min read

AI and Hollywood: How Sony’s New Strategy is Shaping the Future of Film

Sony Pictures reveals a groundbreaking strategy, tapping into AI for film production, prompting discussions on the future of storytelling and original AI-generated media.

Sony Pictures CEO Tony Vinciquerra recently announced Sony’s intent to leverage AI in the film production process, a game-changing move for the studio.

For Vinciquerra, this change is largely a matter of cutting costs. “The biggest problem with making films today is the expense, and we need to find ways to produce films in a more efficient way,” Vinciquerra commented on May 30th, during an investor event. This announcement comes following Sony’s most recent earnings report, which showed a 10% decrease in year-over-year operating income for Fiscal Year 2023. Employment of AI will allow studios like Sony to drive their bottom line by making films quicker and more cost-efficient to produce.

Hollywood’s AI Anxiety

For Hollywood, and the broader community at large, fears surrounding AI’s ability to crowd out human workers are ever-present. Last year’s 118-day actor’s strike exemplified this contention. Recent headlines have centered around ChatGPT’s voice sounding highly reminiscent of that of Scarlett Johansson. Such concerns are certainly valid, as post-production, visual effects, and voice-acting work are particularly vulnerable to AI replacement. 

Despite anxieties that AI will replace media and entertainment jobs, filmmakers remark that generative AI is not a replacement for human-made films. With widespread recognition of the current limitations of AI-generated content, many creatives remain wary of using it in the final rendition of their films. Concerns span from AI-generated media's ability to accurately convey human emotions, to the disruption it brings to the status quo of film production. At present, unions have also inhibited many studios from following in Sony’s footsteps. 

AI and Humans: The Future of Film

In light of these various regulations and concerns, it is clear that both humans and AI will play integral roles in the future of filmmaking. It is also clear that the process of integrating AI into the film industry will be a gradual one, as people learn to work effectively with this new technology and gain confidence in its abilities. 

Utilizing AI in Media Beyond Film

As a leader in media creation, Sony is paving the way for changes beyond the film studio. The utilization of AI will permeate traditional methods of content creation and will fundamentally  alter the way consumers interact with media. From marketing campaigns to branded content, AI will transform the way we approach all aspects of original media creation– not just Hollywood films.

When harnessed correctly, generative AI has the ability to make profound ripples in any company looking to leverage the power of storytelling through media. In the filmmaking process, the adoption of such technology will not only allow executives to cut costs and drive revenue by creating trendier films on shorter timelines but also give creatives the power to create a new style of film altogether: AI animation. 

Sony’s announcement marks the genesis of AI being brought to the big screen. It signals an era of allowing creatives to use generative AI as an extension of artistic expression and as a novel storytelling medium. When prompted correctly and used in conjunction with human expertise and creativity, AI has the potential to transform not only the film industry but also the way multi-purpose media is created and consumed. 

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