What happens when you feed a neural network some movie scripts, give it a few props and instruct it to write a movie script?
Actors looking really uncomfortable, vomiting eyeballs, and talking nonsense that’s what happens.
Created by filmmaker Oscar Sharp and AI researcher Ross Goodwin, the movie is written by a LSTM (long short-term memory) recurrent neural network (technical explanation here) called Benjamin, Ars Technica reports. The 9-minute sci-fi (we guess it’s sci-fi, but we can’t really be sure) flick is called Sunspring, and it even has a soundtrack, also created by Benjamin.
To enable Benjamin to write a script, Goodwin gave it a number of 1980s and 1990s sci-fi screenplays. In an interesting side note, while Benjamin eventually became very good at copying the structure of a screenplay, it had a problem with proper names, which is why they were reduced to single letters: The characters in the movie are called H, H2 and C.
The actors interpreted the lines how they saw fit, and the filming and editing took 48 hours. The result is pretty crazy, and yet a mesmerizing watch. Most of the lines don’t make sense, and the tension in the movie, while present, doesn’t seem to come from any place that a human can recognize.
Still, there are some golden moments in there like the one with the eyeball. In a particularly funny exchange, around the 4-minute mark, one of the characters is clearly distressed.
“I need to leave, I’m not free…from the world.”
The other character walks up to him, reassuring smirk on his face.
“Perhaps I should take it from here,” he says. Then, he pauses for a second.
“I’m not gonna…do something.”
You get the idea.
Sunspring was entered in the Sci-Fi London contest and fared pretty well, scoring better than hundreds of other movies, Ars writes. One judge perhaps summed it up best: “I’ll give them top marks if they promise never to do this again.”
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