The rise of AI: Using AI to generate your video or animation script

Artificial intelligence has become an integrated part of our daily lives, from the chatbots we interact with when contacting a company’s customer service, the personal assistants in our devices such as Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, to Google Maps that helps us to navigate new areas. If AI can help us in our personal life, could it also help us in our working lives?

In this series of blogs, we’ll be exploring how AI could be used during different stages of our production process. In this blog we’ll focus on using AI to generate a video or animation script.

For us, scripting is one of the most important parts of any project. It’s where we articulate the key messages of our clients in a way that resonates with their target audience. The script also acts as a blueprint for the rest of the project, whether that’s who and what will be filmed for a video, or what will be illustrated and animated in an animation.

Let’s start by looking at one of our previous projects to compare our scripting process to using ChatGPT to generate a script.

The Project

We were approached by NHS Health Education England to produce an explainer animation about Operating Department Practitioners (ODP). The animation needed to showcase different ODP roles in hospitals, aimed at patients.

Our Process

We organised a discovery session with our contacts at NHS Health Education England that included an experienced ODP. During the session we discussed the objective of the animation, which was to educate the public on the different types of OPDs they may encounter during their time in hospital, the key messages such as the types of ODP professionals, their role and where they work, and details about the demographics of the ODP characters to ensure they were representative of the ODP workforce in the NHS.

From there we used the information gathered at the session to write the first draft of the script. The script was then shared with the client for review and feedback. The script went through two rounds of revision to ensure the messaging and terminology aligned to the client’s requirements. You can take a look at our script here and view the finished animation here.

Using ChatGPT

If you’ve not used ChatGPT before you need to sign up using this link. You’re then brought to a page where you can select the type of help you need:

You need to be specific about what you want to create. With some trial and error, we found a suitable prompt. Below is the full script from ChatGPT including our prompt:

 

The results

Although the ChatGPT script was much shorter than ours and didn’t contain the level of detail or key messages provided by the client, it did include some of the areas that ODPs work in such as anaesthesia, surgery and recovery. These were represented with nicknames such as ‘Scrub Ninjas’, ‘Anesthesia Artists’, ‘Recovery Wizards’ and ‘Team Harmony’. These are not the technical terms for ODP roles, but the script did reflect how ODPs work together across a patients journey in hospital.

There were 10 ODP characters in the ChatGPT script, whereas our script focussed on 4 ODP characters and a surgeon. The ChatGPT characters each had dialogue, but they only said 1 to 5 words. In our script each ODP character said 59 to 74 words, enabling them to share more information about their roles and where they work.

Lastly, in terms of characterisation, the ODP characters in the ChatGPT script were quite generic. The only visual description is that the ODPs were wearing scrubs. In our animation we had discussed demographics such as the age, gender and ethnicity of each character, as well as confirming what each ODP would be wearing.

As you can see, there were some aspects of the script that ChatGPT got right, but it didn’t meet the requirements set out by the client in terms of tone and detail. Let’s look at the pros and cons of using ChatGPT to generate video and animation scripts.

The Pros:

A tool for inspiration
If you’re new to writing scripts, AI writing tools such as ChatGPT can provide you with inspiration. This could come in the form of ideas for the content of the script, the structure of the script, or as we’ve seen in this example, the tone of the script.

Time effective
One of the most surprising things about using ChatGPT was the speed at which you get a result. It took just seconds after entering the prompt that we were provided with the script above. This was useful for refining the prompt without losing time.

Cost effective
There may be other writing tools that require a paid subscription, but ChatGPT is free. This is a benefit to individuals or companies who are looking to test developing creative assets without investing in new staff or outsourcing.

The Cons:

Generic content
Without collaborating with a client, AI generated scripts won’t have the same level of detail as our scripts. We use information and documentation provided by clients to help inform our content. Having generic dialogue or characters can come across as unimaginative, unoriginal and potentially stereotypical. There is also the disclaimer on ChatGPT warning that “ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information” suggesting that some generated content may not be accurate.

Representation
We work with clients to understand what the content is about and who it’s for. We take the time to understand who is being represented in our animations and ensure that these demographics are accurately and respectfully reflected in the dialogue and visuals.

Accessibility
We develop our scripts with the target audience in mind. We have control over elements such as the complexity, tone and language to ensure that the script meets the needs of the viewer. We can also take accessibility into consideration, ensuring the content is suitable for viewers with hidden disabilities or learning disabilities.

As we’ve discussed, integrating AI into your scriptwriting process can come with both advantages and disadvantages. Although AI writing tools such as ChatGPT can boost your creativity and save you time and money, it can leave you with generic content that lacks detail, originality, and in some cases, accuracy.

If you’re planning on embarking on a video or animation project and need help with scripting, contact us today at info@hyperfinemedia.co.uk.