Blade Runner 2049 Production Journal

Journal of Blade Runner 2049 Producer Cynthia Sikes Yorkin

Written during production

First published exclusively in Collider

I went to Montreal with Andrew, Broderick, Bill Carraro, Dana, John, Dennis, Roger Deakins, Paul, Don and Denis to visit several CGI houses to see their work. It was cold and storming but the work was fascinating. John Nelson explained that he liked to spread out the work so just one house didn’t have it all. Makes sense as there will be a lot of work on this film.  



Friday, April 10

  • Flew to Budapest with Andrew and Broderick to meet with team for location scouting. Denis, Bill C., Roger, Dennis, Dana
  • These are a few places we are considering:
    • Kelenfold Boiler Room – Bibi’s Bar
    • Inota Power Plant – Orphanage boiler room
    • Old TV Bulding – Casino
    • Szalay Street Corner Building – K’s exterior and snow blower street
    • OR
    • Balaton Street – K’s exterior and snow blower street
    • Tin Factory “Pyramids” – Abandoned basement
    • Vas School – K’s apartment staircase option


Friday, June 24

  • Pre-production meetings daily.
  • Sets are being built.
  • Costumes are fabulous, props so original.

I’m in awe of what is being accomplished.


Monday, July 10

  • Pre-production meetings.
  • July 12 – began principal photography!

Robin Wright is here. She was able to fit this into her House of Cards schedule. Very tough scenes. Luv – is fantastic. So scary. Denis thinks she is one of the finest actresses he’s ever worked with.


Sunday, July 24

I’ve been here since June 24 – one month. I’m finally getting into a rhythm after much jet lag, very hot weather and an entirely new world without Bud. Leaving everything behind me. My husband has died but I’m birthing a major film – his last work. A new chapter and a new career at 62. It’s so strange to enter into this world that used to be my life. But after years of marriage and raising children, I find myself back where I started.  I take pride in all the battles I fought and all I endured with both Jessica and Bud ill. It’s truly a miracle to have made it here. I’m sad Bud isn’t here to see it. It kept him going to hear from me the progress on the casting, the story, the announcements. I would read him the press releases and show him his name. He knew it was going to happen. He was such a talent and a decent kind and caring man. I miss him so much. I carry his picture with me everywhere.

Cynthia Yorkin and Tom Hanks at the PGA Memorial for Bud Yorkin
Cynthia Yorkin and Tom Hanks at the PGA Memorial for Bud Yorkin


Monday, July 25

  • Beginning 3rd week of shooting
  • Just saw dailies from last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • James Deakins, Roger’s wife, does such a good job.
    • Luv taking bones and kills Coco.
    • K after he retires Sapper. Shower is so cool – a nod to the hair dryer in first film.
    • K and Joi – afterwards

Ryan is so good in this. A combination of such masculine, sexy strength and vulnerability. He and Ana have great chemistry. And it’s such a welcome respite from all the grey gloomy world they inhabit. In one scene, she changes costumes from 50’s housewife to baseline black at Nabokov book move then to a silver spangled party dress asking him to dance, back to black baseline on “present” then finally a blue dress to twirl in with new found freedom. It gives Ryan so many colors to play. And Ana is so beautiful and a breath of fresh air and is the emotion in K’s otherwise grey lonely world. When she disappears later, it will be so sad for the audience.


Tuesday, July 26

I had bad allergies so didn’t come in until noon. The snow / rain / smoke machine has been working non-stop and is affecting my sinuses.


Wednesday, July 27

Discussed a scene with Gaff that is essential to the mythology of the movie. Coincidentally, Gaff speaks in Hungarian in first film. And here we are in Budapest!

Meanwhile we are filming threesome scene. This has never been done before, this intricate dance wherein Ana and Makenzie have to duplicate their exact moves to be blended together. Each cut has to be done twice to match. Ana once, then Mackenzie. John Nelson is brilliant with special effects. Ana and Ryan have a great chemistry. She’s so beautiful and darling. Their love story will be so great to see and it’s such a ray of sunshine for the film. Ryan and I were talking. He said it even created a third person. Denis told me he loved this scene so much.


Thursday, July 28

Went to see the big water tank we are building. 100 feet across with a floating platform. We saved 1M by building it her instead of going to Malta. We have about 230 crew per day on this film which would have had to relocate.

Ryan and Denis really loved Android’s Dream for the title of the film. Ryan based his character on this idea. But Ridley was adamantly against it. He said they weren’t androids. So we had to start over again. I may have come up with the title for the film. I had read the list from a company and wasn’t grabbed by anything. I made some notes on words that had some depth and meaning for me. I went to bed thinking about it and woke up in the middle of the night with “Time to Live”.  It felt very right. A play on words that refers to Roy Batty’s line from the first film “Time to die” – one of the most important and well loved scenes in the film. Time to Live promises what our film is about – it’s the replicant’s time to procreate in our film and they needed more time to live in the first film. An homage. It has many layers to it and is poetic.

John Nelson, VFX supervisor, showed us the plates being shot in Mexico –  For on the way to Sapper’s farm. He explained how he would augment it with miniatures to give it more definition and depth. Need more and longer shots of rural town, not so much of the buildings.

Will go ahead with Gaff’s scene. Film it at the end of this. He works in a nursing home.


Monday, August 1

Beginning week 4 of filming.

Doing scene 81 and rehearsing 84– the morning after the threesome with Joi and Mariette. Mariette awakens while K is in the kitchen. She dresses and places a tracing device in his coat.


Tuesday, August 2

Scene 112AB – Luv breaks into K’s apartment looking for him and sees the broken antenna. Joi is free.

Scene 84 – Joi begs K to delete her from console. R changed lines to “Honey, you’re wiring is loose.” I went to Denis to say this line was making it too comedic – did he have a version without it or could he cut around it. That the line was running into the next line. He agreed. After that, R did do a clean version without that line. And the scene was so much better. Deeper. This is an important moment in this love story. Joi is risking everything to be human – to be a real girl.

Joi and K in the rain


Wednesday, August 3

Moving off the Origo studio for the first time to Vas School. So extraordinary with the most amazing old tiles – like American Indian, Aztec. It’s a Heritage sight.

84A – Doc Badger – Barkhad Abdi – is wonderful and speaking in Somali.

He is examining the small wooden horse toy of K’s. Tells him it indicates radiation – from a dirty bomb.


Friday, August 5

Waited for Blair Rich, Head of Marketing at Warners, to land. Met her at Origo studios and toured all the sets. Dennis Gassner was wonderful in explaining how he worked out the vision he and Denis have for the film.

He explained every detail to Blair. It was magical. Wallace’s office is huge and going to be amazing with how they worked out the water. Deckard’s place glass is installed and it looks out at Vegas.

Trash Mesa now as all the little tables and tech items on them. It’s huge. Blair was so impressed with how we are doing so much practical instead of CGI.


Tuesday, August 9

Frank Giustra, Tim Gamble and five friends came to visit straight from climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. I took them to lunches, dinners, and took care of them on the set. Frank is thrilled and will come back in October when Harrison is here.


Wednesday, August 24

Back from LA and London.

Bibi’s Bar – the set is all we had hoped it to be and more. It’s amazing to see the storyboard become this lit up extraordinary set filled with extras and rain and smoke. It’s such an homage to the original. Mackenzie and Ryan have such good scenes. She reminds me of Darryl Hannah – even her costume is reminiscent.

Andrew told me they are going with Blade Runner 2051 (or 49 if they want the exact 30-year span with the 9 again) but he really liked my suggestion of “Time to Live” as one of the top 3. Evidently Sony liked it but Ridley hated it. They can’t risk alienating Ridley over a title. I like it as well. Mine was a little more poetic. But this is strong.


Monday, August 29

We’re half a day behind. Will need to be here tomorrow with the rooftop scene. It’s magical with the rain going through her. Dancing on the roof together. So romantic. Discussion w/Don and Bill where to make it up. Anna’s lab is too important and too technical to rush or cut anything. Need to do the Mariette campfire scene before she leaves the 24th. It’s modular so it’s doable. Could be that Deckard’s walk through the Vegas statues will go faster and we can make it up there. Have to wait and see.


Tuesday, August 30

We all tried on the Virtual Reality glasses and viewed the rough cut of scenes for marketing. It’s amazing! Sitting down and spinning in a chair helps you from falling down.

I took a photo in Bibi’s Bar. I was here!

Finishing up the roof top “Mabius”sign set today. Beautiful love scene of yearning. Yearning to be more human. Aren’t we all. The rain makes her look more human – gives her form. Until she shorts out.


Wednesday, August 31

Dr. Anna Stelline today. Set is based on the “Cocoon” museum in London. It’s like being in a giant egg with the most amazing lights. Roger is truly a genius. She gives a dream like performance – suited for being in a protected environment for so long. Memories – our bodies react to memories as if we are reliving them. Like it does in my dreams. I’ve always worked out acting emotions in my dreams – the emotion plays out so I can experience it and grab it in real life and play it authentically.


Thursday, September 1

Doing birthday cake part of same scene with Anna and K. So beautiful and haunting. So appropriate since her “birth” is the most important part of the film.

She’s not like anyone else. Her rhythm lends itself to actually being behind glass since she was 8.

Since we are a day behind. Luv’s spinner on a gimbal will be postponed and instead, the Mariette campfire will happen next Tuesday. We lose her soon but we have Luv and the spinner to play with. So that will float around for awhile until we can fit it in somewhere when we have time.

So interesting how the candles are set up on a swiveling rotating plate as to let her seemingly manipulate it to make memories. She’s the best “memory maker” and has a special empathy for replicants, wanting to make their lives happier.

Visual Effects holds up the “ball” – one half is silver and one half is white in the shot and the board with all the colors.

Prop guy Douglas created the cake and all the other great items.

Joel will make the items for marketing.


Monday, September 12

Jared is here in his office scene. The set is magnificent. Roger’s lighting is mysterious and poetic. We hear Jared’s voice first with Luv. It’s deep, beautiful and ominous. He’s got the voice of god. Decided on him having hair and beard. He looks so handsome and mysterious in his tests. His blind eyes are riveting. It’s one of the most important and exciting scenes in the film. Jared has a sequel deal. This character can go on and on.

Ryan is in Toronto until Thursday.

Ridley coming in Wednesday night. He, Denis, Ryan and Harrison will do a photo at the bar in his apartment set. I suggested they do it at the bar a la the famous Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart and Van Heflin photo I have in my house. I showed it to Andrew today to remind him. He said it should be done exactly like this.

Harrison is here with shorter hair and no beard. He wants to be more like he was in the original film. He’s so excited to be here. He had a long dinner with Denis and they had a great time together. I’ll see him today for his hair, makeup and costume tests. He’s such a pro. And such a great actor.

Harrison just did his test. He looks fantastic! So handsome and fit. And funny. His trainer is with him and makeup and hair. He gave me a big greeting.

We went to see the transport limo. Some glitches. Door is too heavy to stay open but it has to be due to the pressure of the water that will flow over it.

Just went up to the set to see the amazing reflections on the wall behind Wallace. Lighting is on a ring above and starts out soft then gets harder coming down and bouncing off the white and then is filtered through a hole as well. Roger does each set that has reflections differently.

Watched a lot of scenes with Harrison who loved the sets, lighting, acting. He said he’d never seen anything like the Vegas walk through with K. He’s very impressed.

Stunt with replicant being born was brilliant. 2 takes. Joel choreographed. Poetic.


Tuesday, September 13

Jared continues with a magnificent, disturbing, dangerous, brilliant performance. His voice is so mesmerizing. This is going to be spectacular in the film.

Scene continues today with him examining the new born replicant and a long monologue about life, expanding the workforce to go to the stars. A mad man. Wanting Tyrell’s secret of bearing children.

Walking along side of him outside, I introduced myself as one of the producers. I said I knew he couldn’t see me but he was doing such an amazing job. He was so dear – said thank you for hiring me and I’m glad you didn’t fire me. I said oh no – you’re the best person. And hope we’ll see each other soon.

Ridley in tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 14

Ridley arrived. We showed them a sampling of dailies from many scenes to show a lot of the bigger sets. And how Ana is being shown with the lighting, transparent issues.

Great dinner at Café Pierot in the Castle district up on the hill. Ridley, Harrison, Andrew, Broderick, me and Denis and Tanya came a little later. Harrison is so funny and quick witted. He kept us laughing.

Denis, Ridley, Harrison and Ryan on the set


Thursday, September 15

John Nelson, VFX giving presentation to Ridley on all the special effects. Again, explaining Ana scenes from his perspective with models and who is contracted. Ridley wanted to know what was plates, models, prices. He told how they had to figure out the smoke levels of consistency for the first film with Doug.

Showed Ridley special effects previews with John. Ridley didn’t like the ceiling mechanism for Joi. He preferred an internet type remote. John explained what companies were doing the special effects, the plates, models, Mexico plates, different layers of creating the city, how Joi changes and when she is transparent and when she overlaps with K and with Mariette. Each time he gives such an amazing presentation, I learn even more. I’m getting comfortable with all the nomenclature and abbreviations.  


Friday, September 16

Still in the transport with Harrison and Sylvia (Luv). Lots of water. Long and arduous day. Harrison shared with me how he talked to Andrew and Broderick about the writing being too much on the nose. That he really likes Denis and is able to work out dialogue that’s better. So on this scene he now says “Where are you taking me?” and Luv says “Home.”

Jared spent the day doing “In World” film with 11 minutes of dialogue according to Michael Green, our writer. He was great and did it all.


Monday, September 19

Starting a new scene with Wallace, Deckard and Rachel.

Talked to Denis after rehearsal. He was so happy that it went so well. He said he always feels like shit until the rehearsal and it all comes together and he knows its going to be good.

Jared had pages of monologue basically and was flawless in his performance with Harrison who is equally brilliant and very emotional. Wallace (Jared) struck the perfect balance of a mad man who is brilliant in his madness. This is one on the most important scenes in the film. Denis is thrilled with it.

Director Denis Villeneuve and Producer Cynthia Yorkin hugging at the BLADE RUNNER 2049 Premiere after-party, Oct. 3, 2017.


Tuesday, September 20

Continuing the “Rachel” scene. This set with Wallace’s office floating in the water with such spectacular lighting is mesmerizing. We enter this womb.

Saw dailies from last few days. It’s going to be so good when it’s cut together. Joe is working hard to get it ready. Harrison has never been better. The stand in for Rachel is an uncanny look alike. Even Sean said she looked just like her.


Wednesday, September 21

Jared is so incredible. Handles long dialogue scene over and over again completely prepared and riveting performance.

Jared finished tonight. So Jessica and I took a golf cart over to the trailers to see him. We’d arranged to say goodbye since he hadn’t really seen us since he’s always got the blind contacts on and is in character. We went into the trailer and had a lovely talk. He leaves for Tokyo tomorrow to finish a film. He said they would be cursing him because he left abruptly to come to film BR.


Thursday, September 22

Working on Penthouse scene. Very important to establish certain points in this scene in an emotional way, not hitting you over the head with exposition.

Worked on timeline with Michael Green, Andrew and Broderick to establish Ana’s birthdate / age to be early 30’s. Born in 2021 – 22 or so. Had to figure it out vis-à-vis Freysa and Sapper fighting on Calantha, coming back to earth and how and when they met up with Harrison. How fast did all of this occur.


Tuesday, September 28

Finish Stage 6 today and will go to Vegas casino Thursday and Friday. I’ll bring them back to be sure they meet Ryan.

Ana working today – back from LA. She’d sent me a darling photo of herself at Armani where she was with my friend, Wanda, who dresses the stars. I remember when I was this young and hopeful and looking forward to my career in such an exciting city far from Wichita.  A new chapter.

We’re doing French hours all week.

Saw some of the dailies with H & R. The rewritten scene. Best takes need to have the anger and fire so it’s not just sad. It’s going to be a wonderful scene. This is some of Harrison’s best work. But then again, he’s always so great!


Wednesday, September 28

Started Vegas casino today at the old TV station building. Evidently, about five years ago, some radicals took over the station to broadcast their views and ended up torching the place. Sadly, it’s destroyed a lot of it but it’s perfect for BR. We’re using the main entrance and it looks great. We have masks to keep the dust out of our face. It’s for the floor and room to show how long this has been abandoned.

Sam showed us the pictures for the entrance to Vegas. Need to make sure the Welcome to Las Vegas sign is in. Denis not sure if he wants it. Star is still in drawing. Shot begins with a real lamp post and burnt out car and then goes into miniatures up until and including the Luxor. Discussion with Andrew pointing out that we have to consider the two timelines / realities of the original movie and the real timeline of Vegas building history. We are reestablishing that timeline. So back in 2008 or so, they built huge buildings in Vegas or overlaid big structures over the existing ones. Our huge buildings will have been built about 10 years before 2021 (when Ana is born) and when the blackout happened.


Monday, October 3

Denis’s birthday so Tanya had t shirts made that say his favorite line “I Deeply Love It”. It’s so adorable. It’s so nice to see such a partnership between them. She’s so attentive. Reminds me of Bud and I. He’s on my mind so much. Missing him terribly.

Last day on Vegas set w/Deckard and K. K is hiding then hits trip wire setting off the explosion. Looks so real.

Ryan does one arm pushups to get ready for scene – to achieve the level of adrenaline.

Harrison is so strong and athletic. He had to run down the long hall with the dog. It’s powerful.


Tuesday, October 4

In the egg lab with Ana and Deckard. One of the most important scenes in the film. K and Deckard see her at the window. It’s snowing. K is injured but tells him to go to her. He goes into her lab and sees his daughter for the first time. She’s created the same snow fall in her lab for memories. He’s crying, tears of joy, lost time, hope. A spiritual moment. She doesn’t know.


Tuesday, October 11

Great fight scene with Ryan and Sylvia. Transport is wrecked on the sea wall with Deckard handcuffed in. It’s slowly sinking while R and S fight. Waves crashing as she is using martial arts and knife.


Wednesday, October 12

More of the fight. Chloe is amazing at Martial arts. Looks just like Sylvia in action. Very exciting.

Denis came into the tent to say he’d like to stay on this scene all night to get all of the pieces to this exciting scene. So we won’t need Harrison in the middle of the night. Tomorrow is a day off. Back to work on Friday around 3:00pm. Finish this scene by Sunday morning. We’ve added 3 days here. Broderick said we are now working up to Thanksgiving. But he has to leave for Thanksgiving.

Sylvia would like to be released by Nov. 23, but we can’t legally give her a stop date. But she should be able to make that.

Always so nice to talk to Joel (stunts). Good stories about working with Arnold S. He prepared this entire complicated scene. What an extraordinary crew! So professional, hardworking and dedicated. The best in their fields.


Thursday, October 13

Turn around day so not shooting.

Trying to get Ryan out by Thanksgiving so he can be in NY for all of his PR for La La Land. He was supposed to take his family home to LA and then fly to NY but it looks like there won’t be time. We’ll be lucky to get him out on Nov. 23 if all goes well.

This transport sequence is 3 days and other scenes have added on days so we’ll be 100 days of shooting instead of 91. We’ve run out of Saturday shoot options and can’t work the crew 7 days which would mean 12 days straight. We could come back end of January to add the needed scenes if necessary.


Friday, October 14

Met Andrew and Broderick at Origo studio to see dailies from last few days. The fight between Luv and K. Looks so good. Sylvia is such a good actress and dangerous in her role. And Ryan, as always, is terrific. Fight scene in water looks great.

I mentioned to Broderick that the transport is so luxurious, it seems it should be sound proof. But Deckard is yelling his lines over the noise. Even though they will control the sound level in editing, his performance won’t match it.

Tonight is transport crashed and sitting on sea wall. More importantly, Broderick realized that they were shooting the crash with Luv jerking backwards and then being thrown backwards as it skips across the water. She should be jerked forwards first then back. Denis felt very bad that he missed that. Since they’d already been shooting the stunt woman and her going forward, we all discussed how to shoot so Denis has coverage that is correct but will match what he’s shot. The fix is to have her jerk forward, back, forward, back and then be thrown backwards to land near Deckard to match what was shot already. The stunt woman’s hand placement was setting her up to jerk forwards. So Luv put her hands behind the seat backs to start so she could jerk forwards then switched their hands back to behind the seat backs so she could jerk forward to match what was shot.


Saturday, October 15

Call time was 6pm but haven’t started shooting yet and it’s after 8pm. We are at the far end of the tank with the transport half submerged in the water.

John Nelson showed us previs of Vegas – how we get into town on the bridge, the tracks, where the MGM and Luxor are, the buildings in the background. Weta has done gorgeous miniatures of buildings. This future Vegas is built upon the old Vegas so it’s rooted in a reality that’s reminiscent but that’s ghostly and eerily destroyed.

Also saw the way to the police station which is more prominent now and has a great lit up landing pad on top.

Andrew left early this morning to LA. Broderick will leave tomorrow morning with Harrison. Back Tuesday.

First shot now at 9:05pm.

We need more waves but Gerd can’t do it because it isn’t safe. Need big swells that would make the transport bob more. It would make it much more exciting and dangerous. But we can’t achieve that on camera. We won’t be able to linger on this shot. Better in close up. Otherwise it looks too calm. Up all night. Went down to the dock to see the transport in the water held up by giant crane. Other crane to hold water sprayer over the transport. Wave maker. Cold, raining but they brought tons of hot water for the tank. Harrison and Ryan laughing with Denis. He’s also in the water in his wet suit. Many divers for safety. An incredible effort by our crew. We got all of Harrison except for the closer shot of him with Ryan swimming to shore. It’s amazing Denis got it all. We’re basically on schedule. Harrison and Broderick left around 6:30am. Harrison back Monday.


Tuesday, October 18

At Sapper’s farm on backlot. Ryan landing spinner by the tree. Smoke machines going. Steven is getting great shots of Ryan emerging from the smoke. Green screen behind. Steven says he’ll probably fill it in with grey sky. So cold.

Sapper’s Farm

Wednesday, October 19

Sapper’s farm shooting the spinner landing. Hanging from the gimbel. Ryan going into Sapper’s house.


Thursday, October 20

Outside at Sapper’s. Shooting Ryan in the spinner with eyeball, talking to Joshi on his monitor.

Had nice talk with Ryan about Peter Falk who he really liked. I told him about my first job with Jack Cassidy on Columbo and how nice Peter was to me.

It’s so cold we did a group hug with Roger, James, his wife and Tatiana. Big hug from Denis. He’s so great! I just adore him. Everyone is so nice and professional that it runs so smoothly. Denis really sets the tone for everyone to work hard and do their best work. How lucky we are to have him.


Friday, October 21

Back at tank for night shoot with Luv and Ryan stand-ins. Ryan will arrive soon to do close ups with her, drowning her. It’s raining. Sylvia is amazing. He’s strangling here and holding her up to the ceiling of the transport vehicle and then pushing her down under the water and drowning her. It’s powerful. She is such a trooper doing this for hours and we get closer in. She’s a break out star in this film.


Monday, October 24

Carla’s last day. We added in her walking in front of screen to put into her apartment for her to go across the walkway. Big applause to say goodbye. Hard to believe we’re in the home stretch.

Saw the lighting tests for the Vegas show. An amazing and beautiful yet dramatic light show. Roger should be nominated for this. I guess he’s been nominated 14 times or so. This is his year!

Ryan and Harrison were called in to rehearse the fight. It has to be done in pieces, no master, in order to have the exact background & music to duplicate for Second unit filming. So complicated. Which hologram is where at any moment will be synched with the music, lighting and actors. The room is filled with banquets and tables with abandoned drinks mired in dust. It’s dark until the lights are activated and Ryan and Harrison walk through shadows then the bright lights of the show and remnants of the old Vegas acts. Holograms of dancers, tiger walking through.


Tuesday, October 25

Started the Vegas show/fight today.

Elvis impersonator is good. We will impose Elvis’ face on his. He already looks like a glowing hologram in this light.

Will be a late night. We wanted to get 15 shots but will probably get to 12 if we are lucky.

We really want to catch up so everyone can be home for Thanksgiving.

Denis just told me he is so happy with how this scene is going. How he sees this in his mind and keeps track of all the moving parts in each shot is genius.

Ryan is wrapped so he can come in early tomorrow and Harrison can come later. It gives us more time, maybe an hour. Every bit helps.

Talked with Steven. He showed me the latest photos of today. And the one of Sylvia in the hood is hauntingly beautiful.

Clapping for Elvis (Ben Thompson) – great moves and gyrations.

We got all the shots.


Wednesday, October 26

Fight scene going well.

Meeting with Denis, Don, Bill, Andrew, Broderick and me at lunch. Scheduling Sapper and tank this Friday. Split day. Originally, 2nd unit was to set up as much as possible and light at the tank while they are shooting Sapper but Roger wants to set it up himself, not 2nd unit. Andrew and Broderick think Pierre’s work is terrific So we’ll have to add half a day. He wants to control the lighting especially since these are important shots with the principals.

John Nelson showed us some pictures for background of the Entertainment Weekly cover. Also saw some Wetta work. It’s amazing. Can have a matt painting. Raise up the signs higher so there’s light and not just going into dark. This cover is very important for us.


Thursday, October 27

Dave Bautista did a great job at the caves.


Tuesday, November 1

Rehearsing inside Sapper’s house with Ryan and Dave. Joel choreographing. They are constructing a wall for the fight to break through. Padded wall just came out. Dave is like a solid mountain.


Wednesday, November 2

Shooting breaking through the wall to the next room continuing the fight. Ryan is trying to take Sapper in. Discussed with Denis about having Sapper’s dialogue happen when he gets up. And then Sapper decides to charge K which provokes K to shoot him. Sapper decides to die rather than being taken in and examined which could give away his “piece of the puzzle”. Don’t want K to just assassinate him. Need to see it from Sapper’s point of view. This supports the storyline with Freysa saying later how each of them had a piece of the puzzle regarding the child.

Discussion about schedule – not able to finish this fight sequence today or we be too pushed into the night causing late call for rest of week. Just decided to go ahead and shoot late as to finish this up tonight. Don will let us know if we get into the position not being able to finish so then we can make a decision about moving.

Just saw dailies from Friday with K’s introduction to the movie. Walking into Sapper’s place. The shot coming into the rusty red doorway surrounded by yellow walls is great. Dave Bautista is so good. Perfect casting. The scene is low key than becomes so violent with him smashing Ryan’s head against the wall, then crashing through it, fighting.


Thursday, November 3

In Penthouse. Siren has gone off to warn Deckard that someone is coming – Luv’s men. AS Deckard and K rung toward the spinner to leave, K grabs him in time before the spinner is hit. The explosion was done in 1 take. So great and so loud. We weren’t quite prepared for it in our tent.

Andrew and Broderick told me about Fred’s phone call to Jeff about what happened with the sale of original BR film from Jerry (and me). That Fred conveyed how upset he was how they treated him as a partner.

Saw dailies on Sapper Morton scenes. Introduction to K. it’s fantastic!


Friday, November 4

In Penthouse with spinner on gimbel coming into the window and turning and landing. A thing of beauty. Agents get out and drag Deckard toward the spinner. He comes to and fights but is knocked down by Luv’s agents and dragged into spinner.

Went with Andrew to 2nd unit to see the Vegas dancing sequences. Doing the go-go girls. Saw the monitor with Joe where K and Deckard are fighting around and through them.


Sunday, November 6

Wrap party early before anyone leaves.

Cynthia Yorkin and daughter Jessica Yorkin photographed together at the Blade Runner 2049 Wrap Party in Budapest, 2016.

I told Harrison how great he is in the film and how we couldn’t do it without him. He said I was so sweet. And he loves Denis.


Monday, November 7

This is a very challenging week. Need to get Harrison finished by tomorrow so he can leave Wednesday. Very technical with spinner and all the moving parts. It’s amazing we’ve been on schedule give or take a day. And that’s with adding some scenes and reshooting Robin in the beginning.

Joi (Anna) here for important scene with Luv destroying the emanate. One scene in a series of scenes that will be an amazing ride for the audience.

Scene is getting too brutal but Denis wants to try it. Luv is putting her fingers in his stomach and then stabbing him. If he can survive this, he can survive in the end. And that’s definitely Tom R’s expectation. I agree it should be ambiguous.

Just saw dailies w/Broderick and Andrew. Debate about speed of spinner entering and exiting the building. It does look better double time. To be decided in post. Harrison does an amazing job at the fight segment especially at his age and the accidents he’s been through. And Ryan is equally terrific. And they’ve done this for several days! And the set is burning hot with all the lights. Such a contrast to freezing outside.

Need to get a shot of Deckard’s dog barking today. Or with 2nd unit.


Tuesday, November 8

Stage 3 covered in snow outside of Ana’s lab. Last scene of movie. K and Deckard are walking through the snow toward the lab. It’s beautiful and poetic.

Just finished Harrison’s last shot. Deckard who becomes very emotional. We are all crying to. Everyone clapped for him. Said goodbye to Harrison. He’s been so terrific. And he’s so happy with Denis, Ryan, Roger and the entire experience. And he’s seen everything. This is a huge day getting this delicate scene just right.

Now we just have to win the election.


Wednesday, November 9

Using spinner cover scenes due to being sunny outside. But overcast/slight rain coming in tomorrow. Ryan flying to Trash Mesa with Joi.

Problems with the screen being gray which prevents CGI adding the plates of the land outside of the spinner windows. Evidently it wasn’t clear that the backdrip needed to be green or blue from the beginning. We’ve wasted a lot of time fixing the grey one anyway.

The question was whether to change it now or shoot all we can with grey then change to blue when we get to those angles requiring it. But Roger and Denis want the grey for the flying and don’t want blue for all the shots. So that’s what we are doing. Both groups will get what they need. Roger and Denis as well as John.


Thursday, November 10

Started on the Trash Mesa today. Perfect overcast weather. This shipyard graveyard is immense in scale. The most amazing set! Ghost like gigantic rusted remnants loom over trash spread out over the field and hills. All practical. Will do CGI and extend set.

After K crashes, the scavengers try to get into the spinner with a machine with 2 discs that attach to his window.  I noticed a 3rd disc dangling down which was confusing. I mentioned to Broderick that it was weird. He talked to Denis and came back to tell me it’s supposed to grind the door as the 2 discs grind on the window. So now the 3rd disc is in the correct position on the door and not just dangling so far down.


Friday, November 11

Japanese Anime directors visiting. Very famous in Japan. They do all of the big movies.

Still shooting Trash Mesa. Light rain and very cold. We are debating what to do if we have heavy rain tomorrow preventing us from finishing this scene. Don’t have cover because of turnaround issues and that we shoot long 13 hour days from now on. And we shoot next Saturday long hours. Now Ryan will be able to leave the evening of the 22nd with his family to be home for Thanksgiving as we promised.

And we should be able to shoot the Gaffe scene here in Budapest as well.

Wood is arriving soon to shoot the newly added Nandez character scenes. Denis will meet with him first to explain that he is being inserted into existing scenes and will not actually be working with Robin. Instead, he will act and react from studying the scene playback on the monitor. Wood will shoot 2 scenes with Ryan in person – in the morgue and in the spinner.  He’s such a good actor, it should be good.

Wood arrived at the end of day. I met with Anime director Watanabe and Arimake, Al and Joseph interpreting. They want to do the story about the blackout. Great ideas. It ties right into Freysa and Sapper from Calantha. And it bridges the mythology between the first film and ours. Don’t want to reveal too much since this will be the first one in the anthology. Michael Green has already written material about the black out and we want him to write this anime for us for them.


Sunday, November 11

5:00pm meeting at the Four Seasons with anime director Watanabe, Arimake and Joseph and Al.

Need to discuss the story with Denis. Broderick and Carl there as well. It was so interesting to see how Denis spoke with them. I’m enjoying being with creative people who are so focused on every detail to make the BR story come to life and live up to the first one. After seeing some footage, they said it transcended the first one. About replicants finding their soul. They love it visually – Roger’s lighting. Discussed the philosophy of Wallace building such a monolithic structure to last for centuries like an Eqyptian temple, even if water came. It was big enough, blade like, to withstand it.

Denis really loved the ideas and spoke so eloquently. He said he always carries Roy Batty on his shoulder so he can ask him if the work is true to his story.


Monday, November 13

At Wallace’s building today at Korda Studios – like walking inside of an Egyptian tomb/pyramid. Very large scale hall and eerie. Different replicant models line the hallway in cases, four on each side, suspended. John will take away the wires suspending them and CGI water into the cases. It’s surreal, magnificent and gorgeous the way Roger has lit this. It lights up ahead of them as they walk and then follows them with darkness as they walk.

Discussion on how to shoot the 360 In World piece – angle for camera.

Looking at Steven Vaughn’s photos of Sylvia and Harrison. He photographed the first film and knew Bud.


Tuesday, November 14

Whirlwind of a schedule of things to decide before Andrew and Broderck leave at 1:00.

Skimmed through the scenes Ryann selected for a play list to show Fred Smith, Sony and Warners. Met with John Nelson in VFX (Visual Effects) is what’s on the computer.

Special effects are the rain, snow, sand etc. CGI is the extensions on the practical and putting in created scenery around the actors.

John has lost confidence in Wetta’s miniatures. They can’t make it look authentic because they can’t get high enough above it to film it. He’s sent too much time talking to them on a daily basis and that’s just to maybe get it to the OK level. He advises us to let him take what they’ve done, enhance it and CGI it. He was going to have to do 40% anyway. Also, Vegas miniature is good but the pilot fish moves will be locked it once they film it. Whereas if he does CGI, he can make changes later. He can do the first shot in as practical with the light and the car, then CGI up to the statue and go in that way. Roger and Denis will look at it today and make recommendations as to what they want to do vis a vis lighting. Also, we feel their needs to be a ghost of buildings as K walks into Vegas instead of just blank sand.

Said goodbye to Andrew and Broderick.

Jessica and I leave in the morning.

Signing off as this is the last day for us. An unbelievable journey. It’s going to be stunning.

One thought on “Blade Runner 2049 Production Journal

  1. This is brilliant. Ms. Yorkin, I am the founder and host of the only Blade Runner podcast in existence. We’ve been honored to interview the likes of Tomás LeMarquis, Loren Peta, Mark Magini, and more.

    We would LOVE to have you on our show to discuss your time on what we consider to be a masterpiece, Blade Runner 2049.

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