“Deep Fake” is the term used for a set of CGI technologes used to create fake videos by replacing the faces of actors with other people. Its roots go back to the early 90s, when commercials first made use of digital technology to insert dead celebrities like Louis Armstrong, Groucho Marx and Fred Astaire into commercials where they interacted with current celebs to hawk products like Diet Coke, Coors and Dirt Devil.
As more advances in computer generated imagery were made, and entire feature films were created using motion capture (Polar Express, Monster House, etc), the idea of bit-mapping a famous person’s face onto that of another performer took off, and a whole new and sometimes sinister art form evolved.
In the last week we’ve had two great examples of this technology at work. The our first video this week is “Sassy Justice,” a faux consumer reports show from Cheyenne, Wyoming created by Matt Parker and Trey Stone of South Park fame, along with Peter Serafinowicz, and actor and voice artist who also works on South Park. In this video, the host of the show has a face borrowed from a certain failed embarrassment of a president, while we also see fake versions of Al Gore as himself, and Mark Zuckerberg as the proprietor of a crooked dialysis clinic. Plus we get to see a seven-year-old girl as the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner and Princess Diana shows up for no reason.
Below that you will see the creepy new video from Danny Elfman for his song, “Happy”. This uses some of the same technology to create a disturbing and not-safe-for-work music video using a distored image of Elfman’s face as its starting point.