An excerpt from my article about Using AI to write Screenplays which will be available 04/24/23:
Prediction: Writing a screenplay is about to get a whole lot easier, but selling it…a whole lot harder.
Taking a break from script reviews this week.
Obviously a bit of hyperbole in the title, but I wanted to discuss something.
AI. Artificial Intelligence. Skynet.
If you’re not already using it to help you generate story ideas, you should be…until it inevitably replaces you.
The other day I was working on a project for a buddy, editing video for him.
One of the recent updates in the software I use was an AI that is meant to help generate titles and descriptions.
(It can also create logos and pictures, but I haven’t messed with that yet.)
Bored as I waited for the program to export one of his videos, I got to thinking…
Could this program generate story ideas for scripts?
Having twenty questions a day I can ask it, and never coming close, I decided to mess around.
Here’s what I gave it…
Write a horror story about a woman being tormented by a ghost.
The AI’s response:
Lena had just moved into her new apartment. She was excited to finally have a place of her own, but little did she know, the apartment came with a dark past.
It all started a few days after she moved in. Lena woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of whispering. She got out of bed and looked around, but there was no one in the room. She shrugged it off and went back to sleep.
The next night, the whispering returned. Lena got out of bed again, but this time she saw something that made her blood run cold. There was a figure standing in the corner of her room. It was dark and twisted; its eyes were hollow and its skin was pale.
Lena screamed and ran out of the room, but she could feel the ghost following her. Everywhere she went in the apartment, it was there. She could hear it breathing down her neck and feel its cold breath on her skin.
Days turned into weeks, and Lena was tormented more and more. The ghost would move objects, slam doors shut, and make strange noises in the night. Lena tried everything to get rid of it. She called in a priest to bless the apartment, but it only got worse.
One night, Lena was laying in bed when she heard a scratching sound coming from the closet. She slowly got up, hoping it was just her imagination. But when she opened the closet door, she saw a message written on the wall in blood.
Lena knew she had to leave, and she did just that. She never stepped foot in the apartment again. The ghost had won.
Although not the most original story, it was written by a computer program!
It named the character, something short yet unique.
It gave us escalating situations that Lena faced.
Lastly, it crafted an acceptable ending to the story.
That brought me to my next request…
Write a horror screenplay about a woman being tormented by a ghost.
The AI’s response:
EXT. AN OLD ABANDONED MANSION – NIGHT
We see an old mansion in the middle of nowhere. It’s surrounded by dense woods and there are no lights visible except for the full moon above. We hear a woman’s voice.
INT. MANSION – NIGHT
The inside of the mansion is shabby, with old cobwebs and ghostly figures. The woman’s face is pale, she looks around, anxious and scared.
What is this place?
Suddenly, a gust of cold wind blows, causing the woman’s hair to tremble. She is visibly shaken. The room is lit by the moonlight through the dusty old window. The woman wanders through the mansion, exploring the old hallways. She hears strange noises coming from various directions.
As she moves closer to the stairs, a strange shadow appears. The woman looks horrified. She slowly backs away in fear. Suddenly, a ghostly figure appears before the woman. She screams and runs down the stairs, trying to find a way out.
INT. DINING ROOM – NIGHT
The dining room is full of old furniture with cobwebs and no food. Suddenly, the woman hears laughter. She looks around in terror, unable to find the source of the sound.
Please, leave me alone!
INT. LIBRARY – NIGHT
The woman is now in the library. She comes across an old journal which belonged to a woman named Elsie. She reads it out loud.
“Dear journal, I have been tormented by a ghost every night. There are strange noises coming from the mansion. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t find a way out.”
The woman hears footsteps approaching her. She looks back and sees the ghost of Elsie. She screams in terror and runs away from the library.
INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
The woman finally reaches an old bedroom. She slams the door shut and tries to find a way out.
What do you want from me?
The ghost of Elsie appears outside the door.
ELSIE THE GHOST
The woman is petrified and tries to escape from the room. Suddenly, the ghost attacks her. She screams for help but no one comes to her rescue.
I had to format a bit, and besides being a bit overzealous with directions in dialogue, not to mention adding “FADE OUT” and “THE END” the fact that a program generated this in about fifteen seconds is fantastic.
Was it perfect? No.
It was generic, but consider the broad request I gave it.
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