Trey Parker and Matt Stone go deeper into Deep Voodoo.
The creators of “South Park” have secured a $20 million investment for their AI entertainment startup Deep Voodoo. The fund was led by Connect Ventures, an investment partnership between CAA and venture-capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA). This is the first outside capital raised by Deep Voodoo, which was previously fully financed by Parker & Stone’s independent entertainment company, Park County.
Stone and Parker plan to use the new funding to “accelerate the development of Deep Voodoo’s leading deepfake technology, cost-effective visual effects services and original synthetic media projects.”
“We stumbled upon this amazing technology and hired the best deepfake artists in the world,” Stone said in a statement. “We are focused on sharing their brilliance with the Hollywood creative community.”
In early 2020 Stone and Parker’s Deep Voodoo began developing their proprietary deepfake technology, and the pair brought together a team of artists for a feature film about Donald Trump they were developing. In October of that year, they released “Sassy Justice,” a 14-minute comedy short featuring a deep-faced Trump (voiced by Peter Serafinowicz), which went viral. But due to covid pandemic they postponed the movie project and identified Deep Voodoo as supplier of deepfake tools in the industry.
Deep Voodoo provided the VFX for Kendrick Lamar’s “The Heart Part 5” music video for release in May 2022, where Lamar’s face morphs into the faces of OJ Simpson, Juicy Smollett, Nipsey Hustle, Kobe Bryant and Kanye West.
“Deep Voodoo has established itself as a leading synthetic media technology platform that has already impacted traditional entertainment,” said Connect Ventures’ Michael Blank, who heads consumer investments at CAA. “Deep Voodoo uses artificial intelligence to support production in innovative ways that are faster and more cost-effective than traditional VFX technologies. Connect Ventures is thrilled to lead the investment in Deep Voodoo, providing unique access to the resources and relationships of CAA and NEA.”
With the investment from Connect Ventures, Deep Voodoo announced it will begin providing “unparalleled face-swapping visual effects” to artists, producers and creators across the industry.