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Hollywood Writers Jealous of AI Prompts

F$JNews visited the mean streets of Los Angeles to try to understand what is really motivating the Hollywood writers strike. What we found surprised us. While higher wages and better working conditions have topped the list of public demands, in private, writers had another overarching concern.

Millipede Man Movie Poster
Millipede Man Movie Poster

The Viewers’ Perspective

To understand that concern, we must start with the viewers. Jim Jimson, an avid TV and Cinema buff who spends over 18 hours a day in his mother’s basement watching Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Disney and Paramount shows, explains the viewers’ concerns succinctly: “Almost the entire industry writes the same derivative crap month after month and year after year. How many times do we need to literally see the Millipede Man plot? And when something new comes out, like Guardians of the Galaxy, they quickly make sequels that are basically carbon copies. Occasionally, they get a chance at something new and really inspiring but then they muck it up by replacing story with ‘viewpoint.’ The writers suck!”

The Writers’ Take

Writers, of course, have a very different perspective on the issue. Ed Edson, a Hollywood writer, explains: “The crappy, derivative, viewpoint-infused work isn’t their fault. It is simply what the industry is demanding. Meeting those demands was acceptable, up to a point. We got their names in the credits and we had a chance to put out some workmanlike material that met the producer’s needs and saw millions of dollars of production layered on top of their words on a page. But then ChatGPT came along.”

Bob Bobson, another writer, went into more detail on the issue, “The issue isn’t that ChatGPT will replace us. The issue is that ChatGPT gets far far far better prompts than we do. Producers say, ‘write me the 7th Millipede Man movie, but make it even more vapid than the last to attract a young audience.’ That’s what we do. But at the same time people are asking ChatGPT to ‘write me a sci-fi thriller about aliens whose voices can reshape matter through song and who encounter the first human explorers to Europa.’ I mean, give us prompts like that and we’ll get back to work!”

The Producers’ Angle

When we visited Fred Goldman, the legendary producer at Goldman Studios, he was watching 2021’s “Millipede Man: The 7th Leg” in his in-office theater. We didn’t manage to communicate with him, though. Instead, we watched him repeatedly mutter “Write me something like this… write me something just like this – only a bit more vapid.”

As of the time of reporting, there was no sign that either party had moved towards the others’ positions.

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