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Film

Watch the original 'Blade Runner' promotion film

Released in 1982, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner has since become one of the most influential sci-fi movies ever made. Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Mary Sean Young, the film is set in a dystopian 2019 Los Angeles where synthetic humans called replicants are created in order to work on space colonies. However, after a powerfully advanced and violent group of replicants make their way to Earth, Ford’s ex-policeman Rick Deckard must – albeit reluctantly – exterminate them.

Despite the film initially underperforming at the box office, with some critics believing it to be too slow-paced, Blade Runner is now considered a cult classic, and its influence can be seen in video games, films, television, and anime. It is also one of the cornerstones of the cyberpunk genre, which focuses upon futuristic scientific developments such as artificial intelligence, in contrast with a collapsing society.

Blade Runner, based on the 1968 Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, even spawned a hugely successful sequel entitled Blade Runner: 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve and released in 2017. The film sees Ford reprise his role as Rick, alongside actors such as Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, and Slyvia Hoeks. Blade Runner: 2049 took home the well-deserved awards for Best Cinematography and Best Special Visual Effects at the Academy Awards.

However, in 1982, M.K Productions released a 16mm featurette designed to be shown at various horror, sci-fi, and fantasy conventions upon Blade Runner’s release. The 13-minute short documentary contains interviews with director Ridley Scott, concept artist Syd Mead, and special effects director Douglas Trumbull.

With fascinating behind-the-scenes clips of the filming of Blade Runner, the documentary is a must-watch for all fans of the film. Syd Mead describes the process of designing the film’s set, stating that “it isn’t a new, shiny, futuristic society, it’s a society where the normal supplies have broken down.” He also explains how the film “takes the trend that is happening in some of the larger urban centres, and accelerates it and caricatures it, makes it more brutal, more glamorous at each end of the scale than it is now.”

Furthermore, all three men contribute information about the different cars used in Blade Runner, with Douglas Trumbull explaining how post-production was used to edit videos onto the screens inside of the cars, as well as to edit the view of the city through the car windows, with miniature versions of buildings created to assist this process. Trumbull also explains how Scott would draw his own illustrations in meetings in order to convey exactly how he wanted the film to look. The documentary highlights the incredibly intricate process of making each scene come to life. The crew’s perfect attention to detail clearly paid off, cementing Blade Runner as a certified classic science-fiction flick.

Check out the documentary below.