There’s no question the videos are really good. When scanned through several of the best publicly available deepfake detection tools, they avoided discovery. That led many to claim that a new threshold had been reached in deepfake sophistication, and that social media would soon be overwhelmed with similar videos. But that kind of analysis fails to take into account the amount of time, money, and skill it took to produce these videos.
They are the work of Belgian visual effects artist Chris Ume, who is part of a group known as Deep Voodoo Studio, a team of the world’s best deepfake artists assembled by the creators of the hit TV show “South Park,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The team worked with English actor Peter Serafinowicz to produce a 2020 YouTube show called “Sassy Justice,” which featured multiple deepfakes of celebrities and politicians. The Tom Cruise TikTok videos required not only the expertise of Ume and his team but also the cooperation of Miles Fisher, a well-known Tom Cruise impersonator who was behind a viral video in 2019 that purported to show Cruise announcing his candidacy for the 2020 election. Ume has even detailed some of the highly complex and involved technical processes he had to go through to produce previous deepfakes.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.