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Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner Paperback – May 1 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: It Books (May 1 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061053147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061053146
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #191,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Sammon is a dedicated chronicler and aficionado who has spent more than 200 hours chatting to the key players behind this seminal sci-fi classic. Were quite happy to direct all future enquiries to this mammoth opus, because we're confident it can answer every one of them." -- Neil Smith TOTAL FILM "This epic account of the making of Blade Runner covers the film and its various versions in the kind of detail that is best described as all consuming. A remarkable piece of journalism, this cannot be faulted on any level, and will be a must for like-minded obsessives." -- Howard Maxford FILM REVIEW "No detail seems too slight to be included in this monumental account of the realisation of Ridley Scott's dystopian version of Philip K Dick's 'do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep'." THE SCOTSMAN "One simply cannot fault the quantity and quality of Sammon's legwork. This is a book which will fascinate not only any Bladerunner fan, but also those with a keen interest in the film making process generally." -- Eddie Robson DEATHRAY "This tome is far from something solely for the fan obsessed with Blade Runner - it is also a wonderful insight into the movie making process generally." -- Andrew Baldwin HUDDERSFIELD DAILY EXAMINER "Paul M Sammon's meticulously researched account often feels like a particularly extensive DVD extra. For fans of Ridley Scott's masterpiece, this is essential reading. " -- DW: Total Sci-Fi "An unmissable account of the film's extraordinary history." BIRMINGHAM MAIL "As dramatic as any thriller, the story behind this extraordinary achievement in film-making is as compelling as the action on the screen." -- Shari Low DAILY RECORD --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Paul M. Sammon's distinctive career can best be described by the film industry expression "hyphenate."

As a writer, Sammon has published numerous articles, short stories and books. His many film journalism pieces have seen print in The American Cinematographer, Cahiers du Cinema, The Los Angeles Times, Omni, Cinefex, and Cinefantastique. Sammon's fiction has appeared in Peter Straub's Ghosts (1995), and he recently edited both the 1994 "dead Elvis" anthology The King Is Dead plus the "no limits" anthologies Splatterpunks: Extreme Horror and Splatterpunks II: Over the Edge (1995).

But Paul M. Sammon does not only write about movies--he works in them as well. He first entered the industry as a publicist in the late 1970s, before moving on as a second-unit director, special effects coordinator, still photographer, electronic press kit producer, and Vice President of Special Promotions. Some of the scores of motion pictures on which Sammon has labored include RoboCop, Platoon, Blue Velvet, Conan the Barbarian, and The Silence of the Lambs.

By the late 1980s, Sammon was working in Japanese television, where he coproduced popular entertainment programs like Hello! Movies for the TV Asahi network. By the 1990s, Sammon had served as Computer Graphics Supervisor for RoboCop 2; he recently was Digital and Optical Effects Supervisor for 1995's XTRO: Watch the Skies.

Despite this background, however, Sammon still likes nothing better than sitting down with a good movie. And Blade Runner remains one of his favorite films.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book and reference tool, and a must-have for any hard-core Blade Runner (BR) fanatic. It's packed with names, places, dates, fascinating factoids throughout, a trivia cornucopia. But, you've gotta be a serious BR fan to stick with author Paul Sammon all the way through this densely detailed, thorough, and clearly personally meaningful work. The book does have one major flaw: Sammon's failure to prove his subtitle promise that Blade Runner is the most influential sci-fi film of all time.
The book reads easily and well, Sammon's style informal. He writes as one BR fan to another, a great approach. The production details are thorough, insightful, and wonderful to read, 441 pages in 18 chapters, with nine appendices containing interviews, production details, the cast list, etc. Sammon is a total BR devotee, I compliment and commend him on his achievement and the recognition of those who worked so hard to make BR.
There is vast information throughout from all members of the cast and crew, all of them supportive of Sammon's effort to tell their story. There is surprisingly liberal information from the movie's principals, Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Michael Deeley, Syd Mead, Hampton Fancher and David Peoples. One disappointment is the absence of direct input and comment from the soundtrack maestro, Vangelis. Sammon nevertheless gives him thorough justice.
Wonderful esoteric tidbits abound through the book, such as the revelation that the original lead was not Harrison Ford, but Dustin Hoffman. Edward James Olmos provides great background on his preparation for his role as Gaff and his detailed construction of his Cityspeak dialog (most of it sadly unused).
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Format: Paperback
I approached this book as someone who has always loved watching the hypnotic, gorgeous "Blade Runner," but who has never considered it a particularly good movie, and who was curious about how this undeniably influential film was made and was marred. That curiosity was more than satisfied. Sammon seems aware of every question ever asked about "BR," as he constantly and cozily calls it, and he does answer those questions--sometimes four or five times in the course of this 435-page book.
The writing is awful--coy, fawning, and inexpressive. (One minor example: Actor Rutger Hauer is described as "warm but genuine" on the occasion that the author interviews him. Does warmth imply lack of genuineness?) Sammon is also so far inside his own fandom that he is unable to deal with the film or its makers objectively. He goes so far as to say that the critics didn't like the film because it was too good for them. (His actual words: ". . .as if many of the nation's critics had somehow been personally offended by the subtlety and care that had gone into this picture.") That's the sort of thing that a teenager would say: "You don't understand me [my favorite movie] because you're just not as sensitive as I am."
This is not a critical examination of "Blade Runner" or a study of its influence on the cyberpunk genre. It is more like a straight narrative "making of" book (the sort that is usually one quarter its length), with the viewpoint that mostly everyone now agrees that it is a great film, so let's see how it got that way. With that point of view acknowledged, if the thing is to be done at all, one might as well go all the way, with all the detail that has been assembled here, and I did find a lot of it quite interesting.
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Format: Paperback
The book is written by Paul M. Sammon in 1996, about 15 years since the original release and 4 years after the Director's Cut re-release. As he explains in the opening chapter of the book, Sammon worked for a science fiction magazine called Cinefantastique, and what began as a double-issue special on the making of the highly-anticipated film Blade Runner eventually evolved into what Sammon calls an "exhaustive archaeology" of information regarding the film.
The novel is simply an overwhelming wealth of information on all things Blade Runner; chapters focus on every minute detail such as the evolution of the story as it passed through the hands of Phillip K. Dick's novel, Hampton Fancher's screenplay, then into the hands of David Peoples and Ridley Scott. Chapter VIII is such a delight, as it meticulously works through each scene in the film, stopping along the way to add tidbits of info such as exclusive interviews with the actors. Sammon apparently also had the luxury of roaming the set of Blade Runner, and he reveals things such as the futuristic magazine covers he would see on the magazine racks and many other incredibly obscure decorations the design team threw in that are virtually impossible to see when you watch the film.
Like the other reviewers, I agree that Sammon is not perhaps the most skilled writer, and the prose of the book is very choppy and (especially in Chapter I) pretty corny. What troubles me most, though, is that Sammon has a particularly annoying habit of throwing out names without properly introducing them and explaining their role in the Blade Runner universe. Mercifully, there is a cast and crew listing printed as an appendix, which is a great help.
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