Waking Life is an experimental film shot using a digital camera, and then animation effects are applied to give the final film a semi-animated feel. The technique is often compared to the rotoscope style of 1970’s filmmaker Ralph Bakshi.
The film has a script, plot and actors, but touches on many philosophical elements, reality, free will, relationships and ultimately the meaning of life. The story follows a man whilst he is dreaming. Dialogue is often the key element in scenes.
The semi-animated style was achieved by artists using “off the shelf” Macintosh computers to draw lines, colors and shapes over the film footage. Effects where then applied. This gives the effect of a highly polished animated film, or a strangely shot film. The effect is intended to provide the concept that the character is dreaming.