Real Artists (2017)
Anne Palladon: In film school you probably learned that a movie is an intricate emotion-generation machine. We offer our audiences a perfectly crafted experience. We give them moments of laughter, perfectly oriented against occasions for pity. There must be exhilarating highs followed by terrifying, precipitous drops. We call these responses the "Emotional Chord". So, Sophia - how do you think we make sure our movies get the desired response?
Sophia Baker: You try and empathize with the audience... And wouldn't you try to do test screenings, and use the results to... see what needs tweaking?
Anne Palladon: But how do you know if your test audiences are giving you useful feedback? Too often, they tell you what they think you want to hear.
Sophia Baker: You collect biological feedback from the test screenings?
Anne Palladon: Oh, we do more than that. Our secret is Big Semi; the greatest auteur in the history of filmmaking.
Sophia Baker: Big Semi?
Anne Palladon: It's short for Big Semiotics - and this is why you had to sign the NDA. When we start to make a movie, Big Semi generates a thousand concepts by randomly picking out ideas out of a database. Sophie looks at Palladon thoughtfully. The video screen has graphic diagrams to illustrate Palladon's dialogue. Big Semi then generates a basic plot for each concept, by randomizing existing storylines - anything from classic films like Jane Eyre to current memes. It then renders a rough film based on that plot, using stock characters and dialogue, and we screen the thousand resulting films, and measure the audience response. Then Big Semi iterates on it, and we screen it again. On 1000 screens, for 200 people, 12 times a day, 365 days a year. Until it is perfect. as close as we can get to it - your edit of 'Mythos' proved we still have room to improve.
Sophia Baker: I'm sorry but... all of Semaphore's films are essentially made by an AI?
Anne Palladon: Its a process that works. Nudging responses to fit a known Chord is nothing more than an optimization problem, and Big Semi is very good at solving those.
Sophia Baker: Who is that?
Anne Palladon: John Henry. He built railroads in the nineteenth century. When steam-powered hammers were introduced to replace the building crews, John Henry challenged a steam hammer to a race to see who could finish faster.
Sophia Baker: Did he win?
Anne Palladon: Yes, He won, but as soon as the race ended he died of exhaustion. The steam hammers got faster every year, and no one ever challenged them again.
Recruiter Man: Located in Northern California, Semaphore Animation Studios has created animated feature and short films for 20 years. This isn't just your chance to create amazing movies and tell stories. This is your opportunity to bring imagination to life. At Semaphore, we work side by side to turn ideas into reality.