May 8, 2020

Meet Miquela, the Fully CGI Actress That CAA Just Signed

Lil Miquela
CAA has signed Lil Miquela, a CGI character who also acts. 

Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the future. CAA has signed Lil Miquela, a 19-year-old Brazilian-American model, musical artist, and influencer with over a million Instagram followers. Oh, and she's completely computer-generated.

Yes, you read that right.

She's not "real."

She is an avatar puppeteered by Brud, an L.A.-based start-up of “engineers, storytellers, and dreamers” who specialize in artificial intelligence and robotics. She was launched on Instagram in April 2016 and today she has 2.2 million followers, plus almost 550,000 on TikTok.

And now, their creation has top-tier representation at CAA. 

Miquela is in this to make money. Brud has inked brand partnerships for Miquela with Samsung, Prada, Calvin Klein, YouTube, and more.

And that doesn't take into account her singing career. 

According to Variety, "CAA will work with Miquela in all areas, including TV, film, and brand strategy and commercial endorsements, raising the prospect of a movie or show featuring the character. WME confirmed that it formerly repped Miquela in partnership with Brud."

So Miquela left one giant agency for another. 

Wild. 

So what does Brud say Miquela can do? They cite her “unique capabilities” as a virtual personality and singer as having "the power to inspire a new generation of entertainment.” 

 Brud reps told Variety, “Miquela, like many artists, uses pitch-correction tools and other software to make sure she’s nailing her performance. She may be a robot but nobody’s perfect.” In an FAQ on Brud’s website, in response to the question “Is Miquela real?”, the company says that she is “As real as Rihanna.”

In 2018, Time magazine named her one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet.

Lil Miquela

2020 is pretty weird and only getting weirder. 

The insertion of CGI performers is just another moment in time. It'll be interesting to see what they can book with her. And if any studios take the leap to cast her in something. She seems tailor-made for a Her-like movie or TV show. 

Adam Friedman, CAA global client strategy executive, said in a statement. “We are excited to jump in and help her navigate the world of television and film, and also see a unique opportunity for innovative, forward-thinking brands to align with a culturally relevant, icon-in-the-making.”

Only time will tell what happens with Miquela.      

Your Comment

27 Comments

This is abysmal. Just because an idea is new or exciting doesn’t mean its moral implications aren’t dire. I’ll stick with following real humans.

May 8, 2020 at 10:24AM

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Paul S
101

agreed. nerds need more friends to avoid making this crap

May 8, 2020 at 6:56PM

77
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I know this is anti-progressive to say, but: this is really stupid. At a time when people are losing connections to each other, implying that we could/should make connections with a fake person seems like the worst idea one can conjure. Where is Hayao Miyazaki to make these people cry? To quote him, "I strongly feel that this is an insult to life itself."

May 8, 2020 at 11:01AM, Edited May 8, 11:01AM

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Jeff Payne
Writer/Director
410

But she's as "real" as any of Miyazaki's characters. She's like any other cgi character, she has to be programmed by real people so how fake can she really be? Hopefully she'll be the Hatsune Miku of the film world and give opportunities for people without the means of a "budget" to get to use an established CGI persona for their stories. Cool!

May 8, 2020 at 1:23PM

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bp
443

I don’t think I’m ready for the next 20 years.

May 8, 2020 at 5:25PM

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This is completely horrendous. This is taking away from people that need to pay their bills n put food on the table. first n foremost real models. F\/ck this garbage. so basically there is over 2 million idiots out there making themselves publicly known by following a fake cartoon character? oh sheesh world is degrading faster than we know it. smh

May 8, 2020 at 6:53PM

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This is terrible CGI. lol

May 8, 2020 at 6:53PM

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Cooper
200

That's my first impression when looking at her eyebrow.
Come one guys, you have to work mouth too.
And this skin?
It's like 10 ears back in CGI. With AI around the corner, why not mixing it with a generated face to get a bit more realistic and acceptable look?

May 9, 2020 at 3:17AM

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visionrouge.com
DoP freelance cameraman 4K HK & Shanghai.
534

This is pretty stupid.
Proof of concept, perhaps, but the CGI is 2000’s game engine at bests.

May 8, 2020 at 10:08PM

7
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Brian
Senior Producer / Graphic Design Artist
266

BRYCE

May 8, 2020 at 10:45PM

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Vincent Gortho
none
1136

My thoughts exactly. It looks like one of the Dead or Alive Xtreme trailers.

May 9, 2020 at 5:56PM

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She is actually real, they just make her look like CGIC for marketing proposes.

May 8, 2020 at 11:45PM, Edited May 8, 11:45PM

10
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... shades of Max Headroom ...

May 9, 2020 at 2:01AM

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What?!?!? Max headroom was not real?

May 15, 2020 at 6:07AM

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We are being boldly steered by a small number of people in silicone valley who want nothing more than to do away with social interaction and flesh and blood in all its awkwardness. I want to remain an animal.

May 9, 2020 at 3:20AM

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Liam Martin
DP, editor, part time director
1294

An Influencer that's not real... kinda makes sense. I'm sure it makes money on TikTok as a good click bait. The mass'ocrity do like their fakies. As a CGI artist it looks like they are not even trying, it looks like a $15 cgi daz3d model download. At least care about the art and the work!

May 9, 2020 at 1:18PM

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Homer Gaijin
Director/DP - DI Supervisor at Panavision
70

Incredibly creepy.

May 9, 2020 at 2:07PM, Edited May 9, 2:07PM

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Dan Earl
147

Just another way to encourage impressionable kids to reach out for unachievable aspirations. Perfect skin. Perfect life. No consequences. That's awesome

May 9, 2020 at 4:12PM

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Who is she influencing?

May 9, 2020 at 4:28PM, Edited May 9, 4:29PM

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Dantly Wyatt
Writer, Director, Content Creator.
937

Didn't Square try this same crap with the main CG character from the Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within? Think this model looks worse than that one from 2000.

May 10, 2020 at 1:10PM

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Ryan Bennett
DP/Director/SoundMixer/Writer
74

Of course she's 19. Not even 29, 19. So all that BS added to the futile cult of youth. Youth have so much to bring us. It's probably somebody younger than 20 who invented the phone, the processor, the computer, the plane, nuclear fission and it's without any doubt somebody younger than 20 who will discover the vaccine against the Covid-19. Insults are added to injuries and it's never ending. It seems, seems to me that the bulk of what is filmed or about to be filmed these days is pure crap from a time belonging to the end of our times.

May 11, 2020 at 2:51AM

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Quite horrid. How could anyone be influenced by this? And anytime her lips are moving makes it painfully obvious how bad this looks. Like Playing the FF7 remake right now. So cheesy.

May 11, 2020 at 7:42AM, Edited May 11, 7:43AM

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Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
1196

I really found nothing appealing or interesting about "Miquela". Her bizarrely symmetrical features look artificial. There is no sparkle, no delight, nothing more interesting than any other CGI character.

May 14, 2020 at 8:51AM, Edited May 14, 8:51AM

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Kippur Kippur
Producer/ Aspiring DP and Director
89

I think she's hot. She makes toe-tapping pop music and it's simply another form of entertainment. The Gorillaz or Banana Splits (google them) were no different.

May 14, 2020 at 9:03AM

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Jordan Brady
Filmmaker
103

The CGI is not top notch.

And the song is shit.

May 14, 2020 at 10:15AM

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The angle here is a pop icon influencing the next generation through entertainment. I think most of us understand that perspective. And I also understand it's hard not to talk about that in light of its popularity, especially with its given demographic. But I feel NFS should also be looking at this in the light of what tech was used and the story that brought the creators to make such a character and continue to create this particular content. Also... who or what is CAA? lol. There is no full descriptor of the acronym in this article. It's OK, I'll just google it.

On a side note, I would follow the instagram account simply to see what kind of challenges are being tackled artistically through each photo. Not so much for the character itself. Kind of reminds me of the implementation of AR nowadays.

May 14, 2020 at 2:31PM, Edited May 14, 2:31PM

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Kyle Culver
Video/VFX Editor
89

Maybe they will add chatbot capabilities. For a good laugh search for Microsoft TAY and the fiasco that followed when an AI chatbot went very bad. Also have you noticed that all the latest generation VR characters and robots seem to be young girls with generic "Asian" characteristics? Rarely do you see examples based upon other racial looks or qualities. I think about the film Her and the guy in a relationship with his chatbot... I could not stand that story! Long live real people! Oh oh, the robots are now being triggered to come for me!

May 15, 2020 at 6:05AM

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