How to make a cognitive movie trailer

Cognitive platforms can improve almost every process available. In cooperation with 20th Century Fox, IBM Watson created a movie trailer for the horror movie Morgon. The trailer was created in 24h and by that reducing the production time from weeks to hours. What do you think of the result?

Cognitive platforms can improve almost every process available. In cooperation with 20th Century Fox, IBM Watson created a movie trailer for the horror movie Morgon. The trailer was created in 24h and by that reducing the production time from weeks to hours. What do you think of the result?

This is the Watson created trailer for Morgan (incl. some comments)

The “classic” trailer is found a bit further down in the post.

So how was this possible and what steps was involved?

First of all, it is important to make it clear that a cognitive solution is almost never acting alone, it is acting in partnership with humans where each part is providing parts that will elevate the other.

The thing that made this project interesting is that there was no existing “ground truth”. This means that there was no right or wrong, no previous training or “how to”, so Watson had to act on it’s own and produce something on its own for the first time. To stitch it all together, IBM provided an internal IBM Research filmmaker to the project for the actual film-cutting.

Watson needed to do a couple of things to make the trailer a reality.

First, as with us humans, they needed to teach Watson what a trailer is and specifically a horror movie trailer. Since no “ground truth” existed, Watson needed to learn what a horror trailer is, so the team pushed 100 horror movie trailers through Watson and while doing that also helped him understand a few things in the trailers. The team used the following.

  1. Learn what a horror movie trailer is
    Needed to understand what was in the trailers and sense the emotion involved. This by both looking at and listening to each trailer and being trained by experts in how a horror trailer is constructed:

    – Visual analytics to identify people, objects, scenery and based on that identify emotions within each scene.
    – Audio analytics to identify tone of voice of the characters as well as the vibe of the soundtrack and sounds during each trailer.

  2. Watch the Morgan movie
    Now that Watson has learned what a horror movie trailer is, it was time to watch the movie that Watson should make a trailer based on. So he leaned back and watched the full Morgan movie.

After watching the movie Watson identified 10 different moments that would be worth including in the trailer. Interestingly Watson chose moments of the movie that other trailers did not include, now compare to the “classic” trailer below.

What is really cool is that this is a “creative project”. In creative projects, you rarely know what to expect as outcome until you see the result. To put Watson to the test on such a creative task is very very interesting.

Creating a movie trailer is usually a very labor-intensive project that involves many manual steps. It usually takes many days or even months to create.

It took Watson 24 hours to create this trailer for the movie Morgan. Reducing the production time from weeks to hours.

This is a great example of an isolated task that can act as a great example where it is beneficial to make a process cognitive, even though this project is pushing the limits given that it is a creative project.

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

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