Tyler Perry Halts $800 Million Expansion of Atlanta Studio After Seeing Sora’s ‘Shocking’ Text-to-Video Model

“I am very, very concerned that in the near future, a lot of jobs are going to be lost,” the multi- hyphenate filmmaker says of the OpenAI technology

Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry attends the Netflix's "Mea Culpa" New York premiere (Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Megaproducer Tyler Perry has put a planned $800 million expansion of his Atlanta, Georgia, studio on hold after seeing the capabilities of OpenAI’s new model Sora, which lets users create video images from text prompts.

“Being told that it can do all of these things is one thing, but actually seeing the capabilities, it was mind-blowing,” he told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday of Sora, which debuted on Feb. 15.

Perry, whose new film, “Mea Culpa” premieres on Netflix on Friday, said the expansion would have added 12 more sounds stages. However all that is “currently and indefinitely on hold,” a decision Perry made in response to Sora’s potential impact on filmmaking as we know it. For one, Perry envisions a scenario where the need for filming on location or building sets would be a concern of the past.

“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,” Perry said.

“I no longer would have to travel to locations. If I wanted to be in the snow in Colorado, it’s text,” he continued. “If I wanted to write a scene on the moon, it’s text, and this AI can generate it like nothing.”

Perry called Sora a “major game-changer” that could potentially let filmmakers produce movies and pilots at a fraction of the cost, but added, “I am very, very concerned that in the near future, a lot of jobs are going to be lost.”

Perry admitted he used AI in two recent projects that will be announced soon: “That kept me out of makeup for hours. In post and on set, I was able to use this AI technology to avoid ever having to sit through hours of aging makeup.”

The “Madea” creator explained, “like every other studio in town,” he is “trying to figure it all out.”

“I feel like everybody in the industry is running a hundred miles an hour to try and catch up, to try and put in guardrails and to try and put in safety belts to keep livelihoods afloat,” he said.


4 responses to “Tyler Perry Halts $800 Million Expansion of Atlanta Studio After Seeing Sora’s ‘Shocking’ Text-to-Video Model”

  1. Kevin Cannon Avatar

    Tyler Perry is full of it ! He demanded a quick agreement to the SAG-AFTRA strike which left middle class/Journeyman actors without AI protections and equitable streaming residuals! And which directly put Millions in Tyler’s pocket from journeyman actors work! .If he was so concerned about people’s jobs.Why did he use AI instead of hair & makeup people in his last projects.Tyler pays non union wages to fellow SAG-AFTRA members he hires in Georgia as well.Tyler’s a greedy greedy man who “acts” like he is concerned .And then does NOTHING but continue to make a fortune off the suffering of his fellow union members he employs for peanuts . He is a disgusting human being and anti union mega producer.He will use AI or anything else that makes him MONEY! Regardless of the suffering of fellow union members.

  2. Pinkie boyde Avatar
    Pinkie boyde

    Greediness never pays off, his greed will catch up to him for being so greedy and selfish and not think of all the people he’s putting out of work. I don’t watch any of his work now even less. Karma will catch up to him 

  3. Chal3000 Avatar

    Am I crazy or is he ignoring just how flimsy and volatile AI visuals are?
    The Sora demos I saw showed a woman walking in a night time city scene and then her legs switched (left became right and right was left…)
    With AI you don’t just get to correct it, it must regenerate the whole scene from scratch so you will never be able to fix a video with AI.
    I’m sure this will be fixed at some point but for now, AI can’t compete with visual FX today…
    Did Perry see something the rest of us didn’t?

  4. Michael Sean Avatar
    Michael Sean

    I think we are in one of those times in history similar to when the Red Queen told Alice “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”

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