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Elizabeth Taylor Stars Alongside an Octopus in Surreal Fully-AI Interview


The dreamlike film from FAMILIA’s Lisa Paclet is the first in a new series of ‘Midnight Interviews’

Elizabeth Taylor Stars Alongside an Octopus in Surreal Fully-AI Interview

FAMILIA director Lisa Paclet has worked entirely with AI software to create a new short film, documenting the unlikely pairing of famed actress Elizabeth Taylor, and her companion, an octopus. The short is the first episode in a series of AI-generated, whimsical films, entitled ‘Midnight Interviews’. 

The wider accessibility of AI-generated text to image and text to voice software inspired director Lisa Paclet to step away from her usual domain - compelling, stylised films for global brands - and into the world of the unknown. ‘Midnight Interviews’ is the result of a film without a plan, without brand guidelines and expectations: the result of using AI as an extension of creativity without limitations.

‘Midnight Interviews’ Episode One is centred around classical Hollywood star, Elizabeth Taylor, or what we are told will be a story about her. The movement in the film and the voice remains consistent, allowing audiences to maintain an idea of one character, despite the constant shifting of images throughout the film. Playing with the absurd and dreamlike, the film is a fictitious animated dreamscape, an unconventional interview which navigates between the familiar and the uncanny. 

The dialogue and film were developed in parallel. Text written by Lisa, derived from her memories of going to school in Florence, of her personal fears and fantasies, was given to AI Emelia. The dialogue was delivered by AI Emelia using various intonations, as an actress rehearsing a scene would. In parallel, AI DALL-E 2 used text prompts to generate thousands of images, which were ordered frame-by-frame as hand-drawn animation would be. The script was continuously tested and edited as the animation progressed.

The final 1.30” short film brings about as many questions as it answers, leaving audiences to question the possibilities of AI and the things it could imagine or re-interpret. 

Lisa Paclet comments: “As text to image and text to voice AI became more widely available over the summer, I started experimenting to see if I could make a short film only using these new tools. It was a release valve for me to do a film without a plan, advancing the image and the text in parallel without having to justify my reasoning (the opposite of advertising in which every detail must be explained). It has been an interesting process in which the AI really feels like an extension of one’s creativity.”

Above: Lisa Paclet


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Genres: Comedy, Storytelling, People

Categories: Short films, Short Films and Music Videos

FAMILIA, Wed, 25 Jan 2023 13:25:05 GMT