Blade Runner Convention
Teesside
7-10 November 2019

square convention

NEWS STATEMENT 01/03/19

We were hoping to launch our website on the 1st March 2019 with news of our full programme and first announcements for original Blade Runner actors, guest speakers and musicians for the evening events.

However, we have been asked by Warner Bros to cease to work on the convention as it currently stands:

“For a variety of legal, business and strategic reasons we are unable to give you the permission needed to run a themed event which features or is based upon the 1982 BR or elements from it.”
 
Of course we wish to respect the rights of Warner Bros so we will rework the event in order that it complies with their rights, as the event as it currently stands appears to be a primarily themed Blade Runner event “which might cause confusion or suggests that [the] event is an official or associated Film event [which] will be problematic and infringing.”  
 
Initially, we wrote to Warner Bros on the 9th January 2019 to inform them of our intention to undertake the convention and to seek advice to ensure that we would not be infringing any copyrights or legal issues surrounding the film/s. We also asked Warner Bros if they would be willing to endorse our initiative.
 
Our subsequent correspondence with Warner Bros has been professional and amicable and we fully respect their response and position.
 
However, we also want to ensure that the indelible impact of the landscape of Teesside on Ridley Scott’s films is marked this November. Our programme also explores and celebrates the work of Philip K Dick, musicians, artists and writers inspired by synth, cyber-punk, dystopian noir and of course Blade Runner 2049 (SONY), theres so much more also.
 
To this end, we will be exploring how we can rework the title and the programme in a way that satisfies Warner Bros rights and concerns.
 
Over the coming days we will be seeking legal advice on how to move forward and will be rewording our web and social media presence accordingly.
 
Regards
 
The Convention Team
 
 
 
Original Text:

 

Blade Runner Convention, Teesside, 7-10 November 2019

www.bladerunnerconvention.com

What is the Blade Runner Convention 2019?

The Blade Runner Convention 2019 is a four-day international event consisting of screenings, keynote addresses, talks, debates, workshops, markets and dystopian music nights.

Based in Middlesbrough – with events in Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool and Redcar – local, national and international visitors and press will descend on Teesside to debate, discuss, witness, participate and party in all things Blade Runner in the setting which gave the film its identity.

Why Teesside?

Born in South Shields in 1937, Blade Runner director Ridley Scott’s family moved around the North-East before finally settling down in Greens Beck Road, Hartburn, Stockton-on-Tees where he attended the local Grangefield Grammar School (now The Grangefield Academy).

On graduation from Grangefield, Scott attended the West Hartlepool College of Art from 1954 to 1958, obtaining a diploma in design before moving to the Royal College of Art in London and developing his reputation as one of the leading film directors of the 20/21 centuries.
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Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner – often cited as the most important science fiction film ever made – is based upon the 1968 novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ by Philip K Dick. Although ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ is set in San Francisco, Scott’s epic re-sets the story in Los Angeles, but in reality much of the films aesthetic and film-noir atmosphere is based on Scott’s experience of Teesside, in particular the industrial flame stacks of ICI Wilton that became one of cinema’s most iconic images as director Ridley Scott recreated their eerie glow for his dystopian vision of Blade Runner.
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As Scott described himself:

“There’s a walk from Redcar into Hartlepool. I’d cross a bridge at night, and walk above the steel works. So that’s probably where the opening of Blade Runner comes from.”

Although Scott’s references to Blade Runner are often only externally referred to as relating to the opening sequences, the entire films atmosphere was influenced directly by the industrial architecture and Northern English weather of Teesside.

“It always seemed to be rather gloomy and raining, and I’d just think ‘God, this is beautiful’.

Why November 2019?

The opening title sequence of Blade Runner starts with the text:

LOS ANGELES, NOVEMBER, 2019
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Due to the significance of this date that the original Blade Runner is set and the fact that there will be so much attention placed on the film during this month in 2019, it seems fitting that the place that influenced so much of the films success should itself host a major international convention to mark the date.
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The Blade Runner Convention website will be launched in April 2019, in the meantime, forward all queries to info@bladerunnerconvention.com

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