As we pass the November 2019 of the first film’s setting, the futurism of Ridley Scott’s epic science-fiction masterpiece Blade Runner seems a little further afield than maybe we had once hoped. While there are no replicas to be seen, Scott’s work still holds up today some nearly four decades after its release.
Much of that is down to the fact that after the Blade Runner‘s initial release in 1982, which by all accounts was a flop, Scott continued to tweak, delete and finely chop the film until it reached its peak. While we don’t like to point fingers as to why the 1982 release was so under-par in comparison to the one we watch today we have to look squarely at those higher-ups in the film business – studio executives.
Below are a set of studio notes handed down to Ridley Scott in the director’s chair and plain as day you can see the issues Scott faced before release. An extensive list as it is, the attention brought upon the film’s voiceovers must’ve contributed to the countless stilted scenes where Harrison Ford had seemingly been locked in a studio for 48 hours straight. It added a lethargic dreariness to the picture that really brings it down. One special note from ‘A.L.’, demands: “They have to put more tits into the Zhora dressing room scene.”
Once this voiceover track is removed and with a few pieces of editing magic from Scott and his team and we have the near-perfect film you see today. While there have been countless cuts and extended edits, the grandeur of the film will never reach the lows of its opening weekend in 1982 ever again.
While much of the studio board and, indeed, much of the paying audience didn’t find much joy in the original release, there were some who were pleased with how the movie was shaping up.
Philip K. Dick, the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep which acted as the source material for Scott’s vision, said after only watching a preview of the film how impactful it would be. “This indeed is not science fiction,” Dick wrote in a letter available on his official site. “It is not fantasy; it is exactly what [star] Harrison [Ford] said: futurism. The impact of Blade Runner is simply going to be overwhelming, both on the public and on creative people — and, I believe, on science fiction as a field.
Read below the lengthy studio notes given to Ridley Scott for 1982′ Blade Runner and be happy he doesn’t have to listen to them anymore.
Source: Open Culture