Ever Wondered What Philip K. Dick thought about BLADE RUNNER? – flavorwire.com

Future Noir Cover

Flavorwire did a fun post about what Philip K. Dick’s reaction was after seeing the movie back in 1982 for the first time. The following passage is from the book Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner by Paul Sammon.

via flavorwire.com

“I got a call from one of the ladies at the [Blade Runner] production department saying that Philip K. Dick was coming down at three in the afternoon for a screening,” [David] Dryer recalls, [one of Blade Runner‘s special effects chief]. “She told me to assemble an effects reel showing the best of the best. So I did. I planned on showing it to Dick in EEG’s screening room, which was pretty remarkable. Doug Trumbull had one of the best screening rooms I’ve ever seen. The image on that screen was spectacular—it was in 70mm—and a great sound system had been installed that made the floor rumble.

“Now, Vangelis hadn’t supplied any music yet, but Matthew Yuricich had been painting some of his mattes to old Vangelis albums—Matt likes to paint to music. Since we were already familiar with that, we decided to also play Vangelis music while we showed our reel to Dick.

“Then the production rented out a chauffeured limousine to pick up Philip Dick in Santa Ana,” continues Dryer. “They were really giving him the deluxe treatment. That limo drove him all the way up to Maxella, and when he arrived at EEG, I noticed Dick had brought a woman along with him [Wilson]. I could also tell right away that Dick was unhappy; he acted like somebody with a burr up their ass. First he started kind of grilling me in this grouchy tone about all kinds of things—he wanted to know what was going on, told me that he’d been very unhappy with the script, and so on and so forth.

“So first we gave him a quick tour of the EEG shop, which I thought might settle him down. But Dick didn’t seem impressed, even when we showed him all the preproduction art and the actual models we’d used for certain effects shots. (Then, after Dick and Ridley had a meeting), we went into the screening room.”

“Dick was a bit guarded at first,” recalls Ridley Scott. “Until we doused the lights, turned up the music, and ran the reel for him,” adds Dryer.

However, according to Blade Runner’s coeffects supervisor, “Dick didn’t say a word at first. He sat there for twenty minutes like a statue. Then the lights came up, and Dick turned around to me. He said in this gruff voice, ‘Can you run that again?’ So the projectionist rethreaded and ran it again.

“Now the lights come up a second time. Dick looks me straight in the eye and says, ‘How is this possible? How can this be? Those are not the exact images, but the texture and tone of the images I saw in my head when I was writing the original book! The environment is exactly as how I’d imagined it! How’d you guys do that? How did you know what I was feeling and thinking?!’

“Let me tell you, that was one of the most successful moments of my career,” Dryer concludes. “Dick went away dazed.”


3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I thought Philip Dick was going to HATE what he saw on screen. I’m relieved to hear he didn’t.

    Not that it matters, but I re-watched this original Blade Runner on the weekend. The first time I saw it, years ago, I hated it. But when I saw it on the weekend, I quite liked it. It was fun to pick out the 1940s film noir influences. Ridley & Co did a superb job.

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