Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Visual FX Milestones - Blade Runner

Movies such as The Fifth Element, Judge Dredd, I Robot, Minority Report, A.I.-Artificial Intelligence the Star Wars Prequels have all had a go at making futuristic/fantastic cities, in 2006 it's ironic that despite the huge advances in Visual Effects technology the city in Ridley Scott's 1982 film Blade Runner is still by far the superior vision of a science fiction city. I've seen Blade Runner's city inspire so many other Film Productions and Music Video's but non have ever matched it's perfection. Every shot of the city whether it be the opening shots of the Gas Towers or the approach to the Police Headquarters are so memorable. The city in Blade Runner becomes the films location, not just an excuse to show flashy effect after flashy effect for no reason. There are probably 10 times as many city shots in Attack of the Clones of Coruscant than there are of Los Angeles in Blade Runner but non of the Coruscant ones stick with you like L.A ones do.
Even today Blade Runner's combination of Miniatures, Matte Paintings and Optical FX hold up incredibly well 24 years after it was made. In an interview with both FX veterans and the newer generation of FX pro's that was printed in Cinefex Magazine most cited Blade Runner's city as one of the landmark achievements in Movie Visual Effects !


Anonymous said...

A friend of mine made a valid point a few years back about the problem with visions of the future such as those you mentioned, he said they always look as oif they have been designed by a single architect in one sitting as opposed to many ages of architecture. Afterall the Chrysler building in New York bears little resemblance to the Guggenheim. He cited Mega City One as a good example of a monotonous cityscape where each building is just another excitable variant of the last. I think the reason Blade Runner lasts is because someone down the line obviously realised this and put it into effect.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Yeah that's a point I've heard before too !!