Amazon Web Services, Avanade, Avid, IBM Security, MarkLogic, Aspera, Light Point Security, MicroStrategy, SAS, Scaeva Technologies, Western Digital, Brainstorm, Zaszou IT Consulting and Bob Gold & Associates.

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