Sora’s shaking up Hollywood

It’s difficult to discern what’s real and what isn’t in this content-driven world, yet OpenAI is widening the gap even further by creating Sora, a text-to-video service that allows you to create videos using prompts.

The technology has left people awe-inspired yet left me questioning the effect that it will have on industries such as film, animation, and even the seemingly infallible beast that is Hollywood.

But what is Sora, and is it capable of changing the way we interact with, create, and understand media?

Sora explained

Sora is a large-scale AI model that transforms a user's text prompt into 60 seconds of high-fidelity video.

The service can generate videos from text prompts and pre-existing images or videos.

Various videos crafted by Sora have circulated across platforms like X, leaving people shocked at its capabilities.

Scenes of golden retriever puppies frolicking in the snow, a cityscape of Tokyo, and even a horrifying yet commercial clip of a shark surfacing on a beach are just some of the flicks generated by Sora.

These stunning videos look professional despite some inconsistencies, which should be no surprise given OpenAI's track record of creating intelligent tech.

OpenAI has demonstrated its ability to shift over into the realm of media, which adds the element of concern into the mix as filmmakers, videographers, and actors are confronted with the future.

This advancement in technology has left many of us wondering about the dangers of AI in the entertainment industry and how actors, directors, and content creators will compete with the likes of Sora.

Why Sora?

When discussing why OpenAI would create Sora, many experts agreed that OpenAI had created the service to push the boundaries of AI’s creative potential.

It’s possible that Sora will open up the creative realm for those who don’t have access to traditional resources.

“This technology could democratize the production process, enabling independent filmmakers and small studios to produce high-quality visuals that previously would have required the resources of larger studios, Brian Prince, CEO of the Florida-based AI tool, resource, and education platform Top AI Tools, said.

The service allows “individuals and organizations to generate high-quality realities easily and what they describe as “simulated worlds” from text descriptions,” Roberta Duffield, the Director of Intelligence at the narrative attack protection firm Blackbird.AI, said.

While democratizing creativity, Sora could also prove very profitable for OpenAI and is, naturally, OpenAI's answer to AI image generators like Dall-E, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney.

“To be able to generate not simply a single still image, but actual coherent video is a huge step, with extensive implications. And for OpenAI, it’s potentially very profitable,” said Professor David Tarleton of Film and Media Arts at Syracuse University.

Through Sora, OpenAI is expanding its reach while attempting to foster innovation in AI-driven content creation, Duffield said.

However, experts are aware that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and this platform could be used by “copycats” to fabricate realities that blur the line between fiction and reality.

Industry innovation

Sora could potentially inspire innovation in the industry by significantly reducing the time and cost associated with the creation of visual content, Prince said.

The industry may receive a well-needed shake-up as pre-existing professionals may need to adopt new skills in order to adapt to this technology – if implemented on a wider scale.

If this technology is eventually brought to the big screens, industry professionals should be encouraged to upskill and adapt to the changing climate.

Changing artistry to align with new technologies will challenge the ideology and ethos that encompasses film and media – shattering the prestige of modern cinema.

The new addition of our mechanical counterpart may invoke panic and distrust within the industry as concerns surrounding replacements and AI-generated misinformation begin to surface.

Director’s dilemma

Sora has arguably disastrous implications for Hollywood and creative industries as a whole.

The technology threatens to challenge the industry by facilitating a space where everyone can create groundbreaking movies.

While it may strip away the prestige of Hollywood, it also threatens to over-saturate the industry with artificially generated media.

“Hollywood is in trouble. There’s no doubt about that” as the low cost of AI-generated video has and continues to revolutionize content creation, Ryan Doser, VP of Inbound Marketing at Empathy First Media, said.

Even Tyler Perry stated that he can’t ignore AI and is planning to halt the expansion of his $800 million film studio in Atlanta over concerns surrounding AI in the industry.

Perry expressed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he wants to see regulations set in place to protect those in the creative sector.

Professionals problem?

It’s not only filmmakers and content creators who may see the negative impact of AI on the industry. Actors might also be under threat.

This technology could put an end to paid extras as Sora and other technology could create stock footage that contains extras who aren’t real – making the process both cheaper and easier.

However, some people still believe that people desire a human touch as “the artistry and skill involved in acting, including nuanced performances and emotional depth, are incomparable and irreplaceable by AI, at least at this developmental stage as it is right now,” says Kate Taurina, Head of the Casting Directors Department at ‘allcasting.’

Taurina believes that it’s highly unlikely that AI will replace actors as the relationship between the viewer and the actor is integral to the cinematic experience.

Similarly, Doser suggests that humans often seek authenticity, and individuals will seek out media that’s crafted by humans due to its uniqueness, emotionality, and cultural relevance.

So, it’s difficult to say whether AI will take over the entertainment industry. However, it’s true that it will become difficult to distinguish between AI-generated media and content created by humans.

The end of Hollywood?

AI has already created waves in various industries around the world, and the entertainment industry is no exception to the rule.

Many experts we asked agree that AI will transform the film and entertainment industry as it has many others.

However, this does not mean that the desire for media created by humans will be lost altogether.

Instead, many believe that AI should be embraced alongside human imagination, creativity, unique perspectives, and emotionality – all of which AI lacks.

“From my perspective, individuals in the film industry who embrace generative AI tools to enhance their work are set up for success,” concludes Doser.

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