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AI Will Soon Create Full Movies, Raise Bar in Hollywood

Ashton Kutcher looks at OpenAI’s generative video tool, Sora, as the future of filmmaking.

“I have a beta version of it and it’s pretty amazing,” Kutcher said of the platform in a recent conversation with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the Berggruen Salon in Los Angeles.

He added, “You can generate any footage that you want. You can create good 10, 15-second videos that look very real. It still makes mistakes. It still doesn’t quite understand physics. … But if you look at the generation of this that existed one year ago as compared to Sora, it’s leaps and bounds. In fact, there’s footage in it that I would say you could easily use in a major motion picture or a television show.”

The “That ’70s Show” star went on to explain how AI could make filmmaking significantly cheaper.

“Why would you go out and shoot an establishing shot of a house in a television show when you could just create the establishing shot for $100? To go out and shoot it would cost you thousands of dollars,” Kutcher said. “Action scenes of me jumping off of this building, you don’t have to have a stunt person go do it, you could just go do it [with AI].”

Kutcher added that, while playing around with the software, he prompted Sora to create footage of a runner trying to escape a desert sandstorm.

“I didn’t have to hire a CGI department to do it,” Kutcher said. “I, in five minutes, rendered a video of an ultramarathoner running across the desert being chased by a sandstorm. And it looks exactly like that.”

VIP+ Analysis: Sora Videos Easily Confused for Real Footage in Exclusive Survey

Referencing a new processor from Nvidia, which is supposedly 30 times as performant as existing software, Kutcher said video-generating platforms like Sora are about to become exponentially better.

“You’ll be able to render a whole movie. You’ll just come up with an idea for a movie, then it will write the script, then you’ll input the script into the video generator and it will generate the movie,” he said. “Instead of watching some movie that somebody else came up with, I can just generate and then watch my own movie.”

He continued, “What’s going to happen is there is going to be more content than there are eyeballs on the planet to consume it. So any one piece of content is only going to be as valuable as you can get people to consume it. And so, thus the catalyzing ‘water cooler’ version of something being good, the bar is going to have to go way up, because why are you going to watch my movie when you could just watch your own movie?”

Sora sent ripples through Hollywood when OpenAI released preview footage in February. Not everyone is optimistic about the burgeoning software: Tyler Perry, for one, halted an $800 million studio expansion project in Atlanta after seeing what Sora could do.

“There’s got to be some sort of regulations in order to protect us,” he said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “If not, I just don’t see how we survive.”

Perry added, “I just hope that as people are embracing this technology and as companies are moving to reduce costs and save the bottom line, that there’ll be some sort of thought and some sort of compassion for humanity and the people that have worked in this industry and built careers and lives, that there’s some sort of thought for them.”

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