Sydney Jay Mead

Artist, futurist, graphic and designer:

Was the same Syd Mead that suggested the term "visual futurist" as title of the role that he had for the creation of special effects of the film.

"Syd Mead created the incredible machine "Voight-Kampff". He had a discussion with Scott and me and then he made three or four different schemes. The final result was an opening unit with a microphone, an oscillator and some gadgets of all kind! Fundamentally it is a lies detector. The lie is: "I'm not a Replicant!".

Lawrence G. Paull (Production Designer)
Sydney Jay Mead

Ridley draw a sketch of this machine, that he defines a kind of exotic lies rivelator, that read iris contactions. When you lie, or you are stressed, the iris tend to contact or expand.

Roy Batty

The Voight-Kampff concentrates on the pupil and the operator has the full screen image of the iris. The machine measures the concentrations of iris and puts them on a graph or something like that. Ridley wanted this machine to be fairly delicate, big nearly like a handbag, easily transportable. However it must seem very dangerous lean on a desk, very threatening, and a kind of giant tarantula. So we decided that it should have breathed.


My opinion on this was that the machine would have owed "feel" portions of surrounding air. When you are scared or sensitive, our body utters of the odors. I think that they are minuscules molecular separations of proteins or anything that the sweat glands cause. As the chemistry of the organism changes when you are been tense. When you open the machine, this one active itself and as soon as the subject enters the room his arm moves and focus the eye of the subject. It has a kind of own life, and it is very threatening".

Sead Mead (Visual Futurist).

Syd Mead created the sketch for the Esper machine. A futuristic computer that utters sounds to high frequencies when it receives voice orders for look for details in the three-dimensional photos on the monitor.

He worked also to the Spinner, the Los Agneles Police vehicle and to all other special effect of the movie, including the fantastic futuristic settings of the city.

Sydney Jay Mead
The esper Machine

The city is much congested. Buildings high 3,000-3,500 feet, old in the low part that work as entrance to the enormous superior mega-structures. Cables and pipes of damaged air generator are found at the outside of the old buildings. The road becomes a service alley to the towering mega-structures.

Here there are some sketches that Syd made for Blade Runner:

Deck's bedroom
Deck's kitchen

The Police Spinner

His cinematographic works:

The most important movies which he worked to are:

  • 2010: second odyssey
  • Blade Runner
  • Short Circuit
  • Solar Crisis
  • Star Trek
  • Tron
  • Various animation movies of Yamato Video

If you are looking for more info about Syd Mead and all his works you could visit the official site of the SYD MEAD INC. to this url:

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