Kristin Thompson

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Influential: Blade Runner

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Growing up, I was lucky to have a father that was so deeply into science-fiction based movies. Sure, some of them are out there. Some of them clearly were on the verge of being so cringe they were unwatchable. But I distinctly remember Blade Runner being one of the many VHS tapes that lined our living room bookcases. I wouldn’t come to fully understand or realize the deep impact this film made on my life until way into my adult life.

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Maybe even more distinctly, I remember playing the Blade Runner game that my dad had purchased in the late nineties. My sister and I used to LOVE playing games on our dinky old computer. Adventure games were a hot item, and by far my favorite. We loved King’s Quest, surely this game was similar? The 8-9 year old me booted this bad boy up and quickly became utterly terrified. The game is very similar to the movie in the fact that you are a blade runner hunting down replicants, and sometimes you had to retire them. This was the first time a game or really anything directly confronted me with death. Choosing who should live or die? Should I be the one to pull the trigger? These were super heavy questions for a kid. Regardless of the game scaring the bejeezus out of me, I went back when I was older and played the whole thing, then watched the movie, and read the book the film had been based on. I have been hooked ever since.

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I wanted to create something that represented an iconic moment from the movie, and well as the game. Within the first third of the film, Deckard is found at a noodle bar referred to as the White Dragon. A neon dragon perched atop the restaurant with its tongue forking back and forth. My goal was to animate this on a wall with a flickering neon effect. Rain animation was also added to create the forever overcast world of the future. The music the artist Vangelis created for the 1982 film is hauntingly beautiful. I am proud of what I have made. This has inspired me to pursue more animation work in the future. Watch the video below! Tell me your thoughts. What films are you nostalgic for from your childhood?

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