4 icons 1 Movie Unit 6


This idea was first suggested by Tom Woodward and has been a long standing popular ds106 assignment. The assignment is to reduce a movie, story, or event into its basic elements, then take those visuals and reduce them further to simple icons, four of them. Write your blog post up but do not give away the answer, let people guess! The challenge is to find the icons that suggest the story, but do not make it so easy. For icons a great resource is The Noun Project.

For this project I chose to use the film blade runner to exemplify the plot or the film itself, i used key icons that make clear that the films plot.


I used the unicorn that it a symbol of a persons humanity, used by deckard’s partner to show him that maybe he isn’t human and is the key part of the end of the film where he crushes the unicorn to symbolise that he doesn’t necessarily care about the time he has left if he enjoys what life he thinks he has lived.

the owl is used because it shows that some of the replicants have freedom and could be free if they truly wanted to if they only spread their wings but unfortunately most of them are kept almost as pets by humans, for their amusement. the owl is seen in the lobby when deckard first meets rachel symbolising what deckard doesn’t even know.

the eye with an aperture represents the fact that the eye is seen as the give away to whether someone is or isn’t a replicant, sililare to home many cultures believe that the eye is the gateway to the soul, you can see through someones like by looking at their eyes. the test to determine whether someone is a replicant uses the eyes to gauge a response, replicants eyes glow red in some shots to key to the audience that they are not human. Roy and the other replicants visit a man who studies eyes in order to prolong their life, but what does eyes have to do with prolonging life? it doesn’t but they feel it has some significance to how they are made.

finally the gun, the gun isn’t a real one, it was made up by the film makers to be very stylised and seem futuristic while having a similar reloading mechanism to a revolver but the gun is important because it gives a person power and at the end of the film, deckard looses his ability to use the gun despite seemingly being the same strength as roy batty but can feel pain and emotions.



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