Escape Artists

News:

News

ATTENTION: NEW FORUM THEME Please see here for details: http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=13188.0

Author Topic: EP686/EP377: Real Artists (Flashback Friday)  (Read 16817 times)

Just Another Joe

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Reply #25 on: January 08, 2013, 03:11:11 PM
The math just doesn't work.

The statement in the story is 100,000 generations to make a good movie. That's 273 viewings/day to get it out within a year, which is an awful lot.  But 100,000 is way too low of a number because the possibilities grow exponentially.

Suppose you only consider two choices, A and B. The number of possible combinations is the number of options to the power of the number of choices.

(A,B) (AA,AB,BA,BB) (AAA,ABA,BAA,BBA,AAB,ABB,BAB,BBB) ... (2^1), (2^2), (2^3) and so on. The numbers get big, fast.

But Big Semi wouldn't be choosing between two possibilities. If it were 10 possibilities at each critical juncture, 100,000 possibilities would only allow for six important choices.

I wasn't in love with the presentation either - both the protagonist and company were too glowingly perfect.




NPComplete

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Reply #26 on: January 09, 2013, 01:39:23 AM
I never actually saw the idea of Big Semi to be worrying.  Unless it gets to the point of being strong AI, a computer is nothing but a tool.  The main character, as well as almost everyone here, seems to see the computer as the one creating the movies, but that computer has no goals, desires, opinions, or feelings.  It is creating something based on the desires and opinions of a human audience, using techniques built into it by human programmers, toward a goal set by the humans running the company.  The people running the company want to make money, so they set the goal of the most marketable movie possible. 

Big Semi is just another step toward making the best tools that people can make.  The purpose of a tool is to do what the user wants with as little thought and effort from the user as possible.  A hammer that requires less strength to swing is a better hammer.  A car that has more intuitive controls is a better car.  A piece of software that makes it easier for an artist to take an idea, a goal, and a sense of taste and turn them into a movie is a better piece of software.

Now, I don't think that it is the right piece of software for all cases, since it seems limited in the control that can be exerted.  On the other hand, that should just be a matter of giving the artist the ability to override the computer's decisions.  If anything, the software is primitive and flawed, and should add more control to later versions.

Someone compared this to the viewers sculpting the movie, and that is the very image I got from the story.  If a sculptor uses power tools instead of a chisel to carve stone into a statue, you wouldn't say that the power tools had created the sculpture.  They were only a means for the sculptor to accomplish a goal.  If the sculpture is wonderful and inspiring, that is the fault of the sculptor, and if it is mass-marked flotsam, that too is the fault of the sculptor.  Something mass-marketable may even be the goal.  In either case, the responsibility for the product is with the sculptor, not the tools.


The math just doesn't work.

The statement in the story is 100,000 generations to make a good movie. That's 273 viewings/day to get it out within a year, which is an awful lot.  But 100,000 is way too low of a number because the possibilities grow exponentially.

Yeah, I saw that too.  I mostly put it down to really, really good heuristics that let it weed out a lot of obviously bad options, but looking at the math you did, it may still need a few more orders of magnitude.



benjaminjb

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1389
Reply #27 on: January 09, 2013, 04:16:47 AM
The statement in the story is 100,000 generations to make a good movie. That's 273 viewings/day to get it out within a year, which is an awful lot.
Putting aside the question of how Big Semi deals with the exponential possibilities, are you considering each audience to be a single viewing or multiple viewings? I mean, if you have an audience of 20-50 people, each of those personal reactions might count as a viewing for purposes of the algorithm. Remember, each person has a camera on them, so it's possible Palladon is counting each individual as a viewing. How long does it take to get to 100k then?

Also, it's been a while since I listened to the story, but do they say that this studio puts out a new film every year?



Peter Tupper

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 34
Reply #28 on: January 09, 2013, 06:57:39 AM
Big Sema's algorithms are probably tweaked to provide not the best story but the most marketable story, the one with the best merchandising tie-in options.

Merchandising options aside, what do you see as the difference between "the best story" and "the most marketable story" for a movie production company?  Are they in business to move you emotionally or to make a profit?

Spoilers ahead  for Studio Ghibli's animated movie The Secret World of Arrietty:

The two main characters are Arrietty, a tiny human who lives with her parents beneath the floorboards of a country house, and Shun, a human boy staying at the house. Both face uncertain, frightening futures. Arrietty's family has to move away because of human curiosity about them, and there are hints that the tiny humans are a dying race. Shun has to go through a risky heart operation that he might not survive.

Through their relationship, Arrietty and Shun both are able to face their future with hope and without fear. The movie ends with Arrietty and her family en route to their new home, and Shun going to the hospital.

Except there's a voice over at the very end from Shun, saying that he survived the operation and also that he had heard hints of tiny people in another house.

It's obvious that voice over was added in post-production (at least in the English dubbed version I saw) to make the movie more marketable. People don't like ambiguous endings and they don't like the idea of bad things happening to nice people, or so Hollywood believes. It undermines the story's integrity and its artistic statement.

Big Sema is probably full of rules like "Dogs never die" and "Monsters only kill bad people", as well as added rules like "Make sure there are not-too-edgy pop songs so we can sell the soundtrack" and "Have female characters 18-35 wear this line of clothing" and "Lots of characters suitable for action figures", and probably a meta-rule like "Don't take too many risks." Whoever owns Big Sema isn't content to let the system mirror people's desires perfectly: the punters have to open their wallets too.

(Yes, I'm aware that what I love about Arrietty is the ambiguous ending and what I dislike about this story is its ambiguous ending. However, in Arrietty, the two character's emotional arcs are resolved, even if their futures are uncertain. In Real Artists, Sophia does not make a decision, nor do we learn her fate.)



Scumpup

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • ...
Reply #29 on: January 09, 2013, 02:04:34 PM
....It [the voice over]undermines the story's integrity and its artistic statement.

Big Sema is probably full of rules like "Dogs never die" and "Monsters only kill bad people", as well as added rules like "Make sure there are not-too-edgy pop songs so we can sell the soundtrack" and "Have female characters 18-35 wear this line of clothing" and "Lots of characters suitable for action figures", and probably a meta-rule like "Don't take too many risks." Whoever owns Big Sema isn't content to let the system mirror people's desires perfectly: the punters have to open their wallets too.

I never saw the movie you referenced, but it seems to have been based on "The Borrowers" series of children's books.  As an aside from the actual topic of discussion, I read several of those books when I was in elementary school back in the early 1970's.  The stories were well-told, but I never really got to like the characters themselves.  They didn't "borrow" things, they stole them.  Having been the victim of light-fingered classmates, I found the idea of a race of tiny thieves living in the walls of one's own house less than enchanting.  If that movie had ended with them going extinct, the young me would likely have said "Good."  /End of hijack.

If the punters don't open their wallets, there will be no movies.  That is a simple economic fact. 

If the movies Big Semi produces mirror people's desires perfectly, the employees of Semaphore get paid, and the corporation itself shows a profit, where is there a loser in any of that?










Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8729
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #30 on: January 09, 2013, 03:25:11 PM
The scariest aspect of all of this is short term memory modification.  Let's mess with your mind's hard drive every two hours and see where you sit after a month's time.  I don't think a non disclosure agreement is all that necessary when all of your employee's brains are turning into gray colored tapioca.

I'm surprised more people haven't brought this up.  Semaphore making movies didn't scare me, bother me, or horrify me.  But the thought of hundreds of people subjecting themselves to multiple runs of elective brain damage every day did.  What the hell?  I'd rather just wait for the movie to come out so I can watch it without having my brain scooped out like a gourd.

This story had me feeling annoyed throughout the whole thing.  I think the biggest reason was cognitive dissonance from the premise that this process would create movies that would be considered high quality by a movie critic, that they would work on many levels, and have a strong emotional core.  I can believe that this process would create summer blockbusters of the variety that appeal to masses of people who don't intend to analyze the movie, but I don't believe in any way that this would create something like a Pixar reputation.

The math just doesn't work.

I agree.  There are algorithms for optimization in this day and age.  But taking a movie from crap to great is more than just a few variables, and each of those variables has a continuous set of values.  Throwing parallel computing at it wouldn't really do the trick either because each part of a movie ties into the other parts, there would be few independent variables so it doesn't divide and conquer very well.

Even besides the computing, the amount of human time they'd have to PAY people, and the  time itself, would just be ridiculous.  Rather than pay hundreds of people to watch movies that are incredibly bad most of the time (as they would be when you're iterating from a random point), you'd save much money and time to just PAY A TEAM OF WRITERS to make something that doesn't start at complete crap (and then maybe use optimization to tweak a bit here and there if you had to).  A lot of the time of optimization algorithms depends on having a good educated guess for the startpoint--they should hire filmmakers to provide that start point.  And all of that time, and all of that money, would produce (in my opinion) a movie that's probably somewhat lower quality than a current Hollywood blockbuster, but requiring more time and money to make.

I've come to appreciate in the last few years how much I value the writing behind any TV show or movie.  You need good actors, but a good actor will give you nothing worthwhile if there isn't good writing behind the scenes.

This approach to making movies reminded me of the Infinite Monkey Theorem--that if you sat a monkey in front of a typewriter for infinity, that it would write the works of Shakespeare eventually.  What's more interesting is that it would theoretically also write all of the works that Shakespeare ever MIGHT have written and so on.  But the real work comes from separating the crap from the good stuff--that takes a lot of work, and it would take a lot LESS work to just write something good in the first damned place.  And all of that is even assuming that a monkey's key presses would be completely random from one key to the next, but I think key-mashing where a big group of keys is pressed right after each other would be more likely, which would probably never result in anything by Shakespeare.  
But I digress...

An interesting idea, though I never really bought the basic premise that this would produce critically acclaimed movies.  Even besides that, I wish it hadn't been written as one giant infodump.  Ken Liu can do better.



Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8729
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #31 on: January 09, 2013, 04:11:01 PM
I was discussing the story idea with a colleague who has interest in optimization algorithms, and he raised a very important point:  How are they capturing the child demographic?  Are they recruiting child employees and brain damaging them multiple times a day?  That raises new ethical questions.  Maybe they are offering daywork for children in other countries where there are less regulations.



Wilson Fowlie

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1473
    • The Maple Leaf Singers
Reply #32 on: January 09, 2013, 04:39:02 PM
We're on the path to this story, in case anybody doubted it.

"People commonly use the word 'procrastination' to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working." - Paul Graham


archaevist

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 116
Reply #33 on: January 09, 2013, 05:15:26 PM
I thought the exposition was the best part of the story.

Making the main character a tumblr geek just left me feeling dead inside



Devoted135

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1252
Reply #34 on: January 09, 2013, 06:05:02 PM
Sadly, I have to say that this is my least favorite Ken Liu story to date. I enjoyed the setup, and the idea that it was her illegal "helping" of a previous movie that got her an interview. However, from there it was all downhill infodump. I agree that the brain wiping and mind control was definitely the most horrific part of the story. She believes in working hard, but all the company wants her to do is be a female "sack of enzymes" to complement all of the male "sacks of enzymes" already employed.

There is a Radiolab segment about how a composer wrote a computer program to analyze his music and then also had it analyze the works of several great composers. It was able to find enough significant patterns/themes/motifs that the program can also compose brand new pieces that are indistinguishable even to trained ears.



benjaminjb

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1389
Reply #35 on: January 09, 2013, 06:26:33 PM
She believes in working hard, but all the company wants her to do is be a female "sack of enzymes" to complement all of the male "sacks of enzymes" already employed.
Am I the only one who doesn't see the difference between "working hard" and being a "sack of enzymes"?

I wonder if Ken Liu is having a bit of a laugh about this story: it's set up like a typical "oh noes, computers replace people" story, but if you dig down into it, there's not all that much to panic about. As people here have noted, the computer-based system is clearly capable of making great works of art (otherwise the m.c. wouldn't want to work there so much); and people are still an integral part of the system, hired for the same reasons that they get hired by any studio (some are hired for their sensitivity to some issues, others are hired for their other skills--not much different from hiring comedians to punch-up a script or a script-doctor to help smooth out the structural aspects of a script).



Devoted135

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1252
Reply #36 on: January 09, 2013, 07:56:51 PM
She believes in working hard, but all the company wants her to do is be a female "sack of enzymes" to complement all of the male "sacks of enzymes" already employed.
Am I the only one who doesn't see the difference between "working hard" and being a "sack of enzymes"?

Really? Okay, here's the difference in my view. When she's "working hard" she is putting all of her intelligence, creativity, and training into action. Importantly, this is a first-level, conscious action. When she's "being a sack of enzymes" they are measuring her base-line, unconscious reactions and all of her qualifications are irrelevant to her ability to do the job. Another example would be that my sister (a linguist) and I (a biologist) could not effectively switch jobs, but we could be a female "sack of enzymes" for the computer equally well.



InfiniteMonkey

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 483
  • Clearly, I need more typewriters....
Reply #37 on: January 09, 2013, 07:57:17 PM
This approach to making movies reminded me of the Infinite Monkey Theorem--that if you sat a monkey in front of a typewriter for infinity, that it would write the works of Shakespeare eventually.  

I always thought that was an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters (infinity wouldn't really be necessary, because once you reach Shakespeare, you stop).


I wonder if Ken Liu is having a bit of a laugh about this story: it's set up like a typical "oh noes, computers replace people" story, but if you dig down into it, there's not all that much to panic about.


I don't think so, and I think the giveaway is the John Henry reference at the end. That story's about the inevitability of the triumph of technology over man, not a warm fuzzy feeling of "our friend the steam hammer".



benjaminjb

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1389
Reply #38 on: January 09, 2013, 11:44:09 PM
Another example would be that my sister (a linguist) and I (a biologist) could not effectively switch jobs, but we could be a female "sack of enzymes" for the computer equally well.
Your sibling switcheroo example is a great example of what Palladon doesn't do at Semaphore. That is, the story specifically states that not all of the viewers are just random people off the streets. Some of them are experts in story structure, others probably are experts in other things, etc.

So the m.c. is being hired not just because she's a random woman (interchangeable with any other random women), but because she has a particular skill-set. You may argue, "oh, they're just measuring unconscious activity, and all women have the same unconscious activity," but I wouldn't say that around here.



benjaminjb

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1389
Reply #39 on: January 09, 2013, 11:48:37 PM
I don't think so, and I think the giveaway is the John Henry reference at the end. That story's about the inevitability of the triumph of technology over man, not a warm fuzzy feeling of "our friend the steam hammer".
So, are you arguing that the final image of John Henry (man who beats machine but dies in the process and is then replaced by the next iteration of the machine) gives this story a cautionary edge? That's a totally reasonable argument, I think: the final image carries more emotional weight with the readers, so even if the rest of the story is "things are changing," the final takeaway is "technology will hammer you into the ground."

I'm not sure I agree with that, but I think it's totally reasonable as an argument.



Scumpup

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • ...
Reply #40 on: January 10, 2013, 02:20:04 AM
John Henry was a fool, though, steel drivin' man that he might have been. The story and song as I remember them have him literally working himself to death in a contest with a steam drill.  He won, died, and was replaced with a steam drill anyway.  The only lesson I took away from it was that any job that can be done by more economically by a machine, eventually will be done by a machine.  The railroad's customers never knew whether the steel had been driven by John Henry or a steam drill.  In our story, the movie goers never know whether the movie had been produced by Big Semi or by human beings.  
Been years since I read it, but didn't the government of Oceania in Orwell's 1984 have machine-generated pornography for distribution to the proles?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 02:24:40 AM by Scumpup »



Devoted135

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1252
Reply #41 on: January 10, 2013, 02:22:19 AM
Another example would be that my sister (a linguist) and I (a biologist) could not effectively switch jobs, but we could be a female "sack of enzymes" for the computer equally well.
Your sibling switcheroo example is a great example of what Palladon doesn't do at Semaphore. That is, the story specifically states that not all of the viewers are just random people off the streets. Some of them are experts in story structure, others probably are experts in other things, etc.

So the m.c. is being hired not just because she's a random woman (interchangeable with any other random women), but because she has a particular skill-set. You may argue, "oh, they're just measuring unconscious activity, and all women have the same unconscious activity," but I wouldn't say that around here.

Hahaha, yes, I certainly would not argue that all women have the same unconscious activity! :D I had actually forgotten the detail about some of the viewers actually being hired for their expertise, which definitely weakens my argument. However, her interviewer did make a big deal out of needing to add some women to the "unconscious activity" pool. So, I still don't think this method is taking full advantage of any of the employees' expertise, but perhaps it isn't quite as egregious as I was making it out to be.



Peter Tupper

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 34
Reply #42 on: January 10, 2013, 03:46:53 AM
....It [the voice over]undermines the story's integrity and its artistic statement.

Big Sema is probably full of rules like "Dogs never die" and "Monsters only kill bad people", as well as added rules like "Make sure there are not-too-edgy pop songs so we can sell the soundtrack" and "Have female characters 18-35 wear this line of clothing" and "Lots of characters suitable for action figures", and probably a meta-rule like "Don't take too many risks." Whoever owns Big Sema isn't content to let the system mirror people's desires perfectly: the punters have to open their wallets too.

(...)

If the punters don't open their wallets, there will be no movies.  That is a simple economic fact. 

If the movies Big Semi produces mirror people's desires perfectly, the employees of Semaphore get paid, and the corporation itself shows a profit, where is there a loser in any of that?


The issue is that Big Sema is not, and economically cannot be, the perfect mirror of the audience's desires. It must operate in a way that, when the demands of pleasing the audience come into conflict with the demands of making money, it will always chose the latter. The people who put up the money to make the thing won't allow it any other way.

Big Sema was sold to the investors as "I can guarantee you a 300 per cent return on investment on the opening weekend box office alone, plus a brand you can slap on anything and people will buy for decades, and I can guarantee you that every summer forever. Plus no flakey creative types."

That means no 150 per cent return on investment movies that might make somebody uncomfortable. That means not too much sex, no matter how much the algorithms might push it, because the distributors won't carry NC-17 or X-rated movies. That means a never-ending supply of magic negroes, sassy gay friends, wisecracking kids, manic pixie dreamgirls and dead lesbians.

The point here, from the investors' perspective (i.e. the one that matters most) is to remove risk, and art involves a degree of risk.

Another thing: People feel Sophia's kind of love and devotion to all kinds of things. I've read all of the Fifty Shades trilogy, and I think they're utter crap in so many ways, but there are people who think they're a beautifully written love story. Are they right? Who cares so long as they're willing to pay for it. That Sophia loves Semaphore's product means nothing.



Anthelion

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Reply #43 on: January 10, 2013, 07:56:44 AM
Personally I find the idea of coming back from work with an empty hrad creepy. I wouldn't think it's worth being part of a creative process if I had no memory left of it. Accepting this job means sacrificing another concious third of your life (1/3 wasted in sleep anyway) to a job which brings no actual satisfaction in the end of the day. How depressing  :(



Scumpup

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • ...
Reply #44 on: January 10, 2013, 01:59:27 PM

The issue is that Big Sema is not, and economically cannot be, the perfect mirror of the audience's desires. It must operate in a way that, when the demands of pleasing the audience come into conflict with the demands of making money, it will always chose the latter. The people who put up the money to make the thing won't allow it any other way.

Big Sema was sold to the investors as "I can guarantee you a 300 per cent return on investment on the opening weekend box office alone, plus a brand you can slap on anything and people will buy for decades, and I can guarantee you that every summer forever. Plus no flakey creative types."

That means no 150 per cent return on investment movies that might make somebody uncomfortable. That means not too much sex, no matter how much the algorithms might push it, because the distributors won't carry NC-17 or X-rated movies. That means a never-ending supply of magic negroes, sassy gay friends, wisecracking kids, manic pixie dreamgirls and dead lesbians.

The point here, from the investors' perspective (i.e. the one that matters most) is to remove risk, and art involves a degree of risk.

Another thing: People feel Sophia's kind of love and devotion to all kinds of things. I've read all of the Fifty Shades trilogy, and I think they're utter crap in so many ways, but there are people who think they're a beautifully written love story. Are they right? Who cares so long as they're willing to pay for it. That Sophia loves Semaphore's product means nothing.

A cynic might point out that we already have "not too much sex, no matter how much the algorithms might push it, because the distributors won't carry NC-17 or X-rated movies. That means a never-ending supply of magic negroes, sassy gay friends, wisecracking kids, manic pixie dreamgirls and dead lesbians" in a system where movies are produced by "flaky creative types."  Those things play well to test audiences because, it would appear, those are the things that they want in their viewing choices.
I don't want to sound like I am sneering at the crass tastes of commoners; but the vast majority of movies and tv productions are specifically aimed at them and, so, are tailored to their tastes.  In general, they don't want the dog to die, they don't want violence that is too realistic or sex that is too graphic, they want some characters that they can like and some they can hate, and they like happy endings.  They aren't happy with what appear to be major plot threads left dangling just because "life doesn't always have closure."
There are independent films that depart from this formula and foreign films that, because they are foreign, have formulas of their own that are novel to us.  Are they actually better than a typical big budget Hollywood film or are they just more to your tastes?  Crassus nattering about oysters and snails comes to mind here:
Quote
Marcus Licinius Crassus: Do you consider the eating of oysters to be moral and the eating of snails to be immoral?
Antoninus: No, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: Of course not. It is all a matter of taste, isn't it?
Antoninus: Yes, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: And taste is not the same as appetite, and therefore not a question of morals.

So, is the problem that Big Semi won't produce "good" movies or that Big Semi won't produce movies that are to our tastes?



InfiniteMonkey

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 483
  • Clearly, I need more typewriters....
Reply #45 on: January 10, 2013, 04:28:07 PM

So, is the problem that Big Semi won't produce "good" movies or that Big Semi won't produce movies that are to our tastes?


The problem is the Big Semi will produce (quite probably high quality) popular movies , but it would not produce innovative or challenging movies.



Anton_Eckhart

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Reply #46 on: January 10, 2013, 05:04:14 PM
Newbie here. Hi everybody.

There are many reasons why I love science fiction, some conflicting with each other, and this is definitely a great example of one of those reasons.  One of the things science fiction allows us to do is to draw out deeply rooted questions of science, not just intellectual but emotional too, that mere thought experiments or research reports could never do. 

While I agree with some commenters that as a piece of fiction this story could have been a little better, it worked extremely well at some of what hard scifi is about.  I think we were set up for these expectations early on when our host tells us it was published in a journal for MIT Media Labs - perfect.  The short length is optimal if you have the kind of expectations of a hard scifi story that real world technicians should take to heart.

I work in the tech industry as I imagine many of you do, and this is the kind of fiction that I wish more tech workers would take as seriously as the latest techie non-fiction research book.



Scumpup

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • ...
Reply #47 on: January 10, 2013, 09:15:21 PM


The problem is the Big Semi will produce (quite probably high quality) popular movies , but it would not produce innovative or challenging movies.

Your innovative or challenging movie is somebody else's incomprehensible or frustrating movie.  Supply and demand, not art, is really the heart of this.  There is a big demand for the kind of movies Semaphore produces, so they are investors fund them and they are produced. As in the story, so in real life.  If there was popular demand for movies like Un Chien Andalou, they'd be funded, produced, and distributed.
I can't fault people for wanting to see the kind of movies they like or companies for wanting to produce movies that will show a profit by bringing in those people.  Even if Big Semi really existed, there would be nothing stopping the independent production of more artistic/sophisticated pictures.  We have that now, and as noted upthread things like kickstarter raise interesting possibilities.



InfiniteMonkey

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 483
  • Clearly, I need more typewriters....
Reply #48 on: January 11, 2013, 12:13:26 AM

The problem is the Big Semi will produce (quite probably high quality) popular movies , but it would not produce innovative or challenging movies.

Your innovative or challenging movie is somebody else's incomprehensible or frustrating movie.  Supply and demand, not art, is really the heart of this.  There is a big demand for the kind of movies Semaphore produces, so they are investors fund them and they are produced. As in the story, so in real life.  If there was popular demand for movies like Un Chien Andalou, they'd be funded, produced, and distributed.
I can't fault people for wanting to see the kind of movies they like or companies for wanting to produce movies that will show a profit by bringing in those people.  Even if Big Semi really existed, there would be nothing stopping the independent production of more artistic/sophisticated pictures.  We have that now, and as noted upthread things like kickstarter raise interesting possibilities.

Well, the features of at least some innovative and challenging movies find their way into mainstream movies. Not always, but sometimes. I don't want to stretch this analogy too far, but just like biological evolution, some features survive and get passed on. We simply don't notice it as innovative or challenging anymore.

And when it comes to making "independent" productions, yeah, that's where supply and demand comes it. Because the pool of investor movie for films isn't infinite. And movies, unlike writing, does depend on production money. And investors are unlikely to invest in something new and different when there's something with a certain, proven rate of return.



zoanon

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
Reply #49 on: January 11, 2013, 07:12:31 AM
Alisdair's intro put me in the mood for horror, so I guessed the twist pretty much as soon as she was shown into the viewing booth.
its not machines taking over more an more things that bothers me, its the limiting of people to passive watchers.

edit: actually what bothers me most is that this wasn't called "reel artists"   8)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 07:33:32 AM by zoanon »