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Billionaire Tyler Perry Pauses $880 Million Studio Expansion Because Of AI Video Platform Sora From OpenAI — 'It's shocking to me'

Filmmaker and entrepreneur Tyler Perry is no stranger to making bold moves in the entertainment industry. However, the billionaire recently put his plans for an $800 million studio project on hold because of the threat from artificial intelligence (AI).

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Perry's plans for the expansion are now on hold indefinitely. The plan included adding 12 new soundstages to his already massive 330-acre studio. The reason for the hold is Sora, an AI-powered platform developed by OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT and one of the leading AI development companies.

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Perry, who had been planning the expansion for the past four years, was impressed by Sora’s capabilities and its potential to revolutionize the filmmaking process. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Perry expressed his amazement at what Sora could do. “It’s shocking to me.”

Perry explained that integrating AI into his productions could significantly reduce the workload involved in building sets and scouting locations. With Sora, he could create virtually any setting imaginable with just a few keystrokes, eliminating the need for extensive travel and costly set construction. Perry highlighted the convenience of being able to create scenes in exotic locations like the snow-capped mountains of Colorado or the surface of the moon — all from the comfort of his office.

Sora is a text-to-video model that can generate videos up to one minute long based on user prompts. It is not yet available for use by the public but is generating considerable attention for its stated ability to produce stunning realistic video scenes. Similar to the ways ChatGPT can produce a story with a prompt like "write a 3,000-word story about a charming yet anxious frog that conquers the lizard kingdom," OpenAI says users can do the same with Sora.

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OpenAI's website includes several videos it says come from Sora. One scene is based on the prompt "a stylish woman walks down a Tokyo street filled with warm glowing neon and animated city signage. She wears a black leather jacket, a long red dress and black boots and carries a black purse. She wears sunglasses and red lipstick. She walks confidently and casually. The street is damp and reflective, creating a mirror effect of the colorful lights. Many pedestrians walk about." The Sora-created video is eerily lifelike and features detailed backgrounds, shadows and reflections that mimic real life.

Despite Sora's promise, it has limitations. For example, it struggles in some videos with cause-and-effect and physics. A user on X notes a Sora-created video of a cat snuggling with a person on a bed looks realistic until the cat appears to grow a third arm and the human's hand becomes dislodged. Other commenters note the tool will need to improve its physics rendering of movement, objects falling and other actions.

Despite the obvious benefits of AI in filmmaking, Perry acknowledged the potential impact on jobs in the industry. By halting the expansion of his studio, Perry has put the livelihoods of construction workers and contractors at risk. He also acknowledged that AI could disrupt other aspects of the industry, such as jobs for actors, sound experts and editors.

“Everything right now is so up in the air,” Perry said. “The technology’s moving so quickly. 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.”

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This article Billionaire Tyler Perry Pauses $880 Million Studio Expansion Because Of AI Video Platform Sora From OpenAI — 'It's shocking to me' originally appeared on

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