This post was written by Marc Beckman.

How do I know? Let’s take the recent news from OneDoor Studios, which believes the use of artificial intelligence is “democratizing film" and lowering production costs. The studio is adapting a popular young adult series through “an industry-first application of artificial intelligence that gives fans and artists active input in creating character design, sets, and special effects.”

Not a stranger to the implementation of the latest technologies in the artistic process, the Hollywood studio has also leveraged the natural language processing AI tool ChatGPT and found it “scarily” adaptable in its endeavors. These tools allow “every one of us the opportunity to create at the excellence level of a blockbuster film release," OneDoor Studios CMO Dan Cobb said, and I wholeheartedly agree.

As someone with 20 years of experience in the advertising world, and an expert in the transition from Web2 to Web3/Metaverse with a keen focus on any creative industries, I am personally a big believer in the power of Web3 technologies to power–and better–the world of tomorrow.

Ai_artificial_intelligence'AI Artificial Intelligence'Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

I believe that there’s no stopping the rise of AI, but there is one thing we can do: Welcome it with open arms and change with it.

“AI is a tool that’s going to help people express themselves in ways they’ve been stifled until now,” a senior executive at a VR solutions provider was quoted as saying in Fortune magazine, in an article about how giants like Miramax, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, and Warner Bros. Discovery are all leveraging the technology to expand the art of filmmaking. We all know that once the “big” players endorse a trend, the rest of us are all sure to follow.

The Economist echoes such an optimistic view: AI “is more likely to emerge as a collaborator than a competitor for workers in the creative industries,” predicts the British paper, as it could “help artists make new kinds of art.”

Entertainment, gaming, publishing, fashion, and other content-based industries are seeing the advent of AI take off more than any other industry. The world is shifting, quickly, and people are starting to take notice.

Hollywood writers are among them: the currently striking Writers Guild of America (WGA), for example, recently proposed “the first large-scale attempt by a labor union to pressure an industry to regulate and, in some cases, ban the use of AI as a replacement for workers.” What the union is requesting is a complete ban on the use of AI for writing and rewriting any source material, which the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) has so far flat-out rejected. 

I say this with the maximum amount of tact and utmost respect for writers and any other creatives who might feel wary of how quickly, and radically, things might change in the near future: you might be right, but you’re not alone.

WGAW strike on Tuesday, May 2, 20232023 WGAW StrikeCredit: Jason Hellerman

AI is not only disrupting your work but also threatening the jobs of titans like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. It’s coming for everyone, and no one seems to grasp it.

Powered by AI and other Web3 technologies, the Age of Imagination will essentially shift power away from the big centralized legacy businesses (i.e. Hollywood) to individual creators who will be able to disrupt legacy creative sectors as a whole.

Imagine a teenager living in a developing country with the ambition of becoming a filmmaker but not having the resources to make their dream a reality. With AI and Web3 tools, they could develop characters, scripts, and music and create an entire film themselves. They could then distribute the movie, protect their intellectual property, and monetize it globally on the blockchain.

With their centralized legions of staff, layers of bureaucracy, and hefty budgets, Hollywood studios will lose huge market share to creative teenagers in the Bronx, unknown dreamers in Nigeria, and anyone with a spark of creativity and an AI tool at hand.

Films will stop requiring huge studios and fanfare to intervene in the creative process at all. Individual creators will be able to dream up concepts and create them with artificial intelligence from start to finish, including character arcs, scripts, music scores, editing, and everything in between. They’ll be able to distribute them on-chain, protect their IP with blockchain technology and smart contracts, and be paid in cryptocurrencies.

Time-consuming manual tasks will be slashed in favor of automated color grading, AI-assisted visual effects, and even adjusted mouth-moving so that dialogue dubbed in or from a foreign language will look as seamless in any other language. AI will create props out of thin air and both age and de-age actors in mere seconds, making every department’s life easier. It will streamline the production process from pre to post-production while helping to save time and money for everyone involved.

Star_wars_andor'Star Wars: Andor'Credit: Buena Vista Distribution

In short, artificial intelligence will fuel the individual creative who dreams of the next Star Wars trilogy, but until now, could not compete with the big Hollywood machinery. It’s a total revolution of the creative sector, and, according to consulting firm Ernst & Young, it could signal “the start of the truly creative human.”

“These efficiency-boosting technologies are fantastic for eliminating the need for human engagement in time-consuming back-office tasks,” a 2019 article by EY Global Chief Technology Officer, Nicola Morini Bianzino, poses. “After all, who has time to come up with new ideas if they’ve got deadlines to hit and spreadsheets to fill out? The challenge isn’t the technology, it’s to be creative in reimagining how to use it to generate fresh opportunities, value, and growth.”

Emerging technologies are breaking down barriers and moving mountains. From Spielberg to the last assistant on the call sheet, things are about to change and fast. 

Sure, change is never easy. But creativity itself moves fast, and a fervid imagination is what has kept us alive all along. The more expansive, productive, and creative a world we dream up, the more enlightened, prosperous, and creative a society we can actually work towards.

One thing is sure, and that is that by the time the Age of Imagination will be done sweeping through the world as we know it, we won’t recognize much of what we used to call “ordinary life.” For better or worse, we’re ready for disruption.

Which is to say: Welcome, innovation. We’ve been waiting for you.

This post was written by Marc Beckman.

Marc Beckman is the founder of the award-winning advertising agency DMA United, Senior Fellow at New York University.