Beavers and LLMs
Banner image generated from AWS's PartyRock using the prompt "I'd like a picture of a North American beaver parachuting into the wilderness".
This was all inspired by reading this Tweet.
In 1948, 76 beavers were parachuted into the Idaho wilderness as part of a relocation program by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
I love movies. At least, movies made after I was born. Sure I've seen Star Wars (1977) and others, but my love is for 80's and 90's action movies. So, what if we turned this story about beavers into a movie? What would that look like?
I went to both ChatGPT and Bard and gave it this prompt:
Please write me a script treatment for a movie based around the incident in 1948 when 76 beavers were dropped into the wilderness. This should include some conflict with other wildlife that already lived in the area and problems adjusting to the new environment.
Let's see how they compare:
Title: "Damned Pioneers"
Ok, already I love the title. Almost, it should maybe be "Dammed Pioneer" but I'll let it slide.
Duh. Can't do an action movie with beavers.
Logline: In 1948, a quirky wildlife conservationist, Dr. Eleanor Harper, hatches a bold plan to reintroduce beavers into a decimated wilderness. As 76 beavers are airdropped into the untouched territory, they face unexpected challenges, including turf wars with the local wildlife and the hilarious antics of adjusting to their new surroundings.
EXT. WILDERNESS - DAY
A serene landscape stretches as far as the eye can see, marred by environmental devastation. Dr. Eleanor Harper, a passionate and eccentric conservationist, watches in dismay as the once-lush ecosystem lies in ruin.
Act 1: The Plan
INT. DR. HARPER'S CABIN - NIGHT
Dr. Harper hatches a plan to restore balance to the ecosystem by reintroducing beavers, nature's architects. Skeptical colleagues and officials question her methods, but she is determined to make it work.
Act 2: The Drop
EXT. AIRSTRIP - DAY
A small plane, laden with beavers in crates, prepares for takeoff. Dr. Harper, along with a quirky team of assistants, oversees the airdrop. The crates parachute into the wilderness, and the beavers are released.
Act 3: Wildlife Turf Wars
EXT. WILDERNESS - DAY
The beavers, led by an adventurous pair named Bonnie and Clyde, start building dams and transforming the landscape. However, they soon face opposition from the local wildlife, including an ornery beaver-hating bear and territorial otters.
Act 4: The Comedy Unfolds
VARIOUS LOCATIONS - DAY/NIGHT
The beavers' attempts at dam-building result in hilarious mishaps. From accidentally flooding their own lodges to mistaking tree branches for food, the beavers provide endless comedic relief. Meanwhile, the turf wars escalate, leading to a series of slapstick encounters with the other animals.
Act 5: The Turning Point
INT. DR. HARPER'S CABIN - NIGHT
Dr. Harper faces setbacks but remains determined. As the beavers overcome their challenges, a grudging respect develops between them and the local wildlife. Dr. Harper realizes that the key to success lies in fostering harmony.
Act 6: Harmony Achieved
EXT. WILDERNESS - DAY
The beavers and local wildlife collaborate on a grand dam project that transforms the devastated landscape into a thriving ecosystem. Dr. Harper's vision comes to fruition as the wilderness is restored to its former glory.
EXT. WILDERNESS - SUNSET
Dr. Harper, now accompanied by a beaver friend named Woody, watches the sun set over the revitalized wilderness. The beavers have become the unsung heroes of ecological restoration, proving that sometimes, unconventional methods are the key to success.
"Damned Pioneers" is a heartwarming and humorous tale of resilience, cooperation, and the unexpected heroes who brought life back to a barren land.
Pretty good. A little thin on details, but it's only a treatment, they're not supposed to be that detailed. I like the idea of the final scene having Dr. Harper sitting on a log with Woody watching a sunset together. Perhaps it ends with a tree falling in the distance.
Beaver Drop: A Wilderness Tale
Not as good of a title, imo.
Logline: In 1948, 76 beavers are dropped into the Idaho wilderness, leading to hilarious chaos and unexpected consequences as they struggle to adjust to their new home and clash with the resident wildlife.
Genre: Comedy, Family, Adventure
Setting: Idaho wilderness, 1948
Geronimo: A brave and resourceful beaver, the unofficial leader of the dropped group.
Quill: A timid and bookish beaver, Geronimo's best friend.
Mama Beaver: A wise and experienced beaver, the matriarch of the group.
Rocky: A gruff and territorial badger, the leader of the resident wildlife.
Hazel: A playful and mischievous coyote pup, caught between the beavers and the resident animals.
Elmo Heater: A well-meaning but slightly eccentric wildlife biologist, responsible for the relocation.
I like that we're getting character bios here. "Elmo Heater" is an amazing name.
Treatment: Opening Scene:
A plane flies over the rugged Idaho wilderness. Inside, 76 beavers are strapped into specially designed crates, buzzing with anticipation and a touch of fear. Geronimo, a large, confident beaver, leads the group in a rousing song of hope and determination.
The beavers are dropped into a beautiful meadow, surrounded by towering trees and a sparkling stream. But their initial excitement quickly fades as they grapple with their new environment. They are unfamiliar with the food, the predators, and the harshness of the wilderness.
The beavers soon encounter Rocky, the leader of the resident wildlife. He is not happy about the newcomers and views them as a threat to his territory and food sources. Tensions rise, leading to comical clashes between the beavers and the resident animals.
Geronimo emerges as a natural leader, guiding the beavers through their struggles. He uses his intelligence and resourcefulness to find food and shelter, and even starts to build a small dam.
Quill, despite his timid nature, discovers a hidden talent for navigating the wilderness. He becomes the group's mapmaker and helps them find their way around their new home.
Mama Beaver provides wisdom and comfort to the group, reminding them of the strength and resilience of their community.
Hazel, the coyote pup, becomes a bridge between the beavers and the resident animals. She befriends the beavers and learns their ways, while also trying to appease Rocky and the other animals.
Elmo Heater, the wildlife biologist, monitors the beavers' progress and intervenes when necessary. He is impressed by their adaptability and resilience, but also concerned about the potential for conflict with the other animals.
The climax of the film arrives when a drought threatens the entire valley. The beavers, with their natural engineering skills, are the only ones who can save the day. They embark on a perilous journey to find a new water source and return with enough water to sustain the entire ecosystem.
The beavers' success in saving the valley earns them the respect of the resident animals. Rocky, impressed by their courage and ingenuity, calls a truce and agrees to share the territory. Hazel chooses to stay with the beavers, becoming a valuable member of their community.
The film ends with the beavers thriving in their new home. They have built a flourishing colony, surrounded by friends and allies. Geronimo stands on the dam he built, gazing out at the valley with pride and satisfaction.
Adaptability and resilience in the face of adversity. Community and cooperation. Respecting the environment and its inhabitants. The importance of understanding and tolerance. Tone:
The film balances humor and adventure with a touch of heart and environmental awareness. It is a story about overcoming challenges, finding belonging, and the importance of living in harmony with nature.>
More details, including character arcs and the specific conflict. This feels like it was actually written by a person and not just regurgitated crap.
I gotta admit, I like Bard's a lot better. I feel like you could actually make a movie out of it and pitch it nearly as-is.
What do you think? Share on Twitter which you think is better.