Lionsgate “Fall” used deepfake-style technology to alter more than 30 F-Bombs

The filmmakers behind indie action thriller Fall were faced with one hell of a problem.

Lionsgate wanted to pick up the film for US theatrical release. But “Fall,” a dizzying hit about two young women in danger of falling from the top of a 2,000-foot radio tower, was riddled with F-bombs – which would result in an R rating, cramping the box-office hit for that spasm Small budget picture.

The producers of “Fall,” which had a production budget of about $3 million, couldn’t afford to reshoot all the scenes where the petrified tower climbers yelled “fuck” (along with various permutations).

The solution? Scott Mann, who directed and co-wrote Fall, turned his attention to the artificial intelligence synchronous technology system being developed by London-based Flawless, of which he is also co-CEO.

According to Mann, in post-production, the Flawless team changed more than 30 F-Bombs to PG-13-acceptable epithets (like “Freaking”) throughout the film, along with a few other lines of dialogue.

Founded in 2021, Flawless originally developed its AI-based TrueSync system to provide a better synchronization solution for films translated into other languages. TrueSync applies the same principles used to create “deepfakes,” altering actors’ facial expressions and mouth movements to match the alternate spoken dialogue (a process the startup calls “vubbing”). Mann realized that the Flawless engine could also be used to clean up the F-words in his film.

“With a film like this, we can’t reshoot it. We’re not a big tent pole…we don’t have the resources, we don’t have the time, more than anything,” Mann said of the film in a behind-the-scenes video feature. “What really saved this film and made it accessible to a wider audience was the technology.”

Fall stars Grace Caroline Currey (Shazam!), Virginia Gardner (Marvel’s Runaways), Mason Gooding (Scream) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead).

“When we were shooting the movie, we didn’t know if we were R or PG-13, so I said the F-word so many times that I think Scott wanted to kill me on the post when we were trying to do a PG-13.” rating,” Gardner said. Currey said she couldn’t tell which of her scenes were re-dubbed: “As far as I know, every move my mouth made in that movie, my mouth made.”

Fall opens in theaters on Friday, August 12th. The MPA rated the film’s final cut a PG-13 for “gory imagery, intense danger, and strong language.”

Mann and his team shot the Imax film in the Shadow Mountains of California’s Mojave Desert. Reshooting the F-word scenes would have cost millions of dollars and taken several weeks, if not months. According to Mann, the Flawless team performed the “neuronal reshoots” over a period of two weeks during the final stages of post-production.

In “Fall,” best friends Becky (Currey) and Hunter (Gardner) climb an abandoned radio tower to scatter the ashes of Becky’s late husband (Gooding). But when parts of the rickety ladder break off from the derelict tower, Becky and Hunter are stranded. The women’s expert climbing skills – and their friendship – will be put to the ultimate test as they wage a desperate battle to survive the elements, vulture attacks and a shortage of supplies to make it out of the tower alive.

Pictured above: Virginia Gardner in “The Fall” Lionsgate “Fall” used deepfake-style technology to alter more than 30 F-Bombs

Charles Jones

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