How AI and Cloud-Based Filmmaking Could Redefine the Way Videos & Films Are Made

    Social media users and visitors on image and meme-sharing sites must have seen the image of the pope in a fancy jacket that’s been doing the rounds. The image is fake, of course. It was created by the artificial intelligence (AI) image generator, Midjourney.

    The platform has since discontinued its free trial, citing “extraordinary demand and trial abuse” as the reason.

    The thing is, AI–generated images are not the only thing taking the content world by storm. AI and the cloud are also changing the way videos are being made and edited.

    In an article by Forbes, the author discusses how film and TV show production is being transformed by AI and camera-to-cloud technology.

    Using AI in Film Production

    AI technology has been used to change the appearance of actors, going as far as to make them look younger. This can be seen in the Miramax feature, Here, starring Tom Hanks and Robin Wright. Both actors start as younger versions of themselves and age through the course of the film.

    For agencies, this can be a good thing as their best-selling actors can be made to “last longer” and be suitable for a larger variety of roles. 

    However, creatives are insisting that technology can only support human creativity, not replace it.

    AI can be very useful for sifting through information that might be tedious for humans to go through—like finding a scene from a longer piece of footage. This feature then frees up human creators to focus on other, less “automatable” tasks.

    (Here’s a video trailer generated by AI, by going through the film and using the most emotionally charged scenes)

    Camera-to-Cloud in Film Production

    Michael Cioni, Adobe’s senior director of global innovation, claims that by 2030, all electronic assets in the media and entertainment industry would be “generated in the cloud, by the cloud.”

    According to Cioni, edits and effects would be added to pre-shot scenes simply by telling the computer to do so, using text-based commands. For example, he said, one could shoot a scene and then add rain to it simply by typing “make it rain”.

    Filmmakers would be able to create a rough “assembly” with basic visual effects, colour correction, and sound design. That would then be passed on to specialists to be refined.

    Cloud-based filmmaking would also mean directors could collaborate with each other, even when they aren’t in the same physical location. It could also speed up short projects like music videos and advertisements.

    In short, AI and cloud-based tools are being touted as a way to enhance productivity by delegating mundane tasks to them.

    Legal Implications of AI in Filmmaking

    However, lawyers are advising that contracts with “language that purports to control the right to simulate an actor’s performance are void and unenforceable until the terms have been negotiated with the union.”

    This fact can be quite divisive as some actors might want to take advantage of technology to extend their “viability”. However, there is a concern that it might be used as a way to avoid paying for digital performances since they technically aren’t being played by the artist.

    Content generation using AI has led to an authenticity concern, especially with deep fakes that seem extremely realistic.

    Actor Keanu Reeves, who has been quoted as saying he finds the idea of deep fakes “scary” often has a clause in his contracts that forbid digital manipulation of his performance. Interestingly, this clause dates back several years—decades, even—when a production added a virtual tear on his face. 

    According to the actor, any performer might expect the footage to be edited with their consent. However, deep fake is different, as it has no input from the performer.

    Of course, this technology is still mostly limited to films and television productions. Corporate videos still require the services of video production companies, like Bold Content. (Check out Bold Content’s contribution to encourage girls into STEM studies.)

    However, with AI taking over so many tasks, it remains to be seen whether it will help enhance filmmaking or “take away jobs” in yet another industry.

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