The capability of A.I. has increased a lot in recent years. We have previously discussed how A.I. is being used to write films and becoming increasingly involved with actors’ performances. But what other opportunities does this technology offer for filmmakers and could A.I. eventually make an entire movie?
Today we are going to look at the recent rise of generative A.I. programmes and how they can be used in film production. We will see if it is possible to currently use A.I. to make films. Additionally, we will look at how it could potentially change the industry.
“No Strings To Hold Me Down?”
Currently, there are many A.I. tools available that can create a movie’s building blocks. For example, OpenAI tools like ChatGPT, with enough input information, can create a refined script and shot list. Programmes like Speechify can convert text to speech using a variety of voices. Including celebrities like Snoop Dog and Gweneth Paltrow. Applications like Midjourney have already been used to create background images for animated productions. Such as the short The Dog and The Boy. And some tools allow you to edit videoes. Meaning a lot of a movie’s core elements can already be created and accomplished by A.I. But what about a film itself?
Currently, projects like Pictory and Synesthesia use either stock footage or selected human avatars to make up their videos. Making them more useful for YouTube or business videos. However, trials are being undertaken to produce A.I. that will be able to create original video work through text inputs. Google is researching two A.I. projects aimed at making films. One aims to create realistic-looking A.I. video (Phenaki). Another wants to create high-definition short clips (Imagen Video), both from text prompts. Although these projects currently are only aiming for small videos it could potentially pave the way for longer video creation further down the line and also provides the opportunity to create original videos not based on prior material.
“A Machine, An Imitation Of Life”
With all of the possibilities and the rate of progression of A.I. what are the implications for the film industry?
Some may say that the errors that A.I. runs into when rendering subjects in images would make it unsuitable for creating films, however, as technology improves, it could conceivably reduce those problems. On the other hand, even if this is not a possibility there is room for discussion of how this technology could be used to create experimental short films, that deal with more surrealist or unconventional imagery. If these programmes become available to the public these A.I. programmes could, like the advent of consumer film equipment and mobile phones before them act as a way of giving space to more independent filmmakers who may not have the finances and time needed to make a film.
It’s hard to see A.I. being a wholesale replacement for human film production. while these programmes can emulate human speech for writing and delivering dialogue, make artwork and other things, the spectacle of A.I.-created art will never wholly do away with the experience of seeing something achieved by humans. Whether it be acting or effects. The art of filmmaking is a collaborative process where teams of people with their own visions and experiences come together to make something with all the idiosyncrasies and sometimes improvised or unintended moments that entails. A.I. could probably never replicate that. There are also definite issues regarding image safeguarding and copyrighting and more to consider. But A.I. does present new ways to challenge and potentially help the industry in the future.