Former Googler teams up with filmmaker to launch Dreamflare, a studio for AI-generated videos

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A startup called Dreamflare AI is emerging from stealth on Tuesday with a goal of helping content creators create and monetize short-format AI-generated content.

Co-founded by former Google employee Josh Liss and documentary filmmaker Rob Bralver, the company does not make or sell its own AI technology to create videos. Rather, it is seen as a kind of studio where creators collaborate with professional storytellers to create videos using third-party AI tools like Runway, MidJourney, ElevenLabs, and others. The videos will then be distributed through a subscription-based online service. Creators will make money from revenue-sharing on subscriptions and advertising, as well as some other options.

Dreamflare will make two types of animated content available on its platform: Flips, which are comic book-style stories consisting of short clips and images generated by AI that users can scroll through, and Spins, which are interactive choose-your-own-adventure short films where viewers can change certain outcomes of the story.

Dreamflare’s launch comes at a time when Hollywood artists view AI technology as a threat. A 2024 study by the Animation Guild, the union of animation artists, found that 75% of film production companies that use AI have reduced or eliminated jobs.

Despite these concerns, Dreamflyer emphasizes that it’s creating a new space for creators to earn revenue from a new form of entertainment; it’s not replacing anyone’s job.

“This is an opportunity to democratize storytelling for creators,” Liss told TechCrunch. “We’re excited to give humans the opportunity to leverage this tool to tell exciting new stories,” he added.

Those optimistic about AI entertainment and video platforms like Dreamflare include FoundersX Ventures, which has invested. The company also claims it has creative partnerships with various entertainment industry executives, including Disney, Netflix, and Universal. Additionally, Dreamflare says it has partnered with “Oscar and Emmy-winning filmmakers and showrunners,” according to Liss, who said they are “remaining anonymous at the moment due to the controversy around (AI-generated content).”

The company says it has raised $1.6 million in funding to date.

How Dreamflare Works

Creators on Dreamflare are allowed to use any existing AI tool that offers paid plans, but there are ethical and legal questions surrounding many of these tools. For example, OpenAI, the company behind the Sora model, does not disclose how it obtains training videos.

Dreamflare claims it has a rigorous review process to ensure submissions are not based on copyrighted material, and it does not accept R-rated content. When published content does not meet these standards, the platform has a DMCA takedown notice for anyone who feels their copyright has been infringed.

“We always try to control quality, safety and legality before publishing anything on the platform,” Bralver explained.

When creators successfully pass Dreamflare’s application process, they work closely with the creative team on story development. (According to the company, Dreamflare team members are former Disney and Universal executives who have decided to remain anonymous.)

While it’s not allowed to create content inspired by copyrighted intellectual property such as “Star Wars,” public domain characters are free games, which is why there are titles related to Little Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Frankenstein and Thor on the platform.

From what we saw during a demo of the platform, the quality of the video output generated by the AI ​​was quite good, although sometimes jerky and with an occasionally odd-looking animation style. (It’s certainly not even close to Pixar-level quality.) Some of the content on Dreamflare is original and creative, such as this one about a cat detective who ate a little too much catnip.

Creators on Dreamflare can make money in four ways: platform revenue sharing, a cut of ad revenue, tips from fans, and a soon-to-be-launched marketplace for creators to sell merchandise.

There is also a Fan Fund that allows followers to support content creators and participate in the process. For example, if a user pays for a Supporter Package, they will be featured in the credits of future videos. If a follower wants to pay more, they have the opportunity to join the creator in a private Discord channel. The most contributing followers are given Producer status and get exclusive access to how a creator creates their content.

At launch, nearly 100 content creators were on the platform, providing a diverse range of content from sci-fi and comedy to fantasy, mystery, and more.

Dreamflare’s premium membership costs $2.99 ​​per month or $24 per year. It currently has a limited-time offer that includes a one-year membership for $9.99. There’s also free weekly content available to get people hooked on the idea.

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