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RIP Syd Mead, The Visual Futurist

(THR) "Syd Mead, the self-proclaimed "visual futurist" and conceptual artist who shaped the look of Blade Runner, Aliens and Tron, among other projects, has died. He was 86.

Mead died Monday morning at his home in Pasadena after a three-year battle with lymphoma, his spouse, Roger Servick, told The Hollywood Reporter. Survivors also include a sister and several nieces and nephews."

Mead might not be a household name for a lot of you, but his brain was behind some visual displays that you certainly remember. He worked on 'Blade Runner', 'Alien' & 'Aliens', 'Tron', 'Johnny Mnemonic' (underrated movie, by the way), 'Turn A Gundam' and 'Blade Runner 2049'. His vision of the future not only helped a lot of these iconic movies achieve their distinct looks and feels, but it was hugely influential for all sci-fi movies of the last 3 decades. His art was even in use before that, George Lucas has mentioned that one of Mead's 1961 designs helped inspired the AT-AT's in 'Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back'. That's maybe the most influential machine in the entire franchise! Anyway, he has a ton of art that I would love to post but can't because it would get the pant's sued off us. You can google that and enjoy this in its stead:


He has an awesome quote from this NPR interview: "You download different research tracts on that specific subject and find out that we're implanting cameras in people's eyes now," he said. "They're working on artificial nanoscale retinas. And so you start with that technology leap, or possibility, and then you design around that. To me, science fiction is reality ahead of schedule"