Example Development Notes: BLADE RUNNER

“The script revolves around a fundamental desire to question our humanity, treatment and to understand how we were made by our creator…” Extracts from a script report by our trainee Daniela Piper-Vegh, based on a reading of the script BLADE RUNNER: CLICK HERE to read the script.

TITLE:  BLADE RUNNER

AUTHOR: Hampton Fancher and David Peoples

PREPARED BY: Daniela Piper-Vegh

DATE: 2/12/16

 

Concept:

The story explores interesting moral and social challenges presented by the introduction of Artificial Intelligence. The premise is centered on the possible complications that occur when Artificial Intelligence start to break the mold and develop their own set of emotions. There is a timeless quality to the themes of power, and moral responsibility in the face of technological advancement that holds strong audience appeal. The specificity of the setting and the particular lexis of the technology in the film has the potential to create a breakthrough in science fiction and neo-noir thriller genres, attracting a cult following. The dystopian setting is also effective, serving as a chilling futuristic vision of an oppressive urban environment. The script revolves around a fundamental desire to question our humanity, and to understand how we were made by our creator. Having the Nexus 6 characters almost indistinguishable from human beings encourages the audience to question the different portrayals of humanity, and what it means to be human. Much of the philosophical questioning is introduced in a subtle way, with the action being at the forefront of the story. The script has potential for very strong and distinctive visual effects. The repeated inspection of eyes is not only visually compelling, but it also encourages the reader to question the presentation of reality in the script. However, the huge range of visual effects and large cast would make the budget very high.

Characters/ Dialogue:

Deckard is initially defined by his reluctance to comply with Gaff and the authority that he represents. Having Gaff hint at Deckard’s notoriety by calling him a variety of different names on p.9, such as ‘The Boogeyman’, ‘Mister Nighttime’ and ‘Blade Runner’ is intriguing to the audience. Identifying him as a ‘blade runner’ also lets the audience know of his central importance to the plot, by drawing upon the title of the script. A clear hierarchy is also established, as the only part of Gaff’s speech that has any effect on Deckard, is the mention of Bryant. It is important to initially show Deckard as being a bit scruffy, as it shows that he is not living up to the full potential of his former glory. It would be effective to show Deckard’s physical transformation, back to his former impressive blade runner self, after he decides to take on Bryant’s mission.

The escapees are given an important human element, encouraging the audience to form an emotional connection with them. For instance, an important question is raised early on in the script on p.15, when Deckard and Bryant ponder why the escapees would return to their place of manufacture. Bryant suggests that maybe they ‘want to find out where they were made’, making the escapees quest to find their origins seem relatable in a very human way. The scene on p.15 also handles exposition very well, with Bryant explaining why these escapees are special, in a natural and believable way. A clear backstory is given for the escapees, explaining that they are ‘Nexus 6’ and that ‘the Nexus 6 was designed to copy human beings in every way except their emotions’. However, the script makes sure to highlight the importance of these particular escapees, by explaining that the makers foresaw the ‘Nexus 6’ developing emotions over time, and so they only gave them a life span of four years. The time limit of four years creates a clear sense of urgency, showing a definitive time limit and shelf-life for the escapees.

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