ReelFramer: Human-AI Co-Creation for News-to-Video Translation

Short videos on social media are the dominant way young people consume content. News outlets aim to reach audiences through news reels -- short videos conveying news -- but struggle to translate traditional journalistic formats into short, entertaining videos. To translate news into social media reels, we support journalists in reframing the narrative. In literature, narrative framing is a high-level structure that shapes the overall presentation of a story. We identified three narrative framings for reels that adapt social media norms but preserve news value, each with a different balance of information and entertainment. We introduce ReelFramer, a human-AI co-creative system that helps journalists translate print articles into scripts and storyboards. ReelFramer supports exploring multiple narrative framings to find one appropriate to the story. AI suggests foundational narrative details, including characters, plot, setting, and key information. ReelFramer also supports visual framing; AI suggests character and visual detail designs before generating a full storyboard. Our studies show that narrative framing introduces the necessary diversity to translate various articles into reels, and establishing foundational details helps generate scripts that are more relevant and coherent. We also discuss the benefits of using narrative framing and foundational details in content retargeting.

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