“Sometimes to love someone, you got to be a stranger.”
Blade Runner 2049 was an epic undertaking and daunting task that stands out for its use of special effects, practicality, and realism. There are two major documentaries that go into the cinematography and casting of the film, each giving unique insight on what it took to bring the Oscar nominated film to life and into the future of the 1982 original.
What is most striking is the dedication to practical sets, which were built to scale to bring the world of 2049 into the camera. Even the backdrops and settings were filmed in practical methods to provide a full experience for the cast that allowed them to become fully immersed in the scene.
This is a groundbreaking trend in modern cinematography, and shows the difference in quality of a film when the extra time goes in to create real moving props, natural elements, and a more subtle mix of digital touch ups. Lead, Ryan Gosling, noted during his interview on the film that he needed additional time on set to soak in the environment and squash his sense of awe so he could feel more detached and familiar in the settings as he filmed.
Both these feature sets really take you inside that combined effort, and having that knowledge of balance on film is truly breathtaking. The only area of weakness in showing the behind the scenes footage is the lack of mention of Sean Young’s return as the legendary replicant, Rachel. Though mentioned in articles and online features, having an in depth look at the hard work that went into bringing Rachel to life would have been a great featurette.
A combination of a stand in actress, digital reproduction, and work with Young herself created the very real representation of her 1982 appearance. Here’s a breakdown video that would have been a nice addition to the Blu-Ray set along with commentary and additional footage from Young and the crew who helped bring her character to life for this amazing scene.
The disc set also gives a unique opportunity for three prologue features that explain some of the events leading up to the film’s story. The first, in anime-style, leads you down the path to the “Blackout” that shifts the tide of the world and what’s to come. It’s a brilliant segment that is definitely worth a watch.
Here’s a full list of included features on the set below:
Designing The World of Blade Runner 2049
To Be Human: Casting Blade Runner 2049
– PROLOGUES: 2022: Black Out
– PROLOGUES: 2036: Nexus Dawn – PROLOGUES: 2048: Nowhere to Run
Blade Runner 101
-The Replicant Evolution
-The Rise of Wallace Corp
-Welcome to 2049
-Within the Skies: Spinners, Pilotfish and Barracudas
For hardcore cinemaphiles, the features are definitely worth the time, as this movie rings in both the tone and marvel of the original film. Blade Runner 2049 is now available on Digital, Blu-Ray & DVD.