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Lighting Techniques in Blade Runner

            Blade Runner's 1982 release was met with critical uncertainty; where many were displeased with its pacing, others enjoyed the complexity and thematic abundance the film had to offer. Hailed for its production design, and brushed into the neo-noire genre, Blade Runner has since brought the work of Philip K. Dick (author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the novel Blade Runner is based on) to the attention of Hollywood, and is regarded now by many critics as one of the best science fiction films ever made. The film revolves around Rick Deckard, a policeman of the future, who is riled out of retirement by his former chief to hunt four replicants; high quality androids that have been deemed illegal on Earth after one had developed a tendency to murder human beings. The city in which Deckard must search for his prey is a large, gritty vision of the future. Accentuated with overpopulated streets and a light polluted sky, Blade Runner wouldn't be nearly as bizarre or compelling as it is without its intense lighting scheme. Ridley Scott's use of lighting in his now critically acclaimed Blade Runner serves to properly exhibit the dystopian environment where a plot of ethical uncertainty unfolds, while highlighting moments of moral importance throughout the course of the film-with regards to his characters, his scenes, and the world of his film. .
             A consistent feature of Blade Runner's lighting scheme can be attributed to the characters of the film. Many of the characters are basked in a light that describes them within a corresponding scene. A good example of this technique can be seen in Roy, the antagonist of the film. Roy is described as a self-sufficient combat model replicant (Ridley 15:10) before he appears in any of his scenes. When he first appears on-screen, Roy is displayed in an unnatural blue light that will be the basis of his lighting for a number of scenes to come. It makes the white of his hair and the wideness of his eyes appear inhuman, and is often exaggerated as he speaks.

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