Blade Runner Gets Re-Created, Shot for Shot, Using Only Microsoft Paint


Blade Run­ner came out in June 1982. Microsoft­’s Paint came out in Novem­ber 1985. Lit­tle could the design­ers of that rebrand­ed ver­sion of ZSoft­’s PC Paint­brush pack­aged in with Win­dows 1.0 know that the paths of their hum­ble graph­ics appli­ca­tion and that elab­o­rate sci-fi cin­e­mat­ic vision would cross just over 30 years lat­er. Sure­ly nobody involved in either project could have imag­ined the form the inter­sec­tion would take: MSP Blade Run­ner, a fan’s shot-by-shot Tum­blr “remake” (and gen­tle par­o­dy) of the film using only Microsoft Paint, start­ing with the Ladd Com­pa­ny tree logo.


Why make such a thing? “I like the idea of hav­ing a blog but basi­cal­ly feel as if I have very lit­tle to say about things, at least things that are orig­i­nal or inter­est­ing,” cre­ator David Mac­Gowan told Moth­er­board­’s Rachel Pick. “I grav­i­tat­ed to Tum­blr with some idea of just post­ing pic­tures, but still felt I need­ed to be post­ing some­thing I’d actu­al­ly made myself… [Y]ears ago I used to draw real­ly crap­py basic MS Paint pics for a favourite pop group’s fan site, and they always seemed to raise a smile. The idea of doing some­thing else with MS Paint, a kind of cel­e­bra­tion of my not being deterred by lack of artis­tic tal­ent, nev­er real­ly went away.”


The mix­ture of tech­no­log­i­cal and aes­thet­ic sen­si­bil­i­ties inher­ent in using a severe­ly out­dat­ed but ever-present dig­i­tal tool to re-cre­ate the endur­ing­ly com­pelling ana­log visu­als of a movie from that same era goes well with the orig­i­nal Blade Run­ner’s project of updat­ing the con­ven­tions of film noir to depict a then-new­ly imag­ined future. Even more fit­ting­ly, a work like MSP Blade Run­ner could only make sense in the 2010s, the very decade the movie tried to envi­sion. Will it go all the way to the shot of Deckard and Rachel’s final exit into the ele­va­tor? “I don’t real­ly think about giv­ing up,” McGowan told Pick. “The idea of actu­al­ly com­plet­ing some­thing I start out to do (for once in my life) is very appeal­ing.” Spo­ken like a 21st-cen­tu­ry man indeed.


You can find every frame paint­ed so far, and every new one to come, here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch an Ani­mat­ed Ver­sion of Rid­ley Scott’s Blade Run­ner Made of 12,597 Water­col­or Paint­ings

What Hap­pens When Blade Run­ner & A Scan­ner Dark­ly Get Remade with an Arti­fi­cial Neur­al Net­work

The Art of Mak­ing Blade Run­ner: See the Orig­i­nal Sketch­book, Sto­ry­boards, On-Set Polaroids & More

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

by | Permalink | Comments (4) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (4)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.