Paul McCartney is 79 but in his latest music video released just a few days ago he’s been “de-aged” to appear as the fresh-faced Beatle of yesteryear. Complete with mop top.
The clever deepfake video is promoting Find my Way, a track made in collaboration with Beck that’s on the recently released remix album McCartney III Imagined.
Co-produced by New York-based Hyperreal Digital, which specializes in the creation of hyper-realistic digital avatars, the video shows what appears to be a very youthful McCartney making his way through various hotel corridors and other surroundings.
As he goes, the youthful-looking singer-songwriter pulls a few dance moves, the more extreme of which would surely put the real McCartney’s back out if he tried to take them on himself. Speaking of the real McCartney, see if you can spot his fleeting cameo in the video (clue: It happens in the first minute).
At the end we the young McCartney pull off a mask to reveal Beck underneath. Or is that Beck pulling off a mask to reveal Beck underneath? Decide for yourself.
Commenting on the video, Hyperreal Digital boss Remington Scott said, “The technology to de-age talent and have them perform in creative environments like this is now fully-realized, even with one of the most recognized faces in the world.”
It’s certainly very effective, and will no doubt have had McCartney wishing there really was a way to de-age. But the fact is he’s stuck with being 79. Until he’s 80.
In just a few days, the video has been viewed 2.5 million times. Responses are mostly positive, with many of course commenting on the video tricks. One wrote, “Pretty strange as a younger Beatles fan to have our two worlds collide like this,” while another said, “This is both terrifying and so awesome at the same time, it’s like seeing an alternative universe where Paul is a young pop star in 2021.”
Someone else simply told it like it is: “Youth is fleeting. No one is immune to it, not even Paul.”
Deepfake videos have gained notoriety in recent years as advanced artificial technology paves the way for increasingly realistic creations.
Such videos often get a bad wrap, with nefarious tricksters creating clips to make it look as if someone — often a person in the public eye — is saying or doing something they didn’t, with potentially dangerous misinformation sometimes the result.
But in McCartney’s case, the former Beatle obviously gave the project his backing, with the overall result very impressive indeed. For more weird and wacky deepfakes, take a moment to check out this collection that includes Elon Musk as a baby, and Jim Carrey as The Shining‘s Jack Torrance.