If you are carefully following all the news while impatiently waiting for October's release of Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049, you might have heard already about the Slice of Life, a short #scifi fan film whose plot is set in the #BladeRunner universe. In case this is your first encounter with it, you can thank me later.
A group of Croatian filmmakers and friends led by director and producer Luka Hrgović developed an original idea and started turning it into a real deal in 2014, while the final release of 20–25 minute film is expected later this year. The rest of this small but talented team consists of screenwriter Anton Svetić, director of photography Dino Julius, original score and sound designer Tim Žibrat and actors Anton Svetić, Ivica "Dragonrage" Pustički and Emilija Habulin.
Keeping The Atmosphere Authentically '80s
To make sure the film keeps the authentic '80s vibe, they embraced the "do it yourself" attitude by creating everything from scratch. The biggest amount of time was devoted to building detailed miniatures of buildings and cars from all kinds of materials and everyday objects to make the city look realistic. Judging by the long-awaited trailer — which was released in January — they definitely succeeded in capturing the futuristic, neon light Blade Runner atmosphere, check it out for yourself:
'Slice Of Life' is a love letter to the Science Fiction genre of the '80s. The production is on for the last three years and it is completely self funded. We invite you to follow our journey back to the future envisioned by the '80s!
In short, Slice of Life is described by its author as a:
"Story about a low-life drug dealer who tries to turn his life around, but finds himself at the mercy of fate when he encounters a cop with an agenda of his own."
Apart from the already mentioned miniatures, the old-school aesthetic was created by using back projections, matte paintings and practical effects instead of choosing computer-generated images. It's interesting that the whole Blade Runner connection wasn't how the filming started three years ago; the team describes how those Ridley Scott references gradually started to appear with time, so they decided to follow that path, turning their work into a form of a tribute.
'Slice Of Life' Is A True Passion Project
What makes this film special is that it is completely driven by the young filmmaker's enthusiasm and savvy inventions since it is a completely self-funded venture. For example, the cool flying car you'll get to see in the movie was actually found rotting away in somebody's back yard, so they bought it, cleaned it up and took it to Hrgović's studio where the filming took place. The director gave a detailed description of the "making of a sci-fi car" process:
"We spray painted the car red, pulled out the passenger seat and in its place I started to build consoles with monitors and blinking lights. I've built all the consoles from scrap material that I collected. Computer monitors were fitted into the consoles, and footage was fed to the monitors from DVD players and a laptop. Also, to give the illusion of a city exterior, we put real miniature buildings on a dolly and moved them outside the car windows. We wanted to do as much effects in camera.
To go behind the scenes and get familiar with the creation of a new, fantastic world and the team behind it all, visit the Video Diaries section on the film's official webpage.
The exact release date remains unknown, but we know it will happen sometime this year. Soon there will be a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to help finish the shooting and the post-production process.
I'm not really good at predicting the future, but two things are certain: This homage won't go unnoticed and I can't wait for the full movie's release to completely enjoy in this visual treat. Ridley Scott's impressions are yet to be heard.
What do you think about this project and fan films in general? Share your thoughts in the comments below!