ETC Data Analytics Program

Research

Research on how to measure narrative structures in film, advertising, and marketing. This was done as part of ETC‘s (Entertainment Technology Center) Data Analytics Program under the leadership of Yves Bergquist.

Yves Bergquist and Sophia at the Entertainment Technology Center

WE ARE VERY STORY, Part 1: Hollywood’s Narrative Algorithms
How My Team and I Are Trying to Revolutionize Hollywood

Machine learning can provide a treasure trove of data on why certain movies or TV shows work and why others fail. The Entertainment Technology Center last year presented analysis showing correlations between a movie’s story structure and how well it performed worldwide at the box office. For example, films that led with action sequences, like the robbery in 2008’s “The Dark Knight” or a battle in 2010’s “How To Train Your Dragon,” did more than 13 times better at the box office on average than films that started with memory sequences.
“We’re not telling anyone what to make,” Williams said. “Maybe we’re saying there is a smaller audience statistically for this kind of movie and if you want to make this movie, maybe make it a little less expensively.”

Wendy Lee, Can a computer write a script? Machine learning goes Hollywood