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Crypto and AI Will Co-star in the Coming Death and Digital Rebirth of Hollywood

Published April 24, 2024 2:34 PM
Published April 24, 2024 2:34 PM
By Alexandros Ntolgkov
Verified by Ana Alexandre
Key Takeaways
  • There are broader shifts within the entertainment industry, especially how traditional film experiences compete with AI-generated content from influencers.
  • These shifts raise important questions about the future of film and entertainment, influenced heavily by technology and new media channels.
  • This evolution in filmmaking and viewing will only gather speed, as more people engage with and invest in these new formats.

Everyone is familiar with the movies that have been coming out of Hollywood, entertaining generations of people with a variety of genres, plots, soundtracks, and movie stars. Year after year, the Oscars and other prestigious awards celebrate the achievements of directors, actors, and filmmakers.

It occupies such a vital place in Western culture and beyond that movies have deeply influenced our language. Iconic lines are often adopted into daily speech, and people frequently use famous cinematic phrases, both casually and on special occasions.

As a child, I watched “The Lord of the Rings” many times, and one such expression that comes immediately to mind is Gandalf’s “You shall not pass” from the classic scene where he is trying to stop the Balrog from getting to the fellowship of the ring.

Other examples would include Darth Vader revealing to Luke Skywalker that he is his father, Terminator saying “I’ll be back,” and “Avengers Assemble” from Marvel’s Avengers movie series based on the well-known comic books of the same name. Not to mention countless other iconic scenes throughout Hollywood’s movie history that I could list both old and new.

For all its past grandeur and unforgettable cultural moments, Hollywood is undergoing a crisis of popularity. The 2023 Oscars ceremonies gathered  18.7 million viewers, a 12% increase from 2022. Under normal circumstances, a 12% increase in viewership would be seen as a triumphant success. But if one zooms out to the prior years, they would see a downward pattern in popularity.

Traditional forms of media are facing significant challenges

In the past, the Oscars would garner viewership of more than 40 million people. But since those glory days, it has been steadily declining, year over year, with a few exceptions and pumps of small viewership here and there.

But here is more. Natalie Portman recently lamented  the “death” of movie stars and that newer generations are not aware of any film actors and actresses, in contrast to their parents and grandparents. Instead, they are far more aware of and relate to social media influencers and creators whose content they follow and watch ardently.

In addition to the above, actor Tyler Perry has put  his $800 million studio expansion on hold after seeing Sora AI’s capabilities.

Streaming services like Netflix have become embroiled in controversies around politics, political correctness, and propaganda, often failing to heed the preferences and feedback of their viewer base and fandoms regarding narrative choices.

Thus, many fans felt deeply disappointed with The Witcher series’ direction and were vocal about their desire for the showrunner to stick to canon. The show’s deviation from the established stories, lore, and characters led to significant backlash within the community.

Moreover, it reportedly  made Henry Cavill quit the role of Geralt of Rivia, as he was not happy with the creative changes introduced to the show by its writers and showrunner.

This dissatisfaction culminated in widespread support for the petition, signaling a strong preference for Cavill’s portrayal of the main character and a demand for greater fidelity to Andrzej Sapkowski’s—the author of the series of books The Witcher—vision.

As a consequence, the number of people watching the third season of the series plummeted  by 36% from that of season 2 and by 48% from season 1.

Influencers and AI to democratize the creation of entertainment media

On the flip side, the growth of social media influencers has been remarkable. They attract viewers who are turning away from traditional television, often because they are either not willing or unable to pay for content. So they flock to platforms where content is freely accessible. And as more people worldwide gain internet access, they gravitate towards these non-traditional sources of entertainment.

It naturally leads fans of books, video games, and other types of entertainment media to create their own low-budget short films, video games, and adaptations of the stories they like and upload them on YouTube for everyone else to see.

As tools like Sora AI keep expanding and improving, they will prove a boon to fan-made films by empowering a wider array of creators to express their vision and dedication to favorite authors, stories, video games, or original concepts. This is by utilizing AI trained on a vast array of visual effects data, enabling creators to produce effects that were once only achievable by large studios.

It’s easy to imagine a future in which social media influencers, given their widespread popularity, start to replace traditional actors in roles from various forms of media like books and video games.

As time passes and new generations emerge, these influencers might become the new norm, leading to a shift in who we see on screen. This change could gradually reshape our perceptions and expectations of performance art, potentially sidelining the classical actors we’ve come to admire.

Crypto aligns with tech-savvy creatives and facilitates funding

AI, however, has been and will be trained on historical data, including outdated visual effects, which can make these effects seem less impressive, as newer technologies emerge and current ones evolve. What once seemed cutting-edge can quickly become dated.

This will require funding to produce films, TV shows, and other creative works, which, thanks to crypto’s global nature, could come from cryptocurrency contributions made by interested fans worldwide.

In exchange, the fans who fund the movies or TV series could get a percentage of the proceedings and choose what changes and actors they want to see in the final product.

Moreover, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) could be set up to engage further not only those who invested in the movie or TV series but also fans just interested in watching it.

This organization could facilitate participation in sequels or related products like cultural NFTs capturing iconic moments similar to famous movie lines. Additionally, it could offer memberships, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, unused cuts, and NFTs linked to intellectual property for merchandise, benefiting fans through revenue sharing and decision-making opportunities.

Combining the best elements of both worlds

This transformation will take on a new aspect with the creation of various metaverses. As technology advances, it would enable the implementation of 3D, fully immersive special effects, allowing people to explore experiences beyond traditional movies or TV series. This could even extend to live theatrical performances in the Metaverse.

Such a shift won’t happen overnight; it will span multiple generations, and initially, Hollywood and its digital counterpart will continue to coexist. In fact, they already do—with NFT- and DAO-funded films — although the latter version is still in its infancy.

As with any transformative shift—just as automobiles replaced horse-drawn carriages and electric lights supplanted oil lamps—there will be the one surviving and evolving while the older version dies.

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