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

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.

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