Taking The Machine Out of The Man 

The Relationship between AI and Video Production

The Buzz Around AI

Anyone with a Twitter/X account and an active enough timeline has seen the slew of public takes on tech’s newest pressure point – AI. Some are lauding it as the future of entertainment, while others are desperate to keep some things analog. It’s reminiscent of the cryptocurrency push in 2018–there seemed to be a big narrative at the time: The goal to replace all of our existing currency with digital coins. While this will likely never happen, the world of digital currency is still growing in the background, and it has become a favored way to receive payment from hundreds of major vendors. I may not be living in the promise of Silicon Valley–shooting my buddy Etherium for the beers he ordered for me last night–but that’s not to say this tech is useless either. Years later, crypto is still cooking, and we’re onto the next big thing.

So where does AI find its comfortable growth in a sea of blood-hungry executives who want to automate their companies or detractors who will go to great lengths to keep it out of their daily lives? I can’t speak to how it’ll be ordering a hamburger in thirty years, but I can definitely explain, right now, how AI is benefitting creatives in an ethically neutral, busywork-process eliminating fashion.

The Right Tools for The Job

Imagine this: You’re in a crowded banquet hall. You’re watching someone receive a lifetime achievement award. You have a video camera with a shotgun mic on it, and you’ve been hired to capture this footage. The award-receiver leaves the stage and you catch them exiting the stage, sharing emotional words with colleagues–the kind of thing you only see in the movies. You get home, you load the footage on your computer, and… Garbling. The sound of clapping. You can make out the words, but it’s unpresentable. The moment you thought was shining and gold has now become nothing more than plastic and unusable–that is–until we incorporate AI processes.

My video editing process is entirely based in Adobe Premiere Pro. The nightmare scenario described above is merely just a hallucination when using Adobe’s new AI Audio tools. With one button, you can cleanly separate the audio from the background noise. It’s genuine magic. This used to be hours of fiddling with de-hum, compressors, reducing rumble, pulling out the highs manually and trying to assemble a version that’s just barely presentable. With this use of AI, the ethics of the job are preserved as cleanly as the priceless footage itself. AI in this use-case provides a one-click solution to erase hours of process, which can harm deadlines, shift timelines, and shake the overall quality of a project.

Speaking of audio, even the best quality audio won’t help you cut a story together faster. That’s where AI-Transcription comes in. This tool has freed up the brains and the ears of video editors all around the world now, and it’s never been better. Here’s how it works: You receive interview footage, and instead of manually logging it, you can transcribe it so you can start working immediately. This allows for an editing process that’s closer to the traditional script-writing process, and the results show.

This is the video-editing version of the proverbial sliced bread.

As an aside, I can’t tell you how many documentaries I’ve worked on where my subject, after being interviewed for an hour, begins to flub words or speak in odd syntax. AI-Transcription allows me to keyword-search for phrases and words that came from early on in the talk, for a more confident re-insertion later in the right spot. The life-saving and time-reducing qualities of this feature can’t be overstated.

Lastly, we live in a world of formats. We’re all consuming content on different platforms, but also on different screens. These screens require different aspect ratios, which can very quickly turn one edit into four separate processes. I’ve had great luck with Adobe’s Auto-Reframe AI process. This is a tool that is as simple as it sounds: It takes a timeline of footage and makes it work in a variety of settings. No matter if you’re watching my work on a phone, iPad or television, it’s always going to look as intended. There’s still some tooling that goes into making sure that every frame is lined up perfectly, but as I’ve shared–AI is not something that can do the work for you, but it can assist you with the brain-free busywork that comes with all creative projects.

Where Do We Go From Here

I don’t see AI replacing human-told stories. The very essence of storytelling is the journey of human-relation, seeking understanding and validation for our thoughts and emotions. This is not something that a computer can replicate, and in my opinion, it’s not something that a computer should replicate. Where we’re left is somewhere in the middle–AI-assisted creative process, taking some of the pain out of the process of creation.

The role of the computer is to make ideas easier to bring from the intangible mind to the tangible page. We are undoubtedly there, and accelerating rapidly towards cleanly removing much of the human busywork, taking a lot of the dust and fingerprints away from our art. With an untrained hand, this can be troubling, and let me explain why. I want to share this quote from pioneering ambient and electronic musician Brian Eno. He says: 

“The distorted guitar is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to it. When the medium fails conspicuously, and especially if it fails in new ways, the listener believes something is happening beyond its limits.”

While AI can certainly help with the process, we must not allow it to remove the imperfections that give artwork its human touch. A big mistake that you’ll notice–the content you scroll through on social media all looks the same. The more we all rely on the same tools, the more we’re going to produce similar works. It’s important to find a balance to continue to stand out and apply your signature touch, while using the tech available to advance projects and grow with the world. This is going to be the biggest challenge in incorporating AI into more processes and workflows. That’s why, when hiring a studio for video work, you need a team that knows how to leverage the magic of technology while retaining the truth of human-led creation.

It’s a delicate and difficult balance, but as an artist, it’s the job we must uphold as the landscape becomes a more technically advanced and complicated place.

Enhancing Creativity for Our Clients

At Priceless Misc, we leverage AI tools to enhance our creativity, not replace it. By integrating these advanced technologies into our workflow, we can work faster and deliver more within your budget. The AI tools we use streamline tedious tasks like audio cleanup and transcription, freeing up more time for our creative team to focus on what truly matters – telling your story in the most compelling way possible. This means quicker turnaround times and higher quality outputs, all while staying within budget constraints. We embrace technology that empowers us to be more creative and efficient, ensuring your project gets the attention and expertise it deserves.

Partner with Priceless Misc for Cutting-Edge Video Production

If you’re looking to elevate your video production with a team that knows how to harness the power of AI while preserving the human touch, look no further than Priceless Misc. Our expertise in blending advanced technology with creative storytelling ensures your project is not only efficient but also captivating. Let us help you bring your vision to life in the most compelling way possible.

Feel free to reach out if you need assistance with your next video project.