Fifteen years ago, Richard Linklater irreversibly altered the course of American cinema when he made Slacker, a movie that defined a generation and precipitated the indie film movement. Now, with A Scanner Darkly, his animated adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi novel about a drug-ravaged society, it looks like Linklater’s off in uncharted territory once again.
At SXSW yesterday, Cool Hunting was among the first to see a near final cut of the feature that required over 5,000 different characters made by a grassroots team of animators in Linklater's hometown of Austin. Using Flat Black Films' specialized software called RotoShop, A Scanner Darkly takes the same technology that Linklater first used in Waking Life and applies it to a plot-driven movie, painting an absurdist vision of fear, paranoia and addiction.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth chat with Linklater himself and two of the lead animators coming to Cool Hunting Video soon.