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

4.4 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"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.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; 1st edition (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061053147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061053146
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sir Charles Panther VINE VOICE on October 25, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback
For those interested in science fiction, movie making, special effects, and even hollywood gossip, this book contains pleanty to satisfy. If you are a big fan of Philip K. Dick and his works, especially Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the movie version Blade Runner, it is of particular interest. This book gets into the minute details of how Blade Runner was conceptualized as a movie, how it was developed, and how eventually it was filmed. Some of the details get a bit overwhelming at some points, like when Sammon talks about the special effects for almost every scene in the movie, but he appropriately forwarns the reader that there will be fairly technical material and to skip it if this is not up your alley. There are lots of interesting accounts from the actors themselves. Sammon did a lot of reporting during the actual filming, but this book over 10 years afterwards, so there are many interviews with the actors with the hindsight and perspective that comes from this amount of time. All in all, an extremely interesting read!
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Format: Paperback
'Future Noir', also known affectionately as 'The Bible' among Blade Runner fans is a very thorough examination all aspects of this groundbreaking film.
Written by Paul M. Sammon, the book takes us through the making of the film, the initial screenings and subsequent release, interviews with the cast and crew, the special effects, mistakes and problems with the film, the question of "Is Deckard a replicant?" and much, much more. This book is very much a reference book so it can be read in almost any order and referred to when you have questions that need answering.
The book provides some very interesting little insights into the film. One example, revealed during an interview with M. Emmet Walsh, is that Ridley Scott said that Walsh's character, Harry Bryant, had a stomach problem. This is the reason why he pours two shots for Deckard in his office and none for himself. He likes to see other people drinking since he can not.
The book is quite long and goes into a lot of detail, particularly in the section dealing with special effects. If you're not interested in such things it can be skipped over, however I am happy that it was included. It is better to have too much information than not enough. One thing that bothers me a bit is the fact that shortly before the book was to be published the publisher cut almost 300 pages of material from the book. This left Sammon scrambling to figure out what to cut and where to put important information from those deleted chapters in the book. There is talk of republishing the book in an expanded, more heavily illustrated version in 2002, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Blade Runner's original release, but whether this will happen is not yet clear.
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Future Noir almost reads like a novel with its behind the scenes examination of the making of Blade Runner. It is a must-read for anyone who goes to movies for it exposes the harsh realities of personality clashes, near financial disasters, humorous anecdotes, and ultimately a climax after a thrilling roller coaster of a ride of how could this movie have ever been made in the first place. Paul Simmon has put flesh and soul on the names normally ignored as the credits flashed by on the movie screen. He even offers optional sections of his book you can skip without losing the thread of the book (if you wish). This book is easily read, entertaining, and insightful. Learn how movies are funded, how earlier special effects were imaginatively put together, how books get altered into movies, what a director really does, discover the fascinating overlapping and intersecting parallels between movies, stars, and movie personalities. And perhaps most important of all "what was this movie all about anyhow". This book may make you laugh, perhaps even cry. But in all instances, it will give you a greater appreciation of what movie making is all about. With the exception of a number of elusive questions left answered (the delay of a soundtrack to the movie, the real story behind Harrison Ford and Sean Young) and a number of new mysteries raised (who was the third actress screen tested?), Mr. Sammon's book is a refreshing, important look into the one of the most intriguing movies of our time.
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