The Future of Video Production: How AI is Transforming the Industry

Video has become the dominant form of content on the internet. By 2024, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. For businesses, video is an incredibly effective way to engage audiences and drive results – 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts.

However, creating high-quality video content at scale remains challenging. The traditional video production process is time-consuming, resource-intensive, and expensive. A short 1-2 minute professional video can easily cost thousands of dollars and take weeks to produce when you factor in scripting, casting talent, filming, editing, graphics, and distribution.

Artificial intelligence offers a potential solution. AI is rapidly transforming all stages of the video creation process, from ideation to post-production. By automating and optimizing key workflows, AI-powered tools are enabling faster, cheaper, and more efficient video production. At the same time, AI is expanding the creative possibilities of video, allowing for the generation of entirely new content formats and experiences.

Here‘s a closer look at how AI is being applied across the video production lifecycle and what it means for the future:

AI-Assisted Scriptwriting and Ideation

Coming up with compelling video ideas and scripts is one of the most challenging parts of the creative process. AI can help with both the generation and refinement of scripts and concepts.

With language AI models like GPT-3, video creators can automatically generate video script outlines or even fully-fleshed out scripts based on simple text prompts. For example, you could input something like "Create a 1-minute video script introducing our new software product, aimed at IT managers, with a humorous tone." The AI can then spit out a full script taking into account your key messages and target audience.

Human scriptwriters can then take this AI-generated starting point and refine it further, punching up the language and adding their own creative flair. This combination of generative AI and human creativity can dramatically speed up the scriptwriting process while still leading to high-quality, engaging scripts.

AI can also assist with surfacing trending video topics and themes based on social media conversations and search query analysis. Platforms like Wibbitz and Jasper.ai even provide AI-powered video idea recommendations taking into account your industry and target keywords.

Synthetic Media and AI-Generated Visuals

One of the most exciting frontiers in AI video creation is synthetic media – the AI-powered generation of photorealistic visuals, often indistinguishable from live-action footage.

With generative AI models like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, video creators can simply type in a description of the visual they want and the AI will produce it in seconds. For example, you could input "A dog wearing sunglasses, sitting on a beach chair, 4K, ultra-realistic" and the model would generate a photorealistic image matching that description. You can then string together AI-generated images into full-motion video slideshows.

Even more impressively, AI can now generate professional-quality video avatars that look and sound exactly like real human presenters. With platforms like Synthesia and Soul Machines, you simply choose from a library of photorealistic AI avatars and type in the script you want that avatar to say. The AI then generates a video of the avatar delivering your script complete with matching facial expressions, gestures, and lip syncing.

These AI avatars can serve as virtual spokespeople, product demo hosts, newscasters, and customer service agents. They allow you to create professional "talking head" style videos without the cost and logistical challenges of hiring actors or filming live-action footage.

AI avatars are not yet suitable for all use cases – they can still feel a bit "uncanny valley" and lack the personality and emotional resonance of real humans. But the quality of synthetic media is improving rapidly, and it has already become a powerful tool in certain video categories like ecommerce, corporate communications, and explainer content.

AI-Powered Video Editing and Post-Production

Editing is one of the most tedious and time-consuming parts of video production. But here too, AI is automating key workflows and enabling more efficient post-production.

First, AI can automatically transcribe video and audio files, making it easy to search within clips for specific phrases or topics. You can quickly find the perfect soundbite without scrubbing through hours of raw footage.

AI-powered editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro can then automatically apply edits and effects to your footage based on your creative direction. For example, you could tell the AI to "find all the clips where the speaker is talking about the new product feature and create a 15-second highlight reel." The AI understands the content of the footage and can make intelligent editing decisions.

Other AI post-production tools can improve video quality by enhancing resolution, stabilizing shaky shots, removing objects from a scene, or generating 3D effects. For example, Topaz Video Enhance AI uses advanced machine learning models to upscale video resolution and add missing details, turning low-res clips into crisp 4K footage.

With AI taking on much of the labor-intensive "grunt work" of post-production, video editors are freed up to focus on the creative side of storytelling. They can produce more polished video content in a fraction of the time.

Personalization and Intelligent Distribution

Finally, AI is enabling more dynamic, personalized video content and smarter distribution strategies. With AI, you can automatically create hundreds or even thousands of variations of a core video creative, each one optimized for a specific viewer and platform.

For example, you can use AI to modify a video‘s aspect ratio, crop, title, calls-to-action, and other elements based on which social network it‘s being distributed to. A square crop may work best for Instagram feeds, while a vertical aspect ratio is ideal for Stories and TikTok. This allows you to create a single master video and quickly spin up platform-specific versions.

AI can also personalize video content for individual viewers in real-time based on their viewing history, demographics, and behavior. Platforms like Idomoo stitch together modular video elements on the fly to create customized videos featuring each viewer‘s name, location, or product recommendations. This type of 1:1 personalization can dramatically boost engagement and conversions.

On the distribution side, AI can intelligently optimize the performance of videos by automatically running A/B tests to identify the top-performing creative, placement, and audiences. It can also predict which new videos will "go viral" based on the elements they contain, helping content creators prioritize which videos to promote.

The Future of Video Production: Creativity Empowered by AI

Putting it all together, AI is infusing every stage of the video production lifecycle, automating key tasks, enhancing creative possibilities, personalizing content, and optimizing performance. In the process, it‘s making video more accessible, scalable, and effective.

As synthetic media continues to improve in quality and different AI video capabilities are stitched together into end-to-end platforms, we‘ll see the rise of fully AI-generated video content created with minimal human input. Imagine being able to prompt an AI system with just an overarching story arc and key messages, and it then automatically generates a complete video, from script to visuals to voiceover to editing to distribution.

At the same time, AI is a powerful tool to augment human creativity, not replace it. The combination of AI-powered efficiency and human ingenuity, emotion, and storytelling instinct will lead to the most compelling video content.

As video continues to dominate the internet and marketing landscape, AI will be an essential part of any video creator‘s toolkit. But succeeding with AI in video will require understanding which steps to automate vs. which to still do manually. Injecting a human touch and original creative spark will be key to standing out in an increasingly AI-generated video world.

Savvy video marketers should start experimenting with different AI video tools now to understand their capabilities and constraints. Focus on simplifying tedious workflows with AI assistance while still crafting stories that connect with audiences on an emotional level.

The future of video is AI-powered creativity at scale. Marketers that embrace this trend will engage audiences more efficiently and effectively than ever before. But it will require a new type of human and machine collaboration. The video producers and storytellers that thrive will be those that learn to prompt, direct, and work alongside their AI co-creators.