AI just co-wrote its first horror movie, and you can help make it real

Fund the project on Kickstarter and you could get full access to the AI behind it

AI has already been dabbling in the arts for some time, but recently it took a big step further and helped write its first feature-length horror film. Now its co-creators are seeking funding to bring the movie to life.

Titled "Impossible Things," the story focuses on a family that moves to a secluded country home following the death of a young daughter. Madeline, the mother, stays home to renovate the house and care for her remaining two children, but she begins to hear voices. She also sees visions of a deranged woman and the ghost of a child remarkably similar to the one she lost.

"Impossible Things is engineered using big data and artificial intelligence from the initial creative stage to ensure that it is the scariest and creepiest horror film out there," reads the project's Kickstarter page, which has set a $22,843 goal.

Impossible Things is the brainchild of Greenlight Essentials, a Canadian company that aims to help movie makers tap big data. Greenlight has created software that allows users to explore and discover repeatable patterns from decades of film data, including audience reactions, without requiring a background in programming or math, it says.

Earlier this year, an experimental AI-created short film called "Sunspring" made its debut, but reviews suggested the plot wasn't entirely coherent. Now, Greenlight hopes to take AI further in the creative realm. The company uses natural language processing to break movie plots down and connect specific plot points to audience taste.

"By training our AI on thousands of plot summaries and correlating movies to their box office performance, we've developed an AI that is smart enough to recognize the correct plot patterns that map to successful movie box office performance," it says.

A graphical user interface aims to make that analysis accessible to anyone.

To create the script for Impossible Things, Greenlight's AI began by generating a basic premise and the essential plot points.

“It not only evaluates and suggests plot twists and deviations, it also suggests which type of actors and actresses would make the movie more appealing, specific plot and cast combinations, and it even helps us find the right target market for the film to be successful,” said Greenlight Essentials founder and CEO Jack Zhang.

In this case, the target audience is female movie-goers under the age of 25. Key elements of the movie, according to the AI, were not just a ghost and a family relationship but also a piano scene and a bathtub scene in the movie trailer.

The company's creative team used that input as the basis for a fuller-fledged story, refined through feedback from the movie's intended audience.

The resulting script is now complete, and Greenlight says it is in talks with several potential directors. Funders who contribute C$1,000 or more will get full access for six months to the AI software involved.

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Katherine Noyes

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