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If you loved "Waking Life"
    #3797806 - 02/18/05 12:04 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

then your will be excited for this!



Inside the production of Richard Linklater's 'A Scanner Darkly'

Richard Linklater's Detour FilmProduction is a hive of activity these days, its warren-like rooms buzzing with dozens of local and far-flung animators, some 35 in all, working in teams and hunched over Wacom tablets connected to Power Mac G5 towers and oversized cinema display monitors. The sight of all this computing power alone is staggering, but the real short, sharp shock comes when you get a look at what the Detour and Flat Black Films conscriptees are working on: It's Linklater's faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel A Scanner Darkly, which is being brought to full paranoid life via Bob Sabiston's gloriously surreal software abilities, which, as in the team's previous Waking Life, utilizes hi-def filmmaking overlayed with a rich, rotoscope-inspired animation. Thirty-plus animators, and, here's the catch, so pay attention: They need more.

This time out, however, Linklater is eschewing the dreamy, existentialist look of that previous film in favor of a more realistic approach; at this early stage, A Scanner Darkly looks for all the world like the world's most breathtaking anim?, drenched in a sort of hyperrealistic, painterly scheme that rests atop the talents of some of the world's finest actors.

"Waking Life was real loose," explains Flat Black animator Mike Layne. "We had each person watch what Rick had done, and then whichever scene seemed to be a match for their animation abilities they could take a stab at.

"With A Scanner Darkly, we're trying to be much more cohesive, because we've got A-list actors and those guys need to be recognizable. If you've got somebody like Robert Downey Jr., who is made of elastic ? there is nothing on him that is stationary at any time ? capturing all of his expressions and doing justice to someone that great an actor is a real challenge. It's interesting to see him in particular, because you never really notice how much goes into acting until you see a guy who is going into the scene that way and you see every little nuance that goes into each little piece of his performance. It's incredibly complex and detailed, and we've really got to capture that in the animation."

The storyline, according to Sabiston, is "about a house full of roommates who are all basically drug addicts, one of whom happens to be an undercover cop assigned to surveil his fellow roommates and discover where the chain of drugs is coming from."

This being a Philip K. Dick adaptation, things are a bit more complicated than that, and Keanu Reeves' Arctor character ? the cop ? suffers a schizophrenic mental break that causes him to begin "narcing on himself," essentially. Read the book, see the movie, but don't plan on playing the board game anytime soon. On the plus side, your dream job has just been announced:

"We're trying to have this movie have more of a unified look than Waking Life," Sabiston says. "It's more of a finely detailed comic book with fine lines and real accuracy, a very polished look. And people who have experience drawing really detailed, accurate portraits of people are who we're looking for." ? Marc Savlov

Keanu Reeves as Arctor in Detour FilmProduction/Warner Independent's production of Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly

Winona Ryder as Donna

(l-r) Animators Greg Geisler and Mike Cervantes use Bob Sabiston's proprietary software to turn Richard Linklater's live action hi-def digital filmmaking into animation by using a Wacom graphics tablet and pen to trace over the original image. Pictured in the frame seen on Geisler's Power Mac G5 are Woody Harrelson and Keanu Reeves. "We've been divided into teams," says animator Mike Layne. "Each team starts off with a scene, people try to nail that particular aesthetic, and then it all becomes a question of speed. Bob's software has evolved tremendously since what we used during Waking Life. He's made it shoot through the roof and people here are still trying to get a grip on how all the tools can work together to do something. It's really unlike anything else that's out there."


Robert Downey Jr. as Barris

Rory Cochrane as Freck

Woody Harrelson as Luckman

Help Wanted

Flat Black Films is seeking fine artists and illustrators to do animation on the Richard Linklater feature A Scanner Darkly. Applicants need to be highly skilled in line drawing, particularly of the human face. Whereas our previous feature, Waking Life, aspired to a painting aesthetic, A Scanner Darkly aims to look more like a finely detailed, well-drawn comic book or graphic novel. Experience with computer animation such as Flash is a plus but not required. If you are willing to work as a local hire in Austin, please send portfolios or examples of artwork to art@flatblackfilms.com or:

mail them


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Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1,296
Re: If you loved "Waking Life" [Re: blink]
    #3797839 - 02/18/05 12:14 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Yes! that animation style is wicked. Plus it's a Philip K Dick story which makes it even better! Even if the reviews are bad I'll probably still see it.

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Psychedelic ZenBuddhist
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Re: If you loved "Waking Life" [Re: moog]
    #3797853 - 02/18/05 12:19 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

The book is one of PKD's best.

Will see it - just a bit iffy about the casting of Reeves and Winona.

"You've got to get hold of the thread of marching time, pull the fuck thing down, get on the end of it and pang yourself to the infinitude of absolute mind"
Ken Campbell - Furtive Nudist

"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced" - Aart van der Leeuw

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Registered: 10/03/04
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Re: If you loved "Waking Life" [Re: theorganicdomino]
    #3797859 - 02/18/05 12:23 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

shit I wish I lived in Austin, I think Im gonna apply for the job anyway. How fucking cool would that be?

Anjaba said:
Oh shit, don't drink it.... It would eat away your esophagus...
mantis said:
Leave me out of this pissing contest, you fascist wang-dang-doodle!
Hattori Hanzo said:
If on your journey, you should encounter God, God will be cut

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Registered: 02/15/05
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Re: If you loved "Waking Life" [Re: theorganicdomino]
    #3797862 - 02/18/05 12:24 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Yeah I think Keanu's a horrible actor. But Winona's such a babe.  :heart:

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Re: If you loved "Waking Life" [Re: blink]
    #3797867 - 02/18/05 12:28 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

i think this looks like it should be pretty cool though, despite Keanu's complete lack of character diversity in his movies (ever notice that he talks the exact same whether he's the hero from Speed or Neo in the Matrix?..)..i mean how could the same guys that made A Waking Life make a bad movie? i've got faith in the creators....i'll be there for this one


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Re: If you loved "Waking Life" [Re: magikcap]
    #3797886 - 02/18/05 12:34 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

I dunno, Neo's a bit of a different character than Ted. (or was he Bill?) :tongue:

I'm definitely gonna have to see this movie, though!


funky ass music: Planet of Dinosaurs // Rich Whiskey

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InvisibleHelp on the Way

Registered: 08/13/00
Posts: 2,893
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Re: If you loved "Waking Life" [Re: blink]
    #3798303 - 02/18/05 02:16 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

cant wait to see it

and yea keano is a horrible actor

:shocked: *Divine Moments of Truth* :shocked:

"Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns - it calls me on and on across the universe" ~ John Lennon

"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right" ~The Grateful Dead

"Religionists, with their guaranteed eventual paradise, of which they know nothing, taking it all on 'faith,' can't be expected to understand or sympathize with those with a yen to storm the Gate of Heaven and see for themselves what all the praying's about!" ~Robert Hunter

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Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 10,920
Re: If you loved "Waking Life" [Re: blink]
    #3798401 - 02/18/05 02:37 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

wow - good find

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It's the psychedelic movement!
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Re: If you loved "Waking Life" [Re: blink]
    #3798710 - 02/18/05 03:51 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)


Woody is the man. Good choice having him involved.


Mp3 of the month: Brain Train - Me

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