The Rise Of AI Hacks

by Shelt Garner

This is all very speculative, of course, but what if the very thing we think is exclusively human — the arts — is the first thing that is “disrupted” by hard AI? How long is it before we watch a movie written by an AI, using AI generated actors and using an AI generated musical score?

I’m not saying any of that would be all that great, but then, the vast majority of screenplays and music are kind of hackish.

I guess what I’m wondering is, will there be anything left that is uniquely enough human that an AI can’t do it if not better, then at least formulaically? A lot of younger people in Hollywood have to struggle making bad movies for years before they can produce something really good.

What if the vast majority of “good enough” art of any sort is generated by a hard AI that simply knows the tried and true formula? Will audiences even care if the latest MCU movie is completely AI generated? Of course, the legal implications of who owns an AI generated actor would be huge, but not insurmountable.

I think there will be a lot of gnashing of teeth the moment hard AI can generate screenplays. That is going to make a lot of very well paid creative types in Hollywood scream bloody murder to the point where they may attempt, neo-Luddite style to ban the practice altogether. I don’t see that working, however. The moment it’s possible, the Hollywood studios will abuse it like crazy because they can save a lot of money.

But, to be honest, I struggle to think of ANYTHING that some combination of hard AI and robotics won’t be able to do better than a human at some point. We need to start asking how we’re going to address that possibility now, instead of letting MAGA somehow use it to turn us in to fascist state.

Pondering What Is Known About ‘Indiana Jones & The Dial Of Destiny’

by Shelt Garner

From the title alone, it seems as though there may be some time travel involved in the latest Indiana Jones movie. But for me, the really intriguing element to the movie is the status of Phoebe Waller-Bridge. It sure would make a lot of sense for her to take up the fedora for a continuation of the franchise in some way.

While from what I’ve read of these things, both Harrison Ford and the producers of the film say this is not the case — so goes Ford so goes Indy — I still have a suspicion that they’re at least going to dangle the idea of Waller-Bridge somehow being an Indy-like character going forward.

Of course, if she did, the usual culture warrior suspects would come out of the woodwork to scream at the top of their lungs that the “woke cancel culture mob” is destroying yet another beloved American institution. But I would be all for Waller-Bridge being our new Indy.

I think she’s got exactly what it takes to for the role. I just don’t know how they would manage to shoehorn her character into the “Indiana Jones and the…” nomenclature. I suppose they would just keep “x and the x” system of naming in the spirit of the Ford-helmed films.

It would be interesting to see a Waller-Bridge type character doing Indy-style gallivanting in the 1970s and 80s. But I suspect what MIGHT happen, is if there is any recasting that we would see a hard reboot of the franchise in the guise of someone playing a “young” Indy having adventures in, say WW1 or so. I know there were the “Young Indy” adventures, but I’m thinking something closer to whatever the character might have been up to in their 20s.

I don’t really know the chronology of the character, so, lulz.

Having said all that, I still think Waller-Bridge would be a great Dr. Susan Calvin. There are the short stories in that universe that could be adapted into movies, my favorite being “Liar!”

But, anyway, lulz. No one listens to me.

‘The Martian’ — But On A Macro Scale

by Shelt Garner

I’m really fascinated by how you might bootstrap human civilization on a new planet if you forced us to collectively only use the technology we have today. So, in essence, what if a Galactic Empire or some sort of human-made AI told us that Earth was doomed and billions could be saved — but with a catch.

While a few billion humans could get zapped to a new habitable planet, once we got there, there would be limited help. Humans would have to unite and start from scratch.

I keep thinking about this scenario whenever I have a little extra mental energy to use — which is often — and at the moment, I’ve come up with something like this.

What you do is, say you had three habitable earth-like planets to play with. Given the US’ history of being a national of immigrants, you initially zap everyone to a planet that is “Planet America,” if you will. This causes inherent conflict — a lot of people on earth hate America and what it stands for — and, as such, gives you something to play with on a storytelling basis.

But, wait, there’s more. You just use the Planet America as your first planet. The other two planets would be planned to be Planet China and Planet India, given the populations of those two nations.

What’s compelling, of course, relative to, say a novel or a Hollywood movie, is that American audiences would really, REALLY get off on the idea of America being an entire planet. And, really, it would be really easy to turn a novel or movie on this subject into a metaphor about the “crisis at the border” that fucking fascist MAGA shitheads keep blathering on about.

Anyway. the crux of the matter is, it would be really, really hard to do this, even with a lot of people. The issue is — it would take at least a century to replicate the globalized world that we live in if you’re starting from scratch with only a minimum amount of help from the thing that got you to the planet in the first place.

It’s all very interesting and if I become a successful novelist, it might be something I turn my full attention to.

The Academy Needs To Give Up On The Oscars

by Shelt Garner

I love movies and I love the Academy Awards. Growing up, they were one of the highlights of my TV watching year. But now, in our hypermedia Tik-Tok, post-Slap era…the Academy Awards finds itself at a crossroads.

My favorite podcast about Hollywood and showbiz.

The Academy needs to give up. Give up on broadcast TV. Give up on trying to appeal to anyone but the base. Just wallow in why people watch the show to begin with and move on.

Move the Oscars to a streamer and let the thing run for four or more hours. No more playing people off when they give their acceptance speech. Just let the Academy Awards evolve into the niche product that it inevitably will become anyway.

The media world is just so diverse and fragmented that the Oscars don’t have a chance. They’re never going to garner the huge audiences that they once did. The mainstream audience has moved on. The Oscars should, too.

Daydreaming About NYC & LA

by Shelt Garner

Let’s do yet ANOTHER deep dive in to what might happen to me if I found myself able to live in New York City or Los Angles for a few weeks (months) with a job of some sort and ready access to transportation.

New York City
The thing about New York City is, from my experience, the city is so brutal on an social basis that the argument can me made that I’m full of shit whenever I talk about what a success I might be there. There’s a reason why the song says, if you can make it here you can make it “anywhere.” The metrics for success in NYC are very cold and clinical. Do you have a lot of money? Are you tall and traditionally good looking? Do you have a huge cock? (For women….were you a model in your youth?)

If you don’t have any of those, then, well, you’re not really very successful in New York City.

So, I probably am being pretty delusional — maybe a lot delusional — to think I could curry any favor, find any success just by living in New York City any duration of time. It’s really fun to think about, given what happened to me in Seoul….but my sell-by date is probably a sold 10 years in the past. I’m old and just not as cute as I used to be. I might prompt some interesting discussions once I leave the bar but….that would be it. I would be just another really interesting person in a sea of really interesting people floating around New York City and that would be that.

Los Angles
I would probably have a minor better chance of success because, well, Los Angles is a storytelling town. And it’s within the realm of possibility that I would cruise into a bar have a really great conversation with some random person and the next thing I know I’m explaining in vivid detail my vision for a movie the movie “11” staring Emily Ratajkowski who at that moment will be looking at me with wide eyes, hoping that I might get a three picture deal from my new best friend elsewhere at the cocktail party.

Or something like that.

The stuff of Hollywood dreams — La La Land and all that.

But even that movie is pretty much just a bunch of bullshit. I can schmooze with the best of them. And because of all the writing I’ve been doing with these six novels…I’m pretty primed to write some screenplays.

And…yet…there continues to be the issue of my age. I’m just not as cute as I used to be. I’m old, old, old. And, well that’s it. If I find any success it is probably going to be because of one of two things — I sell my first novel and it’s some sort of success, or I fall into some money and I buy the photographic equipment I need to start that career.

Anyway. I’m not getting any younger. It’s put up or shut up time.

Hollywood Should Adapt ‘Fletch & The Man Who’ Next

by Shelt Garner

I really love the Fletch series of novels because, as a young man, they were short, amusing easy reads with gratuitous sex in them. One of my favorite Fletch books is “Fletch And The Man Who.”

It’s a murder mystery set during a presidential campaign. It’s meant to evoke the book “The Boys On The Bus.” I could see a modern day version of this concept being a lot of fun if the “Man Who” in question was a Trump-type character. That would be a great way talk about the surreal nature of modern American politics in the context of a comic mystery.

And, yet, they need to hurry up.

They need to greenlight such a movie now — hopefully because “Confess, Fletch” is a success. They could probably get such a movie out in time for the 2024 presidential cycle.

As we know, of course, late 2024, early 2025 might be pretty turbulent. We may have to avoid car bombs to get to the theatre to see the movie.

Who Should Pete Davidson Date Next?

Now that Pete Davidson is single and ready to mingle, who should he fuck, I mean date? Here are some options for our modern Warren Betty.

Emily Ratajkowski
This is the top pick for people on Tik-Tok, apparently. It would definitely help their careers if they hooked up. He’s all chaotic energy and she’s got a very, very languid personality. So, they would play off of each other very well. If they were able to linger together long-term they would be an It Couple.

Miley Cyrus
She and Davidson are so much alike in some ways, that it seems like they would have a really intense relationship then burn out as quickly as it all started. But for the few weeks their relationship existed, they would be an It Couple.

Julia Fox
They circulate in the same circles. Of course, this would open “Skete” up to talk of “sloppy seconds.” But despite this, they would make a cute couple and it would be the very definition of an “It Couple.” She’s an It Girl and he’s an It Boy. So, perfect.

Alexa Chung
She likes rocker badboys and she’s a brunette. So, I think she might be open to a little fling with Pete Davidson. He’s a little younger than her, I think, but that hasn’t stopped the Stud of Our Generation.

Cassidy Hutchinson
She’s a cute brunette and it would break the Internet (or at least Twitter) if they dated for even a little bit.

This one is silly, but it would be funny if Melania left orange dingus for Pete Davidson.

I’m Impressed With Millie Bobby Brown’s Personal Brand Management

by Shelt Garner

I don’t think I’m being too jaded to point out that all these pictures we’re seeing of Millie Bobby Brown on vacation in rather modest bikinis is part of her soft transition to adult hood. Unlike many young starlets who freaked the fuck out once they were 18, she’s figured out a way to change people’s perception of her while simply wearing bikinis.

Millie Bobby Brown

She must have known the paps would take pictures of her and, as such, she wore the bikinis she wore simply to get adults to think of her as, well, an adult. Now that everyone has seen her in a bikini, casting directors are probably going to be a lot more open to putting her in more mature roles.

Which, of course, makes me think of Taylor Swift and how she HASN’T managed herself as well. While she’s occasionally wore more provocative clothing, Tay-Tay showing some T&A for a movie role would make her fanbase melt down into hysterics. Even though both she and they are no longer children anymore. Hollywood is an industry and, as such, if Tay-Tay wants bigger mainstream roles, she might have to – gasp — show a little bit more skin than her fanbase is accustomed to seeing.

But back to Ms. Brown.

She has excellent management, is all I gotta say. She’s always worn more adult clothing — sometimes to the point that I have found myself cringing — and now she’s very much in the position to become just another big name Hollywood star without going through that weird transitional phase that has haunted other young starlets.

What Are They Up To With The New Indiana Jones Movie?

by Shelt Garner

It has been pretty obvious the last few Indiana Jones movies that they REALLY want to transition to a new actor as the central figure in the franchise. Harrison Ford is old and there’s going to come a point when if they’re going to continue with the movies someone is going to have take his place.

The New Indy?

And, yet, there’s a problem — the Indiana Jones franchise is very beloved and everyone thinks of Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones when they think of “Indiana Jones.” So, they have to think of some way to keep going without him.

I heard a stray remark somewhere that the next Indy movie is about time travel. And given that Phoebe Waller-Bridge is involved it seems possible….that they might literally make her Indiana Jones via time travel? Maybe some sort of multiverse event happens and Indy is a girl instead of a boy at birth. Then our universe Indy meets this new version of himself in the past and not only does hilarity ensues but there’s a way for them to keep the brand name.

Of course there would be a huge uproar amongst conservatives at such an offense, but, lulz, there’s money to be made. And there are worst things to happen than to have Phoebe Waller-Bridge play a female Indy in a few movies. Though I still think she needs to play Dr. Susan Calvin, robot psychiatrist. She’s perfect for that role.

Anyway, this is all very much speculation. But something’s gotta happen unless they’re going to start using de-aging and deep fake technology to put Harrison Ford’s face on some other actor’s body. Strange things have happened in movies, I suppose.

Noodling With A Scifi Concept

by Shelt Garner

I have a fairly decent scifi concept I need to do something with. It flips the script of almost all established scifi tropes. It springs from a scifi scenario I’ve been struggling with for about 10 years. I call it the “Impossible Scenario” because it’s well, impossible to figure out.

But I’ve come us with a version of a solution that still has enough problems with it to generate a plot (problems = conflict = plot.) Anyway, the plot would, in a sense, be a lot like The Last Star Fighter. Sorta. That would sort be the vibe to it.

A video game would be involved, but instead of 80s arcade game, a 2022 strategy game would be involved.

Anyway, I have five novels to work on. This idea is going to, for the time being, continue to be something that rolls around in my mind when I’m bored and struggling for something to think about to fill existential dread. But I’m a lot closer to getting to the point where I could write a short story or something that would deal with a subset of the concept.

One reason why it’s so enticing is you could definitely use it as the basis for a “Don’t Look Up” kind of screenplay. But what I have in mind would not be as silly as that movie was. It would use the concept I’ve come up with as a way to address how divided we are and how even if aliens presented us with an amazing opportunity we would STILL somehow manage to shoot ourselves in the foot.