Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Must Watch Of The Day: Vintage Promotional Film For 'Blade Runner'

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist September 6, 2012 at 5:15PM

Well this is certainly unexpected. Spurred on by an online discussion of Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic "Blade Runner" and the critical response it was met with some thirty-years-ago this summer, someone unearthed YouTube footage of a promotional film that was produced by M.K. Productions prior to the movie's release (Digital Trends via Open Culture). The promotional film was exhibited at horror, fantasy, and science fiction conventions back when those groups were highly marginalized by the studio and mainstream press (unlike today...), so you can tell that they were either a) really thinking outside the box or b) trying to cover their asses and gain some ground in what would become a truly log-jammed summer season. The film is a fascinating time capsule.
1
Blade Runner Doc

Well this is certainly unexpected. Spurred on by an online discussion of Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic "Blade Runner" and the critical response it was met with some thirty-years-ago this summer, someone unearthed YouTube footage of a promotional film that was produced by M.K. Productions prior to the movie's release (Digital Trends via Open Culture). The promotional film was exhibited at horror, fantasy, and science fiction conventions back when those groups were highly marginalized by the studio and mainstream press (unlike today...), so you can tell that they were either a) really thinking outside the box or b) trying to cover their asses and gain some ground in what would become a truly log-jammed summer season. The film is a fascinating time capsule.

It begins with a brief, stilted introduction by Scott, before showing some truly startling behind-the-scenes footage of the massive, very wet set. It's kind of amazing, given that there's been thirty years of discussion about the film's existential themes and visual nuances, to hear Scott call it "simply a thriller." There are also priceless interviews with designer Syd Mead, talking about the "visual accumulation" of the sets ("the overall idea was a society where life had become very difficult and the urban plant had become a trap") and visual effects maven Douglas Trumbull (who shows off storyboards and miniatures). Unsurprisingly, Harrison Ford stays the fuck out of it, although the footage does capture Ford being snappy, which is always fun ("I think we've established the noodles," he barks at Scott). 

What's so essential about this footage is that it's people talking about the movie while they were making it. The movie came out and kind of bombed (it was the same summer as "E.T." and nothing else stood a chance), and over the years, as the discussion has continued, various participants have been able to shape and refine their answers and stories, into what a narrative of the making of "Blade Runner" should be. But these are raw, emotionally driven, in-the-moment nuggets. Also – look at the size of those sets!

Finally, a quick question: how cool is it that we're still goggling over "Blade Runner" stuff all of these years later? As work continues, steadily, on Scott's "Blade Runner" follow-up, we doubt that it will be able to equal or surpass the visual wonder and thematic sophistication of the original. We do hope that it prompts a similar Scott-hosted video, though. Hearing him say, "We hope you like 'Blade Runner' and hope you enjoy the convention" is just too good to only get once.

This article is related to: Ridley Scott, Blade Runner


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates