2023 Cross-Generational Challenge - ETCentric

The Future of Creative Media Resources: A Cross-Generational Experience Challenge

The latest Entertainment Technology Center student challenge was launched on October 5th, 2023.  Technology and processes in the entertainment industry are changing rapidly, yet the goals of the entertainment and experience industry remain the same.

Students from the schools of cinematic arts, engineering, business, communication, and innovation were asked; How can we forge alliances between the legacy community who have a deep knowledge of the storytelling arts and the rising filmmakers/creators helping shape the new tools and resources? How would you like to access these amazing legacy talents as you develop your own storytelling skills using the new tools? What would you like the organizations and institutions around you to do to support your idea?

Students were given three weeks to submit a short essay or short video articulating their idea for addressing this group of cross-generational questions.

The 11 student responses to the Challenge are embedded below.

Bridging the Gap

By Maxwell McIntosh (cmmcinto@usc.edu ) is a Graduate Student in Integrated Design, Business, and Technology at Iovine and Young Academy

Summary: In 3 chapters plus epilogue, Maxwell discusses the importance of relatable role models, understanding why decisions are made, and the value of both mentorship and reverse mentorship.

A Reddit-Style Application

By Lorene Delpuech Tuniere ( delpuech@usc.edu ), a Senior majoring in Public Relations and the Entertainment Industry in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Summary: a Reddit-like site where pre-qualified, credentialed participants can exchange ideas, pose questions, and ask for feedback in an informal, safe (no trolls allowed) environment. (short essay at link)

231027 Lorène Delpuech Turière Industry Redit

Define Needs and Find People with a Goal-Oriented Engine

By Toby (Yuheng) Zhao (yuhengz@usc.edu ), a Senior Interactive Media and Games Division major in the School of Cinematic Arts

Summary: Proposal to develop a ‘goal oriented engine’ that uses an ‘AI plus Human’ tag system to match a person with a ‘need’ to people who can help them address that need.

The Future of Media: Communiverse

By Carmen Cordova (cordovag@usc.edu ), Maram Finnell (mfinnell@usc.edu), and Diana Valdes (valdesco@usc.edu ), three Graduate Students majoring in Integrated Design, Business, and Technology in the Iovine and Young Academy

Summary: Communiverse is a new social media platform that focuses on trust, meaningful engagement, and collaborative support to connect legacy talent and rising creators. The text includes a proposed business model. (short essay at link)

231027 Diana Valdes Contreras Communiverse


By Alex Nimrod (nimrod@usc.edu), a Senior in the School of Dramatic Arts, and Maximus Jenkins (majenkin@usc.edu ), a Senior in the School of Social Science and Communications; both with minors in Cinematic Arts

Summary: Indie-stry is a proposed marketplace for developing and staffing media productions, as well as community-building and problem-solving. One piece of it is a mentors area where experienced creators can post their profiles, schedule conversations with less-experienced creators, and connect with potential interns and team members.

The Creative Nexus: Bridging Generations in Entertainment

By Joyce Zhou ( jezhou@usc.edu ), a Freshman majoring in Computer Science in the Viterbi School of Engineering

Summary: “Storytelling Circles” are curated virtual gatherings that bring together legacy artists, experienced filmmakers, and early-career talent. In addition to structured matchmaking, a “Mentor Roulette” feature provides serendipitous matchmaking. (short essay at link)

231027 Joyce Zhou Creative Nexus

IMPERFECT PITCH: a thinktank platform for creatives

By Olivia Sui (osiu@usc.edu), a Graduate Student in Games, Media, and Health within the School of Cinematic Arts

Summary: Imperfect Pitch is for storytellers to share asset-first pitches and collaborate to puzzle-piece innovative, yet perhaps incomplete ideas to fit with the latest current technologies or techniques in the field. This online community is for creatives of any tech-savvy level who are looking for the right technology or narrative to bring to life a project that would otherwise have been shelved. (short essay at link)

231027 Olivia Sui ImperfectPitch

A Cross-Generationally Led Skunk Works Team

By Terry Loyd ( Terryloy@usc.edu ), a Graduate Student in Integrated Design, Business, and Technology at the Iovine and Young Academy

Summary: Create an intergenerational team to freely innovate within a time limit. Alternatively, create workshops led by paired junior and legacy facilitators. All participants are encouraged to contribute regardless of background and level of experience.


Interesting submissions that don’t directly address the Challenge topic


By Jaden Kirshner (jmkirshn@usc.edu ), a Junior majoring in the business of cinema and a minor in AI within the Marshall School of Business

Summary: Jaden proposes starting a USC club for students from across the university who are interested in the intersection of AI, entertainment, art, design, technology, and business. He is seeking executives interested in potentially speaking at club meetings and interacting with students.

How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Should Be Integrated within Forms of Media, and How Entertainment Can be A Driving Force of Empathy in Social Issues 

By Jensen Tan (jztan@usc.edu ), a Senior in the School of Cinematic Arts

Summary: VR and AR productions should be introduced in movie theatres to leverage the medium’s empathy-building power and motivate audience members to become activists for social good. (short essay at link)

231027 Jensen Tan VRAR for social change


By Riley Hernandez (rrhernan@usc.edu ) and Kiki Tolles (kltolles@usc.edu ), Seniors majoring in Business Administration at Marshall School of Business

Summary: Help children overcome ‘climate anxiety’ and empower them to feel confident in their knowledge of the planet and their ability to fight climate change. Riley and Kiki and company will achieve this through a series of enjoyable and informative books and adventure games about natural systems, ecosystem services, and solutions; all based around characters called Biome Buddies. (short presentation deck at link)

231027 Riley Hernandez Biome Buddies Pitch