AI - Frequently Asked Questions

AI (Artificial intelligence) tools are increasingly becoming part of filmmaking work flows, especially in the animation and VFX spaces. It’s new technology, it is evolving fast and it is having impacts everywhere.

48Hours requires that you must have all the rights to all the material that appears in your film (rule 8). This has implications for the use of AI.

Below is how AI will work under the current rules, but we are open to feedback on the use of AI in the competition.

Can I use AI tools in 48Hours?

There will already be AI tools embedded in your editing, graphics and animation software and lots of these will mean that you can create better content more efficiently - such as speeding up the cutting out of objects or animating motion.

As long as they don’t breach anyone’s copyright, you can use these tools in your 48Hours film.

But how do you know if your ai tools are going to breach copyright and get your film Dq’d? Well cutting something out more efficiently is fine, but things get trickier when we get to generative ai…

What is Generative AI?

Generative AI is artificial intelligence that is able to create new text, images, video, audio, or other data. It does this by learning patterns from data sets that are input into it to train it. Things like ChatGPT and Midjourney are examples that are pretty well-known.

The big problem with generative AI is that the content used in the data sets that is used to train generative AI models may not be cleared for use. There is currently a lot of legal action happening as media companies and content producers file lawsuits against generative AI companies. Many of the lawsuits involve alleged copyright infringement - in short, the complaints claim that AI companies illegally train various large language models on copyrighted content from media companies. Most of this is happening in the US which has a ‘fair use’ clause in its copyright law, something we don’t have in NZ. 

It’s going to take a lot of time and all the lawyers will make a ton of money untangling this.

So can I use Generative AI in 48Hours?

Because there is such a grey area around the copyright situation with material used to train generative AI we can’t accept the use of generative AI in your 48Hour film unless you can prove it was trained on cleared data.  

Don’t forget that you also need your actor’s releases - so you aren’t going to be able to include any deep fakes in your film either.

There are some generative tools that are safe to use such as Adobe Firefly, which is trained on Adobe’s stock library and public domain material. You can also train an AI with material you own.

Isn’t it kind of cheating getting AI to make your film?

We think you should use all the resources that are legitimately available to help get your film made. It's a bit like music - some teams just don’t have the skills or connections to get a composer on board, while other teams like the challenge of doing absolutely everything in 48Hours, including a full score.

The important thing is to remember why you are doing 48Hours. It's supposed to be a fun weekend where you take creative risks, learn a lot, collaborate with other awesome filmmakers, and hopefully end up with a finished film you can be proud of. 

Will using AI be accounted for in the judging process?

We do want to know how you use AI tools and will ask you to declare this in the online wrap-up form. We will let judges know this. You can read our judging criteria here. Originality and innovation are part of the criteria so using generative AI may have an impact on your film and how it is judged.

Please note that to be eligible for the best script and best score awards you won’t be able to use generative AI for writing or composition.