Eight hours of rain and the "Blade Runner Blues" is the soundtrack we need, here in the cyberpunk now

I posted this on Adafruit yesterday, but I've been digging it so much, I wanted to share it here on Boing Boing, too. This is eight hours of "perpetual rain" and Vangelis' "Blade Runner Blues," taken from the soundtrack to the film.

It's gorgeous and relaxing music to work to, sleep to, or continuously wafting through the rooms and hallways of your under-quarantine hab unit.

The channel this video is from has dozens of other ambient Blade Runner offerings (“’I’ve seen things …’ – Tears in Rain ambiance (1 hour),” “The ambient sounds of the city, 2019,” “Deckard’s apartment sounds (12 hours),” and many more.)

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Blade Runner-inspired cocktail machine features that Orson Welles' Japanese whisky ad

A super-cool robotic bartender inspired by Blade Runner's Voight-Kampff machine? With an ordering menu screen that shows old Japanese whisky ad starring Orson Welles (giving a "dash of Tokyo-dystopian-future-retro weirdness")?

Yes! Enter the VK-01 Off-World Bartender.

Its creator, Donald Bell of Maker Project Lab, explains:

The year is 2040, and you could use a good drink. People say the best drinks are made in the off-world colonies, by robot bartenders programmed only to serve the elite. Lucky for you, one of those robot bartenders never made it off-world. If you can make it past its security system, you’ll be drinking like an outer space aristocrat.

That’s the concept behind the VK-01 off-world bartender, my Blade Runner-inspired cocktail machine. This machine was my second entry into the Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge, an annual event in San Francisco where machines are judged on their ingenuity, popularity, and the quality of their drinks.

It’s one of my favorite events. It’s like a Maker Faire without the kids, where every exhibit dispenses alcohol. Sadly, this year it was canceled for COVID. But by the time I heard about the cancellation, I was too deep into this build to give up. I figured, at least it’ll make a good Instructable! So here we are.

Over at Instructables, he shares how he made it using two Raspberry Pi computers, three Arduino boards, booze, lots of know-how and more. Read the rest

'Blade Runner' opening redone with aerials of illegal Los Angeles fireworks

Fireworks are illegal in Los Angeles, but that doesn't stop the whole city from shimmering with home-grown displays on July 4. Thanks to a recut by Mike Dent, KTLA's viral footage of this year's especially impressive showing looks a lot like the classic Blade Runner opening. Read the rest

LA cityscape with fireworks goes full Blade Runner

Video editor Mike Dent posted this video to Twitter showing the LA skyline on July 4th, fireworks ablaze, to the tune of Vangelis' 1982 Blade Runner soundtrack.

The footage was from KTLA.

More LA as real-world Blade Runner. [H/t Laurie Fox]

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Watch this wild fan-made "Blade Runner" mash-up short film

Blade Runner already had a reputation for its various edits, between the theatrical cut, Ridley Scott's director's cut, and the various special editions that exist. But now filmmaker Leon Chase has taken it another step further with Blade Runner: The Lost Cut, a uniquely postmodern take on the canon. As the Verge describes it:

The Lost Cut is a recut version of Blade Runner created by splicing in other films that star Blade Runner cast members, plus more films starring those films’ co-stars, resulting in a masterfully edited cinematic rabbit hole where Rick Deckard is hunting down a cast of replicants including Gene Hackman (via The Conversation, one of Harrison Ford’s first films), Steve Martin (via The Jerk,which stars M. Emmet Walsh, who plays Deckard’s boss Bryant), and John Belushi (via The Blues Brothers,which features Ford’s Star Wars co-star Carrie Fisher).

The film follows Blade Runner’s broad story beats, but its narrative drifts wherever the added footage leads, like some kind of Burroughsian cut-up version of Ridley Scott’s film.

It's worth noting that this mash-up masterpiece is the direct result of coronavirus quarantine. People are finding themselves with too much time on their hands … and sometimes, in a weird way, maybe that's a good thing.

Watch the weird cinematic rabbit hole that is Blade Runner: The Lost Cut [Adi Robertson / The Verge] Read the rest

Classic Blade Runner video game is coming to consoles

It wasn't all that long ago that Westwood Studios Blade Runner adventure game for Windows computers became available again for the first time since the late 1990s. For decades, the game's source code and other assets were thought to have been lost by Westwood, due to a series of unfortunate events. But it turned out that this wasn't the case—you can currently pick up a DRM-free copy over at GOG, which is super nice.

Wanna know what's nicer still?

From Engadget:

After it recently became available to purchase again following years of legal and technical turmoil, the 1997 Blade Runner PC adventure game is about to be remastered for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. Nightdive Studios, the developer behind the recent System Shock and Turok remasters, revealed the Enhanced Edition's existence in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. What's more, you'll be able to play it later this year.

The studio is calling the remaster a "polished and premium restoration." They say it will feature updated models, animations and cutscenes. Moreover, it will support widescreen resolutions, and you'll be able to tweak the controls to your liking.

Making the port-to-modern-platforms magic happen took some serious reverse-engineering of the game's source code by Nightdive Studios.

I don't have any time in my life for shitty movie reboots, but I love seeing great, older games being brought back from the dead. It provides an opportunity for old gamers, like me, to relish a favorite title from my youth and gives younger folks an idea of what their favorite hobby was like when it was in its infancy. Read the rest

The magic of movie miniatures via the Slice of Life fan film

Slice of Life is a crowdfunded fan film that takes place in a Blade Runner-like universe and is presented as a "love letter" to 80s sci-fi films in general. Years in the making, the team finally sent their Kickstarter backers digital copies over Christmas. As soon as all of their backers get their hard copies (DVDs and Blu-Ray), the film will be made available online.

During the production process, the Slice of Life team posted lots of great video diaries on YouTube, forming something of a master class in low-budget sci-fi film-making. In the above 35-minute video, Luka gives us an impressively informative run-through of the process of building and shooting miniature structures.

Starting with nothing more than a crappy cardboard box, some kitchen trash, electronic junk, and a few plastic model and 3D-printed bits, he builds a cyberpunk-y building and then shows how they went about filming and compositing everything into a final scene. Impressive.

Here's the trailer for the film:

[H/t Kevin Kelly] Read the rest

A legendary point-and-click adventure game has found a new life online.

I remember buying Westwood Studios (miss those guys) point-and-click Blade Runner game to play on my old ThinkPad, back in the late 1990s. It was the first game I can recall owning that spanned multiple disks. While I was surprised to find that the main character in the game neither looked or sounded like Harrison Ford—I didn't know much about how licensing and actor's contracts worked at the time—I was completely hooked from the first time that I turned it on. I finished the game multiple times over the years until, sadly, a friend that I lent the game to moved out of province without returning it to me. By then, I'd moved on to other games and had tired of changing discs just to travel from one area to another. However, every once in a while, I sigh, wistfully, wishing I could give it another go. Today, I found out that this is a very doable thing:

From The Verge:

Blade Runner is beloved to this day, but until very recently, the odds of a digital rerelease seemed almost nonexistent. Westwood lost the original source code in 2003 during a move. So players needed to find one of the game’s increasingly rare hard copies or an unofficially cracked version of it, then go through the considerable trouble of getting it to work on a modern PC.

That started to change this summer when a team started publicly testing ScummVM emulator support. The game became playable through ScummVM in October, but the content still couldn’t be officially found online.

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How did Blade Runner's tech predictions stack up?

The BBC's Szu Ping Chan takes a look at the futuristic technology depicted in 1982's Blade Runner, which was set in November 2019. It now being November 2019, how did it do? We're doing great on telecommunications and despoiling the planet, but not well on the genetically-engineered vat-grown human clones front.

computational photography is becoming the norm, helping our phones take incredible low-light pictures, and automatically blur the background of our portrait shots. But the Esper machine, which Deckard uses to find clues by zooming in on different things within photos, remains ahead of its time. It enables him to see objects and people from different angles, and items which were not previously visible. AI researchers are working on software that can create interactive 3D views from a single 2D source image, but it's likely to be many more years to come before Photoshop gets the feature.

How might Deckard's camera work, practically? The data could only represent what the camera can see at the moment of capture. Recent light-field cameras (with several lenses at different focal lengths) can do the Blade Runner trick, but not enough to offer the shift of perpective Deckard was able to explore on his bulky, single-purpose cathode ray tube photo viewer.

Perhaps the movie-world's cameras spit out little drones, snapping simultaneously from nearby points of view and baking all the data into the original. Or perhaps being a Blade Runner, he has access to encrypted information in the print captured from nearby surveillance cameras. What if the camera is also capturing all sorts of other data--sonar, radar, dim extrapolations from all the other reflective surfaces -- and inferring details? Read the rest

Watch Adam Savage build a Blade Runner blaster in one day

Blade Runner superfan Adam Savage and Norm Chan build exquisite Blade Runner snub-nosed blasters:

Norm and Adam both work on their kits, each taking a different approach to the paint and finish. Adam goes one step further by adding machined metal parts to his blaster, giving it a brilliant look and some real heft.

(Tested) Read the rest

Impressive look at how Rachel got recreated in Blade Runner 2049

Visual effects house MPC offers a fascinating glimpse into the remarkable work they did to digitally recreate Rachel in Blade Runner 2049. Each iteration of these technologies inches close to indistinguishable duplicates. Read the rest

Nihon noir: Tom Blachford's gorgeous midnight shots of Tokyo

Tom Blachford chronicled Palm Springs at midnight (previously). Now he's back with Nihon Noir, a Blade Runner inspired look at Tokyo at night, like this imposing shot of the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Read the rest

The trailer for Blade Runner 2049 in the style of the original Blade Runner trailer

The trailer for the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, Blade Runner 2049, looks pretty cool. But it’s even cooler now that ScreenCrush has done some clever editing to make it look like it was made in the ’80s. For comparison, you can check out the trailer for the original 1982 film right here:

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Trailer for Blade Runner 2049

Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford star in Blade Runner 2049. Ridley Scott, who directed Blade Runner in 1982 (35 years ago!), is the exec producer. It was directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival).

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

(Thanks, Matthew!) Read the rest

Blade Runner 2049 trailer

The Internet says it looks good, and I'm inclined to agree with it. Read the rest

Happy Inception day, Leon Kowalski!

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Petra Hadens' stunning a capella cover of the Blade Runner theme

Petra Haden is a talented violinist and singer who has performed with everyone from The Decemberists to Victoria Williams to Sunn O))). On her YouTube channel, she also posts really impressive a capella versions of such movie themes as The Exorcist (Tubular Bells), Star Trek: The Original Series, and the theme to the 60s Batman TV show. She's also done a capella covers of Bowie's Life on Mars, King Crimson's Frame by Frame, the Furs' Ghost in You, and other pop and progressive tunes.

Here, she does a seriously beautiful and haunting rendition of the Vangelis Blade Runner theme, complete with Deckard's voice commands as he navigates an image of the replicant Zhora. Read the rest

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