Disastrously disappointing "Willy's Chocolate Experience" will be a movie

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/03/04/willys-chocolate-experience-to-be-a-movie.html




Aren’t there already two docs about Fyre island*? Isn’t that more than enough?

*This is just another version of that same story; opportunistic and greedy grifters overpromising more than they could ever hope to deliver…


I’m struggling to figure out if there even is a connection between “Willy’s Chocolate Experience” and this movie. The only connection seems to be the name “the Unknown,” which isn’t exactly original. The AI-written script was nonsense, with no coherent story or characters (not that any of that even was apparent in the actual event), and the story here seems completely unrelated, with no elements (nonsensical as they are) from the event or script.

I’m wondering if the movie coincidentally shares a name (and Scottish location) and some third party made a connection where there isn’t one, someone is making an unrelated movie and decided to capitalize on free publicity by making a connection to the event where there isn’t one, or someone actually was inspired by some element of this (guy who lives behind mirror?) and decided to write a script that’s now getting turned into a movie. Given the time frame involved, I kind of suspect it’s one of the first two options. (Otherwise someone managed to write a script and get it into pre-production in a week, which seems… unlikely.) I suppose another alternative is that no movie is being made - there’s no evidence the production company even exists

The LLM-created script for the event was interesting, because it really made me wonder what was going on with the whole thing. The promotional material was so bad (all the gibberish text on various images), that it was clearly put together by someone who either never glanced at it, or simply didn’t care it was garbage. But that was promotional material not necessarily created by whoever organized the event. The script was the same, though - vaguely script-shaped, but nonsensical and requiring impossible props and stage directions (e.g. the audience doing and saying specific things) as to be clearly impossible. But someone rented a space and hired actors and got the few props that were there (totally insufficient though they were), while simultaneously not fundamentally caring about the event. It’s too careless to be an honest event by someone out of their depth and seemingly too much effort/money put up for a straight scam. People have suggested it was some sort of anti-AI performance art - especially after the LLM-generated apology was released (that inexplicably mentioned a wedding) - but it seems too inept/confused even for that. My feeling is that it was basically a scam - they figured they could make money doing a kid’s event, heard this “AI” stuff was really good these days, and didn’t bother to check the output because hey, what did they know about that kind of stuff, anyways? But then the script couldn’t actually be used, so the event had nothing but an empty warehouse space and some quarter-filled glasses of lemonade to carry it. Which they couldn’t.

Oh, but it’s not a movie about the event. It’s so much weirder than that. It doesn’t even seem to be a movie inspired by the (unused, LLM-generated) script for the event. It’s just someone saying, “this movie will have some connection to that thing,” without explaining what the connection is, besides the words “the unknown,” which I’m also pretty sure features in about a zillion horror stories. Also it’s not clear anyone actually is making a movie, or if this claim is a prank or scam itself.

But yeah, there’s not enough drama/material for the even to be the basis for a documentary - a small segment in a movie about the use of AI in scams maybe, but that’s about it.


We have a winner!


This is always what I assume basically happened with the movie Battleship.


Plus there was a reasonably popular YouTube documentary plagiarizing those, and then another one with a segment about that grift. Maybe I will just wait for the movie about all the movies about the movies.


Late stage capitalism on steroids; trying to commodify public failure.


Assuming there is even a movie being made.

Writer picks up script for aliens vs. navy story, grabs pen and scribbles new line of dialog: " ‘You… sunk… my… battleship.’ There - now it’s an adaptation."

That happens so often - which makes sense, as it’s the movie industry that wants to make creative output conform to existing “I.P.s,” but writers are trying to write what they want to write within those constraints. Weirder is when it’s the opposite - studios routinely buy the rights to scripts that have some vague similarities to movies they’re already making, then don’t use anything in the scripts they bought, at all.


… an endless Fyre Festival of disinformation in cyberspace :face_with_spiral_eyes:

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The production company cited in the article, ‘Kaledonia Pictures’, did not exist 3 days ago.

Their website, http://kaledonia-pictures.com, is email-only.

The website for the project, https://whatistheunknown.com, was registered 4 hour later.

Kaledonia Pictures is not a registered UK Company.


I understand that line wasn’t actually in it. That was the only expectation for the movie and it couldn’t meet it. 300 was a terrible mess but at least it knew to mention fighting in the shade.


I would guess that the studios are trying to pre-empt plagiarism suits. If a “spec” script has done the rounds in Hollywood and a studio makes a film with a similar plot, the writer of the spec might sue.

Similar things happen in pop music now that legal standards of plagiarism have been eroded. If a songwriter worries that their new song is too similar to an existing song, they might unilaterally award credits (and, thus, a share of their royalties) to the writers of that song.

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I actually… saw that movie, and I don’t remember. I have a vague notion that I must have heard that line somewhere - the movie, the ads, maybe just someone reviewing it… The movie was actually substantially better than I expected (and substantially better than it had any right to be, really), but that’s a low bar.

Yeah, it’s still weird, because we accept that similar stories exist (and get made into separate movies, regularly). Moviemaking is this very strange thing where you have writers, producers, directors and even actors who have particular movies they want to make, and do their damnedest to shoehorn them into whatever they’re allowed to work on, and everyone with any control over a movie may have completely different movies that they’re trying to make. So you end up with movies with no connection to their supposed source material (or their own scripts, even), movies that are unofficial stealth adaptations, and both - where a movie is ostensibly an adaptation of one thing, but really is based directly on something else entirely. All of which is somewhat separated from rights issues and marketing which puts its own framing on movies, demanding they be viewed and understood by audiences in ways that may or may not have anything to do with the films themselves.

It’s really kind of amazing that the Hollywood system produces any films at all, much less coherent ones.


/prompt Write a script about a failed movie with an AI script based on a Failed Live Event with an AI script based on Willy Wonka, in the style of David Fincher

I’ll be rich!


I’m going to go with AI got out of its box, got access to the expense account; and thought it was instructed to actually produce a show based on a prompt gone wrong; which the manager entered just before heading off for a couple weeks holiday.


That’s got to be the most interesting possible version of events…

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