Berlin Holds Debate on AI’s Impact on Hollywood Jobs: “Beware Those Who Wield These Tools

Berlin Holds Debate on AI's Impact on Hollywood Jobs: "Beware Those Who Wield These Tools

Berlin Holds Debate on AI’s Impact on Hollywood Jobs: “Beware Those Who Wield These Tools

Hollywood has been experimenting with generative AI video tools for film and TV production, but the results have been mixed, posing an existential threat to workers in visual effects and other postproduction roles.

At the Berlin Film Festival, discussions about the promise and peril of Sora, Sam Altman’s newly-unveiled text-to-video technology from OpenAI, took center stage. Sora claims to create highly detailed visual scenes from simple text prompts, sparking debates about AI and worldbuilding in the entertainment industry.

Berlin Holds Debate on AI's Impact on Hollywood Jobs: "Beware Those Who Wield These Tools

Dave Clark, a Los Angeles director and early adopter of AI tools represented by Secret Level, offered a different perspective. He argued that instead of feeling threatened, creators should embrace AI technologies for generating content that was previously unimaginable. “This is a game-changer. You shouldn’t fear losing your job. You should fear the person who wields these tools,” Clark emphasized.

The Sora system has garnered attention for its ability to generate videos of complex scenes with multiple characters, various types of shots, and accurate details of subjects in relation to their backgrounds from simple text prompts. OpenAI’s model is notable for its ability to maintain visual quality and consistency while adhering to user instructions.

AC Coppens, founder of The Catalysts, emphasized that experts are closely watching Sora with a mix of concern, fascination, and excitement for its potential in immersive storytelling and narrative development.

Unveiled just two days ago in a beta testing phase, OpenAI’s Sora claims to create videos up to one minute long. However, Dave Clark cautioned that while Sora produces crisp, almost photorealistic imagery, it still needs to be complemented with traditional storytelling and narrative techniques to appeal to wider audiences.

“When you create that 60-second shot of an astronaut soaring through space, then what? Where does the story take us?” questioned Clark. He highlighted that while Sora may be at the forefront of Hollywood and the advertising industry, there’s also a sense of apprehension. “There’s a lot of excitement, but there’s also a lot of fear. What does this all really mean?” he emphasized.

Clark also noted that AI-generated tools are particularly useful for rapidly creating screenplay pitch decks, allowing for unique and unconventional story visions to be presented to major studios within days. “A Hollywood exec may never have taken that meeting, but now you might be able to offer a vision of a story that’s unique and different from your typical Hollywood fare,” he explained.

Christina Caspers-Roemer, managing director of German VFX studio Trixter, expressed confidence that film and TV production will continue to rely on human creators for content, despite the efficiency and speed offered by AI tools like Sora. “I’m still prioritizing human creators as the foundation. While we’re exploring faster idea generation with all available tools, our clients ultimately return to real-world storytelling,” she affirmed.

However, Caspers-Roemer acknowledged concerns among Trixter’s clients regarding potential legal implications stemming from the use of AI tools to create VFX content across different jurisdictions. She stressed the importance of integrating AI and machine learning models with traditional storytelling techniques to navigate these challenges effectively.

Simon Weisse, a Berlin-based miniature specialist and prop maker for renowned Hollywood directors like Wes Anderson and Steven Spielberg, shared his perspective on incorporating new AI tools and techniques into traditional prop making. Despite initial concerns about job displacement, Weisse embraced AI as a complement to his craft. “I’m still here. And with AI coming, it’s very interesting. A lot of people don’t want to talk about AI. But it’s just a new thing, and we have to work with it,” he remarked, highlighting his experience in creating distinctive movie worlds using miniatures.

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