While the recent Netflix release “The Irishman” by Martin Scorsese was known for its extensive use of computer-assisted imagery for de-aging the actors, an amateur deepfake artist from the iFake YouTube channel took everyone by surprise as he generated a much younger-looking and more realistic version of the actors' faces taken from the same movie.
Netflix had to shell out millions of dollars to make the old actors look young in “The Irishman” and while the movie is now up for an Oscar; a deepfake artist improvised on the de-aging done by the movie's CGI work and generated an impressive output without spending a fortune. It is also worth noting that several movie critics, including Movieweb's Kevin Burwick stated that the CGI in “The Irishman” was mediocre.
“A scene showing De Niro's Frank Sheeran, who is supposed to be in his 30s, beating down some mobsters looks more like a 50-year old doing the damage. It is pretty distracting and takes away from some of the greater parts of the movie for some viewers. The new DeepFake video does an excellent job of pulling off what Netflix and ILM could not do,” he said on Movieweb.
In response to the improved version of the deepfake videos, director Joe Carnahan tweeted saying, “All I can say about this, is HOLY SH*T.”
However, a few replies to the aforementioned tweet by the director Carnahan noted that the video with deepfake improved upon the already “de-aged” actors, due to which it cannot be considered a fair comparison.
“They are de-aging the already de-aged footage though. Hardly a fair comparison,” wrote a user, to which Carnahan replied saying, “Then that's what they should have been doing. Results is results, guys. We can say it's 2k and wouldn't hold up, yadda-yadda but the stuff on the right, looks better than the stuff on the left.”
Several Twitter-users expressed the opinion that the deepfakes were exceptional and convincing. “The footage on the right looks amazing and is genuinely more convincing than whats in the movie,” wrote a user.
Deepfakes have seen a great deal of improvement in the recent times. As of now, there is enough technology to make deepfake versions of people's faces and swap them in video footage with almost perfect sync in both dialogue as well as action.