A Scanner Darkly

winona
Great article in Wired about the tech and troubles of the new film A Scanner Darkly by Richard Linklater. To read more about it click here although you should skip the first paragraph which contains a spoiler. I never did see the entire film Waking Life, but it was curious. I think what they did with the backgrounds was more interesting than the people. It's hard to watch so much roto. In this film, rather than short vignettes, it's one long story.

Two things in the article stick out in my mind. One is when Bob Sabiston (creator of the Rotoshop software being used) says to his crew "I told them, you are making a living as an animator, that's the good news. The bad news is that it's hard work". The other is when Linklater says "I go crazy because it feels like the animation process just goes so slow." Well, all I have to say about that is, yes and yes. It seems that if they knew this stuff, they wouldn't have been surprised at how long the project was going to take. Roto is one of the most tedious types of animation out there. It is slow! Partially because it can get extremely boring. You don't have the freedom of expression like a traditional animator would. You need to stick with what is on screen. Linklater seems to know this as well. he states "It was more of a factory and less artists expressing themselves." Again, yes it is. I hope all of this sinks in on this project. You can't whip this stuff out. It takes time.

To be honest I haven't liked a single film Linklater has done except the genius Dazed and Confused. I'm a bit skeptical whether I will like this one. Other then the technique being used on A Scanner Darkly, it's the sci-fi aspect of the Philip K. Dick story that interests me. I really like the trailer. I hope that the story is solid and that the technique is only used to enhance the vision and not used as the sole driving force of the movie.

- steve



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