AI’s Journey in Cinema From Nicolas Cage’s “Nightmare” to Nurturer

November 8, 2023

As of late, acclaimed actors like Sean Penn, Bryan Cranston, and Tom Hanks have voiced their concerns over the use of AI in Hollywood. They’re mainly worried, and rightfully so, that not only their bodies but their voices will be taken, synthesized and reused without consent and compensation.

Now, adding his voice to this debate is none other than Nicolas Cage, who recently expressed his concerns about AI in an interview with interview with Yahoo!.

“AI is a nightmare to me. It’s inhumane. You can’t get more inhumane than artificial intelligence.”

While these concerns are valid, it’s equally important to recognize that AI has the potential to bring more humanity to the film industry in a myriad of ways.

Preservation of Cinematic Legacy: AI can help in restoring and preserving old films, ensuring that the art and cultural heritage of cinema are not lost to time. Many classic movies have suffered from the ravages of time, leading to fading, scratches, and other forms of damage on the original film reels. Traditional restoration methods involve painstaking frame-by-frame manual restoration, which can be time-consuming and costly. AI, on the other hand, can automate and expedite this process, enhancing both visual and audio aspects.

Expanding Opportunities: AI-driven technologies can open up new opportunities for actors, allowing them to play roles that might not have been possible due to age, physical limitations, or other factors. This can breathe new life into the art of acting and storytelling. A prime example of this is Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro playing various ages in Martin Scorsese’s 2019 Netflix film, The Irishman.

Inclusivity: AI is a powerful tool for accessibility, and multilingual dubbing is a standout application. It’s cost-effective and allows the film industry to reach diverse global audiences, including people with disabilities and non-native speakers. Unlike traditional dubbing, which is expensive and time-consuming, AI-driven dubbing is efficient and offers access to new markets and revenue streams through translations into various languages.

Boosting Indie Filmmaking: The film industry, with earnings reaching up to $5.99 billion in 2022, is renowned for its time-consuming and expensive nature. In this landscape, AI emerges as a transformative force, streamlining every phase of movie production. From scriptwriting and pre-visualization to post-production processes, AI empowers filmmakers, particularly independent ones with more modest budgets, to harness the same innovative advantages that big-name directors like Nolan or Fincher enjoy.

AI, a versatile and multifaceted technology, is far from being a nightmare. It’s rather unfortunate that the star of National Treasure, Nicolas Cage, doesn’t see it as the treasure map to preserving cinematic heritage and exploring fresh avenues of creativity.