Storia is Betting Big on Hollywood’s Desire for AI Video Production

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Storia is Betting Big on Hollywood’s Desire for AI Video Production
Photo: Storia AI

Traditionally, becoming a professional video editor takes years of experience, long hours and an often maddening struggle against complicated software. As such, it’s a field with a high skill barrier to entry. In Hollywood, especially, it’s rare to become a film editor without a formal education in the field.


But that reality shows signs of shifting. Especially with the help of emerging generative AI tools that help filmmakers realize their vision in minutes rather than years.

One such tool comes from Storia AI, a remotely based startup with a footprint in Los Angeles and San Francisco that’s developing a generative AI for film and TV pre-production. Storia’s technology takes simple text prompts (for example, “show me this script in the style of Alfred Hitchcock,” and turns them into short video clips or storyboards.

The startup recently showed off its tech at work on several Academy Award-nominated films, by way of presenting what the Oscar-winning film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” would look like as a zombie horror film, or editing “The Banshees of Inisherin” in the style of a cartoon. Storia AI cofounder Mihail Eric said overall, the response was positive, noting that for some, it was the first time they’d seen such tech in action. The goal was to show off Storia’s capabilities and also educate people about the potential ways to leverage AI in video editing and pre-production, Eric said.

Eric launched the company in December 2022 with co-founder Julia Turc in December 2022 and has since raised “a couple hundred thousand” from investors including Madrona Venture Labs so far. The plan is to begin selling its AI storyboarding and editing software as a subscription, Eric said.

The idea, according to Eric, is to leverage Storia AI’s tools to help someone with “no visual sensibilities” create a fully-fledged visual work in a short time with limited skills. A longtime developer of AI, Eric studied natural language processing at Stanford and worked at Amazon as a senior machine learning scientist for its Alexa AI for two and half years before co-founding Storia. He said his goal with the company is to enable people with an artistic concept, but not the skills to realize a fully fledged film.

In addition to its video editing tool Storia AI also sells a product called StoriaBoard, which uses AI to pre-visualize movie scripts. By plugging in a script, and choosing from either a dropdown list of pre loaded films (like Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” or Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane”), the AI will create a visual representation of the script’s major beats. This looks like a typical storyboard format but will match the tone of the selected work.

“The creative process is about taking inspiration from things, using one source to inspire another idea… and using that to sort of conglomerate and form, and evolve your own vision,” Eric said. “That previsualization, the preproduction, is about fast iteration, it’s about experimentation. If you don’t have visual sensibilities, you won’t be able to draw even a single alternative [idea], but a tool like what we build enables you to very quickly try a bunch of different things.”

That said, Hollywood remains mixed on the prospect of using AI to create content. There is, of course, the valid concern that AI will replace the jobs of highly skilled editors. Though Eric said he sees tools like Storia AI’s not as job replacers but enablers. “Traditional painting of the 1500s is not something that's really done that much today,” he said “If you just imagine the natural evolution of the profession, you’re going to have to learn new tools.”

To Eric’s credit, AI is already being used to de-age celebrities like Harrison Ford in “Indiana Jones.” A similar tool made by startup Metaphysic signed a partnership with the Creative Artists Agency in January. But AI can also apply to sound: Dolby’s Atmos technology uses AI to map the acoustics of a room and determine how much sound output it needs to be truly immersive for the audience. And while it’s not tailored just for film or TV production, generative image software Midjourney can be used to storyboard.

Currently, Storia AI has some clients, mainly local independent filmmakers, according to Eric. Though he did say he hopes the tool becomes more widely used by aspiring creatives in the future.

“Our goal at Storia AI is to change the landscape of how [production] is done,” Eric said. “We believe we’re uniquely able to provide [this] because of our deep experience in AI.”

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🚁 One Step Closer to Air Taxis in LA
Image Source: Joby Aviation

🔦 Spotlight

Joby Aviation, a pioneering electric air taxi company, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully flying a hydrogen-electric aircraft demonstrator for 523 miles with only water as a byproduct. This groundbreaking flight showcases the potential for emissions-free regional travel using vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, eliminating the need for traditional runways. The company's innovative approach combines its existing battery-electric air taxi technology with hydrogen fuel cells, paving the way for longer-range, environmentally friendly air travel.

For LA residents, this development holds exciting implications for future transportation options. Joby's technology could potentially enable direct flights from LA to destinations like San Francisco or San Diego without the need to visit conventional airports, offering a cleaner and more convenient alternative to current travel methods. The company's progress in both battery-electric and hydrogen-electric aircraft positions it at the forefront of next-generation aviation, promising to revolutionize urban and regional mobility.

Notably, Joby Aviation has already made strides in Southern California by securing an agreement with John Wayne Airport earlier this year to install the region's first electric air taxi charger. This strategic move sets the stage for LA to be among the initial markets where Joby will launch its electric air taxi service. With plans to commence commercial operations as early as 2025 using its battery-electric air taxi, LA residents may soon have access to a fast, quiet, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation that could significantly reduce travel times and traffic congestion in the region. In the not too distant future, LA might find itself in an identity crisis without traffic and excess smog 🤞🤞.


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Fuel Innovation: 7 Unforgettable Team Building Experiences in LA
Image Source: Discover LA

In today's competitive business landscape, team building activities have emerged as a crucial tool for fostering a positive work environment, enhancing productivity, and crucially, improving employee retention. Studies have shown that such activities help employees feel valued, with one report indicating that 93% of those who felt appreciated were more motivated at work. Importantly, team building events may improve retention rates, as employees who feel connected to their colleagues and company culture are more likely to stay long-term. With these benefits in mind, let's explore some of the most engaging and effective team building activities available in Los Angeles.

Pickleball

Image Source: Modern Luxury Angelino

Pickleball is a fantastic team bonding activity because of the easy-to-grasp rules and gentle pace make it perfect for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. The game thrives on communication and teamwork, as players must collaborate and strategize to outplay their opponents, boosting team cohesion. Plus, the lively, fast-paced action sparks friendly competition and laughter, creating a fun and spirited atmosphere that brings everyone closer together. Los Angeles boasts numerous pickleball courts that are easy to rent if you have your own equipment. If you need additional assistance organizing your pickleball outing, there are plenty of full-service companies ready to handle every detail for you.

Resources: Pickle Pop, Corporate Pickle


Escape Room

Image Source: The Escape Game

Escape rooms are a great way to build camaraderie. They require participants to work together, combining their problem-solving skills and creativity to overcome challenges and puzzles. The immersive and time-sensitive nature of escape rooms fosters collaboration and communication. Additionally, the shared experience of tackling complex tasks and reaching a common goal helps build trust and foster positive emotions among colleagues.

Resources: The Escape Game, 60Out


Day Trip to Catalina Island

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Catalina Island is a perfect day trip for a team because it provides a break from the usual work environment, allowing team members to relax and connect in a new setting. Shared experiences during the trip, such as exploring new places and participating in fun activities, help build stronger relationships and foster a sense of camaraderie. There are numerous team-building activities such as an arboreal obstacle course, an island tour, scavenger hunts and more.

Resources: Catalina Island Group Activities


Top Golf

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Topgolf is an excellent team building event because it provides an inclusive, relaxed atmosphere that accommodates players of all skill levels, fostering personal connections and improving team morale. The unique blend of competition and entertainment creates an ideal setting for building trust, enhancing communication, and revealing hidden skills among team members. Additionally, Topgolf offers structured team building packages with guided activities, discussion prompts, and lessons on culture, change, collaboration, and strategy, making it a versatile and effective platform for strengthening relationships and boosting overall team performance.

Resources: Topgolf El Segundo


SoFi Stadium Tour

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A SoFi Stadium tour offers a unique, behind-the-scenes experience of one of the world's most advanced sports venues, allowing team members to explore exclusive areas like premium suites, team locker rooms, and the player tunnel together. The tour provides a shared, memorable experience that can foster camaraderie and spark conversations among team members, regardless of their interest in sports. Additionally, the stadium's state-of-the-art features and impressive architecture can inspire creativity and innovation, while the group setting encourages interaction and collaboration, making it an engaging and enjoyable activity for teams of various sizes and backgrounds

Resources: SoFi Stadium Group Tours


Corporate Volunteering

Image Source: L.A. Works

Volunteer work serves as an excellent team building activity by uniting employees around a shared, meaningful cause, fostering a sense of purpose and collective accomplishment. It provides opportunities for team members to collaborate in new ways, often revealing hidden strengths and leadership qualities that may not be apparent in the regular work environment. Additionally, engaging in community service can boost morale, enhance the company's reputation, and instill a sense of pride among employees, leading to improved workplace relationships and increased job satisfaction.

Resources: Habitat for Humanity, L.A. Works, VolunteerMatch


Corporate Improv Sessions

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A corporate improv class encourages spontaneity, creativity, and quick thinking, skills that are valuable in the workplace. It promotes active listening and collaboration, as participants must work together to create scenes and respond to unexpected situations, fostering better communication and trust among team members. Additionally, the playful and often humorous nature of improv helps break down barriers, reduces stress, and creates a shared positive experience that can improve team morale and cohesion long after the event.

Resources: Improv-LA, Groundlings, Improv for the People

🎬 Paramount and Skydance Are Back On
Image Source: Paramount

Happy Friday Los Angeles! Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth!!

🔦 Spotlight

Paramount and Skydance Media have rekindled talks to merge after negotiations abruptly halted in June. The proposed deal, contingent on approval from Paramount’s board, aims to combine Paramount’s extensive media holdings—including CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon—with Skydance’s film expertise showcased in hits like "Top Gun: Maverick." This merger signals a potential transformation in the media landscape, positioning the new entity to compete more effectively amid challenges from streaming services and the decline of traditional cable TV.

Led by Shari Redstone, Paramount’s controlling shareholder via National Amusements, the deal represents a pivot towards revitalizing Paramount’s strategic direction amidst financial struggles and shareholder concerns. The involvement of major investors like RedBird Capital Partners and David Ellison underscores the financial backing aimed at stabilizing Paramount’s operations and addressing its $14 billion debt burden. Importantly, the agreement includes provisions to protect National Amusements from potential legal challenges, addressing previous hurdles that stalled earlier negotiations.

The deal also includes a 45-day period for Paramount to explore alternative offers, highlighting continued interest from other potential buyers like Barry Diller’s IAC and media executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. This flurry of activity underscores the significant stakeholders’ interest in Paramount’s future and its potential as a key player in a rapidly evolving media industry.


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  • Sidecar Health, a startup that offers personalized health insurance plans to businesses that allow members to see any doctor and pay directly at the time of service, raised a $165M Series D led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. - learn more

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