Big Data, Big Movies


How Analytics Transform the Film & TV Industry, Potsdam, Germany, 22 Sep 2016; Deadline 15 Apr

Big Data, Big Movies: How Analytics Transform the Film & TV Industry

Conference Announcement & Call for Submissions

The Conference: “Big Data, Big Movies“ is a unique scholarly conference that brings together thought leaders from around the world in the field of research on filmed entertainment to discuss the use of “big data“ for understanding and advancing the film & TV industry. The conference will be hosted by Film University Babelsberg and the Erich Pommer Institute, in cooperation with the Marketing Center Münster of the University of Münster and the DFG research unit “Marketing of Hedonic Media Products in the Age of Digital Social Media“.

The Co-Chairs: Jannis Funk (Film University Babelsberg) and Thorsten Hennig-Thurau (University of Münster) will serve as conference co-chairs.

The Why: With the rise of digitalization, the film industry has been challenged by new opportunities and new players which have turned insights from smart analyses of big data into a central element of the industry’s value creation. Scholars from several disciplines, including marketing, management, and economics, have been exploring the power of big datasets and econometric models for some decades, but their insights have been largely overlooked by an industry that is traditionally characterized by William Goldman’s “Nobody knows anything“ mantra. This conference intends to showcase key and novel findings from scholarly research that can provide rich insights into what is required to make successful films and TV series/shows these days. How can these insights be of value in an industry that is characterized by creativity and intuition?

In addition to providing a platform for leading academic film research, the conference aims to connect timely scholarly insights with state-of-the-art industry thinking. To facilitate the exchange of ideas between scholars and the industry it will feature several elements to connect both parts of the film industry, including roundtables, joint dinners, and a guided tour of the Babelsberg film studios where Hollywood legends such as Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg have created some of their finest works.

Two for One: Please note that this scholarly conference is followed by an industry event on the same topic that will take place on the next day and which the conference participants are also invited to attend. This scholarly conference is connected with an Industry Day on the same topic which will take place on the following day (Friday, September 23, 2016). It will feature speeches and presentations from big data entrepreneurs and film industry executives who will share their experiences with the usage of big data and their visions on the future of the film industry. It is a key goal of this event to build bridges between scholarly knowledge and industry wisdom, so participating academics are strongly encouraged to extend their stay and also attend this follow-up event. More information on this event will be made available soon on the conference website.

When & Where & How Much: The conference will take place on September 22, 2016 at Film University Babelsberg. It will start at 9.30am, featuring scholarly presentations and also elements to connect scholars with selected leading industry executives. The formal part of the conference will end at 6pm. Attendants are then invited to participate in an exclusive tour of Studio Babelsberg, a legendary filmmaking venue where the Studio’s Vice President and COO Christoph Fisser will show the participants around the studio facilities where movies such as Inglourious Basterds, The Hunger Games, and Bridge of Spies have been filmed. Afterwards there will be a get-together dinner for conference attendants and selected industry executives. A (small) participation fee for scholars of 100 Euro applies, which includes food and drinks during the day, the dinner on Thursday evening in Potsdam, and the exclusive guided tour of the Babelsberg film studios. If you also want to attend the Industry Day event on the following day, the combined fee for both events is 120 Euro. The conference language will be English. A list of conference hotels will be provided soon.

Proposal Submissions: Scholars can participate in the conference either by presenting a current piece of work or by only attending the conference and subsequent events (studio tour, dinner). If you are interested in presenting your work at the conference, please submit a one-page proposal which should include (a) the title of your project, (b) a description of the research idea, (c) a description of the dataset and methods used, and (d) an outline of your key results and how they are relevant for the film & TV industry. If your research is work in progress and results will only be available at the time of the conference, that is also feasible; please simply let us know in the results section of your proposal. The proposal should be sent to before April 15, 2016. The work you are proposing to present should not have been published already or accepted by a journal (however, it can of course be a follow-up to a previously published research project). All proposals will be reviewed by the conference co-chairs, and authors will be informed whether their submission has been accepted for presentation at the conference by the end of April at the latest.

Registrations: You can register from now on by sending an email to or Please indicate whether you are planning to present a paper or not at the conference (if you plan to present a paper, submissions are not required until April 15). Please note that the number of attendants is limited for this conference to assure a personal and interactive atmosphere. A first-come-first-served policy is applied, so please consider registering rather sooner than later.

Want to Know More? Please check the conference website for updates: