For anyone out there who spent a good amount of time in the early 2000s watching the special features of ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Extended Editions, it should be no surprise to learn that Weta Workshop’s contribution to ‘Blade Runner: 2049’ included some fantastic and hyper-realistic miniatures. The coolest looking ones were the buildings created for the futuristic city of Los Angeles, which were created so cinematographer Alex Funke could get his aerial shots of K soaring over the city throughout the film. And now you can see the folks at Weta in action thanks to a new video on YouTube where they show off their handiwork on ‘Blade Runner: 2049.’
It is refreshing to see this kind of work done, especially nowadays when everything is done CGI, and to appreciate the time and effort that goes into this kind of a project, with the new video explaining that each of the buildings for the LA model took about a week to complete, and that seemed to be before they even put in the fake lights inside and arranged them all into a proper city layout. According to Art Director Steven Saunders while speaking in the video:
“I always think of a miniature as a giant composition of tiny little vignettes…Tiny little stories, tiny little places that all need to work together,”
The team at Weta ended up crafting 37 1/48 scale “mega high detail” buildings that could be used for those shots of the expansive cityscape, which is truly an accomplishment, and really makes me want to see the movie yet again just to appreciate the artistry that went into those models. Weta seemed to really relish the work though, as they are apparently huge fans of the original ‘Blade Runner,’ as the caption for the video showing off the models on YouTube states:
“This was a passion project for our crew, who are huge fans of Ridley Scott’s iconic 1982 original.”
You can check out an Instagram post of one of the scale models being filmed for the movie below, and then see the full video of the making of the miniatures for ‘Blade Runner: 2049’ below that. And if you appreciate the work as much as I do, make sure to share your thoughts and opinions on the artistry and craft of the model and miniatures in the film in the comments section!