A little bit of a boy on the floor
June 9, 2016 2:43 PM   Subscribe

Sunspring is a short film written by Benjamin, a neural network trained on a corpus of film scripts. (Sunspring previously though the link there has been made private)
posted by juv3nal (27 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
That is so weird. I'm also a little bit of a boy on the floor. Oscars for everybody!

In solidarity with Benjamin, the predictive text on my Android had this to say:
I think it got a little better after the last couple of days and see if I can really be in the situation, and I'm going out tonight or something.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 3:13 PM on June 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


There seems to be a theme revolving around characters failing to comprehend what the other characters are saying at a fundamental level, and I wonder if it's somehow the product of an AI trying to comprehend the dialog that it's writing.
posted by christopherious at 3:29 PM on June 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


There seems to be a theme revolving around characters failing to comprehend what the other characters are saying at a fundamental level, and I wonder if it's somehow the product of an AI trying to comprehend the dialog that it's writing.

If you read the article, it may be down to the corpus having a lot of x-files in it so a lot of "what's going on/what is that" etc. type reactions to strange phenomena
posted by juv3nal at 3:40 PM on June 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


So you're saying it's better than After Last Season then
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:45 PM on June 9, 2016


Very Lynchian.
posted by jabah at 4:30 PM on June 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, there's one job for humans that's safe for now and the rest of the individual named above the ground floor plan to do with the following user name is not a problem with my new email account to send you a few months ago.
posted by biogeo at 4:36 PM on June 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


There seems to be a theme revolving around characters failing to comprehend what the other characters are saying at a fundamental level, and I wonder if it's somehow the product of an AI trying to comprehend the dialog that it's writing.

I get so fucking angry when I watch a TV shows or movies where the core of the plot is people not actually speaking to each other. So fucking angry that I post about it on the internet because otherwise I would complain to people on the street.

Just. Talk. To. Each. Other.

It would destroy 90% of tv sitcom plots which would be a good thing. I watched Three's Company several decades ago. Lets move forward.
posted by srboisvert at 4:48 PM on June 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


They could learn a thing or two* from the programmers who made The Policeman's Beard Is Half Constructed.

* cheat like hell and just write most of it by hand
posted by miyabo at 4:51 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I found the woman's monologue at the end surprisingly affecting, even though I had no idea what the hell she was talking about. Props to Elisabeth Gray, man.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:05 PM on June 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


I'm pretending half of it is future slang, and someone turned off the footnotes.
posted by Mogur at 6:09 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


"He looks at me and he throws me out of his eyes" is pure poetry.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:14 PM on June 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


Watching this was remarkably like having Hulu or Netflix on in the background while you go about some other task, yet in this case you are giving it your full attention, but still not completely following along, somehow. You have a great way of the day before I get a follow back. The fact I can get it right away with the new version is better to be the first half of the day.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:45 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


After I understood what they had done here, I realized I was a little crestfallen that the AI can't really 'know' and enjoy that its movie got made.

Then I wondered, can the people behind this feed the AI its own film? What if they did this with many AI units and made several movies and then had all the AIs see all the movies and they repeat this cycle for many iterations? What would come out?

OK I'm going to just watch the movie now.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 6:51 PM on June 9, 2016


I went through a phase where I would watch one thing and listen to another (probably remnants of going to school abroad and having to rely on acting and dramatic cues to understand stuff) and I found that you could see the difference between the good actors from the bad. There's just a wholeness of part when the actor is really good that comes through even if the person is saying incomprehensible things.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:00 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


can the people behind this feed the AI its own film?

That is how a lot of Hollywood functions these days, it seems to me. A feedback loop with an increasing bias toward regurgitating past material.

Props to Elisabeth Gray, man.

That was some ridiculously high quality acting. She made me tear up to gibberish. Which says a lot, actually, about the value of actors relative to the writing. I hope she gets to be in a lot of stuff and I look forward to seeing more of what she can do.

"He looks at me and he throws me out of his eyes" is pure poetry.

Yes, and the adjacent lines are worth including too:

"I didn't want to hurt him.
I'm sorry, I don't like him, but I can go home and be so bad, and I'll love him.

And I can get him all the way out here, and find a square, and go to the game with him, and she doesn't show up.

And then I'll check it out.
But I'm going to see him when he gets to me.

He looks at me and he throws me out of his eyes,
and then he says he'll go to bed with me."
posted by tempestuoso at 7:37 PM on June 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


The interview with the AI is super creepy:
Q: What is the future of machine written entertainment?
A: It's a bit sudden. I was thinking of the spirit of the men who found me and the children who were all manipulated and full of children. I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
posted by The White Hat at 7:38 PM on June 9, 2016 [13 favorites]


Elisabeth Gray and Thomas Middleditch definitely do a good job selling it.
posted by atoxyl at 9:52 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Needs more middle-out.

sorry
posted by arzakh at 4:46 AM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Part of this is showing how much of a movie is the script, and how much is down to the staff. I am a very good at it and I will be pending in about 5 minutes here are some of the chat from before I joined by the time you clear customs.
posted by Fraxas at 4:49 AM on June 10, 2016


Two thoughts
1. It's actually cut scenes from a live action Ren and Stimpy "Space Madness" remake; and
2. It's even better if you imagine Sterling Archer standing in the corner saying "Phrasing" in increasingly angry voice every so often.

"Even if he could have done it all, he couldn't come anymore"

Phrasing mother!
posted by inflatablekiwi at 6:15 AM on June 10, 2016


I get so fucking angry when I watch a TV shows or movies where the core of the plot is people not actually speaking to each other.

Funny you should mention this. Yesterday I was listening to an interview with the creators of Silicon Valley (on Here and Now, I think), and one of them mentioned how mobile phones and texting have killed a lot of potential in comedy storytelling. Many situations could be solved if characters just called or texted each other, but instead it's more fun to put two people in the same room and get them to react to one another.
posted by slogger at 6:18 AM on June 10, 2016


...one of them mentioned how mobile phones and texting have killed a lot of potential in comedy storytelling

One thing I've noticed about Korean rom-coms is that, because they usually have Samsung as a sponser, the characters spend a LOT of time texting, calling, not answering calls, etc. A lot of humor revolves specifically around mobile phones in a way you really don't see on other countries shows, I think.
posted by jabah at 7:59 AM on June 10, 2016


And yeah, Elisabeth Gray in this sent chills up my spine.
posted by jabah at 8:01 AM on June 10, 2016


Interesting exercise. Dialogue has a bit of a "Bad Lip Reading" vibe to it.
posted by aught at 8:02 AM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nthing the love for Elisabeth Gray, who absolutely slays in the monologue.

In my college acting classes, there were a number of exercises aimed at separating emotion from text (the thought being that you are communicating with so many other things than words). One that I remember in particular was that we would be paired off and perform a scene saying only "1 2 3 4 5 6", with no discussion ahead of time about what the scene was about.

I was paired with a young woman (we were both college freshmen at the time), and I decided that I would be breaking off a romantic relationship (again, saying only "1 2 3 4 5 6"). In what was one of the best and worse moments of my brief acting education, she ended up in tears and had to run out of the room. I learned afterwards that she had just suffered such a break-up the previous day, and apparently my "1 2 3 4 5 6" was enough to communicate what I was trying to communicate. I felt awful.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:59 AM on June 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


The constant questioning reminds me of something that might actually be in an existentialist play, or maybe a 200 level creative writing seminar interpretation of an existentialist play. The scene where H1 readjusts the camera, and then is horrified to see that the camera has moved to a new angle was also very cool - although that was largely interpretation by the director and not so much the work of the screenwriter script. And, as others have said, Gray really sells the nonsense ending monologue.

It's interesting to see where this might go in the future. Similar domains have actually produced scripts that can create meaningful documents. There are sports writer robots that can look at a baseball game's box score, some supplementary material, and write an article about it. I could see similarly honed scripts that could actually produce meaningful (if bland and generic) genre scripts.
posted by codacorolla at 9:45 AM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


"I get so fucking angry when I watch a TV shows or movies where the core of the plot is people not actually speaking to each other. "

You've just described why I hate and quit reading the Wheel of Time series.
posted by MacD at 6:06 PM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


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