Star Films’ Tristan Holmes directs nightmarish first of its kind AI-Generated music video for Disturbed

Never afraid of finding new ways of telling big cinematic stories charged with emotions, Star Films’ Tristan Holmes has done it again. His latest work is a music video titled ‘Bad Man’ for the heavy metal band Disturbed which was entirely made using AI-generated imagery created and stitched together by Tristan. The result is a grisly and unnerving work of art.

Disturbed ‘Bad Man’ (Music Video)

Considering the body of work Tristan has created (think back to Nedbank, Coronation and Altron), it’s not surprising then that this kind of filmmaking would come from him. Drawn to bold aesthetics and images and never afraid to push the creativity to the edge, Tristan spent 6 weeks creating over 10 000 original frames of AI-generated art. Using the software Midjourney, Tristan manually inserted text prompts to create individual frames, which he then animated and stitched together. The imagery in ‘Bad Man’ both attracts and disgusts and damn does it make you feel.

Seriously feeling like cave dwellers playing around with our rocks we got Tristan to school us on this whole process of AI-imagery- gobbledygook works. He explained: ‘Creating each image is like a nonverbal conversation with a machine, that’s the only analogy I think works. For 6 weeks you are inserting detailed prompts via text and the machine will then interpret and give you an image. You’ll then tweak that prompt and the AI offers you something else completely. It functions very much like a conversation, you talk, you relate, you mention something new and you’re on a new road. With every new prompt, it’s synthesising an image on an image on an image, over and over and over again. You can often spend a whole day disappearing down one of these rabbit holes. The results are often mysterious and sometimes stunning to behold. What makes each frame even more interesting is that it’s not repeatable. So you’re participating in a strange act of techno-magic that can never happen in that exact way ever again. As technical as it all is, it’s definitely brought me back to the softer more poetic aspects of craft and maybe even the belief that magic is possible.

We couldn’t be prouder to see this level of artistry and ‘first of kind’ work come from a South African director. The future is here and it’s wild ya’ll!
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