TCL debuts its first AI-generated movie

Mike Wheatley
TCL debuts its first AI-generated movie

TCL is getting into the content production business, but rather than hiring actors and Hollywood directors, it’s turning to artificial intelligence. According to FlatPanels HD, the company has just announced the launch of TCLtv+ Studios, a new content production arm that uses AI to generate movies from scratch.

TCLtv+ Studios will help to create original content for the company’s free, ad-supported video streaming service, known as TCLtv+, which can be accessed via an app that’s preinstalled on all new TCL smart TVs that run the Google TV platform.

TCL hinted at the launch of TCLtv+ Studios earlier this year, when it said it’s putting together a content production hub that includes a team of animators, VFX experts and AI engineers. The division is led by its chief content officer Chris Regina, who previously served as the director of original drama at Netflix, and before that, as the senior vice president of original co-productions at NBCUniversal.

To get the ball rolling, TCLtv+ Studios has debuted two AI-generated movies, including a short romantic film called Next Stop Paris, which features “professional voice actors and an original script”, but is brought to life using AI-generated animations.

The other movie is a short Sci-Fi flix called Message in a Bot, which is available to watch on YouTube now, and is said to explore what happens when an alien spacecraft containing advanced technology and instructions crashes onto Earth, and, without spoiling things for those who want to watch, there’s a cool plot twist at the end.

Message in a Bot will make its debut on TCLtv+ on July 18. There’s also a trailer for Next Stop Paris on YouTube, with the full movie to launch on TCLtv+ later this summer.

It’s not clear how far TCL will go with its AI-generated movies, and there is uncertainty as to how consumers will react to the concept, but it’s an idea that others are pursuing too.

For instance, Hollywood filmmakers are also experimenting with generative AI tech and other AI tools to make special effects in their movies. But some studios have struggled to win over viewers. In particular, many people are worried that AI will take people’s jobs and are unwilling to support it due to that.

Despite this resistance, DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has previously said he believes AI will replace 90% of professional animators within the next three years.