Obviously only a fraction of people’s holiday memories are ever caught on video. Luckily, we now have AI to listen to those memories and recreate our cherished moments in fun, slightly creepy videos.
That’s what production company m ss ng p eces has done with a new project called Holid.AI.
Clicking through to the site leads to 11 videos (and counting) in which a person’s audio recording of a holiday memory is paired with an AI-generated video bringing that memory to life visually. The results are by turns charming, fantastical, odd and sometimes a little disturbing—with some of the humans in the videos looking a little distorted, as we’ve come to expect from some AI renders.
Here’s a 60-second trailer, which clips from many of the videos:
The project was dreamed up by Kate Oppenheim, managing partner at m ss ng p eces, who was inspired by some of the AI shorts that her fellow managing director, Ari Kuschnir, created with his daughter earlier this year.
“I wanted to come up with a holiday project for our team that would just be pure fun,” Oppenheim said. “I liked the idea that the rawness of the recordings would match the rawness of the AI output, so I recorded the first one as a test and sent Ari a few reference photos. Using that test, we put out a call to all of our staff and directors to submit their favorite holiday memories, and we went to work.”
The company then set up a phone number, 1-855-HOLIDAI, which anyone can call and leave a memory. Everything came together in less than a week—and each video was generated in less than 30 minutes.
“What’s great is we are using AI to uncover something very human about people’s treasured memories,” said Oppenheim.
The videos were made using the AI software Runway. Kuschnir then used Artlist for the music and effects, and edited the shorts in Adobe Premiere.
“I’ve always been interested in new tools to expand the way we tell stories, so I began experimenting with Runway in May when it was still beta,” Kuschnir said. “It’s amazing how far it has come since then, as it now allows you to control the motion of each shot, select sections of the prompted result, and really refine the final clip. The AI is done with Runway, which is at the forefront of this technology, and the rest of the process is manual.”
Kuschnir acknowledged some of the videos veer into strange rather than festive territory, but that this is all part of working with AI image and motion tools.
“They can produce very weird results,” he said. “Sometimes you find that using cartoon animation looks better than a hyper-realistic style, and sometimes you embrace the weirdness as part of the aesthetic. The line for me is when it starts to distort faces so much that it takes you out of the story or becomes too creepy, so I’ll try something else. Sometimes the AI results are remarkably accurate, like the Pong ’70s visuals are almost all from the first set of prompts—but the Land Rover inner tubing episode required a lot more fine-tuning.”