So, is this the future of content creation? It certainly appears a bit cheap, particularly for a series featuring Jackson reprising his Nick Fury role. More important, however, it could signal a dirty trick that leaves the studio’s animators out of a job. On Twitter, concept artist Jeff Simpson — who worked on “Secret Invasion” — expressed his disgust. “Secret Invasion intro is AI generated. I’m devastated, I believe AI to be unethical, dangerous and designed solely to eliminate artists careers. Spent almost half a year working on this show and had a fantastic experience working with the most amazing people I ever met,” he said Wednesday. “I worked with the Vis Dev team on character design, props, keyframes for the show etc. and nothing to do with the intro which would have been done much later I assume — to clarify.” He added that it appears the AI-developed opening credits were outsourced to Method Studios.
Marvel just used AI to create the opening intro for their new series: Secret Invasion.Is the future of content creation here?👀 AI video generation is officially going mainsteam. pic.twitter.com/Xm79SErdxz — AI Daily (@AlexAIDaily) June 21, 2023
Stephen Ford, an actor and director, also expressed his disgust. “Marvel/Disney have infinite money yet used AI for the Secret Invasion opening credits. A slap in the face to literally every artist Disney has ever worked with & something that overshadows the hard work everyone did on this show,” he tweeted.
Looks like it was outsourced to Method Studios. I’m really concerned about the impacts of this.— Jeff Simpson (@jeffsimpsonkh) June 21, 2023
And then there were those less concerned with the jobs that were being displaced and more concerned with the fact it looked like hot garbage:
Marvel/Disney have infinite money yet used AI for the Secret Invasion opening credits.A slap in the face to literally every artist Disney has ever worked with & something that overshadows the hard work everyone did on this show. Seriously @aliselim?pic.twitter.com/xEsT6MWt1x — Stephen Ford (@StephenSeanFord) June 21, 2023
Disney has been caught using it as a shortcut on its streaming service. A crowd scene from the Disney+ feature “Prom Pact” was scrutinized when it was released earlier this year when what appeared to be AI-generated individuals appeared in a crowd scene: Independent reached out about it. Given that “Prom Pact” was a Disney+ exclusive, one might charitably call it a made-for-TV movie in the current streaming model context. Whatever the case, it somehow managed to look even worse than the opening sequence to “Secret Invasion,” which is indeed saying something. But, perhaps most important, the AI-generated opening sequence for “Secret Invasion” came as the Writers Guild of America is on strike — and AI-generated content is one of the strikers’ chief concerns:
they really used ai for secret invasion when THIS is a credits sequence in their portfolio. one of the best i’ve seen. this sequence is paramount to the world-building & makes the tva feel like a tangible, real place. how tf is ai an improvement on this?pic.twitter.com/Hxug7LMwFW— shiv ✧ the bear spoilers (@genvinz) June 21, 2023
It also picked another scab off a wound, again shedding light on the fact that Disney — and its Marvel unit in particular — underpays and overworks visual artists and engages in “bullying” to meet strict deadlines. According to the U.K.’s Guardian, Dhruv Govil, one of the artists on “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” made news last summer after a now-deleted tweet thread in which he blew the whistle on Disney’s practices. “Working on #Marvel shows is what pushed me to leave the VFX industry,” Govil wrote. “They’re a horrible client, and I’ve seen way too many colleagues break down after being overworked, while Marvel tightens the purse strings.” “The issue is #Marvel is too big, and can demand whatever they want. It’s a toxic relationship,” he said. Another artist talked about the culture of bullying and long hours imposed by Marvel in a piece for New York Magazine’s Vulture. “It’s pretty well known and even darkly joked about across all the visual-effects houses that working on Marvel shows is really hard,” the person said in the July 2022 article. “When I worked on one movie, it was almost six months of overtime every day. I was working seven days a week, averaging 64 hours a week on a good week. “Marvel genuinely works you really hard. I’ve had co-workers sit next to me, break down, and start crying. I’ve had people having anxiety attacks on the phone.” The issue is that Marvel and Disney have “a lot of power over the effects houses, just because it has so many blockbuster movies coming out one after the other.” So, the production companies often underbid each other and then work hard to fulfill the whims of directors. “The other thing with Marvel is it’s famous for asking for lots of changes throughout the process,” the artist said. “So you’re already overworked, and then Marvel’s asking for regular changes way in excess of what any other client does. Some of those changes are really major. Maybe a month or two before a movie comes out, Marvel will have us change the entire third act.” Joe Pavlo, an Emmy-winning visual effects artist who talked to The Guardian, said he wasn’t surprised after his work on “Guardians of the Galaxy.” “The visual effects industry is filled with terrific people with lots of goodwill who really care, but, at the end of the day, there’s nothing in place when their backs are up against the wall and Disney is making crazy demands,” Pavlo said. “All the goodwill in the world just evaporates when everything gets changed and they decide they’re replacing that character with a different actor or changing the entire environment — they’re now in a pizza restaurant instead of a cornfield. It can be that extreme at the very last minute … It can be characterized as bullying but filtered through multiple layers of management and supervisor and hierarchy.” Quite the irony, then, that one of the wokest companies in the entertainment industry sees fit to treat its contractors like sweatshop workers — and then replace them with AI when given a chance. Talk about a bad year for Disney — and one that could see the company open the Pandora’s box of AI in the entertainment industry. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
The Secret Invasion AI credits is such an insane miscalculation by Marvel in that it A) immediately created noxious buzz around the premiere of their new program, and B) only further validates AI concerns RIGHT as actors and directors are on the verge of striking because of it.— Jonathan (@jonathanmb32) June 21, 2023