I don’t think it’s much of a secret that I’m a film nerd. I love movies of all genres but have a special place in my heart for sci-fi. Among my favorites is Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner.
The film, an adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” made quite an impression on me as a young man. I saw the film at a rough cut screening in San Diego after having won tickets on a local radio station and was treated to a version somewhat different from the finished product. It was a great experience.
I’ve watched the film so many times since that day and each time I still see something new in it. It was definitely before its time and not something soon to be repeated — any potential reboot/remake notwithstanding.
One of the stars of the film is Sean Young. She played Rachel, the replicant who thought she was human. During my travels in Hollywood I almost worked with Sean on a film but she ended up doing it and I ended up dropping out. At least I had the pleasure of meeting her once during pre-production.
She could not have been nicer during the meeting and towards the end even put up with a few Blade Runner questions from me that had absolutely nothing to do with the project we were talking about at the time. I enjoyed that meeting very much.
Recently, Sean put up a bunch of polaroid photos of her, and others, taken during the Blade Runner shoot. They are pretty cool and show a lot of my favorite actors as their younger selves. They also give us a glimpse into the friendship and bond that takes place during the making of a film.
I’ve often heard people in the business describe the filmmaking process as like going to war. You have a mission and you have a group of people all working together to reach a common objective. I’ve never been to war nor do I ascribe the same significance to filmmaking as I do to the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.
However, I get what they mean. Long hours, sometimes difficult working conditions and a sense that you’re isolated except for the rest of the people working with you can lead to that esprit de corps often talked about in military circles.
I’ve experienced the bond and friendship that comes from hours, days, weeks and months “in the trenches” and often it is an amazing experience that you keep with you for the rest of your life. It’s one of the things I miss most about working in the business, on set, helping to create something.
Still, I do like what I’m doing now. Writing is, in some ways, much harder. But is also very rewarding when you know you’ve done a good job on something. As you often work alone, you don’t develop the camaraderie and bond as you would on set but the sense of accomplishing and creating something is certainly there, and often more pronounced.
No, I don’t think I would change how things are now. I’ve got my memories of the good times and I’m still great friends with many of my comrades in arms. For me, those are enough.