I once played around with an editor called Descript. Basically you give it your video or audio, it does a transcription, and you can edit like a word processor. That makes cool easy sense if you are cutting stuff or moving it around… but if you type in new words it will generate them with the same voice, and a lot of it sounds really good. It’s best, of course, if you’re just changing a word here and there. Generating entire sentences reveals the robotness.
I had considered using it for my podcast, because I pretty often need to change something people say (because they used the wrong word, or pronounced it weird, or there was a loud noise at the same time, or other such acceptable reasons - I’m not changing their opinions or anything). I ended up not doing that because 1) I’m going to do my deep dive edit anyway, and I’ve got 20+ years experience making those kinds of changes, 2) I can’t have all of our guests go through the trouble of training the AI*, and 3) there’s a non-zero chance the host will be like “cool, so I don’t ever have to record? You can just do all the work? See ya!” and I can’t let her off so easy.
*Training this AI is pretty simple. You give it a recording of a few minutes of any content, and also a recording of a very specific script that is something like “I consent to let this software use my voice…” I could, in theory, create that consent paragraph through regular editing. But that’s a lot of work. Usually I only have to fix one or two words, if that, in an episode. I could do that in way less time than it would take to create the consent. Also unethical. I should have led with unethical. I totally thought that first, I swear. In fact, I edited this post to put the work reason first because I thought it would be funny to then say “also unethical” but then I felt I needed to explain that I purposefully did it and now I’m stuck in this weird meta sentence, this one right here. Could a robot get stuck like this? Am I a robot? Aggghh I hate existential crises.
Anyway, what I’m saying is: if the future of entertainment is going to be AI generated, then we’re probably going to reject anything new and now I fully understand why in Star Trek most all pop culture references are from the 20th century, because this current century is when it all becomes meaningless.
Not really surprising. they are getting to do-or-die time if they want to have any sort of scripted season. And they still have to deal with SAG, whose demands are even more sticky.
Pretty much if they don’t have deals in place by the first week of October there won’t be any sort of scripted season this broadcast year. The fall and winter seasons are already toast. At this point, they are hoping to have contracts done so they can have something ready by March.
In a normal season, writing and pre-production starts in June.
They start filming scripts in August for a late September premiere week. (This year, premiere week would have been this week)
Filming runs through early November, and cast and crews are off end of November and December for the holidays.
At this point, most shows have ~12-13 episodes in the can.
In January, production starts on the remaining 7-9 episodes of the season
Filming wraps for the season in March/April and the season wraps in the middle of May.
With the strikes, they would have to have something done in the next couple of weeks, to start the two months of writing and preproduction. This may take longer since writer’s rooms have been at a standstill since May, so there was no end of last season pre-planning of script ideas for the fall.
Productions might be ready to roll cameras in January for a March premiere of 10-12-episode scripted season.
If we get the the middle of October and they are still talking, there won’t be enough time to get anything into production before it’s basically too late.
And they don’t have many. I don’t think they had more than seven or eight episodes filmed. There’s also the back half of the last Magnum PI season that NBC plans to burn off. The Sunday animation block on FOX is still going out as planned, I think. Voice actors aren’t under the same SAG rules as everyone else. (this also applies to soaps which is why they are still in production)
But yeah, the rest is “reality”, various competitions, or repurposed old game shows.
As I have said before, probably in this very thread, the snide remarks from the public and the “we’ll just wait 'em out” from the studios has really started to slow down now that the part of the year where they start to expect new stories is here.
I can’t wait to get back to work. I need the money and being just at home all the time has started to remind me of the lockdown. However, I am enjoying studio execs and armchair studio execs alike begin to squirm the way they hoped we would.
I was once in an improv scene where this guy made the most tone deaf reference to the L.A. Riots and, you know, college kids come to see improv in Austin. “You alienated this crowd because they don’t know what you’re talking about and you’d alienate them more if they did.”
Anyway, please come to my Ted Talk if you’d like to hear more about experiencing casual and “ironic” racism in comedy.