"It's difficult to photograph spacecraft miniatures with the elements of layers of gray and rain being opticalled into it. Smoke, steam and fire were all added in miniature. And, traditionally, water and fire are the biggest problems for special effects people because it's so hard to get them in scale. If they're not done right, your eye tends to notice it. A lot of work went into shooting large-scale rain effects. For instance, when you see miniature shots or matte painting shots, there's rain dripping through the frame or distant-apperaing rain, that's actually just shot outdoors late at night with nothing else. Just rain with nothing else and that rain is superimposed with the miniature shots optically. It took many more optical levels than the normal kind of effects of space or a CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. So, it was a real expansion on the kinds of effects we had done before.
"Ridley's plan was to saturate the movie with advertisements and media. We came up with this idea of projecting slides and movies onto a screen surface that was made of a sort of textured plastic. So, instead of looking like a movie projected on a screen, it looked like a series of bulbs shooting up like lights in Times Square. Actually, they were movies being projected onto those surfaces in a separate shot and then opticalled into the main shot. All those commercials had to be shot, they had to be built for the film--opticals, animation, titles, and costumes.
"I think Ridley is brilliant; he's very demanding, very particular. He's wonderful because he draws so well. He used to be an illustrator, so when you get into a storyboard meeting or a conference about a prop or a scene, he's able to express what he wants very clearly by drawing a picture of it. It was delightful working with a man like him--a movie director who also really knows his craft. He's had a lot of experience whith TV commercials and technology. He knows his cameras, his lenses and is able to express what he wants technically--and he really enjoys it. It's not very easy for just any director to come in and make a movie like BLADE RUNNER. He's insatiable.
"The challenge was to make composites of vehicles, spinners, live action, rain, lighting effects, big read out screens, flashing lights, neon, spinners in the distance, and camera movements all work simultaneously. These were the most complicated opticals we have ever done. There are more elements per shot, more things moving per shot, more different techniques in each shot. We're really proud of it. Some of the best effects I've ever seen."
"The blimp is a wonderful image. It's the height of technology gone mad. It's part future and part past. The concept of this big dumb thing floating over the city--using that as a way of advertising in the future is a wonderful idea."
-David Dryuer (Special Effects Photographic Supervisor)