Watch AI-Produced Synthetic Media Film ‘Salt’
— SALT (@SALT_VERSE) June 14, 2022
AI tools for creating text, visual art, and other synthetic media are proliferating at a rapid rate. Now, one artist is developing an entire movie called SALT using such tools, with nearly every element derived from AI-powered engines. You can see a preview of the film above.
Berlin-based entrepreneur Fabian Stelzer began creating SALT, a dark sci-fi film, last year after seeing what AI text-to-image tools like Midjourney could do. Impressed with an image that made him think of a 1970s science fiction world, he began playing around with the tool and running it through a video editor to create a movie version of the image as a trailer. The visuals come from not only Midjourney but OpenAI’s DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, and other AI visual generators. Nearly all the voices are also generated by AI using Synthesia and Murf, while other sounds come from AI tool Ableton.
“Midjourney, DALL-E & SD images are incred, but the real 🤯 is when you realize you can make films with them e.g. @SALT_VERSE, my 100%-AI film experiment,” Stelzer explained in a Twitter thread about the movie. “The experience of being able to “prompt a trailer into existence” on the fly while discovering this world myself was incredibly thrilling, a glimpse of the future.”
After posting the first clip of SALT on Twitter, Stelzer started running Twitter community votes to decide where the story should go from there. The movie is coming together clip-by-clip. The result is a non-linear exploration of an AI-created universe. As Stelzer notes, movies and TV shows usually stick to one plot due to expense and the belief that people get confused or dislike a more diffuse path through a narrative. That presumption of interest might be wrong.
Stelzer decided to try creating “story seeds” rather than full episodes, offering opportunities to look at more areas of the world he was building based on what people suggested might be interesting. That could be the future of film, he contends. Creators will collaborate to prompt their own narratives and characters, with people getting a chance to vote like it’s a choose-your-own-adventure book and others just following along for fun.
“We are 100% going to see the capacity to “prompt up” videos like this just by typing the words, using “seeds” to stay within a visual and narrative canon – give it a few years at most,” Stelzer wrote.