Secret Level made this AI musical in two weeks as proof of the game-changing tech

Jason Zada’s next-generation entertainment studio shows rapid, high-quality content creation in action

Published On
Feb 14, 2024
Two men in shiny suits against a fantastical rocky and sunny backdrop

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In December, director Dave Clark made headlines across the tech world when he posted a spec Adidas film he’d claimed to have created “on my coffee break” using AI. The video went viral and was one of 2023’s culture-defining moments in AI.

Clark is a director at Secret Level, the next-generation entertainment studio founded by Jason Zada, whose groundbreaking work in video and tech goes back to the famous “Elf Yourself” holiday site in 2006 (made at EVB, which Zada co-founded).

Now, Secret Level is out with another big AI project—a 1:45 video that Zada says was created in two weeks using a combination of AI, VFX, animation and live-action. Released on Valentine’s Day as a “love letter” to the industry, the piece is intended to show AI’s vast potential. It also calls on creatives to embrace AI, even as many feel it threatens their livelihoods.

In the film, Stephen “Jayyo Jazzy Jay” Jones, an influencer with almost 10 million followers on Instagram, takes the viewer through a variety of vignettes in a magical world where anything is possible. 

 

Everything in the film was created with the help of AI. The writers worked with ChatGPT to create the lyrics, and the filmmakers—including Clark and Zada, who co-directed—worked with subscription-based AI tools as well as custom and open-API tools such as Stable Diffusion to create all the visuals.

Emmy-winning composer Matt Pavolaitis created the music, while the rest of the Secret Level team merged animated visuals with footage captured at a live-action shoot. “From producing an animatic with static visuals in a few days to animating using AI, this film would not be possible with a traditional pipeline,” said Zada.

The creative team had flexibility with the output, swapping out scenes at the last minute or refining them using AI right before finalizing. “Blurring the lines between traditional filmmaking and AI filmmaking, we believe this is the future of accelerated and stylized content creation,” Zada said.

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The piece functions as both a rallying cry for the industry and a promo piece for Secret Level itself. 

“AI is transforming the creative industry, yet we haven’t seen anything that truly pushes the narrative and artistic capabilities of what the medium can do,” Zada said. “We gave our collective the challenge of completing a next-generation AI film in a short period with limited resources. Our A-list team of storytellers and creators was able to ideate, script, compose, shoot and animate in an incredibly fluid and collaborative process. At the end of it, we realized this is truly the future of storytelling and the rapid creation of content in a modern world.”

He added that in spite of the fears around AI in the creative world, “we wanted to remind the industry that the best times are still ahead of us, as long as we can still dream and innovate—together.”

Credits

Date
Feb 14, 2024
Agency :
Secret Level
Director :
Jason Zada
Director :
Dave Clark
Executive Producer :
Monica Monique
Writer :
Jason Zada
Writer :
Trace Slobotkin
Writer :
Nate Atkins
Writer :
Amber Justis
Composer :
Matt Pavolaitis
Vocal Producer :
Colleen Rourke
Background Vocals :
Colleen Rourke
Lead Vocalist :
Scott Owens
VO Talent :
Troy Holden
Lead Animator :
Matt Petrocci
Prompt Artist :
Ronnie Allman
Prompt Artist :
Andrea Mancuso
Prompt Artist :
Jason Zada
Prompt Artist :
Dave Clark
VFX :
Brandon McFarland
AI Animator :
Chris Vespaziani
AI Animator :
Jason Zada
AI Animator :
Dave Clark
Additional Ideation :
Alastair Green
Additional Ideation :
Davide Bianca
Color :
Ale Amato
Talent :
Stephen Jones
Talent :
Joshua Smith

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