Cinematographer Roger Deakins reveals Blade Runner 2049 the scene was almost too expensive to shoot. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the 2017 sequel follows K (Ryan Gosling), a Nexus-9 replicant working for the LAPD who discovers that bioengineered humans have the ability to reproduce. Despite underperforming at the box office, the film was praised for its technical achievements and ability to expand on the 1982 original. Likewise Blade Runnerits depiction of the future is visually impressive, and the sequence where K meets Deckard (Harrison Ford) in Las Vegas is a case in point.


When talking to GQDeakins discussed Blade Runner 2049 and shared how the Vegas showroom scene was made.

Joe Walker, editor Blade Runner 2049, once found that the sequence was almost cut due to difficulty, and that the set they envisioned was too expensive, according to Deakins. To photograph it, he used curtains and “rock and roll lighting scheme” for the holograms that appear. Read Deakins’ snippets of that scene Blade Runner 2049 below:

A lot of things evolve, they start as small things and then they evolve and you’re like, “How do we do this technically?” A sequence of holograms with Elvis singing and it’s like a futuristic Las Vegas—maybe it’s not futuristic, I haven’t been to Vegas in a while, maybe it is. The idea is that it’s all gone wrong, it’s a mess of different people and different ideas, but you figure out how to do it. One of the big things about that is actually, “How do we shoot it?” We wanted this big area, but we couldn’t afford the kit, so I said, “Let’s do it in black.” We just hang black curtains. It couldn’t be cheaper, so we got it – I got it, I did (laughs) – it’s a whole rock ‘n’ roll lighting scheme. I did it with a rock and roll company in Budapest and they had these lights and we worked together and programmed it all. So we had a whole sequence of different lighting that went with the different characters appearing on stage and Elvis. in place. It’s a technical challenge, I’ve never done it in such a complicated way, it was really fun to do.

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Why is Deakins’ work on Blade Runner 2049 so impressive?

K and Deckard fight in a Las Vegas hotel in Blade Runner 2049

For his work Blade Runner 2049, Deakins won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. Previously nominated thirteen times, he brought a level of experience to the film that was invaluable in making the aforementioned scene so inexpensively. In the video, he also mentioned aspects related to creating the world of the film, such as colors. Original by Ridley Scott Blade Runner.

To go along with Deakins’ work behind the camera, Blade Runner 2049The scale and overall production design of the other memorable visuals. although he collaborated with Villeneuve on previous projects such as Prisoners and Sicario, the settings and effects used in this film were very different. It may have taken more effort technically to create this particular version of the future, but the end product was still a spectacle.

Given the film’s huge budget, it’s hard to believe that any scene would cost so much to create, but Deakins was ultimately up to the challenge. Considered one of the greats, his ability to find solutions that allow the sequence to exist is also commendable. Building on its predecessor, using advances in filmmaking to look Blade Runner 2049 continues to be highly acclaimed.

MORE: Blade Runner 2049 – Why didn’t Ridley Scott direct the sequel?


Source: GQ