Richard Linklater's latest film, the animated feature WAKING LIFE, has been acquired by Fox Searchlight and will hit theaters later this year. Fox Searchlight acquired the worldwide distribution rights in a deal negotiated by the companys executive VP Joseph de Marco and John Sloss of the indie financing company Cinetic. The movie debuted to critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Written and directed by Linklater (SLACKER, DAZED AND CONFUSED), the film was originally shot on digital video, and features a cast of more than 50 actors, each interpreted and transformed into a unique character by more than 30 animators. After editing was completed on the digitally shot film, the animation process began, in collaboration with Bob Sabiston and Tommy Pallotta (ROADHEAD, SNACK AND DRINK), using software invented by Sabiston. The software allows artists to paint over the digital footage using a technique of interpolated rotoscoping. Individual brushstrokes can be stretched smoothly across a range of frames, giving the animation a unique look, which Filmmaker Magazine describes as "shimmering impressionism with a pop cartoon flair." "It's a dazzling breakthrough movie that introduces a new style of animation to the world," commented Fox Searchlight president Peter Rice. The film is slated for release this Fall. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, part of the Fox Entertainment Group.
Visit AWNs sister site, 2-Pop, and read Waking Up to WAKING LIFE to learn more about Bob Sabiston's "interpolated rotoscoping" software, a QuickTime-based application.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.