OpenAI hits Hollywood to pitch Sora

openAI Sora Tyler Perry
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Tech company OpenAI is meeting with Hollywood industry folks this week to show off its whizzy text-to-video generator application, Sora.

You’ve likely heard the story by now about Tyler Perry and the cancellation of his planned $800m studio. The filmmaker was all set to pull the trigger on a grand new production facility when he was introduced to Sora, OpenAI’s impressive new text-to-video generator. Whatever Perry saw awed him so much that he cancelled plans for the new studio, believing that the application could consign bricks and mortar facilities to a peripheral part of the film industry within a few years.

According to reports, there may be plenty more filmmakers staring into that abyss in the coming week as OpenAI, the company behind Sora, is set to show it off throughout Hollywood. According to Deadline, the company ‘wants more filmmakers to become familiar with Sora, the text-to-video generator that potentially could upend the way movies are made.’

It will be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of weeks as filmmakers and other industry professionals respond to the advances of AI on their business and art form. In the case of Perry, the filmmaker was clearly spooked and talked about the need to regulate the software in order to avoid the complete extinction of the industry as we know it.

Sora isn’t available for public use at the moment, but OpenAI says it will be before the end of the year. Early reports have described it as hugely impressive, but with lots of limitations. However, as generative AI, Sora’s development is said to be incredibly quick and within two to five years, Hollywood may be looking at major reforms to adopt the technology.

AI continues to be a concern in Hollywood, given that it was a huge stumbling block in negotiations in last year’s strikes and may well be again this year as the teamsters’ union enters negotiations with studios to renew its contract. Here in the UK, we’ve seen union body Pact publish guidelines for the use of AI in the screen industry but as for actual laws to regulate the tech, things are moving way too quickly for regulators to manage.

How Hollywood chooses to respond in the face of such new technology will depend on how its top brass reacts – it’s likely they’ll at Sora and similar applications and see its appeal for saving dollars. Where that leaves everybody else remains to be seen.

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