Nearly two decades ago, Warner Bros. released Steven Spielberg’s A.I., about a humanoid boy brought to life by artificial intelligence technology. Now the Burbank studio is itself embracing A.I. in a major way to facilitate the greenlighting of potential movies.
Warner Bros. is teaming up with the Los Angeles-based Cinelytic to use the company’s A.I.-driven project management system that was launched for the motion picture industry last year.
Cinelytic said in an announcement Wednesday that the system combines A.I. and cloud-based technologies to “enable entertainment industry professionals to make faster, and better-informed, decisions throughout the content value chain.”
In Hollywood, the greenlighting process is typically a data-intensive endeavor during which a studio must decide whether a pitch or screenplay, plus the attached talent, is financially viable. The process also involves determining the movie’s budget as well as an optimal release date.
But the process is often just as subjective as analytical, relying on executives’ personal tastes and relationships with talent to help seal a deal.
Warner Bros. said the new technology will help it sift through data as the studio reviews potential projects.
“In our industry, we make tough decisions every day that affect what — and how — we produce and deliver films to theaters around the world,” Tonis Kiis, senior vice president, at Warner Bros. Pictures International Distribution, said in a statement.
“The more precise our data is, the better we will be able to engage our audiences.”
Cinelytic said its platform reduces the time that executives spend on “low-value, repetitive tasks,” allowing them to instead focus on packaging talent, greenlighting, marketing, and distribution.
The Hollywood Reporter, which first broke the story, reported that Cinelytic has been building and beta testing the platform for three years.
The company has reportedly signed a deal with STX, the mini-studio behind this year’s hit Hustlers, as well as the British production company Ingenious Media.
“Right now, an AI cannot make any creative decisions,” Tobias Queisser, the company’s founder, told the trade publication.
“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.”