The TikTok account that gathered actor Tom Cruise’s deepfakes caused astonishment by the quality of the videos, which leave few clues that they are montages. However, the creator of these works has minimized the impact of the clips — and he doesn’t think they are as dangerous as they seem.
The responsible for the videos is the special effects artist Chris Ume, a Belgian who has already done similar works putting the faces of famous people in different situations. He was interviewed by the website The Verge, explaining the works better and giving an opinion on the current situation of artificial intelligence.
“You can’t just do that with the push of a button. This is important, it’s a message I wanted to get across to people. By combining traditional CG and visual effects with deepakes, I made it better. I made sure you guys wouldn’t see the flaws.” , explains.
According to Ume, each video took “weeks” of work using a professional video editing algorithm and tools. Also according to the artist, the profile achieved its objective of entertaining and making the public aware of the existence of deepfakes, in addition to being a portfolio for the professional himself. TikTok won’t delete the account, as it makes it clear it’s a parody — and Tom Cruise himself recently opened his own account there.
In terms of behind the scenes, he even explained how he went about recreating Tom Cruise. The secret was to use a colleague, a lookalike of the star named Miles Fisher, who over time was able to study and imitate the actor’s gestures and impressions, greatly facilitating the work of deepfake.
Despite the criminal use in case of pornographic videos or to create montages for political use, for example, Ume does not believe in a negative impact of deepfakes. However, he acknowledges that this technology “is here to stay” and that “everyone believes in them”.
“It’s like Photoshop twenty years ago. People didn’t know what photo editing was, and now they know about these fakes,” he adds.