There has been a lot of chatter about AI replacing writers, actors, and various other jobs. However, as we can see when we tried to have OpenAI‘s ChatGPT generate a “crowd-pleasing” Indiana Jones sequel, it was OK, if not generic. It may take years, if not decades, for artificial intelligence to mimic the magnificence of the human imagination.
However, that’s not to say that AI isn’t helpful, primarily when tasked with providing solutions for global issues. Sometimes the tool will spit back something worthwhile. Other times, the suggestions come off as a list of political talking points from 2016.
Let’s feed ChatGPT a few questions and see what it comes up with.
How do we make Hollywood great again?
The phrase “make Hollywood great again” suggests a desire to revitalize or improve the Hollywood entertainment industry. While Hollywood has remained a dominant force in the global film and television industry, there are several ways it can continue to evolve and adapt to meet the expectations of modern audiences and address various challenges. Here are some suggestions:
- Diversity and Inclusion: Embrace diversity in all aspects of the industry, both on-screen and behind the scenes. Promote diverse voices, stories, and representation to reflect the richness of the global audience.
- Originality and Innovation: Encourage creativity and risk-taking in storytelling. Support original ideas and projects that challenge conventions and bring new perspectives to the forefront.
- Addressing Social Issues: Engage with important social issues and use storytelling as a platform to spark meaningful conversations and drive positive change.
- Fair and Equal Opportunities: Ensure fair and equal opportunities for all talent, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or background. Combat systemic biases and promote inclusivity.
- Investing in New Talent: Support emerging filmmakers, writers, actors, and other creative professionals. Provide resources and mentorship programs to foster a new generation of talent.
- Ethical Practices: Maintain high ethical standards in the industry, from fair treatment of workers to responsible environmental practices.
- Collaborations and Partnerships: Encourage collaborations between Hollywood and international filmmakers, studios, and production companies to create a more global and diverse entertainment landscape.
- Audience-Centric Approach: Prioritize audience needs and preferences. Listen to feedback and adapt to changing viewing habits, technology, and content consumption patterns.
- Industry Transparency: Promote transparency in business practices, including fair revenue-sharing models and clear reporting on box office numbers and streaming metrics.
- Balancing Blockbusters and Independent Films: Find a balance between big-budget blockbusters and supporting independent films. Both have unique value and can coexist to offer a diverse range of content.
- Environmental Responsibility: Take steps to reduce the environmental impact of film and television production.
- Supporting Film Education: Invest in film education and training programs to nurture the next generation of filmmakers and creatives.
Hmmm. That’s all pretty general stuff. Let’s try something a bit more in-depth.
We posed ChatGPT a question about improving the current financial situation of The Walt Disney Company, explaining the $10B revenue decline. Again, the AI gave us more lines about diversity and inclusion:
- Diversify Revenue Streams: Disney could explore diversifying its revenue streams beyond traditional media and theme parks. This might include expanding its presence in streaming services, consumer products, digital media, and other emerging markets.
- Invest in Streaming Services: With the growing popularity of streaming platforms, Disney can continue to invest in and expand its streaming service offerings like Disney+ and Hulu. Creating original content and securing partnerships can attract and retain subscribers.
- Content Creation: Continue investing in high-quality content across all its platforms. This can attract and retain audiences, which will be beneficial for both traditional media (theatrical releases and television) and streaming services.
- Theme Park Innovations: Innovate and invest in attractions and experiences at its theme parks to keep them attractive and draw in more visitors once the pandemic subsides.
- Embrace Technology: Stay at the forefront of technological advancements in the entertainment industry, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and immersive experiences, to keep audiences engaged.
- International Expansion: Focus on international expansion, including increasing presence in growing markets and creating content that resonates with diverse audiences worldwide.
- Cost Management: Evaluate and optimize its cost structure to manage expenses effectively while maintaining the quality of its products and services.
- Focus on Inclusivity and Diversity: Continue efforts to promote inclusivity and diversity in its content and behind-the-scenes teams to appeal to a broader and more inclusive audience.
- Strengthen Partnerships: Forge strategic partnerships and alliances with other companies in the entertainment industry to access new markets and extend its global reach.
- Sustainable Practices: Prioritize sustainable and environmentally responsible practices in its operations and theme parks to align with the growing demand for eco-friendly initiatives.
Since Disney and other companies have terminated DEI specialists this year, these are starting to sound more like politically correct talking points rather than sound business suggestions.
OK, it is evident that ChatGPT is going to regurgitate ideas that are not working when it comes to Hollywood. We’ll try a different approach that takes advantage of what the entertainment industry does a lot of – remaking old franchises.
Our subsequent request was for a “Top 10” list of old television and movie franchises that Hollywood could reboot and would resonate with the mythical “modern audience.” What we got back was possibly the worst-case scenario. Not only had some of these ideas been done and failed terribly, but the others are probably on the horizon already:
- The Matrix: A reboot of the iconic sci-fi franchise that explores cutting-edge technology, virtual reality, and philosophical themes, with a diverse cast and mind-bending visual effects.
- Indiana Jones: Bring back the adventurous archaeologist with a fresh face and new globetrotting escapades, combining action, history, and intrigue.
- Back to the Future: A modern take on time travel, featuring new characters and updated technology while keeping the core themes of friendship and consequences intact.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Revitalize the beloved turtles with state-of-the-art CGI and modern storytelling, appealing to both longtime fans and a new generation of kids.
- Ghostbusters: Reintroduce the ghost-hunting team with a diverse, all-female or mixed-gender cast, incorporating humor and supernatural elements.
- James Bond: Reimagine the suave spy for a contemporary audience with more complex character development, diverse representation, and thrilling espionage.
- X-Men: Reboot the mutant superhero team with modern themes of diversity, inclusion, and social commentary, embracing a new generation of X-Men characters.
- Planet of the Apes: Present a fresh perspective on the intelligent ape society with groundbreaking visual effects and thought-provoking social allegories.
- Jurassic Park: Return to the world of dinosaurs with a new generation of characters facing the ethical dilemmas and awe-inspiring wonders of a prehistoric theme park.
- The Addams Family: Bring back the quirky, macabre family in a modern-day setting, exploring themes of acceptance, family dynamics, and dark humor.
Look at the Ghostbusters suggestion. An all-female cast? Again?
ChatGPT has a real hardon for diversity and inclusion. I mean, a massive, throbbing, veiny hardon. So, I asked the AI why these two terms were so important, considering the tangible results we’ve seen so far have not been overly positive:
The push for diversity and inclusion in movies and TV shows is driven by several important factors, including social progress, cultural representation, and audience engagement. While it’s true that some movies and TV shows with diverse casts or themes may not always result in massive box office success, it’s essential to consider the broader context and long-term impact of these efforts:
- Representation Matters: Diversity and inclusion are critical for providing representation to underrepresented groups in the entertainment industry. Seeing themselves reflected on screen can empower individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering a sense of belonging and inspiring future generations of creators and audiences.
- Appealing to a Wider Audience: While some movies may not achieve blockbuster status, diverse stories and characters can resonate with specific audience segments, leading to loyal followings and strong engagement within niche markets.
- Addressing Changing Audience Demographics: The demographics of moviegoers and TV viewers are continuously evolving. Embracing diversity allows the industry to connect with a more diverse and global audience, ensuring relevance and longevity.
- Social Responsibility: As a powerful influencer of culture and societal norms, the entertainment industry has a responsibility to promote positive values and inclusivity. Diverse storytelling can challenge stereotypes and prejudices, fostering a more inclusive society.
- Critical Acclaim and Awards: Many diverse films and TV shows have received critical acclaim and won prestigious awards, demonstrating that diverse stories can be recognized and celebrated for their artistic and storytelling merits.
- Creating New Narratives: Diversity encourages the exploration of fresh and unique narratives, adding variety and depth to storytelling. It can lead to the development of innovative and boundary-pushing content.
- Building Brand Loyalty: Embracing diversity and inclusion can help entertainment companies build stronger brand loyalty among audiences who appreciate their commitment to social issues.
- Impact on the Industry: By promoting diversity and inclusion, the entertainment industry can set an example for other sectors, promoting broader social change and inclusion efforts.
- Long-Term Growth Potential: While immediate box office success is essential, long-term growth potential, audience retention, and brand reputation are equally crucial for sustained success.
It’s essential to recognize that the impact of diversity and inclusion efforts may not be fully measurable in short-term box office numbers alone. The entertainment industry is constantly evolving, and the effects of positive representation and inclusivity may become more evident over time as societal attitudes shift and new audiences emerge. Striving for diversity and inclusion is not only about financial gains but also about creating a more inclusive, empathetic, and representative media landscape for everyone.
Good grief. What will the artificial intelligence say when we ask it to generate a list of reasons why these initiatives may be more of a hindrance than helpful:
While diversity and inclusion initiatives in movies and television have made significant strides in recent years, there are still challenges and obstacles that can hinder their effectiveness. Here are some reasons why these initiatives may face difficulties:
- Tokenism: Some initiatives may be perceived as tokenistic, where diverse characters or storylines are included merely to check a box rather than being fully developed and authentic representations.
- Lack of Representation Behind the Scenes: True diversity and inclusion should extend beyond the screen to the creative teams and decision-makers. A lack of diversity among writers, directors, and producers may limit the authenticity of diverse portrayals.
- Resistance to Change: Some industry stakeholders may resist or be hesitant to embrace diversity and inclusion initiatives due to fears of alienating existing audiences or a belief that diverse stories won’t resonate with mainstream viewers.
- Cultural Misrepresentation: If not handled carefully, diverse stories may fall into stereotypes or misrepresentations, leading to criticism and backlash.
- Budgetary Constraints: Producing diverse content, particularly with innovative stories and representation, might be seen as financially risky, leading to less investment in such projects.
- Niche Audiences: Some diverse stories may appeal to niche audiences rather than achieving mass-market appeal, impacting their potential profitability.
- Market Perceptions: The perception that diverse content won’t sell or won’t perform well in international markets might influence decision-making.
- Ingrained Industry Practices: Long-standing industry practices and biases may slow down progress, making it challenging for new and diverse talent to break through.
- Limited Distribution: Some diverse films and TV shows may face challenges in securing wide distribution and marketing, limiting their reach and impact.
- Industry Gatekeeping: Gatekeeping practices in the industry, where access to resources and opportunities is controlled by a select few, may restrict the growth of diverse voices.
- Audience Demographics: Traditional audience demographics may not align with the changing demographics of society, leading to a disconnect in content preference.
It’s crucial to recognize that addressing these challenges requires ongoing commitment and collaboration from all stakeholders in the entertainment industry. Diversity and inclusion initiatives need to be holistic, addressing representation both on and off the screen, and making a genuine effort to provide authentic and diverse storytelling that resonates with all audiences.
I can imagine how many angry tweets that list would generate. Can you cancel an AI? I bet they’d try.[Source: OpenAI]
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