How a group of Croatian filmmakers are making a Blade Runner fanfilm

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We are cautiously optimistic for October’s Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic science fiction film. While we wait, a trailer for a Blade Runner fanfilm from a group of Croatian filmmakers is just the thing to tide us over.

Slice of Life will be a short science fiction film set in the world of Blade Runner. The film is a passion project directed by Luka Hrgović, along with a group of friends, Dino Julius (director of photography and producer), Anton Svetić (actor and screenwriter), Ivica “Dragonrage” Pustički and Emilija Habulin (actors).

 Slice of Life

The trailer certainly has the look and feel of the Blade Runner universe down, from the noir atmosphere, the neon signs and billboard-sized advertisements that defined the original film. The team has also released a series of production diaries, which look at how they filmed the car, noodle bar, and other elements that show how off their production.

Hrgović described the film as being 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.” The movie doesn’t include the original film’s Richard Deckard, but follows the “lives of other characters that are trying to make a living in the dangerous streets of futuristic Los Angeles.” When finished, he anticipates that it will be around 20-25 minutes long, and that the film will be entered in some film festivals.

The team released the finished trailer because their next step is to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund the rest of the movie. “We still have extensive miniature shootings ahead, which is technically and logistically very challenging and time consuming. We also have to do the whole post-production, which in our case includes special effects, sound design and the film score.”

Hrgović told The Verge that the group had begun the project as a standalone film three years ago, but that slowly, the references to Ridley Scott’s film crept in. “The idea to connect it with Blade Runner came later,” he explained, “We always wanted to pay tribute to Blade Runner in some way, [so] we decided to set our story in the Blade Runner universe and Los Angeles of 2019.”

To get the look and feel of Blade Runner, Hrgović explained that the crew used old-school techniques: miniatures, back projections, matte paintings and other practical effects. They each come from the advertising industry, and they’ve worked on the film when they’re able. “Only five people were involved during the whole production,” he said.

The project’s Twitter feed and Facebook page provide a great look into the production. Hrgović explained that the film thus far had no official budget and that they have been improvising to put together the film’s special effects, using projectors and cobbling together miniatures from random junk, using equipment they borrowed from work. The crew has also been documenting their project in a thread on The Replica Props Forum, a major online prop-making community.

The car, Hrgović said, is “an old 1987 Citroën BX that was on it’s way to the junkyard,” which they outfitted with monitors and consoles. For the exterior shots, he said that they built a 1:6 scale model. “Design-wise it’s a mishmash of a couple famous SciFi cars and the [aforementioned] Citroën, and we gave it the nickname Adler!”

With the trailer now released to the public, Hrgović said that they hope to launch their Kickstarter in a month or so, and that they will be looking to raise $ 30,000 to “finish the project as it was envisioned.” When asked about what their thoughts were on this year’s sequel film they noted that they were impressed with Denis Villeneuve’s other films. “We are looking forward to it!”

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