In context: despite a bad reputation, deepfake technology has legitimate uses in Hollywood. Using machine learning to lip-sync actors to alternative soundtracks — foreign languages, for example — can make a movie less entertaining for audiences. Lionsgate recently used it to remove the F-words from a movie to boost its MPAA rating.
Director Scott Mann’s upcoming “Fall” movie landed in a pickle when the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rated it R for American audiences. Obviously the MPAA took offense to all the F-bombs. It was unfortunate because they wanted a PG-13 to keep it open to a wider audience.
“When we were making the movie, we didn’t know if we were R or if we were PG-13, so I said the F-word so many times,” co-star Virginia Gardner told Variety. ” I think [director Scott Mann] wanted to kill me in office as we tried to get a PG-13 rating. »
The restricted rating was bad news because the low budget of $3 million did not allow for reshoots.
“For a movie like this, we can’t do it again. We’re not a big tentpole…we don’t have the resources, we don’t have the time, more than anything else,” Mann said. “What really saved this film and brought it to a wider audience was technology. »
Luckily, in addition to directing the film, Mann is the founder and co-CEO of Flawless AI. Flawless uses neural networks and machine learning to copy movies seamlessly, usually to express them in other languages. The AI can lip-sync the actors to another audio track.
Flawless sells its services to the film industry, but with Mann leading Fall, the producers at Lionsgate have certainly gotten a deep discount. Mann notes that the post-production dub only took two weeks. The results remain to be seen, but judging by the company’s showreel above, audiences shouldn’t even notice that Gardner’s “fricks” were actually “f*cks.”
Deepfake technology has been a somewhat controversial topic. Opponents fear bad actors could use it for propaganda showing trusted elected officials making statements that never really happened. It has also been used to create sex scenes by (almost) seamlessly merging the faces of celebrities onto the bodies of porn actresses. At least Flawless AI has found a legitimate and practical purpose for the technology.
Fall is about two women who climb to the top of a radio tower in the middle of nowhere and get stuck with no easy way down. It stars Virginia Gardner (American Horror Stories), Grace Fulton (Shazam!) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead). It premieres this weekend starting Friday.