AI in Hollywood: How Hollywood Uses AI - banner

Hollywood, in the real sense, is a large product incubator. Whatever the creators choose to groom through the industry’s pipeline often has its reputation going off the roofs. The cinema fraternity envisions all associated aspects, ranging from character depiction to the industrial influences, with grandeur.

Among many disciplines, AI in Hollywood staple has been for ages. Movies have portrayed technologies involving sophisticated robots and its arsenal prancing towards world domination. While the storyline is alluring on the screen, especially when the protagonist rises against all the odds to save humanity, the practicality of such depiction suggests otherwise. As a matter of fact, the entire representation of AI is slightly offbeat compared to reality.

Let’s take a look at some AI technologies that have nothing to do with fuming robots, but rather, disciplines which could help revolutionize Hollywood through Artificial Intelligence.

Script Writing

There couldn’t be anything weirder and eerier than an AI written script. Here’s your proof: “Sunspring“.

Sunspring is a short sci-fi film with scenes from the future. The attire primarily suggests that the movie is from the future. The storyline revolves around three characters inside a spacecraft like a vessel. However, the plot is far from bearable once the audience reaches the 2-minute mark – this is from a personal experience. The story lacks a good base that’s essential for all movies.

Though the real scriptwriters got the better of AI on its first attempt, critics can’t quite draw a line limiting its artistic credibility. With an intense algorithm designed to prepare stories better, there’s no saying if machine written scripts could stand primary to those of the writers.


Say you have a shot to shoot which includes a high-speed ninja chase from one building to another. What camera options do you have? The traditional handheld camera movement, considering the size and weight can’t quite get the desired shot. On the other hand, helicopter shoot too is a bit out of the question. Enter drone.

Drones provide a new cinematographic perspective as a digital camera mounted onto a whizzing mini-aircraft captures off-ground movements. These gears have now gained popularity as its use has simultaneously increased. This surge in popularity comes after the Federal Aviation Administration’s clearance for the use by the film and television industry. Also, camera drones and crew cost as little as $5000 a day compared to the $25,000 or more helicopter shoot.

Facial Motion Capturing

Facial expression detection software scans the facial gesture and converts them into real-time data. Animation pioneer – Disney — uses one of such software to capture and depict a person’s expression and convert them into animation. Before the introduction of the concept, animators often lacked preciseness. They failed to show minor details like the wrinkling of skin and change in facial structure while depicting various expressions.

This Disney created technology enables the software to read a person’s changing facial expression using a camera. The data, later, is turned into an animated mask in real time. The dynamics of this software allows its use for anyone at any time, contrary to the previous software.

Disney writes, “While these models simplify the capture problem and facilitate performance retargeting to other characters, they fail to capture the unique medium and fine scale facial details of the individual, such as wrinkles on the forehead or the so-called crowns feet around the eyes.”

Performance Predictions

In the end, all that matters is an ample audience appreciation and hands on that golden lady. Anyhow, the road to glory has its ups and more ups. Now, a startup from Israel is trying to crack the code to Hollywood success.

Valut has created a program that claims to predict movie ratings simply by reading the script. In a Business Insider article, it states that the machine learning backed software hinges on an intensive analysis of 300,000 to 400,000 story “features,” which can be things like themes or level of violence.

Vault has been analyzing the script data from films dating back to 1980s. The system, based on the script, compares data points to the box office performance chart. Vault co-founder and CEO David Stiff claims that the system’s algorithm can predict the box-office performance of a film with 65% to 75% accuracy.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has stirred a notion of virtually entering the cinema sets through glasses modified for such experiences. The potentialities have compelled filmmakers to experiment with multiple screen angles providing the audiences a 360-degree view. Though new, Hollywood has been catching up to the trending technology. Major studios, from Fox to Paramount and much more, have experimented with the form through tie-ins to established franchises like Interstellar and Game of Thrones. Furthermore, with estimated sales of approximately 12.2 million dollars, it is nothing but obvious that VR is a serious business at present.

Keeping in mind the importance of the VR content, Oculus – one of the leading VR headsets producers — launched story studio managed by a former Pixar director to produce virtual reality film content. Since the headset allows the audiences to step onto movie sets, it elevates the overall cinema experience, therefore, inviting evolutions along the line.

Augmented Reality

The overwhelming popularity of Pokémon Go boosted the concept of augmented reality to its mass users. Though AR concept is still in a developmental stage, Hollywood has already started exploring its possibilities. In the 2016 SIGGRAPH week, Virtual Village explored the potential of real-time immersion in the augmented and virtual realities for telling stories, engaging audiences, and powering real-world applications in health, education, design, and gaming.
AR includes an animated or programmed graphics and data in the real world environment. The concept is on the verge of stepping into Hollywood since headsets, glasses and other similar visual accessories with AR capabilities are in development.

Though AR concept is yet to come into practice, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that the developers are inching closer towards attaining this visual illusion. The recent South Korean app allowing users to interact with avatars exhibits the technology’s current capability. With further research and development, audiences may be granted options allowing character or plot tweaks.

The advancement in technology has given a sneak peak of what the future of cinema has in store from all perspectives. Innovative ideas and skills already provide filmmakers a collection of play tools to use to enhance every aspect of movies. In the most legitimate ways, the available gadgetry has come to use. Also, the current rate of evolution of the technical side of the film industries assures the audience and filmmakers of the brighter future with larger possibilities.