Highland Park - SPec AD - 'HOME'
This will be last experimental film for a while as I can’t wring out anymore quality from the model or process and I am exploring video to video and other processes.
With a name like Alastair, you may have already guessed I have Scottish heritage. If you know me well enough, you know I have Scottish grandparents who enjoyed a wee dram of whiskey occasionally.
For my latest experiment, I blended (pun intended) my Scottish roots with another brand I love, Highland Park Scotch whiskey. Distilled and aged on the island of Orkney, this wonderfully balanced and nuanced whiskey is a product of its environment. I wanted to create a wistful, romantic film that celebrates the place of its birth.
This also allowed me to co-create with some extremely talented folks, which was really the main aim - to try and extract every last story beat and quality from the tools available today.
From my experience up to this point I know that GenAI filmmaking will become mainstream, but I also know it’s not entirely ready today. However, some of these shots in here are pretty incredible and when you write around the weaknesses you can create something that is passable
Filmmaking is always best when you add multiple talented co-creatives alongside you. My previous edits are passable, but when Fred agreed to help on this spec spot, I had a co-creative to help bounce ideas off. He took my rough edit and allowed it to breathe, creating a wonderful edit that evokes the sense of place and time flowing.
We enrolled an amazingly talented VO and Scottish actor, Joshua, who added a wonderful performance and presence to the main unseen character.
Once we had Josh’s performance laid against picture I felt teh need to improve it as much as I could and the wonderful folks at Lime, Bruce and Susie, agreed to continue to polish the audio to help reinforce the sense of place and continue the narrative. Michael lent his considerable talent to the SFX and final mix and used it as a chance to experiment with GenAI SFX.Michael used ChatGPT to help analyze the scenes and suggest SFX, then employed Eleven Labs to generate over 800 sounds that he skillfully edited and utilized (detailed description in comments).
We had a cut we liked when Luma was released, and we managed to improve the quality of several moments by swapping footage out (I’ll post a follow-up with shots marked).
It's about as good as I can make it. This took several months of fine-tuning, and yet there are still problems. However, there are some moments where I am really happy with how it turned out.
ImgGen - Midjourney and Stable Diffusion SDXL
VideoGen - Stable Diffusion SDV1.2 & Luma Dream Machine
Edit - Freditor Premiere Pro
Skratch VO Track - ElevenLabs
Final VO - Joshua Manning
Music - Artlist
SFX - ElevenLabs Via ChatGPT by Michael
Mix - Lime Studios by Michael
UpRez & Grain - Topaz

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