A highlight from How Data Science Can Make Hollywood More Diverse

Knowledge@Wharton
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Well according to our next guest. Hollywood has a problem and he would like to be one of the people trying to fix it. The opportunity to bring great stories to the silver screen can be held back by concerns of those stories or the people bringing them. Forward are unfortunately new. Part of it is a problem of lack of inclusion card. Sikhosana guard is a professor of operations information and decisions. At the words. We also just happens to be one of the people behind a new startup called jump cut which is going to use data and audience testing to make smarter decisions in the film industry cartoon. Great to talk to you again. Hope you're doing well. Hey i'm well how are you dan. Thanks for having me. Thank you so. Tell us how this all got started. Yes so It's interesting As you know dan. My background primarily has been as an academic an entrepreneur. I've been a professor at the wharton school. I've been co founder of a company or yodel. We brought data science to digital marketing. My work at warton. It focused on data science and and artificial intelligence. But outside of that. I've always had an interest in content and storytelling being a hobbyist film maker android ten years back to screen play disgusted with a few producers Many of them liked the script but they weren't sure they could take a script from a new writer. Director do the top financiers and actors in the industry. So i moved on back. Then i understood what they were saying. And i went back to my data interest But years i've heard from many successful writers and directors that it you know even bay successful ones that It's taken them fifteen years to break in or that it's hard to evaluate content or talent before they're huge. And that's when i realized that you know for the most part you know hollywood. The boys club and All decisions are made on gut our personal networks. You know who knows who. And so there are costs of this Way of decision. Making in hollywood. And so i realized that you know some of my background in data sciences relevant So we created a new company jump guard to create a more inclusive era of global sales making driven largely by data to try and be risk new voices and new stories. So take us further if you can into how. This element of data will potentially impact that decision process of bringing forward a potential movie. Yeah now to answer that. I have to maybe go back to the way it works today. If you look at it. In a typical studio or production company the made decisions they're making. Is you know when an idea. First of all The question is who do you work with you. Know walk kinds of stories. Do you go pursue and then to rely on hollywood agents to bring projects to them now once they get those projects bay read them and kind of have a gut based decision on. Hey this seems to make sense. Yes we should go ahead and then make decisions like what should be the budget for this Shouldn't be five million dollars. Should be fifteen million dollars or should it be seventy five million dollars. Who should we cast him there. And then eventually how do we market it. All these are think about it. That really information problems. It's all about knowing something about audiences knowing something about you know what's happened in the past. What where's the states shifting. And then where do we go from there. Everything is decided based on gut. And this hasn't worked for hollywood There's an economic cost of this kind of decision making hollywood as a poor batting average. There's a social cost of this kind of decision making You know however you measure it. the industry has not been particularly inclusive and a recent mckinsey report kind of quantified Hollywood hollywood's lack of representation Being ten billion dollar cost to hollywood. And then there's the cost of audiences. Which is you know we're stuck in sequel culture lack of fresher original stories. And what we're trying to do is really turned on its head. So we're using data to discover new voices and stories And not just wait for hollywood agents to discover them so we'll find them on the web whether it's an youtube storytelling platform like what or even a social platform like read it We will involve audiences In figuring out whether they want to actually see the story on the screen so We have very sophisticated testing with audiences and then we have an incubator process where we mentor these creators and take them from an idea to really compelling screenplay and ultimately a compelling package with actors and co producers and so happy to elaborate on any of these pieces but that will never looked we do. Yeah because i was wondering if you see a project that you know the data says can be a successful one. What would that next step be and and you just listened to it that that incubator would be the way to try and bring these types of projects

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