How filmmakers create future worlds

First screened in Berlin in 1927, Fritz Lang’s « Metropolis » became a template for science fiction cinema. Its script and visual language established a tone later seen in films as varied as « Blade Runner » and « Star Wars, » « Logan’s Run » and « Aeon Flux. »
Regardless of how strong or weak the genre’s storylines are, its sets are rarely less than memorable. When critics question a science fiction movie’s credibility, it is often because design and visuals — especially in the age of readily manipulated digital imagery — appear much more important than the script or message.
Even when plots are thinner than celluloid film itself, it is still exciting to be transported through cities set far into the future, whether on Earth or light years away. Imagining remotely plausible buildings of the future is, however, hard to do.