How Will Movies Be Made Twenty Years From Now?

In this article, I would like to take you on a little mental stroll into the future of the movie industry. The speculative future, that is of course.

Although we will mostly focus on the future, I came up with the idea for this post a few days ago. The past weekend I joined a bachelor's party of one of my colleagues. While it was mostly computer scientists bunched up for the whole weekend, it could only be a matter of time before we started to talk tech.

While two of the, soon to be married, bachelor's are working on AI for a living, of course, we talked about AI and the potential future use cases. And that brings us to the first piece of tech that I learned about this weekend which I think is pretty amazing. It is the work done by NVIDIA. NVIDIA, which used to be known for its graphics cards and what have you, is now the developer of some of the most advanced AI technology.

A great example is the NVIDIA Canvas app. This piece of software allows the user to generate landscapes by simply sketching basic regions on a piece of canvas. The tool will then produce realistically looking scenery. Below shows a little showcase video on how this software can be used.

Although CGI is becoming more and more important in the movie industry, I think it will just be a matter of time until the majority of movies are created using software like NVIDIA CANVAS.

Ok, so we now saw that making sceneries using AI can be a real walk in the park. In fact, using NVIDIA Canvas, it is something my 5-year-old niece could manage within minutes. But what about the art of acting? Nowadays there are many animated movies coming out each year. Typically, though, the characters are fictional and cartoon-like.

Image source

But as we saw for the scenery, AI can help us out in the acting department. We all have seen the deepfakes of famous people come by. I see this technology becoming more and more realistic and easy to use. In fact, there have been occasions where this is used for a bigger audience. The video below shows a Russian TV commercial starring Hollywood actor Bruce Willis. Well, not really starring. This commercial shows a deepfake of Willis. He never was physically involved in the making of this commercial!

So now we covered today's standings on the creation of deepfakes of actors and scenery and landscapes. While these technologies are still quite young I believe in a couple of years from now, the possibilities and quality will have grown significantly. Making a movie without the need to film real actors or landscapes will soon become the usual.

But why stop there? During some of the discussions we had over some bachelor party beers, we talked about custom online advertisements in existence today. We touched upon the fact that big international sports events use advertisements specifically for certain groups of spectators. German commercials for the German soccer team, and English commercials for their English opponents! It is already happening today:

Although it might seem a bit farfetched, I don't see why it wouldn't be possible in the future to have online content services like Netflix or Disney+ to create fully custom content.

Imagine watching a movie or series that has a plotline specifically tailor-made for you! You like action movies of a certain type, the Netflixes and Amazon primes will give you those action movies. You don't like certain actors. Great, why not exchange a Bruce Willis for an Al Pacino?

I think we are living in very interesting times when it comes to the advancement of software. The tech is extremely powerful and can be used for both good and bad. I'm really curious how things in this field will develop in the next few decades.

What do you think, where will it go?


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