As generative AI tools become more powerful and accessible, aspiring creators have started leveraging them to make some incredible short films.
After watching the entries in the 2023 AI Film Festival (AIFF) held by Runway, I was inspired to learn exactly how these creators were using AI tools in their workflow.
In this guide, I took a deep dive into the world of AI filmmaking and found out exactly what the best creators are using to make these awesome short clips.
ChatGPT is the best tool for developing storyline ideas and generating scripts for you short film or movie.
Midjourney is my personal favorite image generation tool and can create incredible images for your film making efforts.
Create your AI video scenes and b-roll using Runway Gen-2. You can also use their video editing tools like background remove.
ElevenLabs will transcribe your script in any voice you desire! Clone voices or use some of the stock AI voices available.
AIVA will generate all your backing tracks and scores to give your AI film that extra impart you can only get with music.
What is Artificial Intelligence in Filmmaking?
Artificial Intelligence in filmmaking are generative AI tools, often used by individual creators or small teams to create short films without the need for lights, cameras, expensive studios, and massive budgets.
Here are the ways I found creators are using AI powered tools for various aspects of the filmmaking process:
Story and Script Generation: Creators are using large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT to brainstorm story ideas and generate scripts for their short films.
Image Generation: Still images have become a staple in short films generated with AI due to their high quality and the relative ease used to create them.
Video and B-Roll: While not as advanced as image generators, creators are using generative AI tools to generate short clips in their films allowing for some incredible scenes.
Narration: Synthetic text-to-speech and voice cloning tools are allowing filmmakers to narrate their stories in basically any voice and language they desire.
Music and Soundtracks: Music tools for filmmakers are allowing solo creators to generate backing tracks that are perfectly suited to their short stories without the requirement for any musical abilities.
Video Editing: Video editing tools for filmmakers are allowing for scene edit detection and fast edits in just a few clicks.
Now that I’ve given you a quick rundown of how creators are using AI for filmmaking, let’s check out exactly which tools are the best ones to get started with.
What Are the Best AI Filmmaking Tools?
The best AI tools for filmmakers allow for the fast, easy, and affordable creation of high-quality media. Try Runway for video, Midjourney for images, ChatGPT for scripts, AIVA for music, ElevenLabs for narration, and Premiere Pro for video editing.
Solo filmmakers love ChatGPT, and for good reason.
ChatGPT has completely changed the way aspiring creators approach the script writing and brainstorming process.
The tool isn’t just limited to simple scripts either.
When prompted correctly, ChatGPT can produce entire storylines complete with scene descriptions and other visual details.
Here’s an example of a basic prompt you can use with ChatGPT to get started with your very own short story:
Generate a short story based [location]. The main characters are [specify characters and their roles]. The story should include [extra requirements]. Please provide dialogues for the characters, as well as scene descriptions.
Generate a short story in the mystery genre set in a small coastal town. The main characters are Detective Sarah Miller and a local fisherman named Tom. The story should include a missing artifact, a stormy night, and a surprise twist. Please provide dialogues for the characters, as well as scene descriptions.
AI image generation plays an important role in the way creators are using AI in their filmmaking workflows.
The limitless potential of these AI tools allows for filmmakers to craft unique looking scenes for their films in exactly the way they might be imagining it.
Aside from the obvious benefits of an AI powered tool like Midjourney, you might be surprised to know how creators are using these images to make movies.
By combining artificial intelligence image generation tools with image-to-video tools like Runway, solo filmmakers are provided with endless possibilities.
AI image editing tools are a staple in artificial intelligence filmmaking and Midjourney comes out on top time and time again due to the extremely high quality outputs.
What good would a short film be without video? That’s where Runway comes in.
Runway’s Gen-2 is an AI tool that can generate video clips from text prompts and image inputs.
While the quality of the video isn’t perfect yet, it’s progressing more every single week.
Runway also features a range of AI features and video editing tools including super slow-mo, frame interpolation, image to 3D, video background removal, and even audio cleaning to remove silence.
Runway is on track to be the best option for an all-round AI powered video editing software, and is the generative AI video application of choice for solo video editors.
ElevenLabs is a wildly powerful AI tool used for speech generation.
I tried ElevenLabs to clone my own voice and honestly I was shocked at how good it was.
I provided the machine learning algorithm with about 90 seconds of clean dialog and within seconds it created a near perfect voice clone.
You can see how this might be popular with filmmakers! You can literally clone and narrate your film with any voice!
There are also a bunch of voices you can use if you don’t want to clone yours or someone else’s voice too.
So, until Hollywood and the legal system catches up and starts to copyright human voices, solo filmmakers can make some pretty cool stuff!
ElevenLabs is the absolute go to choice for any aspiring filmmaker looking to integrate some AI powered synthetic voices in their creations.
For any filmmaker who isn’t a talented musician or have their own orchestra at their fingertips, AIVA allows you to create original musical scores with AI.
AIVA has transformed how solo creators approach writing and ideation. The tool generates complete multi-part compositions in any genre just by tweaking parameters like style, mood, tempo, and instruments.
Just type in the mood and a basic description of what you’re after and AIVA will get to work.
As someone who spent years as a teenager playing guitar, I found AIVA to be pretty darn incredible.
The AI compositions can provide unique starting points to arrange, record, and customize.
For any filmmaker looking to quickly and iterate on musical ideas with AI, AIVA is an invaluable co-creator.
How to Get Started With AI Filmmaking?
So you’ve read the article and you’re looking to get started with an AI film of your own? No worries!
Honestly, the best way to get started is to just dive in and have a go! That’s exactly what I did when I wanted to write this guide.
1. Develop Your Script
I recommend starting some pre-production with your script, AI models like ChatGPT make it easy.
Make an account and take advantage of that sweet natural language processing algorithm. Try using the prompt in section 1 to get started and save time with the creative process!
2. Create Your Visuals
Next you’ll want to create some visuals for your short film.
Use Midjourney to get started on the image creation, make more than you think you’ll need. Next, move over to Runway and start generating some video clips for your movie.
Runway also doubles as an editing tool for any extra effects you might want to add like background remover and object removal. Again, take advantage of this powerful tool and make more than you think you’ll need!
3. Create Audio
Next up you want to create music and narrate your story.
Copy paste your script into post production tools like ElevenLabs text-to-voice AI. ElevenLabs is a great tool and you can tweak a bunch of settings to get your sound quality and narration just right. Once you’re happy, download the audio files.
Next, use the AI model AIVA to create your custom audio. Tweak the settings and get the audio quality just right.
4. Finish Video Editing
To finish up your video file you’ll need an editing package like Adobe Premiere Pro.
Import all your AI generated assets and piece them together to make your AI film!
Today, I outlined the 5 best AI filmmaking tools based on my own experience making a short film with AI.
There’s a generative AI tool for every step in the filmmaking process and you can get as detailed as you like in your production.
It really is an exciting time to be alive and I can’t wait to see the creations that come from the accessibility of this technology!