“Blade Runner” is, for Angelenos, part of our cinematic DNA. It envisions a dystopic future Los Angeles that borrows from the past but, to some, it disturbingly resembles the present. However, I suspect that more than a few Angelenos are jaded by the repeated “Blade Runner” viewings and the comical number of versions that have been released, especially the “Blade Runner For Dummies” narration of the original U.S. theatrical release. As one such Angeleno, I was mesmerized upon discovering the above video showing the real-life “Blade Runner” filming locations matched shot-for-shot with their depictions in the movie.
The “Blade Runner” video above was created by Herve Attia, a blogger who makes it his mission to visit the locations of movies such as “Die Hard”, “The Shining”, and one of my favorites, “Once Upon a Time in the West”, where he works his location shot magic. In the case of “Blade Runner”, as many Angelenos know, those locations include the historic Bradbury Building, Frank Lloyd Wright‘s 1924 Mayan-themed Ennis House, Union Station, and more. However, I found it fascinating the way Attia includes iconic shots from “Blade Runner” and then dissolves to the matching present-day location. In this case, viewers can see how director Ridley Scott and his team layered colors, filters, lighting, projection, and other elements (I’ll defer to the production experts among you for the details) to create a future/past L.A. that will remain in the minds of many of us forever.
In a city that doubles as one of the world’s most popular movie sets, where the line between reality and cinematic fantasy is often blurred, count me as now truly impressed and un-jaded.