Once upon a time, all stories were written by human writers, including those stories that make up movie scripts. Today, it doesn’t even take a person to write a movie. One can be written much quicker using data analytics and artificial intelligence, or AI. A (human) filmmaker and researcher from NYU recently produced a science fiction flick that aired at Sci-Fi London film festival and is now available for viewing on YouTube. Though the flick is entirely experimental and features no plot that can be followed by its human viewers, as well as totally nonsensical dialogue, it does represent a remarkable feat: the first movie created entirely by data analytics and AI. It’s called Sunspring.
Benjamin & Sunspring
The filmmakers fed an AI bot with lots of data from previous sci-fi movies. Not only did the computer (which insisted on being called Benjamin, although its creators named it Jetson) produce the script for a short film, it also wrote its own soundtrack of sorts. The film features a song that Benjamin aka Jetson wrote, performed by an electric-acoustic duo dubbed Tiger and Man. Benjamin was fed the lyrics to 30,000 folk songs in order to perform the data analytics to write the song. After Benjamin’s writing, the filmmakers acquired actors and a set for a day in order to make the movie.
But Sunspring and the now historically important Benjamin/Jetson may soon be upstaged. Greenlight Essentials, a big data movie making company in Canada, has developed software that lets its users find and tap into repeatable patterns hidden within decades worth of movie film. The data includes audience reaction, and the platform requires no previous training, knowledge, or experience in computer programming or analytical mathematics.
Greenlight Essentials and Impossible Things
Greenlight Essentials has developed its own movie using this data analytics platform, called Impossible Things. It’s a horror film, and unlike its AI-produced predecessor, Sunspring, Impossible Things features a follow-able plot and understandable dialogue. Greenlight Essentials has launched a Kickstarter page to raise funding to make the movie, written by the AI program. Contributors will get the opportunity to use the data analytics to produce their own films.
The new horror flick is a story about a family that loses a child and subsequently moves to a remote house in the country. The mom stays home to repair and renovate the house and take care of the other two kids. She starts hearing voices and seeing visions of a crazy woman and a the ghost of a girl who is very much like the daughter she lost.
The data analytics and AI platform was programmed to produce the creepiest, scariest horror film possible, according to the Kickstarter page. The goal for production of the film is $22,843. In order to avoid the nonsensical problems inherent in Sunspring, Greenlight Essentials utilized natural language processing that is smart enough to produce coherent plots.
Stay tuned for an announcement on when Greenlight Essentials meets its production goal on Kickstarter and data analytics enters a new era of creative accomplishment. Follow us on Twitter for updates to this and other data analytics stories.