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Photo of original Blade Runner Blimp
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BladeFanChuck



Joined: 09 Apr 2007
Posts: 9
Location: Arkansas USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:04 am    Post subject: Photo of original Blade Runner Blimp Reply with quote

Hey guys, I thought you all might like to see a photo of the original Blade Runner blimp that was auctioned off years ago.

Anyway, I saw it pop up on another Forum, and thought you all woudl like to see it.

Enjoy

---Chuck

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Planta
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Joined: 28 Feb 2007
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Location: Italia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow! looks pretty much like a Chris Foss spaceship. any close-ups?
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andy
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Joined: 01 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does look very Chris Foss, who also worked with Ridley on Alien.
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BladeFanChuck



Joined: 09 Apr 2007
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Location: Arkansas USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I honestly dont know who made it. Go to imdb.com and search for Blade Runner. Then look under models or special effects in the credits and his name should be listed. Under minitures, models, or something of the like.

Smile

--Chuck
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andy
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Joined: 01 Nov 2006
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Location: Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chriss Foss was an artist that did cool big spaceship illustrations, as well as naked hairy hippy illustrations for the Joy of Sex. He didn't work on Blade Runner, but it is possible his name came up along with Moebius(also worked on Alien) when instructing the art department on the look he was after. The blimp was built and designed by Bill George.
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amish
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Joined: 11 Apr 2006
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Location: Outside Philadelphia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chuck,

That is fantastic! Any idea of what auction? Possibly profiles?

Thanks for sharing that!

Tom
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Once-bitten
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any chance you can repost that pic? It seems to be gone now...
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Nexus6
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Joined: 15 May 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once-bitten wrote:
Any chance you can repost that pic? It seems to be gone now...

I think this was it:

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Once-bitten
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! Very cool...
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Once-bitten
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anybody know anymore about the Blimp?
How it was lit-up, if the display screens worked, where it's final resting place is?
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SSB
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Joined: 15 Apr 2007
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Location: Florida, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm willing to bet that "Blade Runner: The Inside Story" has something about the blimp. I know it has some nice pictures.


-Mike
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SSB
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found this online somewhere:

http://propsummit.com/upload/230/b1.jpg

That same beauty shot is the last page in "BR: The Inside Story".


-Mike
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SSB
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From "BR:TIS":

The last major item on the effects docket was the giant advertising blimp seen drifting languorously over the city from time to time. It was also among the last elements to be incorporated into the script. "The blimp is an extension of media advertising," said Scott, "and in a way, it's also kind of a throwback to my childhood during the second World War. My family was living in a suburb of London, and we had these barrage balloons flying overhead. In fact, there was a whole line of them on cables right across the southern seaboard in kind of a triangular wedge leading into London; and the idea was that the buzz bombs and the Messerschmitts would fly into these cables and be brought down or deflected off course before they could get to the city. I remember one of the balloons burst one night and settled over our house, and we woke up the next morning and thought it was still dark. So all that experience was still in the back of my mind; and I thought maybe in the future we might get back to that idea as an advertising medium. Already they're talking about moving back to the old-fashioned idea of using blimps to carry cargo and passengers - for fuel reasons, mainly. So you could have a blimp that's maybe four hundred feet long, with a major screen on it that's two hundred feet across and a couple others a hundred feet each - that's a lot of advertising power, especially if it's really visual. They'd be anchored to the ground, and they'd slowly drift about like a big whale and they'd cover maybe twelve
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SSB
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

square miles - which is a lot when you consider the population density, but you'd probably still need twenty or thirty of them across a city of fifty or sixty million people."

"The initial idea," said Douglas Trumbull, "was that the blimp would be this sort of big, dark shape that on the storyboard was drawn to look like a regular blimp with some kind of big illuminated signs on the body - very much like the Goodyear blimp. We thought, though, that the blimp ought to be a really strange-looking contraption, with big flat signs on it at various angles and a few lights on board. Ridley liked that approach, and so that's the way we did it. It was always supposed to bejustkind of a background thing; but as it turned out, Ridley really fell in love with that blimp and kept ordering up more and more shots. And then he decided he wanted it to be bigger. Well, one of the things you tend to resort to to get scale is lots of tiny little lights. Lights on a miniature tend to look like windows; and therefore, if a little point of light looks like a window, then the overall shape must be very big. So Ridley asked for lots oflittle lights to be added to the blimp, plus a lot of antennas and stuff. As a result, it ended up looking kind of like a sleazy mothership - which the cognoscenti of the special effects business are probably going to have a good laugh over."

Shortly before he left the project, Wayne Smith had put together a small foam study mockup of the blimp as it was conceived at the time. "Originally, it was supposed to be just a throwaway type thing," said Mark Stetson, "to be seen in the background a few times, and that was it. So we ended up putting it off and putting it off; and aside from Wayne's foam and paper mockup, we didn't put any more design effort into it at all for quite a long time. Then, after Bill George had gotten all his other vehicles done, he came to me and asked if I wanted him to build the blimp. I said sure. Aside from the fact that it was supposed to carry advertising signs and look kind of puffy and overinflated, we didn't have a whole lot to go on. And at first we tried a number of things that just weren't working, We tried making up a series of masonite templates, assembling them into kind of an x-y grid, and then stretching a sheet of styrene over the top and heating it to see if it would drape over this template grid into the form that we wanted. It didn't. We tried it with heat and air. and that didn't work either. We tried it with heat on wet rags to push it out and cool it into place, and it still didn't work."

"The final form," Bill George explained, "was fabricated by first building a box with the symmetrical centerline cut in the top. Curved ribs were then added to the inside. So essentially, what it ended up being was a negative skeleton of the intended shape. Next, a thin sheet of surgical neoprene rubber was stretched over the centerline hole in the top, and then filled with wet plaster. The weight of the plaster ballooned the latex between the ribs, spontaneously creating the inflated look. The blimp shape was about three feet long and ended up holding over a hundred pounds of plaster. And there were three of us, mixing plaster with our hands and filling it in, sure that at any moment the over-stretched latex would burst and spill wet plaster all over us.
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SSB
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fortunately it didn't, but I got so excited because it was working that I didn't notice the plaster had hardened on my forearms. The process may seem like a lot of trouble, but the gentle intersecting curves would have taken weeks to sculpt or carve."

"We let the plaster set up for a few days," Mark Stetson continued, "and then turned it upside-down and poured a thick rubber mold over it - just a throwaway - and got two quick castings out of it and slapped the thing together. At that point, Ridley reviewed it for the first time, and he was really kind of enchanted with it. But he started asking for lots of changes which I think meant that he really liked it. The advertising projection screens were changed. We added a bunch of bristling antennas around the outside, and lots of fiber optic lights. Mike McMillen and Rick Guttierez were working on it at that point, and Mike came up with a little chopper wheel between the fiber optic bundle and the light source so the little lights would flicker and blink. With the optics spread out across the blimp body and this flickering chopper wheel going, it was really starting to look pretty interesting. We presented it to Ridley again, and he liked it even better this time - but he wanted still more changes. for one thing, he wanted to change the scale so it would look twice as big. So we added more lights and detail pieces and built a new cabin. Dave Dryer also liked it a lot and had some of his own changes he wanted made. So it really went through three full generations of construction before it finally got on camera." By this time, the old Army-surplus look that was the basis of the original concept had given way to something altogether different - summed up rather aptly by the model shop crew who collectively dubbed it the "mother-blimp."

At first it was intended that the black screens on which the advertising would appear would remain in place at all times. However, once the blimp made its way into the smoke room and began undergoing film tests, David Dryer devised a new approach. "Rather than having some kind of an opaque screen, we decided to have only a border, and nothing tangible within. Then, when it was energized and the advertising message appeared, it would do so kind of magically - almost from nowhere. The image would be kind of semitransparent and it would sputter a bit and zap on like some sort of holographic television. We did that by filming the fill-light passes and the practical light passes without the screen in place. Then, for the commercial pass, we'd insert a silk screen into that area and project our off-world footage - or whatever else the shot called for - onto that, so it seemed to exist in space within that border in front of the blimp." As they had with the spinners, Don Baker and Tim McHugh accomplished most of the actual blimp photography.
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SSB
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote






-Mike
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andy
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Joined: 01 Nov 2006
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Location: Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

on this Japanese BR fan's blog they have scans of the blimp from a Japanese magazine...

http://ameblo.jp/allbr/theme4-10003837838.html

http://ameblo.jp/allbr/day-20070701.html
http://ameblo.jp/allbr/day-20070702.html
http://ameblo.jp/allbr/day-20070704.html
http://ameblo.jp/allbr/day-20070705.html
http://ameblo.jp/allbr/day-20070706.html
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BeastMaster
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Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 991
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool! this model was always pretty illusive.

makes you wonder where the hell all this stuff went! The wallet, wiskey bottles, miniatures... just all seemed to disappear Sad
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The Loyalizer
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Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I read somewhere, might have been in Future Noir, Ridley Scott ordered that all the props and such be thrown on the bonfire to prevent them from being re-used in other films.

So most of it is probably gone or hidden in someones living room.
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BeastMaster
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yikes! isn't that what they did with most of the stormtrooper suits after star wars Shocked

I know they burnt alot of the jawa costumes Wink
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