Weekly Column: Hollywood’s Creative Dilemma

In his capacity as a Columnist for California Sports Lawyer®, Founder Jeremy Evans has written a column about the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and its potential impact on creatives in Hollywood.

You can read the full column below.


In a world where there is constant change and technological development, Hollywood films might have one thinking that robots and artificial intelligence will replace human beings. On the one hand, there is a legitimate concern that as technology grows and replaces functions that humans one handled, there could be less jobs for humans. On the other hand, technology makes human life more efficient leaving humans to do things like be creative, travel, explore, or spend time with family.

However, what happens when artificial intelligence (AI) can also do the creative things like writing a screenplay? Furthermore, is more technology just more consumerism? Does more technology efficiency just lead to laziness? Or is technology a truly beautiful thing if applied properly? Maybe all of the above.

In episode three of the hit 1923 television series on Paramount+ by Taylor Sheridan, Jack and John Dutton question a business man selling a washing machine on the street in the early part of the twentieth century. Jack Dutton rhetorically asks the businessman how people will pay for new machines like the one being displayed. Jack Dutton is hinting at the point that people will just work harder in other jobs to make the money to purchase these more expensive “efficient” items. The point is that more technology just leads to more consumerism, which is paid through hard work.

Dutton does have a point. Then again, if technology is open-sourced (denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified) then it would be like free electricity, water, or some other normally sellable item. History, however, proves that electricity and water were not free for long, if at all. In a capitalist economy and environments that are commerce-forward, there is always the ability to sell something for a profit. In a constitutional republic that is commerce-forward like the United States, selling a resource is not a bad thing, but the government and its people that vote officials into power would have to be committed to keeping an item like open-source technology for AI free to the masses.

In the Hollywood setting, unions and writers guilds may have something to say about AI like ChatGPT, a “publicly available iteration [launched by company OpenAI] can produce polished, pitches and loglines for films and television shows as well as generic outlines and scripts within seconds”, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which has raised concerns about jobs and the creative process. For example, Hollywood as a whole did not respond well to analytics in filmmaking selection. Technology has always been a dilemma, at least initially in Hollywood and in other industries.

ChatGPT arrives at a time when copyright lawsuits have been filed against art AI generators, with artists and copyright owners wanting to protect their works. AI brings challenges in the creative sense in that machine learning collects information from past writings and things humans have written or painted, etc. Which is maybe close to “sampling” in the music business, but it is different because the information can be directly tracked in its code without question or subjectivity. When it rains it pours, because if the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has its way, non-compete clauses, already illegal in most circumstances in California, may become a nationwide prohibition opening up the workforce in an world that will increasingly see AI as either a benefit or detriment.


About Jeremy M. Evans:

Jeremy M. Evans is the Chief Entrepreneur Officer, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clients in contractual, intellectual property, and dealmaking matters. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, California. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com. www.CSLlegal.com.   

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Jeremy M. Evans is the CEO, Founder & Managing Attorney of California Sports Lawyer® representing entertainment, media, and sports clients and is licensed to practice law in California.