Deepfakes are all the rage, but they could also get you hired.
When the series finale of The Mandalorian premiered, everyone was abuzz about the appearance of Luke Skywalker at the end. The CGI was seen as revolutionary, if not a little premature. But the idea that they could recreate a younger Mark Hamill was a big deal. Still, a few days later, some industrious people downloaded the episodes and began to deepfake them on their own, showing the power of what artists can do at home.
One of those people was YouTuber Shamook, who posted this video to show how he thought the character should look.
Well, two million people viewed that video and one (or more) of them worked at LucasFilm. Instead of being upset or annoyed, they saw great talent and extended a job offer.
Shamook announced in the comments section, “As some of you may already know, I joined ILM/Lucasfilm a few months ago and haven’t had the time to work on any new YouTube content... Now I’ve settled into my job, uploads should start increasing again. They’ll still be slow, but hopefully not months apart. Enjoy!”
ILM confirmed his hiring in a statement, saying, “[Industrial Light and Magic is] always on the lookout for talented artists and have in fact hired the artist that goes by the online persona 'Shamook'... Over the past several years ILM has been investing in both machine learning and A.I. as a means to produce compelling visual effects work and it’s been terrific to see momentum building in this space as the technology advances.”
We've seen deepfakes take all of Hollywood by storm. We saw de-aging tech on Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, and there are rumors about it being used in Indiana Jones 5. We've even seen it used in Star Wars before, with Princess Leia showing up in Rogue One along with Grand Moff Tarkin. Fans have a love/hate relation to it, with many citing the uncanny valley that makes these digital characters off-putting.
Either way, I love that someone working at home could get a job just from perfecting these kinds of deepfake technologies. What's your take on it? Let us know in the comments.