It might be a fun game for film fans, but how will “deep fake” technology actually change the future of filmmaking?
In a viral sensation that has been bouncing around the internet, some very popular and very interesting videos have used this budding “Deep Fake” technology to superimpose different people and actors into some of our favorite film scenes.
Found by the Ultimate Action Movie Club, here’s an example of the tech at work replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous intro scene in Terminator 2 with Sylvester Stallone.
Deep Fake Videos
Created by YouTuber Ctrl Shift Face, the video seems harmless enough. It’s kind of fun to see such iconic performers juxtaposed into such a classic cinema moment. (For action movie buffs, it’s also a nice nod to a moment in Schwarzenegger’s Last Action Hero where we see a T2poster with Stallone in the starring role).
However, once you dive deeper into the technology you can see how the potential for fake news or hoaxes to emerge, especially when it’s used to make celebrities (or politicians) appear to say or do things they never would.
What Could Deep Fake Mean for Movies?
The real problem—or opportunity, I suppose depending on how you look at it—that these Deep Fake videos pose to the film industry is just how much it could open up for subjective viewing preferences. In the future, if a person decides that Sylvester Stallone is the only movie star they want to see in films, this technology could be used to make every film they watch appear that way.
Author’s note: Hey, that wouldn’t be that bad, would it?
Actors could simply be placeholders for the likeness of bigger stars, or worse, the most popular internet sensations. Or perhaps, why not put your own face into movies for the ultimate navel-gazing experience.
But then again, maybe movies are already on the way out. Curated streaming content and virtual reality technologies are both on the rise, so maybe no one will care about Deep Fake technology being added to old movies.
On a lighter note, here's another Deep Fake video from Ctrl Shift Face where comedian Bill Hader’s Arnold impression is Deep-faked to be combined with Schwarzenegger’s actual face.