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screenplay DEEPSTORY

So I've been playing around with this AI called DEEPSTORY. I don't know why I like playing around with this kind of stuff because I personally do not believe AI can currently come up with a story good enough to keep our attention. Will it happen in the future? Most definitely. I think the writing's on the wall as far as that's concerned.

I think once somebody comes up with an AI strong enough to understand story and structure? It'll just be a matter of time. I do think it's going to take some brilliant programmers to pull it off however... Programmers that know story inside and out and trust me... Some do exist.

I cannot imagine a studio or production company that would NOT want IN-HOUSE AI that could come up with a concept and write it out more or less. Hell, at that point? They could even bring in a screenwriter to clean it up until of course at some point, the AI doesn't need it.

But trust me... IT'S COMING whether we screenwriters LIKE it or NOT. You can believe that AI will never replace US but I believe it eventually WILL but there will always be screenwriters employed to tweak and polish thereby saving a studio/prodco one hell of a lot of money.

But that's a subject for another post unless any of you want to add your opinions below.

I've been sitting here with the DEEP STORY AI just playing around with it. The way it sits right now? No way can it come up with an all-inclusive, self-contained story but I doubt that's what it was created for anyway. I did throw in some story elements just to see what IT would come up with and after several tries, I realized while it certainly cannot finish or continue a story for you? It could certainly point you in a different direction.

Would you LIKE the direction? Who knows. I think if one plays with it ENOUGH? It could point you in the direction of a new scene that you might not have considered otherwise. No, you would NOT use what it creates AS IS, but you might pick up a possible nugget that you could spin and work into your current story.

Kind of like writing prompts... I've never really like them but I can see how reading one could get a writer started writing if everything else is failing. This is pretty much the same I think. No, it won't write your scene for you. No it won't create an entire story. But after having played with it for an hour? There were several action and dialogue excerpts that I could have easily used to keep going... After they were rewritten of course.

A little scary. No... It's not ready yet. Could be another decade or two until AI like this works but trust me... IT'S COMING.

I'd be interested in your take. Might make for an interesting discussion.

I knew I'd heard about a short film created from an AI script... Here it is:


Turns out they even made another one... LOL. Enjoy.

 
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Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
I suppose I'm sort of the resident AI expert, since I worked in the field for years. I can tell you a few things about how this is going to play out. For one thing, it will happen eventually. It's quite possible to achieve, the problem is that no one has taken this seriously enough yet to get a good result. If someone wanted to develop a primitive AI composition starting point, the answer would be to hybrid the aspects of writing that the AI can do well, with humans handling the parts that the AI cannot. That's basically been my approach with AI for the past 20 years. AI helper, not AI writer. With music, I was getting acceptable results decades ago. I just didn't toss a Stratocaster into a pile of numbers and wait for it to write Hendrix. That's what these people are basically doing.

When you see these terrible AI films with stilted nonsense dialogue, there's a reason for that. People look at it superficially and say, the reason is because AI can't write. That's not at all the problem. The issue is that the AI cannot understand. Once it does, it will be able to write just fine.

If someone wanted to develop this right now, I would say they should develop an AI that created functional modular plot structures, rather than dialogue. Also when I say they are being lazy about it, what I mean is that no one is actually bothering to teach the AI how to write. These examples you see are people that are throwing a pile of text at an AI, and trying to get it to reverse engineer it, and then write a novel. That's, how should I say, optimistic. Human brains are far more advanced, and even we typically need to take writing classes, and be taught structure and function. It's a rare instance where someone just reads books and then parrots out a bestseller, which is exactly what these AI researchers are attempting. If they actually thought this through and applied some strategy, rather than trying to brute force everything, they might see some progress.

A major issue is that no one is telling the computer about dopamine. It receives the text input, and is told to make something "like" that. But no one writes a story that says, and when these two characters kiss, the reader is suprised and happy, because they wanted it to happen but didn't think it could happen. They were suprised by the outcome and recieved a dopamine stimulus reaction. So the AI is missing critical data that all human beings know instinctively. Yes, it can copy a bad guy getting killed at the end, but it doesn't know why we want that, or what effect that has on us. And the nuances of humanity are still far beyond it. Why is it worse when an innocent child is murdered vs an old man? What if the old man was likeable? There is actually a lot of nuance in the stories we tell, that is so obvious to us, and we forget that when dealing with a machine, literally everything has to be fully explained.
 
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mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
Fortunately for me, I'll probably be dead or deep in the throes of dementia by the time this takes over entirely :)

I like PEOPLE, flaws and all. Which is why, even as a kid, I felt cheated if Mom took us to a movie and it turned out to be animated instead of live action.
 
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Not so sure it'll take that long... They've already got AI that can predict a BESTSELLER novel 80% of the time and they just keep working and pushing it.

Studios are already utilizing the services of AI that can allegedly predict boxoffice successes... LOL. Covid really threw a wrench into that/those endeavor(s) but like I said... The writing is on the wall.

I should also mention that there are some studios throwing money into this field... I think that pretty much sums up the future of Professional Screenwriting.
 
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It's all very depressing. The idea that the 'art' of screenwriting can be reduced to a bunch of formulae.

But to be honest, I feel this all began with production studios engineering movies towards the end of the 90s. It's based on their own formula for generating profits rather than seeking out talent and innovative stories. As a result, I rarely get excited about any new movie coming out these days, nearly everything feels it's built for mass appeal and just recycles the tried and tested.

In terms of Hollywood at least, modern day Producers seem to be the epitome of 'Artificial' Intelligence.
 
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Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
The speed at which this will become possible is snowballing right now because of social media platforms. Before, the AI had to try and figure out what would be popular on it's own, whereas now it can basically task humans as computational nodes within it's matrix of weighted values. Is a soccer movie going to be popular. Hmm hard to say, depends on a lot of things. Where do we get that data?

And then here's the new way. We collected data from Facebook and twitter worldwide, and soccer, Denzel Washington, and the state of Idaho are all trending upwards on seperate graphs, so a Soccer movie starring Denzel in Idaho will probably be more successful, according to the 9 billion thumbs up they have cumulatively. I don't know, but suspect that many of these AI companies are not doing anything much more complex than what some of the better marketing people always did. Reading the room, and the rest is manifest destiny. It's not magic. Nothing is.

Computers have been GIGO since day one. AI is improving a bit, but in most of these cases, it's just the same thing with more input available. A company of frat guys I once knew thought that they would become wall street quants. They went around telling people they could predict the market. They couldn't, but people kept giving them huge amounts of money based on the claims, and the more money they got, the harder they spun the readouts. Their math sort of worked, but so did everybody elses, at the end of the day, their magic formula only stayed magic as long as people were saying it did and handing them cash. What I'm saying is, before you give them too much credit, think about how well YOU might be able to predict the success of a movie. And think about how the money they budget based on that prediction affects the outcome. I said movie no 1 would work, and you budget 200 million. I said movie no 2 would not, and you budget 20. Wait a second, It turns out I was right! Movie no 1 did turn out better, and with 10x the advertising budget, it was more successful. I must be a magic movie prediction genius! You have no idea how much of the world works like this. People say they are successful at something, then receive funding based on those claims, then become successful because of the funding, which then appears to validate the original claims. Basically Madoff, for business concepts.
 
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It is depressing if this is the profession you've dreamed of eventually getting into. But when you combine this shit with all the software being developed to run screenplays through in order to make sure all demographics are represented and get their fair percentage of action and dialogue, I think it gets even more depressing. LOL.

Which goes back to what @mlesemann said... It's important to write because you want to write.

And? Who knows... Maybe all this eventual computer-generated sh*t will make human-written stories that much more necessary. Like Prohibition... People will gather together to watch old and new underground movies still written by the human brain.

Unfortunately, Here's the deal: If and when this AI does actually work? Without much overseeing by humans? Nobody's going to tell us that it's AI generated. That would be suicide in the beginning. First they'll fool us by working it into major outlets... Test the results. Tweak and polish.

Once it's self-sustaining? They may tell us the truth.

They may not.
 
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mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
Personally, I think that there will always be a market for smaller indie movies written and produced by actual humans. No, it won't get the big $$ from the studios. And no, it won't generate lines at the megaplex. But indie movies are like that now, anyway.

There may well be an even bigger chasm than there is now in terms of audience and money. But I really don't think that movies written and made by real person are going to disappear completely within my lifetime.
 
I don't either...

I think it's plain that it's still going to take a director and a crew to take an AI generated screenplay and turn it into something watchable.

It's just sad that the industry seems to be MOVING IN THIS DIRECTION in order to save a little money.
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
I wouldn't worry about it so much. Reality TV is a formula they worked out to replace high cost fiction, but proceedural generation can only go so far vs hand crafted. It will be a long time before that changes. The human mind is an incredible thing, and people can spot those patterns better than you can imagine.

If you are an amazing writer, I seriously doubt that anyone or anything can take that away from you. Can you actually imagine a room full of suits with a box and a twitter feed writing "the wind cries mary"?

Did "castles made of sand" have the exact right bass frequencies averaged out from top pop chart hits of the last year? Were it's lyrics about trending twitter topics?

Art is humanity reflected, and computers will never truly achieve that. You don't have to wait and see if people will seek out real art over mass produced pop garbage. They are doing it by the millions this afternoon. I'm not listening to Black Eyed Peas "lets get it started" while I write this. I'm listening to "shine on you crazy diamond"
 
Personally, I think that there will always be a market for smaller indie movies written and produced by actual humans. No, it won't get the big $$ from the studios. And no, it won't generate lines at the megaplex. But indie movies are like that now, anyway.

There may well be an even bigger chasm than there is now in terms of audience and money. But I really don't think that movies written and made by real person are going to disappear completely within my lifetime.
I don't think they'll disappear. My gripe is that they never get the proper exposure or recognition they deserve now because of the way they system is biased towards big studio productions. And I fear that's only going to get worse.
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
I don't think they'll disappear. My gripe is that they never get the proper exposure or recognition they deserve now because of the way they system is biased towards big studio productions. And I fear that's only going to get worse.
This problem you are describing is not specific to movies. This is an overarching societal problem having to do with wealth advantage differences snowballing into a caste system. Sci fi writers in the 50s had all this stuff worked out long before I was born.
 
This problem you are describing is not specific to movies. This is an overarching societal problem having to do with wealth advantage differences snowballing into a caste system. Sci fi writers in the 50s had all this stuff worked out long before I was born.
I agree but for some reason I tend to notice it more in terms of movies. Even with music, the generic shit tends to dominate radio airtime but I still get to hear music from independent (or at least, not entirely manufactured) artists on there too. With indie films, you have to go looking, they don't get a fair airing on mainstream platforms.
 
I still think the occasional Indie is going to rise to the top but as we've seen... That gets more difficult year after year.

With all the streaming networks and channels popping up, the need for content is going to huge... I also think it'll develop more toward niche-oriented content. Studios are already trying to sort this out. More and more categories on the rise.
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
It's because movies require a lot more budget to reach their full potential. So things funded by mindless corporations actually do often turn out better than indie artists. It's complicated exactly why, and I've explained it here and there in the past, but the bottom line is that with movies, a lot of times an underfunded artists really can't execute his or her vision, and so the corporate guys 4/10 vision, executed at 100%, is actually a better final film than the creative artists 10/10 vision, executed at 5%.

Imagine if I wrote the script for Die Hard, but it had to star Carrot Top, because thats who I could afford. Basically the game is rigged.

Here's the good news, at the same time that technologies are tilting the pinball table towards corporations, other technologies are democratizing the playing field. 10 years ago I could have never created a convincing sci fi film at home, but to some degree, that's now becoming quite possible.

It's not 100% one sided, technology will help us as well, and I think that has been left out of the conversation to some degree.
 
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