Did you know that the disheveled LA appearing in Blade Runner 2049 was actually a Replica?!
The places featuring LA in the movie, including Trash Mesa and Wallace Tower, were actually designed by Weta Workshop Design Studio in Wellington, New Zealand. The miniature replica set was shot by Alex Funke, the director of photography, who admitted that filming in such a set faces the same obstacles as filming in an ordinary set. Smooth surfaces lit by real illumination often tend to reflect the light, so the scene has to be filmed in multiple layers to fully-control the artificial and the natural light to obtain an optimum result.
The LAPD tower appeared in the movie to be the tallest building in the city. It stood among 37 other buildings that were constructed at a 1:48 scale to the tiniest detail. Each building model took almost a week to produce color, tarnish, and dishevel.
Art Director, Steven Saunders, said: “I always think of a miniature as a giant composition of tiny little vignettes, tiny little stories, tiny little places that all need to work together to make the whole miniature work.”
The Wallace Tower was created at a scale of 1:600 giving the building a height of 3.5 km.
The production manager, Pamela Harvey-White commented about the scale they are using to produce such replicas, “they’re really bigatures – they’re not miniatures. They’re massive buildings. They’re just stellar pieces of art.”