The Follower From Logan's Run
By Richard A. Coyle
In the film, Logan's Run, only a few special props were ever seen being carried by the "Sandmen" – the famous D.S. (for ‘Deep Sleep’) Pistol, the gas pellets on their belts (those silver dowel looking things), and the multi-purpose “Follower.” The Follower was a combination tool: a communicator, with both audio and video (via the faux view screen), a tracking device designed to lock onto a Runner’s blinking “life clock” crystal, and a mundane but utilitarian flash light. While it may have performed other important Utopian police gadget functions, these were the only attributes of the device revealed within the film.
These pictures are of an actual movie prop used in Logan’s Run. This particular piece is a wooden dummy prop most likely used in shots where close-ups were not required. The working "Hero" model had lights rigged to illuminate the lens and the white frosted “view screen.” In the film, the propmaker used a clever trick to get a set of pictures onto the view screen: he made a set of slip over housings, each with a slide or transparency containing the needed image for a particular sequence. The actor simply hit the view screen button to back light it for the take; then the prop man would simply pop off the first housing and put on the second one with a different picture, and filming would resume. Again the actor would push the view screen button, and another picture would seem to have been sent to the unit. This kind of trick is called an "in camera" special effect.
The forward button activated the lens light, while the center one worked the view screen light. The unit apparently had a vox system [This is radio jargon for a voice-activated radio device], as there seemed to be no button pushed for the transmit function. The Follower was a simple but elegant movie prop classic.