The World’s First AI-Powered Movie Camera Transforms Filmed Footage

A split-screen image shows a man in two different settings. On the left, he's outdoors, next to a brick building, wearing a brown jacket, shirt, and pants. On the right, he's dressed in a tuxedo, indoors in a dark, ornate room with rain falling.
Example footage from the prototype CMR-M1 camera. On the left is the filmed footage and on the right is after it has been AI-processed.

The CMR M-1 claims to be the world’s first AI-powered movie camera which turns footage into AI imagery while filming.

Co-developed by SpecialGuestX and 1stAveMachine, the intriguing device harnesses the technology of AI image generator Stable Diffusion to film in creative filters that are AI-generated.

A modern, black camera with a boxy design is positioned against a dark background. It has a lens hood and a handle on top. The camera's sleek, matte finish features clean, straight lines and minimalistic details, highlighting its contemporary aesthetic.
The CMR-M1.

The CMR M-1, which stands for Camera Mark 1, is inspired by the Ciné Kodak — the world’s first 16mm movie camera — as observers will be able to tell thanks to its box-like appearance reminiscent of an early 20th-century camera.

Little information about the camera has been revealed other than it has a FLIR sensor, which is more commonly found in thermal and infrared imaging devices, a Snapdragon CPU, a viewport, and interchangeable lenses. It records video in a rather small resolution of 1368×768 at 12 frames per second.

However, once the video is shot, it is sent to a cloud-computing service to be AI-processed. The CMR-M1 is still a prototype and there is still latency between recording and AI processing but SpecialGuestX says it will be able to process in real time as newer AI video models are built.

Curiously, the CMR M-1 has a very different type of card slot in it: One that allows the camera operator to choose their AI image style. There are five different Style Cards each with its own LoRA (Low-Raking Adaption). Essentially, the cards act as creative filters which can be tuned on the camera.

This extra step is not entirely novel because plenty of cameras come with pre-set creative filters that transform JPEGs. But the CMR M-1 takes it a step further because it will allow creatives to finetune their own AI filters.

It was recently tested out at a party in Cannes where the “Snowy Illusion” card was used to turn people and scenes into strange icy figures.

“We believe that movie creation is inherently physical,” Miguel Espada, co-founder and executive creative technologist of SpecialGuestX, tells AdAge.

“Filmmakers are used to using cameras, lenses, tripods, and lighting, and AI has to be a new tool that enhances creativity. In the spirit of creative experimentation, we designed a camera that serves as a physical interface to AI models.”

The executive creative director of SpecialGustX, Aaron Duffy, hopes that the prototype camera will allow creators to “use AI rather than sitting at a keyboard.”

Image credits: SpecialGuestX.