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Who's In This Podcast
Helen Todd is co-founder and CEO of Sociality Squared and the human behind Creativity Squared.
Ben Nash is a visionary Full Stack Creator who marries design, code, and artistic flair to craft digital products, websites, fabricated signage, and A.I. art.

Ep29. Ben Nash: A.I. Music Videos & Movies

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Ep29. A.I. Music Videos & Movies: Move Over Celebrities! A.I.-Generated Characters & Creators Have Arrived with A.I. Artist & Full Stack CreatorBen Nash

On this episode of Creativity Squared, we delve into A.I. filmmaking with Full Stack Creator, Ben Nash, a multifaceted individual whose expertise spans digital products, websites, fabricated signage, art, music, and video content. Ben has worked primarily on web design and development up until last year, when his professional narrative took a more creative turn toward music video production with the help of artificial intelligence.

In our conversation, Ben talks about his collaborations with musicians on A.I. music videos, how he sees creators of A.I.-generated characters emerging as the next celebrities, and his thoughts on the future of immersive video. We discuss his processes and extensive toolbox of platforms and apps that he fuses together to bring his A.I art and music videos to life, plus Ben’s creative process and the democratization of creativity.

Meet Ben Nash

Ben is a Full Stack Creator based in Cincinnati,  OH, who marries design, code, and artistry to craft digital products, websites, fabricated signage, art, music, and video content. Born in Ohio, raised in North Carolina, and inspired by the innovative spirits of San Francisco and Austin, Ben credits his diverse background for fuelling his creative endeavors.

An alumnus of NCSU’s School of Design, Ben started out in Industrial Design. His career trajectory took him from the multidisciplinary design firm Bolt Group in Charlotte, NC, to freelance opportunities on the West Coast, eventually leading to a passion for web design and development in the early 2000s. Ben’s career includes design roles with clients like Frog and VMWare.

Ben was nominated for a Webby award for his work on a financial educational website.  Ben is also an inventor — he holds four patents, including a utility patent for a novel cup holder designed for a major beverage company.

Ben is an expert frontend developer, UX designer, and an accomplished artist using A.I. tools, embodying his mantras: “Form Follows Function, Add Style” and “Thinking Big and Iterating Daily.”

Beyond his development work, Ben contributes financially to open-source web development tools and enjoys participating in Cincinnati’s burgeoning A.I. scene. He’s also an organizer in the A.I. art scene online, hosting community discussions on X and other platforms.  

Create, create, create

Artwork by Ben Nash

“About this time last year, I did my first animated video using A.I. art assets, and I was blown away. The first one probably took me seven, eight hours to do 30 seconds worth or a minute. And I really loved it. I thought man, this has got some legs. I could take this somewhere.”

Ben Nash

Inspired by a desire to move beyond static images, which Ben playfully dubs “slideshow animations,” he embarked on a 30-day challenge to explore his passion in the realm of animated videos. What began as a personal challenge evolved into a prolific journey of daily content creation. Initially committed to sharing at least a 30-second video each day, Ben found himself hooked on the creative process, and this 30-day challenge seamlessly transformed into a year-long commitment. Now, he consistently uploads up to 60 minutes of content every week to his YouTube and X channels, and considers himself an influencer in the space, with a growing online community.

“That’s one of my mantras — you create as much as you can because it’ll help not only you personally, but to publish it, will help you professionally.”

Ben Nash

His philosophy revolves around the belief that consistent content creation contributes not only to personal growth but also to professional recognition. Drawing from his firsthand experience, he emphasizes the organic growth that occurs as you share more of your creations.

“It’s about establishing a reputation through the continuous generation of valuable content.”

Ben Nash

Throughout the conversation, Ben advocates for the simplicity of initiating the process — just diving in and encouraging others to embark on their own artistic exploration. Reflecting on his own 30-day challenge and the success and motivation it’s given him, he offers this advice:

“Do one thing every day, create something, and publish it. It doesn’t have to be perfect or lengthy; it can be a short snippet. That’s how you learn — so create, create, create.” 

Ben Nash

A.I. Music Artist Inspirations

In the evolving world of generative A.I. art and video animations, we discussed other artists who are alongside Ben in shaping this industry as it’s developing. Ben mentioned two that are worth keeping on our radars.

The first, Dave Villalva, spent the majority of his adult life in corporate America until A.I. beckoned him away from his traditional office job. Despite a career focused on travel and sales, Dave made the leap to dedicate himself to A.I. full-time and is, according to Ben, “really pushing the forefront of storytelling, and his artwork is amazing.” He’s making a splash in the space by hosting X Spaces throughout the week, interviewing other filmmakers and other A.I. artists, and providing resources to members of the community. Ben says he gets inspired by the sheer volume of content Dave creates (he’s produced 20,000 four-second videos) and the techniques that he is discovering and sharing daily, which he shares openly with other creators. 

Another noteworthy figure in this creative realm is a close friend of Ben’s, Chet Bliss, who’s renowned for his volume of work in A.I. image generation and is now venturing into the world of video. A dedicated user of Midjourney, Chet is also exploring Stable Diffusion and has created 180,000 images in the past year. Taking on Ben’s challenge to produce one video a day, he is a prime example of Ben’s mantra that growth and exposure can be achievable through consistent creating and publishing. 

Ben also highlighted Sway Molina, an ex-actor and one of the organizers of the Terminator 2 parody remake, who is now using A.I. tools to be one of the first to create elaborate and visually consistent A.I.-generated video series. Sway is also unique in creating different versions of himself in his artwork.

Terminator 2 Parody Remake

Ben is one of 50 creatives who are currently getting ready to release what may become the longest A.I.-generated film ever produced, a two-hour parody remake of the iconic Terminator 2 movie. 

After their selection from a pool of dozens of A.I. filmmakers, each artist undertook the challenge of producing 2-3 segments from the original film within a tight 10-day timeframe. 

“The kickoff meeting to this project was one of the most magical moments I’ve ever had online.”

Ben Nash

While some predicted by now we would see full-length feature films of this kind, this Terminator 2 project will likely be one of the first “super long” videos to come out, Ben explained. From here, the hope is that it paves the way for the growth of similar projects.

Reflecting on the creative process, Ben shared the intricacies of his work and the time and energy put into this project, particularly his own task of replicating a 42-second, one-take scene from the original movie. Instead of having a singular long JPG image that continues in either direction to serve as the scene background, he challenged himself with a much more intricate and involved technique to create the background from a continuous set of videos seamlessly scrolling from left to right. Ben jokes about how, despite the productivity promises of A.I., he probably spent more time creating his scene than the crew spent on the original movie. Ben’s rule of thumb is one hour of work for one minute of content, but he set different standards for himself for this project.

“I believe speed is one of my goals. But for this two-and-a-half-minute clip for the Terminator movie, I spent over 40 hours on it. It pushed me beyond my limits and in different tools, in areas that I’ve not ever used before.”

Ben Nash

For his second scene, Ben employed a tactic known as “rack focusing,” which he borrowed, like many other techniques, from traditional filmmaking. Rack focusing is when the focus shifts from the foreground to the background, or vice versa, without any camera movement. His use of the technique came out so well that it made this scene worthy of being featured in the trailer for the remake.

“Definitely a historic and pioneering project for this field. And I’m just so happy and honored to be a part of it.”

Ben Nash

Saying Goodbye to Traditional Visual Music as We Know It?

One of Ben’s primary passions is collaborating with bands and musicians on their music videos. He thinks A.I. presents a huge opportunity for musicians to make their own music videos and take advantage of the leverage that comes with viral videos and content on platforms such as YouTube and X. He believes that those resistant to grow and develop with A.I. will regret not learning about the new tools at their disposal early on.

“Traditional musicians who aren’t publishing themselves are going to be left behind with other people getting into music today.”

Ben Nash

He uses his recent work with Brazilian musician DevNull as an example. Their collaboration pushed Ben to create 12 music videos using one of his favorite A.I. video tools, Neural Frames. Ben says that exposure gained from the music videos has helped grow his career in the music industry. And beyond the benefits of exposure, Ben says that the videos help communicate more meaning to the audience, especially for acoustic tracks

“Without lyrics, it’s often very hard to figure out what the song is about. But these songs are so emotional, every time I watch my own videos that I created for him, I honestly tear up because the music itself is so beautiful.”

Ben Nash

Scratching the Surface of The Process Behind the Videos

Ben has an extensive tech stack, using about six to ten different tools to complete a project, and is always experimenting with new tools. He discusses a few of the many tools he uses to make his magic, one of his favorites being Neural Frames, which is an A.I. animation generator. What sets it apart from most other A.I. video generators is that you can continuously insert prompts throughout the timeline of a track.

With Neural Frames, users can drill down and display the constituent parts of a track and then fine-tune the video animations to visually react to those different sounds, however dramatically or subtly they want. It really gives the user the full ability and creative control to tell their story throughout the video. 

“I pay attention to every second, I’m constantly adjusting. For one of those three-minute videos, for example, takes about eight hours of time. That’s how much effort I put into it.”

Ben Nash

Using his recent video “Al’s in the Mix from Mac Lives” as an example, Ben explains more of the high-level creative process to get to the finished product. He’ll use ChatGPT as a resource to generate the initial lyrics in some projects, then paste those lyrics into Soma to generate audio. Out of several dozen pieces of generated audio, he’ll compile the best ones in Adobe’s audio editor and slice them together into one track. Ben generates the video elements with Moon Valley and then modulates them with Neural Frames. After hours of rewrites and tweaking, Ben puts it all together with captions and text animations in Capcut.  

When it comes to prompts, Ben describes his as ambiguous and abstract, yet detailed. He shares one from a video he made with DevNull: “nostalgia layered composition, circular abstraction, detailed characters.” Although the words may sound like a crypto wallet passphrase, Ben says the verbiage is key to the output. 

“When you say ‘in the style, graceful balance,’ that really does mean something to these language models, and it does pull out a specific style. So it’s the abstract elements you can still control quite a bit of; it’s not just throwing something at the wall and seeing what comes back.”

Ben Nash

As A.I. video technology evolves, Ben says he expects to see more consolidation among critical tools. 

Apple’s Vision Pro AR goggles

What’s on the Horizon with A.I. Music Videos

Ben says he is hopeful for the day when multiple tools are seamlessly integrated into one comprehensive platform. While he acknowledges that there might not be a singular “perfect” tool for creating A.I. videos, he anticipates improved user interfaces that are faster and more user-friendly.

As far as what else is to come, Ben notes the current and upcoming effects these A.I. tools will have on traditional filmmaking. We’re seeing A.I. technology features in traditional video tools like Adobe Premiere that can detect your speech, immediately transcribe it, and then enable you to edit video by rearranging transcribed text instead of the actual video. Ben says this is a big progression for artists.

“I think storytelling and creating, what we think of as traditional film and television shows, is going to see a major breakthrough in the next year.”

Ben Nash

Ben also expects a significant shift in featured characters in video and film as text-to-video democratizes video production. He predicts an explosion of diverse characters and storylines that might not make it onto screens otherwise.  

For the last prediction, Ben talked about his big hopes for Apple’s upcoming tools and what they’ll do for the industry, especially their Apple Vision Pro AR goggles.

“It’s just going to be a super game changer. There’s always been the dream of this type of technology, VR and AR. And I think Apple’s going to finally pull it off. I’m trying new tools every day and trying to stay on the forefront of that. And if I can create content for Apple Vision Pro, and I’m assuming I’ll be one of the first doing so. So hopefully, you’re going to be seeing my name in that space next year. It’s coming soon. I love it.”

Ben Nash

He says that he can’t wait to dive into what he expects to be the first viable AR/VR ecosystem. 

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Thank you, Ben, for being our guest on Creativity Squared. 

This show is produced and made possible by the team at PLAY Audio Agency: https://playaudioagency.com.  

Creativity Squared is brought to you by Sociality Squared, a social media agency who understands the magic of bringing people together around what they value and love: http://socialitysquared.com.

Because it’s important to support artists, 10% of all revenue Creativity Squared generates will go to ArtsWave, a nationally recognized non-profit that supports over 150 arts organizations, projects, and independent artists.

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