One more post today, and one that I really wish I didn’t have to write. Having already lost both Rutger Hauer and Lawrence G Paull this year, we have lost another of the Blade Runner ‘family’: I woke up this morning to the sad news of the passing of visualiser Syd Mead, the artist who designed much of what encompassed the distinctive ‘look’ of Blade Runner. Is it wrong of me to consider it morbidly poetic that he passed in 2019, of all years?
Syd Mead of course worked on several other films, although Blade Runner is perhaps inevitably the most famous assignment he took. He did design work on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Aliens and Tron, amongst others, and of course returned to the Blade Runner universe to design some of the Las Vegas skylines for Dennis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049. He was due to accept the Art Directors Guild’s William Cameron Menzies Award award in February next year.
I’m sure such news as this will become all the more frequent now as the years roll on: its grimly inevitable. Syd was 86 years old, and many of the cast and crew are reaching that kind of age- Harrison Ford is now 77, Ridley is 82, Vangelis is 76, Douglas Trumbull is 77. Hopefully they have plenty of years still ahead of them but… well, Blade Runner was released in 1982, its reaching its own 38th anniversary next year, we’re all getting older.
Well isn’t that a cheerful note to end 2019, that magical year of certain dreams dating all the way back to 1982.