The glitz and glamour of filmmaking has attracted people to the industry for well over a century. The red carpet premieres and award show banquets often beguile the enormous task of making a motion picture. There are hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people involved in crafting a single movie and most of them are blue collar workers.
In addition to the attention-grabbing actors, directors, and producers, there are exponentially more below-the-line workers who are the assistants, grips, set builders, and construction workers, that do much of the manual labor that it takes to physically create movie. Often there are as many dangers behind the cameras, as the stories unfolding on-screen. Unfortunately, the world of film lost another one of its contributors recently.
According to a report from THR, an unidentified 28-year old Hungarian construction worker was killed in a freak accident, while dismantling a set on Blade Runner 2 in Budapest. The outlet recently received a statement from Origo Studios, giving some more insight into the tragedy which occurred on August 25th.
“The worker was underneath a platform, upon which the set was constructed, when it suddenly collapsed. The cause of the accident is not yet known.”
Despite the widespread use of CGI and advanced technology in today’s movies, a film still has to be shot on a physical set. Through the eye of the camera this looks magical, however in reality all film sets are essentially construction sites. That notion should crystallize why there have been so many unfortunate tragedies in the past ranging from films like The Twilight Zone to The Maze Runner: The Death Cure more recently, whose production was delayed after a scary accident involving the film’s lead. Meanwhile, the Blade Runner 2 tragedy occurred on a set which had already been wrapped (which is why it was being deconstructed) and the production had already moved on to Korda Studios. So it’s unclear if the accident will impact the filming of the sequel, but on the outside it seems unlikely.
This is an unfortunate black eye for a production that has had a seemingly solid start. The sequel to the seminal science-fiction classic, Blade Runner, is produced by the original creator Ridley Scott, while being directed by one of the sharpest directors working today in Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, The Arrival). He is bringing on board acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins (Sicario, Skyfall) and a cast that was seemingly born to bring the world of Blade Runner to life. Harrison Ford (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) returns to his iconic role of Rick Deckard and is joined by Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Robin Wright (Wonder Woman), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2), and Jared Leto (Suicide Squad).
This tragedy is a sobering reminder of the dangers of filmmaking and all of the crew that risk their lives to bring entertainment into your lives. So next time the credits roll on a film, make sure to pay respect to those who won’t ever step on stage to accept an award or make an acceptance speech. Our best wishes go out to the victim and their family during this tough time.
The still untitled Blade Runner 2 is scheduled for release on October 5th, 2017.