Adam Savage Checks Out 'Blade Runner 2049' Props in Behind the Scenes Video

Thursday, 19 October 2017 - 5:34PM
Blade Runner
Blade Runner 2049
Thursday, 19 October 2017 - 5:34PM
Adam Savage Checks Out 'Blade Runner 2049' Props in Behind the Scenes Video
YouTube/Tested
At this point in his career, it seems like ex-Mythbuster Adam Savage has decided to use all of his clout within the media industry to just delve head-deep into the weird and wonderful props of various cyberpunk movies. That's at least partly what Tested exists for, right? The chance to play with a cool robot head from Ghost in the Shell, or to visit a rock quarry in Budapest that's being used to film a scene from Blade Runner 2049.

In some new videos for his Tested YouTube channel, Savage examined props and sets from the film and, of course, geeked out over them. The newest of which shows Savage ignoring actor Dave Bautista, who's somewhere nearby filming an actual scene, in favor of driving a futuristic street-sweeper prop with all the gleeful enthusiasm of a schoolboy in a toy store.



That quarry is used not for filming Blade Runner 2049 itself, but to film the short prequel movie in which Bautista's character "Sapper" gets into trouble for a violent outburst, leading directly to the opening events of the theatrical cut of the film. It's a lot of work for a scene that the majority of moviegoers won't know anything about, with a lot of painstaking detail that's gone into making each prop look and feel real.

Savage brings up an interesting point about the process of making a movie in the modern era - with HD cameras capturing more and more of the details of props and costumes, it's become a lot harder to hide the strings, wires, and cracks in set dressings. Once upon a time, movie props didn't need to be perfect, but now, anything that isn't detailed enough to fool someone in real life will end up looking on camera like a piece of decoration from a theme park rather than a real, tangible part of a lived-in world.

To a certain extent, the props that Savage fawns over aren't designed to draw attention or stand out - as beautiful and detailed as they may be, their job is to blend into the scenery rather than be appreciated on their own merit. Good props aren't noticeable because they sell the fictional world, and so it falls to videos like these to actually give audiences the chance to see all the tiny little touches that make these movies shimmer and gleam with hidden beauty.



What's really impressive is that Blade Runner 2049 achieves all of this without a reliance on CGI or greenscreens. Using computers to fill in the cracks is relatively quick and easy in the modern world - certainly, it's simpler and more efficient than painting fake grease into the cracks of a vehicle that won't appear on screen for more than three seconds.

That said, the extra effort definitely pays off, as the world of the new Blade Runner does feel far more authentic and believable than anything created by computer. Valerian, for example, may be a gorgeous CGI treat, but it's never possible to escape the fact that it's a glorified cartoon, rather than something with real physical weight. The problem with using computers for all the heavy lifting is that audiences can subconsciously tell that they're not really looking at something solid.

It's a shame that a lot of the work that went into Blade Runner 2049 will ultimately go unrewarded, due to the underwhelming crowds it drew in. It seems thus far that as enthusiastic as Hollywood creators may be about cyberpunk this year, audiences aren't as eager to watch grimy, psychologically complicated dystopian fiction, no matter how much neon coloring or haunting synth is used in these movies.

With any luck, though, Blade Runner 2049 will go on to enjoy a second life on home release that's not unlike its predecessor, as the movie is appreciated by a small but loyal cult fandom who will, if given the chance, pore over art books and screenshots to really get the most out of all the beautiful, carefully crafted props and costumes that make this movie feel so alive.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
Blade Runner
Blade Runner 2049
No