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SYFY WIRE Original Video

SDCC 2019: Undone: Next-gen animation?

By Elizabeth Rayne

What if you were able to pass into some otherworld and help a ghost find out how they really died?

SYFY WIRE got really deep with Undone actress Rosa Salazar (Alita: Battle Angel) and creators/executive producers Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy about consciousness, other realms, and the evolution of animation.

Undone has a unique animation style that incorporates Salazar and co-star Bob Odenkirk's face acting into an animated sci-fi spectacle. The upcoming Amazon series is different from Alita: Battle Angel, in which Salazar filmed live-action scenes that were later enhanced with CGI to make her character appear more like a cyborg.

It was animator Hiko Hulsing who suggested using rotoscope animation for this series, which traces over the faces of the actors frame by frame to make them eerily realistic. It's not quite as uncanny valley as Alita because the question of whether or not something is really animated doesn't mess with your head as much, but it's breathtaking in a totally different way.

So what made Salazar want to take on a series that straddles life and death after playing a kickass cyborg fighter who can't exactly die?

"The writing. First and foremost, the writing," she said. "The writing is... it's beautiful. Very rarely do you finish a script and go 'I have to restart this right now.' It felt like bingeing a show through the script."

Alma's existence is as monotonous as it gets. She finds herself going through the same things every day, with nothing ever changing. You can't blame her for being over it. Then things get bizarre when she slips into a coma after a near-fatal car accident. She meets her deceased father in some realm between this life and whatever comes next, only to find out that he suspects he was murdered and wants to go back to what happened the night he was killed.

If this mystery sounds intriguing and you just have to know more, keep watching!

This article was contributed to by Elizabeth Rayne.