Deepfaking news of a lunar disaster

A deeply creepy film that first emerged during the latter part of 2019 and that was due to receive wide exposure at this year’s now postponed of cancelled film festivals is gaining wider exposure

In Event of Moon Disaster uses deep fakes to reimagine the Apollo 11 moon landing as a disastrous mission that cost Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin their lives. The film is based on a contingency speech that has recently resurfaced that was written for President Nixon should something go seriously wrong.

In Event of Moon Disaster is an immersive art project inviting you into an alternative history, asking us all to consider how new technologies can bend, redirect and obfuscate the truth around us.

To construct the story a variety of techniques of misinformation were used – from simple deceptive editing to more complex deepfakes technologies.

To recreate the contingency speech, the piece used deep learning techniques to create both a synthetic voice of Nixon and to use dialogue replacement techniques to replicate the movement of Nixon’s mouth and lips.

By creating this alternative history the project explores the influence and pervasiveness of misinformation and deepfake technologies in our contemporary society.

The video shows a deepfake that was created and trained using archive footage of Nixon. The source material is a real actor reading the actual speech.