Deepfakes – What They Are, What They Mean

Video: Deepfakes, What They Are, What They Mean

In this video I addressed deepfakes and where they fit in with new realities. Drawing on inspiration from Shane Dawson, I aimed to make deepfakes appear disconcerting and as something to be wary of. In the brief time frame that I had available, I explained what deepfakes are and what they are capable of, as though I may be speaking to someone with little to no knowledge of them. I kept my language and explanations simple, while also demonstrating potential risks of deepfakes. This is to spread awareness of the fact that sometimes hyperrealistic deepfakes may pose issues in everyday life.

For this video, I wrote a script. This was because there was a lot of specific information that I wanted to cover in a short amount of time. I set the camera to capture me according to the rule of thirds – with my eyes along the top third and my body offset from the center. This was to add interest while also drawing attention to my eyes. I used overlays to conceal certain cuts where I had to edit out mistakes, which also added more to look at than just my face. Examples of this are when I used a sad pug while explaining that something is problematic, and when I used various images of people at laptops to create a visual of average, everyday people creating deepfakes of whoever they wanted. I used overlays while reading Harris Douglas’ quote so that I could read off of my screen without looking away from the camera for too long and losing engagement. I utilised small clips of comedic phrases in order to break up the information and stay true to the brand that I am aiming to build; being fun and relatable. This is seen when I say “No my friends, you are not in a sci-fi movie” and “That’s a comforting name.” For an intro, I took a fast motion video on campus to create a simple background for my title that still had movement in order to aid intrigue. The blue sky and plain white text are appealing to the eye. I added music to the intro that had a somewhat mystifying tone in order to match my mysterious topic. I added a different part of the song to the outro to avoid repetitiveness. I implemented fades into the music so that it wasn’t jarring to the ear.

Throughout this piece I learned how to use a completely different editing software called Resolve 16. It is a rather advanced, free software and I ran into many issues while attempting to use it. Among all of the menus and settings and layouts of things that I’d never seen before and didn’t understand, I had to find the basic editing tools I required and learn how the program best operates in terms of trimming clips, adding subtitles, adding fades to music, title screens and whatever other minor features I was searching for. I solved some of these issues by searching for tutorials on Youtube. Otherwise, I played around with the various buttons and options on the program until I found out how to do something. This was tedious, however I ultimately learned quite well how to use the basic features of the software. When I exported it, however, a subtitle did not load through. It was meant to say “But what if they steal our identities” in order to clarify the mumbled words of the artificially generated voice. I’m not sure why, and this is something I’ll look into next time.

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