This fall, fans will get to return to the dystopian world of Blade Runner with the highly-anticipated sequel Blade Runner 2049, which brings back Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard. For those who simply can't wait until October for this new film, South African filmmaker Christopher Grant Harvey has debuted an incredible 11-minute fan film entitled Tears in the Rain, which serves as a "loose prequel" to the original Blade Runner. While this film doesn't feature Rick Deckard or any of the other characters in the original, it's certainly set within this unique world, with the film taking place in "21st Century Los Angeles." Here's the short film's official plot synopsis below.
"In a dystopian Los Angeles future, replicants or genetically engineered humanoids are created to work forced labour on off-world colonies. The latest generation, the Nexus 3 series, begins to display erratic and violent behaviour. Replicants were not designed to experience complex emotions or develop long-term memories. In the wake of corporate scandals of the previous decade, the Tyrell Corporation quietly attempts to remove Nexus 3 from circulation. John Kampff (Sean Cameron Michael), a senior engineer, heads up the Tyrell Retirement Division. With the primary objectives, detect and remove Replicants, John has suspected Nexus 3 Andy Smith (Russel Savadier) firmly in his sights. As John soon learns, Replicant detection is nearly impossible without specialist equipment. The Voight-Kampff, a polygraph-like machine used by retirement engineers to help in the testing of an individual to learn if they are a replicant, is a distant thought in John Kampff's mind."
Christopher Grant Harvey debuted the film on his YouTube and Vimeo channels, along with his official website, which reveals that the 11-minute fan film was produced on a minuscule $1,500 budget. The director co-wrote the screenplay with Evan James Dembskey, and he revealed on his official website that production started five years ago, while discussing how he came up with the story. Here's an excerpt from his blog below.
"When deciding the route to take with Tears In The Rain, it was our (myself and writing partner Evan) intention to focus on a singular idea for a story and work from there. It wasn't until late in the writing process that the story was in good shape. We opted for a degree of maturity and focused our efforts on telling a story that had substance. It could have been pedestrian to pen a story about some bland hero who hunts down Replicants in a smoke-filled-rain-drenched city in a kinetic action chase scene. That certainly would be eye-catching and impressive, but the fundamentals of story and conflict should take preference. What has always been compelling about Blade Runner is the idea that Replicants are indistinguishable from humans. Rick Deckard could easily have killed a human by mistake. He ruthlessly hunts down these Replicants seemingly without empathy. Tears In The Rain is a "what if" story."
The film was produced by Andrew Eric Macdonald, with Siddhartha Barnhoorn composing the original score that is quite reminiscent of the original Blade Runner score by Vangelis. Aside from his work as a filmmaker, Christopher Grant Harvey has worked as a digital imaging technician on films such as Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Tremors 5: Bloodlines and other South African films. Take a look at this amazing Blade Runner prequel entitled Tears in the Rain below, along with the official poster, which was designed by Kelvin Liew.