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May 15, 2008

Siggraph: Syd Mead Event: Visual Futurist

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting one of the most highly regarded conceptual designers in the world. Siggraph hosted an event featuring Syd Mead; The conceptual designer behind the such stylistically futuristic blockbuster films as Alien, Blade Runner, and Star Trek to name a just a few. I quickly learned that his portfolio includes not only film, but architecture, vehicles, toys, and a myriad of other items that can be made to look futuristic. I must admit a little naivity on my part, as I was hard pressed to pin point how I was familiar with the name, "Syd Mead,"before this event showed up in my inbox. Shortly after the presentation started I was reminded that I had watched a few Gnomon DVDs featuring the design guru a few years back. I'm not big into conceptual design, but I am interested in every aspect of this industry, and respect all the artists within it. Conceptual design is a field that required a tremendous amount of imagination, and creativity. And I always love learning about what makes successful artists tick.

Highlights from the evening were Syd's dry humor, the Q&A session, and the screening of Blade Runner: The Final Cut after the presentation. I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to see Blade Runner on the big screen. The last and only time I saw it was during film school, and it was one of those nights where I was completely fatigued, but too wired with thoughts to go to sleep. I watched it on my computer, and I remember wondering, "What's the big deal about this movie everyone is praising?" Needless to say, I didn't have the best viewing experience back then. And if there's one thing about watching movies that makes them ten times better, it's the environment you watch them in. Check out your local Siggraph chapter, and don't pass up the chance to see this beautiful film full scale on the silver screen.

A fun fact from the night. When asked what movie he wished he had the chance to work on, but didn't, Syd quickly replied, "Fifth Element."

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Blogger Matt J said...

Wow-great opportunity to meet one of the few true 'visionary' artists working today. I've been poring over the terrific 'making of' documentary on the BLADERUNNER Final Cut DVD since Xmas. Wonderful anecdotes from Mead on there. There's a documentary just on him available too-from his website if i remember correctly.

May 27, 2008 9:14 AM


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