Anybody who’s seen Blade Runner 2049 will know how stunning it is. Even if you didn’t like the movie itself, it’s almost impossible not to gaze in awe at the incredible visuals on offer in Denis Villeneuve’s incredible follow-up to the 1982 classic. What’s even more impressive is that instead of solely relying on CGI for everything, the filmmakers actually used miniature models for many of the scenes. Well, we say “miniature” but as you can see, there’s really nothing miniature about them!
“They’re really bigatures – they’re not miniatures. They’re massive buildings,” says Pamela Harvey-White, the on-set production manager, in the video below. And few people could disagree when they see the 14.8ft (4.5m) high L.A.P.D building, the pyramid-shaped Wallace Towers that could only be lifted by crane, and the Trash Mesa that nearly filled the whole floor of the studio. “They’re just stellar pieces of art,” she states with pride.
The “bigatures” were made by Weta Workshop, a special effects and prop company from New Zealand (co-founded by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson) which has also worked on such blockbusters as Thor: Ragnarok and Ghost in the Shell. Around 38 models were made in total, and “each building would probably take about a week to make,” said Ben Milsom, the miniature unit’s senior art director, emphasizing that they were “mega high detailed.” Scroll down to see the incredible results.