Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a hot-button issue across multiple industries, and the world of film is no exception. From fueling debates in SAG-AFTRA strike negotiations to inspiring dystopian episodes of Black Mirror, AI's disruptive influence is growing rapidly. With a current market valuation of $4.2 billion in North America alone and $10.9 billion globally, there's no denying that AI is making a big impact.
To help you navigate this evolving landscape, we delve into AI's current role in Film Production and Distribution. For a more comprehensive look, we invite you to watch our recent webinar with Arjun Mendhi and Ted Chalmers, and follow us on LinkedIn for the latest news in film tech.
AI's advancement has led to significant apprehension. Strikers and industry insiders are concerned about job displacement due to increasingly sophisticated tools capable of mimicking an actor’s voice and likeness, essentially making them digitally replicable.
AI solutions are being deployed across various areas, from automating rudimentary tasks like script writing to sophisticated endeavors such as personalizing movie thumbnails or even automating entire film and TV production processes.
ChatGPT, hailed as one of the fastest-growing web applications, has permeated nearly every profession. While it has its limitations, its ability to generate unique ideas makes it an interesting resource for filmmakers. Notably, ChatGPT can't copyright its work, offering an open canvas for creative exploration. We tested ChatGPT's ability to generate film ideas, asking it to come up with an Oscar-worthy film idea, and the results were intriguing. You can find the results of the experiment here.
For scriptwriting, other specialized tools like Sudowrite exist. Utilizing Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, Sudowrite helps to enhance creative storytelling by enriching character development and plot settings.
Automating pre-production has never been easier, thanks to an array of AI tools streamlining tasks like scheduling, accounting, and forecasting. Filmustage, an all-in-one platform, offers functionalities ranging from automatic script breakdown to budget estimations.
The advent of AI has blurred the lines between production and post-production, digitizing more tasks than ever before. Tools like AXIBO automate filming, utilizing smart cameras that can auto-track subjects and objects for seamless shots.
With a wide variety of sophisticated offerings, post-production is perhaps the most exciting frontier for AI, especially in the realm of Visual Effects (VFX).
AI is being used not only to generate entire scenes at the cutting edge of CGI, but also to augment footage for extraordinary effects, like Everything Everywhere All at Once’s use of Stable Diffusion in the shot below.
Stable Diffusion is a deep learning technique shared by a number of AI tools, that uses deep neural networks to seamlessly blend images and/or videos (see above).
In this case, Everything Everywhere All at Once is reported to have used a popular tool called Runway AI to generate new images and videos based on prompts and user-provided assets. This allowed the filmmakers to flip quickly between hundreds of detailed alternate universes, with Stable Diffusion allowing for the generated clips to meld together seamlessly for one connected shot.
Flawless AI's TrueSync allows filmmakers and studios to produce perfectly lip-synced films by generating new mouth movements to match any global language.
Another example of production specific AI tools is in video editing. Nova.ai is a great example of an AI video editing program that lets video editors search through video content using text.
Soundraw offers custom, royalty-free music generation, while Colourlab.ai astonishes with its capability in automated color matching and image processing.
Streaming services deploy a variety of AI-driven strategies to enhance their business operations, ranging from content personalization algorithms to targeted ad selection.
A case in point is Netflix's use of AI to personalize thumbnail images. Contrary to popular belief, the Netflix interface isn't identical for every user. Rather, the thumbnails you see may actually be uniquely tailored to align with your viewing history and preferences, thanks to AI algorithms, and AI generated thumbnails.
For instance, consider the movie Good Will Hunting. Depending on your viewing habits, Netflix might display a romantic-themed thumbnail (top) if you lean towards romantic comedies. On the other hand, fans of comedy may encounter a thumbnail featuring Robin Williams (bottom).
Beyond task-specific applications, AI's true power lies in its potential to connect tasks, streamlining larger and larger processes, and even making unique creative decisions completely independently. In fact, complete end-to-end content generation is not just on the horizon - it's here.
While it's still in its infancy, rapid advancements suggest that fully AI-generated films may be closer than we think. Fable’s Showrunner AI generated Southpark episode and WatchMeForever's 24/7 Seinfeld-style Twitch stream Nothing Forever offer glimpses into this future.
So, what does this mean for the future of film production and distribution? The answer remains uncertain. For expert insights and predictions from industry experts, tune into our recent webinar, Film Distribution and the AI Revolution: How to Evolve with the Landscape.