Inside the strange new world of being a deepfake actor

Last updated on October 13, 2020

The MIT Technology Review has this very interesting article on the new and growing industry of casting and acting for deepfake videos. This new take on celebrity impersonators.

While deepfakes have now been around for a number of years, deepfake casting and acting are relatively new. Early deepfake technologies weren’t very good, used primarily in dark corners of the internet to swap celebrities into porn videos without their consent. But as deepfakes have grown increasingly realistic, more and more artists and filmmakers have begun using them in broadcast-quality productions and TV ads. This means hiring real actors for one aspect of the performance or another. Some jobs require an actor to provide “base” footage; others need a voice.

For actors, it opens up exciting creative and professional possibilities. But it also raises a host of ethical questions. “This is so new that there’s no real process or anything like that,” Burgund says. “I mean, we were just sort of making things up and flailing about.”

Go here to read the full article from the MIT Technology Review (article reading limit paywall).