I’m going to get it out of the way right at the start. Having watched the trailer, I want to go and see this movie. This trailer tells us absolutely nothing about what the movie’s about, but every cut pulls me in more. Until the guy starts talking at the end of the trailer, I’ve no idea that the movie is “an AI horror thriller”. But these are the kind of trailers I grew up with.
The trailer, for new movie Morgan, was created by artificial intelligence. Specifically, IBM’s Watson. Does it matter that the movie only scored 42% on Rotten Tomatoes? No, of course it doesn’t. A trailer’s job isn’t to tell us how good or bad a film is. A trailer’s job is to make us want to go and see the film no matter how good or bad it may ultimately be. For me, Morgan’s trailer does exactly that.
There’s too much information in it to give away any key story or obvious plot twists *cough* Terminator Genysis *cough*. But, there’s just enough to make us intrigued, and make me want to see more. You see the progression of emotion in Kate Mara’s face as the trailer goes on, it tells a tale all by itself.
A corporate risk-management consultant must decide whether or not to terminate an artificially created humanoid being.
Given the nature of the story, 20th Century Fox approached IBM to see if Watson was capable of analysing the movie and then automatically generate a trailer. IBM liked the idea and set to work sending Watson to film school. Watson analysed the whole film looking for key moments of action, and ultimately cut together the above trailer.
I find it fascinating that Artificial Intelligence is at the point where it can do even this. It easily passes muster. Had I not known in advance, I never would have guessed. I really hope this happens more often. It’s intriguing to think how the AI might produce a trailer for something like an action movie, comedy or romance by comparison.
For now, I think as long as they stick to making trailers, and not writing scripts, we’ll be ok. The script for the below short film, Sunspring, was generated by an AI. It’s an AI that we’re all intimately familiar with. It’s the one that sits on our phones, suggesting words.
What do you think about AI’s first steps into the world of cinema? Are you liking the direction things are going? Or will this just put more humans out of work to be replaced by machines? What other uses for AI can you think of in the movie industry? Let us know in the comments.