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The Studio Exec Who Wants Hollywood to Get Real About Bad Storytelling

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The Studio Exec Who Wants Hollywood to Get Real About Bad Storytelling

That’s fair.

When you think about building stories for multiple audiences, not just audiences of color, but queer audiences, disabled audiences, female audiences, I mean, we’re seeing a lot of evidence at the box office lately that suggests how difficult it is to build a hit that’s not a success among BIPOC and female audiences. Unfortunately, we don’t have as much data on queer and disabled audiences from a box office perspective, but everything I’m reading tells me that as those audiences become more vocal it’s impossible to build a hit without them.

When we say we’re trying to broaden marketing appeal, we’re actually trying to provide many different entry points to different audiences from a more authentic point of view. So when you see that character in the movie trailer, you feel like you’ve really thought about him, rather than what feels like a more superficial or token representation that doesn’t really produce what you’re looking for.

What would you say to someone who calls Story Spark another AI tool that studios are imposing on an already fractured industry?

There is no AI involved in Story Spark. The only thing that is working is your brain.

The original AI.

Good. Real intelligence. One thing about my time in tech was learning how to create scalable solutions that people can use. You are not uploading a script. You’re taking a script that you know well and you’re asking yourself a series of questions about it or you’re asking your creative collaborators a series of questions about it. Regarding the idea of ​​studios forcing things on a fractured market, I think one of the lessons for me that came out of the strikes is that consumers are extremely demanding and part of the role that studios play in a good partnership with a narrator is to find those places. of positive construction, debate and dialogue. If the studio executive agrees with everything and has no notes, it probably won’t be the best movie possible. The same goes for narrators: you don’t have to take all the notes, but you also can’t not take notes.

Because if you don’t, what happens?

In my opinion, there would be nothing worse than showing up on opening weekend and suddenly there are narratives related to your film that never emerged during development. We want to take that off the table and focus those conversations.

Story Spark isn’t AI, but AI is coming to Hollywood anyway. OpenAI is courting many of the big studios with Sora, a text-based video generator. Many filmmakers have strong reservations about the use of AI and its consequences. Would you say those reservations are justified?

What has always happened as new technologies appear is that there is an immediate type of My God, VCRs mean no one will go to the movies again.. And then we realized that no, we actually still like to go out and do those things. Streaming means the albums will never be played again. And it’s like, no, actually, we still enjoy listening to an artist’s work from start to finish. So I heard cowboy carter and to Renaissance. While fear is reasonable, I think it will create really smart boundaries.

How is that?

We, as humans, but also as creatives, have always been able to navigate and take advantage of whatever these different technologies are. I don’t see any evidence that AI is going to be significantly different in the long term. For people on the studio side and the creative side (and anywhere in between), my invitation would be to think about how AI is a tool in the toolkit, but it never replaces the person who owns it. Because we have knives, does that mean we are now useless? No. I can cut those things up faster instead of having to tear up the chicken. I’m still a chef.

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