Showing up George Lucas probably isn’t the best way to get hired by Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic. But beating the company at its own effects game has indeed just landed a popular YouTuber known as Shamook his dream job at Lucasfilm’s legendary VFX shop.
For more than a year, Shamook has been sharing his deepfake videos that improve up the technologies being used by major outfits like Marvel, DC, and ILM. In late 2020, he posted a video of ILM’s version of a de-aged Luke Skywalker from The Mandalorian versus his own, and it was clear to the more than 2 million people who have so far watched the comparison that the YouTuber’s was better.
While some companies might respond with a cease and desist letter, ILM took a different approach — they made Shamook a job offer, which he wrote about in the comments section. Now, IndieWire has confirmed with the company that the news is indeed true. A representative for Lucasfilm issued the following statement:
“[Industrial Light and Magic is] always on the lookout for talented artists and have in fact hired the artist that goes by the online persona ‘Shamook,’ Over the past several years ILM has been investing in both machine learning and A.I. as a means to produce compelling visual effects work and it’s been terrific to see momentum building in this space as the technology advances.”
For his part, earlier this month Shamook told his followers: “As some of you may already know, I joined ILM/Lucasfilm a few months ago and haven’t had the time to work on any new YouTube content. Now I’ve settled into my job, uploads should start increasing again. They’ll still be slow, but hopefully not months apart. Enjoy!”
You can watch his original The Mandalorian deepfake below: