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UPDATE: Warner Bros. to Use AI in Film Greenlighting Process

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Update:

A Warner Bros. representative contacted us, stating the information conveyed was not accurate. It was explained that the technology “is NOT being used for creative or greenlighting. It’s a tool for data for international distribution only.” Below is the press release they provided us:

Cinelytic Inc., has announced that Warner Bros. Pictures International (WBPI) has officially signed on to use their platform – a revolutionary new AI-driven project management system that was launched for the motion picture industry last year. WBPI will leverage the power of Cinelytic to inform decision making around content and talent valuation to support release strategies.

Cinelytic combines AI and cloud-based technologies to enable entertainment industry professionals to make faster, and better-informed, decisions throughout the content value chain by providing comprehensive data, predictive analytics and project management tools in an integrated online platform.

The platform reduces executives’ time spent on low-value, repetitive tasks and instead focuses on generating actionable insights for packaging, green-lighting, marketing and distribution decisions in real time.

“We are very excited to work with Warner Bros. Pictures International, a leader in worldwide content, to bring the power of real-time predictive analytics to content and talent valuation decisions,” said Cinelytic co-founder and CEO Tobias Queisser.

Tonis Kiis, Senior Vice President, Warner Bros. Pictures International Distribution, added, “Warner Bros. is excited to employ Cinelytic’s cutting-edge system. In our industry, we make tough decisions every day that affect what—and how—we produce and deliver films to theaters around the world, and the more precise our data is, the better we will be able to engage our audiences.”

Original Story

Warner Bros.’ movie division have signed a deal with Cinelytic, to use AI to use their (in the Hollywood Reporter’s words) “AI-driven project management system” that launched in 2019.

Hollywood Reporter (HR) reports that the AI will be used at the greenlighting stage, calculating factors such as how popular an actor is in a given area, to determine the film’s predicted income via cinemas and streaming services. Other companies to have signed deals with Cinelytic include Ingenious Media, Productivity Media, and STX.

HR also states that the AI is less about predicting the next blockbuster, and more about reducing “the amount of time executives spend on low-value, repetitive tasks and instead give them better dollar-figure parameters for packaging, marketing and distribution decisions, including release dates.” It can also be useful for film festivals, where less time can be spent analyzing before bidding on acquiring projects.

Cinelytic founder Tobias Queisser stated to HR “The system can calculate in seconds what used to take days to assess by a human when it comes to general film package evaluation or a star’s worth.” Senior Vice President of Distribution Tonis Kiis also added “We make tough decisions every day that affect what- and how- we produce and deliver films to theaters around the world, and the more precise our data is, the better we will be able to engage our audiences.”

HR also questions how Hollywood will accept this as a whole, as they state the industry “operates on gut instinct.” The days of a robot director are still far away however, as Queisser explains the AI is purely for number crunching.

“Artificial intelligence sounds scary. But right now, an AI cannot make any creative decisions. What it is good at is crunching numbers and breaking down huge data sets and showing patterns that would not be visible to humans. But for creative decision-making, you still need experience and gut instinct.”

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!

Image: Pixabay [1, 2]

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Ryan Pearson

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Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.