The Korea Herald


[Room Tone] 'Words into an AI prompt, does not a film make'

By Korea Herald

Published : April 15, 2024 - 10:30

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Text-to-video entry:

“Please generate a high-octane, action film with the following storyline:

"A father receives a phone call from an unknown number informing him that his estranged daughter has been kidnapped. If the father wishes to see his daughter alive, he must break into the safety deposit box of the five-star Seoul hotel where he works as a midnight janitor. He has two hours to get the contents of the security box to the designated drop point. In addition to the ticking clock and the pursuing Seoul police force, further complicating our father’s mission is the presence of a dangerous entity who is also after the contents of the safety deposit box. Using his wits, some luck and assistance from an unexpected ally, father and daughter are reunited in the nick of time, but only to realize that things are not all what they seem to be.

"The action in the film should aim to reflect the raw, kinetic energy seen in Park Chan-wook’s 'Oldboy' and also incorporate a car chase scene similar to the one seen in John Frankenheimer’s 'Ronin.'

"Artistically, the film should be highly stylized with saturated color contrasts. It is very important that there be not a dry street in the entire film; all roads must be wet and glossy, allowing for maximum reflection of lights and neon to showcase the vibrant nightlife of Seoul. Please note Wong Kar Wai’s 'Fallen Angels' and Ridley Scott’s 'Black Rain' for reference.

"The cinematography should incorporate the digital distortion effects introduced in Michael Mann’s 'Collateral' used in conjunction with the impeccable framing and composition of David Fincher’s 'Zodiac.'

"The soundtrack will include upbeat, electronic music matched with scores that are tonally similar to Joe Hisaishi’s moody compositions found in Bong Joon-ho’s 'Memories of Murder.' We should also incorporate a well-known piece of classical music at the climax of the final action scene for good measure.”

End entry.

Earlier this year, the world was introduced to Sora, OpenAI’s text-to-video artificial intelligence model. On, Sora is described as “an AI model that can create realistic and imaginative scenes from text instructions.”

While Sora is currently limited to generating 60-second clips, the unveiling of this innovation has already begun to raise concerns, including from those in the filmmaking community, many of whom have already started lamenting the inevitable downfall of filmmaking as we know it.

Even if the technology would allow the creation of feature-length films, I truly believe that the AI-generated film using the provided text above would not be very enjoyable. Similar to my best efforts to follow a simple pasta recipe, it’s clear that filmmaking, like all execution-based endeavors, is more than just the sum of its parts. While the Sora-generated video clips are indeed impressive, I recall a poetic quote from an anonymous user on Reddit: “Words into an AI prompt, does not a film make.”

Issues stemming from areas in copyrights, unauthorized exploitation and job displacement are among the legitimate concerns of the inclusion of AI technologies in the film industry. We must acknowledge that prohibiting the adoption of AI from the industry outright will be impossible. Despite these areas of concern, I am excited about the potential to deploy these emerging technologies to our industry’s collective advantage.

AI will prove valuable in enabling filmmakers to explore new ideas in a more cost-effective manner, fostering innovation in the industry. As the industry grapples with rising content production costs, there is apprehension that these escalating expenses may threaten the sustainability of the Korean content industry. However, I remain hopeful that AI technologies will enable us to streamline the creative process, thereby helping to control production costs and ensure long-term success.

Just as the introduction of Technicolor film, digital cameras and the personal computer empowered creative filmmakers to enhance and transform the scope of their artistry, AI technologies will undoubtedly encourage us to push the boundaries of our cinematic horizons; enabling both filmmakers and the industry to evolve and flourish.

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Thomas Suh is the founder and managing director of Systeme D Entertainment, a filmed media and entertainment company that specializes in content acquisition, management and production for film and television. "Room Tone," the title of Suh's column series, refers to the ambient sound of a space in which filming takes place. Thomas Suh can be reached at -- Ed.