Crowdsourcing Blade Runner in a read-write participatory culture

June 10th, 2009

That is a mouthful but it pretty much sums up this project.

RSA films are developing a series of web shorts for Blade Runner, The project is 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. enabled by the very interesting gentlemen at Ag8.

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.

bits_bladerunner1This is the interesting bit, as reported by the New York Times

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.

The Purefold project is described as

Purefold is the first product conceived by Ag8 and developed in partnership with Ridley and Tony Scott’s newly launched entertainment division Free Scott. Purefold is an open media franchise designed for brands, platforms, filmmakers, product developers and communities to collaboratively imagine our near future.

With a central theme ‘What does it mean to be human?’, the franchise explores the subject of empathy – a shared theme with Ridley Scott’s most compelling Science Fiction movie, Blade Runner.

The franchise contains infinite interlinked story lines, turned into short-format episodes by Ridley Scott Associate Films’ global talent pool of directors, and informed by real-time online conversations from the audience, which are harvested through FriendFeed, the world’s leading ‘life streaming’ technology.

Taking place in the near future, Purefold enables participating brands to take an alternative route to brand integration than traditional product placement and embrace invention within a narrative framework.

You can even follow the project on twitter People embrace what we create, and since we want to be part of writing ourselves into existence – this approach makes enormous sense to me. It also interesting to reflect that four years ago, I wonder whether this project would have got off the ground? It is a signifier of how much has evolved over the last few years since writing Communities Dominate Brands.

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