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Creating videos without cameras

Making videos at a fraction of the cost with AI.

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Happy Thursday, Collaborators!

It has been a week since OpenAI announced their hyperrealistic AI video generator, Sora—and broke the internet.

Slow motion makes everything cooler. Credit: OpenAI

How does Sora compare to other video generators? My friends at Mayple shared a great overview here.

Sora is only available to a select “red team” of AI testers right now. Building our own tests and creative will have to wait.

In the meantime, we’re revisiting how a company scaled with an AI video tool that is already publicly available. Let’s get into it!


The hand-wringing about marketing costs in this email was entirely written by humans.

Creating videos without cameras, studios, or talent

High-quality video production is crushingly expensive. Costs typically start at $1,500-10,000 per finished minute, and prices can get much higher.

Budget can make a big difference in video quality, as you can see from these ads Wistia created using three different budgets:

The $1000 Ad

The $10,000 Ad

The $100,000 Ad

Video production costs can quickly become prohibitive if you create video trainings, like Cyber Inc.

The Brand: Cyber Inc

More than 80% of cybersecurity incidents are the result of human error.

And this problem is urgent for businesses of all sizes. The financial impact of cybercrime is expected to reach $10 trillion in 2023.

Frequent and comprehensive employee training is one of the main strategies to prevent cyber crimes. Cyber Inc. creates privacy and security awareness trainings for clients ranging SMEs to multinational enterprises.

Cyber Inc. set an ambitious timeline to expand into new international markets, but they quickly ran into a roadblock:

Creating training videos—in six different languages.

Each video could require new actors and directors. Producing that many videos would be time-consuming, expensive, and difficult to scale. At least, it would have been before AI.

The Solution: Synthesia

Cyber Inc. chose to test Synthesia to scale their trainings. Founded by AI researchers from Stanford, Cambridge, UCL, and TUM, the company creates cameraless videos with AI.

The process of creating videos in Synthesia was simple:

  1. Cyber Inc. wrote training scripts and translated them into the six different languages.

  2. Then, the team created an AI avatar. In a few clicks, they chose her appearance, language, and accent.

  3. They added the text to Synthesia’s script box.

  4. Cyber Inc. chose a background for the avatar.

  5. Finally, they inserted animations and screen recordings.

Here’s Cyber Inc’s demo of the final product:

The Results

AI video changed the game for Cyber Inc.

The company was able to create 6 times more trainings than they had in traditional production. Even better? They were able to create those trainings 80% faster.

As a result, the company was able to expand into new markets even earlier than their roadmap predicted.

The Takeaway

Do you need to scale your video production? AI tools that can significantly reduce the cost and complexity of scaling already available.

For example, instead of $1,500-$10,000 per finished minute, creating video on Synthesia’s personal plan costs ~$2.20-$2.25 per minute.

However, building trust in your brand is a crucial element of ads. There is still a slightly uncanny element to the AI avatars that may distract or concern viewers.

We’ll be carefully watching Sora—and the new era of hyperrealistic AI video—to improve on existing AI video.

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