Web Series Tied to ‘Blade Runner’ Is In the Works
JUNE 4, 2009 2:17 PM
Here is some news that will make fans of the 1982 science-fiction cult film “Blade Runner” shudder with either anticipation or trepidation.
On Thursday the film’s director, Ridley Scott, announced that a new division of his commercials company, RSA Films, was working on a video series called “Purefold.” The series of linked 5- to 10-minute shorts, aimed first at the Web and then perhaps television, will be set at a point in time before 2019, when the Harrison Ford movie takes place in a dystopian Los Angeles.
Mr. Scott, his brother Tony and his son Luke are developing the project in conjunction with the independent studio Ag8, which is run by one of the creators of “Where are the Joneses?” a British Web sitcom that solicited storyline suggestions from the audience. Similarly, “Purefold” will harvest story input from its viewers, in conjunction with the social media site FriendFeed.
But the series won’t be hewing too closely to the specific characters or situations in “Blade Runner.” Some of that material stemmed from the Philip K. Dick novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” which the “Purefold” creators do not have rights to.
“We don’t take any of the canon or copyrighted assets from the movie,” said David Bausola, founding partner of Ag8, who said he hoped the series would debut later this summer and that the first episodes would depict events about two years into the future. “It’s actually based on the same themes as ‘Blade Runner.’ It’s the search for what it means to be human and understanding the notion of empathy. We are inspired by ‘Blade Runner.’”
Other partners in the project include the ad and marketing agencies WPP, Publicis, Aegis Media and Naked Communications. They will bring in advertisers whose products and brands — or hypothetical future versions of them — could be featured in the series.
In an indication that the filmmakers are interested in exploring a new kind of collective, social creativity, the episodes in the series will be released under a Creative Commons license, marking the first time a major Hollywood director has embraced that alternative licensing scheme. The license means fans of the series can take the episodes and remix or otherwise repurpose them, and even make their versions available commercially under the same license.