From $405 Budget to Cinematic Revolution: “DreadClub” Breaks New Ground as First AI-Generated Animated Feature Film

BOSTON, July 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Independent filmmaker Hooroo Jackson makes cinematic history with “DreadClub: Vampire’s Verdict,” the world’s first fully AI-generated animated feature film. This groundbreaking $405 production reshapes the landscape of animation and artificial intelligence in filmmaking, challenging industry norms and opening new frontiers for creators worldwide.

Jackson’s achievement places him alongside animation pioneers like Walt Disney (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), Mitsuyo Seo (“Momotaro: Sacred Sailors”), and John Lasseter (“Toy Story”). “DreadClub” tells the story of Betty Gray, a college student drawn into a doomed romance with a man on trial for being a vampire, blending romance, courtroom drama, and supernatural thrills.

“‘DreadClub’ isn’t your typical vampire romance,” Jackson asserts. “It’s a raw, unfiltered exploration of truth versus lies, reality vs. fantasy. Betty is drawn to Duchamps just like we are drawn to A.I.”

This landmark project showcases AI’s potential to democratize filmmaking. Created entirely by Jackson, “DreadClub” comprises over 17,000 AI-generated images, with all video, performances, music and sound AI-generated. The film was produced for a mere $405—a fraction of the $1.5 to $2.5 million estimated budget for traditional production methods.

Despite its technological achievements, Jackson emphasizes “DreadClub” stands on its own merits. “Anyone can enjoy it without knowing it’s AI,” he says.

The film follows a group of college kids trapped on campus during summer break. When bodies start turning up, they get caught up in a vampire murder mystery.

“Protagonist Betty Gray grew up enamored with classic gothic love stories. She falls into a world of passion she thought was only possible in stories.”

His favorite scene: “The vampire fashion show. The AI was giving me so many interesting costumes that I wanted to show them off all at once.”

“DreadClub” builds upon Jackson’s previous AI milestone, “Window Seat” (July 2023), the first fully AI feature film ever made, demonstrating remarkable technological progress in just one year. “People ridiculed ‘Window Seat,’ for its raw machine generated video, not realizing it was part of a larger vision,” Jackson notes. “They are meant to serve as milestones showing the rapid evolution of AI filmmaking.”

The film’s release ignites crucial discussions about animation’s future, AI’s role in creative industries, and democratized film production. It challenges traditional studios to innovate beyond “sequels and reboots.”

Jackson addresses industry concerns head-on: “When CGI streamlined technology in the ’90s, entire professions became obsolete. There was no pity then. AI is simply another tool, like CGI software. We’re not aiming to match Hollywood – but to inject much needed adrenaline into its creative stagnation.”

Looking ahead, Jackson plans an even more ambitious project: a Pixar-style CG animated film using AI. “On both ‘DreadClub’ and ‘Window Seat’, I started production before they were possible, then part way in, I carved out a path. A fully CG animated film is the most ambitious challenge due to the technical complexity.”

“DreadClub: Vampire’s Verdict” premieres this July on major streaming platforms. For more information, visit its page on IMDB.

About Hooroo Jackson: A boundary-pushing filmmaker, Jackson’s work spans graphic novels, novels, and live-action films. His portfolio includes the live-action feature “Aimy in a Cage” starring Crispin Glover, the novel “The Unweddable Chattaway Girls,” and “Window Seat,” the first fully AI-generated feature film.

Fantasia Yu

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