The future of movies will be the present of books. Filmmaking will become like self-publishing today in the sense that anybody can easily do it entirely by themselves.
Computer-generated imagery (CGI) and speech synthesis will become so advanced that it will be indistinguishable from live action video. With time, the technology will become so inexpensive that anyone will be able to make a fully CGI movie, complete with CGI actors. It’ll essentially be an animated movie except it will look 100% realistic. Everyone will have their own personal Industrial Light & Magic to “self-produce” their own movies where they (and AI) fulfill every role. That, not Netflix, will be the true death of Hollywood (and of Netflix)—when anyone can create blockbuster movies from the comfort of their own home.
When everyone can make a movie, the only way to stand out will be quality, just like with books today. Anyone can write a book and self-publish it on Amazon (myself included). The floodgates are wide open, so there are millions of books available. It’s easier to publish books today but harder to sell books. There is a lot of unreadable drivel that’s self-published, but there are also tons of quality books that are self-published.
The average book (self-published or traditionally published) is…well, average. They’re good but not groundbreaking—generally similar to books that came before. Genre books in particular (romance, thriller, cozy mystery, science fiction, horror) tend to follow a formula, and when books deviate from that formula, the core readers of that genre reject it.
I think in the future, people will be able to program AI and algorithms to write formula-based fiction books such as those. If there’s a set plot formula with stock character-types, those elements could be programmable. Many commercially successful authors today tend to be those who find a successful formula and routinely deliver books that follow that same recipe again and again, only varying the ingredients from book to book. But in the future, those types of authors may not be as successful because they can be more easily replaced by AI.
To write something original—”good art“—you need to rise above the average. That’s something that no computer can do (yet). In fact, AI may never make true art because true art is something never conceived of before. The best art breaks the rules of its medium, but AI can only create art by being given rules to follow. AI can beat any human in chess, but can AI create the game of chess? In the future, as in the past and present, the best books, movies, and art of all kinds will be created by human artists with the aid of technology. Art created solely by AI will be mediocre at best.