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

Blade Runner drawn in Microsoft Paint

David MacGowan is recreating Blade Runner shot-by-shot as Microsoft Paint illustrations. He tells Motherboard:

I like the idea of having a blog but basically feel as if I have very little to say about things, at least things that are original or interesting. I gravitated to Tumblr with some idea of just posting pictures, but still felt I needed to be posting something I'd actually made myself... [Y]ears ago I used to draw really crappy basic MS Paint pics for a favourite pop group's fan site, and they always seemed to raise a smile. The idea of doing something else with MS Paint, a kind of celebration of my not being deterred by lack of artistic talent, never really went away....

I don't really think about giving up. The idea of actually completing something I start out to do (for once in my life) is very appealing,And it's fun, it's not a chore.

MSP Blade Runner

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Ridiculously detailed typographical analysis of Blade Runner

If you love Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece, Blade Runner, the minutia of film, and nerding out over typography, prepare to have your neck bolts blown. Dave Addey runs Typeset in the Future, a website dedicated to the typographic elements found in sci-fi films. He has previously examined the titling, signage, logotypes, text messaging, and visual displays found in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moon, and Alien. Here, he turns his typographical attentions to Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, Blade Runner.

In 5,000 words and hundreds of screen caps, Dave goes through every scrap of textual content seen in the film. What's equally amazing to the point of the piece-- typographic analysis--is how much you learn about every other aspect of the film. This one narrow skew of the movie reveals so many other angles and tangents. Blade Runner is a film I already know too much about and I still learned so much more and had numerous "ah-ha" moments.

The first time we meet Deckard, he’s sat in the Los Angeles rain, idly reading a newspaper. The headline of this newspaper is FARMING THE OCEANS, THE MOON AND ANTARCTICA, in what looks like Futura Demi:

Here’s a close-up shot of that newspaper prop, from an on-set photo of Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott:

The subtitle reads WORLD WIDE COMPUTER LINKUP PLANNED, in what looks like Optima Bold. While the idea of a World Wide Computer Linkup might seem passé as we approach 2019, it was still very much unusual in 1982 when Blade Runner was released.

Read the rest

Happy Birthday, Roy Batty

In this case, the cake was certainly a lie. [via] Read the rest

Blade Runner animated as 12,000 hand-painted watercolor paintings

The absolutely stunning work of Swedish artist Anders Ramsell, who painted each frame as a 1.5 x 3cm work of art. It's taken him a while to complete the epic job; Pesco wrote about the first three minutes last year. The end result runs about 30 minutes, which is exactly how long Blade Runner should be. [Video Link] Read the rest

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