AI Halts Tyler Perry’s $800M Expansion of Atlanta Studio

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS



Developers have struggled to get projects off the ground over the past year amid high interest rates and tough lending standards. For Tyler Perry, the roadblock is artificial intelligence.

The filmmaker has halted a planned $800 million expansion of his 330-acre studio in Atlanta due to concerns over rapid advancements of video-related AI and its potential impact on traditional filmmaking, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, citing an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. 

Perry’s decision stems from the recent unveiling of OpenAI’s text-to-video model, Sora, which showcased remarkable AI-generated videos.

“Being told that it can do all of these things is one thing, but actually seeing the capabilities, it was mind-blowing,” Perry told the Hollywood Reporter. 

He emphasized that if AI continues to progress, traditional filmmaking practices such as location shoots and set build-outs may become obsolete.

Notably, Tyler Perry Studios is one of the largest filming campuses in the country. Not only does Perry produce his own projects there, but he also generates substantial revenue by renting out facilities to other major studios.

Perry underscored his concerns about the broader impact of AI on the entertainment industry, expressing empathy for the various professionals whose livelihoods could be affected, “including actors and grip and electric and transportation and sound and editors, and looking at this, I’m thinking this will touch every corner of our industry,” he said.

Despite utilizing AI technology for certain aspects of his own projects, such as digitally aging his face in upcoming films, Perry stressed the need for industry-wide unity in addressing the challenges posed by AI.

Perry’s decision to delay the expansion reflects broader shifts in the entertainment landscape, as media companies grapple with reduced production budgets and challenges to make streaming services profitable. This change coincides with a flurry of studio expansions in Georgia, the outlet said.

Perry opened his studio, located on the former Fort McPherson military base, in 2019. He created 12 sound stages and a slew of sets, including a chapel, jail, lakeside cabin, farmhouse, baseball fields, a bank and a replica of the White House.

Perry previously discussed plans for a 28-acre entertainment district adjacent to his studio, featuring retail, restaurants, a theater and a museum. The future of that project remains unclear, though.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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