Blade Runner Special Effects: The Future is Now | NowThis Nerd

On the eve of ‘Blade Runner: 2049,’ join Dev Allen for a look back at the groundbreaking special effects of the original.
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For Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve has recreated the brilliant Blade Runner sets and Blade Runner special effects from the original Ridley Scott Blade Runner movie. Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Perri Nemiroff, Dave Bautista and the rest of the amazing Blade Runner 2049 cast won’t have to act in front of an endless green screen, because Arrival and Sicario director Denis Villeneuve is committed to real sets, real props, and real special effects. Because behind the scenes of the first Blade Runner, the Blade Runner visual effects were the result of visionaries working hard to realize their vision with Blade Runner practical effects. Blade Runner effects are still impressive to this day, thanks to the work of the Blade Runner behind the scenes crew led by Syd Mead and Douglas Trumbull.

The Blade Runner FX team began with the work of futurist visionary Syd Mead. Mead was originally hired to design the Blade Runner Spinners, the iconic flying cars used in the year 2019, but his background visuals on his Blade Runner Spinner concept sketches impressed Ridley Scott so much that he kept Mead on to design the world of Blade Runner. He used his scientific knowledge to craft a depressingly realistic vision of the future L.A. of 2019, where the smog is overwhelming and there’s a Replicant or Replicants around every corner. Everything from the parking meters to police badges are represented in the practical FX in the making of Blade Runner, and the foggy sets and converted buildings paint a seamless portrait of the Blade Runner World.

Rick Deckard had some Blade Runner bts help from Douglas Trumbull, the special effects master from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Using tried and true practical effects techniques, the behind the scenes Blade Runner effects are impressive to this day, especially the opening scene of Blade Runner: The Hades Landscape. The Blade Runner Hades Landscape is one of the most iconic opening in cinematic history, thanks to huge, intricately crafted Blade Runner models. Combined with arduous but incredible-looking in-camera special effects, Blade Runner 1982 is still a science fiction masterpiece, and its sci-fi landscapes are still extremely impressive and influential on the road to 2049.

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