To promote a show or movie, studios can get quite creative. Last Wednesday (March 22), Showtime uploaded a deepfake video to promote Yellowjackets, making MTV reporter Kurt Loder back to what he looked like in the 1990s. In an interview with Insider, ex-MTV journalist and now the vice president of Legion Creative, Steve Isaacs broke down how it was created.
The Yellowjackets deepfake video (seen below) transports audiences to the time that the past sequences of the thriller series take place. The reporter gives info that it has been three months since the disappearance of the New Jersey soccer team, who were on a flight to Seattle for a national match. He then teases upcoming stories about mad cow disease and an interview with Alanis Morissette, who got off her Jagged Little Pill tour to promote her 1995 album of the same name.
How it was created was taking the journalist in clothes he would have worn at that time and filming him doing the news read. A team of visual effects artists, sound engineers, and programmers spent three months on the project. A data set mapped out his face while the sound team tweaked his voice to sound lower like it had back in the 90s, as the 77-year-old New Jersey native sounds different now. Between hand-crafted work and AI, the team was able to de-age the journalist to what he looked like over 25 years ago.
Yellowjackets nails nostalgia with deepfake video of MTV reporter Kurt Loder
Watching the scenes in the past of the Showtime thriller certainly is a nostalgic trip. From Nirvana to clothing, there is a bit of everything to take people back to that decade. With over a million views, commenters of the Yellowjackets deepfake video applauded it for capturing the look and feel of broadcast news from the era.
The idea of the Yellowjackets deepfake was largely due to the possible reaction it would receive from the audience. Isaacs said his “dream was that people would leave the TV on and all of a sudden go, ‘Wait, what is even happening?’ He also wanted people to “feel time and space is eating itself.”
The series currently is running its second season. New episodes arrive every Friday on Showtime and Paramount Plus. If subscribed to Showtime, you can watch it on Amazon Prime Video.