LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC), through its Project Cloud initiative, has selected filmmaker Christine Berg and writing partner Simon Shterenberg to receive the 2016 Innovation Technology Award for their AR/VR/Cloud-based project, Wonder Buffalo. Berg and Shterenberg developed the script at the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Program, which pairs military veterans with WGA film and television writers.
“Wonder Buffalo,” the third short to be produced under the auspices of the ETC’s Project Cloud to explore, test and prove next generation production processes and technologies, is a live-action coming of age story about a first generation Thai American teen who loses herself in her own imagination.
The Innovation Technology Award is sponsored by ETC member companies and technology collaborators. Supporters of ETC’s two previous products, the 2016 short THE SUITCASE and the 2015’s LUNA, included: Disney/ABC Television Group, Technicolor, Google and Equinix.
As a research center and think tank within USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, ETC’s mission is to bring together cutting-edge technology and entertainment visionaries to collaborate on the future of entertainment technology. From script to production of these shorts, the creative and the tech teams work hand-in-hand to develop the story and integrate technology into the project, including detailing best practices for incorporating AR and VR into the linear physical production.
Production designer and USC Professor Alex McDowell (FIGHT CLUB, MINORITY REPORT), in conjunction with the USC World Building Media Lab, will oversee the AR, VR and mixed media for the project.
ETC Cloud Project Director Eric Weaver is the executive producer and Drew Diamond, producer of previous ETC film, THE SUITCASE, produces.
Filmmaker Christine Berg also wrote BURNING SANDS, formerly known as UNDERGROUND, along with director Gerard McMurray, as one of Netflix’s original feature films included in their expanding global indie strategy, with a slate of new features financed and distributed by the SVOD giant.
The Entertainment Technology Center@USC, founded with the help of George Lucas in 1993, brings together senior executives, innovators, thought leaders, and catalysts from the media & entertainment, consumer electronics, technology, and services industries along with the academic resources of the University of Southern California to explore and act upon topics and issues related to the creation, archiving, distribution, and consumption of entertainment content. As an organization within the USC School of Cinematic Arts, ETC helps drive collaborative projects among its member companies and engages with next-generation consumers to understand the impact of emerging technology on all aspects of the media & entertainment industry, especially technology development and implementation, the creative process, business models, and future trends.