top of page
  • Orbitae Films

Showrunner: The Netflix of AI

This weekend, we saw a meme of a guy sitting on his couch, typing a prompt to create the kind of movie he wanted to watch. The caption read: “movies in 2027”. To be honest, we didn’t know how to feel about it. Little did we know that while having our coffee this morning, we’d find out it’s already happening! A new player has entered the ring, promising to revolutionize how we create and consume content: Showrunner.



WHAT IS SHOWRUNNER?

Showrunner is a text-to-episode system, an AI-powered platform designed to assist in the making of “AITV”, as described on their website. Created by The Simulation, the platform offers tools that leverage AI to help script, produce and even cast shows. The goal is to democratize content creation, making it accessible to a broader range of people who have stories to tell but may lack traditional resources. In fact, their target audience is people outside of the filmmaking industry—non-professionals.

“It’s the Netflix of AI”, founder and CEO Edward Saatchi told Forbes. “Watch an episode, or make an episode”

With this tool, users can create scenes and episodes lasting from 2 to 16 minutes by providing a short prompt. The platform features AI-generated dialogue, voices, editing, various shot types and consistent characters. However, as Saatchi told Theoretically Media, episodes are more episodic in nature for the moment, so you have to “think more like a sitcom where each episode is self-contained and less like an 8-season HBO epic”, although they are working on making it more consistent. Additionally, they are limited to specific styles: anime, 3D animation and cutout.



Showrunner launched last Thursday with teasers for 10 shows already in development. Currently in an alpha program, the platform has a waitlist with over 50,000 people, according to their website. However, if you have a comedy series idea, you might get early access, as they are currently focusing on that genre. 


INDUSTRY CHALLENGES

The launch of Showrunner has generated significant buzz and turmoil in the filmmaking industry, which is still recovering from the writers' and actors' strikes and ongoing negotiations with IATSE, the union representing many of the crew members essential to film and television production.


In addition to that, on the same day Showrunner was introduced, Sony Pictures Chief Executive, Tony Vinciquerra, announced at an investor conference in Japan that the company plans to explore using AI to produce films for theaters and television more efficiently, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.


This highlights a broader industry trend towards integrating AI into various aspects of film production, a trend that contributed to the recent strikes. But, as George Lucas told Brut during the Cannes Festival, the use of technology in filmmaking is not only inevitable but has been a staple for over 25 years.


However, these disruptive technologies come with their fair share of pain. Echoing this sentiment, DreamWorks founder Jeffrey Katzenberg stated at a Bloomberg conference in November 2023 that AI would drastically change how animated movies are made, reducing the resources needed to just 10% of what was previously required. Showrunner exemplifies this potential.

"In the good old days when I made an animated movie, it took 500 artists five years to make a world-class animated movie. I think it won’t take 10 percent of that", Katzenberg

These developments, coupled with the recent wave of layoffs in the animation and VFX industries and the closing of several animation studios, paint a worrisome landscape for those who create content and entertainment. In short, the integration of AI presents both opportunities and significant challenges, as the industry grapples with the implications for traditional creative roles and job security.


THE SILVER LINING

While Showrunner arrives with a strong and innovative allure, much like Sora, its long-term impact remains uncertain. The platform has the potential to democratize content creation, yet it's clear that:

  1. AI alone cannot replace human creativity and originality.

  2. Not everyone is a good storyteller, which is why writing as a profession exists.

  3. A single prompt is like an idea. But to make it interesting (full script) is a whole 'nother story.


So, initially, Showrunner may attract a lot of interest, but sustaining that interest will require more than just novel technology—it will need compelling, human-driven stories.


When we think about it, the future of content creation can be summed up with a simple equation: AI replicates existing ideas + Hollywood’s fear of innovation = more generic movies to come, which is the root problem we are having right now. Or, in the father of Star Wars' words: “the stories they tell are just old movies. There’s no original thinking […]. Big studios don’t want new ideas, they don’t have the imagination to see something that isn’t there”.

AI netflix
'Godzilla Minus One' | ©Toho Company Ltd

This suggests that we may see a rise in smaller studios creating incredible films more easily and cheaply, driven by audiences craving new and exciting stories rather than Hollywood’s endless sequels and prequels. This shift is already happening; for instance, the small studio behind Godzilla Minus One recently won an Oscar for VFX, outshining Hollywood giants.


So, let’s be part of this revolution. Create your own shorts, series, and movies. Use AI as a tool to help you along the way. Don't give up. Keep creating.

72 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page