Red Diaries Fellini Forward by Campari

Can AI Direct Movies? This One Just Did

About Red Diaries Fellini Forward by Campari

All human beings—even famous movie directors like Federico Fellini—have a finite lifespan. But can their talent live on (and continue to create) with artificial intelligence? Maybe so.

Campari Red Diaries: Fellini Forward, a short film and behind-the-scenes documentary, premieres at the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 7, and will be featured at the New York Film Festival before an on-demand release in select markets.

While there are three humans with directorial credits—Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper for the documentary, and Maximilian Niemann on the short film—the post-human creative force on this movie is GPT-2, implemented by innovation production studio UNIT9.

Meet the Synthetic Scriptwriter

But before any frames were captured in the virtual can, they needed a script.

UNIT9 created a custom tool to handle original script generation, building on OpenAI’s GPT-2 (they would have used GPT-3, but it wasn’t out in 2019 when the project started development). This meant the AI settled down to “read” every script Fellini ever wrote, breaking it down into style, context, nomenclature, juxtapositions of concepts, recurring themes/motifs, and so on.

Then the AI composed an entirely new script, which is really cool—unless you make your living from writing spec scripts in Hollywood.


Fellini GPT-2

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