Runway Gen-2 Text-to-Video Prompts for Cinematic Videos

If you've been using the Runway AI platform for a while, you most likely saw that some creators made music videos, commercials, and short films with the Gen-2 model. It's incredible that we live in ...

If you've been using the Runway AI platform for a while, you most likely saw that some creators made music videos, commercials, and short films with the Gen-2 model. It's incredible that we live in a time where you can make videos from either text or images.

I plan to make a short film using the Runway AI models at some point in the future, but until that happens I'll show you how you can create a variety of cinematic scenes.

One thing I noticed is that most people make videos on the Runway AI platform using AI-generated images. While this can produce outstanding results, I think the text-to-video model is also insanely powerful. You just have to write your prompts in a certain way to get good results.

In today's article, I'm going to share a great strategy for making cinematic videos with the Runway Gen-2 model. It's an approach that I personally use but that doesn't mean it's the only strategy. You can experiment with a variety of prompt structures and keywords to find a great way to make videos from text.

cinematic videos in runway gen-2

How to Make Cinematic Videos With Runway Gen-2

The Runway Gen-2 text-to-video model can create a clip from basically any description you write. However, you can't expect the AI model to create the scenes you imagined if you don't explain what you want to see in detail. And I'm not talking about writing a very long prompt.

You have only 320 characters (which is on average between 45 and 80 words) to describe the scene you want to create. But you can write a text prompt with all the important details in less than 160 characters. You'll see this in the dozen prompt examples I included in the next section of the article.

I've created a basic framework that enables you to easily create videos from text on the Runway AI platform. But before I explain the process, I want to take a few seconds to mention my Runway AI beginner's guide. If you don't have experience with this platform, I sincerely recommend that you check out my beginner's guide to learn vital information about the Gen-2 model.

The framework I mentioned above consists of five simple steps. You don't have to do all the steps for each prompt, but it's advised to combine at least three of them. Here's the framework:

  1. The first step is to specify a film genre, art style, or aesthetic.
  2. The second step is to explain what the scene is about in the shortest possible way.
  3. The third step is to specify the angle of the shot.
  4. The fourth step involves instructing the AI model on how you want the lighting in the scene to look.
  5. The fifth and final step is to describe the camera view.

This may sound like it's complicated but it's really not. It might take a bit of time for you to get used to, but after writing a few dozen prompts you'll get the hang of it. I'm confident that you'll see this isn't hard to do when you see the prompt examples below.

12 Runway Gen-2 Cinematic Video Prompt Examples

I'll only be sharing text prompts in this article. While I believe that you can make outstanding videos from images on the Runway AI platform, that's an incredibly easy approach. I wanted to do something that's more challenging today. That's why you'll get 12 great text-to-video prompts.

The prompts you'll see here feature a variety of genres and styles. I picked the styles at random and generated dozens of videos to choose the ones I really liked. Let's start with something relatively simple.

prompt #1: film noir aesthetic, low-angle shot in a dimly lit detective's office, harsh shadows and a single desk lamp

When I think of the film noir genre, an image of a detective's office immediately pops into my mind. This is a scene that in my opinion works well with this type of aesthetic. Some of the shapes of the objects in this video may seem a bit off, but overall this is an excellent scene.

prompt #2: futuristic cyberpunk city, aerial shot of a cyberpunk city, neon lights and holographic billboards, slow-moving tracking shot through the city

I really like to see both AI-generated images and videos that feature a cyberpunk aesthetic. Although this may look futuristic, I don't think we're far from seeing big cities around the world transformed into something like what you see in the video above. In fact, some cities already resemble this one.

prompt #3: vibrant 80s disco scene, wide-angle shot in a 80s dance club, vibrant pulsating neon lights

The movement of characters in an AI-generated video is a tough problem to solve. This is especially challenging when there are numerous characters in a single scene. But what would a disco be if it weren't filled with people? This is the type of video that could easily be featured in a music video.

prompt #4: dystopian underground hideout, low-angle shot, dim moody lighting with occasional flickering

I've recently watched the first season of the TV show Silo on Apple TV. I'm not saying that the dystopian hideout featured in the video above resembles the one from the show, but they do share a very similar aesthetic. The colors in this video are something you'd expect to see from a dystopian setting.

The only thing that I would've loved to see here is the occasional flickering that I mentioned in the prompt. But I know that I can't be too picky. The fact that it's even possible to create a video like this using only text is amazing. I just think that the mood of the scene would be so much better if there was flickering.

prompt #5: psychedelic music video scene, wide-angle shot of a lush forest, colorful lighting effects, dynamic shots

Psychedelic colors and effects work great in Runway Gen-2 because the model can start to blur certain parts of a video after a few seconds. This essentially works like a special effect you didn't ask for but perfectly complements the psychedelic aesthetic.

prompt #6: horror aesthetic, haunted mansion, low-angle shot showing an eerie mansion, spooky lighting, tense shots

I could picture a scene like this being used in a horror short film. The lighting is on point and goes along perfectly with the horror aesthetic. The design of the mansion is also stunning. When I make a full short film on the Runway AI platform, it'll most likely be a horror or mystery film.

prompt #7: surreal dream sequence, fantasy aesthetic, close-up shots of a dreamlike setting, shifting and evolving dream lighting, experimental and abstract shots

The movement of the main character in this video doesn't look natural, but that's not really important because it's a surreal dream sequence. It arguably doesn't have to look proper. It's always fun for me to see how an AI model "imagines" something abstract.

prompt #8: cyberpunk night market, sci-fi aesthetic, wide-angle shot in a futuristic night market, neon lights and holographic signs, dynamic shots

I was really impressed with the first cyberpunk-themed video I created for this article, so I decided to do another one. The first one featured an aerial view of the city, so I decided to do something different with this clip. However, when you compare the two you can easily use both of them for a film, commercial, or music video that features this type of aesthetic.

prompt #9: timeless library of lost knowledge, fantasy aesthetic, adventure film aesthetic, medium shots in a grand ancient library, warm soft lighting

One of my dreams is to own a huge library with books that I have collected over the years. Something similar to what's featured in the video above. This will only be possible if I become a millionaire and buy a big mansion. If that happens, I'll probably end up looking like the old man in this video when I retire.

prompt #10: deserted space station, sci-fi aesthetic, horror aesthetic, close-up shots inside an abandoned space station, eerie spaceship lighting, claustrophobic, isolation, mystery

This one kind of reminds me of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I decided to add a few more keywords to this video to set the mood for the scene. I definitely detect a sense of claustrophobia when I'm watching the clip. And it also features an aesthetic that blends both sci-fi and horror genres.

This is another one of those videos that could be a great starting point for a sci-fi short film about an abandoned space station. A film like this wouldn't even have to feature any characters. It could be from a first-person point of view and tell the story of an astronaut exploring this deserted station and looking for clues as to why the crew went missing.

prompt #11: enigmatic carnival at twilight, mystery aesthetic, fantasy aesthetic, medium shots in a mysterious carnival, fantasy lighting

Alright, this video is really creepy. I wanted to see something mysterious and enigmatic, but I didn't expect it to be so chilling. I don't even mind the face of the main character being kind of blurry in some frames because it works well with this aesthetic. The background also looks amazing. I think that the fantasy lighting was a great choice for this video.

prompt #12: neo-noir rainy street scene, medium shots on a rainy dimly lit street, wet streets reflecting neon signs, classic film noir shots

Since I started this article with a film noir video, I felt it was only right to end it with a neo-noir clip. The colors here are quite amazing and the car looks perfect. I was pleasantly surprised to see the car being the main focus in the video since I didn't mention it in my prompt, but it turned out great.

Final Thoughts

I hope that you use my framework to create beautiful cinematic videos with Runway Gen-2. Although it may be easier to create an image in Midjourney and make a video from it, I think that a text prompt can often produce better results.

Although the Runway Gen-2 model can create videos from just about any description, you should be mindful of how you're writing your prompts. Some of the information that should be included in a text prompt for cinematic videos includes a specific aesthetic, camera view, shot angle, and lighting.

It's great to experiment with various genres/aesthetics. That's why I included a lot of variety in today's article. If you're new to the Runway AI platform, you can slightly tweak some of my prompts to see what type of results you'll get. Ideally, you should be writing relatively short prompts that include all the necessary details to produce a great scene.

I included a step-by-step guide on the prompting framework I use in Runway Gen-2, but you're free to change it or come up with your own system. There is no one right way to write prompts. You just have to discover a strategy that works for you and produces good results.

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