Imagine if your favourite movie in the world was Blade Runner and one day, you were asked to work on the sequel. That’s what happened to senior conceptual designer George Hull and the result is work bursting with that passion.
All Images: George Hull
“The original Blade Runner film is not only my favourite film of all time, it is also what inspired my life’s works as an artist in the film industry,” Hull told io9. “To me Blade Runner encompasses my favourite aspects of imagination, art, design, film noir and a bit of philosophy. So when I got the call to work on the 2049 I was beyond excited!”
Hull worked with Aaron Haye and production designer Dennis Gassner to help come up with some of the earliest visual development of the film. Specificially the vehicles, mood and lighting. Here are some of Hull’s gorgeous pieces from the film, complete with some descriptions of what each image is from Hull himself.
This was the earliest concept created on the film for a Wallace Corporation Spinner. The character Luv was to have a luxury model, and my mind immediately went to one of my favourite car designs -the 1965 Lincoln Continental. It has the iconic blunt front fenders which inspired this look. I also integrated a layer of retrofitted hardware to honour the look from the original film. The copper tone was meant to to distiquish the elite class and offer a different aesthetic. This might be my favourite image from my Blade Runner portfolio.
Police Spinner Conceptual Art. This was an early design concept and snow/ mood study. (The director had very specific memories of snowscapes and atmosphere from growing up in Montreal.) This contributed to the LAPD police vehicles and the look of Ryan Gosling’s vehicle design.
Wallace Tower Concept Art. Imagining Niander Wallace would have his structure built as high up as possible to escape the pollution and chaos of the street level- and also allow the interiors to be draped with warm “Tyrell” light. Aiming for a simple structure of monolithic proportions
Wallace Interior Concept. The very first image created for inside Wallace’s complex . I studied Roger Deakins work and aimed to paint something that merged his strong silhouette compositions with elements from the original Blade Runner that I loved. Specifically Mayan + Brutalist architecture, shafts of light, film noir aesthetics, etc. The Tryell Ziggurat in the Background
Police spinner concept sketch.
Inside the Wallace tower. The early script had shots of K’s spinner approaching the massive building and travelling inside to meet Luv. Note the Tyrell building in the background. This early painting was featured large in the Art of 2049 book, so although this exact shot wasn’t in the film, I like to think it contributed the look of Wallace’s interiors. I can see some lighting and colour influences towards the final cinematography which makes me happy. Certainly Dennis Gassner and Roger Deakins were the rockstars of course!
The Wallace Corporation Tower -colour concept. This was painted very early on the production. If you look closely you can see I painted a layer of snow to the buildings as this was going to be a dominant element. Happy to see this in the Art of 2049 book which indicates to me that the production found it influential.
This concept was a study on architectural scale and texture. I always loved the laser cut patterns on the Tyrell building and the depth the miniature building had. With more time I would have liked to create a proper elegant pattern, but it was a fun piece to experiment with.
Blade Runner 2049 Spinner Concept. Work in progress design sketch. A lot of white out used as I was re-drawing lines until I was happy with the shape. Really fun to break out the ana
All of these are in the Blade Runner 2049 art book which you can get here.