Lucasfilm Hires YouTube Artist Behind ‘Star Wars’ Deepfake E! News UK
A YouTuber famous for making ‘deepfakes’ of scenes from iconic movies and TV shows, including ‘Star Wars’, landed a job at Lucasfilm after wowing bosses at the Disney-owned company.
The digital artist known only as ‘Shamook’ is famous online for using advanced technology to seamlessly map the faces of famous stars onto the bodies of other actors.
Popular videos created by the technical prodigy include the collage of Robert Pattinson’s face on Christian Bale’s Batman and the imagination of a young Mel Gibson had returned in place of Tom Hardy in 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road”.
But his work on the climactic scene of the second season of “The Mandalorian” seemed to particularly impress Lucasfilm.
The ‘Star Wars’ TV series is set five years after the 1983 movie ‘Return of the Jedi’ ended with a surprise appearance from Mark Hamill, who was digitally de-aged to play a young Luke Skywalker again.
Many of Shamook’s 90,000 subscribers felt his amateur reworking of the scene exceeded the official version currently streaming on Disney+.
Lucasfilm’s visual effects team Industrial Light and Magic “is always on the lookout for talented artists and has in fact hired the artist who poses as ‘Shamook,'” a spokesperson said in a statement. press release sent to AFP.
“Over the past few years, ILM has invested in both machine learning and AI as a means to produce compelling visual effects and it has been great to see the momentum building in this space as as technology advances.”
Shamook first revealed the hire on YouTube, telling his followers his new title was “Senior Facial Capture Artist.”
Disney is working on a dozen new “Star Wars” TV series, buoyed by the hit “The Mandalorian,” which was nominated for 24 Emmys and introduced viewers around the world to adorable fan-favorite Baby Yoda.
Several “Star Wars” films are also in the works, including “Rogue Squadron” from “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins, and another being written by Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”).
While similar technologies are increasingly being used for consumer uses such as Hollywood productions, “deepfakes” can also be used to deliberately spread misinformation.