Lionsgate removed more than 30 F-bombs from the movie 'Fall' using deepfake technology

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,656   +1,122
Staff member
In context: Despite getting a mostly bad rap, deepfake technology does have legitimate uses in Hollywood. Using machine learning to sync actors' lips to alternate soundtracks — foreign languages, for example — can make a film less distracting for the audience. Lionsgate recently used it to remove F-words from a movie to improve its MPAA rating.

The upcoming film "Fall" by Director Scott Mann found itself in a pickle when the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rated it R for US audiences. Evidently, the MPAA took offense to all the F-bombs. It was unfortunate because they wanted a PG-13 to keep it open to a broader audience.

"When we were filming the movie, we didn't know if we were R or if we were PG-13, so I said the F-word so many times," co-star Virginia Gardner told Variety. "I think [director Scott Mann] wanted to kill me in post when we were trying to get a PG-13 rating."

The restricted rating was bad news because the low $3 million budget didn't allow for reshooting scenes.

"For a movie like this, we can't reshoot it. We're not a big tentpole… we don't have the resources, we don't have the time, more than anything else," said Mann. "What really saved this movie and brought it into a wider audience was technology."

As luck would have it, in addition to directing the film, Mann is the founder and co-CEO of Flawless AI. Flawless uses neural networks and machine learning to seamlessly dub movies, typically to voice them in other languages. The AI can sync actors' lips to an alternate audio track.

Flawless sells its services to the film industry, but with Mann at the helm of Fall, the producers at Lionsgate certainly got a hefty discount. Mann notes that the post-production dubbing only took two weeks. The results remain to be seen, but judging by the company's showreel above, audiences should not even notice Gardner's "fricks" were actually "f*cks."

Deepfake tech has been a somewhat controversial subject. Opponents fear that bad actors could use it to make propaganda showing trusted elected officials making statements that never really occurred. It has also already been used to create sex scenes by seamlessly (almost) fusing celebrities' faces onto porn actresses' bodies. At least Flawless AI found a legitimate and practical purpose for the technology.

Fall is about two women who climb to the top of a radio tower in the middle of nowhere and get stuck with no easy way down. It stars Virginia Gardner (American Horror Stories), Grace Fulton (Shazam!), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead). It premiers This weekend starting Friday.

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Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,656   +1,122
Staff member
If the director can't get his actors to deliver lines as written, or at least stay close to the intent, then he's failed as a director.
Yes, it definitely sounds like there was some ambiguity going on on set. Almost as if Mann didn't even know what rating they wanted because certainly if he had known they were shooting PG-13 he would have cut the scene and told the actress to not use the F-word.

EDIT: Plus, until just now I didn't even realize that Mann WROTE THE F**KIN' SCRIPT!
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Posts: 1,838   +1,909
If the director can't get his actors to deliver lines as written, or at least stay close to the intent, then he's failed as a director.
You'll be hard-pressed to find any Hollywood director that doesn't consider a script more than a loose guideline. As the old truism goes, every film has three versions: the one that's written, the one that's directed, and the one that appears on-screen after post. (editing).


Posts: 1,716   +884
They want to sterilize entertainment. Good. All people
ever want are bland soulless TV and movies.
And then it is very strange when movies that
receive top scores from professional reviews
don't attract much viewers.


Posts: 3,740   +6,497
So its going to be utterly boring drivel and it's going to set off the uncanny valley effect. Great.

May as well wait for the unedited directors cut thats actually possibly worth watching instead of this edited **** show.

Just embrace the R rating already!

Also, this kind of tech should horrify audiences, since its only a matter of time before hollywood starts using this tech to replace actor dialog with *politically approved current year* replacements. It'll be like trying to find the OG star wars film, but with every subsequent version covered in corporate stickers and sick from a bucket.


Posts: 817   +802
The F word doesn't mean anything anymore though it's still vulgar and base for public consumption though. I say it to myself


Posts: 1,297   +950
The F word doesn't mean anything anymore though it's still vulgar and base for public consumption though. I say it to myself

It's always good for a laugh when a prim and proper grandma says it out aloud .

I do take your point - using it for the sake of using it - just sounds tacky .
I met an german backpacker with so so english using it as an adjective before every verb and noun - sounded horrible - only the Irish can make it sound fine with soft natural brogue

Overuse lessens their power mf this mf that - you are better to make an insult oddly specific and novel
Though a good full diaphragm F O or F O C can convey surprising power


Posts: 230   +160
They want to sterilize entertainment.

Sterilize? Depends who are they censoring. For example, just count the word "(b)itch" in an average rap / hip-hop song. You'll need something that displays 2-digit numbers. But you don't hear anyone complaining. Even the feminists are okay with that.

Weird, ha? Because they normally jump at everything. They even call men who sleep with lots of women "misogynist". Which is incredibly funny. Like calling someone who is swimming in ocean every day an ocean-hater.

At the same time, other people can say "(b)itch" any number of times, or call them "hoes" every 5 minutes, and never be called misogynists. So, when you say "sterilize entertainment" it only applies to certain people. Others can say whatever they want.
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