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Two Blade Runner Fan Films, Slice Of Life And Tears In The Rain

There are two short films dong the rounds at the moment, both inspired by Ridley Scott’s seminal 1982 science-fiction release, Blade Runner, which starred Harrison Ford and Sean Young. The first is a quick trailer for the fan film, Slice Of Life, from the Croatian director Luka Hrgovic. It certainly looks the part, recalling the distinct visuals of the original movie through the use of miniatures, matte paintings and rear projections instead of cheaper – and more obvious – computer generated effects (CGI). Three years in the making, so far, it’s been described as a tribute to all those classic sci-fi movies of the 1980s, though hopefully the final product will use some form of the film emulation technique to give it a more cinematic feel (and yes, I know, that process should begin by setting specific frame rates, shutter speeds, depths of field and so on during the actual production).

The second short film is just that, not a quick teaser. From South African filmmaker Christopher Grant Harvey, Tears In The Rain is set in the same cinematic universe as the 1982 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s original post-apocalyptic novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, published way back in 1968.  The eleven minute film was produced on an amazing budget of €1400 ($1500). While the direction perhaps owes more to J. J. Abrams than Ridley Scott it is still impressive stuff.

Of course, Blade Runner 49, the much-hyped official sequel, is due later this year, starring Ryan Gosling in the lead role of Rick Deckard, with Denis Villeneuve directing (and risking his well-earned auteur reputation). Meanwhile, I thought I’d include include a HD version of the 2002 music bootleg, Blade Runner: Esper Edition by “Esper Productions”, which provides a comprehensive Blade Runner soundtrack, including some background audio which was never released. It is perfect background stuff in its own right. Plus, who knew that 1970s’ kaftan-wearing sex symbol Demis Roussos provided guest vocals on two of the movie’s music tracks?!

 

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2 comments

  1. So should one be striving to recreate ‘feel’ of the cinema-reel movie (e.g. why not go the whole hog and add a few scratches and the projectionist’s end-of-reel cues?) or go beyond that to create the best realisation possible of the sci-fi universe/society depicted in the film, just as the original director would no doubt have done, had modern techniques been at his disposal?
    Something of a philosophical question perhaps … or maybe just a matter of taste?

    1. Yes, but film is much more pleasing or familiar to the human eye, if you’ve been raised on it. Remember what happened with Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movie? The lack of cinematic quality, the HD frame-rate, etc. killed it for many movie-goers.

      No doubt there will be a generation in future years who will probably judge old fashioned 24fps projection rates to be unwatchable. They will be so used to 60fps/UHD rates on TV and movies that anything else will appear fake-looking. But we are not there yet.

      On Saving Private Ryan the film stock was desaturated in post-production to give it a more realistic, quasi-1940s’ look. Spielberg did something similar with his War of the Worlds. That is why the movie looks so speckled/splotchy in Blu-ray and why so many purchasers complained, thinking they had bought bad discs. It was just the transfer of the original to 1080 HD highlighted all the fake artefacts used to give the film its look and feel.

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