Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

New Kickstarter proves computers can write crappy horror movies, too

(Image: Kickstarter/Greenlight Essentials)
(Image: Kickstarter/Greenlight Essentials)

Back in June, we brought you news of Sunspring, a short film that saw Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch and director Oscar Sharp do their best to turn a sci-fi script penned entirely by a computer into an almost-coherent story. Sunspring was mostly a goof (with a little bit of proof-of-concept thrown in), but it hasn’t taken another would-be filmmaker long to start raising funds for the inevitable rise of the A.I. auteurs.

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That’s the chief selling point of a new Kickstarter being put together by tech firm Greenlight Essentials, which is hoping to raise $22,000 for its new, computer-assisted horror movie Impossible Things. Bludgeoning the reader with bold text and “Big Data,” like a blindfolded child going hog-wild on the crowdfunding piñata, Greenlight bills its “Analytical Terminal” as a co-writer on the film, touting it as the first artificial intelligence designed to analyze movie trends and spit out “guaranteed” hit premises. (That’s then followed by an actual human being writing the script, so that we don’t end up with a bunch of techno-nonsense about people throwing each other out of their eyes.)

Not convinced? Well, according to Greenlight’s Kickstarter campagin, that just means you’re probably one of those “creatives” who aren’t “mathematically oriented enough to understand” how awesome the Analytical Terminal’s insights—like the power of “having ghost and family relationship in horror genre”—can be. Luckily, the company has a graphical user interface (or GUI) that will show you the error of your ways, by spitting out maps of the United States covered in big green blobs of rich, hearty data soup.

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(Image: Kickstarter/Greenlight Essentials)
(Image: Kickstarter/Greenlight Essentials)

Presumably, these blobs will let the filmmakers of our grim, mechanical future identify which markets will best respond to super-cheesy horror movies about women getting possessed by murderous ghosts, which is apparently the most financially successful of all possible ideas for a film. (Also, we’re mathematically thirsty for creepy kids singing nursery rhymes, super-cheap editing tricks, and student-film cinematography. Who knew?) Backers on the Kickstarter will get a copy of the movie’s script and access to Greenlight’s engine, the better to make some big green data blobs of their own.

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Meanwhile, the footage already shot for Impossible Things suggests Greenlight might want to expand its techno-artistic portfolio and invest in an A.I. director, A.I. cameraperson, and maybe some artificial actors, too, because the current mini-trailer advertising the Kickstarter is pretty damn dire.

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