Lucasfilm Hired the YouTuber Who Used Deepfakes to Tweak Luke Skywalker ‘Mandalorian’ VFX

YouTube is full of deepfake videos trying to enhance polarizing visual effects in movies, but rarely do these videos lead to actual studio jobs. A popular deepfake YouTuber by the name of "Shamook" announced in the comments section of one of his videos this month that he has joined the team at Lucasfilms Industrial Light and Magic. IndieWire has now confirmed the hiring at Lucasfilm. The news is noteworthy as one of Shamook's most viral videos is a deepfake that enhances the VFX used in the season two finale of "The Mandalorian" to deprecate Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker. The video has nearly 2 million views on YouTube.
"[Industrial Light and Magic is] always on the lookout for talented artists and has actually hired the artist who wears the online personality 'Shamook'," a Lucasfilm representative said in a statement. “In recent years, ILM has invested in both machine learning and AI. as a means of producing compelling visual effects, and it was great to see dynamism develop in this area with the advancement of technology. "
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"As some of you may already know, I joined ILM / Lucasfilm a few months ago and didn't have time to work on any new YouTube content," Shamook wrote in a comment this month. “Now I've settled into my job, the uploads should increase again. They'll still be slow, but hopefully not months apart. Enjoy!"
Shamook released his deepfake video "Mandalorian" Luke Skywalker on December 21, after completing work on the clip in just four days. While many “Star Wars” fans were delighted to see a young Luke Skywalker appear in the second season finale of “The Mandalorian,” the character's final VFX-heavy look drew criticism. Aging VFX technology continues to polarize, which is one reason George Miller chose to cast Anya Taylor-Joy to play Furiosa in his prequel film "Mad Max: Fury Road". The director considered repeating the role of Charlize Theron, but decided against it because the aging technology was not yet up to date.
Perhaps the most notable use of de-aging VFX technology came with the release of Martin Scorsese's 10-time Academy Award nominee "The Irishman," who used VFX to de-age Robert De Niro by decades. The de-aging process split the critics and resulted in yet another viral video for Shamook. The YouTuber's video using deepfakes to optimize The Irishman's VFX has been viewed over 1.2 million times.
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