At his Full Circle Justice League event, Zack Snyder was asked about the rising role of AI in the film industry, a topic that has only gained more attention in light of the ongoing WGA writer strike.
Not only did the former DCU director acknowledge the problems with AI in film, but also what this technology can't do.
Zack Snyder's Issues With AI Movies
In discussing AI at his Full Circle Event, Zack Snyder addressed other filmmakers, pointing out what AI "doesn't have the ability" to do onscreen:
"I would say to any filmmakers out there, whether it's a movie or a painting or a photograph, whatever you're doing, you are also a prism for the thing. AI doesn't have the ability. I, as a viewer, I want this prism between me and the reality that the filmmaker puts up."
The director went on to explain how filmmakers experience the world "goes through you and onto the screen," showcasing their "personality. Your way of seeing:"
"You have your experience. You walk around the world, you see things, you feel things. And when you make a movie, it goes through you and onto the screen. I as a human being want that. I want your touch. Your personality. Your way of seeing on screen so I can have an empathetic human experience by what you put on screen. I think that is the way I try to think about the way I photograph things."
Snyder shared a lesson from one of his teachers who said "all that matters is your point of view." Unguided artificial intelligence, meanwhile, is a collective of everyone's point of view:
"I had a teacher here at Art Center. This guy named Paul Jasmine. Amazing photographer. He said it doesn't matter - the camera - none of it matters. Like the quality of the camera. All that matters is your point of view. That's it. That's all you have as a filmmaker and as an artist is the way you see. No one can know the way you see. The only way to get into your head and see how you see is for you to make something that allows me to sort of experience that in some small way. That's the job of you filmmakers. Let me see through your eyes."
At the same event, where AI was again being discussed, the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice director responded to the point that of AI art is too perfect, saying,
"The very thing we would say like 'Oh look at the personality of this piece' would be the thing that AI would say like 'God d**n it,' like 'I f***** up'."
Zack Snyder's Advice for Filmmakers
For artists and creatives, AI is a real and growing concern.
The fear is that this technology can do the job of writers, photographers, visual effects artists, directors, and - at times - even actors.
While the threat of AI appears to be with the industry for the long haul, Zack Snyder's comments aren't only encouraging but also words of advice.
AI can't create a human being's unique voice and personality, nor can it generate what's inside an artist's mind that's been shaped by personal experiences.
As the Justice League director was told by his teacher, cameras and tech don't matter. The job of filmmakers is to "let [audiences] see through your eyes."
If anything good comes from the threat of AI, perhaps it will be less spectacle and formulaic storytelling in exchange for original films from filmmakers with signature voices and styles, such as James Gunn, James Mangold, and, yes, Zack Snyder.