A cool and disturbing CG-animated take on A Scanner Darkly

Before Section Eight Productions settled on rotoscoping as the filmmaking technique to bring Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly to the screen, the studio Rustmonkey created this black-and-white, CG test animation for the film.


Animator Brian White created this animation, based on paintings by Daniel Thron (in addition to being a visual effects designer, Thron also wrote and directed last year's short zombie police procedural Spoiler). It certainly captures the story's surreality, mixed with a bit of a classic B-movie vibe. Thron explains that he started working on the animation as soon as Steven Soderbergh and Richard Linklater picked up the film rights. Unfortunately, though, he didn't have representation at the time, and wasn't able to get anyone at Section Eight to take a look at his take on A Scanner Darkly.


Scanner Darkly Pitch [Vimeo]

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Scott Mawhiney

That was beautiful, in a darkly disturbing way. I loved the art direction, character designs, and the animation. It all came together beautifully. I would be intrigued to see a full film done in this style.