Ridley Scott's dystopic "Blade Runner" struck a bleak, dirty note that still reverberates today. We don't have pyramidal skyscrapers or intelligent androids, but his vision of a broken-down Los Angeles plastered with floating hologram ads and filled with people who've lost their connection to the natural world manages to retain its grim prescience, despite the film's occasional tendency to mold its aesthetic to the 1980s.
Now, curious fans can get a peek at the Blade Runner Sketchbook, a previously out-of-print document containing drawings of the props, sets and universe of "Blade Runner," from the people who worked on set for the 1982 film. It also includes a number of drawings by the noted futurist Syd Mead, who worked on the movie, as well as other sci-fi classics including "Star Trek" and "Alien."
According to the introduction, the filmmakers researched principles behind the future of "architecture, transportation, fashion and social behavior" to inform their work.
"'Blade Runner' is not a 'hardware movie,'" Mead wrote, "It's not one of those gadget-filled pictures where the actors seem to be there only to give scale to the sets, props and effects."
As Scott himself said, "Blade Runner" is "a film set forty years hence, made in the style of forty years ago."
We're not so far from 2019. Check out what the makers of "Blade Runner" were thinking when they created their version of the future. Click 'expand' to enter fullscreen mode:
In light of Syd Mead's enormous contribution to the conceptual designs of "Blade Runner" I am writing to add some additional history. Lawrence G. Paull was / is the production designer of "Blade Runner" and the recipient of an Academy Award© nomination for Best Art Direction which I shared w/ him and Linda DeScenna, the set decorator. Larry was also the winner of the British BAFTA© Award for Best Production Design. At the end of the day I think we all agree that in all fairness the person responsible for the astonishing 'look' of the film is Ridley Scott, our inspiration.