How 'Undone' Star Rosa Salazar Used Rotoscope Animation to Create Her Amazon Series
The actress discussed the difficulty of working with the animation technique and also working with her "idol," co-star Bob Odenkirk.
Amazon's new series Undone is not your average animated show. Using mind-bending rotoscope animation, the dramedy is unlike any other show on television and takes animation to a new level.
Created by BoJack Horseman veterans Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Undone tells the story of Alma (Rosa Salazar), who feels in a rut with her boring daily routine of work at a daycare facility, her relationship with her live-boyfriend and her overbearing mother. But after a car accident, Alma starts receiving visits from her deceased father (Bob Odenkirk), who informs her that she has the ability to travel through time, and could help expose the truth about his death, which may have been a murder.
Salazar joined The Hollywood Reporter In Studio to discuss using rotoscope animation to create the series, explaining, "Rotoscoping is the technique that's tracing over live-action footage — so we are acting and being filmed. They just take that footage and then they trace over it, and then they hand-paint it."
"You're working a lot more than you normally do because if we needed to do this setup and then they needed to move a camera, or the lights for my setup, or your setup, or a wide or a close-up, it would take time and we’d go to our trailers and smoke cigarettes and play on our phone, but that's just not the case when you're doing rotoscope because there is no downtime and we would shoot anything between 10 to 23 pages a day," she said.
Staying consistently busy on set reminded Salazar of her theater background, saying, "It really felt like black box theater and it had the momentum of black box theater and you do get to stay in the moment. I don't like sitting around and putzing on my phone. I like being used. I remember telling my agent, 'I just want a job where I can be used. Where they use me, all of me,' and I got my wish."
Salazar also discussed working with co-star Bob Odenkirk, calling it the "highlight of my entire career."
"He's someone I grew up idolizing and watching," she continued. "He's such a genius. He's so incredibly talented and he’s a good dude. He's a really, really nice, great person, so it was such a joy to play with him. He's so quick, and so sparring with him in a scene is like a master class in being in the moment."
Undone is now streaming on Amazon Prime.