While many did not know it back in 1982, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner has gone on to be considered one of the greatest achievements in science fiction film. The dystopian setting of a not-so-distant Los Angeles built a world that was both drastically different and eerily familiar in both technologies and culture. Whether it was on the slick and dirty streets of a rainy downtown LA, the lofty heights only reached by spinner cars, or even inside the towering and sterile monolith of the Tyrell Building pyramid, the environments were so richly detailed and alien that they brought an entire world that was both disturbing and beautiful to life.
In the early ’80s this was not something that could be achieved by a few designers and their CGI programs. Instead, it took several teams of people working an ungodly number of hours to build miniatures and models that would populate the world on screen. A large crew of special effects designers, led at first by Doug Trumbull and then later by David Dryer, were able to create a dirty, crowded, and desperate looking Los Angeles that would forever be tied to the concept of cyberpunk sci-fi.
Earlier this week, io9 reported on a massive collection of photos making their way to the internet that show crews working on building the miniatures and models for Blade Runner. The images were original uploaded to Imgur by a user named minicity, and show just how meticulous and detailed they really are. Take a look at the gallery below and see just how much work the film’s look actually took to create. They even went so far as to build tiny versions of rooms and sets that would be found inside of the Tyrell Building. Head over to io9 to see all 142 pictures that were uploaded.
Let us know what you think about in the comments below and follow me this summer on Twitter, @MattDelhauer, as I chronicle my attempt to put together a model replica of Deckard’s police issue blaster.