Monday, October 3, 2011

Syd Mead -Visual Futurist - Science Fiction Hall of Fame

As a kid growing up in the suburbs of New York City, I was drawn to science fiction at an early age. I started reading Tom Swift books when I was nine or ten and on my thirteenth birthday, joined the science fiction book of the month club. I read Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein, I Robot, Isaac Asimov, and later most of the novels and short stories penned by Michael Crichton, Greg Bear, and William Gibson. I was addicted to any and all things science fiction watching these new programs on network TV, Star Trek, Lost In Space, Time Tunnel, Supercar, UFO, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Thunderbirds, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and a ton of comic books and movies with similar fantasmagorical themes and storylines.

I remember seeing 2001, a Space Odyssey on a field trip to New York City were we saw it in a theatre that had Cinerama. Star Wars blew me away as did Blade Runner and Alien. All of the Jim Cameron movies were also impressive as these movies paid a lot of attention to production detail and constructing a future world that was eerily realistic and functionally fleshed out. It made you believe that their world was real. There was one name that keep coming up in the credits of the the Alien, Blade Runner and the Aliens sequel movie and that was Syd Mead. Syd Mead was the primary go-to consultant for coming up with the futuristic interior and exterior sets in these movies. His background as an automobile designer for Ford Motors and as an Industrial product designer for a number of well known Fortune 500 companies like US Steel and Caterpillar came in handy when director Ridley Scott wanted to present a believable future landscape with the matching interiors to draw in the viewer in a most visceral way.

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