With the rise of Ai and easy access to natural language Ai visual generation platforms, we took a look at how this new technology could be leveraged towards film production design. Could it be used by someone like a cinematographer to sketch out scenes, how do you avoid the “me too look” that AI can so often have. We put this virtual production tool into the hands of our Founder and resident cinematographer Asa Bailey to see what his mind could make of it all.
Planning shots with the help of AI
Many are already harnessing Ai graphics for inspiration and visual treatments communicating initial ideas and aesthetics, but a pervasive dream art was something Bailey wanted to move away from. Instead, with the Mid-journey platform, Bailey wanted to find a sense of brutal reality.
Creating characters with AI
He started by feeding the neural network with some lens choices, apertures, even grain, and he built up a key lighting and colour that he could maintain throughout the sequences. All revolving around a fictitious New York rapper that made a clear central protagonist.
Bailey soon started using the AI to craft his characters and not just his shots. With a clear location, the name of an event for an overall ambiance, Bailey hit enter.
Fascinating to watch, was how the technology, in the hands of creative not only provided Ai graphics, but it also pulled the narrative forward, in a sort of two way visual conversation, it was as if the AI was working as a colleague to Asa.
Identifying this two way communication between artist and AI, Bailey was able to sustain a cohesive visual language between the AI generated frames. These images took no more than 30 minutes to create and we had to buy more credits, Bailey literally threw his wallet at us and demanded more goes.
In this first test, Bailey named “50 Cent” as the main character and the Ai responded with a likeliness of him but also provided a more essence of such a figure rather than a actual photorealism, which for us is perfect – avoiding all potential copyright issues. “I love the mashed up faces as I am not interested in faces at this stage, I am looking at frame, light, movement and where we are going to go in the shot, so the fact that its pretty messed up is really not a problem for me, I like it.”
<<https://s.mj.run/4xCqXfPKmLY>> , 50 cent, night, under brooklyn bridge, hitman, street lights, night, 18mm lens, –ar 2:1 –test –uplight
Bailey on prompt-craft, “think across a scene, what’s the major colour, identify protagonist personalities skip generic classes such as man or woman, try moods, events, spread out your scene as a cognitive list of keywords with some already possessing a narrative, i.e. Brooklyn bridge not just bridge.”