Heinz College News http://www.heinz.cmu.edu News Stories from H. John Heinz III College Hold Tight and Pretend It’s a Plan: Big Data and BBC's 'Doctor Who'http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3925Image associated with news releaseThe BBC television series Doctor Who has millions of devoted fans all over the world, and many of them would claim to be experts on the show. But to find experts on “Whovians” themselves, look to Heinz College. A team of five Master of Information Systems Management (MISM) students worked with BBC Worldwide to analyze content on the Doctor Who YouTube channel in order to grasp why some content played better to the show’s rapidly growing fan-base. These insights would in turn help the BBC boost fan engagement on the channel and raise the profile of the Doctor Who brand.

]]><p> <em>By Scott Barsotti</em></p> <h2> From Doctors to monsters, Heinz College students have a transatlantic impact by delivering key insights to BBC Worldwide</h2> <p> The BBC television series <em><a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006q2x0" target="_blank">Doctor Who</a></em> has millions of devoted fans all over the world, and many of them would claim to be experts on the show. But to find experts on &ldquo;Whovians&rdquo; themselves, look to Heinz College.</p> <p> A team of five <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-information-systems-and-management/information-systems-management-mism/index.aspx" target="_blank">Master of Information Systems Management (MISM)</a> students worked with BBC Worldwide to analyze content on the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/doctorwho" target="_blank"><em>Doctor Who</em> YouTube channel</a> in order to grasp why some content played better to the show&rsquo;s rapidly growing fan-base. These insights would in turn help the BBC boost fan engagement on the channel and raise the profile of the <em>Doctor Who</em> brand.</p> <p> For the non-Whovians out there, <em>Doctor Who</em> concerns the interdimensional adventures of &ldquo;The Doctor,&rdquo; a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, as he and his companions travel through space and time protecting people and thwarting many monsters and cosmic foes along the way. A crucial plot device is that the Doctor occasionally regenerates into a new humanoid form, introducing a new actor into the role, like a metaphysical James Bond (a popular fan theory supposes the iconic British secret agent may actually be a Time Lord himself, but that&rsquo;s a different matter).</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: left;width: 250px;"> <h2 style="text-align: center;"> <i>Doctor Who</i>, in numbers</h2> <ul> <li> Episodes: 827</li> <li> Stories: 264</li> <li> Seasons: 35</li> <li> Most Featured Doctor: Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker, 41 stories)</li> <li> Most Featured Companion: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan, 28 stories)</li> <li> Most Featured Monster: <strong>The&nbsp;Daleks</strong> (22 stories)</li> </ul> <img align="" alt="BBC Dalek" src="image.aspx?id=10685&amp;width=250&amp;height=167" /> <p> <em>Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/s4/images/daleks" target="_blank">BBC</a></em></p> <p> <em>(As of 12/25/16)</em></p> </div> <p> The first episode of <em>Doctor Who</em> aired in 1963, and the original incarnation of the series ran for 26 seasons, going on hiatus in 1989. The show stayed gone (save a 1996 TV film) until 2005, when the series was rebooted. In its history, twelve actors have played the Doctor, and every Whovian will adamantly claim a different favorite.</p> <p> But with a show that involves so many actors, villains, and story lines, how in the universe could the BBC determine what content would best engage online viewers, and why? Was it clips from the show? Teasers and trailers? Original content?</p> <p> &ldquo;At the time we had 52 years of <em>Doctor Who</em> to work with. There are so many variations and so many different combinations [of elements],&rdquo; said Alex Ayling, Head of BBC Worldwide Digital Studios.</p> <p> Even with such a massive amount of content, the BBC was aware of some big picture ideas, such as that videos showing the Doctor regenerating and changing forms tended to be very popular. However, this project provided data that allowed them to do deeper analytics and discover some unknowns. For example, the students were able to determine that the optimal length of a clip depends heavily upon the mood of that clip.</p> <p> Brett Danaher, the Heinz College faculty advisor on the project, likened the students&rsquo; efforts to Pandora Radio&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.pandora.com/about/mgp" target="_blank">Music Genome Project</a>, which endeavored to break songs down into fundamental building blocks. Danaher said the group wondered whether the same philosophy couldn&rsquo;t be applied to <em>Doctor Who</em> videos.</p> <p> &ldquo;We looked at obvious things [in the videos] like which Doctors were present and which monsters, and if we see the TARDIS or not,&rdquo; said Danaher, referring to the Doctor&rsquo;s ship, which resembles a blue British police box and is one of the show&rsquo;s most recognizable symbols. &ldquo;[Then we looked at] some less obvious things like &lsquo;what percentage of the video is covered by music&rsquo; and &lsquo;what&rsquo;s the general mood of the video?&rsquo; Really breaking these videos down to their constituent components.&rdquo;</p> <p> The team used <a href="https://requester.mturk.com/" target="_blank">Amazon Mechanical Turk</a>, a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace, to gather user responses to the content. After watching videos, the test users (known as &ldquo;turkers&rdquo;) were paid to answer a series of questions about what they just watched. Some questions were simple, such as which characters were featured in the clip and whether the BBC logo was clearly visible, while others more complex, such as what emotions were presented.</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: right;width: 250px;border-width: 10px;margin: 10px; "> <h2 style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Employing predictive analytics and multiple regression models,&nbsp;the MISM students were able to link certain content variables to a video&rsquo;s performance among viewers.</strong></h2> </div> <p> The MISM students employed predictive analytics and multiple regression models to determine which elements were associated with more fan response across the relevant metrics: &lsquo;views,&rsquo; &lsquo;likes per views,&rsquo; and &lsquo;average percentage viewed.&rsquo;</p> <p> The students were able to link certain content variables to a video&rsquo;s performance among viewers. Correlations were drawn, for example, between specific Doctors or monsters and specific moods or tones. Or, as Ayling put it, the things that were hidden to the eye.</p> <p> &ldquo;Understanding our own content in a deeper way was really helpful,&rdquo; said Ayling.</p> <p> &nbsp;&ldquo;They were so diligent and dedicated. It can be very easy to reduce everything down to anonymous data, but they took the time to understand what was driving those data points.&rdquo;</p> <p> Danaher suggests that this type of analysis isn&rsquo;t limited to <em>Doctor Who</em>, that the BBC could do the same thing with other major titles, like <em>Top Gear</em>, in order to build brand excitement in an even more purposeful and targeted way. Ayling says that no matter what BBC Worldwide does with big data, the goal is always to serve fans and provide them with material that resonates.</p> <p> &quot;These data help us make better decisions&hellip;that [results] in better content being created and curated for our audience,&rdquo; said Ayling.</p> <p> Whether you prefer Daleks, Cybermen, or Weeping Angels, that&rsquo;s a reason to cheer.</p> <p> <em>This Capstone Project was completed by Ishan Bagadiya, Subramaniam Balasubramaniam, Sneha Challa, Anagha Gulwady, and Mithila Joshi.</em></p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="10" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/o3x4YF3EisE" width="560"></iframe></p> <p> <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-information-systems-and-management/information-systems-management-mism/index.aspx">Learn more about the MISM program &gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/doctorwho" target="_blank">Visit the <em>Doctor Who </em>YouTube channel&gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3925Mon, 21 Feb 2017 11:45:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10666Hold Tight and Pretend It’s a Plan: Big Data and BBC's 'Doctor Who'

]]>
Beyond ‘The Great Wall,’ Heinz Experts on China and Hollywood’s Complicated Love Affairhttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3924Image associated with news releaseChina is projected to surpass the United States at the box office in the near future, and co-productions between the nations are expected to rise. At the same time, piracy and censorship continue to be problems. Heinz College experts Dan Green (MEIM program) and Lee Branstetter (MSPPM program), as well as alumna Rachel Song (MEIM '16), co-founder of Vantage Entertainment, weigh in on the opportunities and obstacles.

]]><p> <em>By Scott Barsotti</em></p> <h2> China is projected to surpass the United States at the box office in the near future, and co-productions between the nations are expected to rise. Meanwhile, piracy and censorship continue to create problems.</h2> <p> &ldquo;China is the most rapidly growing large economy in the world, it has been for a very long time&hellip; and has a very large middle class,&rdquo; said Lee Branstetter, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Heinz College. &ldquo;There are hundreds of millions of Chinese that have disposable income, and they can now consume foreign products, including foreign media products.&rdquo;</p> <p> Branstetter suggests there is, at present, no opportunity more under-exploited for Hollywood than the Chinese market. As Chinese incomes continue to rise, that market will only become more important.</p> <p> &ldquo;We talk about international box office a lot more now than we did a decade ago when the program was founded,&rdquo; said Dan Green, director of the <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-public-policy-management/entertainment-industry-management-meim/index.aspx" target="_blank">Master of Entertainment Industry Management (MEIM)</a> program at Heinz College, a joint program Carnegie Mellon University&rsquo;s <a href="http://cfa.cmu.edu/" target="_blank">College of Fine Arts</a>.</p> <p> &ldquo;Now, you may not need the U.S. box office in order for a film to make money. Look at <em>The Fast and the Furious</em> [franchise], for example&hellip;<em>Furious 7</em> made $326 million in its first two weeks in China, compared to $320 million in its first three weeks in the U.S.,&rdquo; said Green.</p> <p> While there may be outsized potential for the Chinese and American entertainment industries to benefit from each other, there are obstacles standing in the way.</p> <p> Under current policy, the Chinese government limits the number of non-revenue-sharing foreign films that reach domestic movie theaters to around 30 titles each year. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SARPPFT) also censors film releases, allowing nothing that impugns government, no stories of police corruption, and nothing supernatural.</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: left;width: 250px;border-width: 10px;margin: 10px; "> <h2 align="center"> <strong>Co-production is a very tricky thing. It&rsquo;s almost impossible to win both markets.</strong></h2> <h2 align="center"> <strong style="font-size: 12px;">-- Rachel Song --</strong></h2> </div> <p> &ldquo;Also, the bad guy must die in the end,&rdquo; said Rachel Song (MEIM &rsquo;16), co-founder and Head of Business at <a href="http://www.vantageentertainment.com/vantage-entertainment/" target="_blank">Vantage Entertainment</a> in Los Angeles. Song says her company functions like a financier and producer between would-be collaborators in the U.S. and China. Vantage connects financial and creative resources in both countries as well as developing premium content for the Chinese audience and packaging international co-productions (which involves lining up financing and above-the-line talent, as well as domestic distribution and international sales).</p> <p> &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a relatively short history in the [Chinese] film industry. It&rsquo;s extremely valuable that professionals there have the opportunity to learn from Hollywood,&rdquo; said Song.</p> <p> Not surprisingly, there has been a recent uptick in Chinese investments in American media, and vice versa. Chinese property developer turned media giant <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/official-chinas-wanda-acquires-legendary-854827" target="_blank">Dalian Wanda Group</a>, for example, has purchased majority shares of Legendary Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions, as well as the Carmike Cinemas and AMC Theaters chains. Other Los Angeles-based production houses, film financiers, event producers, and digital media companies have also been acquired by Chinese firms in recent years.</p> <p> <strong><em>The Great Wall</em>, a cross-cultural experiment on a grand scale</strong></p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: right;width: 300px;"> <img align="" alt="great wall poster china" src="image.aspx?id=10684&amp;width=300&amp;height=489" /> <p style="text-align: right;"> <em>via <a href="http://www.impawards.com/2016/great_wall_ver6.html" target="_blank">IMP Awards</a></em></p> </div> <p> As someone who lives and breathes these markets, Song is paying close attention to what happens with Legendary&rsquo;s <em><a href="https://www.legendary.com/film/the-great-wall/" target="_blank">The Great Wall</a></em>, a speculative fantasy action film directed by preeminent Chinese director Zhang Yimou (<em>Hero</em>, <em>House of the Flying Daggers</em>). The film stars Matt Damon as a Western mercenary visiting China&mdash;on trade business, as it happens&mdash;with a supporting cast of Chinese A-listers Jing Tian and Andy Lau. <em>The Great Wall</em> is set in, on, and around the eponymous structure, which is imagined as a bulwark against an invading force of bloodthirsty reptilian aliens. The film&rsquo;s ornate art direction and lush visuals reflect 11<sup>th</sup> century Song dynasty China.</p> <p> If that all sounds pricey, that&rsquo;s because it was. <em>The Great Wall</em> was the highest budgeted China-U.S. co-production ever, and players on both sides of the Pacific are closely watching the film&rsquo;s performance in the U.S., where it opened on February 17 (<em>The Great Wall</em> opened in Beijing on December 6).</p> <p> &ldquo;Co-production is a very tricky thing,&rdquo; said Song, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s almost impossible to win both markets. You have to focus on one&hellip;so it&rsquo;s either more for the U.S. or more for China.&rdquo; She says that she is interested to see whether a film about the Great Wall of China will resonate with the American audience, aliens or no aliens.</p> <p> Song notes that there are political pressures from both Beijing and Washington that producers need to be aware of before embarking on a co-production. Wanda&rsquo;s activity in particular has caught the attention of U.S. lawmakers, some of whom may be wary (justly or not) of foreign influence in a quintessential American industry. At the same time, the Chinese government has recently clamped down on investments in overseas media. Late in 2016, Anhui Xinke New Materials, a Chinese manufacturer, announced its intent to buy Voltage Pictures (<em>The Hurt Locker</em>, <em>Dallas Buyers Club</em>) for nearly $350 million dollars. That sale was scuttled. Song says it could be that Chinese regulators threw up roadblocks and compelled Anhui Xinke to back out of the deal, due in part to it being a publicly-traded company not in the entertainment industry.</p> <p> Branstetter suggests such measures may be an attempt by Beijing to slow the deluge of Western media coming into the country. He says that China is endeavoring to create its own cinema that can compete globally, and that easing their quota system or allowing Chinese companies to freely buy up Western media will overwhelm the indigenous film industry, and introduce more media to the Chinese market that doesn&rsquo;t square with the values of the Chinese Communist Party.</p> <p> &ldquo;There is a concern that consumers will just flock to the Hollywood movies because they are more professionally produced&hellip;and they weren&rsquo;t produced under the censorship and restrictions that the domestic movie industry has to deal with,&rdquo; said Branstetter. He adds that if the quota were lifted entirely, while unlikely, would easily generate billions of dollars of revenue for the big American studios.</p> <p> <strong>&lsquo;The most digitally protectionist nation in the world&rsquo;</strong></p> <p> Song says that while Hollywood dislikes the quota and censorship demands, no one is more dissatisfied by those government restrictions than Chinese consumers, who are going online in droves to find more exciting and daring titles to watch.</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: right;width: 250px;border-width: 10px;margin: 10px; "> <h2 align="center"> <strong>Eventually other countries are going to be producing as much if not more than what gets produced [in the United States]. By some definitions, that may already be the case.</strong></h2> <h2 align="center"> <strong style="font-size: 12px;">-- Dan Green --</strong></h2> </div> <p> &ldquo;In China, everyone is looking for content,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;There is a huge demand gap.&rdquo;</p> <p> Much of that online viewing, however, is sourced illegally.</p> <p> Branstetter says that China has attempted to wall off its Internet, calling it probably the most digitally protectionist nation in the world. Therefore, while shows such as <em>Stranger Things</em>, <em>Westworld</em>, and <em>Game of Thrones</em> (to name a few) have huge followings in China, they are more than likely heavily pirated.</p> <p> &ldquo;Sophisticated young Chinese [computer users] have pretty broad access to Western media content, regardless of what the government tries to do,&rdquo; said Branstetter.</p> <p> Studios can&rsquo;t do much to fight that piracy, though Green suggests that may have been the primary impetus for Legendary&rsquo;s decision to release <em>The Great Wall</em> in China before the U.S.</p> <p> &ldquo;That was an unusual move&hellip;but [Legendary] wanted those Chinese dollars, they didn&rsquo;t want to have to deal with the piracy,&rdquo; said Green.</p> <p> <strong>Can China outshine Hollywood?</strong></p> <p> Even with rampant online theft and counterfeit distribution, Chinese consumers have shown that they are more than willing to spend their money at the multiplex. PwC recently projected that the <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/08/china-will-be-bigger-for-the-box-office-than-the-us-next-year-pwc.html" target="_blank">Chinese box office is expected to surpass the American box office by the end of 2017</a>.</p> <p> &ldquo;We can no longer afford to just care about what&rsquo;s happening domestically. The entertainment industry is a global industry, and eventually other countries are going to be producing as much if not more than what gets produced [in the United States]. By some definitions, that may already be the case,&rdquo; said Green.</p> <p> Branstetter says that more so than piracy cutting into profits or a strict quota limiting market penetration, what Hollywood should truly fear is an artistically unconstrained Chinese cinema that would have &ldquo;no problem whatsoever&rdquo; competing in the global market.</p> <p> &ldquo;A truly unfettered Chinese cinema would&hellip;churn out amazing movies that might feature mostly or entirely Chinese casts, might be set in China, and address themes that are not immediately familiar to an American audience but that would be such superlative works of art that a global audience would be drawn to them,&rdquo; said Branstetter.</p> <p> Whether or not such a future exists remains to be seen, but Branstetter says it all hinges on whether Beijing will ever take the creative shackles off the industry and its artists.</p> <p> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s what the talent there deserves.&rdquo;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-public-policy-management/entertainment-industry-management-meim/index.aspx" target="_blank">Read more about the MEIM program&gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-public-policy-management/public-policy-management-msppm/index.aspx" target="_blank">Read more about the MSPPM program&gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.vantageentertainment.com/vantage-entertainment/" target="_blank">Read more about Vantage Entertainment&gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3924Mon, 21 Feb 2017 11:50:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10664Beyond ‘The Great Wall,’ Heinz Experts on China and Hollywood’s Complicated Love Affair

]]>
CMU Joins Amicus Brief Opposing Executive Order on Immigrationhttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3926Image associated with news releaseCarnegie Mellon joined several research universities in filing an amicus brief opposing the executive order on immigration in U.S. District Court in New York on Monday, Feb. 13.

]]><p> Carnegie Mellon joined several research universities in filing an amicus brief opposing the executive order on immigration in U.S. District Court in New York on Monday, Feb. 13.</p> <p> The brief states that: &quot;...international students, faculty, and scholars, make significant contributions to their fields of study and to campus life by bringing their unique perspectives and talents to amici&#39;s classrooms, laboratories, and performance spaces. These individuals also contribute to the United States and the world more generally by making scientific discoveries, starting businesses, and creating works of literature and art that redound to the benefit of others far beyond amici&#39;s campuses&quot; and that the &quot;Executive Order at issue here threatens amici&#39;s continuing ability to attract these individuals and thus to meet their goals of educating tomorrow&#39;s leaders from around the world.&quot;</p> <p> The brief notes that a blanket restriction on individuals from certain countries has an adverse effect on universities&#39; ability to educate and train our future leaders. In turn, this negatively impacts the significant research and innovations developed by U.S. universities, which have played a major role in generating economic growth and improving the lives of millions of Americans.</p> <p> Since the administration has indicated that it will likely continue to pursue such restrictions, the amicus brief is a further effort to support the CMU community and strongly emphasize the importance of international students, faculty and staff, who enrich the university community from an educational, research and cultural perspective.</p> <p> In addition to CMU, the brief was signed by Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Emory University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University and Yale University.</p>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3926Mon, 17 Feb 2017 16:25:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10682CMU Joins Amicus Brief Opposing Executive Order on Immigration

]]>
Disruption is Rewarded: Streaming Services Are Changing (And Winning) Everythinghttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3921Image associated with news releaseWhen it came to prestigious Hollywood awards, SVOD channels like Netflix and Amazon had no seat at the table as recently as 2012. Five years later, the Amazon Studios feature Manchester by the Sea became the first film released by a streaming service to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Heinz College faculty experts weigh in on why this is such an important development in the entertainment industry, and what's ahead.

]]><p> <em>By Scott Barsotti</em></p> <h2> Big data and streaming services have turned the entertainment industry on its head&hellip;and they have the statues to prove it</h2> <p> As relatively new fighters in the original programming arena, it is tempting to view streaming video on-demand (SVOD) channels like Netflix and Amazon as scrappy Davids hurling stones at the entertainment Goliaths. But if that&rsquo;s the case, you should trade out David&rsquo;s sling for a technologically advanced combat weapon with precision targeting and a proprietary dataset exposing Goliath&rsquo;s weaknesses. Or if extended metaphors aren&rsquo;t your thing, consider this:</p> <p> The Amazon Studios feature <em>Manchester by the Sea</em> recently became the first film released by a streaming service to be <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/01/how-amazon-got-a-best-picture-oscar-nomination/514325/" target="_blank">nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture</a>.</p> <p> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s seismic,&rdquo; according to Dan Green, director of the Heinz College <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-public-policy-management/entertainment-industry-management-meim/index.aspx" target="_blank">Master of Entertainment Industry Management (MEIM)</a> program, a joint degree with Carnegie Mellon University&rsquo;s <a href="http://cfa.cmu.edu/" target="_blank">College of Fine Arts</a>. &ldquo;This is a time of disruption.&rdquo;</p> <p> To get a sense of how big <em>Manchester</em>&rsquo;s nomination is, we need to look at how we got here (and how quickly).</p> <p> When it came to prestigious Hollywood awards, SVOD channels like Netflix and Amazon had no seat at the table as recently as 2012. It wasn&rsquo;t until 2013 that the Netflix political epic <em>House of Cards</em> was nominated for nine Primetime Emmy Awards, including Best Drama Series. In 2014, <em>House of Cards</em> followed that up with more Emmy notices and added some Golden Globe nominations for good measure, including a Golden Globe win for lead actress Robin Wright. The Netflix favorite <em>Orange is the New Black</em> started making regular appearances at the award shows that year as well.</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: left;width: 250px;border-width: 10px;margin: 10px; "> <h2 align="center"> <strong>Traditional television and the movie business can learn a lot from looking at what happened to the record business. It became peer-to-peer driven, it became digital&hellip;it became personalized.</strong></h2> <h2 align="center"> <strong style="font-size: 12px;">-- Kevin Stein --</strong></h2> </div> <p> Then the dam broke. In 2015, the streaming channels made more gains in nominations and wins, and Amazon&rsquo;s <em>Transparent</em> won the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy Series. In 2016, four out of six nominations in that same category went to Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu shows, with Amazon&rsquo;s <em>Mozart in the Jungle</em> taking the top prize. Last month, Netflix&rsquo;s <em>The Crown</em> won the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series, another first. SVOD titles have steadily gained traction at the Screen Actors Guild Awards as well.</p> <p> &ldquo;Getting awards lends credibility in terms of the business,&rdquo; said Kevin Stein, a media marketing expert who is a veteran of HBO and CBS and an Adjunct Professor with the MEIM program. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re making creative choices that are adventurous, and similar to HBO&rsquo;s model. By virtue of that, they&rsquo;re attracting&hellip;filmmakers, screenwriters, and movie stars who generally don&rsquo;t do television.&rdquo;</p> <p> With this rapidly mounting success, it was only a matter of time before one of the streaming giants elbowed its way into the front row at that most glamorous and insidery of glamorous insider affairs: The Oscars.</p> <p> Netflix has garnered Academy Award nominations for its documentaries for several years running, but those don&rsquo;t carry the same prestige as a nod for Best Picture. <em>Manchester by the Sea</em> also landed nominations for Best Actor, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Original Screenplay. (For those keeping score, that&rsquo;s all but one of the Oscars&rsquo; major categories.) Add a Best Foreign Language Film nomination for the Iranian drama <em>The Salesman</em>, and it&rsquo;s a statement year for Amazon. And in entertainment, momentum is everything.</p> <p> &ldquo;Winning stars and winning studios make bank. Traditionally, awards resuscitate box office&hellip;and contribute to the bottom line of what stars can command in their future contracts,&rdquo; said Stein, adding that awards attention is certain to turn heads among Hollywood creatives who are always on the lookout for future projects and partnerships. He adds that by promising creative freedom, bigger budgets, and now the potential of awards success, &ldquo;[streaming channels] have attracted A-list film talent both on screen and above the line, and had enormous marketing success as a result. &rdquo;</p> <p> <em>Mancheste</em>r&rsquo;s Oscar splash has raised a lot of eyebrows, but considering the streaming channels&rsquo; success at disrupting television, should we be surprised? What&rsquo;s different about this breakthrough in the film world?</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: right;width: 400px;margin: 10px"> <iframe align="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="10" height="225" scrolling="no" src="https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4655787" width="400"></iframe></div> <p> Stein says that it proves the SVOD model can port to traditional platforms and distribution. Recently, Netflix&rsquo;s <em>Beasts of No Nation</em> and Amazon&rsquo;s <em>Chi-Raq</em> earned widespread critical acclaim, but failed to net the kind of major award nominations that drive sales. <em>Manchester by the Sea</em> may be the mark of a changing tide&mdash;and strategy.</p> <p> Where the streaming services used tech to disrupt the television paradigm from the outside, the approach with <em>Manchester</em> has a decidedly more hybrid flavor, blending the old (nationwide release in theaters) and the new (exclusive, though delayed, release on Amazon Prime Video later in 2017).</p> <p> &ldquo;Not every film requires a brick-and-mortar distribution experience, but when it&rsquo;s needed, they&rsquo;re able to promise filmmakers a robust marketing campaign to rival any major studio,&rdquo; said Green. &ldquo;This push and pull between traditional theatrical distribution and streaming services will only get more complicated as Amazon and Netflix compete not only with each other, but with the expectations of an increasingly choosy customer.&rdquo;</p> <p> Green adds that <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/netflix-and-amazon-sundance-deals-2016-1" target="_blank">Amazon and Netflix outspent traditional distributors</a> at the <a href="http://www.sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival" target="_blank">Sundance Film Festival</a> this year, underscoring the fact that they are focused not only on attracting more viewers, but also on adding award-caliber films to their arsenals.</p> <p> Stein says that while there may be a sea change underway, there have been a lot of industry pros in denial, drawing a stark comparison to the music industry in the late 90s.</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: right;width: 250px;border-width: 10px;margin: 10px; "> <h2 align="center"> <strong>This push and pull between traditional theatrical distribution and streaming services will only get more complicated.</strong></h2> <h2 align="center"> <strong style="font-size: 12px;">-- Dan Green --</strong></h2> </div> <p> &ldquo;Traditional television and the movie business can learn a lot from looking at what happened to the record business. It became peer-to-peer driven, it became digital&hellip;it became personalized. There&rsquo;s a lot of industry criticism about why Netflix and Amazon don&rsquo;t share their ratings, but they are playing a different long tail game by emphasizing audience data in contrast to overnights.&rdquo;</p> <p> Rahul Telang, Heinz College professor and co-author of the book <u>Streaming, Sharing, Stealing: Big Data and the Future of Entertainment</u>, said in an interview with C-Span that whether or not traditional studios can embrace big data is going to play a significant role in how long they can sustain the advantages they still have.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s true that traditional players like Lionsgate, HBO, and CBS have created streaming channels of their own. What if more companies follow suit and stop selling their streaming rights to Netflix and Amazon, depriving the disruptors of popular titles? Telang suggests it might be too late for that. The top SVOD platforms realized years ago that they could not rely on big studios and networks to be their only sources of content and they took action, investing big money in original projects.</p> <p> &ldquo;Netflix said&hellip;&lsquo;I can hire similar talent. I have the customer base. And&hellip;I have the data and the ability&hellip;so why not me produce the content&hellip;rather than [the studios] dictating what sort of content can be and cannot be available,&rsquo;&rdquo; said Telang, adding that the major awards success of the streaming channels flies in the face of industry angst that big data threatened to crush creativity.</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: left;width: 400px;margin: 10px"> <iframe align="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="10" height="225" scrolling="no" src="https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4655791" width="400"></iframe></div> <p> &ldquo;When you have good information&hellip;creators are more likely to be successful because they&rsquo;re working on projects that have a higher potential of being successful,&rdquo; said Telang. In this sense, he says, big data is going to complement, not kill, the creative spirit.</p> <p> <em>Manchester by the Sea</em>&rsquo;s Best Picture nomination may be a watershed moment, certainly for Amazon but also for Netflix as well as other providers in the SVOD space, like Hulu, YouTube, and Facebook. Stein suggests that streaming channels&rsquo; awards surge is a proclamation of their relevance and legitimacy, if not a full-fledged shot across the bow.</p> <p> &ldquo;They&rsquo;re part of the landscape now. They ain&rsquo;t going away,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p> &ldquo;They&rsquo;re showing people that data is really important. Knowing your audience is really important.&rdquo;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-public-policy-management/entertainment-industry-management-meim/index.aspx" target="_blank">Read more about the MEIM program&gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3868" target="_blank">Read more about Rahul Telang&rsquo;s book Streaming, Sharing, Stealing&gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> <a href="https://www.c-span.org/video/?415597-1/communicators-rahul-telang" target="_blank">Watch Telang&rsquo;s full interview on C-Span&rsquo;s <em>The Communicators</em>&gt;&gt;</a></p>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3921Mon, 16 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10678Disruption is Rewarded:  Streaming Services Are Changing (And Winning) Everything

]]>
Geek Out! Heinz College Students Build On-Demand Video Solution for Legendary Entertainmenthttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3922Image associated with news releaseLegendary Entertainment is a powerhouse in the world of unapologetic fandom, a major player in the mainstreaming of “geek culture." An epic company has epic needs, and that’s where Heinz College comes in. A team of Heinz students from the Master of Information Systems Management (MISM) program built a “server-less” architecture for Legendary that could prove critical to the future success of the client’s new streaming service, Alpha.

]]><p> <em>By Scott Barsotti</em></p> <h2> MISM students are the heroes Legendary deserves (and also the ones it needs right now)</h2> <p> <a href="https://www.legendary.com/" target="_blank">Legendary Entertainment</a> is a powerhouse in the world of unapologetic fandom, a major player in the mainstreaming of &ldquo;geek culture&rdquo; with a muscular filmography that includes massive franchise reboots like Jurassic World and 2014&rsquo;s Godzilla, grand-scale sci-fi epics like Inception and Interstellar, as well as blockbuster entries from the DC Comics universe, most notably Christopher Nolan&rsquo;s Batman saga, The Dark Knight Trilogy.</p> <p> An epic company has epic needs, and that&rsquo;s where Heinz College comes in. A team of Heinz students from the <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-information-systems-and-management/information-systems-management-mism/index.aspx" target="_blank">Master of Information Systems Management (MISM)</a> program built a &ldquo;server-less&rdquo; architecture for Legendary that could prove critical to the future success of the client&rsquo;s new streaming service, <a href="https://www.projectalpha.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Alpha</strong></a>.</p> <p> Fans of science fiction, fantasy, and comic worlds are legion and can be among the most opinionated, vocal, and active consumers out there. For a company like Legendary, tapping into that energy&mdash;and engaging with those fans directly&mdash;is crucial to their business. Late in 2016, Legendary launched Alpha, a subscription streaming video on-demand (SVOD) service that features original programming, live content, and favorite personalities from Legendary&rsquo;s popular digital networks <a href="http://nerdist.com/" target="_blank">Nerdist</a> and <a href="http://geekandsundry.com/" target="_blank">Geek &amp; Sundry</a>.</p> <p> &ldquo;This idea of live content and live experiences with community interaction, that&rsquo;s a place where we feel that we have differentiation from any of the other offerings that are out there,&rdquo; said Matt Geiser, Legendary&rsquo;s Chief Technology Officer.</p> <p> Alpha has been a hit with fans so far&mdash;a major perk for paid subscribers is having a voice in the programming through real-time polls and virtual access to the networks&rsquo; tastemakers&mdash;but it creates both economic and technological challenges in delivery. Putting out content on a premium SVOD platform is not as simple as, say, clicking your mouse a few times and publishing to a YouTube channel. Paywalls and authentication are needed, for example, to separate free users from subscribers. And the process of encoding video across devices can be torturously complex. Users expect a seamless viewing experience regardless of whether they are watching on a smart tv, tablet, or phone, so any company delivering SVOD has to reckon with that problem and work behind the scenes to ensure all of their content is supported across formats, which can be time-consuming and costly.</p> <p> The MISM students were tasked with creating a customized content delivery system for Legendary that gave the company their own in-house solution, a technology that would auto-encode videos across all devices and formats and store them in the cloud for use. The students built a server-less architecture primarily with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) managed toolset.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="10" height="250" src="//giphy.com/embed/kHsoCp0XGwQec" width="546"></iframe></p> <h6 style="text-align: center;"> <em>Only Godzilla has more impact than Heinz College students</em> (<a href="http://giphy.com/gifs/godzilla-kHsoCp0XGwQec">via GIPHY</a>)</h6> <p> Geiser notes that this project comes at a critical time, as the nascent Alpha aims to grow its fan base and stay relevant in an increasingly competitive and niche market, while Legendary eyes the bottom line.</p> <p> &ldquo;As Alpha starts to scale, we can potentially improve our margins if we&rsquo;re not paying a toll [on every view] to third-party video player and [content management system] providers,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p> &ldquo;[This project] eliminates a huge amount of technical debt&hellip;it gives us an idea, end-to-end, of what [a server-less architecture] would look like and serves as a proof of concept,&rdquo; said Brian Whitman, Legendary&rsquo;s Director of IT Infrastructure and Software Engineering. Whitman added that the project helped his team understand some of the potential pitfalls of the server-less approach as well.</p> <p> Legendary Entertainment has now become a regular partner of Heinz College, with future capstone projects coming down the pike.</p> <p> Bob Brichacek, the team&rsquo;s faculty advisor, commended the students on their motivation and creativity, calling them &ldquo;some of the smartest people I&rsquo;ve ever worked with.&rdquo;</p> <p> &ldquo;This is the most current technology. [The students] got to play with [tools] that a very small percentage of the population has played with,&rdquo; said Brichacek. He adds that the pieces of the AWS toolset don&rsquo;t just plug and play, and that the students&rsquo; main accomplishment was successfully customizing each piece to have the functionality Legendary required.</p> <p> The end product could benefit Legendary for its leanness and usability, but it also could directly benefit users, according to Brichacek. By using Amazon CloudFront, videos would be published and pushed out worldwide through Amazon&rsquo;s network, putting the content storage closer to more users around the world and improving the streaming experience.</p> <p> No matter what solution Legendary chooses, the fans who log on to Alpha for the latest commentary on gaming and pop culture won&rsquo;t likely register any change. But, of course, that&rsquo;s the point. In the world of on-demand streaming, the best technology is the kind that you don&rsquo;t notice at all.</p> <p> You just press play and it works like magic. Or like a warlock&rsquo;s eldritch blast, if you prefer.</p> <p> <em>This Capstone Project, &ldquo;Legendary Entertainment Streaming Video On-Demand,&rdquo; was completed by Julianne Friend, Himani Gupta, Junjin Pun, Chu Zhang, and Han Zhang.</em></p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OGwlGRXsh5c" width="560"></iframe></p> <p> <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-information-systems-and-management/information-systems-management-mism/index.aspx" target="_blank">Read more about the MISM program&gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> <a href="https://www.projectalpha.com/" target="_blank">Read more about Alpha&gt;&gt;</a></p>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3922Mon, 16 Feb 2017 11:00:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10667Geek Out! Heinz College Students Build On-Demand Video Solution for Legendary Entertainment

]]>
MEIM Faculty, Alumni, and Students Make a Splash at Sundance 2017http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3923Image associated with news releaseThe Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah is one of the film industry’s biggest annual events. Heinz College’s Master of Entertainment Industry Management (MEIM), a joint program with Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Fine Arts, takes students to Sundance every year. This year, Heinz College is proud to report that some of festival’s hottest entries were projects produced by MEIM alumni and faculty, and other members of the CMU family. 'Crown Heights', produced by MEIM Adjunct Professor Jonathan Baker, was sold at Sundance to Amazon Studios for $2 million and won the Audience Award. Alumna Roxanne Benjamin produced, directed, and wrote 'XX', a female-powered horror anthology in the mold of her prior Sundance entries V/H/S and V/H/S 2. Alumnus William Abanyie co-produced 'Night Shift', which was named one of the must-see shorts of the festival.

]]><p> <em>By Scott Barsotti</em></p> <h2> The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah is one of the film industry&rsquo;s biggest annual events</h2> <p> Heinz College&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-public-policy-management/entertainment-industry-management-meim/index.aspx" target="_blank">Master of Entertainment Industry Management (MEIM)</a>, a joint program with Carnegie Mellon University&rsquo;s <a href="http://cfa.cmu.edu/" target="_blank">College of Fine Arts</a>, takes students to <a href="http://www.sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival" target="_blank">Sundance</a> every year in its role as a Sundance Institute Associate. MEIM students get a glimpse of the buzz and the business behind the festival, sit in on some impactful panels and seminars, meet major industry players, and of course, check out some amazing films.</p> <p> &ldquo;No matter how much you teach acquisitions and distribution, being at the festival highlights how deals are put together and how relationships in the business are made for the students. That&rsquo;s why we go to Sundance and South by Southwest (SXSW) every year,&rdquo; said Dan Green, director of the MEIM program.</p> <p> In the past, we&rsquo;ve covered the Sundance experience from the MEIM student perspective, and you can read those stories by clicking <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/search-results/index.aspx?pageindex=0&amp;pagesize=15&amp;keywords=sundance&amp;x=0&amp;y=0">here</a>.</p> <p> This year, Heinz College is proud to report that some of festival&rsquo;s hottest entries were projects produced by MEIM alumni and faculty, and other members of the CMU family.</p> <h3> MEIM faculty member&#39;s hard-hitting drama lands a big deal and a major award</h3> <p> <strong><em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3268340/" target="_blank">Crown Heights</a></em></strong>, executive produced by MEIM Adjunct Professor Jonathan Baker, is a feature film that tells the true story of a young man named Colin Warner (played by Lakeith Stanfield) who is wrongfully convicted of murder, and his friend Carl King (Nnamdi Asomugha) who labors for over twenty years to clear his name. <a href="http://variety.com/2017/film/news/sundance-amazon-buys-prison-drama-crown-heights-exclusive-1201971644/" target="_blank"><em>Crown Heights</em> was sold</a> at Sundance to Amazon Studios for over $2 million and will be released in theaters this fall.</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: left;width: 300px;margin: 10px"> <iframe align="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="10" height="169" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/r4vMjAmRFWs" width="300"></iframe></div> <p> &ldquo;We were very aware in our own strategy about [which distributor] would be the perfect fit. And that was Amazon&hellip;they made an impassioned case about the film and its message,&rdquo; said Baker.</p> <p> <em>Crown Heights</em> was a breakout success at the festival, not only scoring the deal with Amazon but also nabbing the coveted Audience Award in the US Dramatic category.</p> <p> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an incredible blessing to have the festival audience endorse the message of the movie. We as filmmakers couldn&rsquo;t ask for more than that,&rdquo; said Baker.</p> <p> Baker and Asomugha, long-time friends and collaborators, formed their production company <a href="http://iam21.com/" target="_blank">Iam21 Entertainment</a> to support stories about social justice. Another film at Sundance and SXSW this year is the short documentary <em>Waiting for Hassana</em>, which focuses on the 2014 schoolgirl abductions in Chibok, Nigeria. Iam21 looks for stories that have a message to help build a call-to-action campaign.</p> <p> &ldquo;[<em>Crown Heights</em>] has the potential to bring the story of these men to the forefront of the political discussion. That&rsquo;s what Iam21 is all about, the fact that [the film] can really alter peoples&rsquo; perspectives and help them understand the complexity of these issues.&rdquo;</p> <p> This year&rsquo;s festival was sweet for Baker for another reason. It marked the 20<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the first time he had a film at Sundance, and was happy to share it with the MEIM family.</p> <p> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve always been touched by the amount of support faculty gets from the leadership. There were 25 current MEIM students at a screening of <em>Crown Heights</em>. The professional and collegiate community came together [to support us], and that was profound.&rdquo;</p> <h3> MEIM alumna terrifies the Sundance crowd with female-powered <em>XX</em></h3> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: right;width: 300px;margin: 10px"> <iframe align="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="10" height="169" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LGH-zJ9_uFs" width="300"></iframe></div> <p> February is <a href="http://www.womeninhorrormonth.com/" target="_blank">Women in Horror Month</a>, which makes it the perfect month to release a new horror anthology helmed entirely by female directors.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s precisely what Roxanne Benjamin (MEIM &rsquo;09) has done with <strong><em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3322892/" target="_blank">XX</a></em></strong>, which made audiences jump and squirm at Sundance and showcases the talents of women in a genre often dominated by men.</p> <p> Benjamin has participated in Sundance multiple times, as a producer on the previous scary treats <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2105044/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4" target="_blank">V/H/S</a></em> and <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2450186/?ref_=nv_sr_2" target="_blank"><em>V/H/S 2</em>.</a> Those films were also in anthology format&mdash;stand-alone short films connected in theme and linked by a framing narrative&mdash;and both went on to commercial success after premiering at Sundance in 2012 and 2013, respectively.</p> <p> In addition to producing the film, Benjamin is also a credited screenwriter on the project and directed the segment &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t Fall,&rdquo; which early reviews described as &ldquo;<a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/xx-review-sundance-2017-968345" target="_blank">the scariest</a>&rdquo; and &ldquo;<a href="http://www.comingsoon.net/horror/reviews/807087-xx-sundance-review#/slide/1" target="_blank">the most viciously direct piece</a>&rdquo; in <em>XX</em>.</p> <p> <em>XX</em> was released in select theatres and video on-demand on February 17.</p> <h3> MEIM alumnus co-produces impactful short film</h3> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: right;width: 300px;margin: 10px"> <img align="" alt="Night Shift promo shot" src="image.aspx?id=10683&amp;width=300&amp;height=200" style="width: 300px; height: 200px;" /> <h6> <i>Tunde Adebimpe and China Shavers in</i> Night Shift. <i>Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Estee Ochoa.</i></h6> </div> <p> William Abanyie (MEIM &rsquo;08) worked as an associate producer on <strong><em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6466046/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4" target="_blank">Night Shift</a></em></strong>, which IndieWire named &ldquo;<a href="http://www.indiewire.com/2017/01/night-shift-trailer-viola-davis-tunde-adebimpe-1201769095/" target="_blank">one of the must-see shorts of the festival</a>.&rdquo;</p> <p> He says that getting buzz at Sundance is huge, because it immediately associates the cast and crew with a successful film.</p> <p> &ldquo;[People at the festival] knew that <em>Night Shift</em> was a film that everyone needs to see,&rdquo; said Abanyie.</p> <p> <em>Night Shift</em>, which was executive produced by award-winning actress Viola Davis (<em>Fences</em>, <em>How to Get Away with Murder</em>) and directed by documentary filmmaker Marshall Tyler (<em>Skid Row</em>), depicts an evening in the life of an aspiring actor who works evenings as a bathroom attendant at a Hollywood nightclub.</p> <p> Abanyie, who works with New Bumper and Paint Productions, was heavily involved in the pre-production process, but provided support and feedback on <em>Night Shift</em> in post-production as well. He credits the MEIM program with giving him the confidence to succeed in a tough industry.</p> <p> &ldquo;Negotiation, management, and marketing classes all come in handy [for knowing] how to pitch a film and stay on top of your game in this industry, because it&rsquo;s very competitive,&rdquo; said Abanyie. &ldquo;The fact that I got through that program gave me the confidence that I can do almost anything.&rdquo;</p> <h3> The MEIM Sundance experience</h3> <p> Baker says that the MEIM program has many students who have a hybrid &ldquo;renaissance&rdquo; mentality, something he personally relates to.</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: left;width: 300px;margin: 10px"> <img align="" alt="Sundance MEIM Crown Heights" src="image.aspx?id=10677&amp;width=300&amp;height=225" style="width: 300px; height: 225px;" /> <h6> <em>(L to R) John Tarnoff, Head of Industry Relations, MEIM program; Jonathan Baker; Nnamdi Asomugha; Dan Green; Kathryn Heidemann, Assistant Dean of Heinz College &amp; College of Fine Arts Initiatives</em></h6> </div> <p> &ldquo;I say to [my students], this program is designed really well because it gives you the opportunity to &lsquo;date&rsquo; a lot of different jobs before you really find what fits your own talent and passions.&rdquo; He notes that the MEIM program can be a great fit for professionals wanting to straddle the business and creative worlds within entertainment.</p> <p> &ldquo;There are some of us who don&rsquo;t like to be pigeonholed,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p> Green notes that experiences like Sundance are the perfect way for students to experience what goes on in the business and get a sense of where they fit in the industry.</p> <p> &ldquo;You could come into the MEIM program never having been to a film festival in your entire life, end up in your first year going to <a href="https://www.sxsw.com/" target="_blank">SXSW</a> which is very audience-friendly, going to Sundance in the second year which is industry-driven and very much geared toward selling and buying, and going to Cannes in the summer between year one and year two, which is the largest film market in the world,&rdquo; said Green.</p> <h3> <strong>Other highlights of this year&rsquo;s Sundance:</strong></h3> <p> Jim Swartz, an alumnus of the Tepper School of Business at CMU, had several films at Sundance in 2017.&nbsp;One of the films he produced, <strong><em>Icarus</em></strong>, <a href="http://variety.com/2017/film/news/sundance-icarus-russian-doping-1201968509/" target="_blank">sold to Netflix for $5 million</a>, considered a very high price point for a documentary.</p> <p> CMU School of Drama alumna <a href="http://wwd.com/eye/parties/chante-adams-actress-sundance-roxanne-roxanne-10786307/" target="_blank">Chant&eacute; Adams</a> won the Sundance Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance for her role as hip-hop artist Roxanne Shant&eacute; in the film&nbsp;<strong><em>Roxanne Roxanne</em></strong>.</p> <p> In addition, two current students Jeremy Martin (MEIM &lsquo;17) and Krysta Brown (MEIM &lsquo;17) presented findings from past MEIM capstone projects to over 100 industry professionals at the Sundance Creative Distribution Initiative event.&nbsp;The event focuses on helping independent filmmakers launch their projects.</p> <ul> <li> Martin presented on &ldquo;The Effects of Content Piracy on Independent Films,&rdquo; based on research completed by MEIM 2015 graduates Mouna Coulibaly, Katie Felix, Kailin Gao, and Chris Whittine.</li> <li> Brown presented &ldquo;Maximizing Non-Theatrical Distribution for Independent Filmmakers,&rdquo; based on research by MEIM 2014 graduates Laurel Charnetsky, Taylor Grabowsky, Jueying Li, and Azrah Manji. &nbsp;</li> </ul> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-public-policy-management/entertainment-industry-management-meim/index.aspx" target="_blank">Read more about the MEIM program&gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> <em>Featured photo courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jemal Countess</em></p>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3923Mon, 16 Feb 2017 10:00:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10672MEIM Faculty, Alumni, and Students Make a Splash at Sundance 2017

]]>
Keystone Classroom: Heinz Professor Gets New Lawmakers Up to Speedhttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3920Image associated with news releaseProfessor Rick Stafford is part of a non-partisan effort aimed at educating newly elected officials on legislative history and process. Stafford is one of a team of professors—assembled by Dr. Joseph McLaughlin, director of the Temple University Institute for Public Policy—whose purpose is to better inform new Pennsylvania house representatives and state senators in order to help them be more effective lawmakers. The program, first officially installed in 2013, served 29 newly elected members this year.

]]><h2> Professor Rick Stafford is part of a non-partisan effort aimed at educating newly elected officials on legislative history and process</h2> <p> Rick Stafford&rsquo;s pupils don&rsquo;t just include graduate students. The Heinz College Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy and Executive Director of Carnegie Mellon University&rsquo;s <a href="http://metro21.cmu.edu/" target="_blank">Metro21</a> initiative also finds time to teach new members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly about the governing body they&rsquo;ve just joined.</p> <p> Stafford is one of a team of professors&mdash;assembled by Dr. Joseph McLaughlin, director of the Temple University Institute for Public Policy&mdash;whose purpose is to better inform new Pennsylvania house representatives and state senators in order to help them be more effective lawmakers.</p> <p> Stafford comments that candidates &ldquo;run on issues, not on how well they know the institution,&rdquo; and therefore that many come into their new roles without knowledge of the complex circumstances and history that shaped the legislature over the years.&nbsp;</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: left;width: 200px;"> <img align="" alt="Rick Stafford square crop" src="image.aspx?id=10616&amp;width=200&amp;height=200" /> <p> Rick Stafford, Heinz College faculty member</p> </div> <p> This year, Stafford moderated a panel on the history of the <a href="http://www.legis.state.pa.us/" target="_blank">Pennsylvania General Assembly</a>, led discussions about the Pennsylvania State Constitution and function of the Legislative Reference Bureau, and convened a session on budgetary matters. Stafford says the budgetary session may be the most important part of the program.</p> <p> &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re a legislator and you want to get things done for your district, you better understand the budget process,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p> Stafford, himself a Heinz College alumnus, formerly worked in Harrisburg in the cabinet of Governor Dick Thornburgh. He is thrilled to be a part of this important effort, one ultimately rooted in public service, not politics.</p> <p> &ldquo;The end goal is not a partisan goal&hellip;each caucus has its own orientation for new members. [Our aim] is to give them a sense that they are serving the public in an institution. [They] have a responsibility to understand the institution and how it works,&rdquo; said Stafford, adding that such knowledge is essential for all new legislators, even (or perhaps especially) those who specifically campaigned against the establishment.</p> <p> The program, first officially installed in 2013, served 29 newly elected members this year.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/faculty-and-research/faculty-profiles/faculty-details/index.aspx?faculty_id=95">Read Professor Stafford&rsquo;s bio&gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-public-policy-management/index.aspx">Read more about the School of Public Policy &amp; Management at Heinz College&gt;&gt;</a></p>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3920Mon, 01 Feb 2017 16:37:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10615Keystone Classroom: Heinz Professor Gets New Lawmakers Up to Speed

]]>
Get Your Popcorn Ready: Are Super Bowl Movie Trailers Worth the Cost?http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3919Image associated with news releaseHeinz College professor Michael D. Smith offers insight into how Super Bowl ads affect Hollywood releases. The Super Bowl is the most watched television event in the United States, comprising 19 of the top 20 U.S. broadcasts by viewership ever recorded. “We’re seeing fewer and fewer of these mass culture-shaping events out there,” said Smith, adding that the Super Bowl is unique not only because of its ratings share, but because it’s a broadcast during which people actually want to watch the commercials. Smith and his collaborators analyzed movies that placed ads during Super Bowl broadcasts from 2004-2014, 70 movies in total.

]]><p> <em>By Scott Barsotti</em></p> <h2> Heinz College professor Michael D. Smith offers insight into how Super Bowl ads affect Hollywood releases</h2> <p> In 1967, when the first Super Bowl was played between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs, a 30-second spot cost advertisers $42,000. In 2016, during Super Bowl 50, that same airtime cost $5 million. The exorbitant cost makes sense: The Super Bowl is the most watched television event in the United States, comprising 19 of the top 20 U.S. broadcasts by viewership ever recorded.</p> <p> &ldquo;We&rsquo;re seeing fewer and fewer of these mass culture-shaping events out there,&rdquo; said Michael D. Smith, Professor of Information Technology and Marketing at Heinz College.</p> <p> Smith added that <a href="https://www.nfl.com/super-bowl" target="_blank">the Super Bowl</a> is unique not only because of its ratings share, but because it&rsquo;s a broadcast during which people actually want to watch the commercials.</p> <h2 align="center"> <strong>---</strong></h2> <h2 align="center"> <strong>The Super Bowl is one of the last remaining ways to reach a mass audience, all at the same time, with an iconic ad that people are going to be talking about the next day</strong></h2> <h2 align="center"> <strong style="font-size: 12px;">Michael D. Smith</strong></h2> <h2 align="center"> <strong>---</strong></h2> <p> Super Bowl commercials have become their own subset of Americana. They are a part of Americans&rsquo; shared experience, with truly transcendent spots crossing over into the popular lexicon. Some of the most memorable ads of all time first aired during the Super Bowl, like Apple&rsquo;s riff on &ldquo;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtvjbmoDx-I" target="_blank">1984</a>,&rdquo; Volkswagen&rsquo;s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NvSgrxp8Yg" target="_blank">Darth Vader kid</a>, and seminal entries too-numerous-to-list from Budweiser, Pepsi, and Coca-Cola.</p> <p> Then, in 1996, there was this...shall we say&hellip;bombshell:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="224" src="//giphy.com/embed/KaklAvtoE90gE" width="480"></iframe></p> <h6 style="text-align: center;"> <em>The president&rsquo;s approval rating among aliens was extremely low</em> (<a href="http://giphy.com/gifs/independence-day-id4-movie-KaklAvtoE90gE">via <strong>GIPHY</strong></a>)</h6> <p> The teaser for the alien invasion flick <em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pIfHBz-Z4g" target="_blank">Independence Day</a></em> electrified viewers of Super Bowl XXX with images of hulking spacecraft, mass hysteria, and the White House being blown apart by a gargantuan energy beam. Distributed by 20<sup>th</sup> Century Fox, <em>Independence Day</em> became the most hotly anticipated movie of the summer, kicking off a resurgence of big-budget science fiction and disaster films. It went on to become the highest-grossing film of 1996, topping $817 million worldwide during its theatrical run.</p> <p> Since then, summer blockbusters and other major studio releases have invested in trailers during the Super Bowl. But was <em>Independence Day</em> a phenomenon unto itself, or do movies that drop teasers during TV&rsquo;s biggest night tend to see a return on that investment?</p> <p> <strong>Movies see a Super Bowl bump</strong></p> <p> Smith and his collaborators analyzed movies that placed ads during Super Bowl broadcasts from 2004-2014, 70 movies in total.</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: right;width: 200px;"> <img align="" alt="Mike smith resize square" src="image.aspx?id=10607&amp;width=200&amp;height=200" /> <p> Michael D. Smith, Heinz College faculty member</p> </div> <p> What they found is that, on average, movies saw an $8.4 million increase in their opening weekend box office by investing $3 million in a Super Bowl ad.</p> <p> They were able to link these increases in sales to Super Bowl ads by examining box office data in cities whose teams played in that year&rsquo;s matchup. Historically, when a team qualifies for the Super Bowl, there is a roughly 20 percent viewership spike in that team&rsquo;s local market. At the same time, Super Bowl ad space sells out many weeks to months in advance of the game, meaning firms must commit to buying the airtime well before it is known which teams will be playing.</p> <p> Smith and company reported that, in the areas of the country represented in the Super Bowl, there was a swell in both opening weekend box office revenue as well as Google searches related to movies advertised during the game.</p> <p> Several years ago, Randall Lewis and Justin Rao of Yahoo! Research put forth their &ldquo;Super Bowl Impossibility Theorem.&quot; They called into question the ability to quantify the impact of a single Super Bowl ad at all, supposing that a firm large enough to afford a Super Bowl ad would typically have baseline sales so high that it makes ROI from a single ad impossible to infer.</p> <p> Smith says this research offers an exception to that theory because of the ability to measure the effectiveness of 70 different campaigns for movies that were advertised during the Super Bowl.</p> <h2 align="center"> <strong>---</strong></h2> <h2 align="center"> <strong>On average, movies saw an $8.4 million increase in their opening weekend box office by investing $3 million in a Super Bowl ad</strong></h2> <h2 align="center"> <strong>---</strong></h2> <p> This Sunday, there will be plenty of drama on the field, with the perennially proficient <a href="http://www.patriots.com/" target="_blank">New England Patriots</a> gunning for a fifth Lombardi Trophy against an upstart <a href="http://www.atlantafalcons.com/" target="_blank">Atlanta Falcons</a> team looking to secure its first championship in franchise history. Millions of diehard football fans will tune in to see two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL go drive-for-drive.</p> <p> At the same time, millions of other viewers couldn&rsquo;t care less what those guys do, and will instead watch the broadcast for the pomp, spectacle, and (hopefully) some of the most compelling and creative advertisements of the year.</p> <p> Smith says this research is evidence that mass channels still drive performance, but adds that cord-cutting&mdash;the trend of consumers ditching cable TV providers in favor of on-demand streaming services&mdash;is making certain key demographics harder to reach. In this landscape, the Super Bowl presents a rare opportunity.</p> <p> &ldquo;The Super Bowl is one of the last remaining ways to reach a mass audience, all at the same time, with an iconic ad that people are going to be talking about the next day,&rdquo; said Smith.</p> <p> No matter why people watch the Big Game, it&rsquo;s a lot of eyeballs at attention. Studios that can deliver a gripping 30 seconds will find that it&rsquo;s well worth the cost.</p> <p> <em>Original artwork by Joseph Mallonee</em></p> <p> <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3868" target="_blank">Read more about Professor Smith&#39;s book Streaming, Sharing, Stealing: Big Data and the Future of Entertainment, a collaboration with Professor Rahul Telang&gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-information-systems-and-management/information-systems-management-mism/index.aspx" target="_blank">Read more about the MISM program&gt;&gt;</a></p>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3919Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:34:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10610Get Your Popcorn Ready: Are Super Bowl Movie Trailers Worth the Cost?

]]>
Prof. Nagin Honored for Influencing Scientific Thoughthttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3918Image associated with news releaseHeinz College faculty member Daniel S. Nagin received the 2017 National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Reviewing. He is the first CMU faculty member to receive the award, which was established in 1977. The award recognizes authors whose reviews have synthesized extensive and difficult material, rendering a significant service to science and influencing the course of scientific thought. The field rotates among biological, physical and social sciences, and includes a $20,000 prize.

]]>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3918Mon, 26 Jan 2017 10:41:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10603Prof. Nagin Honored for Influencing Scientific Thought

]]>
Bankrupting Terrorism: Heinz Alum Hits Extremists Where It Hurtshttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3905Image associated with news releaseThe U.S. Department of State has prevented more than 300 terrorist attacks by tracing and recovering illegal money meant to fund terrorist activities. But even with that rate of success, the World Bank estimates that approximately $3.61 trillion is laundered annually across the globe, making laundering a colossal challenge for counterterrorism experts. One of the keys to fighting terrorist attacks is further preventing the illegal laundering of money, usually disguised as legitimate business transactions, to fund terrorist activities. That’s exactly what Ian Kloo (MSPPM’ 14) has done. Through his work as a Presidential Management Fellow, Kloo developed an innovative app for the Center for Army Analysis that helped the center’s analysts find links between known and unknown money launderers that support terrorism.

]]><p> <em>By Michael Cunningham</em></p> <h2> Heinz alumnus builds groundbreaking tool to counteract the financing of terrorism</h2> <p> Terrorist activities, like many things in life, cost a lot of money. And much of that money is laundered.</p> <p> Money laundering is the process of creating the appearance that large amounts of money obtained from serious crimes, such as drug trafficking or terrorist activity, originated from a legitimate source. Money launderers often achieve this by utilizing transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses.</p> <p> The U.S. Department of State has prevented more than 300 terrorist attacks by tracing and recovering illegal money meant to fund terrorist activities. But even with that rate of success, the World Bank estimates that approximately $3.61 trillion is laundered annually across the globe, making laundering a colossal challenge for counterterrorism experts.</p> <p> One of the keys to fighting terrorist attacks is further preventing the illegal laundering of money, usually disguised as legitimate business transactions, to fund terrorist activities.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s exactly what Ian Kloo (MSPPM-Data Analytics &#39;14) has done. Through his work as a Presidential Management Fellow, Kloo developed an innovative app for the Center for Army Analysis that helped analysts at <a href="http://www.centcom.mil/" target="_blank">United States Central Command</a> (USCENTCOM) find links between known and unknown money launderers that support terrorism.</p> <p> Kloo&rsquo;s app has had a monumental impact at USCENTCOM, enabling government officials to seize and interdict what Kloo described as a &ldquo;significant&rdquo; amount of money from known terrorist organizations. For his efforts in developing the app, Kloo was awarded the 2016 David Rist Prize by the Military Operations Research Society (MORS). The Rist Prize recognizes the practical benefit sound operations research can have on &ldquo;real life&rdquo; decision-making.</p> <p> &ldquo;USCENTCOM had a lot of data that had been subpoenaed through various legal actions,&rdquo; said Kloo. &ldquo;We came up with a methodology to go through and create some visualizations based of all of that data.&rdquo;</p> <p> The key to developing this groundbreaking technology, which was unprecedented in financial counterterrorism, was something called &ldquo;entity resolution&rdquo; &ndash; the practice of determining whether two similar names in the same financial transaction data set are actually the same person.</p> <p> &ldquo;We were trying to answer the really hard question of, &lsquo;which two people in this data set are actually the same person, but using different names or different monikers,&rsquo; so getting after that is where I think we had the greatest impact,&rdquo; explained Kloo. &ldquo;We created an interface for analysts to use, where they could go through and create some relatively complicated rule sets to do some fuzzy matching of these names.&rdquo;</p> <p> For example, using Kloo&rsquo;s app, an analyst could determine that they wanted to create a data set where everyone who has the same date of birth, and similar names based on some key metrics, is considered to be the same person.</p> <p> &ldquo;In a typical data set, it would be several hundred million pair-wise comparisons to do that by hand, which is impossible,&rdquo; explained Kloo. &ldquo;But the analysts had the intuition to do it. So we were able to leverage the analysts&rsquo; insight and the power of computers to fit where appropriate instead of trying to shoehorn one into the wrong place.&rdquo;</p> <p> In addition to the Rist Prize, Kloo&rsquo;s work to counteract terrorist financing also landed him a job. With his two-year Presidential Management Fellowship set to expire next month, Kloo was hired on by the Center for Army Analysis full-time to continue leading data science projects that make a positive impact on society.</p> <p> Currently, Kloo is developing an app to optimize space in the Arlington National Cemetery, and he is creating tools to help Army analysts predict which digital news stories will attract the most public attention.</p> <p> &ldquo;Being able to use data science to have a positive impact on society is very fulfilling, and it&rsquo;s one of the main reasons that I wanted to get involved in government work in the first place,&rdquo; said Kloo.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="https://www.pmf.gov/" target="_blank">Read more about the Presidential Management Fellowship &gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.mors.org/Recognition/Rist_Prize" target="_blank">Read more about the Rist Prize &gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> <a href="http://cms-staging.heinz.win.cmu.edu/school-of-public-policy-management/public-policy-management-msppm/msppm-track-options/data-analytics-track/index.aspx" target="_blank">Read more about the MSPPM Data Analytics Track &gt;&gt;</a></p>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3905Mon, 26 Jan 2017 09:30:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10530Bankrupting Terrorism: Heinz Alum Hits Extremists Where It Hurts

]]>
PwC Invests $11M in New Innovation Center at Heinz Collegehttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3908Image associated with news releasePwC US and Carnegie Mellon University announced the establishment of the new Risk and Regulatory Services Innovation Center, which will advance how businesses use technology to solve organization-wide issues and address compliance requirements. The center will reside in the H. John Heinz IIII College of Information Systems and Public Policy.

]]>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3908Mon, 04 Jan 2017 12:24:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10569PwC Invests $11M in New Innovation Center at Heinz College

]]>
Prof. Acquisti Named PwC-CMU Center's First Directorhttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3909Image associated with news releaseAlessandro Acquisti has been named the inaugural director of the Risk and Regulatory Services Innovation Center, which was established by PwC and Carnegie Mellon University. Professor Acquisti is the world’s leading scholar in the economics of privacy; his research investigates the economics and behavioral economics of privacy, including privacy in online social networks.

]]>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3909Mon, 04 Jan 2017 12:36:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10570Prof. Acquisti Named PwC-CMU Center's First Director

]]>
How to Save a Million Pounds of Food…and Countinghttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3904Image associated with news release“Throughout the world, 40 percent of our food gets wasted, while one in seven goes hungry.” The first full-time program of its kind in Pittsburgh, 412 Food Rescue works with over 175 food providers such as retailers, wholesalers, caterers, and even university dining services to recover food that is healthy and edible but that can no longer be sold. Once the food is collected, it is directly distributed to nonprofit and community organizations throughout Allegheny County in order to best serve individuals who are food insecure. Incredibly, since its inception in 2015, 412 and its over 1,000 volunteers have rescued over one million pounds of food—that translates roughly to one million meals for individuals and families who are food insecure.

]]><p> <em>By Scott Barsotti</em></p> <h2> &ldquo;Throughout the world, 40 percent of our food gets wasted, while one [person] in seven goes hungry.&rdquo; &nbsp;</h2> <p> Leah Lizarondo (MSPPM &rsquo;03) is driven by this egregious statistic. The disparity between waste and hunger is what inspired her to co-found <a href="http://412foodrescue.org/" target="_blank">412 Food Rescue</a>, where she also serves as CEO.</p> <p> &ldquo;We&rsquo;re wasting up to 60 percent of our vegetables, I want to give that to people who need it,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p> The first full-time program of its kind in Pittsburgh, 412 Food Rescue works with over 175 food providers such as retailers, wholesalers, caterers, and even university dining services to recover food that is healthy and edible but that can no longer be sold. Once the food is collected, it is directly distributed to nonprofit and community organizations throughout Allegheny County in order to best serve individuals who are food insecure.</p> <p> Incredibly, since its inception in 2015, 412 Food Rescue and its over 1,000 volunteers have rescued over one million pounds of food&mdash;that translates roughly to 850,000 meals for individuals and families who are food insecure.</p> <p> &ldquo;Despite major cuts to the federal SNAP program&hellip;412 Food Rescue has managed to effectively end hunger in our public housing communities,&rdquo; said Michelle Sandidge, Chief Community Affairs Officer for the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh. Sandidge states that HACP has historically averaged 5 to 7 emergency referrals for families without food each month.</p> <p> Over the course of the last six months, that number has dropped to zero.</p> <p> &ldquo;We attribute this dramatic success to the ongoing efforts of 412 Food Rescue,&rdquo; said Sandidge.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong><img alt="412 food rescue bike ad" src="image.aspx?id=10516&amp;width=3139&amp;height=4708" style="float: left; width: 40%; height: 40%; margin: 10px;" />A hidden problem, and how to solve it</strong></p> <p> Lizarondo remarks that historically, American society has enabled and even accepted food waste, but that awareness of the problem is on the rise.</p> <p> As a writer, activist, and entrepreneur, Lizarondo has concerned herself with health and advocacy. She originally pursued a career in technology consulting after graduating from Heinz College, but her passion for food and concern for making a tangible impact on social issues led her down a different path. She spent five years as a food writer, authoring the popular blog Brazen Kitchen for Pittsburgh Magazine as well serving as Editor for NEXT Pittsburgh.</p> <p> 412 Food Rescue combines her passion for food and technology with her desire to combat societal problems. She says that 412 not only combats a huge inefficiency, it also provides nutrition to those in need.</p> <p> &ldquo;In a system that&rsquo;s broken, those most in need of [healthy food] are the ones who can&rsquo;t afford it,&rdquo; said Lizarondo. In addition to economics, access is another huge issue 412 Food Rescue is helping to re-shape. Especially due to the Pittsburgh region&rsquo;s challenging topography, food deserts are a fairly common phenomenon; 412 Food Rescue allows volunteers to deliver food directly to those food deserts&mdash;circumventing the lack of transportation access to many areas in need.</p> <p> Part of what makes this possible is 412 Food Rescue&rsquo;s innovative use of technology. Their mobile app, <strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/412-food-rescue-volunteer/id1165397733?mt=8" target="_blank">Food Rescue Hero</a></strong>, is a tool to organize volunteers and is the first phase of a full technology platform for food recovery.</p> <p> Volunteers are able to self-select rescues based on their own availability&mdash;the organization uses Food Rescue Hero and social media to alert volunteers of rescues based on their time preferences and location&mdash;and in many cases a delivery only takes between 30-60 minutes to complete.</p> <p> &ldquo;I call it &lsquo;micro-volunteering,&rsquo;&rdquo; said Lizarondo. &ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t require four hours of your time. In these small bursts, you can do something good.&rdquo;</p> <p> The app is the first phase of FoodRescueX, a tech platform that will not only schedule and provide food safety training for volunteers, but will also track inventory, catalog tax deductions for donors, and report on environmental impact. The data collected will therefore be a useful management tool for 412 Food Rescue&rsquo;s partners and allow them to identify ways to reduce waste.</p> <p> &ldquo;Our goal is to demonstrate how to scale locally and then replicate nationally, going deep in each city rather than going wide right away,&rdquo; says Sachal Lakhavani, board co-chair of 412 Food Rescue and founder of&nbsp;Pittsburgh startup Srvd.</p> <p> Recently, 412 announced a partnership with car-sharing network <a href="http://www.zipcar.com/412foodrescueunipitt" target="_blank">Zipcar</a> as well as <a href="https://healthyridepgh.com/" target="_blank">Healthy Ride</a>, the region&rsquo;s first bike-sharing program&mdash;the services provide volunteers with free hour credits for their vehicles and bikes, respectively. These partnerships are crucial to 412 Food Rescue&rsquo;s ethos&mdash;individuals who do not own a vehicle can still volunteer as a food rescuer.</p> <p> &ldquo;[It gives us] the opportunity to come closer to our goal of saving 3 million pounds of food in our first three years,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Cool programs make rescued food a hot product</strong></p> <p> As if its core efforts weren&rsquo;t enough, 412 Food Rescue has been launching new programs left and right, all with the aim of raising awareness about food waste and increasing their social reach. The company started an initiative called <a href="http://412foodrescue.org/ugly-csa/" target="_blank">UglyCSA</a> (&ldquo;Pittsburgh&rsquo;s first CSA for rebels and misfits,&rdquo; according to their website) which allows consumers to buy shares of local produce that likely wouldn&rsquo;t sell at a grocer or farmer&rsquo;s market strictly for cosmetic reasons. Lizarondo comments that buying an 8-week share of produce through UglyCSA saves 1130 gallons of water.</p> <p> &ldquo;That&rsquo;s enough drinking water for one person for six years,&rdquo; she adds.<img alt="412 promos" src="image.aspx?id=10532&amp;width=600&amp;height=628" style="float: right; width: 40%; height: 40%; margin: 10px;" /></p> <p> Then there&rsquo;s Hidden Harvest, an effort which rescues apples from unharvested trees in the city&mdash;both public and private. 412 Food Rescue donates many of the apples to their partner organizations, but some can&rsquo;t be salvaged as food. This year, 412 partnered with <a href="https://wiglewhiskey.com/" target="_blank">Wigle Whiskey</a>&mdash;another concern powered by several CMU alum&mdash;to create a limited edition pommeau from the most bruised apples.</p> <p> &ldquo;[Pommeau] is not something you see very often, that you&rsquo;re only going to find if you&rsquo;re in Normandy or these agricultural regions that are reliant on apples,&rdquo; said Jill Steiner, Director of Events and Public Relations at Wigle Whiskey. After considering more straightforward products like cider and apple brandy, the distillers at Wigle thought that a pommeau was the best way to capture the many complexities of the foraged apples. The crop yielded 200 bottles of the liqueur, called <a href="http://www.wiglewhiskey.com/foraged-pennsylvania-pommeau" target="_blank">FORAGED</a>, which is being sold on Wigle&rsquo;s website as well as its Strip District location.</p> <p> &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of overlap in the goals and the approach that both 412 and Wigle, wanting to utilize and repurpose local ingredients,&rdquo; said Steiner.</p> <p> 412 also recently put out word on social media that they were looking to partner with a local brewer. They quickly got a bite.</p> <p> &ldquo;412 Food Rescue is a fantastic cause, and something near and dear to our hearts, we strive to be a zero-waste facility,&rdquo; said Scott Smith, founder and brewer at <a href="http://www.eastendbrewing.com/#freshlocalbeer" target="_blank">East End Brewing Co</a>. 412 and East End collaborated to create <a href="http://412foodrescue.org/loaf-and-forage/" target="_blank">LOAF, a craft beer made from stale bread</a>. Smith describes the beer&mdash;which East End brewed a 20-barrel batch of and is currently selling by the glass and growler&mdash;as a pale ale with a &ldquo;bready note.&rdquo;</p> <p> (Proceeds from both the Wigle and East End collaborations benefit 412 Food Rescue.)</p> <p> For Lizarondo, the training she received at Heinz College prepared her for the work she does as a community leader and social entrepreneur, merging technology and innovative partnerships with a human-centered approach to problem-solving.</p> <p> &ldquo;[At Heinz], I learned a lot about program evaluation, GIS, and operations research, all of which I&rsquo;m using right now for 412 Food Rescue,&rdquo; said Lizarondo.</p> <p> Lizarondo hopes to inspire people to realize the immense impact that they can make in their communities by focusing on food waste as a major area of policy.</p> <p> &ldquo;There are a lot of possibilities for young leaders to directly contribute,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;You can make significant change right away, and I think that&rsquo;s an exciting thing.&rdquo;</p> <p> For the people and organizations 412 has served, that excitement hits home, especially this time of year.</p> <p> &ldquo;Because of [412 Food Rescue], we did not have any issues this Thanksgiving and I anticipate the same for the upcoming Christmas holiday,&rdquo; said Sandidge. &ldquo;They have been a blessing.&rdquo;</p> <p> <em>The Food Rescue Hero app is free and available now through the </em><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/412-food-rescue-volunteer/id1165397733?mt=8"><em>iTunes App Store</em></a><em> and on</em> <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fouronetwo.foodrescue&amp;hl=en"><em>Google Play</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://412foodrescue.org/volunteer/" target="_blank">Read more about how to volunteer for 412 Food Rescue &gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/school-of-public-policy-management/public-policy-management-msppm/index.aspx" target="_blank">Read more about the MSPPM program &gt;&gt;</a></p>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3904Mon, 04 Jan 2017 09:33:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10604How to Save a Million Pounds of Food…and Counting

]]>
Heinz Alumnus at the Center of the Global Fight to End Poliohttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3888Image associated with news releaseDr. E. G. P. Haran (Ph.D. '77) is a health consultant with over 35 years of experience in public health. He has worked for such organizations as Rotary International, USAID, and the World Health Organization (WHO), supporting efforts concerning reproductive and child health, family planning, nutrition, and capacity building of NGOs. But nowhere has Haran had a greater impact than in his work toward polio eradication, particularly in India, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, where he has designed, led, and participated in polio eradication programs. From strategic planning, data analytics, and project design to mobilization, training, and evaluation, you might call Dr. Haran the consummate Heinz College graduate.

]]><p> <em>By Scott Barsotti</em></p> <div> Some people enter the professional world with ambitions of making a global impact. But as a key player in the fight to eradicate polio, Heinz College alumnus E. G. P. Haran (Ph.D. &rsquo;77) was lifted to the world stage without ever planning to end up there.</div> <p> &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t think big in the beginning,&rdquo; said Haran. &ldquo;Slowly, I got so deeply involved [in polio eradication] that then it became my commitment.&rdquo;</p> <p> Haran is a health consultant with over 35 years of experience in public health. He has worked for such organizations as <a href="https://www.rotary.org/en" target="_blank">Rotary International</a>, <a href="https://www.usaid.gov/" target="_blank">USAID</a>, and the <a href="http://www.who.int/en/" target="_blank">World Health Organization (WHO)</a>, supporting efforts concerning reproductive and child health, family planning, nutrition, and capacity building of NGOs.</p> <p> But nowhere has Haran had a greater impact than in his work toward polio eradication, particularly in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and the Philippines.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/features/poliofacts/" target="_blank">The United States has been polio-free since 1979</a>, but in 1988 (when global eradication efforts began in earnest) there were estimated to be roughly 350,000 cases in 125 countries. By 2002, that came down to less than 2000 cases of the virus in seven countries. Haran attributes that success to a combination of sustained routine immunization, effective mass vaccination campaigns, and high quality disease surveillance. These ingredients, paired with the joint commitment of governments, NGOs, religious leaders, and volunteers, reduced wild poliovirus cases worldwide by over 98 percent in 14 years, a breathtaking public health victory.</p> <h2 style="text-align: right;"> <em><strong>&ldquo;Any bright master&#39;s student with a good analytics systems synthesis approach could have done [the work I did].&rdquo; </strong></em></h2> <h2 style="text-align: right;"> <em><strong>~ Dr. E. G. P. Haran</strong></em></h2> <p> Mass vaccination campaigns using the easy-to-administer oral polio vaccine (OPV, informally &ldquo;polio drops&rdquo;) were integral to that success. These campaigns could be tailored by country, region, and community to have the broadest reach, and would often involve spiritual leaders and celebrities to raise awareness.</p> <p> Even then, there would be resistance.</p> <p> &quot;For hardcore resistors you need to have peers, village leaders&hellip;literally field workers from their own community who will go house to house, talk to them,&rdquo; said Haran.</p> <p> During campaign days, booths would be set up where people could bring children to receive polio drops, and teams would go house to house looking for children to vaccinate, equipped with a list of addresses and mapped routes (these maps were created using a combination of satellite imagery and &ldquo;common sense,&rdquo; according to Haran).</p> <p> The numbers are staggering, and one can easily recognize these campaigns as the triumphs of operations research that they were. For example, <a href="http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/polio/en/" target="_blank">in just one round of national immunization days in India</a>, there were 640,000 vaccination booths, 2.3 million vaccinators, 200 million doses of OPV, 191 million homes visited, and 172 million children immunized.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: left;width: 300px;"> <img align="" alt="Dr E G P Haran" height="400" src="image.aspx?id=10404&amp;width=600&amp;height=400" width="600" /> <p> Dr. E.G.P.Haran speaking at Heinz College</p> </div> <p> <strong>Reaching the unreached</strong></p> <p> At one time, India was a primary exporter of the virus&mdash;especially the northern central states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where a combination of population density, environmental conditions, poor health infrastructure, and opposition from religious fundamentalists stymied the campaign&rsquo;s ability to deliver the vaccine.</p> <p> &ldquo;There were many unreached populations there, so that&rsquo;s where the virus continued for a long time,&rdquo; said Haran.</p> <p> That word&mdash;<em>unreached</em>&mdash;is a vital one. Haran said that perhaps the highest priority for any mass vaccination campaign is &ldquo;reaching the unreached,&rdquo; an evocative phrase that calls to mind images of remoteness and poverty. Indeed, these unreached populations were largely children of seasonal construction workers, farm workers, or homeless migrants who may slip through the cracks of a national vaccination campaign.</p> <p> How were these children located? Haran remarks that data analytics played an enormous role.</p> <p> &ldquo;When we do polio surveillance, we can&rsquo;t look for polio, that would require lab confirmation. We look for reports of any sudden paralysis in any children. Every case of suspected paralysis is immediately investigated to collect information about the profile of the child to learn how many doses of polio drops they&rsquo;d received,&rdquo; said Haran. Once these children were found, researchers could gather information to create a characterization of who the children were, and these surveys found that many of these children had not been vaccinated.</p> <p> &ldquo;Typically, during a campaign you go house to house, but these children don&rsquo;t have a house, so they aren&rsquo;t reached by the health system,&rdquo; said Haran. &ldquo;We also learned where the migrant children would sleep at night, so we could find them in the evenings and give them the vaccine.&rdquo;</p> <p> <img alt="Polio change in India" src="image.aspx?id=10414&amp;width=250&amp;height=500" style="float: right; width: 227.094px; height: 454.188px; margin: 10px;" /></p> <p> India went from having 1600 polio cases reported across 159 districts in 2002, to being removed from the list of polio endemic countries in 2012. In 2014, the entire WHO South-East Asia region <a href="http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs114/en/" target="_blank">was certified polio-free</a>.</p> <p> Today, reported polio cases for 2016 number fewer than 30, confined to only three endemic countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. Conflict situations and extremist groups in those countries have complicated attempts to deliver polio drops to pockets of children who are most vulnerable to the disease. Those complications range from disruption (intercepting supplies), to manipulation (spreading misinformation), to tragedy (killing health workers). At this point, Haran said that there is little more the outside community can do, that those countries must solve the issue from within.</p> <p> &ldquo;Nobody like me going there can solve it. We have to wait to see what will happen,&rdquo; said Haran.</p> <p> In the meantime, the spread of the virus is still very much possible, so the world must stay vigilant. Two years ago, <a href="https://www.unicef.org/media/media_78947.html" target="_blank">Iraq and Syria had an outbreak of the disease</a>. That outbreak was quickly contained, but Iraqi leaders wanted to get their medical officers trained in polio eradication methods. Haran was chosen to conduct the training for over thirty officers (a group he described as uniquely enthusiastic and knowledgeable) at a site outside of the conflict zone in Amman, Jordan. He was given just one month to prepare the module.</p> <p> &ldquo;It was not enough time. I felt like I was choking,&rdquo; said Haran, laughing. He needed to spend much of that time reading up on the current Iraqi program and having conferences with Iraqi leadership via Skype. &ldquo;I couldn&rsquo;t imagine talking to Iraqis about what&rsquo;s valid for India or Pakistan, I needed to make it relevant for Iraqis.&rdquo;</p> <p> From strategic planning, capacity building, and project design to mobilization, training, and evaluation, you might call Dr. Haran the consummate Heinz College graduate. He fondly recalls interactions with founding dean Bill Cooper, who Haran credits with expanding his interests and making him more flexible and adaptable in his thinking.</p> <p> Haran humbly suggests that while his Ph.D. gave him credentials and credibility to deal with senior officials, that a path like his would be open to any Heinz College grad with an interest in public health.</p> <p> &ldquo;Any bright master&#39;s student with a good analytics systems synthesis approach could have done [the work I did],&rdquo; said Haran.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Eradication endgame</strong></p> <div class="customSidebar" style="float: right;width: 250px;"> <h2 style="text-align: center;"> Polio Eradication Resources</h2> <ul style="text-align: left;"> <li> <a href="http://www.who.int/topics/poliomyelitis/en/" target="_blank">Polio Facts (WHO)</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/polio/" target="_blank">Polio Eradication (CDC)</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.unicef.org/immunization/polio/" target="_blank">Eradicating Polio (UNICEF)</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.rotary.org/en/end-polio" target="_blank">End Polio Now</a></li> <li> <a href="http://polioeradication.org/" target="_blank">Global Polio Eradication Initiative</a></li> </ul> </div> <p> The polio virus only exists in humans, not animals, and cannot live outside the human body for long, which makes it truly eradicable. So what does it mean to completely eradicate a disease?</p> <p> To put it simply, eradication will be achieved when the vast majority of the world&rsquo;s children receive routine immunization on schedule (think 80-90 percent), and that level is sustained for a three-year period during which time disease surveillance validates no new virus anywhere on the globe. Routine immunization will start to feature doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV, or the &ldquo;Salk&rdquo; vaccine), rather than the live, attenuated OPV.</p> <p> Haran says it will happen in one day&mdash;the whole world will collectively stop giving polio drops. Then, all remaining polio viruses can be contained in a laboratory and destroyed, and a horrible disease will be gone from the planet.</p> <p> Haran holds his thumb and forefinger an inch apart, smiling. &ldquo;We are <em>this</em> close.&rdquo;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>For more information about how you can support efforts to eradicate polio, Dr. Haran encourages you to visit </em><a href="http://www.endpolio.org"><em>www.endpolio.org</em></a><em>.</em></p>
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/index.aspx?nid=3888Mon, 04 Jan 2017 11:00:00 GMThttp://www.heinz.cmu.edu/news/news-detail/image.aspx?width=250&mar=1&id=10533Heinz Alumnus at the Center of the Global Fight to End Polio

]]>