Los Angeles Times: Set Designer Defines Future for Hollywood

Syd Mead isn’t the kind of guy you’d expect just to walk into a room. The architect of future worlds for forward-looking films such as “2010,” “Blade Runner,” “Tron” and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” might be expected at least to beam down via a molecular dematerializer.

But on a recent afternoon, Mead, looking unassuming in plaid sport coat and gray corduroy slacks, simply walked down the movie theater aisle, like any other humanoid from the last quarter of the 20th Century, to address an audience of about 300 UC Irvine students.

So much for expectations.

Most distressing, however, was one moment after the screening of “2010,” which was part of the Theatrical Film Symposium course offered through UCI’s film studies program. When Mead picked up the microphone to speak, not a sound emerged. He had forgotten to push the mike’s “on” button.

“A master of high tech,” joked symposium teacher Thomas Girvin, who shared the stage with Mead. (Each week, Girvin brings in one or more guests who were creatively involved with the movie being screened.)


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