The film Blade Runner had Harrison Ford replicant hunting though the dystopian streets of a futuristic Los Angeles. But Philip K. Dick's original novella Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was set in the San Francisco Bay Area. So how would Blade Runner have looked if Ridley Scott had used San Francisco as his chief urban inspiration?
Britta Gustafson has taken a virtual tour through the Bay Area, trying to line up scenes in Blade Runner and the original novella with real places in San Francisco. As a Bay Area resident, I find it pretty exciting to imagine movie Deckard running through these familiar places. In truth, I used to bring my dog to the Mission Pet Hospital, and it was pretty dystopian. I just wished they would quit folding my vet bills into origami unicorns.
See the whole photoset on Flickr.
Top image of 450 Sutter by Larry Miller.
In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the human Hall of Justice is on Lombard Street and the androids have set up a fake one on Mission Street (see quotes from the text). The neighborhoods aren't explained, but this makes sense if you understand Lombard as part of an old, wealthy, established SF and the Mission as a more chaotic neighborhood with a number of immigrants (the androids can be seen as immigrants too).
There are no real police stations on Lombard or Mission, but I can see Blade Runner's Deckard inside the old Mission Police Station at 17th and Treat Streets (at least if I imagine the interior to be quite grand).
San Francisco doesn't have an Ennis-Brown Apartment for Deckard to live in, so let's replace heavy tiles with a large amount of thin, obsessively-arranged bricks.
Photo by Snork Maiden.
In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Deckard and Rachael get it on at the St. Francis hotel, which is grand, historic, and central.
Photo by Darren Kumasawa.
Blade Runner's Deckard finds the replicant named Zhora in her dressing room in a crowded strip club. In the book, her counterpart is Luba Luft in a dressing room at the War Memorial Opera House after a rehearsal. It's a perfectly appropriate old building.
Photo by Gregory Schultz.
J.R. Isidore works at a "pet hospital" on Van Ness which is really an electric animal servicing shop.
This is Mission Pet Hospital on Valencia, anonymous and grungy enough on the outside to be anything.
Photo by diemoniker.