• Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019
"Blade Runner" production designer Lawrence G. Paull dies at 81
Lawrence G. Paull
  • LA JOLLA, Calif.
  • --

Production designer Lawrence G. Paull, who received an Academy Award® nomination and won the BAFTA Film Award for the visually stunning Blade Runner, died on November in La Jolla at the age of 81.

“I was very saddened to read of Larry’s passing,” said Blade Runner director Ridley Scott, “I haven’t seen him in a number of years. But I remember I was always struck by his staunch and faithful support of the strange plan for the unique world of Blade Runner. Between Syd (artist Mead) and myself, and Larry, it was a challenging, monumental task for him and against all odds. The proof is in his work in the film. So I guess WE won. My hat comes off for him, and he was an always pleasant and agreeable man.”

Paull’s distinctive design style can be seen in a wide variety of films including director Robert Zemeckis’ top-grossing movies Back to the Future (which earned Paull a second BAFTA Film Award nomination) and Romancing the Stone, and Ron Underwood’s City Slickers.

Paull was born in Chicago on April 13, 1938. He received a B.A. in Architecture from the University of Arizona and began working in films as a set designer and art director before advancing to production designer.

Throughout his career, Paull worked on over 35 films with such distinguished directors as John Badham (Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings, Another Stakeout, American Flyers); Jon Avildsen (W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings); Paul Schrader (Blue Collar), Jonathan Kaplan (Unlawful Entry, Project X), Peter Fonda (The Hired Hand) and John Carpenter (Escape from L.A., Memoirs of an Invisible Man).

Additional credits include Born Yesterday, Predator 2, Harlem Nights, Naked Gun 33-1/3: The Final Insult, Sgt. Bilko and Light it Up.

Paull’s early career as art director includes over 20 television movies and feature films by such celebrated directors as Robert Mulligan, Delbert Mann and Lamont Johnson, among others. As well, Paull designed the Emmy® Award-winning Friendly Fire; Oprah Winfrey’s ABC miniseries The Wedding; Davi Greene’s Rehearsal for Murder; Burt Reynolds’ Hard Time; and James Keach’s Murder in the Mirror.

Following his retirement from the motion picture industry, Paull used his extensive knowledge to help future filmmakers. In 2004 he joined Chapman University in Irvine, Calif., where he created and taught a new curriculum that is required for a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Production Design.

Prior to Chapman University, Paull was sr. filmmaker-in-residence at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles creating the curriculum required for a Master of Fine Arts degree in Production Design. He designed syllabi and worked with the adjunct faculty on the format and content of each and every course that was taught in the Production Design discipline.

He has also been a guest speaker at Harvard University, USC, UCLA, Catholic University and the University of Arizona.

Paull is survived by his wife of 36 years Marcy Bolotin, son Michael Paull, sister Lesley Cavanagh (Neil) and brother-in-law Craig Bolotin (Marie-Claude).

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made in Paull’s memory to the charity of your choice. There will be no services.

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