Using deepfake technology on an Alcoholics Anonymous documentary for the BBC provided the necessary privacy to its members, allowing them to freely talk to the camera, while preserving their anonymity.
Deepfake uses machine learning to build ‘models’ of human faces from data. For this documentary, the acquisition of the three actors was carefully managed, both environmentally and structurally, to ensure optimal results. After harvesting this video imagery, it was fed to the deepfake software, which used AI algorithms to identify facial expressions from the clip and match to data in the learned model. The software then replaced the face in each individual frame to create a ‘mask’ of the learned model imitating the performance. This was then composited onto the source clip to create the deepfake.
Working collaboratively with Daisybeck Studios, we were involved at every stage of production to make the most efficient use of the shooting time available and create highly believable deepfakes.
Watch “I’m An Alcoholic: Inside Recovery” on BBC iPlayer.
Creative Directors: Duncan Malcolm
Lead Deepfake / VFX Artist: Anthony Laranjo
VFX Assist: Sean Moran
Chief Operating Officer: Duncan Buxton
Producer: Andrew Patrick