Tyler Perry puts $800 million studio expansion on hold because of OpenAI’s Sora

Enlarge / Tyler Perry in 2022. (credit: Getty Images)

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Thursday, filmmaker Tyler Perry spoke about his concerns related to the impact of AI video synthesis on entertainment industry jobs. In particular, he revealed that he has suspended a planned $800 million expansion of his production studio after seeing what OpenAI’s recently announced AI video generator Sora can do.

“I have been watching AI very closely,” Perry said in the interview. “I was in the middle of, and have been planning for the last four years… an $800 million expansion at the studio, which would’ve increased the backlot a tremendous size—we were adding 12 more soundstages. All of that is currently and indefinitely on hold because of Sora and what I’m seeing. I had gotten word over the last year or so that this was coming, but I had no idea until I saw recently the demonstrations of what it’s able to do. It’s shocking to me.”

OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, revealed a preview of Sora’s capabilities last week. Sora is a text-to-video synthesis model, and it uses a neural network—previously trained on video examples—that can take written descriptions of a scene and turn them into high-definition video clips up to 60 seconds long. Sora caused shock in the tech world because it appeared to dramatically surpass other AI video generators in capability. It seems that similar shock also rippled into adjacent professional fields. “Being told that it can do all of these things is one thing, but actually seeing the capabilities, it was mind-blowing,” Perry said in the interview.

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