by Brandon Butler
Behind the scenes of deepfake TikTok Tom Cruise 3/5/2021

James Vincent has an interview with the @deeptomcruise creator for The Verge:

When a series of spookily convincing Tom Cruise deepfakes went viral on TikTok, some suggested it was a chilling sign of things to come — harbinger of an era where AI will let anyone make fake videos of anyone else. The video’s creator, though, Belgium VFX specialist Chris Ume, says this is far from the case. Speaking to The Verge about his viral clips, Ume stresses the amount of time and effort that went into making each deepfake, as well as the importance of working with a top-flight Tom Cruise impersonator, Miles Fisher.

“You can’t do it by just pressing a button,” says Ume. “That’s important, that’s a message I want to tell people.” Each clip took weeks of work, he says, using the open-source DeepFaceLab algorithm as well as established video editing tools. “By combining traditional CGI and VFX with deepfakes, it makes it better. I make sure you don’t see any of the glitches.”

Unfortunately Ume says the project is done and there won’t be more deepfakes created. The amount of work that went into these short videos really surprised me. While creating deepfakes will undoubtably get easier and faster over time, Ume says he isn’t worried about the future being riddled with fake videos. People learned to identify (or at least distrust) suspicious photos that have been Photoshopped, and we’ll learn to identify and distrust deepfakes, too, he says.