The present and future of post production business and technology

Music Videos and Narrative Scripts by Artificial Intelligence?

A couple of recent articles have pointed to Artificial Intelligence writing, or contributing to, a screenplay. A narrative script. I find this fascinating, even though my own area of interest in applied AI is in non-scripted.

There is no doubt that computer algorithms – up to true AI – will be involved in productions future. Smart people will work out how to master it.

The first article was through BBC News from late June about a pop video – Eclipse – featuring a French band. The writer notes that “it’s a rather dull piece of work,” but continues to write about the process of production, which involved AI “at every stage.”

All the computer had been given was the track, Saatchi and Saatchi director of film and content Andy Gulliman said.

“We then relied on the machine to give us a script and then a treatment,” he said.

Then, another machine took that treatment and directed the shooting of the promo, by cameras on drones, all connected to the “AI Spielberg”.

Various AI programs, including IBM Watson and a Microsoft chatbot, Ms Rinna, were used at different stages.

Facial-recognition software was also involved.

During the edit, a program was created to decide where cuts should be made according to the beat of the music and its emotional content.

To involve computer algorithms that deeply and still get something that measure up to “rather dull” is pretty impressive! IBM Watson was one of the “smart APIs” I talked about recently.

Then last week another story comes from Jack Zhang via No Film School titled How We Used Artificial Intelligence to Write a Crowdpleaser Horror Script. The writer refers to Sunspring, a film “written by an AI that could write screenplays!”

His starting point is that Sunspring doesn’t make much sense as a film, because the AI didn’t really understand deep and complex plot structures.

Why did it not work?  In short, writing a full script is probably too complex of a task for today’s AI.  Today’s AI is very good at recognizing patterns in a large dataset, but it is hard for AI to be “creative” enough to create good content.

Jack then continues to write about  Greenlight Essentials‘ work using AI to “develop the first feature film co-written by AI” by simplifying the tasks they involved computer algorithms in.

The article details the steps they involved AI in developing a feature film and refining the script. Fascinating reading, and a clear pointer that the future of media production will involve many smart APIs along the way.