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BeastMaster
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:34 pm    Post subject: Tom Southwell Q & A Reply with quote

I thought I'd start up a little Q & A thread for questions that may not relate to other threads currently active. Tom has kindly agreed to take part in answering and shedding light on some long discussed mysteries whilst he has time here Cool
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BeastMaster
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'm going to start the first one off

KeyCard

There has been huge discussion in the past (mainly on propcircle.com) and would be great to clear things up on this. So will just bullet point some of the key mysteries.

* The red Japanese writing overlayed on top.. what does it mean? I always thought this was drawn over the laminate with a red china marker and that the (kanji?) symbols were made up and had no meaning.

* Holes? Do you know why holes were punched into the card? And were there different sized holes?

* Finally, what was on the reverse of the card? Was it anything close to this sketch?



Any info you have would be great Tom Smile
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amish
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello TS,

Thanks for volunteering your time to do this!

I was curious if you had any information on the whiskey bottle as seen below in a replica version. I think this ranks as one of the most discussed items of the Blade Runner world. Anything you have to share world be appreciated. My apologies if you covered this already and I missed it.


Photo is by Clutch.

Thanks,
Tom
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joberg
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom, you'd mentioned some kind of graphic design on the Vid-Phone...do you have any pics or drawings showing the design?
Thanks in advance.
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Mr Webber
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you contributing to the possible new production in any way Tom?

Fully understand if your in no position to answer and regardless of the answer, there wouldnt be any follow up questions for obvious reasons, just curious. Wink
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Tom Southwell
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:38 am    Post subject: Key Cards. Reply with quote

BeastMaster,
That sketch really looks like mine, haven't seen it in ages.

The card in question was for Decks apartment. We (prop master and me)
Presented a finished card to Mr Scott and he asked for an added graphic
( something red, perhaps Asian) to be printed right over the
Frank Lloyd Wright block design. A harsh graphic juxtaposition.

I have it.
I'll try to post it here.

I believe it was laminated in a funky fashion.
I have never punched holes in any of these cards however can't promise
it didn't happen.
I'm not sure what the Japanese says as I lost my link on that one.

I would bring blocks of text to a translator and then have that set at a
Japanese type house . Many errors that I couldn't detect happened on these
journeys. I'll discuss some of them here later.
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Tom Southwell
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Bottles. Reply with quote

Amish,
Sorry. I have no info in this area.

The prop master and the set decorator (s) would have a space and set up
"show and tell" for the director as is usually the case on a film ...
However this was Ridley Scott and no one is like him.
Prop masters and set decorators came and went. Not an easy position.

Sorry.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:26 am    Post subject: VidPhon. Reply with quote

Joberg,
Syd Mead designed the vidPhon case but Rid asked me to make the face
over in a less futuristic fashion, with instructions in both Japanese and
English. I suggested a form not unlike a bank ATM which was introduced at
about that time. He said yes. Do it. I presented a blueprint to him which he
liked but he asked me to write the process of how it works as instructions
on the side. I figured it like the ATM and listed each move needed to make a call.
In a day or so I showed Rid. He said : "great. Now print all that on the front of the phone."
Also:
I was impressed to see the real "Bell" telephone logo on the screen in the film
2001 A Space Odyssey (a guy calling from space) so I asked our legal folks
if we could have that logo too. Long story short: Bell gave permission.

Jack Neville and his staff produced the film negative finish art complete with
red details and clear areas for screen and camera and a slit to accept a
card. This got sandwiched in plex with lights and guts behind all by
Mike Fink and his team.

I'll try to post a photo.
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Tom Southwell
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Offworld66,
I wish!

Pray for me.
TS
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Tom Southwell
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:10 pm    Post subject: Spinner Logo Rendering Reply with quote


This is one of my favorite works for BR.
I worked off and on this project for a week
(around 30 or so less interesting assignments). As the set designers
(Bill Skinner in this case) were developing (designing and drawing) the detailed working drawings,
or blue prints for the cars, I got very interested in making the right metal
logo. This is my presentation sketch for Lawrence G Paull, that went to
Mr Scott. And it was ok ed. I tried to make it look like cast LEAD (heavy metal).

I finished two of these smaller Spinner plates for the dashboard.
This example remains unfinished. I dont think they installed
them on the interiors.
Not sure.
TS
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:37 pm    Post subject: Syd Mead's Confessional disassembled. Reply with quote


OK good. Finally posting better. (See, takes longer with the aged.)

On a topic discussed elsewhere on this blog related to a white wall by Herb Lubalin and Louis Dorfsman I mentioned this design by Syd Mead.


These polaroids show how beautifully the set designers and builders
would create from Syd Mead's wonderful designs.
TS.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted this a few days ago:
Rutgar's first day at BR was about my last day. Mr Scott wanted me to put the very small circular like tattoos I had designed for Baddy (which we called him often in the art department) right on Rutgar one Saturday before filming started so he could see how they might look. A test or a dry run. Rutgar arrived wearing a PINK skin tight Terry cloth jump suit with a fur collar and cuffs. And this shock of white hair. Producer Michael Deeley says: "this is your villain ?"
Well for about 3 hours he lay down on a table while I applied my series of circles, triangles and fine straight lines to his hairless chest. He never complained even the slightest bit. We went to Mr Scotts office where he and Mr Deeley debated wether Batty should even HAVE tattoos. We shot polaroids (instant color snapshots) and except for the straight lines, that's what we saw on his chest while Batty gave his "tears in rain" speech.
Mr Scott had a vision. Oh, A week or so later I ran into him coming out of a Paris subway!


This is the best picture I have to illustrate the tattoos. Rid had a
graphic novel from France he loaned me to get the gist of this concept.
Rutgar read it while I drew on him. I believe Marvin Westmore applied these to Rutgar for this scene.
TS
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:50 pm    Post subject: TS Q&A, computer station. Reply with quote


This is Mentors sketch of the alcove just outside Deck's apt. door
(to the left of the elevator door as you come out of the apt.)
This and other designs of this are in "Blade Runner Sketchbook"
(Pg 33 & 34).

This was a face plate (back lit) that represented a computer where you
could order services from within the massive building.


Please forgive the poor photo of the unit in place.
Sadly this isnt seen in the film. (If you count all the icons,
I may have 200 items not seen in the film).

One of the coolest things in the area was the elevator controls. Above
them inside the elevator is a rectangular hole. A 16mm movie projector
was hidden inside to project the floor numbers on to Deck's face LIVE.
(Elevator, hall, and apartment drawn by Charles Breen under the direction of the art dept leadership.) And oh, you can see the elevator walls reused
in Zhora's dressing room.
TS
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andy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just about to suggest creating a thread like this and asking Tom if it was cool with him. Glad that in my absence it was done because it is a good idea. This board for the most part does not need moderators, because the members all take responsibility here, and I love it. Makes my job easier for sure.

A couple questions myself regarding one of the most talked about BR props was Deckard's wallet ID and if there was a badge with it at all. Many years ago a member of another board had said that he had obtained an actual "Screen made" one, and then he made very expensive recreations based on it. Through the years it had been slowly debunked as the actual "screen used" one. Information popped up first through a 'V' card that you made reusing the same artwork showed up in a private collection. Then in 2006 many of the props in Jeff Walker's hands were shown for the first time since the film, proving and disproving years of speculation. I would just love any information on that prop you can give.

Andy
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Bendzhamin1967
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow... this is so very cool!!! Cool
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So...much...to...compute Shocked Thanks you very much Tom for all the sharing. This is sooo interesting and makes BR anew again for us on the board. We've been dissecting this Art Movie for so long that any new info is a God send.

But this is unbelievable Cool There's a lot of "recycling" in the movie and I can understand Ridley wanting to re-use the graphics seen during the Nostromo landing pattern and putting them back into the Spinner's screen,
as he did with the walls of the elevator and placing them back at Zorah's.

Do you know anything about the small Vid-Phones that you see during Leon's interview or scattered throughout Deck's apt?

Thanks again for all these pics
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BeastMaster
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Key Cards. Reply with quote

Tom Southwell wrote:

I have it.
I'll try to post it here.


That would be awesome! Very Happy Wow! so much great content, thanks for sharing Tom.

As Andy mentioned before, any info on Deckards wallet and ID card would be great! Just to add on the wallet contents:

Were there any additional cards (other than the apartment key and Vidphon) that you made for the wallet?

Did you ever make designs for currency? Is it true they used a cookie wrapper for the currency in the movie? (When Deckard pays for the bottle of Tsing Tsao)

Cheers Tom Smile
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BeastMaster
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also I really do hope they get you and as many of the original guys in for the new film.

What I really like about your work in Blade Runner is the raw boldness of the design and the interesting shapes you use. Your designs have a very unique style and whats great about it is the simplicity in the layout. So mostly just black and white/ two tone colors, no overlays, nothing photographic, nothing too complex, just interesting shapes that really stand out.
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Tom Southwell
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:37 pm    Post subject: Q&A: wallet. Reply with quote

Andy,
I have to defer here to the prop master and his crew.
Like I said, I design a graphic, Jack Neville would complete the
Design using set type, litho photo process, and in some cases
Build the cards out of film, paper and cardboard. The prop master
And the actors would build the wallets, adding their own personal
Elements with a cloth wallet Rid would ok. The method actors do
this for all their characters: wallet, shoes and costume, all very
Important to them.

I've been asked many times if I put a gold
badge into the wallet and I say the above. I designed the badges
You see the uniformed cops wearing. My prop master on Disturbia was
On the crew in BR and he wore a uniform in the Union Station police
sequence and his face is on one of the I.D. cards I see on the web.
He may have sold his wallet. He is in no hurry to talk to fans.

Andy the most amazing I.D. Story I have is this:
My first presentation to Rid was a "light-up" I.D. Card you wear on your chest.
A supplier came to show new products and he had a light "bulb"
That was as flat as a business card and just as flexible !
Tiny battery lit this up. I could create a color transparency
with name, rank, photo, fingerprint,
All the usual stuff and more. I drew a smooth case to put it in
with a hook to attach it to a uniform. Ridley Scott felt it was like
Star Trek and he was
Aiming more for Chinatown so it went to the reject pile.
That was 1980.

Now about a year after I got my iPhone (1st Generation) I was leafing
through my BR papers and I stopped on this rejected I.D. and was
stunned how close it came to my iPhone.
What do you think?
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TM
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom,

Thank you very much for your contributions here!

Much appreciated!

Tony
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