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Intersection of AI and Hollywood

With AI rapidly innovating how we create content, the film industry finds themselves in a new era. While GenAI has not quite reshaped Hollywood (yet), its presence has definitely been felt and it’s here to stay. From AI-generated short films to AI platforms democratizing access to movie making, and even actors having to decide whether to sell their likeness, Hollywood as we know it is about to cease to exist.

AI-Generated films are on the rise

In May 2023, the very famous AI video “Lord of the Rings by Wes Anderson: The Whimsical Fellowship was created by just 3 people - Caleb Ward, Shelby Ward, and Tyler Smith - and of course AI. That’s about 99% less people and less time than a usual movie takes. Think about it… anyone with a movie idea can create a full feature film just by prompting for it. All you need is a single computer, even your phone is enough, connection to the internet, and an AI video platform of your choice.

The Wes Anderson inspired trailer featured a star-studded cast with Timotheé Chalamet as Frodo, Bill Murray as Gandolf, Willem Dafoe as Sméagol and Owen Wilson as Sauron. Now that’s an important topic we’ll touch upon below… AI actors 👀

Who are the trailblazers making AI Movies possible? 🧠

Runway and Pika Labs are the leading GenAI giants pushing the boundaries of video production, brining incredible technology that gives almost anyone the ability to create their very own blockbuster movies.

Runway made headlines by organizing an AI film festival in New York, spotlighting a diverse range of groundbreaking projects that defy traditional filmmaking conventions.

Meanwhile, Pika Labs has surged onto the AI video generation scene with the debut of Pika 1.0, sending a clear message: video content creation is now accessible beyond technical experts and affluent individuals. Together, these companies not only demonstrate the versatility and creativity unleashed by AI technology in filmmaking but also actively engage the community in embracing AI's potential in the film industry.

Redefining Casting in Films with AI 👀

Private Island, a production company specializing in AI tech, worked with Wieden and Kennedy and Turner Prize-Winning Artist, Gillian Wearing, in 2021 for her exhibition called “Life: Gillian Wearing”. The outcome was a 5-minute film about Gillian that used face-swapping. Throughout the film, you can hear Gillian talk about herself, but the people onscreen are actors who have Gillian’s facial features integrated with their own. This suggests that filmmakers may not have to rely solely on physical appearance or acting ability when casting for films. With the use of AI, they can seamlessly integrate an actors facial features with those of another person, opening up new possibilities for casting choices!

So what do actors' think about AI? 👨‍🎤

There seems to be a divide amongst actors about AI in Hollywood. Actors like Bruce Willis have embraced the use of AI to extend their careers, and grow their revenue, by selling their digital likeness. Bruce Willis gave a production firm called DeepCake the permission for them to use deepfake technology to insert his likeness for a series of different advertisements by creating his so-called “AI Twin”.

Scarlett Johansson on the other hand, is taking legal action against unauthorized use of her likeness in an ad by an AI app. Using a photo of a celebrity for commercial gains is pretty similar to papparazzi selling photos of celebrities. These are merky legal waters and a bit of a toxic relationship actors have had with tabloid newspaper purchasing these pics. But now that AI has entered the playing field, it seems that actors like Scarlett are heating up about not so much the photo being used, but by her likeness being misrepresented and "acting" without her actually ever acting for that ad.

What does the future hold for Hollywood? 🎬

Last year we dove into AI Hollywood ourselves, but with our own take - leveraging an actress' likeness to create our Famous portrait series. It became so popular, the style became a permanent feature in our style library. This is a strong signal to the world of actors and models - your likeness can be leveraged to your advantage. So we absolutely can foretell that global talent agencies such as IMG will soon monetize their talents’ likeness on an unprecedented scale, ushering in a new era of digital entertainment.

Actors won’t even need to be on the set to create entertainment, movies will take weeks instead of years to film, and most importantly you will be able to choose your own actors… or very likely Netflix will know you so well the choice will be made for you and each movie will be highly personalized with your favorite actors!

In the end, as we navigate this brave new world of AI movies and tv-shows, one can't help but recall a particular haunting episode from Netflix’ Black Mirror titled, "Joan is Awful." This serves as a reminder of the complex and often unsettling nature of AI technology, urging us to tread carefully as we venture into uncharted yet thrilling territories!


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