In the world of YouTube’s movie spoofs, production goofs, and reviews, deepfake is the newest to join the family. It is a digital media technique where a person’s face is added to replace another person’s face in a video to make it seem like the former is a part of the video/movie instead of the latter. Sounds confusing? Let us break it down for you through an example. Putting Leonardo DiCaprio’s face in the Mission Impossible series in place of Tom Cruise or putting Tom Cruise’s face in place of Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie Titanic. The technique through which you do this is called deepfake.
What is Deepfaking?
In the modern movie world, deepfaking is not used for what we mentioned earlier. In fact, it’s not even called deepfaking. They actually use CG lighting and VFX. Not to morph actors’ faces exactly but to ‘de-age’ them and make them seem like a younger version of their own selves. The most iconic example is the 10 time Oscar nominee movie “The Irishman” where Martin Scorsese used VFX to de-age Robert De Niro for a lot of years. George Miller was considering casting Charlize Thompson to reprise her role for his “Mad Max: Fury Road” prequel movie but ended up casting Anya Taylor Joy to play Furiosa because the director believes the de-aging VFX technique is not at a proficient level so far.
Who is Shamook?
A prominent personality in YouTube’s deepfaking world is a YouTuber who goes by the name Shamook. He has close to seventy-eight thousand subscribers on the video-sharing platform. One of his most popular videos includes putting the face of Mark Thompson in the movie Solo: A Star Wars Story. But that’s not why Lucas Films hired Shamook as their “Senior Facial Capture Artist”. You will have to read on to find out more.
How did Shamook end up with this job?
In the final scene of the finale episode of The Mandalorian’s second season, we see the lone bounty hunter Din Djarin finally saving Grogu (or Baby Yoda) and sending him to Jedi training with another Jedi who is actually the iconic Luke Skywalker. To make Mark Hamilton look like a younger Luke Skywalker, the makers used the de-aging VFX thing. But, fans and critics pointed out that the VFX was very heavy and they were unhappy with how it turned out.
Shamook came to the disappointed fans’ rescue like he always does and put out a video of what he calls a better de-aging job in the episode. Lucas Films came across the video and judging from what they did after that, it is safe to say they were pretty impressed. IndieWire got a statement from a Lucas Films representative that said “[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’”.
What was Shamook’s reaction?
He put out a comment on social media where he seemingly confirmed the news. He mentioned that since he has been hired by ILM/Lucasfilms, it has been hard for him to find time to work on his YouTube channel. He adds that now he is settled at his new job and will start putting out videos now. They will probably be not as frequent, but neither will they be months apart. We wish you all the best Shamook!