The Future of Digital Filmmaking
The film industry is littered with stories of projects whose budgets far exceeded their eventual success – leading to dramatic financial losses that give the industry its challenging reputation. In a world where content is abundant, only a small fraction of the films that are made can actually provide a return on the investment. And as the competition increases, studios have to continually push the boundaries of the financial risk that they’re willing to take.
However, the compounding increases in film budgets are in stark contrast to so many other industries where technology has been leveraged to steadily decrease the marginal cost and achieve better efficiencies without compromising on quality. Perhaps it’s time for a digital revolution in filmmaking so that we can reduce the costs required to compete thereby democratizing the art of visual storytelling for all.
That’s what American Cybernetics is here to do.
What Does True Digital Filmmaking Look Like?
At the heart of any film project, the performances by the actors themselves are what really make the story what it is. Everything else in the process such as the location, the set, the costumes, the lighting, and so on – acts as a foundation for the actors to do what they do best. Yet, these are the things that eat up the budget at a phenomenal rate because they exist in the real world.
Imagine, instead, that you could digitize those aspects and rely on computational models to fill in the background for you – while leaving the human actors to do what they do best. Creating a hybrid model between man and machine has the potential to radically reduce the costs associated with filmmaking while simultaneously expanding the boundaries of what is possible.
This vision goes beyond where CGI is today and to a future where everything can be replicated digitally to a photo-realistic level that is difficult to distinguish from a real take. The only inputs that are required are the human emotions displayed by the actors, and everything else can be created around that. It’s radical and it completely changes the economics and the creativity behind films.
That is our mission.
The American Cybernetics Story
American Cybernetics was born out of frustration after our founder Dr. John Wayelovich began making his first feature film. Coming from outside of the industry, he quickly realized just how inefficient the entire process was. While budgeting for a cast and crew of 50 people, he wondered why no one was pushing the boundaries of what technology could do to improve the situation. When Covid-19 forced the production to shut down, he decided it was an opportune time to develop a new strategy.
So, leveraging his experience in computational science, human biophysics, and artificial intelligence – he got to work. 2 years later, the company is now in a position to revolutionize the world of digital filmmaking.
American Cybernetics allows filmmakers to shoot scenes anywhere, without the need for a specific location or costume. Simply by capturing the faces and body movements of the actors, we obtain enough information to create a fully photo-realistic scene after the fact. We do this by leveraging artificial intelligence which has been designed to determine the exact state of all facial muscles as well as the body's joint positions. We then apply this data to intricately designed 3D models of our actors. This creates an exact duplicate of our human actors' performance, except it is being performed by a virtual model within our computers. Unlike our human actors, these digital actors can be dropped into the virtual environment that the film takes place in. Unlike a typical movie effect which overlays a 2D image of an actor over a 2D background, our process captures a 3D actor within a 3D virtual environment.
To emphasize just how much detail is involved here, our 3D models use Bayesian statistics to intuit the exact state of 42 facial muscles under the skin. This allows for a level of precision and accuracy that goes well beyond modern CGI and opens the door for an entirely new paradigm for the world of filmmaking.
This technology is here today and it’s at a fraction of the cost of traditional filmmaking. As such, we’re incredibly excited to bring it to market and help storytellers share their messages without financial constraints that become creative constraints. Our vision is that anyone with a smartphone should be able to create high-quality visual content that looks as good as the major Hollywood studios but without having to spend tens of millions of dollars to get there.
Marching into the Metaverse
Now, if that wasn’t exciting enough, it’s also important to note that this technology positions the company very well for the future of the metaverse. The nature of our process is to create high fidelity 3D models and those can easily be replicated in a virtual world like you might find in the metaverse. Imagine fully immersive film experiences in virtual reality that rival anything you might watch on a 2D screen.
The future is incredibly bright for this form of media and with American Cybernetics, your creations will be metaverse-ready as a default. Having this versatility and capability makes for a film that remains affordable without compromising on the vision that is at the heart of your storytelling.
This is the future.
Be a Part of the Journey
You might think that all this is far away in the future, but that’s not so. The truth is that the technology is already here and we’re aiming to do what no one else has done and bring it to market. By combining artificial intelligence, human biophysics, virtual reality, and human creativity – we are seeking to revolutionize the film industry forever.
To make this a reality, we are seeking stakeholders that want to play a role along the way. This includes potential investors who want to drive this mission forward, filmmakers who see potential in this new process, and any other players who want to be a part of the future of digital filmmaking.
If this is of interest, be sure to get in touch, and let’s start the conversation. We’re learning every day and we cannot wait to walk this journey with you – as we seek to transform how films are made for once and for all.
Lights, camera, action.