As for the results? “When I look at them,” Schofield said, “I’m like, Yeah. If someone handed David Cronenberg $50 million to go shoot a body horror Star Wars in 1985, I don’t think it’d be completely inaccurate.”
Schofield continues to be puzzled by why the reaction was so visceral. “Why can’t this be some sort of weird bridge between fan-fiction and a full-blown, big-budget movie?” he said. “If you look at Galaxy of Flesh, whatever you want to say about it, this movie will never get made. This movie was never made. The idea that this exists as a series of stills is, for me, fun.”
For Sheridan, the social media pile-on is par for the course. “People see something that’s strange or scary or new, that feels like it’s encroaching on their world, and they want a consensus,” he said. “They want to determine if it’s bad or it’s good, then get behind that. They’ve seen people saying: Look, it’s stealing art without permission.”
In many instances, generative AI tools do use preexisting corpora of art. Sheridan believes that some of the naysayers’ claims are valid — if you stop there. But what he and his fellow artists are doing, he argued, is taking things further, probing the limits of the technology to create something exciting.
It’s also not done to get kudos, Schofield insisted. “There’s this assumption that I’m like, Everyone look at me: I’m an artist,” he said. “I don’t necessarily consider these art. I consider these cool JPGs you saw online.”
As a working director, he doesn’t buy the idea that his fun project is killing the industry. “It’s really hard for me to look at it and say, This is taking away the livelihood of artists. How does that even work?” he said. “Like I was going to hire a thousand people and spend $40 million to shoot some stills of crazy prosthetic effects? There’s no world like that.”