Director Richard Linklater has become renowned for his unique visual style of storytelling, particularly his technique of blending live action with animation as seen in his previous efforts Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. Well, Linklater has been discussing his newest project, Apollo 10 ½, for which he will be utilizing the remarkable technique once again.
"It struck me years ago that this was my film to make, from both a chronological and proximity level - I was there, going into 3rd grade. Our unique animation style allows both the conjuring of a world long gone, and the flowing, playful expression of memory and imagination. It's been a fun, creative journey to incorporate things like 3D graphics into a live action shoot to help bring this story to life."
Much like both Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly, Apollo 10 ½ will be applying the animation technique based on rotoscoping. Mostly produced using Rotoshop, a custom-made rotoscoping program, animators overlay live action footage with animation that roughly approximates the images that have been filmed. The result creates an almost dream-like effect, that Linklater used with great aplomb in both Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly.
It sounds like Richard Linklater, who has also written the script for Apollo 10 ½, is going to use the same kind of animation to reflect the themes of the movie. Apollo 10 ½ tells the story of the very first moon landing during the summer of 1969. The movie will take several different, interwoven perspectives of this hugely triumphant moment in human history, capturing both the point of view of the astronauts, as well as the view from mission control on the ground. Not only that, Apollo 10 ½ will also capture the moon landing from the perspective of the lesser-seen general public, paying particular attention to those who lived near NASA, as well as the hundreds of millions of others who watched the event in awe on the television.
The Netflix original movie is both a re-enactment of the moon landing, and a coming-of-age story set in the suburbs of Houston, Texas during the summer of 1969. Linklater seems to be going for the same sort of dreamlike, ethereal atmosphere in which he used the rotoscoping animation before, and by the sounds of it Apollo 10 ½ is the perfect opportunity to use it again. The technique brought a distinct visual style to the storytelling of both Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly, creating a surreal atmosphere that is sure to elevate this story of inspirational human endeavour.
The movie stars Jack Black (The School of Rock, Jumanji: The Next Level), Zachary Levi (Shazam!), Glen Powell (Hidden Figures), Josh Wiggins (Max, Walking Out), Lee Eddy (I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore.), Bill Wise (Waves) and newcomer Milo Coy. Filming was completed back in March, with Linklater now overseeing the animation. Apollo 10 ½ is due to premiere on Netflix, though the streaming service has not confirmed an exact release date. This news comes to us courtesy of Empire.